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Fantasy Baseball Risers, Fallers: Aug. 12, 2019

August 12, 2019
It's hard to believe, but we're in the middle of August and the fantasy baseball season is close to winding down. Depending on your league format, the playoffs could begin soon. The importance of every decision we make is critical during these final weeks.

Three Up:

1. Cincinnati Reds Outfielder Aristides Aquino -- It's always a nice confidence boost when you recommend a player to pick up off the waiver wire  and then he goes out and hits three home runs. That's exactly what happened with Aquino, and he's hit six long balls during the past week. I don't know how long this hot streak will last, but we need to hop on the bandwagon now. 

2. Atlanta Braves Outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. -- There's only one word that needs to be said about Acuna: stud. The 21-year-old is a fantasy star and will continue to be for the next decade. Acuna hit .419 with six home runs, 10 RBIs, 12 runs scored and three stolen bases this past week. For the season, Acuna is batting .298 with 33 home runs, 80 RBIs, 99 runs scored and 28 stolen bases. If he wasn't in the same league as Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich, Acuna would be knocking on the door for an MVP award.

3. Texas Rangers Starting Pitcher Mike Minor -- An impressive last two starts by the veteran, as he pitched 15 innings and did not allow a run. Minor also struck out 18 and picked up two victories. For the season, the left-hander has collected 11 wins and is pitching to a 2.90 ERA. Considering Minor was being drafted outside the top 100 for starting pitchers, he has provided great value for fantasy owners.

Three Down:

1. Cincinnati Reds First Baseman Joey Votto -- It's hard seeing a great player get old and lose the ability to play at a high level. We started seeing it last year with Votto, but this season has been worse. The veteran collected just four hits this past week with nine strikeouts. For the season, Votto is batting .256 with 12 home runs and just 38 RBIs. Votto's .345 on-base percentage would be the worst of his career by far.

2. Chicago Cubs Starting Pitcher Jon Lester -- At this time of the season we can't afford any bad starts, as it could be difficult to overcome. Lester allowed 12 earned runs in his last two starts. That includes his Aug. 6 outing in which he allowed nine earned runs. Prior to these starts, Lester had a 3.86 ERA, but it's now ballooned to 4.43. 

3. Minnesota Twins Starting Pitcher Jose Berrios -- Like Lester, Berrios has been having a solid season, as he was pitching to a 2.80 ERA after his July 31 start. However, Berrios has allowed 12 earned runs in his last two starts and now has an ERA of 3.29. Those are still respectable numbers, but the bad starts crushed fantasy owners. I'm not that concerned about Berrios and think he will be able to help fantasy owners down the stretch.