We have reached the final few days of August before the last month of the fantasy baseball season is here. Our opinions can change on players if they have a big September or if they struggle as we head down the wire of trying to win a championship. Hopefully, we have some good fortune and the players on our rosters are the ones who have a big last month.

Three Up:

1. Kansas City Royals Catcher Salvador Perez — It’s not often a catcher is near the top of the home run leaderboard, but Perez is once again proving why he’s one of the best offensive options at the position. The 31-year-old is enjoying a career year, as he’s batting .277 with 38 home runs and 94 RBIs. Perez is playing the toughest position in baseball but is consistently in the lineup — he’s already played 129 games. It will be hard to duplicate this season next year, but fantasy owners are benefitting in a big way in 2021.

2. Baltimore Orioles First Baseman Ryan Mountcastle — The 24-year-old is enjoying a strong rookie season, as he is batting .266 with 24 home runs and 71 RBIs. Mountcastle rebounded nicely after a bad April and then once again after a sluggish July in which he hit .205. In the month of August, the first baseman has hit .349 with seven home runs and 14 RBIs. Mountcastle ranks highly in many offensive categories among rookies. It will be interesting to see if he can make a run at Rookie of the Year if he continues this stretch during the final few weeks.

3. Chicago White Sox Starting Pitcher Dylan Cease — The 25-year-old has had an impressive season, but his month of August has been dominant. Cease has allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of his six starts. He’s struck out at least five in all of them, including three games with double-digit strikeouts. He’s also pitched at least five innings in all of them. The last bad start for Cease occurred July 5 when he allowed six earned runs. The right-hander has 11 wins with a 3.82 ERA this season and will look to help fantasy owners in his remaining few starts.

Three Down:

1. San Diego Padres Shortstop/Outfielder Fernando Tatis Jr. — It’s not often that one of the best players in baseball cracks this list, but Tatis had a brutal week. The 22-year-old struck out 10 times and collected only three hits. Tatis is only batting .200 since his return from another stint on the injured list. The Padres are fighting for a playoff spot while trying to keep their star player healthy, which has led to Tatis playing the outfield. Hopefully, Tatis can find his swing while also staying healthy so he can help fantasy owners during the final month.

2. Cincinnati Reds First Baseman Joey Votto — It’s amazing that after a hot streak, a cold streak usually follows. That has been the case for Votto recently. He only collected two hits during the last week while striking out nine times. This bad week follows a stretch for Votto that saw him hit 14 home runs in 19 games at the end of July and into the first couple of weeks of August. Votto is still having a strong season — he’s batting .271 with 28 home runs and 83 RBIs — and hopefully this was just a bad week that he can bounce back from.

3. Boston Red Sox Outfielder/Designated Hitter J.D. Martinez — The slugger struggled this past week, collecting five hits while striking out eight times. However, it’s been a nice bounce-back season for the 34-year-old after he hit .213 during the shortened season in 2020. He is batting .285 with 24 home runs and 83 RBIs this year and is back to performing at the level that he has throughout most of his career.

Photo Credit: Colin Murphy/PressBox

Phil Backert

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