Written for Eric’s Dodgers Blog by a contributor to FanDuel.com. For more fantasy baseball news and information, check out Fan Duel Fantasy Baseball at https://www.fanduel.com/fantasy-baseball
How Will The Top Dodgers Do In The Second Half?
Despite just a .500 record in the first half of the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have to feel pretty good about where they stand right now. Thanks to the emergence of Yasiel Puig, not to mention the steady play of a few veterans, the team has climbed out of the last place hole they found themselves in earlier in the year. Looking forward for fan and fantasy owner purposes, how will the top players do in the second half?
The easy answer when it comes to Yasiel Puig is that he will cool off in the second half. However, it would be nearly impossible to keep up a .391/.422/.616 split as a rookie. Puig has made an instant impact in Los Angeles, and fantasy baseball owners are in love with him. There is a chance that he continues to be Mike Trout 2.0, but people also need to remember how rare of a talent Trout is. His poor plate discipline is still a concern, so if you can trade high at the moment, you should consider it.
Puig is getting all the attention, but the Dodgers have turned things around thanks in large part to another rookie. South Korean Hyun-Jin Ryu finished the first half of the regular season with a 7-3 record and a 3.09 ERA. The problem with him is, he has slowly been cooling down since his first six starts of his career. He is striking out fewer and fewer batters now that scouting reports are out there on him. It would not be a surprise if his ERA goes up a bit in the second half as well.
The lone All-Star for the Dodgers once again is in the discussion for the Cy Young Award, but like Puig, his statistics are going to be hard to keep up. Kershaw might not be able to keep his ERA under two for the entire season, but do not expect much drop off. He is the National League leader once again in ERA+, WHIP and H/9, meaning that he is once again missing bats and throwing strikes. Hold onto him in fantasy baseball, and if you are in a keeper league, try to hold onto him for as long as you can.
Gonzalez finished the first half of the 2013 season as the top overall position player for the Dodgers, at least from a fantasy perspective. However, to show how inconsistent the team’s offense has been, even he is having a below average season. So can Gonzalez turn it up a notch in August and September?
His .297/.347/.479 triple slash was probably good enough to get him on the All-Star team, but he lost out on the final vote. He can improve those numbers a bit, and he is still capable of reaching the 30-home run plateau. Expect a slight upgrade in the second half for the 31-year-old.