With just a handful of weekly matchups left in the regular season, many fantasy owners are already facing “must win” situations. Missing the playoffs can not only be heartbreaking, but quite embarrassing as well. Below are some over-achieving players in which we deem worthy of adding to your roster in pursuit of making it to the post-season. Good Luck!
Fantasy baseball players to add for August, 2014
Josh Reddick, Oak OF
If you were one of those unfortunate fantasy owners who drafted Reddick last season, then you probably went out of your way to stay away from him in 2014. The Athletics’ outfielder seems to have much more success at the plate without his distracting beard getting in the way. The 27-year-old hurt himself earlier in the year but hit .353 with four homers, 10 runs batted in and 11 runs scored in just over 50 at-bats since returning from the disabled list on July 22nd.
Reddick, who is known as being a very streaky hitter, is hitting a mediocre .255 on the season with eight bombs and 34 RBIs. Although his overall numbers are far from impressive, it’s what he has done lately that has his fantasy value soaring at a season-high (74% owned in ESPN leagues). With the departure of Yoenis Cespedes in a trade-deadline deal with the Red Sox, expect Reddick to see a healthy chunk of playing time the remainder of the season.
Dustin Ackley, Sea 2B/OF
Ackley’s outstanding July and August stretch continues as the second baseman is hitting an eye popping .346 with 13 extra-base hits in 30 games since the end of June. He has a respectable four home runs and 10 RBI is his last 10 games, and will look to remain a fixture in Seattle’s starting lineup. The recent acquisitions of Austin Jackson and Chris Denorfia could eventually cut into Ackley’s playing time, but for the time being he seems to be getting plenty of at-bats. The 26-year-old is hitting .255 on the season, with eight dingers and a respectable 42 RBIs.
Second base is looking pretty thin on the waiver wire these days and not every owner is lucky enough to have picked up the red hot Josh Harrison. Whether you need an injury replacement or would like to bolster your roster’s depth for the playoffs, make your move on Ackley while he is still available in the majority of fantasy leagues (43% owned).
Billy Butler, KC 1B/Util
After an extremely disappointing first, four months of play, Billy Butler is finally beginning to turn this lackluster season around. The designated hitter has been destroying Big League pitching in August, and has managed to tally 18 hits in his last 45 at-bats (.400). He also has a solid .413 on-base percentage during that span, making him a valuable utility option in category leagues. Butler is now hitting .279 with seven homers and 47 RBIs on the season.
Butler should see a lot of playing time at first base with Eric Hosmer scheduled to spend some time on the disabled list. The right-handed hitting slugger is known to swing a hot bat while getting the rare opportunity to play defense, so his owners should take immediate advantage of his recent success. He is just 45% owned, but we expect this number to gradually rise over the next few weeks so it would be wise to keep him on your radar.
Vance Worley, Pit SP
Worley has been terrific for the Pirates in the second half of the season and remains one of fantasy baseballs best kept secrets to this point. The right-hander has posted a stellar 0.96 ERA in four starts since the All-Star break, which includes a 1.00 WHIP, and a 17:5 strikeout to walk ratio over a 28-inning span. At 5-1 with a 2.30 ERA and 1.07 WHIP on the season, Worley is with out a doubt a must add pitcher right now. Amazingly, he is just 33% owned, so stop whatever it is you are doing and make your move now!
Brandon McCarthy, NYY SP
The Yankees have had terrible luck with their pitching all year long but the one bright spot in their rotation lately has been Brandon McCarthy. The right-hander has been perfect since being traded to the Bombers last month, going 4-0 with a 2.28 ERA with 25 punch-outs in 23.2 innings. He struggled as a Diamondback earlier in the year, which explains his poor overall record at 7-10 and ERA of 4.37. He seems like a completely different pitcher as of late and an easy addition if your fantasy squad lacks in starting pitching.
Wei-Yin Chen, Bal SP
Chen has been masterful for the Orioles all season long, posting a dominant 12-4 record with a 3.90 ERA so far. The 29-year-old just snapped his five game winning streak against the Blue Jays after he surrendered four runs. Chen continues to get slept on by fantasy owners (37% owned) not realizing that he is pitching for one of the hottest teams in all of baseball. He seems to get outstanding run support game after game, so if you are in need of wins, then why not take your chances with this hidden gem.
Yangervis Solarte, SD 2B/3B
Since being traded to the Padres in late July, utility man Yangervis Solarte appears to be comfortable at the plate in Southern California. Many players seem to strive after detaching themselves from the magnifying glass that comes along with playing in pin stripes. Since joining the Friars, the 27-year-old Venezuelan is hitting .302 with two bombs and nine RBIs. His eligibility at both second and third base could certainly help those struggling fantasy owners add some infield depth. He is hitting .262 on the season with eight home runs and 40 RBI. At 61% owned, hurry and check to see if he is still available in your league.
Tommy Medica, SD 1B
Here’s another Padre who has been a pleasant surprise offensively as of late. First baseman Tommy Medica has gone 10-for-21 with three jacks to begin August. Oddly, Manager Bud Black still doesn’t seem comfortable with Medica as an every day player. If he’s in the starting lineup for that day, then his owners in deeper leagues should definitely deploy him with confidence. The 26-year-old from Northern California is hitting .275 with seven bombs and 23 RBIs in just 167 at-bats on the season.
Dallas Keuchel, Hou SP
Since scuffling in mid-June and through July, Dallas Keuchel seems to have straightened out a few things mechanically, regaining his form over his last three starts. The southpaw has only allowed two runs with a 16:4 K:BB over 23 innings pitched during that stretch. His 2.89 ERA has attracted many fantasy owners, but his 10-7 record should be a lot better considering the terrible run support provided by the Astros lineup. There is a good chance that Keuchel is available in your league (64% owned) and I would strongly suggest picking him up if the fellows mentioned above aren’t available.