Now that we’re into August, fantasy baseball teams in traditional rotisserie-style leagues are heading into the last full month of the season with a chance to make a run for first place. In head-to-head leagues, the playoffs are starting soon, meaning now is the last chance to make a meaningful impact on your roster.
The only rule of thumb for teams heading into the playoffs in 2012 is to avoid starting a Houston Astros pitcher. Since June 28, Houston only has 4 total wins, especially embarrassing considering that 14 pitchers have had more wins than that in that span. Other than that, August is a weird time in fantasy where a lot of success hinges on picking up players on teams in the middle of a pennant race.
Who to Add
The Cardinals starter has put up impressive numbers this season, but there’s reason to believe that his numbers will be just as solid over the last month of the season. Lohse currently has an impressive 12-2 record with an ERA of 2.79. Due to his great stats, he’ll be hard to trade for but would be well worth it for the playoffs. He’s undefeated in his last nine starts, during which he has posted a 2.52 ERA.
Since May, his K/9 innings has increased every month and his FIP has decreased, showing that Lohse just keeps getting better and is peaking at the right time. With the Cardinals trying to make a playoff push for one of the NL wild card spots, Lohse could pitch often and post some great numbers in the process.
For teams looking for a boost in batting average, Ben Revere is well worth a pickup heading into the final push or the playoffs. He’s still available in over 10% of ESPN.com leagues and has been tearing it up of late. His current batting average of .329 and over 20 stolen bases are unreal for a player who’s still available in some leagues. Further, according to ESPN.com’s scoring system, Revere is the 20th best outfielder in the majors.
Revere’s proved to be no fluke either, posting very consistent numbers all season. His batting average in May, June, and July are all within 20 points of one another, and all above .300, suggesting his batting average is sustainable through the last month of the season.
Who to Drop
Howard has struggled with injury throughout this season and is lucky just to be able to play, but the former Phillies superstar is nowhere close to his former self,d hitting .200 with an OPS of only .692. It would be easy to make excuses for Howard and his disappointing season of only five home runs, but the facts are that this isn’t the same player who won the NL MVP in 2006.
For standard and keeper leagues, nothing about Howard’s performance this year or in the past few years hints at a turnaround. Since 2009, his batting average has decreased every single season to his current ugly mark of .200. His BABIP of .273 suggests that he isn’t hitting the ball hard at all this season, meaning the former MVP won’t be seeing the Mendoza Line any time this season and may not be making a comeback in the years to come either.
The Ivan Nova that most teams scrambled to pick up earlier in the season after posting a 1.26 June ERA appears to be an aberration at this point. The following month, he posted an ERA around 6 and walked over 50% more batters. Hitters are finding it easy to get on base versus Nova since his impressive June, with over 1/3 of batters reaching base in July. In his previous two starts, Nova has allowed 21 hits in only 10 innings, showing that he won’t be turning around any time soon. Nova could be a liability for any team in the last month, making it the right time to part ways with the Yankees starter.