Let’s look at a pair of one-time fantasy stalwarts that have fallen by the wayside in recent years…
Hideki Matsui | OF | Athletics | Ownership: 34% Yahoo!
The one they call Godzilla has been seemingly revitalized by the All-Star break, hitting a cool .451/.495/.720 with more doubles (seven), homers (five), and walks (nine) than strikeouts (four) since the midsummer classic. He’s been helped by a favorable change in his batted ball profile, slugging more line drives while cutting down on the fly balls…
Fifteen of the 21 games Matsui has played since the break have been played in parks that will punish hitters for hitting balls in the air (Comerica, Safeco, the Trop, and his home park in Oakland), so he’s been hitting more balls on a nose at a good time. His BABIP has shot through the roof as expected, but it remains at a reasonable .286 for the season. ZiPS projects a .264/.340/.434 batting line with five homers the rest of the way, solid output for a waiver wire fantasy outfielder.
Jake Peavy | SP | White Sox | Ownership: 39% Yahoo!
Injuries and the shift into a tougher park in the tougher league have caused Peavy’s career to stall over the last two years or so, but he’s shown signs of getting back on track over his last four starts. He dominated the weak-hitting Twins yesterday (8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K) and more than held his own against the Yankees earlier in the week (7 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 K), and the good news that he’s consistently throwing 100+ pitches without showing signs of falling off in the later innings. He had a problem once his pitch count got past 75-80 earlier in the year and last season as well.
Peavy’s season ERA-FIP split is huge (4.63 ERA, 2.80 FIP) is the largest in baseball (min. 80 IP), though ZiPS expects that to even out a bit down the stretch: 3.65 ERA and a 3.06 FIP. His next two starts will come at home against the Royals and Rangers, but after that he’ll run into a three-start stretch in which he faces the Mariners, the Twins, and then the Twins again. That’s a three-start stretch worth taking advantage of in fantasy crunch time.