September 4, 2012
First, Third, and DH for 9/4/12
Either I’m getting better at this, or fantasy owners are getting lazier. For the first time this season, all of my main VPs are sticking around, many of whom have been on the list for a month or more, despite strong performance. As fantasy trade deadlines approach, now is the time to make a move for one of these undervalued assets.
Not only did Chris Carter (Yahoo! 8%, ESPN 7%, CBS 31%) add two more homers to his totals last week (he’s hit three in his last 23 plate appearances), but he picked up three other hits, including two doubles. Like Wallace, Carter’s 27 percent K% should deflate his batting average, but unlike Wallace, Carter has been delivering power to compensate. Oakland has been scoring runs in bunches since the All-Star Break, jumping from 3.71 runs per game in the first half of the season to 5.39 runs per game in the second half, and Carter should continue to be a big part of that.
So far this season, Jordan Pacheco (Yahoo! 5%, ESPN 4%, CBS 18%) has hit well without providing much power, but that’s begun to change. He cranked his third home run of the season last week and has four doubles in his last 38 plate appearances. This could be a result of his 33 percent line drive rate in August or because he’s moved up in the order, hitting out of the second or third spot for 10 of the last 12 games. The latter move, as I predicted last week, has also helped him accumulate counting stats: he’s scored a run in five straight games and racked up four RBI in his last five games. This all makes Pacheco more valuable than ever at the always-thin hot corner.
With Carlos Pena squeezed out from the starting lineup even more (see Playing Pepper below), Luke Scott (Yahoo! 9%, ESPN 9%, CBS 18%) will be playing first base as well as designated hitter, at least against righties, giving him more chances to bring value to your team. He’s cooled off a bit after a hot start, going hitless the past two games after picking up a hit in his previous five games since returning from the disabled list. He’s been consistently striking out, however, whiffing at least once in all six of those starts, so don’t expect his batting average to get much higher. I expect him to improve, but he’s on VP notice if he doesn’t.