ST PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 02: Outfielder Desmond Jennings #8 of the Tampa Bay Rays fouls off a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during the game at Tropicana Field on August 2, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Eric Chavez – When I mentioned Chavez last week readers had concern for my thought process, but a week later I will mention the Yankees starting 3rd baseman once again. Now batting .429 in August, Chavez fits the New York mold of taking pitches and pushing the runner over. In last night’s game vs. the White Sox Chavez added another two hits while just coming short of his second homerun of the week. Alex Rodriguez resumed baseball activities yesterday, so Chavez will be in the starting lineup for another weekend, this time at Fenway Park. With John Lackey on the mound Saturday and Josh Beckett Sunday, my recommendation is to start Chavez at 3B or your corner spot in 12 team mixed leagues and deeper. With ownership growing to a full one percent, Chavez is more than a fill in with Rodriguez on the way back.
Joe Saunders – The name Joe Saunders and fantasy stud don’t go hand and hand, but the crafty lefty has been great this summer. Since June 10th Saunders has lowered his ERA a full run from 4.56 to 3.56 while keeping the Diamondbacks in the playoff chase. In his last 14 starts Saunders is 8-3 with a 2.63 ERA while throwing seven plus innings in his last three starts. On Saturday Saunders goes against the Dodgers who he defeated in his last start giving up eight hits and two runs going just short of eight innings. The Dodgers anemic offense vs. one of the hottest lefties in baseball makes Saunders a must start at Chase Field.
Desmond Jennings – All fantasy owners were more than thrilled when Jennings got called up, and while Anthony Rizzo, Brandon Belt and Mike Moustakas have disappointed, Jennings has delivered. In 12 games his .354 BA, 3HR and 5 SB, has made him a top 10 outfielder since entering the show. At 24 years old it’s hard to consider Jennings a prospect, but with his hot start out of the gate, it’s more than likely the Rays had the right idea keeping him in the minors as long as they did. While his BA is likely to drop it’s not out of the question for Jennings to steal anywhere from 10-15 bases while scoring a healthy amount of runs. For owners in h2h leagues Jennings speed is equal to Raji Davis and surpasses Juan Pierre going forward. Jennings is the Rays future, but adding him for the present is what you need to do.
Alex Cobb – Sticking with the theme of young and exciting players out of the Rays organization, Cobb is making a name for himself in the show. After allowing only six earned runs in his previous four starts Cobb has turned himself into a must own in AL only league, and a solid play in deeper mixed leagues. With a 33 to 17 strikeout to walk ratio through 48 and third innings, Cobb might not win rookie of the year, but he’s someone who can help you push for your championship title as regular season comes to an end. With Oakland on deck for Saturday start Cobb with confidence as Oakland manages a measly 3.8 runs per game.