The stretch run is officially here, as we are down to the final two months of the fantasy baseball season. We have also reached fantasy football draft month, so there's potential to be distracted during the next several weeks. We need to remain focused. I strongly believe we can take advantage with some of our leaguemates thinking about football.
1. Pittsburgh Pirates Outfielder Starling Marte -- The 30-year-old doesn't get enough credit for the impact he makes in the fantasy game as he helps in all five categories. Marte is batting .286 with 20 home runs, 67 RBIs, 77 runs scored and 17 stolen bases. There's a strong chance he hits 25 home runs, finishes with around 25 stolen bases, drives in close to 90 runs and scores 100 runs. That is elite production, and he continues to help fantasy owners in a big way.
2. Houston Astros Starting Pitcher Justin Verlander -- The 36-year-old just continues to dominate and add to his Hall of Fame resume. The veteran has had four consecutive starts with double-digit strikeouts and has allowed two earned runs or fewer in five consecutive starts. Verlander is pitching to a 2.68 ERA and has collected 15 wins. In a season during which offense is booming, Verlander continues to dominate.
3. Cleveland Indians Starting Pitcher Shane Bieber -- The Most Valuable Player in this year's All-Star Game continues to build on his hot streak, as he has pitched a complete game twice in his last three starts. The right-hander has allowed four earned runs during his last three starts while striking out 26 to lower his season ERA to 3.31. It's now getting difficult for starting pitchers to throw six innings, but Bieber has found a way to throw three complete games in 2019.
1. Boston Red Sox Starting Pitcher David Price -- It's been a rough stretch for the veteran lefty, as Price has allowed at least six earned runs twice during his last four starts. Price couldn't even finish three innings against the New York Yankees Aug. 4, as he allowed seven earned runs. The season ERA is now 4.36 and it's killing fantasy owners for Price to be struggling this late in the season.
2. Oakland Athletics Third Baseman Matt Chapman -- It was a rough week for the 26-year-old, as he collected only one hit while striking out nine times. Chapman was batting .275 July 24, but he's now hitting .257. It's extremely frustrating for a slump like this to ruin a strong season, but hopefully the third baseman can turn it around quickly.
3. Washington Nationals Starting Pitcher Stephen Strasburg -- Like Chapman, one bad outing can really make your season look worse than it has been. Strasburg was on a roll, as he hadn't allowed more than three earned runs in five consecutive starts. However, on Aug. 3, Strasburg allowed nine earned runs, which caused his ERA to rise from 3.26 to 3.72. Strasburg has been a rock for fantasy owners so I'm not allowing this start to change my opinion. It does show that one bad week or one bad start can really change the overall numbers of how a player has been performing.