Ryan Braun played his last game of 2013 on July 21.Â In his absence the Brewers have not thrived, but they are getting better offensive production out of their new left fielder.Â Fantasy owners are beginning to buy in.Â They are also taking a chance on the only player to appeal his Biogenesis-related suspension.
Khris Davis:Â Through forty games he is hitting .333/.409/.716.Â There are two major red flags here.Â First, his 17.9% infield hit rate exceeds that of all qualified hitters and is driving his .352 BABIP.Â Davis is no speed merchant, he has twelve total steals over the last two years.Â Second, his 42.1% HR/FB is just silly.Â His walk rate, and consequently his OBP could tumble if he keeps swinging at 53.3% of pitches.
Drop for him:Â Garrett Jones, Michael Saunders, Jason Heyward
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Brandon Moss, Daniel Nava, Matt Joyce
Alex Rodriguez:Â He hit a big home run on national television last week but is 3-19 since then.Â This yearâ€™s sample size is still small, but it continues a trend of ground ball rates rising and ISO dropping.Â His pitch values are positive against fastballs, but breaking pitches are eating him up.Â Is he starting early because his bat speed is compromised?
Drop for him:Â David Freese, Aramis Ramirez, Kelly Johnson
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Will Middlebrooks, Mike Moustakas, Matt Dominguez
Bronson Arroyo:Â The Cardinals lit him up on August 2.Â In the next 27 innings he allowed 20 hits, 7 R, 0BB, and 26 K.Â His K/BB is 4.12 in 2013 and 12.67 in the second half.Â His K/9 has remained under 6.00 since 2008 and this limits him to matchup work in standard fantasy leagues.Â Look for him in mid-September as Cincinnati plays the Cubs, Brewers, and Astros in succession.
Drop for him:Â Jeff Locke, Alex Wood, Mike Leake
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Ivan Nova, Tyson Ross, Dan Haren
Jon Jay:Â He is hitting .325/.383/.483 since the All Star Break.Â His ISO also increased from .091 to .158.Â What does not fit is his GB/FB increasing from 1.99 to 3.19.Â Do not expect a repeat of Augustâ€™s .403 BABIP either.Â He is getting better results, but the underlying stats show it is more a matter of luck than anything else.Â He also only has four steals after totaling nineteen last year.Â This could be a function of where he hits in the order.Â In 2012 he batted first or second in 93 games.Â So far this year he occupied a top spot in 47.
Drop for him:Â Josh Willingham, Raul Ibanez, Robbie Grossman
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Eric Young Jr., Ichiro Suzuki, Rajai Davis
David Freese:Â St. Louis recently promoted infielder Kolten Wong, and will apparently use him in Freeseâ€™s stead when facing right-handed starters.Â The third basemanâ€™s ISO has dropped from .174 to .113.Â His 22.5% fly ball rate is the lowest among corner infielders.Â His HR/FB is down from 20% to 9.1% and he has lost close to 30 ft. on average fly ball distance.Â He could be playing hurt.
Drop him for:Â Todd Frazier, Anthony Rendon, Chase Headley
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Michael Young, Mark Reynolds, Trevor Plouffe
Josh Reddick:Â Owners pounced when he mashed five home runs in two games on August 9th and 10th.Â Since then he has no extra base hits and one RBI.Â Being a fly ball inclined hitter holds down his BABIP, particularly in spacious Oakland.Â With his power way down he cannot be productive.Â His wrist injury also flared up over the weekend, and a DL trip is a distinct possibility.
Drop him for:Â Gerardo Parra, Chris Carter, Christian Yelich
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Michael Morse, Raul Ibanez, B.J. Upton
Chase Headley:Â Do not pay for a career year.Â 2013 marks Headleyâ€™s fifth year playing in over 100 major league games.Â His ISOs are .131, .111, .110, .212, .130.Â His HR/FB has never exceeded 10% except in 2012 when it was 21.4%.Â He is a fringe starter in standard mixed leagues.
Drop him for:Â Jedd Gyorko, Juan Francisco, Nolan Arenado
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Donnie Murphy, Juan Uribe, Wilmer Flores
Mike Leake:Â He has a 6.26 ERA in four August starts with thirteen strikeouts and seven walks in 23 IP.Â His 2013 ERA rose from 2.59 to 3.12 over the month.Â The increase could well continue, all his indicators are over 4.00.Â A 78.9% strand rate is very high for a low strikeout pitcher.Â While he does boast a 3.46 FIP in away games he is not recommended for Mondayâ€™s start at St. Louis.
Drop him for:Â Chris Archer, John Lackey, Dillon Gee
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Trevor Cahill, Paul Maholm, Tommy Milone