Some Nationals smell better than a few Yankees right now
Injuries will always play a big part in determining who will and won’t win a Fantasy championship. In my biggest money league, I lost Mike Trout, Trevor Bauer, and Joey Votto to the disabled list over the past week. To say the least, I’m not happy. I’m scouring the waiver wire like everyone else should be, looking for that hot player or a player available who has the best matchups. Bauer is lost for 4-6 weeks so I know that I need a more permanent replacement for him, but with someone like Trout, he should be back within two weeks, so I can look for a short-term replacement. I always like to see not only if a team like the Rockies are playing at home, but also, who is traveling there. I would bump up an available player a couple of spots should they be playing a few games in Coors Field over the next few days. This only works for me with players that will be out short-term. With longer term injuries (Bauer) I’m just looking for the best player overall that fits my team needs.
- David Peralta, Arizona Diamondbacks: Has there been any batter in baseball that has been hotter over the past month or two? I think not, okay, maybe Kole Calhoun in the short term. Peralta is batting .330 over his past 30 games with six HRs and 12 RBIs. At one point it looked like this was just a hot streak and that Peralta would be someone you would have to move on from when that streak ended, but now it looks like he is someone that will be a mainstay in your lineup for the rest of the season.
- Zack Wheeler, New York Mets: Do the Mets have three legitimate aces in their starting rotation? Jacob deGrom is a Cy Young candidate. Noah Syndergaard, when healthy, is nothing worse than a SP2 in Major League Baseball, and now we have Wheeler seemingly living up to his potential. Over his last 11 starts (70.2 IP) Wheeler has only allowed 20 ERs. Wheeler is striking out more than a better per inning during this stretch. He’s a must start for the ROS and could be a target in your Fantasy league should your trade deadline not have passed yet.
- Matt Chapman, Oakland Athletics: In the non-Red Sox division there really isn’t a hotter team in MLB than the Athletics. They are not only competing for a wild card berth, but also pushing the Astros for the division lead. This team can hit. Sure, they are led by Khris Davis, but Chapman should not be forgotten about either. Chapman has six HRs. 17 RBI and is batting .333 over his last 30 games. He generally bats in the number two-hole in the lineup, right before Jed Lowrie and Davis. This is not a bad place to be.
- Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals: With the Nationals once again looking like they are going to free fall out of the playoff race (eight games back in the NL East and 6.5 back in the wildcard) could the Nationals look to deal Murphy this month? Murphy would have to pass through waivers, but he is finally proving that he is injury free and could look good for a team in contention The Nationals would have little to lose here, as Murphy can be a free agent after the season and may not return next year.
- Tanner Roark, Washington Nationals: Over the past month, Roark has really been the most reliable SP for the Nationals after Max Scherzer. In his last five starts he has only given up seven ERs and he has won all of those starts. Unfortunately for the Nats it may be a little too little, little too late, but maybe not for our Fantasy teams. I’d be lying if I said you can trust him from this point forward, but he’s in my starting lineup until he proves otherwise.
- Aaron Judge, New York Yankees: The original timetable for Judge’s wrist to heal came and went a few days ago. Judge has yet to begin swinging a bat at this point. Let’s face it, the Yankees have little to no chance at winning the AL East and are only playing for a wild card berth. This could shift their focus to getting Judge ready for the end of the season and not so much the end of August. I might also be concerned about how well Judge plays once he does return. Wrist injuries have a way of allowing a player to swing a bat, but zapping power. Judge may not be the player we have come to expect until next season.
- Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds: I was going to write about Votto even before he was placed on the disabled list Friday due to his knee injury. It seemed to be just a matter of time until this was going to happen. The Reds had been trying to manage the situation by giving Votto time off, but in the end chose the safe route. What does this mean for Votto and for Fantasy owners? Well, the Reds are out of contention and it wasn’t like Votto was having a great season anyway. It may be more beneficial to just shut him down and get him ready for next year, if you don’t have a DL slot available on your team, you may be better off cutting bait and moving on.
- Luis Severino, New York Yankees: What has happened to Severino? He’s gone from a Cy Young candidate to Cy Yuck. Severino only has one quality start in his last sever appearances. He has given up 30 ERs over that span. Simple math will tell you that averages out to over four runs per start. That is in just 36 IP. He’s been beat up by the Mets, White Sox, Royals, Rays, and Blue Jays. Not exactly a murderer’s row of offenses. The Yankees swear there is not an arm injury here and Severino states that he isn’t tired. So, what’s the problem? Well, until the player and team figure it out, Severino is best left on your bench.
- Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs: When you look at Rizzo’s season-long numbers, they seem to be okay. He has 18 HRs, 78 RBI, and is batting .264, but there does seem to be something missing. Perhaps it’s because he is unlikely to hit the 30 HR mark this year for the first time since 2013. Power is a big part of the reason he was drafted. As a Rizzo owner, I’m disappointed also, but only as a 1B, if you plug him in at 2B (assuming he’s eligible in your league) you may feel a whole lot better about his season.
- Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees: I didn’t start this column with the idea of it being about the Yankees. Truly, I didn’t. I actually cut down, as I wanted to put Greg Bird on this list also, but figured most Fantasy owners have already moved on from him. Should you move on from Torres as well? No, but he doesn’t look like the same batter he was before being placed on the DL with a hip injury. He’s not recognizing strikes at this point, as he is constantly chasing pitches down in the strike zone. He’s still a rookie. He will adjust. You’re just going to have to be patient with Torres.
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz.
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