Fantasy baseball hitter stocks

Fantasy baseball hitter stocks

By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com

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Carlos Gomez, OF, Brewers: He's still swinging from his heels like he's the second coming of Jose Canseco, but after a sizzling July (.274, five homers, 11 steals), we'll leave him alone. Gomez can take a bag almost any time he likes (he's 19-for-23 on the year) and the Brewers are letting him bat in the No. 2 slot, even with his lack of patience. Power and speed combos are wonderful rotisserie finds, no matter how much batting-average risk you might be taking on.

Travis Snider, OF, Pirates: Get out the post-hype sleeper file, it's time for another entry. Snider was considered a Top 10 prospect as recently as 2009, but let's not call him a bust today - he's still just 24. We saw Snider mashing Triple-A pitching over the last few years (a .333.412.565 slash gets your attention) and the Bucs are going to use him every day and perhaps slot him leadoff as well. Sometimes a change of scenery is all a young player needs to get over the hump.

Ryan Ludwick, OF, Reds: He's cracked 13 homers over the last two months and yet he's unowned in over 85 percent of Yahoo! leagues. A home address in hitter-friendly Cincinnati is a good start for Ludwick, and his average actually jumps 57 points on the road. You can buy in and trust him as a regular, Dusty Baker already has. Swing for the fences.

Sell

Marco Scutaro, Utility, Giants: San Francisco should have realized the pitfalls of Scutaro - his home OPS is 245 points higher this season, a clear residual from Coors Field. The Giants will welcome Scutaro's versatility and professionalism, but they shouldn't be using him near the top of the lineup.

Pedro Ciriaco, Utility, Red Sox: The .348 average and six steals sound nice, but Ciriaco is the type of hack-first batter that tends to get figured out quickly by opposing pitching staffs. Ciriaco only had six walks in 289 plate-appearances at Triple-A this year, and he spent eight seasons in the minors for a reason. There's nothing long-term to grab onto here.

Anthony Gose, OF, Blue Jays: The 21-year-old hasn't done much in his first go-round, just 5-for-28 since joining the club (with 12 strikeouts). He's flashed elite speed at every minor-league level, but there's still no way to swipe first base in this game. When Jose Bautista is ready to play again, Gose probably slides to the bench (or to the minors).

Hold

Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals: Despite a static line-drive rate and KBB ratios, Hosmer has dropped 62 BABIP points this year. His HRFB clip is down three percent as well. This has fluke written all over it, and it's a perfect time to quietly make an inquiry for Hosmer in your keeper league.

Delmon Young, OF, Tigers: His fundamentals are all over the place, but at least he's been more selective of late (a season-high six walks in July). And Young's connections have also been fun: five homers last month, and strong run-production stats in the middle of Detroit's deep lineup. Young can't play the outfield to save his life, but the Tigers DH him about 75 percent of the time. Not a bad support bat for the end of your roster.

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Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks host Lightning tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks host Lightning tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Grab the first goal.

The Blackhawks have scored the game's first goal in seven of the last eight games, and of those seven, they've won six of them. Meanwhile, the Lightning have scored the first goal only 17 times in 48 games this season, and are 12-5-1 in those games. They're 9-17-4 when they allow the first goal, so getting out to a lead first will be important against a struggling Lightning team looking for signs of life.

2. Will the floodgates open for Jonathan Toews?

After a four-point game in a 4-2 win over Vancouver, the Blackhawks captain matched his point total over his previous nine games. He's up to 26 points on the season, which is now fifth among Chicago forwards. When Toews has offensive droughts, they usually last longer than they should. But when he gets hot, he gets extremely hot. Perhaps we'll see the floodgates open offensively.

3. A chance for the team lead in scoring.

With an empty-net goal on Sunday, Marian Hossa tied Artem Anisimov for the team-lead with 18 goals. Artemi Panarin is right behind with 17, and Patrick Kane isn't far either at 15. The Blackhawks had four 20-goal scorers last season, and haven't had more than that since the 2013-14 season. They're definitely on pace to hit four, but could they surprass that? Richard Panik, who scored another goal Sunday as well, is fifth with 11 goals while Ryan Hartman has 10. Toews is at eight, but a flurry after a drought could make things interesting.

4. The triplets reunited?

In an effort to jumpstart a struggling offense, Lightning coach Jon Cooper reunited the triplets line of Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat that was so successful during their 2015 playoff run in their latest game, a 5-3 loss to Arizona. It's unclear whether they will begin tonight's game on the same line, but if not, it's worth watching throughout the game whether they do. The Blackhawks have been coming at opponents in waves lately, so Cooper could look to separate the three to distribute the scoring.

5. Take advantage on special teams.

The Lightning have racked up the fifth-most penalty minutes in the league, and own a bottom-10 penalty kill unit at 80.1 percent. The Blackhawks are the second-least penalized team, and have converted on 17.9 percent of their power plays, which sits at 16th. But they haven't scored one on the man advantage in five straight games, going 0-for-9 during that span. Here's a chance to change that.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

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