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Fantasy Greats Between The All-Star Breaks

Jeff_McNeil_AdamGlanzmanGetty.jpg
Jeff McNeil (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

With the Futures Game and All-Star Game in the rearview mirror, we look forward to the second half of the 2019 season.

But before we embark, let's pause to review the fantasy standouts (standard 5x5 format) in the past calendar year, i.e. the period in between the 2018 all-star break and the just-completed 2019 break.

BATTING AVERAGE
Min. 500 PA

No.NameGPAAVG
1Christian Yelich147659.346
2Jeff McNeil139566.340
3Justin Turner137570.320
4Anthony Rendon136594.319
Michael Brantley143625.319
6J.D. Martinez137609.316
Cody Bellinger155621.316
8Charlie Blackmon138631.315
9DJ LeMahieu138619.309
10Mike Trout130571.306


Hats off to the Mets' Jeff McNeil, who debuted last July 24 and has done nothing but hit ever since. He leads the majors with a .349 average this season.

Bringing up the rear among batters with 500 PAs are Brandon Crawford (.211), Jake Bauers (.213), Brian Dozier (.214), Jose Ramirez (.218) and Kyle Schwarber (.225), Justin Smoak (.226), Asdrubal Cabrera (.227), Rougned Odor (.228), Brett Gardner (.230) and Matt Carpenter (.231).

HOME RUNS

No.NameGPAHR
1Christian Yelich14765956
2Hunter Renfroe14153646
3Khris Davis13858343
4Mike Trout13057142
5Ronald Acuña Jr.15871540
Rhys Hoskins15668240
7Cody Bellinger15562138
Joey Gallo11647238
9Javier Baez15765637
10Trevor Story13960036


Most notable here is the Padres' Hunter Renfroe, who mashed 19 homers in the second half last year and 27 in the first half this year. He ranks third during the period—behind Christian Yelich and Mike Trout—with a .327 isolated slugging percentage.

One more fun fact: Renfroe was probably available on your league's waiver wire one year ago.

RUNS BATTED IN

No.NameGPARBI
1Christian Yelich147659134
2Anthony Rendon136594109
Nolan Arenado154660109
4Bryce Harper155676108
5Freddie Freeman158693105
6Xander Bogaerts143620104
7Cody Bellinger155621103
8Khris Davis138583102
9Javier Baez157656101
Marcell Ozuna136577101


Xander Bogaerts and Javier Baez stand out in this group for their uncommon run production as middle infielders. Every other player on the list is a corner player.

STOLEN BASES

No.NameGPASB
1Adalberto Mondesi13155755
2Mallex Smith12856247
3Whit Merrifield15871841
4Trea Turner11653938
Jonathan Villar14361538
6Jose Ramirez14864332
7Christian Yelich14765929
8Amed Rosario15164128
Billy Hamilton13949128
10Ronald Acuña Jr.15871527
Trevor Story13960027


The Royals' Adalberto Mondesi and the Nationals' Trea Turner combine killer basestealing instincts with elite speed. They rank eighth and third, respectively, on the Statcast sprint speed leaderboard.

RUNS

No.NameGPAR
1Mookie Betts146677127
2Christian Yelich147659124
3Ronald Acuña Jr.158715122
4Charlie Blackmon138631113
5Matt Chapman153674111
6Anthony Rendon136594109
7Whit Merrifield158718108
8Trevor Story139600106
9Freddie Freeman158693104
10DJ LeMahieu138619103


Reigning American League MVP Mookie Betts may be having a "down" year by his standards—.272 average, 124 OPS+—but he still leads the majors with 77 runs scored this season. Betts also has more walks than strikeouts, and his Statcast expected stats suggest he has hit into bad luck this year.

That could be good news for Betts owners—and Red Sox fans—hoping for a big second half.

WINS

No.NameGSIPW
1Justin Verlander3220317
2Max Scherzer3221515
Zack Wheeler3019415
Kyle Hendricks3018415
Zack Greinke3220815
Lucas Giolito3017015


Jacob deGrom can't buy a win, but Mets rotation-mate Zack Wheeler has notched 15 over the past calendar year, despite an ERA that is roughly a run higher.

The other notable here is White Sox righty Lucas Giolito, who leads the majors with 11 wins this season. He has taken matters into his own hands with two complete games, including one shutout.

Thirteen pitchers are tied with 14 wins: German Marquez, Gerrit Cole, Shane Bieber, Blake Snell, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Noah Syndergaard, Charlie Morton, Stephen Strasburg, Mike Minor, Kyle Gibson, Jon Lester, J.A. Happ and Mike Fiers.

EARNED RUN AVERAGE
Min. 150 IP

No.NameGSIPERA
1Hyun-Jin Ryu261621.78
2Luis Castillo291722.35
3Max Scherzer322152.47
4Jacob deGrom312042.56
5Mike Minor281752.68
6Charlie Morton301672.69
7David Price271512.80
8Walker Buehler301842.84
9Clayton Kershaw281852.92
10Zack Greinke322082.94


As it turns out, the Reds' Luis Castillo's big second half last year truly was a harbinger of a breakout.

Three Dodgers starters—Hyun-Jin Ryu, Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw—have top 10 ERAs, adding credence to the "draft Dodgers starters" strategy. Ryu rocks the only sub-2.00 ERA in baseball over the past year.

The worst ERAs by pitchers with at least 150 innings: Dylan Bundy (5.71), Reynaldo Lopez (5.28), Rick Porcello (5.00), Ivan Nova (4.95), Jake Arrieta (4.81), Martin Perez (4.71), Marco Gonzales (4.55), Zach Eflin (4.52), Jake Junis (4.51) and Anthony DeSclafani (4.45).

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SAVES

No.NameGIPSV
1Kirby Yates646440
Edwin Diaz626040
3Shane Greene585635
4Felipe Vazquez626734
Will Smith616034
Kenley Jansen616234
7Roberto Osuna606031
Brad Hand676531
9Blake Treinen606930
Aroldis Chapman514630
Sergio Romo605830


Fantasy owners bemoan the volatility of closers in today's game, which makes the stable saves sources all the more valuable.

WALKS PLUS HITS PER INNING
Min. 150 IP

No.NameGSIPWHIP
1Justin Verlander322030.89
2Walker Buehler301840.94
3Max Scherzer322150.96
Hyun-Jin Ryu261620.96
5Zack Greinke322080.97
Jacob deGrom312040.97
7Clayton Kershaw281851.03
8Luis Castillo291731.04
9Gerrit Cole301811.06
David Price271511.06
Mike Minor281751.06


In a world where seemingly every frontline starter is getting blown up, these pitchers have found a way to get results. Note that the group leans heavy on veterans, with the exceptions being Walker Buehler and Luis Castillo.

STRIKEOUTS

No.NameGSIPSO
1Max Scherzer32215299
2Justin Verlander32203271
3Gerrit Cole31189269
4Jacob deGrom31204258
5German Marquez34220249
6Robbie Ray33180229
7Patrick Corbin31191226
8Aaron Nola32194217
9Matthew Boyd31179214
10Shane Bieber30177214


Shane Bieber claimed All-Star Game MVP honors this season by striking out the side. That performance was consistent with his stealthy dominance over the past year. Bieber ranks among the leaders with 14 wins and 214 strikeouts in between all-star breaks.

The other pitchers with 200 or more strikeouts are Blake Snell (209), Walker Buehler (205), Zack Wheeler (203), Chris Sale (202) and Jack Flaherty (202).

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