STRIKEOUT streaks, suspensions and slugging stats. All of these are mentioned in another Fantasy Friday as we farewell the first half of 2017 and with it the first half of the MLB season. Plenty of relevant stars remain sidelined with a return to action etching closer as the All-Star break looms. In the AFL most coaches seemed to dodge the carnage of roughly 40 outs, but as we all know we should never feel safe approaching lockout.

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MLB

  • AFTER six straight games Max Scherzer’s double digit strikeout streak has been broken. The Nats righty only tossed 6 K’s on Tuesday, but still managed to get the win, only allowing one run and two hits. Indians pitcher Corey Kluber has started working on his own streak with four straight double digit K games. His 1.26 ERA over his last six starts make him perhaps the form pitcher of the league. Jose Ramirez continues to make a late All-Star push hitting at over .370 in June with just one strikeout in his last eight matches.
  • THE most added player form the past seven days was Nationals outfielder Michael Taylor (+23.9%). His stellar multi home run game last weekend kickstarted a great week for the potential fantasy steal. Scooter Gennett (+22.7%) was another highly added batter, who will continue to see the field for the Reds as long as Zack Cozart is sidelined. Jose Urena (+15.1%) of the Mariners was the most added pitcher last week, but if he is available I would instead target Arizona righty Zach Godley (+14.9%). With at least six strikeouts in five of his last six games, Godley provides good middle-tier stability in the yo-yo world of fantasy pitchers.
  • KYLE Schwarber (-22.2%) owns the unwanted label of the most dropped player in the past week. The Cubs left fielder finds himself back in the minors to try and clear his head and improve his .171 batting average. Rockies pitcher Antonio Senzatela (-17.9%) finds himself high up on the list of ditched players too. Colorado has said they aim to lighten the workload of their rookie. Don’t let Senzaleta and the Rockies’ struggles scare you off from bringing in other potential Colorado pitchers who are in a slump (I’m looking at you Jeff Hoffman, German Marquez and Kyle Freeland). They will turn the corner and come good sooner rather than later….hopefully.

Fantasy Friday - 30th June 1Image from 1520wbzw.com

INJURY NEWS –  ILLUSTRIOUS fantasy star Mike Trout (Angels) is set to resume batting practice at the plate today after a successful cage session. An ankle tweak could keep Kris Bryant out of the lineup for the Cubs upcoming series with the Reds while Trea Turner’s (Nationals) broken wrist will sideline him for the foreseeable future. Freddie Freeman (Braves) and Madison Bumgarner (Giants) begin Triple-A assignments this weekend as they near a return from lengthy sideline stints. Zach Cozart (Reds), Dallas Kuechel (Astros), Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies) and Bud Norris (Angels) still remain injured, with their return date up in the air while Eduardo Nunez (Giants) and Aaron Sanchez (Blue Jays) are nearing returns to the diamond.

AFL

  • ONCE again Sam Docherty (126) was the talk of the AFL Fantasy world in Round 14. A tougher task this week against the Crows will be the real test to prove whether Doc deserves to still be in the ‘Pig’ conversation. Jack Macrae rewarded owners with a round high 137 points while Giants forwards Jonathon Patton (133) and Jeremy Cameron (132) had a day out against the Lions. Danger (134) was his usual self and the debate around which star Pies mid to bring in continued, after Sidebottom (124), Treloar (122), Pendlebury (117) and Adams (111) all chalked up big numbers versus Port Adelaide.

Fantasy Friday - 30th June 2Image from sen.com.au

  • FOR the third straight week Tom Rockliff (96) failed to top triple figures, with non-owners stoked at the prospect of picking up a cheap Rocky. His teammate Dayne Zorko (45) was coming off a MASSIVE 157, but failed to score even a third of that, while popular picks Luke Shuey (70), Toby Nankervis (61), Caleb Marchbank (58) and Jake Barrett (39) struggled. Now is the perfect time to trade out the last three names and upgrade them for the run home.
  • A topsy turvy week saw Bachar Houli suspended for two games, the AFL appeal the suspension and then Houli be handed a four game ban instead. Act accordingly and trade him out if you are an owner. Connor Blakely has also been dropped by the Dockers after failing to meet club standards. Blakely apparently left training early on Wednesday because he was ill, before traveling to Yallingup and going for a surf. There are a few cheap backline rookie options to trade in too with Alex Witherden (Lions, $225K), Zach Guthrie (Cats, $150K) and Mitch Hibberd (Roos, $150K) all included into their squads.

INJURY NEWS – BIG guns Gary Ablett and Jake Kelly are back for their teams this week, to the pleasure of those Fantasy owners who held the star pair. It’s a shame that Dayne Beams is out after stringing some good games together, but a busted shoulder means he is a must trade out for owners. Freo duo Aaron Sandilands and Nat Fyfe are back this week for Freo in their must win clash against the Saints, while the Selwood brothers continue to raise concerns. Scott is out with a hamstring injury, but his brother Joel, who suffered concussion early last week, has been named in the team. Monitor his progress closer to lockout.

MY TRADES

Barrett > Witherden

S. Selwood > DOCHERTY!!!