Three Up:

1. Cleveland Indians Third Baseman Jose Ramirez — The average may not be what we’re accustomed to seeing from Ramirez, who is currently hitting .257. However, the rest of his stats once again make him one of the better fantasy performers. Ramirez finished the week hitting .357 with four home runs, 10 RBIs, seven runs scored and two stolen bases. The third baseman has 29 home runs this season with 79 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. If Ramirez can stay hot for a few more weeks, there’s no doubt that he won’t finish around .270 and get close to 35 home runs and 20 stolen bases.

2. New York Yankees First Baseman Luke Voit — The 2020 home run leader called his shot earlier in the week and said he deserves to play as much as Anthony Rizzo. If you’re going to say strong words like that, you need to back it up. The first baseman did just that, as he finished the week collecting 13 hits with three home runs and 13 RBIs. After hitting 22 home runs in 56 games last season, Voit only has seven in 42 games this year. I don’t know how this will play out, but there’s no doubt it’s difficult to take Voit out of the lineup right now. This is a situation where the fantasy value of Voit and Rizzo could be limited during the final six weeks.

3. Milwaukee Brewers Outfielder Christian Yelich — There were other players that had a better week, but I wanted to spotlight Yelich. The former Most Valuable Player has been in a two-year slump, but has finally shown some offensive force in the month of August. The outfielder is batting .296 with two home runs this month and his .463 slugging percentage is the highest of any month this year. I’m not saying Yelich is back, but at least he is being productive again, which is great news for fantasy owners.

Three Down:

1. New York Yankees Outfielder Joey Gallo — If the Yankees are trying to include Rizzo and Voit in the same lineup, it could come at the expense of Gallo. The power hitter who was acquired at the trade deadline had a dreadful week, striking out 16 times and only collecting three hits. Frequent readers will know that Gallo finds himself on this list often throughout the season, as he is one of the streakiest hitters in baseball. When the outfielder is hitting well, he can carry a fantasy roster for weeks, but he can also bring one down when he is slumping. Gallo is batting .208 with 29 home runs this season.

2. St. Louis Cardinals Third Baseman Nolan Arenado — The season Arenado is having is one I thought was extremely possible and why he was included in my overvalued list back in March. https://pressboxonline.com/2021/03/15/2021-fantasy-baseball-overvalued-hitters/ Unfortunately, fantasy owners were still drafting Arenado like he was on the Rockies and not taking into account that he will not play half of his home games in hitter’s paradise. Arenado is having a solid season with 25 home runs and 80 RBIs. However, his batting average of .257, on-base percentage of .315 and slugging percentage of .495 would all be career lows for the veteran in a full 162-game season. This should have been expected, but Arenado was consistently drafted in the third round in many drafts.

3. Toronto Blue Jays Shortstop Bo Bichette — August has been the worst month of the season for Bichette, as he is currently hitting .236 with only one home run. The rough stretch has lowered Bichette’s batting average from .295 to .287. The good news is Bichette finished with three hits Aug. 22, so maybe he’s about to go on a nice hot streak. Bichette is still having a strong season with 20 home runs and 28 stolen bases. It will be worth watching many hitters during the next few weeks to see if fatigue sets in after a shortened season in 2020.

Phil Backert

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