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Adam Frazier, 2B, Mariners -- Available in 82 percent of Yahoo leagues
Frazier has been hitting well at the dish as the Mariners continue to roll, winning their 14th consecutive game on Sunday. The 30-year-old veteran is hitting .313 in July as we head into the All-Star break. While he's slashing .237/.297/.311 over 368 plate appearances, Frazier has shown to be a much better hitter than that over his career. The only year he's hit under .276 was during the abbreviated 2020 season. With an 11.7 percent strikeout rate and 26 percent line drive rate, I'd expect that batting average to continue rising through the summer. Just don't expect much in the way of power and speed.
The underlying metrics suggested it was only a matter of time before Urias turned it on at the plate. He did just that this week, blasting three home runs. Urias has been hot all month, hitting .384 in July leading up to the All-Star break. The 28-year-old has produced a solid ten percent barrel rate and an outstanding 49.7 percent hard-hit rate. Being a right-handed hitter, the changes to Camden Yards before the season didn't do him any favors. Still, I'd expect more balls to fly out of the yard over the hot summer months. It wouldn't surprise me if Urias hit double-digit homers in the second half. And with a 22 percent strikeout rate, the added power won't come at the expense of his batting average. He makes for a decent pickup for an infield spot in deeper mixed leagues.
Josh Lowe, OF, Rays -- Available in 94 percent of Yahoo leagues
Lowe finished the first half strong, going 6-for-22 with three doubles and three walks. The 24-year-old outfielder has started to show the patience at the plate he displayed in the minors with a ten percent walk rate over the last two weeks. He hit leadoff for the Rays on Sunday, the third time he had done so in July. With his baserunning skills, his approach is ideal for the leadoff spot if he can sustain a high walk rate. Kevin Kiermaier and Manuel Margot remain on the injured list. And Harold Ramirez is likely to join them after suffering a broken thumb on Sunday. So Lowe should continue to get his opportunities in the lineup.
Andrew McCutchen, OF, Brewers -- Available in 67 percent of Yahoo leagues
McCutchen has been solid for the Brewers this season, slashing .257/.317/.389 with nine homers, 41 RBI, and six steals across 334 plate appearances. That doesn't quite highlight how good he's been of late. After struggling through the first two months, he's hitting .296 with six home runs since the start of June. He's essentially been a top-40 hitter in that span, yet he's widely available in mixed leagues. Consistently hitting in the heart of the Brewers' lineup, the 35-year-old veteran could be in line to drive in more runs. Fantasy managers should take advantage and scoop him up in mixed leagues.
Leody Taveras, OF, Rangers -- Available in 60 percent of Yahoo leagues
Taveras's second time around in the majors is going much better than his previous two stints with the Rangers. He goes into the All-Star break riding an eight-game hitting streak while slashing .341/.367/.553 with three homers and five steals across 90 plate appearances. The 23-year-old outfielder has taken some time to develop, but he's certainly coming around, showing better contact ability at the plate while scorching the ball with a 45.9 percent hard-hit rate. His most valuable skill comes on the basepaths with the ability to provide difference-making speed. Any team in need of steals should pick up Taveras if available.
Braxton Garrett, SP, Marlins -- Available in 94 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Marlins pitching staff will get some good matchups out of the All-Star break with a four-game series against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. It'll be a rematch for Garrett, who's coming off six shutout innings with 11 strikeouts against the Pirates in Miami his last time out. The 24-year-old left-hander has been solid for the Marlins this season, posting a 3.70 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 40 strikeouts over 41 1/3 innings. His underlying metrics support the production, with a 3.45 FIP, 3.52 xFIP, and a 17.1 percent K-BB rate.
José Quintana, SP, Pirates -- Available in 84 percent of Yahoo leagues
Quintana has struggled in his last two starts after putting together a strong run on the mound. Still, he holds a respectable 3.99 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, and 81 strikeouts across 90 1/3 innings into the All-Star break. We'll give him a pass for his last start after giving up six runs over five innings to the Rockies in Coors Field. He'll make for a decent streamer out of the break with a matchup against the Marlins in Pittsburgh. There are a couple of things going for Quintana here. First, he's been much better at home with a 3.02 ERA at PNC Park. Second, the Marlins have been the worst hitting team against left-handed pitching this season, producing a 76 WRC+, .609 OPS, and a league-high 27.9 percent strikeout rate.
George Kirby, SP, Mariners -- Available in 69 percent of Yahoo leagues
Kirby was dropped in a lot of leagues after he was optioned to the minors earlier this month. The team sent him down in an effort to manage the rookie's workload. He pitched two innings in a start for Triple-A Tacoma on Saturday and is set to rejoin the Mariners for the fifth start after the All-Star break. That puts him in line for a matchup against the Rangers next week. The 24-year-old right-hander has posted a 3.78 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 62 strikeouts across 64 1/3 innings. Kirby flashed the control on the mound that made him one of the top pitching prospects with an excellent 3.3 percent walk rate. If his BABIP of .312 can regress towards league average while keeping a stellar walk rate, it'll go a long way towards limiting baserunners and having a successful second half.
Max Meyer, SP, Marlins -- Available in 63 percent of Yahoo leagues
Meyer was promoted to make his major league debut on Saturday against Philadelphia after posting a 3.72 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 65 strikeouts across 58 innings in Triple-A. He looked impressive early on with three shutout innings until giving up a two-run homer to J.T. Realmuto in the fourth. Meyer went out to pitch the sixth and surrendered three more runs. Still, it was an encouraging start for the 23-year-old right-hander. With an excellent fastball and slider, his strikeout ability made him one of the more exciting prospects to make his debut. He generated nine whiffs on 79 pitches against the Phillies with seven coming on the slider. Continued improvement of his changeup will go a long way in his development as a starter. We saw him get hit as he went through the third time in the order. But not many pitchers will be coming up with his skills at this point, so he's worthy of a roster spot in most mixed leagues to see what he can do with Miami going forward.
Kyle Finnegan, RP, Nationals -- Available in 85 percent of Yahoo leagues
Tanner Rainey landed on the 60-day injured list with a right UCL sprain and will likely undergo Tommy John surgery. With him out for the rest of the season, it opens up the closer role in Washington. The most likely candidate to take over is Finnegan, who carries a 3.93 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and 44 strikeouts across 36 2/3 innings with one save. He was named by manager Dave Martinez as "the guy." There aren't too many saves to go around with the Nationals. Rainey only had 12 in the first half. But teams in deeper leagues needing saves could take a chance on Finnegan.