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Here are some tips for play on Friday July 3.
For the second day in a row, we’re going to lead off by recommending a Pirate. Why not? The Buccos are scorching right now and few are as hot as SS Jordy Mercer ($8,888). He’s hit safely in eight straight, but over his last seven games specifically, he’s batting .469, recording multiple hits six times.
Mercer’s offensive game has been in regression for a couple of years, but a week like this can sure help take the sting out of it. April and May were extremely unkind to him, but he sure woke up in June (800 OPS) and early on, July has been even better. Mercer is not getting quite as much PT this year, and his counting cats are way down. His walk rate had dipped and his slugging percentage is at a career low. Perhaps Mercer is gearing up for a big second half, which is not unusual for him. Over the last three years, he’s recorded a 791 second half OPS compared to just 653 in the first half.
Almost two months ago, we discussed Boston LF Hanley Ramirez’s latest injury, but he didn’t wind up missing that much action. In fact, the fragile star missed more games at the end of June because of a hand injury. In the two games since Ramirez has returned, he’s proved his hand woe has not sapped him of his extra-base pop. He tripled on Wednesday and hit a solo homer on Thursday. At $10,460, we like Ramirez on Friday against Houston and SP Dan Straily, a pitcher he’s faced twice and doubled once against.
- Another solid LF option is Milwaukee’s Gerardo Parro ($8,738). He’s batting .382 over the last 14 games to reach the .300 mark for the season. If he gets enough PT in the second half (which is questionable with Khris Davis due back shortly), Parra could reach double figures in both homers and steals for the second time.
- Bring out your fringe hitters against the Phillies. Their team ERA against the woeful Brewers in a four-game sweep this week was 6.39. Ugh.
- Los Angeles Angels CF Mike Trout ($14,193) is batting .277 at home, but .331 on the road. The Halos begin a nine-game road trip Friday, so be sure to plug Trout in there as often as feasible.
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