This article is part of our FantasyAces MLB series.
Here are my Fantasy Aces recommendations for the 12-game slate on Monday, August 31:
P – Jake Peavy ($6100) – Peavy may not be an overpowering hurler at this stage of his career, but he has still shown the ability to dispatch opponents by recording four very impressive performances in his six most recent starts. He also has a favorable record against current Dodger batters, while current Giants batters have knocked around his mound opponent, Brett Anderson.
P – Chris Archer ($7650) – Archer is one of the big-ticket items among pitchers, but he appears to be good value because he has the best combination of low BAA and a very high strikeout rate. He has fanned 10 or more in four of his last six starts. As with Peavy, Archer's opposite number, Wei-Yin Chen of the O's, has been hit hard by Rays batters, surrendering a .305 BA in a 151 at-bat sample size.
C – Cameron Rupp ($3600) – Rupp is making a strong bid to take over as the Phils top catcher, after recording seven homers and 17 RBI during a very impressive month of August in only 57 at-bats. He has recorded at least one hit in 12 of his last 14 starts.
2B/SS – Didi Gregorius ($4300) – While he will never be mistaken for the legend he succeeded as Yankee shortstop, he did drive in six runs in a game last week, something Jeter never did in his career. That was part of a 10-for-25 sample which included two homers, 10 RBI and three multi-hit games, and he's become a key part of a torrid New York offense that is piling up the runs right now.
2B/SS – Jose Altuve ($5400) – The Astros little hit machine is on fire, collecting 25 hits in his last 59 at-bats (.424 BA), which includes six extra-base hits and three stolen bases. He is the igniter of one of the most prolific offenses in all of baseball. He faces Vidal Nuno, who has been hit very hard in his last six starts (1.50 WHIP)
1B/3B – Edwin Encarnacion ($5900) – He is the hottest power hitter in all of baseball, currently riding a 25-game hit streak which includes 11 HR, 22 extra-base hits and 35 RBI. Sure he is expensive but he is ablaze right now, in the middle of a white-hot Jays lineup. Plus, Danny Salazar has given up five homers in his last 25 IP.
1B/3B – Chase Headley ($4900) – I will resist the urge to include Josh Donaldson here, opting in favor of Headley, who has six hits and seven RBI in his last three games as part of a Yankee offense that is the second-best in the majors. This looks like a favorable price, when you consider he is the 25th-most expensive corner infielder tonight.
OF – Michael Brantley ($5550) – This speedy outfielder has been on fire, recording 12 hits and nine runs in his last 26 at-bats. He has also taken six walks while only striking out twice in that sample. He has been particularly troublesome for the Blue Jays over the past three seasons and must looking forward to the challenge, while on the crest of this hot streak.
OF – Austin Jackson ($4600) – This is a very attractive price tag for someone who is enjoying a nine-game hitting streak that includes six multi-hit outings. He has also scored seven runs and driven in five more. That's a lot of crooked numbers for a guy who is well down the list on the price sheet for tonight's games.
OF – Stephen Piscotty ($4250) – Apparently the word has yet to get out on this rookie who is hitting .341 with a .378 OBP. Over his last seven starts, he has 13 hits in his last 28 at-bats. That also includes six runs and 10 RBI. He deserves a ton of credit for making a breakthrough and contributing to a Cards team that has the best record in all of baseball.
Util – Kyle Seager ($4900) – The Mariners third baseman is batting in the two slot right now, ahead of two other hot hitters, but he is also enjoying a fine streak of his own with eight hits in his last 15 at-bats. He also has four homers and seven RBI in his last five games.
Other favorable batting/pitching options, based on career splits against their Monday opponents include: C Chris Iannetta ($4250), 2B/SS Ryan Jackson ($4250), 1B/3B Chris Carter ($4700), and OF Michael Conforto ($4350)