Your Fantasy Baseball Planner Includes streamers and waiver tips
I know, I know. Those visions of pigskins being tossed in the air and which running back to grab once the Top Four are off the board are beginning to jockey for space in your mind. Remember, there’s still a lot of significant baseball left to be played and, most importantly, there’s well over 90 percent of your mind that’s vacant, so use it and focus.
Pitching for Two, Please (Recommended two-start pitchers)
Luke Weaver, Cardinals (at Marlins, Monday; at Royals, Sunday): Watching his Eternal Struggle to get out of the third inning on Wednesday (74 pitches before being yanked after 2.2 frames) was unnerving. However, life eventually brings us joy. In Weaver’s case, he gets roadies in extreme pitchers’ parks against two of the four worst offenses in the majors.
Chase Anderson, Brewers (vs. Padres, Tuesday; at Braves, Sunday): He’s quietly lopped off nearly a run from the 4.65 ERA he sported on June 6, having gone eight straight starts of allowing two or fewer runs. Anderson has also been gold in the WHIP department, as he has limited batters to fewer than six hits in eight of his last 10 starts.
Kyle Freeland, Rockies (vs. Pirates, Monday; vs. Dodgers, Saturday): How to sum this up…hmmm…how about the fact Freeland has a 2.23 ERA in Coors Field. Batters aren’t thrilled to see him, evidenced by the .223 average they’ve managed against him in Colorado. I think that sums it up well.
Dereck Rodriguez, Giants (vs. Astros, Monday; vs. Pirates, Saturday): If Rodriguez had enough frames under his belt, his 1.12 WHIP would be among the top six in the National League. We’re pushing nearly two months since he’s allowed more than three runs in one start.
Joe Musgrove, Pirates (at Rockies, Monday; at Giants, Saturday): He’s gone at least seven innings in three of his last four starts, yet Musgrove’s 1.80 ERA outside of Pittsburgh is a damn strong calling card.
Dan Straily, Marlins (vs. Cardinals, Monday; vs. Mets, Saturday): Straily has a written excuse of “I hope I can pitch for a contender” for why he was tagged for eight runs (five earned) and 11 hits over 3.2 innings against the Braves on Tuesday. He’s a much better pitcher than that horrid outing, so let’s cut him some slack and start anew.
C.C. Sabathia, Yankees (at White Sox, Tuesday; vs. Rangers, Sunday): Take your chances with C.C. against the Pale Hose on Tuesday, knowing his 2.69 ERA at The Stadium will be a solid payoff against a Rangers team more focused on how the Stars will fare once the NHL season starts.
Kyle Gibson, Twins (at Indians, Monday; at Tigers, Saturday): Imagine how Gibby’s numbers would look if he pitched for a contender. He’s averaging a strikeout per inning on the road, where he has a 2.94 ERA and OBA of .198.
Helluva start by Kyle Gibson.
Eight innings of one-run ball at Fenway Park against the highest-scoring lineup in baseball. He started the eighth inning with 105 pitches and finished it with a career-high 120 pitches. Seven strikeouts, 12 ground-ball outs, 17 swinging strikes.
— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) July 27, 2018
Tyler O’Neill, OF, Cardinals: Trading Tommy Pham opened the door for O’Neill to return to the Gateway to the West, where the Redbirds will find ways to get his power into the lineup. He showed improved patience at the plate in his latest stint at Triple-A and could set the foundation for a bigger 2019, one reason why he’s owned in 27 percent of CBSSports.com leagues.
Nick Williams, OF, Phillies: Fellow BOI (Born on Galveston Island) has, like O’Neill, been allergic to the phrase “ball four,” but that’s changed over the past month. Williams has a .385 OBP since the start of July and is on track for 20-plus homers. His newfound discipline has pushed his CBSSports.com ownership to 30 percent, a number that would be higher if the Phils would let him swipe a bag or two.
Mychal Givens, P, Orioles: These days, save opportunities in Baltimore are about as rare as seeing an episode on one of the best damn police dramas ever appearing on Netflix or Hulu. As a famous Twitter user would say, “SAD!” Givens will get the first dibs on closing, so despite his 4.59 ERA, he’s now owned in 14 percent of CBSSports.com leagues. To his credit, Givens averages better than a K per inning and had allowed just two homers in 53 innings entering Friday’s games.
Ken Giles, P, Blue Jays: Houston ain’t for everyone. Giles still throws hard and the time down in the bushes helped him regain his tools, but the road back to ninth inning glory will start with some middle relief work. He’s owned in 41 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and has a great chance to remind us why we once thought he would string together a few seasons of dominant closer work.
Adalberto Mondesi, 2B/SS, Royals: Steals are tough to come by this late in the season, which is why Mondesi is on this list. Owned in 28 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, Mondesi has become an aggressive baserunner since being recalled from Triple-A just after the All-Star Break. There’s a reasonable chance of Mondesi getting between 15-20 steals, but know the bags are about all he has to offer, as he brings little power and the plate discipline of a giddy kid hopped up on energy drinks.
Anthony Swarzak, P, Mets: For now, it appears Swarzak will be entrusted with the role of closer. So far, so good, as Swarzak has allowed just one run in his last four appearances. His lofty 6.30 ERA is going to scare the hell out of many, yet there’s 18 percent of CBSSports.com leagues who have owners with either faith or enjoy shameless tomfoolery. In a way, he’s the happy median between Giles and Givens.
Manuel Margot, OF, Padres: The can’t miss talent has been on display since the break. Margot entered the weekend with a .333/.356/.476 slash with an .832 OPS. Be patient with the power but be encouraged by the running (nine runs scored, three steals). At 28 percent ownership in CBSSports.com leagues, Margot will be a sneaky good addition to a lineup.
A Streaming We Will Go (Pitchers Edition)
Vince Velasquez, Phillies (at Diamondbacks, Wednesday): A 1.66 ERA in his last 27 innings of work and two homers allowed in 49.2 innings on the road prior to his latest win on Friday.
Jamie Barria, Angels (vs. Tigers, Wednesday): Has allowed six hits or fewer in nine of his last 10 starts.
Mike Clevinger, Indians (vs. Twins, Wednesday): Tough luck of late, as his last two losses have come despite his 15 strikeouts and four earned runs allowed over 11.2 innings.
Anibal Sanchez, Braves (at Nationals, Thursday): The surprising aspect about Sanchez’s revival is his ability to stay within a strikeout per inning. Away from the ATL, Sanchez is whiffing better than a batter per.
Joey Lucchesi, Padres (at Brewers, Thursday): Solid 2.81 ERA outside of Petco Park. More impressive? A .202 OBA and two homers allowed on the road.
Tyler Anderson, Rockies (vs. Dodgers, Thursday): Three runs or fewer allowed in eight of his last 10 starts. Respectable 3.65 ERA at home.
Nathan Eovaldi, Red Sox (at Orioles, Friday): Has yet to allow more than two walks in any of his first 11 starts.
Clay Buchholz, Diamondbacks (at Reds, Friday): Five of the 15 earned runs he’s allowed came in one start against the Pirates.
Kevin Gausman, Braves (vs. Brewers, Friday): Out of the Orioles’ flock of shame, Gausman gets his first home start in a much better environment.
A Streaming We Will Go (Batters Edition)
Yasiel Puig, OF, Dodgers (at Rockies, Friday-Sunday): Sporting a loud 1.330 OPS since the All-Star Break, bolstered by three homers in 19 at-bats.
Steve Pearce, 1B/OF, Red Sox (at Orioles, Friday-Sunday): Three homers in 27 at-bats since the ASB, compared to five in 105 ABs before. Someone’s swinging a hot bat…
Daniel Palka, 1B/OF, White Sox (vs. Yankees, Monday-Wednesday): Four homers, 10 RBI and a 1.237 OBP in the past two weeks? Yeah, I’m in.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, C/INF, Rangers (vs. Mariners, Monday-Wednesday): Versatility helps keep a blistering bat (.367 since ASB) in the lineup. Spurt of power is a surprise.
Tim Beckham, 2B/SS/3B, Orioles (at Rays, Tuesday-Thursday): Someone bulked up of late. Looks like it’s Beckham, whose .893 OPS since the Break is light years from the .636 OPS he had before vacay.
Austin Hedges, C, Padres (vs. Phillies, Friday-Sunday): Over the past month of play, Hedges swung it at a .333/.397/.606 clip. Patience with catchers, please…
Kole Calhoun, OF, Angels (vs. Tigers, Monday-Wednesday): Yes, he’s hitting .208, but give the man credit for bringing his average from .190 two weeks ago.
Rosell Herrera, SS/OF, Royals (vs. Cardinals, Friday-Sunday): Has almost as many extra base hits (five) in three weeks than he had (six) prior.
Eric Thames, 1B/OF, Brewers (vs. Braves, Tuesday-Thursday): More productive at home (.270/.348.590) than away from the City that Hank Aaron and The Fonz Built (how the hell did “Happy Days” not cash in on that pairing. Freaking ratings gold was there for the asking and they…I’ll stop).