This week’s most added player was Mookie Betts (+60%). The rookie outfielder has been in the lineup every day since August 18th and has hit nearly .300 since that date with three home runs and four stolen bases. Going forward, Betts is a good option for a little bit of everything in standard 5×5 leagues. As the season winds down, lead-off hitters like Betts are even more valuable as that extra at bat can mean another hit, run, or RBI for your fantasy roster. Betts is still just 21 years old and figures to be part of Boston’s plans moving forward despite the arrival of Rusney Castillo. He’s a good example of how the value of prospects can change quickly. Drafted in the fifth round in 2011, he wasn’t a big name on prospect lists and yet finds himself contributing in the major leagues before his 22nd birthday. He doesn’t strike out much (14%) and picks his spots to steal (83% SB success rate). Even with the recent surge he’s still available in 35% of ESPN leagues. Give him a look if one of your outfielders is hobbled or under-performing in the stretch run. Here are this week’s other big adds and drops in fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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That’s what time of year it is! Juan Lagares gets a buy lede. Read between the lines here, and what does it tell you? That as you get older you have to eat salad for lunch three times a week? Hmm, I’ve found that too, but that wasn’t what I wrote between the lines. Try again! That you don’t get embarrassed being seen in a public restroom, but get embarrassed being seen walking out of one? Me too. Still not what I wrote between the lines. You look for the skinniest person in a conveyor belt sushi place and sit next to them? Didn’t write that between the lines either, but lambda! (Lambda is the Greek letter used to indicate wavelength, so when you want to indicate you are a nerd and to tell someone you’re on the same wavelength just say lambda. That’s what I do. “I was thinking we should go to a movie.” “Lambda.” See? Now go have nerd babies!) Okay, between the lines it actually read that we’re firmly in the part of the year when it only matters what a player did in the last week. Lagares is about as hot as anyone right now. Better still, Terry Collins said he wants Lagares to run more. Let’s do a quick equation. Player who is trying to prove their worth + Suggested by manager that they run = Merle Haggard! Wow, math’s off there. Was supposed to equal tremendous fantasy value. Now, if Lagares wasn’t hitting it wouldn’t matter that Collins told him to run, but he is hitting and running like crazy — five steals in the last week while hitting over .300. He’s also been inserted into the leadoff spot. Thinking you should own him? Lambda! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Quick! Before Rudy completely makes my column obsolete with great new tools like the Hitter Planner, let’s get in another Lineup Maximizer. Sometimes there are players I want to highlight as pickups, but don’t have a game on Thursday, so they don’t fit the criteria for this article. Nate Freiman, the A’s regular at first when facing a lefty, is one such player. Over the past week, he’s been in Single-A Beloit because of arcane rules regarding MiLB playoffs and the September roster expansion. Despite that, Freiman is back with the big league club and will continue hitting the ball hard and being tall. Before the demotion, Freiman was 5 for his last 14, with three homers and five RBI. Alas, Freiman doesn’t play on Thursday so I can’t recommend him for the next stretch of games in when the A’s face three lefties in their next five. What a damn shame.

Anyhoo! Here’s who I can recommend for Thursdays games:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sorry, I ran out of “solar energy” puns and “Cirque du Soler” was already taken by Keith Law, so I went with Seinfeld. As I write this, I am stripped to the waist eating a block of cheese the size of a car battery. [Jay’s Note: That’s hot.] We need to mention Jorge Soler (+91%) one more time though. His 91% increase in ownership was by far the highest jump this week. It’s also the highest increase I’ve seen since I started writing this trash/treasure waiver wire column. Soler continued to make the game look easy on Monday. Batting fifth for the Cubs, the 22-year-old outfielder went 2-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored. He has an extra-base hit in each of his first five games.

It’s not like we didn’t see this coming. Soler was a big sign for the Cubs but injuries hindered his development at times. Earlier this season was a good buy-low opportunity in dynasty leagues actually, as Soler did not even appear in some mid-season Top 50 prospect lists. In Triple-A, Soler had a similar August as fellow Cubs prospect Kris Bryant. For the month Bryant hit .274/.435/.579 with 8 homers and 19 RBIs in 117 plate appearances, while Soler hit .276/.364/.598 with 6 homers and 24 RBIs in 99 plate appearances. They are both 22 years old. It’s scary to think what this lineup could do if all the parts click. You shouldn’t need me or anybody else to tell you to go out and add him. Here are this week’s other big adds and drops in fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Rosters are just about to go from Foster’s oil cans to forties for our annual tradition of getting completely wasted on rookie nookie. I remember in September of 1997, this young talkative player debuted. He could spin a yarn as well as he could spin his bat. That player had modest power in the minors and was hitting .361 in Triple-A at the time of his call-up. His name: Sean Casey. He had a solid career, hitting for modest power and a solid average. Later he became more known for his defense. Not with his glove, but how hitters would purposely not get a hit so they didn’t have to stand on first and hear him talk. He’d say there’s nothing a good conversation can’t defend. What is all of this getting at? That first year Sean Casey was called up, he didn’t do anything. Looked totally overmatched. Now if I would’ve dropped Ryan Klesko to grab Sean Casey, I would’ve missed out on a damn fine September from Klesko. If that happened, it may have shook my confidence in the great game of baseball and the ability to grow sideburns, and maybe I would’ve never have went on to become the fantasy baseball ‘pert you’ve grown to love and secretly dream up of scenarios where we’re hanging out and sharing a burrito. A parallel universe none of us want to imagine. So, be careful about who you drop in the coming days as players are called up. I love Joc Pederson, I’ll probably make him my preseason NL Rookie of the Year next year, but this year he may not even have a starting job.* *Fantasy Players who read this also searched for Kevin Maas, Sam Horn and Nadir Bupkis. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This week’s hot add was Mike Fiers (+62%). The Brewers hurler has posted a 9.5 K/9 and a 1.8 BB/9 since filling in for Matt Garza in the Milwaukee rotation. The strikeouts are no fluke, as he posted a K/9 of 11.4 in Triple-A this season. While his FIP is a run higher than his current ERA and Steamer is projecting a 3.60 ERA from this point forward, Fiers remains a great pickup for the stretch run. It will be interestinge to see what Milwaukee does with their rotation when Garza returns since both Fiers and Jimmy Nelson have been solid in his absence. It’s likely that Nelson will be the odd man out and moved to the bullpen while Fiers remains in the rotation. He has certainly earned it. Fiers has won all four of his starts, striking out 32 batters in 28 innings and allowing only four earned runs. As some starters begin to see their innings limited or fade due to fatigue down the stretch, Fiers can help fantasy teams finish strong.

Here are this week’s other big adds and drops in 2014 fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If Miggy were a Russian nesting doll, the first doll under him would be Avisail Garcia. They look like so similar they could do Sister, Sister-type stunts. “I don’t want to face Felix Hernandez today, you take my jersey and you face him…Then take my algebra exam.” “Okay, sis, but you have to go out with Bobby for me. Pinky swear!” That’s them conspiring to use their physical similarities on unsuspecting people. (Bee tee dubya, I’ve never seen an episode of Sister, Sister, and if I missed the general gist of the show, I apologize to all the prankster twins reading for generalizing. But, I will say, twins should apologize for looking similar, it’s disconcerting. The first time you see them you have to ask yourself, “Am I on peyote right now? No, I’m not, I’m looking at a twin.” Any the hoo!) Comparing him to Miggy doesn’t give the whole picture of Avisail. Well, it does, but, okay, bad choice of words. It doesn’t tell you what kind of hitter Avisail is. He’s not a 40-homer hitter. At least not yet. He has some speed, even stole 20 bases one year in the minors, when he was only 18 years old. He also probably won’t hit for more than 25 homers all of next year. He can hit for a solid average. Last year, while only 21 years old for half the year (no, he doesn’t have two birthdays a year; I mean he was 21 for half the season), he hit .370 in the minors. He reminds me more of a young Matt Holliday — think around 25 HRs, 15 SBs and .315. Definitely someone I would be aggressive about in keepers. As for this year, now that he’s fully recovered from his torn labrum, an injury that sounds like it would happen to a gymnast, he’s someone I’d look at in all leagues. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

#75 Robbie Grossman (L) – Hou – OF – @NYY (McCarthy-R) – 1:05 PM – 1% owned

The answer is… it doesn’t matter. You’re adding him to your fantasy lineup, not wining and dining the poor fella. As far as I’m concerned, the grosser the better.  I’d add two of him if I could on Thursday, when he squares off against Brandon McCarthy in Yankee Stahdium. Lefties hit cheapos there all the time, and as a lefty, Grossman is a decent bet to do just that. Overall, he has been pretty abysmal this year, but in the past week he’s been hot fire flames with a .308 average, one homer and five RBI. For what it’s Wuertz (what ever happened to that guy?), Hitter-Tron thinks there’s a 1-in-11 chance Grossman goes yard. Good luck finding another player available in 99 percent of RCL’s with those odds, Tom Dwan.

Here are a few more options for your streaming pleasure:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
After a disappointing first half Norichika Aoki has really turned it on, resulting in a +46% spike in ownership which made him this week’s most added player. Most fantasy owners invested in the Royals’ outfielder expecting a high average, lots of runs scored, and a steals total somewhere in the twenties. But prior to the All-Star break, Aoki was hitting a ho-hum .260 with seven steals (four caught stealing) and only 36 runs in 306 plate appearances. On top of that he suffered a groin injury and was promptly released by many frustrated fantasy teams. The 32-year-old right-fielder’s recent play has made some of those same teams turn around and pick him right back up though. In his last eight games he has recorded eight runs scored, six runs batted in, and five steals. Regaining his role at the top of the lineup for the first-place Royals, Aoki should continue to see good counting stats moving forward. In leagues as shallow as ten teams Aoki is a worthwhile add during his current hot streak. Here are this week’s other big adds and drops in 2014 fantasy baseball…
Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yeah, last week I told you to buy Kris Bryant. This week it’s Jorge Soler. Next week, it’ll probably be Jody Davis Jr. After that, we’re all going to move to the north side of Chicago, get one of those beef sandwiches they say are Italian that don’t look like anything any Italian I know would eat, then we’ll chow down on some pizza that could double as mattress padding and we’ll say da instead of the. Chicago’s my kind of fantasy prospect town. The only reason why I’m talking about these Cubs prospects — well, not the only reason, but a good reason — it’s late in the year and prospects are called up on September 1st. Specificlly talking about Cubs prospects, because I want to get in a Hot Tub Time Machine with them and go back one minute every other minute so I can stretch out my time with them. Like a real romantic! So, on Jorge Soler. He’s hot butter on Oprah’s thigh with Stedman moving in. Sexy and weirdly erotic. Soler, Bryant and Baez are like 1A, 1B, there’s no 1C and 1D. Soler missed a month earlier in the year with a hamstring injury, but he’s been fine for a while now. Shoot, I’d even say F-I-N-E, fine. He has some slight speed, 30-homer power and a .280 average. Basically, every All-Star outfielder of the last ten years. Unlike Bryant, Theo hasn’t said Soler won’t come up. Soler almost definitely will. Grabbing a guy with something to prove with this much talent, this is what H2H leagues are won with! Or any leagues, for that matter. Look at Baez, he’s on a 70-homer pace. What, you don’t want 70 homers? I’d stash Soler now. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?