After a bizarre shortened season in 2020, what can we expect to see from the first long season since 2019?
1.) Zac Gallen goes the final two months of this season with a sub 2.50 ERA, averaging over 11.00 K/9.
Justification: After a few weeks off, Zac returned this past week with a 5.1 IP, 7K, 2 BB outing. The injuries might creep back, but as of now he looks like he’s past most of what mired the start to his year. Their schedule through the last half of the year has a few rough patches (San Diego, LA, Houston and San Francisco) but it also has some tremendously easy stretches including Philadelphia, Colorado, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Texas. PLUS the tough matchups are approaching early September when the teams might be benching their stars.
2.) German Marquez is a top 15 pitcher through the last half of the season.
Justification: German has 25 strikeouts across his last 19 innings. He’s actually taken a step forward this season, too. His K% is up, BAA is down, SwStr% is up, ERA is down, WHIP is down and CSW% is up. In fact, so far this season he is one of six pitchers with 110+IP, 24%+ K%, 14%+ SwStr%, and a 30%+ CSW%.
3.) Jose Altuve is a top 10 player through the second half of the year.
Justification: Throughout his career, the second half of each season brings five more batting average points, fewer walks per at-bat, more homers, singles, doubles and triples per at-bat. He, along with the Houston Astros, have been red-hot lately and I think we see more of that as he continues on this hot streak.
4.) J.D. Martinez hits 20 homers over the second half of the season to finish among the top five in homers.
Justification: He holds his own pretty well through the latter half of the season. He did NOT participate in the Home Run Derby like many others. The Red Sox are in a fight with Tampa Bay over 1st place in the American League East and can’t let up on the gas. They are among the top 3 teams in runs scored and I think their bats stay hot over the rest of the season.
5.) Pete Alonso is the top first baseman (and a top 5 fantasy player) over the second half.
Justification: Pete last year did something he doesn’t typically do – drastically improve over the second half of the year. If he can continue those trends, I think we have an elite style situation through July, August, and September. More than this, I think we see the Mets really heat up over the last half of the year after a sluggish start (especially with their bats after their pitching slows down a bit).