As the Gregorian calendar hurdles towards July, the MLB All-Star Break sits just around the corner. Before we know it, in a blink of an eye, we’ll be at the trade deadline then the dog days of August with teams vying for playoff berths. Those days ahead will come, but the key is being prepared for them with your fantasy baseball team.
As trade rumors begin to swirl, it’s a great time to get your fantasy baseball team in good shape before the Midsummer Classic. Whether you’re sitting pretty in first place with plans to remain or your team needs a bit of a jolt in the standings, I have some fantasy plays to jumpstart your team for the rest of the first half of the season. Let’s dive in!
3 fantasy baseball players to know as June begins to wind down
Orlando Arcia, Atlanta Braves
To no surprise (or at least to anyone who’s not a Mets fan), the Atlanta Braves are in first place in the NL East. The Braves, who also possess the best record in the entire National League, once again are marching towards a potential World Series appearance. Atlanta is riding a six-game winning streak having won eight of their last 10 games and possess a whopping +100 run differential. Shortstop Orlando Arcia is big reason for Atlanta’s success as he’s been a steady figure at the bottom of the Braves lineup.
The nine-year veteran, third with Atlanta, has had a batting average over .300 in all but three days of the season thus far. Currently Arcia is hitting .341 with six homers, 25 RBI and a .890 OPS. Braves fans were relieved to see that the wrist injury that sidelined him a few weeks into the season has not impeded Arcia’s performance at the plate. After returning from the IL a week into May and rocking steady all month with a .303 average, Arcia has stepped up his game in June. As he stays on pace to have the best offensive season of his career, so far this month Arcia is hitting at a .397 clip with a .988 OPS. Over the past two weeks he’s hitting .412 with 12 RBI.
Arcia is anchoring Atlanta’s bottom of the order and moving big hitters along the basepaths while giving top of the order hitters plenty of opportunities for RBI. Before the break, the Braves play in Philly, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Tampa Bay while they host the Twins and Marlins. Arcia’s splits are pretty solid, but the Venezuelan does have a little kryptonite to battle before the break. His average at Citizen’s Bank Park is just a hair over the Mendoza line at .204 in 61 at-bats and the number plummets down to .188 in Cleveland in just four games.
The Braves are a machine and Arcia is a key cog in it. I wouldn’t let a few road series stats scare me off. Arcia is a great total bases guy who will have plenty of opportunities to produce.