Three Up:

1. Chicago White Sox Outfielder Eloy Jimenez — A spring training injury sidelined Jimenez until the end of July, but the talented outfielder is trying to make up for lost time. Jimenez is batting .370 with five home runs and 16 RBIs in August and has collected multiple hits in four straight games. This is a late-season boost fantasy owners need in order to win a championship, and Jimenez should continue providing that.

2. Atlanta Braves Second Baseman Ozzie Albies — It was a sluggish start in the month of August from Albies, who collected just four hits in eight games. However, the second baseman has been red-hot during the past week. He has collected eight hits, including five home runs to go along with 10 RBIs, seven runs scored and a stolen base. For the season, Albies is having a strong season, as he’s trying to keep the Braves in the playoff hunt. The 24-year-old is batting .260 with 22 home runs and 15 stolen bases.

3. San Diego Padres Starting Pitcher Blake Snell — I have been critical of Snell the past couple of seasons. I think he’s been overvalued from a fantasy perspective and in the game of baseball from analysts. Snell struggles to pitch five and six innings but is looked at as an impact pitcher. However, when he’s pitching well, I will give him credit. That’s exactly what the left-hander has done in his last three starts. Snell has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of the starts and has racked up 25 strikeouts during the three outings. In Snell fashion, he has only pitched five innings in two of those starts, but he’s been dominant. The 28-year-old still has a 4.80 ERA, but he’s at least trending in the right direction down the stretch.

Three Down:

1. New York Yankees First Baseman Luke Voit — After Voit led Major League Baseball in home runs in a shortened season, many expected his power surge to continue in 2021. Unfortunately, injuries have prevented that, as Voit has only played 36 games this season. The results haven’t been there even when Voit has been healthy enough to play. He is only batting .234 with five home runs and 17 RBIs. Voit only collected three hits in the last week while striking out 11 times. It’s apparent that this could be a lost season for the power hitter.

2. Cincinnati Reds Outfielder Nick Castellanos — It looked like Castellanos may have found his rhythm after returning from injury in early August when he collected three hits, including a home run, in a two-game span. However, it’s been a struggle since and overall this month. Castellanos is only hitting .176 with two home runs and four RBIs this month and has seen his average dip from .329 to .315. It’s been a strong season for the outfielder so a hot streak is coming, but it’s frustrating that this is happening late in the year while coming off an injury.

3. Toronto Blue Jays Starting Pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu — A couple of bad starts can really hurt a strong season. That’s what we’re seeing with Ryu. Prior to two starts ago, the left-hander had an ERA of 3.22. However, Ryu has allowed 11 earned runs in his last two starts and is now pitching to a 3.72 ERA. Fantasy owners are hoping this is just a minor hiccup and Ryu can bounce back during the final few weeks.

Phil Backert

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