Astros in Fantasy: Fantasy Picks of the Week Volume 15

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Jul 7, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros right fielder George Springer (4) hits a triple during the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 7, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros right fielder George Springer (4) hits a triple during the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
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A Look at Fantasy Baseball Through the Lens’ of an Astros Fan

Jul 7, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros right fielder George Springer (4) hits a triple during the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 7, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros right fielder George Springer (4) hits a triple during the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

Here is how I did in Week 14:

Week 14 Hitter:

George Springer– 7/24 H/AB, 4 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0 SB, .292 BA

In a week where Astros fans rushed to their phones and furiously voted for their beloved right fielder, Springer did what he did best, create opportunities at the top of the lineup. In his seven games before the All-Star break, he hit .292 with a .912 OPS.

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Springer has been much better leading off in the Astros lineup. One of the unusual perks that Springer has, as a leadoff man, is the power in his bat. With a .484 slugging percentage batting first, this week, Springer had a .542 slugging percentage with three extra-base hits, including a home run.

With his pop, Springer sets the offensive tone for the rest of the lineup. He was driven in four times in the past seven games.

After a horrible month of June, Springer’s bat has come back to life. In his 34 at bats in July, he is hitting .294 with a .944 OPS. He also has four extra-base hits, including two home runs, and has been driven in eight times.

After the seven successful games against Oakland and Seattle, Springer will travel to both of the cities to play both respective teams again out of the All-Star break. Even though Springer has regressed a little in away ballparks, hitting only .242 with a .756 OPS, he will need to step up to the plate for the Astros to take some of those games on the road.

If Springer continues to lead off, he will provide fantasy owners with runs at a steady pace. He also seems to be stepping up in the power department as well. Look out for Springer to be on fire to start the second half of the season.

Week 14 Pitcher:

Lance McCullers– 11 IP, 12 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 16 K, 1 W, 3.27 ERA, 1.55 WHIP

Both the positives and negatives of McCullers’ 2016 season were shown in his first two starts in July.

In both starts, McCullers continued to baffle hitters with a three-pitch arsenal of a four-seam fastball, a knuckle curveball, and a changeup. In his 11 innings of work this week, he struck out 16 batters, increasing his strikeout average to 11.37 per nine innings.

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However, hitters continued to find their way on base against him. He gave up 12 hits and walked five in his 11 innings. This increased his WHIP to 1.65 and his hit and walk averages to 9.5 and 5.4 per nine innings respectively.

Clearly with nasty stuff that can get hitters out, McCullers needs to figure out how to limit the number of runners on base. However, with some runners on base, he did not allow many to score, giving up only four earned runs.

His lack of control has affected his innings pitched. In his final start before the All-Star break, McCullers only threw four innings before he was pulled. He threw 92 pitches in that start. That was his first start since May 13th, his first start in 2016, that he went five innings or less in a start.

If McCullers can reign in his pitches to limit his pitch count and to limit the number of runners on-base whether it is through base hits or walks, McCullers could be a huge pick up in the second half for a fantasy playoff run.

Next: Now on to Week 15

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