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Players with lopsided splits can be frustrating to root for in real baseball, but they are a Fantasy owners' best friend. The bad side of their splits puts a damper on their overall stats, making them cheap to acquire, but when they hit a favorable stretch in the schedule, they can produce like superstars. When the schedule takes an unfortunate turn, then it's an easy call to bench or drop them.
With just two weekly scoring periods left this season, now is the time to take stock of some players with lopsided splits for the very last time. If a player has an unfavorable schedule from here on out, there is no reason to start them, and you just might be able to drop them to clear up some roster space. Likewise, there are a few players whom you may not have trusted every week who are now suddenly must-start options, simply because the schedule will work in their favor.
Here are 10 players whose extreme splits make them worth a closer look for the next two weeks. Not all of them are fringy types who are as likely to be on the bench or waivers as they are in a starting lineup. Three of them -- Charlie Blackmon, Brian McCann and Kyle Seager -- are currently starting in at least 93 percent of the leagues on CBSSports.com. It may be inconceivable to think of dropping players of this caliber, but the down sides of their splits are sufficiently worrisome that it's at least worth some investigation.
Could be dropped before Week 25
Kyle Seager, 3B, Mariners: Seager has a .711 career OPS at Safeco Field, but last season was the only year in which he exceeded a .700 OPS at home. In 2015, Seager has posted a .688 OPS in Seattle, so it shouldn't be too hard to find a third baseman who could exceed that over the next two weeks.
The Mariners actually have two road series in Fantasy Week 25 (Sept. 21-27), first visiting the Royals and then the Angels. Both parks are pitcher-friendly, though Seager has a career .854 OPS at Kauffman Stadium. However, Angel Stadium is the tougher park of the two, and Seager has compiled a .672 OPS there in 170 career plate appearances. Then the Mariners finish out Fantasy Week 26 with home series against the Astros and Athletics.
It may be hard to think of dropping Seager, but you should only be starting him as a last resort, particularly in Week 26. If you're not using him next week, there's little reason to hang on to him.
Adam Lind. 1B, Brewers: Lind has been spectacular at home against right-handed pitchers, posting a .349/.429/.593 slash line in those situations this year. Otherwise, he has been very ordinary, or worse. The Brewers embark on a 10-game road trip after this weekend, leaving their season-closing series against the Cubs as their only home games in Weeks 25 and 26. Even though Lind will probably face three righty starters in that series, it won't likely be enough to make it worth your while to keep him around.
Anthony DeSclafani, SP, Reds: DeSclafani has been on a nice roll since late July, putting up a 3.14 ERA with eight quality starts. Just as you think you might have found a hidden gem with the Reds' rookie, his season looks like it could end on a sour note. DeSclafani has been much better on the road (2.74 ERA, 0.5 HR/9) than at home (4.71 ERA, 1.1 HR/9), and he is scheduled to finish out the campaign versus the Mets and Cubs at home. Those lineups also feature several tough lefties, and DeSclafani has allowed 11 of his 15 home runs to left-handed hitters.
Could be dropped before Week 26
Charlie Blackmon, OF, Rockies: The Coors effect has loosened its grip on Blackmon this season, as he has hit 10 of his 15 home runs away from his home park. Still, Blackmon has been a much worse hitter overall on the road, as he has struck out in 21 percent of his road plate appearances in away games, as opposed 13 percent at home. With a .305 road on-base percentage, Blackmon isn't necessarily worth the trouble, even with his decent power numbers.
Blackmon gets seven home games in Week 25, so don't even think about dropping him just yet. However, he is a borderline call at best in Week 26 with three games apiece in Arizona and San Francisco. If there is any reason to start Blackmon in the final week, it's because Diamondbacks catchers Welington Castillo and Jarrod Saltalamacchia aren't very good at throwing out base stealers.
Logan Forsythe, 1B/2B/3B, Rays: Much of the offense that Forsythe has produced in this surprising breakout season has come at the expense of lefties, against whom he has posted a .992 OPS. No one should be sitting Forsythe in Week 25, when the Rays are scheduled to face five lefties in a seven-game week.
As the schedule currently lines up, Forsythe would face only two lefties in Week 26, and one of those is David Price (who he does also face in Week 25). Worse yet, all six of the Rays' final games are at home, where Forsythe sports a pedestrian .262./.328/.377 slash line.
Brian McCann, C, Yankees: Given that McCann trails only Buster Posey among catchers in Fantasy value, it may seem ridiculous to even consider sitting him. McCann's standing, however, is heavily influenced by his home splits, which include a .361 on-base percentage and a .272 Isolated Power. If McCann were to face a bunch of lefty starters on the road from here on out, there could be an argument to sit or drop him.
Fortunately for McCann owners, that is not the case. He gets two series at home, plus a series each at hitter-friendly Rogers Centre and Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Actually, McCann hasn't hit well in Toronto (career .597 OPS), but those splits should not be a deterrent to using him the rest of the way.
Andre Ethier, OF, Dodgers: Ethier has had a nice bounceback season, but his relatively modest power output (13 home runs in 357 at-bats) hasn't endeared him to Fantasy owners. All 13 of his homers have come against righties, against whom he is also batting .306 with a .383 on-base percentage.
As of now, it appears the Dodgers will face only four left-handed starters over the final two weeks, and just one in Week 26. Ethier is owned in only 43 percent of the leagues on CBSSports.com, so he is worth picking up now, even if you stash him for Week 25. If you have an outfielder go down or if, say, you wanted to drop Blackmon before Week 26, then you have Ethier and his stellar splits against righties at the ready.
John Lackey, SP, Cardinals: Lackey hasn't been bad on the road (3.69 ERA), but a 1.2 HR/9 and .418 slugging percentage allowed away from Busch Stadium shows the potential for a road implosion. That's a risk that Lackey's owners won't have to worry about in the final stretch. He lines up for two home starts in Week 25 (vs. CIN, vs. MIL), and his projected opponent in Week 26 is the woeful Braves. Even though Lackey will be on the road for that start, he could be worth keeping around for the last scoring period.
Lance McCullers, SP, Astros: In the minors, McCullers had reverse splits, and they have carried over to the majors. His first assignment next week is to face the righty-heavy Angels, but there are no worries there. Not only has McCullers been fine against righties, allowing a .714 OPS, but the Angels' lineup just isn't very dangerous. McCullers will then face the lefty-heavy Mariners. There is a chance he could face the Diamondbacks on the last day of the season, and the Snakes do feature some tough right-handed bats. Then again, depending on what the playoff picture looks like, the Astros could opt to skip McCullers for that start and save him for the postseason.
Despite the lack of clarity on the Astros' endgame plans, it's reasonable to plan on using McCullers for all of his remaining starts.
Wei-Yin Chen, SP, Orioles: Chen has yet to post a HR/9 ratio below 1.1, and as of now, his 1.5 HR/9 is a career high. Nearly all of that damage has been done by right-handed hitters. Chen has allowed only three home runs to lefty batters all season, and he has limited them to a .591 OPS. His last two starts will be at the Red Sox and versus the Yankees, and both teams are loaded with lefty hitters.
Even with these matchups, he's not the optimal choice as a one-start pitcher in a 12-team mixed league. Still, if you're in a league where you have been starting Chen semi-regularly, you might as well keep him in your rotation for the rest of the season.