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Extra Innings
Start & Sit for Week 15!!!!!!!!
July 02, 2008
Author: John Arias
Start’em
 
1. Alexi Casilla:
 
Looking for a second baseman this late in the year, well, you are in luck. Since taking the job over in June, Alexi has not looked back. He finished June hitting .304 with two home runs, two stolen bases and 17 RBI’s. In 26 games he scored 15 runs and has an OBP of .373. In his last three years in the minors where he has played more than 70 games, he has stolen at least 24 bases. A threat at the plate and on the bases, Casilla is most likely available in your league and there should not be anything stopping any owner from picking him up and plugging him into the lineup.
 
2. Justin Duchscherer OAK:
 
What a find has Justin Duchscherer been this year. He leads the American League in ERA (1.91) and WHIP (0.92). He had won four straight decisions until he lost a heartbreaker in San Francisco going eight innings and surrendering one run. He is scheduled to make two starts in week 15 and both will be at home, where Duchscherer is amazing. At home this year, Duchscherer is 6-1 with an ERA of 1.46 and is a must-start for week 15.
 
3. Evan Longoria, TB:
 
Someone needs a fire extinguisher to cool off the rookie. He has been on a tear during his seven game hitting streak. In that span, he is hitting .434 with three home runs and 8 RBIs. He finished June hitting .300 with eight home runs and 19 RBIs. He is a must start for week 15.
 
4. Matt Garza, TB:
 
It has been an inconsistent year for Garza but of late he has been lights out. In his last four starts he has only given up five runs in 29 innings, while striking out 24. I think it is safe to say that Matt Garza is in a groove. He schedule to make two starts in week 15 and is a must start.
 
5. Alex Gordon, KC:
 
Gordon has managed to pick up his play of late and it could not come at a better time. In his last six games, he has two home runs and seven RBIs. He finished June with five home runs and 17 RBI’s, his most productive month. He has reemerged as a viable fantasy player and should start in week 15.
 
6. Mark Reynolds, ARI:
 
In his last six games, he is hitting .364 with one home run and five RBIs. He finished June hitting .293 with six home runs and 20 RBIs. He will never hit for average but if he can have his average over .260 that is a bonus. Look for him to have and excellent second half of the season.
 
7. Brad Hawpe, COL:
 
After a slow start to the season, Hawpe is beginning to hit again. In his last 17 games, he has raised his average from .236 to .260 and in that span he has six home runs and 11 RBIs. In was only a matter of time until he turned it around and for those owners who were patient it will finally pay off.
 
8. Rick Ankiel STL:
 
He has been on an unbelievable run of late and should continue to produce for the entire year. During his seven game hitting streak, he has four home runs and eight RBIs. He has scored seven runs during his streak. Look for him to be in any lineup while hot because he has tendencies to get cold quick.
 
Sit’em
 
1. Chone Figgins, LAA:
 
This was the same time that Figgins went on a tear for the rest of the season, so this may be the last time he will be in the Sit’em section. However, he has one hit in his last 19 plate appearance and he missed two games because of knee problems. One of the elite base stealers when healthy, one has two wonder if his knees will hold up for the rest of the season. He has 14 stolen bases for the season but eight of those came in April, before the knee injuries. His production has fallen and it may be a good time to explore trade options.
 
2. Pedro Martinez, NYM:
 
He is a far cry of his prime in Boston and his last two years in New York have been horrible. In his last six games he has an ERA of 7.12 and has allowed 42 hits in 30 1/3 innings. He is scheduled to make two starts in week 15 and should definitely be on the bench.
 
3. Ryan Ludwick, STL:
 
He finished June hitting .228 but had three home runs and 16 RBIs. In contrast to May, when he ended that month hitting .333 with nine home runs and 26 RBIs. However, he has started to continue his poor play. In his last six games he is hitting .176 with no home runs or RBIs. It may be a good time and shop him around.
 
4. Jay Bruce, CIN:
 
After tearing up the league on his arrival, he has been in a slump. He finished June hitting .223. He is a valuable player in keeper leagues and his next six games will be on the road where Bruce struggles. On the road this year, Bruce is hitting .234 with one home run and eight RBIs and for that reason he needs to be on the bench.
 
5. Jesse Litsch, TOR:
 
He has been a pleasant surprise for the Blue Jays and fantasy owner, yet he has not been the same pitcher he was earlier in the season. In his last six starts, he is 1-3 with a 4.58 ERA and has a WHIP of 1.39. In 37 1/3 innings he has allowed 46 hits and has 16 strikeouts.
 
6. Rickie Weeks, MIL:
 
Despite many experts saying that Rickie Weeks is a number 1 fantasy second baseman, I would have to completely disagree. In five seasons in the majors he has compiled a .242 average. He has never had more than 42 RBIs in a season. I do not understand what makes him a no. 1 fantasy player. The only thing he does well is score runs and have a high OBP. Even his OBP this year is down (.324). For all owners waiting for him to breakout, keep waiting.
 
7. Joe Crede, CHW:
 
In his last ten games, he average has fallen from .284 to .268. He only has one home run and five RBIs. The White Sox will travel on the road for six games in week 15 and Crede numbers suffer. On the road this year, he has five home runs and 15 RBIs in 38 games. In contrast, at home he has ten home runs and 31 RBIs. Look for him to not produce in week 15.
 
8. Jeff Francoeur, ATL:
 
Francoeur had the making of a breakout superstar year in 2008, yet he has not delivered. He has adequate numbers for the season (8 home runs, 41 RBI’s); however his inability to get on base (.294) has hindered his average (.239). This week the Braves travel to Los Angeles and San Diego. In his last six games, Francoeur is hitting .111; look for him on the bench.
 
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