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Fantasy Greats Between The All-Star Breaks



With the Futures Game and All-Star Game in the rearview mirror, we look forward to the second half of the 2019 season.

But before we embark, let's pause to review the fantasy standouts (standard 5x5 format) in the past calendar year, i.e. the period in between the 2018 all-star break and the just-completed 2019 break.

BATTING AVERAGE
Min. 500 PA

No. Name G PA AVG
1 Christian Yelich 147 659 .346
2 Jeff McNeil 139 566 .340
3 Justin Turner 137 570 .320
4 Anthony Rendon 136 594 .319
  Michael Brantley 143 625 .319
6 J.D. Martinez 137 609 .316
  Cody Bellinger 155 621 .316
8 Charlie Blackmon 138 631 .315
9 DJ LeMahieu 138 619 .309
10 Mike Trout 130 571 .306


Hats off to the Mets' Jeff McNeil, who debuted last July 24 and has done nothing but hit ever since. He leads the majors with a .349 average this season.

Bringing up the rear among batters with 500 PAs are Brandon Crawford (.211), Jake Bauers (.213), Brian Dozier (.214), Jose Ramirez (.218) and Kyle Schwarber (.225), Justin Smoak (.226), Asdrubal Cabrera (.227), Rougned Odor (.228), Brett Gardner (.230) and Matt Carpenter (.231).

HOME RUNS

No. Name G PA HR
1 Christian Yelich 147 659 56
2 Hunter Renfroe 141 536 46
3 Khris Davis 138 583 43
4 Mike Trout 130 571 42
5 Ronald Acuña Jr. 158 715 40
  Rhys Hoskins 156 682 40
7 Cody Bellinger 155 621 38
  Joey Gallo 116 472 38
9 Javier Baez 157 656 37
10 Trevor Story 139 600 36


Most notable here is the Padres' Hunter Renfroe, who mashed 19 homers in the second half last year and 27 in the first half this year. He ranks third during the period—behind Christian Yelich and Mike Trout—with a .327 isolated slugging percentage.

One more fun fact: Renfroe was probably available on your league's waiver wire one year ago.

RUNS BATTED IN

No. Name G PA RBI
1 Christian Yelich 147 659 134
2 Anthony Rendon 136 594 109
  Nolan Arenado 154 660 109
4 Bryce Harper 155 676 108
5 Freddie Freeman 158 693 105
6 Xander Bogaerts 143 620 104
7 Cody Bellinger 155 621 103
8 Khris Davis 138 583 102
9 Javier Baez 157 656 101
  Marcell Ozuna 136 577 101


Xander Bogaerts and Javier Baez stand out in this group for their uncommon run production as middle infielders. Every other player on the list is a corner player.

STOLEN BASES

No. Name G PA SB
1 Adalberto Mondesi 131 557 55
2 Mallex Smith 128 562 47
3 Whit Merrifield 158 718 41
4 Trea Turner 116 539 38
  Jonathan Villar 143 615 38
6 Jose Ramirez 148 643 32
7 Christian Yelich 147 659 29
8 Amed Rosario 151 641 28
  Billy Hamilton 139 491 28
10 Ronald Acuña Jr. 158 715 27
  Trevor Story 139 600 27


The Royals' Adalberto Mondesi and the Nationals' Trea Turner combine killer basestealing instincts with elite speed. They rank eighth and third, respectively, on the Statcast sprint speed leaderboard.

RUNS

No. Name G PA R
1 Mookie Betts 146 677 127
2 Christian Yelich 147 659 124
3 Ronald Acuña Jr. 158 715 122
4 Charlie Blackmon 138 631 113
5 Matt Chapman 153 674 111
6 Anthony Rendon 136 594 109
7 Whit Merrifield 158 718 108
8 Trevor Story 139 600 106
9 Freddie Freeman 158 693 104
10 DJ LeMahieu 138 619 103


Reigning American League MVP Mookie Betts may be having a "down" year by his standards—.272 average, 124 OPS+—but he still leads the majors with 77 runs scored this season. Betts also has more walks than strikeouts, and his Statcast expected stats suggest he has hit into bad luck this year.

That could be good news for Betts owners—and Red Sox fans—hoping for a big second half.

WINS

No. Name GS IP W
1 Justin Verlander 32 203 17
2 Max Scherzer 32 215 15
  Zack Wheeler 30 194 15
  Kyle Hendricks 30 184 15
  Zack Greinke 32 208 15
  Lucas Giolito 30 170 15


Jacob deGrom can't buy a win, but Mets rotation-mate Zack Wheeler has notched 15 over the past calendar year, despite an ERA that is roughly a run higher.

The other notable here is White Sox righty Lucas Giolito, who leads the majors with 11 wins this season. He has taken matters into his own hands with two complete games, including one shutout.

Thirteen pitchers are tied with 14 wins: German Marquez, Gerrit Cole, Shane Bieber, Blake Snell, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Noah Syndergaard, Charlie Morton, Stephen Strasburg, Mike Minor, Kyle Gibson, Jon Lester, J.A. Happ and Mike Fiers.

EARNED RUN AVERAGE
Min. 150 IP

No. Name GS IP ERA
1 Hyun-Jin Ryu 26 162 1.78
2 Luis Castillo 29 172 2.35
3 Max Scherzer 32 215 2.47
4 Jacob deGrom 31 204 2.56
5 Mike Minor 28 175 2.68
6 Charlie Morton 30 167 2.69
7 David Price 27 151 2.80
8 Walker Buehler 30 184 2.84
9 Clayton Kershaw 28 185 2.92
10 Zack Greinke 32 208 2.94


As it turns out, the Reds' Luis Castillo's big second half last year truly was a harbinger of a breakout.

Three Dodgers starters—Hyun-Jin Ryu, Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw—have top 10 ERAs, adding credence to the "draft Dodgers starters" strategy. Ryu rocks the only sub-2.00 ERA in baseball over the past year.

The worst ERAs by pitchers with at least 150 innings: Dylan Bundy (5.71), Reynaldo Lopez (5.28), Rick Porcello (5.00), Ivan Nova (4.95), Jake Arrieta (4.81), Martin Perez (4.71), Marco Gonzales (4.55), Zach Eflin (4.52), Jake Junis (4.51) and Anthony DeSclafani (4.45).

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SAVES

No. Name G IP SV
1 Kirby Yates 64 64 40
  Edwin Diaz 62 60 40
3 Shane Greene 58 56 35
4 Felipe Vazquez 62 67 34
  Will Smith 61 60 34
  Kenley Jansen 61 62 34
7 Roberto Osuna 60 60 31
  Brad Hand 67 65 31
9 Blake Treinen 60 69 30
  Aroldis Chapman 51 46 30
  Sergio Romo 60 58 30


Fantasy owners bemoan the volatility of closers in today's game, which makes the stable saves sources all the more valuable.

WALKS PLUS HITS PER INNING
Min. 150 IP

No. Name GS IP WHIP
1 Justin Verlander 32 203 0.89
2 Walker Buehler 30 184 0.94
3 Max Scherzer 32 215 0.96
  Hyun-Jin Ryu 26 162 0.96
5 Zack Greinke 32 208 0.97
  Jacob deGrom 31 204 0.97
7 Clayton Kershaw 28 185 1.03
8 Luis Castillo 29 173 1.04
9 Gerrit Cole 30 181 1.06
  David Price 27 151 1.06
  Mike Minor 28 175 1.06


In a world where seemingly every frontline starter is getting blown up, these pitchers have found a way to get results. Note that the group leans heavy on veterans, with the exceptions being Walker Buehler and Luis Castillo.

STRIKEOUTS

No. Name GS IP SO
1 Max Scherzer 32 215 299
2 Justin Verlander 32 203 271
3 Gerrit Cole 31 189 269
4 Jacob deGrom 31 204 258
5 German Marquez 34 220 249
6 Robbie Ray 33 180 229
7 Patrick Corbin 31 191 226
8 Aaron Nola 32 194 217
9 Matthew Boyd 31 179 214
10 Shane Bieber 30 177 214


Shane Bieber claimed All-Star Game MVP honors this season by striking out the side. That performance was consistent with his stealthy dominance over the past year. Bieber ranks among the leaders with 14 wins and 214 strikeouts in between all-star breaks.

The other pitchers with 200 or more strikeouts are Blake Snell (209), Walker Buehler (205), Zack Wheeler (203), Chris Sale (202) and Jack Flaherty (202).

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