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Fantasy Baseball Risers, Fallers: Sept. 9, 2019

September 9, 2019
There's only a couple of weeks left in the season, but we still need to maintain our focus as the finish line nears. 

Three Up:

1. Arizona Diamondbacks Second Baseman Ketel Marte -- It has been a breakout season for the 25-year-old, as he is hitting .330 with 32 home runs, 91 RBIs, 95 runs scored and nine stolen bases. This incredible season has locked Marte in as a top-10 fantasy hitter this season, which makes him one of the biggest fantasy baseball surprises. Marte was being drafted in the later rounds back in March. This past week, Marte hit four home runs with 14 RBIs and is finishing the season the way we hope our big performers do.

2. Tampa Bay Rays Outfielder Austin Meadows -- Meadows was spotlighted back in March as a player who was undervalued in drafts, and he continues to play well for a team fighting to make the playoffs. This past week, Meadows hit four home runs while collecting 12 hits and stealing a base. For the season, Meadows is hitting .288 with 28 home runs, 78 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. For a guy with that high of a batting average along with the home runs, I expected his runs scored to be up higher, but he is only at 69 runs scored. I'm nitpicking, as this season has been a strong one for the 24-year-old.

3. Houston Astros Starting Pitcher Gerrit Cole -- When investing a high draft pick in a starting pitcher, fantasy owners need to be rewarded. That is exactly what is happening with Cole this season as he has been dominant all year long. Cole has racked up 281 strikeouts this season in 184.1 innings, which is insane. Cole's ERA sits at 2.73 with a WHIP of 0.92. Cole is going to make more than 30 starts this season, which is what we are hoping for when taking the righty back in March.

Three Down:

1. Philadelphia Phillies First Baseman Rhys Hoskins -- It has been a disappointing season for Hoskins,as many expected this to be a true breakout year, especially with the addition of Bryce Harper. Hoskins is hitting .236, which is unacceptable for a player as talented as he is. The slugging percentage is down and the strikeouts are up, which is not the combination we are looking for. Hoskins should still hit the 30 home run mark, but everyone is hitting home runs. We need more from the slugger in 2020.

2. Atlanta Braves Outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. -- It's not often that a player cracks either list two weeks in a row, but the 21-year-old is in a horrible slump. On Aug. 13, Acuna Jr. was batting .299. Less than a month later, the batting average is at .280. It has been a steady decline across the board for the youngster and his incredible season is quickly taking a hit. I'm really hoping he gets back on track for the final couple of weeks as he has helped fantasy owners in a big way this season, but he's limping to the finish line.

3. Minnesota Twins Outfielder Max Kepler -- Fantasy owners won't complain about Kepler's impact this season, but it would be nice if he didn't struggle during the final couple of weeks. Kepler collected just four hits this past week and only drove in two runs. Overall, Kepler has 36 home runs and 90 RBIs, which is huge, but every at bat is critical with the number of games winding down.