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    Great 38: Win tickets to Daytona 500

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    Here's your chance to win tickets to the 2015 Daytona 500. Entering is easy, simply fill out the entry form included. More>>

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    In December, LIN Media and Media General merged to create the second largest broadcasting company in the country. The former CEO and President of LIN Media, Vince Sadusky, was placed at the helm of the new and improved Media General. More>>

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    Legoland Florida hotel to open in spring; built for kids

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    8 fun things to do in Tampa Bay this weekend | January 17-18 Video included

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    'Birdman,' 'Budapest' top Oscar nominations with 9 nods each

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    Two extravagant comedies, "Birdman" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel," tied for the most Oscar nominations Thursday morning with nine nods each, including best picture. More>>

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    Telephone: 813.228.8888
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    Second Half specialists - National League
    Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - We're coming up on this year's Summer Classic, the emotional halfway point to the baseball season although most teams will have played more than the numerical midpoint of 81 games.

    It's a good time to step back and look at the big picture. Who on your team has played above and below expectations in the first half?

    That's not too hard to answer. Just look at the numbers.

    But now comes a much more difficult step - evaluating who will improve in the second half and who will fade from view?

    Unless you have a crystal ball or a DeLorean built by Dr. Emmett Brown with a working flux capacitor, one of the best ways to evaluate players is based on their past production.

    It won't work for rookies, who have no history for evaluation, but for the majority of major leaguers, it's the best way. There are some players who simply are better second-half hitters than in the first half.

    The reason may be weather-related, or it may take them longer to find their swing, but whatever the case, you can benefit from knowing who will play better in the heat of the summer.

    Below we have listed the top six NL hitters with the best history of improvement in their OPS (on base percentage plus slugging percentage) from the first half of the season to the second half.

    Ike Davis, 1B, New York Mets (+152) - Davis was so bad this spring that the team sent him down to Triple-A Las Vegas to work on his swing. It hasn't been much better in the eight games since he returned (batting .192), but in both 2010 and 2012 he was a much improved second half hitter. If you have an open spot on your roster, stashing Davis for later in the season could pay off handsomely.

    Adam LaRoche, 1B, Washington (+120) - LaRoche has always been the "poster boy" for second half hitters as he's consistently started slow and come on strong over the course of his 10-year career. He fooled us with a strong May and many thought he was starting his summer explosion early, but slid back in June and the first two weeks of July. He'll turn it around, he always does.

    Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado (+116) - Tulowitzki is already off to a fantastic start - batting .332 with 16 HR, 52 RBI in 64 games. If he stays healthy, he could challenge for the fantasy MVP trophy. Sure, he'll cost you an arm and a leg to obtain in a deal, but it will be worth it.

    Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Miami (+110) - Stanton struggled early on due to injuries and lack of protection in the lineup, but now with Logan Morrison and Marcel Ozuna behind him he could be primed for a big second half. Given his pedestrian numbers (.250, 10 HR, 27 RBI in 51 games) you could probably trade for him without having to overpay.

    Ryan Howard, 1B, Philadelphia (+106) - It's disappointing that Howard will be sidelined for 5-7 more weeks with knee problems because this is prime time for the Phillies first baseman. He was batting .308 with an .896 OPS in the week before going on the disabled list. At the most he'll give you five weeks of production at the end of the season, so may not be worthy of a play.

    Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Washington (+87) - Zimmerman, like his Nationals team through the first 95 games, has been mostly disappointing. He's batting .270 with 11 HR and 51 RBI. The facts are, however, if he plays 140 or more games, he produces at least 25 homers and close to 100 RBI. That means he should have a productive second half.

    Tomorrow we will examine the American League.




    Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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    Welcome to Great38 Tampa Bay WTTA-TV/DT - WFLA News Channel 8

    Welcome to Great38 Tampa Bay WTTA-TV/DT - WFLA News Channel 8

      Great 38: Win tickets to Daytona 500

      Updated:

      Here's your chance to win tickets to the 2015 Daytona 500. Entering is easy, simply fill out the entry form included. More>>

      • Great Stuff

      News Now: Media General CEO talks about his career, future for company Video included

      Updated:

      In December, LIN Media and Media General merged to create the second largest broadcasting company in the country. The former CEO and President of LIN Media, Vince Sadusky, was placed at the helm of the new and improved Media General. More>>

      Bill Schifino, Jr talks about being President-Elect of the Florida Bar Video included

      Updated:

      Earlier this month, Bill Schifino, Jr. was announced as the 2015-16 President-Elect of the Florida Bar. Schifino comes to this position with a strong resume. More>>

      Trio sets off on 900 mile trek across Florida Video included

      Updated:

      Joe Guthrie, Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, and Carlton Ward Jr. are embarking on a journey of a lifetime. The trio are setting off on a 70-day, 900 mile trek across the state???without any automobiles.
      More>>

      How this guide dog helps one blind triathlete chase her Paralympic dream

      Updated:

      Every time Paralympic hopeful Amy Dixon makes it to the end of another grueling triathlon, she knows her trusty companion will be waiting for her at the finish line. Sixteen years after she lost vision in her right eye, which she says she viewed as "a death sentence" at the time,  More>>

      Legoland Florida hotel to open in spring; built for kids

      LEGOLAND Florida photo LEGOLAND Florida photo
      Updated:

      Legoland Florida Hotel will welcome its first guests a month earlier than previously expected.During an announcement Thursday, Legoland executives announced May 15 as the revised opening date.  More>>

      3 rhinos escape from safari zoo, return safely Video included

      Updated:

      Three rhinoceroses escaped from their site at a safari zoo in Israel this week, NBC reported.  More>>

      VIRAL VIDEO: Bossy 4-year-old girl feeds 6 pit bull dogs

      Little Girl Controls Pit Bull Dogs | Future Dog Trainer, Jukin Video on YouTube Little Girl Controls Pit Bull Dogs | Future Dog Trainer, Jukin Video on YouTube
      Updated:

      A video of a very authoritative 4-year-old girl feeding six very obedient pit pulls in the middle of a kitchen has gone viral on the web and is prompting a heated debate about the pit bull breed.
      More>>

      8 fun things to do in Tampa Bay this weekend | January 17-18 Video included

      Updated:

      See 8 fun things happening this weekend in Tampa Bay!
      More>>

      'Birdman,' 'Budapest' top Oscar nominations with 9 nods each

      Updated:

      Two extravagant comedies, "Birdman" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel," tied for the most Oscar nominations Thursday morning with nine nods each, including best picture. More>>

      Out and About
      Powered by WorldNow

      200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

      Telephone: 813.228.8888
      Fax: 813.225.2770
      Email: news@wfla.com

      Can???t find something?
      Powered by WorldNow
      All content © Copyright 2000 - 2015 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.