The Doctor Is In: Dr. Bombay Makes a House Call to Camden Yards
It was about 20 years ago when the Doctor made his first visit to Camden Yards and totally falling in love with the ballpark. If you have ever been there, you may know what I am talking about. From Boog’s Barbeque and standing in line for over an hour to get Cal Ripken Jr.’s autograph, I vowed to return soon after leaving this wonderful experience. Unfortunately, it took about twenty years to return last weekend to watch the Baltimore Orioles play my beloved Chicago Cubs. The ballpark is celebrating its twenty-fifth year in existence, but it has still not lost its beauty and charm. It is still a wonderful place to watch a ballgame. Even Mrs. Bombay was extremely impressed with the ballpark and offered to return again, even though she mistakenly misunderstood the “Let’s go O’s” chant for “Let’s go home”. Unfortunately for the home team, they continue to struggle in 2017 and were swept by the Cubs in the weekend series. Many of the fine fans at the game, from both the Oriole and many Cub fans that attended, wondered if their teams should or would make moves before the trade deadline at the end of the month. However, it should be noted the recent reports from Baltimore indicate the Orioles will be sellers, but Manny Machado will not be one of the players they plan on moving. Based on these comments, the Doctor has decided to offer some hitting and pitching prescriptions that might help some teams down the stretch, and consequently could be good additions to your fantasy team.
J.D. MARTINEZ, OF, DETROIT TIGERS
Some believe that the Dodgers and Royals are in the lead for the Tigers slugger, who might be a costly rental as an impending free agent. Recently, reports have the Rockies and the Diamondbacks interested as well and fantasy owners are drooling all over themselves thinking about Martinez hitting at Coors field. Martinez has hit .300/.361/.552 with 99 home runs in 457 games for Detroit since he was acquired prior to the 2014 season. He currently leads the Tigers in hitting, slugging and home runs. He hit two homers over the weekend, going 5-for-11 (.454) with seven RBIs overall. He has been very productive since returning from a foot injury putting up a .308/.389/.636 slash line. Martinez drove in seven runs over the weekend and was named the American League player of the week. There have been lots of chatter on social media with many people wanting to acquire Martinez, with some owners offering quite a bit to get him on their teams. This could be a good situation for an owner who has Martinez on their team.
SONNY GRAY, SP, OAKLAND A’S
Gray may be one of the more popular names that have come up in trade talks. He had a slow start to the season, but he’s turned it on lately with 21 strikeouts and just four runs allowed over his last four starts. Considering Gray is only 27 himself and only entering Arbitration 2 in 2018, he is not going to come cheap. The teams most mentioned in talks for Gray include the Cleveland Indians, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros, and New York Yankees. Gray is enjoying a bounce-back year in Oakland with a 5-4 record to go along with a 3.72 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, .226 batting average against, and 3.47 FIP.
CURTIS GRANDERSON, OF, NEW YORK METS
The good thing about Granderson, unlike some of the players mentioned earlier, is that he is available on the waiver wire in most leagues. At the All-Star break, Granderson was batting 232/.328/.471 with 13 home runs and 37 RBI while playing in 82 first-half games. Granderson appears to be the odd man out in the Mets outfield but he has playoff experience and could add some depth to a contending team, and maybe a boost to his stat line. If the Mets don’t trade Granderson, they may want to move Jay Bruce, who is in the final season of a seven year $63 million contract.
ANDREW MCCUTCHEN, OF, PITTSBURGH PIRATES
The Pirates outfielder has helped his trade value by batting .396 (53-for-134) with nine home runs from June 1 onward. McCutchen had a .294/.380/.520 slash line and 2.6 WAR, and since he is under contract through 2018, has drawn interest from some fringe contenders. Social media has revealed that there have been teams in fantasy leagues looking to trade him who have been stuck with his high price tag from years of waiting for the 30-year-old to put up superstar numbers. Like major league teams, he could be a high priced rental for someone’s fantasy team who is in contention for their league title.
LUCAS DUDA, 1B, NEW YORK METS
Like Granderson, Duda is not highly owned in most leagues. He is in his last year of a contract and will be a free agent after the season. Duda has hit .243 with 15 home runs and 33 RBI on the season. His hard-hit rate is up nearly 10 percentage points over last year’s 32.8 percent mark and a trade to a contender like the cross-town rival Yankees could give a boost to his stats for the rest of the year as his left-handed swing will be great for Yankee Stadium. Duda is heating up in the games after the break, hitting in all three games with a home run, a double, three runs scored, and three RBI.
JUSTIN VERLANDER, SP, DETROIT TIGERS
The question about Verlander is he just a name or someone who can pitch near to what his top form used to be. He won the Cy Young award six years ago and has posted a 2.70 ERA in 12 playoff starts from 2011 to 2014. Unfortunately, Verlander has not had that great of a 2017 season. His 4.4 BB/9 rate is the worst of his career, and his 8.4 K/9 rate is a notable departure from the 10.0 mark he posted in 2016’s rebound campaign. The good news for Verlander, which still makes him attractable to teams, is that his velocity is as strong as ever (95.1 mph average fastball), and his strikeout and home-run rates are still better than those of a league-average starter. One more big run could be possible if he is traded to a contender.