The injuries are piling up in fantasy baseball along with postponements due to COVID-19. There’s no doubt that if fantasy owners are to win a championship in 2020, they are going to earn it.

This is usually the time of the year many fantasy owners start to focus on fantasy football, so it will be interesting to see how the final six weeks of the season plays out. Being on the top of the news will give everyone a huge edge this season more than ever.

Three Up:

1. Philadelphia Phillies Catcher J.T. Realmuto — It’s hard to find valuable fantasy assets on a consistent basis at the catcher position, but Realmuto continues to be in a tier of his own. Fantasy owners had to invest heavily on draft day for Realmuto, so it’s always a positive when the investment pays off. The Phillies missed a lot of games early in the season due to COVID-19 concerns, but fantasy owners and Realmuto are making up for lost time. The catcher has hit .310 with four home runs and 11 RBIs during the past week. Realmuto will continue to be a stud for fantasy owners and give those who have the catcher on their roster a huge edge over the rest of their league at that position.

2. Baltimore Orioles Outfielder Anthony Santander — The outfielder was mentioned as a waiver-wire recommendation and then went out this past weekend and hit three home runs. Santander is part of a very surprising Orioles offense and is batting second on an everyday basis. During the last seven days, Santander has hit .360 with four home runs and eight RBIs. Santander also has 22 RBIs, which is tied for the most in all of baseball. Any hitter who can hit two home runs off Nationals ace Max Scherzer like Santander did Aug. 16 is good in my book, and he should continue to give a boost for fantasy owners who hop on the bandwagon now.

3. Texas Rangers Starting Pitcher Lance Lynn — The veteran right-hander did the impossible, as he went to Coors Field and not only pitched well but dominated. Lynn threw a complete game Aug. 14, giving up just one run while striking out six. For the season, Lynn has won three games with 36 strikeouts and a 1.11 ERA. Lynn was the 37th pitcher overall drafted and is showing great draft-day value for fantasy owners.

Three Down:

1. New York Mets Starting Pitcher Steven Matz — It’s been a very difficult start for the 29-year-old left-hander, as Matz has yet to pitch into the seventh inning and win a game. Matz has allowed at least five earned runs in three of five starts, which gives him a 9.00 ERA for the season. Matz is still 34 percent owned in Yahoo! Sports leagues, which is way too high for a pitcher who hasn’t had any consistent success this season.

2. Cincinnati Reds Starting Pitcher Antony DeSclafini — In a shortened season, one bad performance can have a lingering effect. Case in point is DeSclafini, as the right-hander did not allow an earned run in his first two starts. Then came his Aug. 13 start, which could derail his overall numbers for the remainder of the year and represents a tough mountain to climb for fantasy owners hoping to keep their ERA and WHIP down. The righty allowed nine earned runs in only two innings in that start against the Pittsburgh Pirates, which bumped his ERA from 0.00 to 6.23 — just a brutal outcome for a pitcher who was throwing well through his first two starts.

3. Houston Astros Second Baseman Jose Altuve — I guess it’s not as easy to hit when you don’t know which pitch is coming? That may be a little harsh, but the veteran second baseman is struggling in a big way in 2020. Altuve has a .190 batting average the last seven days and is only hitting .184 on the season. The Astros appear to be concerned, as Altuve has been moved down in the order to bat seventh the last couple of games. I don’t know if fantasy owners can drop Altuve yet, but they certainly can move him to the bench to see if he finally turns things around.

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox

Phil Backert

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