Your Fantasy Baseball Planner Includes Two-Turn Starters, Streamers and Waiver Adds
Parting is such sweet sorrow. Our time is winding down, as Fantasy Baseball playoffs wind down and Rotisserie leagues inch toward the finish. We’ve approached the blurred reality of completing this season while also taking an eye toward 2019.
Far more brilliant minds at RotoExperts.com will spend the winter breaking down how next season’s drafts and auctions will go down. My job is to get you to the final miles of this season. Stay with me, kids. Remember: eyes on the prize.
Pitching For Two, Please (Recommended two-start pitchers)
Jon Gray, Rockies (at Dodgers, Monday; at Diamondbacks, Sunday): He is not having a great September (5.14 ERA) due in part to five homers allowed in 14 innings. However, he’s here because Gray has kept opponents at bay (heh, heh, Gray…bay? Ah, never mind) for much of the second half with a .215 opponents’ batting average. Gray’s also streaky and being away from Coors Field is also a good sign of a surge that would net high rewards.
Joe Musgrove, Pirates (vs. Royals, Monday; vs. Brewers, Sunday): Don’t look too hard at Musgrove’s 4.38 ERA this month. Instead, look closer at the 16:2 K:BB rate he’s established over 12 innings. He’s fanned at least seven batters in four of his last five starts and has walked just seven batters over 56.1 frames since the All-Star Break.
Stephen Strasburg, Nationals (at Marlins, Monday; vs. Mets, Sunday): He’s doing a damn good job of assuring he won’t be slumming on this list next season. Strasburg has allowed one homer in his last four starts while showing a 22:5 K:BB rate this month. Miami’s hitters have a .167 batting average against S-Squared; the Mets haven’t fared better, managing just a .227 batting average against Strasburg this season.
Zach Wheeler, Mets (at Phillies, Monday; at Nationals, Saturday): Wheeler has been locked in since July 29, having allowed more than two earned runs just once in his last nine starts while also trimming his ERA from 4.33 to 3.23. He’s now averaging a strikeout per inning, as Wheeler has at least six Ks in seven of his last 10 starts. Post All-Star Break, Wheeler is 8-1 with a 1.32 ERA. Damn, son.
Anibal Sanchez, Braves (vs. Cardinals, Tuesday; vs. Phillies, Sunday): Wow, Sanchez had some rat’s luck while pitching at home, where he’s 1-3 despite a 3.11 ERA and a .224 OBA. Oddly enough, this week marks the first time this season that Sanchez has seen both the Cardinals and Phillies. How he’s avoided an NL East opponent like Philly until this late in the season is a head-scratcher.
Framber Valdez, Astros (vs. Mariners, Tuesday; vs. Angels, Sunday): Has yet to get beyond the sixth inning in his four starts, but the rookie is holding batters to a .193 OBA. Valdez has allowed just one earned run in 9.2 innings pitched against Seattle and Los Angeles, whom he faced in his first two big league starts.
Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers (vs. Rockies, Monday; vs. Padres, Sunday): Touched up in his last two starts, I’ll bet on a strong rebound from Ryu, who has a 1.51 ERA and a 47:6 K:BB rate in 41.2 innings at Dodger Stadium.
Tyler Glasnow, Rays (at Rangers, Monday; at Blue Jays, Sunday): Odd numbers for Glasnow, who has a 6.53 ERA outside of Tampa Bay yet has held batters to a .196 OBA and is striking out better than a batter per innings. Two of his three worst starts this season have come on the road, where he allowed a combined 11 earned runs to the Red Sox and Blue Jays over 7.1 innings.
Jorge Lopez, Royals: The first of an odd set of pitchers available, Lopez has given K.C. optimism with a pair of impressive wins that saw him allow just two runs over 15 innings along with sporting a 12:1 K:BB rate. He’s owned in just 12 percent in CBSSports.com leagues but he’s a hot hand who will also be a good streaming option over the last two weeks.
Jose Urena, Marlins: Told you this would be odd. Like Lopez, Urena has been solid this month with a 1.35 ERA and a 12:3 K:BB rate in 13.1 innings. He’s been one of my favorite pitchers to watch this season, so there’s a sly grin on my face knowing he’s now owned in 31 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and could see that total increase if the strikeout total continues to take a slow, yet sure bump upward.
Adalberto Mondesi, SS, Royals: Not a good source for OBP (.308…learn discipline, son) but Mondesi has 17 of his 22 steals since the All-Star Break and is beginning to show better than expected power. Mondesi came into the weekend with a .939 OPS over the past two weeks as his ownership in CBSSports.com leagues is now sitting at 41 percent. Pro-rate his numbers over a full season and Mondesi would have 64 stolen bases, something to keep in mind come draft/auction time next March.
Kevin Kiermaier, OF, Rays: What has been a lost season for Kiermaier is being salvaged with a stretch that has seen him go .452/.471/.935 with a 1.406 OPS in his last two weeks of play. What he did before September 1 matters a damn, especially if you catch him while he’s still hot. At 26 percent ownership in CBSSports.com leagues, Kiermaier’s recent run makes him worthy of consideration in standard leagues.
Ramon Laureano, OF, Athletics: Not regarded as a prospect with considerable pop, Laureano has ripped apart that scouting report with 14 extra base hits among his first 30 base knocks. That’s going to make people notice, especially the 25 percent of CBSSports.com owners who have scooped up Laureano. The steals (5 for 5) weren’t a surprise, but if he finishes the season strong, Laureano is going to pop up on a lot of sleeper lists this winter.
Scott Schebler, OF, Reds: He’s worn out hurlers with a .953 OPS this month and while his batting average dipped 24 points since the ASB, his slugging percent climbed 22 points to .492. Schebler is owned in 39 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and has a reasonable shot at approaching 20 homers this season.
Chris Iannetta, C, Rockies: One of the contributors to Colorado’s run toward another Roctober, all seven of Iannetta’s hits over the past two weeks are for extra bases (three homers, three doubles and a triple). That’ll earn you a 1.013 OPS. If you’re in need of a backstop that can help get to the end, Iannetta, owned in 24 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, would love to hear from you.
Felix Pena, P, Angels: Has allowed just one walk in three starts this month, allowing three runs over 20 innings. Pena is owned in 19 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and makes a good option for a Fantasy team looking to hold up to a lead in WHIP.
A Streaming We Will Go (Pitchers Edition)
Jack Flaherty, Cardinals (at Braves, Wednesday): The three runs he allowed in his September 8 start at the Tigers was only the third time in his last 10 starts that Flaherty gave up more than two earned runs. Trust me: he’s going to win a Cy Young or two.
Matthew Boyd, Tigers (vs. Rays, Wednesday): He’s closing out the season with some punch to his K rate, having fanned 17 in 13 innings this month.
Joey Lucchesi, Padres (vs. Giants, Wednesday): Held San Francisco to five hits and one earned run in his only appearance against them this season, a win on April 15.
Edwin Jackson, Athletics (vs. Angels, Thursday): Blanked the Angels over 7.1 innings on August 11, limiting them to three hits on his way to a win.
Vince Velasquez, Phillies (at Braves, Thursday): More effective on the road, V-Squared has allowed just four homers in 71.2 innings away from Philly.
Mike Clevinger, Indians (vs. Red Sox, Friday): He’s blowing away hitters at a blistering rate this month, fanning 19 in 12 innings while allowing just 10 baserunners.
Luis Castillo, Reds (at Marlins, Friday): Speaking of September K artists, Castillo has a 27:3 K:BB rate in 18 frames this month.
A Streaming We Will Go (Hitters Edition)
Marcell Ozuna, OF, Cardinals (at Braves, Monday-Wednesday): A big reason why St. Louis still holds postseason hopes, Ozuna has five homers this month along with 13 RBI and a 1.049 OPS.
Jonathan Villar INF/OF, Orioles (vs. Blue Jays, Monday-Wednesday): Villar loves to participate in bird-on-bird violence, as he has a .364 batting average versus Toronto with a homer and five steals over 22 at-bats.
Tyler White, 1B, Astros (vs. Angels, Friday-Sunday): His bat isn’t as potent as it was last month, but White does have 11 RBI and an .869 OPS this month.
Rowdy Tellez, 1B, Blue Jays (at Orioles, Monday-Wednesday): He’s been rowdy to AL pitchers in his first nine games with eight of his first nine hits being of the extra base persuasion. An .864 slugging percentage and 1.298 OPS could go higher against the woeful Baltimore staff.
Chris Taylor, INF/OF, Dodgers (vs. Rockies, Monday-Wednesday): After a .185 August, Taylor has doubled his batting average to .391 with a 1.245 OPS.
Nicholas Castellanos, 3B/OF, Tigers (vs. Royals, Thursday-Sunday): Quietly has put up good numbers for a bad, bad Detroit squad and is finishing the season on a high note with a .366 batting average and 1.048 OPS this month.
Johan Camargo, 2B/3B, Braves (vs. Phillies, Thursday-Sunday): He’s just 3-for-11 versus the Phils this season, but two of those went for extra bases, which explains the .636 slugging percentage and 1.065 OPS.
Austin Hedges, C, Padres (vs. Giants, Monday-Wednesday): A loud 1.009 OPS over his past two weeks is a clear sign Hedges isn’t going to cede his starting job to Francisco Mejia just yet. The two will have one of the best battles in spring training.