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Fred Zinkie

50 for 50: Top players for fantasy's stretch run

Trout, Altuve, Scherzer lead late-season rankings reset

50 for 50: Top players for fantasy's stretch run

You obsessed over your draft rankings. You checked lineups each and every day since Chris Archer threw the first pitch of the season on April 2. You navigated through injuries, slumps and demotions. And as of August 13, you stand just 50 days away from winning your fantasy baseball league.

Everything that has happened to this point in 2017 is water under the bridge. And, the process of evaluating players for '18 can be put on hold for at least seven weeks. Let's focus solely on the remaining 50 days of the season and identify a 50-for-50 -- the 50 players who will most help owners from this point forward.

No. 1: Mike Trout, outfielder, Angels
If not for injury, may have compiled 45 homers and 30 steals this year.

No. 2: Jose Altuve, second baseman, Astros
Hitting .422 since the All-Star break and supported by potent supporting cast.

Zinkie's fantasy tip of the day

No. 3: Max Scherzer, starter, Nationals
In a season with few aces, his reliable excellence stands out.

No. 4: Chris Sale, starter, Red Sox
On pace to top the 300-strikeout plateau.

No. 5: Paul Goldschmidt, first baseman, D-backs
Hitting .318 and the only player in baseball with more than 25 homers and 15 steals.

No. 6: Charlie Blackmon, outfielder, Rockies
Beginning on August 14, plays 29 of his final 45 games either at home or at Chase Field.

No. 7: Bryce Harper, outfielder, Nationals
Plate skills have returned to 2015 level but no longer stealing bases.

No. 8: Nolan Arenado, third baseman, Rockies
Should lead the Majors in RBIs for third consecutive season.

No. 9: Corey Kluber, starter, Indians
Has posted video-game numbers (1.70 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 13.4 K/9 rate) since returning from the DL on June 1.

No. 10: Mookie Betts, outfielder, Red Sox
Hitting just .269 but compiling plenty of counting stats.

No. 11: Joey Votto, first baseman, Reds
Likely 40-homer asset is hitting over .300 for the eighth time in past nine years.

Zinkie on Rhys Hoskins

No. 12: Giancarlo Stanton, outfielder, Marlins
Should finally produce long-awaited 50-homer campaign.

No. 13: Freddie Freeman, 1B/3B, Braves
Producing at a higher rate than his breakout 2016 campaign.

No. 14: J.D. Martinez, outfielder, D-backs
Ranks fifth in baseball in homers (23) and eighth in OPS (1.008) since returning from the DL on May 12.

No. 15: George Springer, outfielder, Astros
Hitting for average, power atop the best lineup in baseball.

No. 16: Anthony Rizzo, first baseman, Cubs
Consistent asset has compiled exactly six homers in each completed month of '17.

No. 17: Kris Bryant, 1B/3B/OF, Cubs
Top-five pick in many 2017 drafts may fall short of 30-homer mark.

No. 18: Kenley Jansen, reliever, Dodgers
Has posted eye-popping 77:5 K:BB ratio across 50 1/3 innings.

No. 19: Daniel Murphy, second baseman, Nationals
Since outset of '16, ranks second in baseball in batting average (.339) and ninth in RBIs (180).

No. 20: Cody Bellinger, 1B/OF, Dodgers
Leads the Majors in homers (33) since he debuted on April 25.

Zinkie on Rosario, Albies

No. 21: Craig Kimbrel, reliever, Red Sox
Posting best K:BB ratio (90:8) of stellar career.

No. 22: Jose Ramirez, 2B/3B/OF, Indians
Five-category stud hitting .312 with 29 homers and 34 steals since outset of last season.

No. 23: Jacob deGrom, starter, Mets
Logging a 1.82 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP since June 12.

No. 24: Billy Hamilton, outfielder, Reds
On pace for roughly 100 runs, baseball's best base stealer is no longer a one-category asset.

No. 25: Corey Seager, shortstop, Dodgers
Has hit .313 or better in every month except for May.

No. 26: Andrew McCutchen, outfielder, Pirates
Has hit .351 with a 1.092 OPS since May 27.

No. 27: Zack Greinke, starter, D-backs
Second only to Clayton Kershaw in ERA since 2013 (2.80).

No. 28: Yu Darvish, starter, Dodgers
Owns a lifetime 11.1 K/9 rate and could excel with baseball's winningest team.

No. 29: Madison Bumgarner, starter, Giants
Ratios resemble career marks, but may not receive run support down the stretch.

No. 30: Nelson Cruz, outfielder, Mariners
May fall short of a fourth straight 40-homer campaign, but ranks second in baseball with 90 RBIs.

Cruz's clutch game-tying homer

No. 31: Aaron Judge, outfielder, Yankees
After a stellar first half, hitting .172 since All-Star break.

No. 32: Dee Gordon, second baseman, Marlins
Joins Hamilton as the only players with 40 swipes.

No. 33: Jonathan Schoop, second baseman, Orioles
Leads all second basemen in homers, RBIs.

No. 34: Josh Donaldson, third baseman, Blue Jays
Disappointing veteran is turning things around (six homers, .333 average since July 27).

No. 35: Justin Upton, outfielder, Tigers
Offers some speed (10 steals) and has posted an OPS over .900 in every month except for May.

No. 36: Anthony Rendon, third baseman, Nationals
Part of a productive lineup and ranks 13th in the Majors with a .959 OPS.

No. 37: Francisco Lindor, shortstop, Indians
Hitting .330 with a .941 OPS since Midsummer Classic.

No. 38: Manny Machado, 3B/SS, Orioles
Recovering from slow start by hitting .315 in second half.

No. 39: Luis Severino, starter, Yankees
Leads Majors with a 0.83 ERA since All-Star break.

No. 40: Clayton Kershaw, starter, Dodgers
Could be the No. 1 overall asset during September.

Kershaw on his rehab

No. 41: Elvis Andrus, shortstop, Rangers
Speedster with improved power has been best fantasy shortstop thus far in 2017.

No. 42: Marcell Ozuna, outfielder, Marlins
Breakout performer ranks fifth in Majors with 87 RBIs.

No. 43: Jake Lamb, third baseman, D-backs
Tied for second in the Majors with 90 RBIs.

No. 44: Robinson Cano, second baseman, Mariners
Consistent stud has spent 10 days on DL in past decade.

No. 45: Mike Moustakas, third baseman, Royals
Tied for fourth in Majors with 32 homers.

No. 46: A.J. Pollock, outfielder, D-backs
Lifetime .291 hitter is one of few players who can produce steals in bunches.

No. 47: Gary Sanchez, catcher, Yankees
Has gone deep 38 times across 504 career at-bats.

No. 48: Justin Smoak, first baseman, Blue Jays
Only Judge has produced more homers and a higher batting mark this year.

No. 49: Trea Turner, 2B/SS/OF, Nationals
Could rank as a top 10 asset in September.

No. 50: Buster Posey, catcher, Giants
Elite source of batting average but counting stats are limited by supporting cast.

Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.