Adam LaRoche leads two Pittsburgh Pirates hitters at the top of the Central Division.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
In Part V of our six-part series, we look at second half hitting stars from the National League Central Division. The information is valuable to fantasy owners because it will tell us when to trade away a player (sell high) and when to trade for a player (buy low).
We will again look at a player's career OPS as our guide and first half/second half as the All-Star break. Obviously, the more years a player has played the more reliable the information. Mark Teixeira's OPS increase in the second half (+.078) is more reliable than Luke Scott's increase (+.129) because Teixeira has six full major league seasons of results versus Scott's two seasons of 400+ at-bats.
Adam LaRoche leads two Pittsburgh Pirates hitters at the top of the Central Division Charts. Last year, LaRoche had a 211-point OPS gain hitting 14 HRs in just 49 games in the second half. He'll have a bunch of speedsters in front of him to knock in consisting of just-called-up centerfielder Andrew McCutchen (the reason they could afford to trade away Nate McLouth), Nyjer Morgan and No.2 on this list Freddy Sanchez. McCutchen batted .303 at Triple-A Indianapolis this season and led the International League in runs and triples.
If you remember last season, you will know that Prince Fielder had just eight home runs entering June, then doubled his total over the next 30 days. He hit at least six homers every month for the rest of the way. Fielder hit home run No.13 last night, so could be on the way to a 40+ HR season.
Although Joey Votto is No.4 on this list, it's hard to recommend a player who is on the disabled list due to "stress related issues." At least he's not listed as "day-to-day" as he has been for the past two weeks, but you can't depend on him coming back and playing up to normal based on this report - at least not in 2009.
Albert Pujols made the list at No.6, but then it's never bad to have Pujols on your roster - first half or second half.