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Astros in Fantasy: Fantasy Players of the Week- Week 19

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Aug 2, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) tags out Houston Astros right fielder George Springer (4) as he runs down the first base line in the third inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 2, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) tags out Houston Astros right fielder George Springer (4) as he runs down the first base line in the third inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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A Look at Fantasy Baseball Through the Lens’ of an Astros Fan

Aug 2, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) tags out Houston Astros right fielder George Springer (4) as he runs down the first base line in the third inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 2, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) tags out Houston Astros right fielder George Springer (4) as he runs down the first base line in the third inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

Here is how I did in Week 18:

Week 18 Hitter:

George Springer– 4/30 H/AB, 2 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 SB, .133 BA

With Springer at the top of the lineup, he sets the tone for the rest of the offense. He is a big part of the reason why the Astros struggled offensively this week.

Springer had four hits in 30 at bats this week against the Toronto Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers and watched his average fall from .261 to .252. He also walked only three times and struck out 30% of the time with nine strikeouts.

To make matters worse, when he made contact, there was not much power to it. Of his four hits, Springer had only one extra-base hit, a double, on August 3rd against the Blue Jays.

Even though he is not a prototypical leadoff hitter, Springer is the table setter that the Astros need to get their offense going as he has shown in the past. If he struggles, the entire offense is going to struggle. If the Astros want to make up any ground in the AL West, Springer is going to have to step up and provide that game changing offense that fans have expected to see from him leading off.

Week 18 Pitcher:

Lance McCullers– 4.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 0 W, 3.86 ERA, 1.71 WHIP

Going into his August 2nd start against the Blue Jays, McCullers was on a roll. In his previous three starts, he threw 19.1 innings and gave up only three earned runs on 13 hits and ten walks. He also struck out 28 in that span. In those three starts, his ERA fell from 3.79 to 3.18 with a 2.08 ERA in July.

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McCullers looked to continue that success in his first start of August. However, the injury bug caught up to McCullers yet again. He had to be pulled after 4.2 innings of work and was later diagnosed with a mild elbow sprain. He is now on the 15-day disabled list and, according to ESPN.com, is not likely to come back until the later end of August.

In his 4.2 innings of work, he was not as dominant, but it seemed like a normal McCullers start. He gave up two earned runs on seven hits and one walk in the eventual 2-1 Blue Jays win. He also struck out six.

What the Astros and fantasy owners are going to miss about McCullers in August is his spectacular strikeout numbers. In his 81 innings pitched this season, he has struck out 106 batters. This equals out his not so good season WHIP of 1.54.

The unfortunate thing for McCullers is the timing of this injury. Each month’s stats were improved from the last, and he was looking at taking over the “ace” role in 2016 as Dallas Keuchel continues to struggle. Look for McCullers to come back with a vengeance in 2017 with the rest of 2016 up in the air.

Next: Now on to Week 19

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