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10 Bold Predictions for the Second Half (Fantasy Baseball)

10 Bold Predictions for the Second Half (Fantasy Baseball)

As is always the case, there will be plenty of surprises in the second half of the fantasy baseball season, perhaps to the same degree as Max Muncy’s astonishing breakout in the first half. If you are able to beat your league to the punch on a similar player, it may be the difference between winning your league and going home empty-handed this season. That’s why we brought in the most accurate experts to give a bold prediction for the second half. As you read these, keep in mind that these are intentionally bold, but certainly not out of the question. For instance, who before the season could have known Juan Soto would not only be called up by now, but would also be quite possibly the Nationals’ best hitter to date? With all that in mind, let’s take a look at the ten bold predictions.

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Q1. Please give us one bold prediction for the second half of the season.

Yoan Moncada has a more productive fantasy second half than Javier Baez. Perhaps I’m doubling down on my spectacularly backfired preseason mistrust of Baez, but he batted .292 in spite of lingering plate-approach red flags (3.8 walk %, 18.0 % swinging-strike rate and 48.3 outside-swing %). Although Chicago’s other young second baseman has similar concerns, specifically a 33.9 % strikeout rate, his contact (70.3 %) and hard-hit (38.9 %) rates are nearly identical to those of his Windy City contemporary. While I certainly wouldn’t swap Baez for Moncada without receiving another major piece, expect the former to fall a bit while the latter taps into his sky-high upside. ”
– Andrew Gould (Bleacher Report)

Maikel Franco will be a top five third basemen the rest of the season. After starting slow once again, he has batted .352 with an OPS over 1.000 in his last 22 games. He has always possessed star potential as a former top prospect, but now it finally seems to be clicking. Don’t be surprised if he finishes with 30 HRs, 90 RBIs and a .285 batting average.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Matt Harvey will be a top-20 starting pitcher in the second half. There is reason to hope that Harvey may be able to rediscover some of the magic that made him the “Dark Knight” in the first place. His velocity is almost back to his pre-injury levels and he posted a 1.86 ERA across his last five starts headed into the All-Star Break. It may not be quite the level of dominance he displayed as a Cy Young candidate in 2013 and 2015, but I am staking my claim–Matt Harvey will continue his resurgence in the second half, and fantasy owners should take note. I say the Dark Knight returns. ”
– Bill Dubiel (RotoBaller)

Jesse Winker has hit 14 homers in 455 plate appearances in his career, and he’ll eclipse that total — hit more than 14 homers — in the second half of the season while also hitting north of .300. He smacked five homers in June while hitting .308, and he’s hit another long ball this month while hitting .459. Since June 1, Winker has hit .357/.469/.565 with a 25.5% LD%, 31.9% FB%, and 53.6% Hard%, per FanGraphs. Maybe this isn’t that bold after all, but gamers are still sleeping on him with Winker carrying just a 31% ownership rate.”
– Josh Shepardson (FantasyPros)

Tommy Pham will hit 20 HR’s or more in the 2nd half to finish with 33+. Pham compiled a terrific 46.9% hard-hit rate in the 1st half but suffered from a bit of bad luck with just a .299 BABIP which led to a .243 average. Expect the average and BABIP to rise considerably after the All-Star break which should allow Pham to showcase a solid power bat”
– KJ (Fantasy Team Advice)

Robert Stephenson will be the top rookie call-up of the second half. The top prospect out of Cincinnati has unbelievable stuff, as evidenced by his 114 Ks and just 70 hits in 93 innings at Triple-A this year. The big righty has the potential to be an ace if he can limit homers and cut-down on walks which have both been in check over the past several weeks. It is inevitable that he gets the call soon, and when he does, we may be looking at 2018’s version of Trevor Bauer or Luis Castillo’s 2017 breakouts.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Jon Gray will be a Top 25 starting pitcher. Gray showed last season he could have success despite pitching in Coors Field and has been hurt by a .376 BABIP and 64 percent strand rate. He was sent to the minors for two starts and returned with an excellent start before the All-Star break. He gets strikeouts, limits walks and doesn’t allow a lot of fly balls.”
– Adam Ronis (ScoutFantasy)

Vince Velasquez has been inconsistent over his career but it’s possible that at age 26 he is evolving into a better pitcher. Still rocking a strong K/9 (career high 10.5) he’s also dropped his line drive rate, leading to an improved WHIP of 1.24 and an ERA over the past two months of 3.88. If you’re chasing K’s the peripherals won’t hurt you and there’s a decent chance Velasquez is available on your waiver wire.”
Dave McKay (The Fantasy Sports Brain)

Odubel Herrera will not reach 25 home runs for the season. He has already posted his career-best home run total with little to back up the output. His IFFB% is nearly double his career rate, his hard contact is at a career-low, and his flyball rate has not risen enough to make up the difference. Don’t expect a repeat performance post-All-Star break. ”
– Daniel Marcus (Fantasy Assembly)

Ronald Acuna is a top 30 player in fantasy for the rest of the season. His season to date has been disrupted by an unnecessary AAA start and a knee injury. I think something clicks and he goes 10/10 with solid AVG and counting stats.”
– Rudy Gamble (Razzball)


Thank you to the experts for giving us their bold predictions. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter and subscribe to our podcast below for all the latest discussions this season.

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