The Major League Baseball trade deadline isn't until July 31, but teams are already making moves that impact fantasy owners. The Toronto Blue Jays traded starting pitcher Marcus Stroman to the New York Mets, and he immediately gets a boost in value due to switching leagues and not having to worry about a designated hitter. Also, he no longer has to face the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays on a consistent basis.
The Miami Marlins traded closer Sergio Romo to the Minnesota Twins, which crushes his fantasy value as he will no longer be in a role to save games consistently. These are the moves we have to worry about as fantasy owners and adjust accordingly.
1. Minnesota Twins Designated Hitter Nelson Cruz -- The old man continues to play at a high level, as he hit seven home runs with 13 RBIs and a .414 batting average during the past week. Barring injury, the 39-year-old will hit more than 30 home runs for the sixth consecutive season. It's amazing that not only is he productive, but he continues to be one of the top power hitters in baseball and doesn't appear to be slowing down. The only negative surrounding Cruz is he is only eligible at utility, so position flexibility hurts him.
2. St. Louis Cardinals First Baseman Paul Goldschmidt -- One of the bigger disappointments in fantasy baseball in 2019 has finally woken up and is providing owners the type of production many expected during draft season. This past week, Goldschmidt hit six home runs with 13 RBIs and a batting average of .345. The 31-year-old has hit 10 home runs in the month of July, and at this point, it doesn't matter what happened the first three months. If fantasy owners didn't give up on the first baseman, this is the type of boost needed down the stretch.
3. Washington Nationals Starting Pitcher Stephen Strasburg -- The right-hander is on some kind of roll, as he has not allowed more than three earned runs in his last five starts. During his last two starts combined, Strasburg has allowed one earned run while striking out 17 hitters. The 31-year-old is pitching to a 3.26 ERA for the season and is looking to give fantasy owners a boost during the final couple of months.
1. New York Yankees Starting Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka -- When you give up 12 earned runs in one start and 17 during the last two, your name will definitely make this list. Tanaka's ERA has gone from 3.81 July 14 to his current 4.79. Even worse, the strikeouts are down as the righty has not struck out more than five hitters in a game since June 17. These numbers are killing fantasy owners, and it's probably time to cut bait.
2. New York Yankees Outfielder Aaron Judge -- We're still waiting for the power surge from Judge since his return from an oblique injury. In the month of July, the outfielder has only hit four home runs with 11 RBIs, and this past week, he only collected seven hits with 10 strikeouts. We know he's going to get on a hot streak, but it would be nice if it happened soon.
3. Philadelphia Phillies Outfielder Bryce Harper -- Like Judge, we're waiting for the power surge to come from Harper, and it just hasn't happened. The outfielder is on pace for 28 home runs this season, which would mark the third time in the last four seasons Harper has failed to hit 30 long balls. The good news is this has been Harper's most productive month batting average-wise, but he did only collect three hits during the last week. There's a long hot streak coming, and like Judge, it would be nice if it happened soon.
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