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Fantasy Baseball 2017: Best of July

A look at the best of July in fantasy baseball! Who had the most HR? SB? K? SV? That and more.

It was a great month for Rockies hitters Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado. Who else put up big numbers in July?
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

With the season more than half way complete and the All-Star break behind us, let’s take a look back at the month of July. I will look at the best hitters, power and speed wise, the best starters, from strikeout artists to ERA & WHIP leaders, and the best closers, with emphasis on saves. I will also talk about what stood out to me in this past month’s sample of stats. Here we go!

Top 10 Overall Hitters of July

Rank Player R HR RBI SB AVG PR30
Rank Player R HR RBI SB AVG PR30
1 Jose Altuve 22 4 21 8 0.485 15.03
2 Charlie Blackmon 29 7 13 4 0.370 12.19
3 Whit Merrifield 18 5 15 9 0.330 12.04
4 Bryce Harper 26 9 22 0 0.378 11.00
5 Nolan Arenado 18 8 30 0 0.389 10.74
6 Eric Hosmer 22 6 21 3 0.379 10.52
7 Giancarlo Stanton 25 12 23 0 0.312 10.46
8 Tommy Pham 19 5 19 5 0.344 10.38
9 Andrew McCutchen 22 8 19 3 0.322 10.14
10 Jonathan Schoop 21 9 28 0 0.343 9.97

With an amazing .485 batting average in July, Jose Altuve takes the top spot as the #1 hitter in fantasy this past month. It wasn’t really that close either! Altuve had almost 3 points of value more than the next closest hitter. A balanced effort of 21 RBI and 8 SB helps his fantasy owners a ton. It will come as no surprise that Altuve’s name will be on the leaderboard for both power and speed this month, the only player who can stake that claim. It is also fitting Altuve and Charlie Blackmon finished July the #1 and #2 hitters respectively. This is also their position when it comes to the top overall hitters in fantasy this season.

As you can see with this top 10, balance was key. 6 of July’s top 10 hitters had 3 or more SB to go with their solid power numbers. All 10 also had a batting average of .312 or higher, with Giancarlo Stanton the low man here.

Top Sluggers of July

Player R HR RBI SB AVG
Player R HR RBI SB AVG
Giancarlo Stanton 25 12 23 0 0.312
Rougned Odor 18 10 17 0 0.267
Jonathan Schoop 21 9 28 0 0.343
Bryce Harper 26 9 22 0 0.378
Mike Moustakas 14 9 21 0 0.287
Nolan Arenado 18 8 30 0 0.389
Andrew McCutchen 22 8 19 3 0.322
J.D. Martinez 15 8 22 2 0.291
Paul DeJong 14 8 16 0 0.298
Mike Napoli 13 8 15 0 0.229
Kurt Suzuki 10 8 14 0 0.356
Justin Smoak 17 8 19 0 0.310
Marcell Ozuna 15 4 27 0 0.295
Dustin Pedroia 9 4 25 2 0.337
Mookie Betts 21 4 23 5 0.243
Eric Hosmer 22 6 21 3 0.379
Jose Altuve 22 4 21 8 0.485
Josh Reddick 11 2 21 1 0.300

Speaking of Giancarlo Stanton! He was able to power (in quite the literal sense) his way to the top of the leaderboard for Top Slugger of July. Stanton hit 12 bombs and drove in 23 runs over the past 31 days and that doesn’t include the homers he hit in the Home Run Derby.

The criteria for this month’s top sluggers was 8+ HR or 21+ RBI. Only 6 of the 18 players on this list did both in July. Nolan Arenado led all hitters with 30 RBI in the month. Arenado’s monthly RBI totals this season are 16, 18, 27, and 30. He leads all of baseball in that stat this season. Oh, he had a 4 RBI game to start of August as well.

Top Speedsters of July

Player R HR RBI SB AVG
Player R HR RBI SB AVG
Billy Hamilton 14 0 6 11 0.283
Whit Merrifield 18 5 15 9 0.330
Dee Gordon 24 1 3 9 0.327
Rajai Davis 14 2 5 9 0.317
Jose Altuve 22 4 21 8 0.485
Mallex Smith 14 1 5 7 0.267
Ben Revere 7 0 4 7 0.296
Bradley Zimmer 15 4 15 6 0.277

This month saw 8 players with 6 or more stolen bases. 5 or those 8 offer little value outside of their speed. Although 24 runs scored with a .327 average is pretty great. Looking at you, Dee Gordon. Whit Merrifield not only tied for 2nd this month with 9 SB, he also finished the month as the #3 overall hitter. Merrifield hit 5 HR and drove in 15 runs to go with his impressive speed. He is now a top 50 overall hitter and 10 top at 2B for the season.

Top 10 Starters of July

Rank Player K W ERA WHIP PR30
Rank Player K W ERA WHIP PR30
1 James Paxton 46 6 1.37 0.79 12.14
2 Chris Sale 56 3 1.04 0.78 10.33
3 Rich Hill 40 4 1.45 0.77 9.15
4 Michael Wacha 37 4 1.93 0.83 8.51
5 Aaron Nola 43 3 1.32 0.94 8.24
6 Zack Greinke 33 4 2.12 0.85 8.03
7 Jacob deGrom 37 4 2.52 0.95 7.75
8 Clayton Kershaw 33 3 0.72 0.76 7.53
9 Max Scherzer 50 3 2.84 1.07 7.05
10 Luis Severino 46 3 2.58 1.17 6.90

James Paxton left all other SP in the dust ranking up a perfect 6-0 record in July. Wins aren’t a perfect stat but to get 6 of them in 1 month is extremely valuable in fantasy. A 1.37 ERA and 0.79 WHIP to go with the 4th most Ks of July will also get you some value.

Chris Sale is forced to take 2nd place in July. Despite having more Ks and better ratios, Sale couldn’t overcome the win category where Paxton bested him by 3 full wins. Paxton also made 1 more start than Sale. Sale is still currently ranked the #3 SP for the season. But the gap between him and Max Scherzer (the current #1) is just 0.44 points of value!

Top Strikeout Pitchers of July

Player K W ERA WHIP
Player K W ERA WHIP
Chris Sale 56 3 1.04 0.78
Corey Kluber 56 1 2.62 0.99
Max Scherzer 50 3 2.84 1.07
James Paxton 46 6 1.37 0.79
Luis Severino 46 3 2.58 1.17
Chris Archer 46 1 3.41 1.42
Kevin Gausman 45 4 3.63 1.30
Aaron Nola 43 3 1.32 0.94
Masahiro Tanaka 42 2 3.82 0.91

9 starters had atleast 42 strikeouts in July. The aforementioned Sale led all of baseball with 56 Ks in July. Well, he and 1 other pitcher. Corey Kluber also struck out 56 hitters in July. Kluber made 5 starts over the past month and the K totals were 10, 8, 12, 14, 12! That’s 38 Ks in 3 starts for those keeping track! Unfortunately, Kluber went 1-1 with 3 no decision in the month. Let’s get some offense for him, huh?

Top ERA and WHIP of July

Player K W ERA WHIP
Player K W ERA WHIP
Clayton Kershaw 33 3 0.72 0.76
Chris Sale 56 3 1.04 0.78
Aaron Nola 43 3 1.32 0.94
James Paxton 46 6 1.37 0.79
Rich Hill 40 4 1.45 0.77
Lance Lynn 24 3 1.47 1.01
Brent Suter 25 2 1.50 1.00
Parker Bridwell 20 3 1.69 0.90
Michael Wacha 37 4 1.93 0.83
Zack Greinke 33 4 2.12 0.85
Gio Gonzalez 37 2 2.14 0.88
Jake Arrieta 23 3 2.25 0.84
Jacob deGrom 37 4 2.52 0.95
Corey Kluber 56 1 2.62 0.99
Rick Porcello 27 0 3.06 0.96
Charlie Morton 32 4 3.23 0.95
Josh Tomlin 25 3 3.41 0.86
Cole Hamels 32 3 3.66 0.94
Masahiro Tanaka 42 2 3.82 0.91

The criteria for this list was an ERA at or under 2.00 or a WHIP at or under 1.00. 19 starters accomplished this during July. Only 8 of those 19 did both. Clayton Kershaw only made 4 starts (1 which was just 2 IP) but I felt he deserved to be reconized for how amazing he was in those 25 July innings. A 0.72 ERA and a 0.76 WHIP! Are you kidding me?!?! Both of those ratios were the lowest of any SP on this list. Get well soon, Kershaw. Baseball misses you!

Top Closers of July

Player K W SV ERA WHIP
Player K W SV ERA WHIP
Kenley Jansen 16 1 9 2.92 1.14
Alex Colome 7 0 9 3.18 1.59
Edwin Diaz 21 0 8 1.98 0.98
Roberto Osuna 16 1 7 4.50 1.00
Greg Holland 10 0 7 2.25 1.25
Brandon Kintzler 4 0 7 3.27 1.36
AJ Ramos 10 0 7 5.11 1.54

7 closers had 7 or more saves in July. 2 of those Brandon Kintzler and AJ Ramos are now on new teams. Fortunately for Ramos, he looks to still be the closer on his new team. The same cannot be said for Kintzler who moved to a crowded Nationals bullpen. He loses all fantasy appeal if he is not getting the 9th inning role. He also had just 4 Ks compared to 7 saves for those playing that game. This gives him more saves (28) than strikeouts (27) this year. Kenley Jansen tops this list for what seems like the 4th straight month. Analysis = he is good. Also, Edwin Diaz appears to be back.