Brandon Finnegan pitched five innings allowing just three hits an earned run, two walks, while striking out four to notch his first win with the Cincinnati Reds last night. James Joyce would be so proud. Although his praise would be written in the form of a street ballad that would take years to completely analyze and understand. Finnegan was the big get in the Johnny Cueto deal with Kansas City and we are starting to see why. The 22-year old lefty showed good control with a low 90s fastball and nasty change up. Used primarily as a situational lefty with the Royals, the Reds are committed to stretching Finnegan out as a starter, and it looks like that decision could pay off in the long run. Brandon was sharp last night shutting down a strong Milwaukee offense and now holds a 2.38 ERA and 1.03 WHIP with a 29/16 K/BB rate. Finnegan is more of a name to keep in the back of your mind for your 2016 drafts but I could also see streaming him next week versus the Cardinals if you feel like gambling on some rookie nookie.
Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy baseball:
Marcus Stroman – 7.0 IP, 6 hits, ER, BB, 3 K, moves to 2-0. Stroman handles the Sox! In just his second start since returning from knee surgery, the Stromaniac looked even stronger than last week. Stroman is a player you are going to want to draft on every fantasy team next year, and no matter where you draft him he’ll probably be a steal. If he’s still available in your league I’d absolutely stream him against the Yankees next week.
Ryan Goins – 2-for-4, run, RBI. When the Goins get tough…err, the Blue Jays get Goins. He doesn’t offer a lot in terms of speed or power, but he’s got a four game hitting streak and is playing everyday in a stacked Jays line up. Do what you do!
Starlin Castro – 3-for-3, 2 HR (10), 6 RBI. Oh my! Starlin is batting .405 in the past two weeks with 10 runs, 4 homers, and 12 RBI. He’s batting .395 in September after struggling for the better part of the season. Coincidence that he starts to turn it on now that Baez is up and the Cubs are flush with talented young infielders? Just trade him to the Yankees already and be done with it.
Anthony Rizzo – 2-for-3, SB (17). Rizzo’s a 30-20 player, people! Just wanted to point that out. He is Goldschmidt next year. Aren’t you glad you drafted him?
Francisco Lindor – 3-for-5, 2 runs, HR (10). Hotter than a Rihanna video, hotter than a Kendrick Lamar lyric, hotter than a bowl of pho filled with very hot things, there ain’t much hotter than Francisco Lindor right now. He’s batting .464 in the past week with 5 runs, 2 homers, 8 RBI and a SB. I made the tough decision to grab Lindor over Corey Seager and I have yet to regret it. But honestly, I wish I could own both.
Cody Anderson – 6.2 IP, 5 hits, ER, 5 BB, 6 K and his 5th win. Cody isn’t blowing anyone away with his stats but he’s managed to win his third start in a row, and hasn’t given up more than 2 ER in a start since August 7. If you need a streamer next week, Cody has a decent match up in Minnesota.
Chris Sale – 7.0 IP, 8 hits, 7 ER, ER, 3 BB, 9 K. Sure, the runs were unearned, but he still gave up 2 home runs. You’re better than this, Chris!
Steve Pearce – 2-for-3, 3 runs, 2 HR (13), 3 RBI. If you are desperate for power, and I mean cliche 80’s movie villain desperate for power, Steve Pearce might be worth a look for your final fantasy days. He’s batting .158, but with 3 homers in the past week. Woof.
Miki Mahtook – 5-for-5, run. Hey Miki, you so fine! Getting hits, it blows my mind! Mahtook is batting .450 in the past week with 3 runs and 3 SB. I might take a flier while he’s hitting all the baseballs.
Drew Smyly – 5.2 IP, 4 hits, 5 ER, 3 BB, 6 K. After dominating the Red Sox last week, the Emoticon looked much more human last night. He gets the Sawx again in Boston next time up, but he’s a little to risky for my blood, which means he’ll probably pitch a shut out.
Max Scherzer – 7.0 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K. His name is Max. His world is blood and fire. You are supposed to beat the Marlins, Max. Come one. We’ll let it slide because he’s got a 2.90 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and that 237/29 K/BB ratio is very nice as well. Witness me!
Christian Yelich – 2-for-5, 2-run HR (7). In the past two weeks, Yelich has 10 runs, a homer, 7 RBI, SB and is batting .281. Not bad considering his awful start to the year, and he’s hitting .321 post-All Star break (versus .264 pre-break). Remember these things when he falls in your draft next year!
Steven Matz – 6.0 IP, 7 hits, ER, BB, 4 K, 4-0. You know, a six-man rotation really is a brilliant idea when you have six awesome young pitchers that all should be starting once a week, but when you don’t have six pitchers like this, it probably wouldn’t work as well, right?
Lucas Duda – 2-for-4, HR (22). Duda bides! Shomer shabbos!
Ketel Marte – 2-for-4, run, 2 RBI. Trying not to make a vodka joke here, but Ketel has a six game hitting streak with three straight multi-hit games and I think I am drunk in love. If you needs runs and average and a little bit a speed, Ketel is One to consider.
James Paxton – 4.1 IP, 6 hits, ER, 4 BB, 6 K. He has pitched okay in his two starts since returning from the DL, but he’s not going deep enough into games for me to recommend him as a streamer. I’m all in on Paxton for 2016 though!
Josh Reddick – 1-for-4, HR (19). JR is another A that has been hot fire. In the past week he’s batting .321 with 8 runs, 3 homers, 6 RBI, and 2 SB. Luckily for owners, Reddick knows to turn it on when it really counts, the fantasy playoffs! Woo!
Justin Verlander – 8.2 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, BB, 7 K. JV was killing it and allowed just one run until Alex Wilson (0.1 IP, 2 hits, ER, BS) came into the game to ruin his night. Here’s a pitcher that will be impossible for me to rank next year so I’m just going to have to avoid him completely.
Johnny Cueto – 7.0 IP 8 hits, 2 ER, BB, 4 K. Hey, remember the National League? Way cooler, right?
Salvador Perez – 3-for-5, 2-run HR (20). Sally Perez is the only catcher not named Kyle Schwarber that I might actually consider seriously thinking about the possibility of looking at the likelihood of drafting early. Still I don’t see it happening though.
Neil Walker – 2-for-4, HR (14). He is a hot little potato right now! In Pittsburgh they French Fry their potatoes and put them on everything they eat! You know what that kale salad needs don’t you? Some french fries on top. Yesssir! Walker’s batting .380 with a homer in the past week if you’re into that kind of thing.
Justin Ruggiano – 2-for-3, run, RBI, SB (1). I’m not sure Justin plays consistently enough for me to recommend him for anything more than a batty call, but he does seem to be hitting and homering and stealing, all things you look for in a good batty call!
Wil Myers – 2-for-5, 2 runs, HR (8). Oh hey! Where there’s a Wil, there’s a way! A way to win my fantasy league you say, by simply picking up Wil Myers? Would it really work like that? No, of course not, but Grey’s been telling you to BUY, and Myers has 3 homers and a steal in the past two weeks.
Chad Bettis – 5.0 IP, 4 hits, ER, BB, 6 K and his 8th win. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and any Rockies pitcher is generally a desperate measure. However, if you need a streamer for next week, Chad has been relatively good on the road, holds a 2.76 ERA in September and gets the Pirates next week.
Corey Seager – 1-for-4, 2-run HR (2). Oh, it’s you again! I’m sorry I went with Lindor over you. Honestly, I couldn’t decide and you were off Thursday, don’t take it personally, bruh! Can I buy you a Bud Lite? In the past two weeks, Corey Crush is batting .404 with 8 runs, 2 homers, 8 RBI and 2 steals. I love it when a player breaks out at the end of the year, after almost everyone has stopped paying attention to fantasy baseball, and are now focused on the excellent fantasy football coverage at football.razzball.com. Seager will probably be on all my teams next year, and I’ll probably even pick him over Lindor. This kid’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha!
Thanks for reading! Questions? Problems? Complaints to management? Advice, small gifts or large bribes? Please leave it in the comments below. Join us next Saturday for another Friday recap as fantasy baseball continues next week, all week long!