Let’s look at a pair of hot cornerers for the fantasy stretch drive…
Wilson Betemit | 3B | Tigers | Owned in 7% of Yahoo! leagues
The Tigers were getting next to nothing from their third basemen prior to the trade for Betemit, just a .187/.251/.255 batting line with two homers in 373 plate appearances. Their pinch-hitters hit more balls out of the park. Anyway, Betemit has helped rectify that problem in a big way, hitting a stout .333/.379/.500 with two homers in 58 PA since the trade, and he’s been even better in August: .393/.433/.588. He’s been hitting a few more grounders and getting some BABIP help in recent weeks, but nothing too insane compared to last year’s .361 BABIP and his .340 career mark. ZiPS calls for a .267/.333/.442 batting line with three homers the rest of the way, good but not great production at a position that is deeper than it may appear.
David Freese | 3B | Cardinals | Owned in 47% of Yahoo! leagues
A broken hand cost Freese close to two months earlier this season, but he returned in late-June and has hit .295/.352/.450 in 142 PA since. If you want to slice and dice the sample even more, he’s hitting .365/.412/.603 in his last 20 games while assuming the sixth spot in the batting order behind the Albert Pujols-Matt Holliday-Lance Berkman triumvirate. ZiPS isn’t the biggest of fans, forecasting a .274/.333/.393 batting line and just two homers for the rest of the season. I think Freese can easily top that, perhaps something more along the lines of .290/.350/.450 with another five or six long balls. One thing is all but certain: Freese will have a plethora of RBI chances with those three guys batting ahead of him, so keep an eye on him if you’re looking for help in that category over the next few weeks.