I realize that some of you beautiful people out there may have your H2H Championship this week, and I don’t want to leave any of you hanging! If you have read this article all season long, you know that you should always play your studs! Don’t get too cute, they have gotten you this far. This is designed to give you that competitive edge that feels like cheating but isn’t! It’s the first time a Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contestant introduced a glass of water to dip the bun. Dip those buns, Razzballers! (Welcome new readers who googled Nathan’s Buns. Sorry, it didn’t produce what you were looking for. You can find those pics on page 11).
Welcome back from Page 11. Now let’s turn our focus to your Championship Week! I would love to see everyone’s championship score! Screenshot it to me @natemarcum on Twitter. I will enter all winners into a drawing for a nice little prize!
WHAT TO LOOK FOR!
- Favorable Schedules
- SPARP(S) & 2-Start Pitchers
- R/L Matchups To Exploit
SPARP(S) OF THE WEEK & 2-START PITCHERS
Bailey Falter-SP/RP-PHI (@WSH) (26% rostered in Yahoo)- Falter will remain in the rotation, while Syndergaard will work in a relief role or as an opener for the remainder of the regular season. Falter will get the start this week against the Nats. Falter has been solid with wins in 5 of his past 6 starts. The Nats remain a team that has struggled at home against lefties over the past 2 months, and this shouldn’t be any different. Look for Falter to go at least 5 with solid ratios, and most importantly, the W!
Michael Lorenzen-SP/RP (vOAK) (13% rostered in Yahoo)- Mentioned in last week’s article, Lorenzen pitched well enough to pick up the needed W against a tough Mariners team. This week, Lorenzen will get a much easier assignment against the AAAA’s. Oakland serves as a “plus” matchup with a 25% K-rate to go along with a middling .689 OPS.
Roansy Contreras-SP-PIT (vCIN/@STL) (21% rostered in Yahoo)- This will be an interesting 2-start option for fantasy managers. The 1st start against Cincy is enticing. Contreras has faced the Reds twice already, but neither of the starts has been at home, where he is nearly a full run better in ERA. Before the most recent start vs NYY, he had a 1.65 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 11% K-BB over his previous 5 starts. The 2nd start is a little more of a conundrum. Contreras is 1-0 vs StL but comes with a near 5.00 ERA. Add in the fact that this is scheduled to be against Wainwright in potentially his final regular season start at home.
Nick Lodolo-SP-CIN (@PIT/@CHC) (53% rostered in Yahoo)- Lodolo was a little wild in his last start vs BOS, walking three and hitting another 3, but had not walked a batter in his previous two starts. Lodolo will look to get back to his accurate ways when he gets two starts against the Pirates and the Cubs. If he can keep the walks in check, his K-upside is enormous this week. If you go back to Aug 1st, his 66 K’s are tied for 9th in MLB, but if we just narrow the scope to the month of September, he is 2nd, only trailing Spencer Strider.
Joey Wentz-SP-DET (vKC/vMIN) (3% rostered in Yahoo)- Scoreless in 3 of his last 4 matchups, Wentz will look to keep it going this week. Wentz could be a sneaky add for solid ratios with two above-average matchups at home. Wentz has previously faced the Royals and Twins, going a combined 10 2/3 innings and allowing only 3 hits and 1 BB while striking out 9. Even if you don’t 100% trust the Tigers, picking up Wents to prevent your opponent is a solid strategy.
Bailey Ober-SP-MIN (vCWS/@DET) (25% rostered in Yahoo)- Has been successful in his two starts since returning from the IL. Ober’s start in CHI is less than desirable as the Sox have found their groove offensively over the past month. If you can make daily adds, I would recommend skipping this start and focusing on the start in Detroit. Ober has been a much better pitcher on the road, nearly a full 2 runs less in ERA (4.89 vs 3.00).
R/L Matchups to Exploit
LaMonte Wade, 1B/OF, SF (3% rostered in Yahoo)- Wade might not have had the season that he had hoped, but appears to be finishing strong. Since Sept. 1st, Wade has been hitting the ball extremely well (.286) and has returned to the top of the lineup. The Giants will host the Rockies and the D’Backs along with a string of right-handed pitchers, which would benefit Wade. While Wade won’t get you the HR or the RBI, if you are routinely falling behind in Runs, he is your guy. (10 R in Sept)
Nick Gordon, 2B, SS, OF, MIN (29% rostered in Yahoo)- Gordon is looking to finish up a relatively strong season with a very strong finish. Since 9/1, Gordon has reached base safely in 15 of the 20 games, resulting in a .286 ave to go along with a .338 OBP. During that stretch, he has swatted 3 HR, drove in 11 runs, and has scored 6 runs on his own. The Twins will face plenty of RHP, which suits Gordon well, considering he has hit .298 with 8 of his 9 HR from the left side.
Kiké Hernandez, 2B/OF, BOS (14% rostered in Yahoo)- If you are in need of a 2B or MI for the final week, look in Kiké’s direction. The Red Sox are one of the fortunate teams to play 7 games, with all of them coming against RHP. Not typically the solid hitter vs RHP, but since 9/1 he has hit .263 as well as being Top 10 among 2B in R & RBI during that stretch.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, SS, NYY (27% rostered in Yahoo)- IKF is seeing plenty of ABs as of late, and taking full advantage of them. Since 9/1, he has seen 63 PAs, with 44 of them against RHP, which contrary to most, is to his benefit. During that time, he has been a man on a mission, crushing RHP to the tune of .341 with a sudden surge of power (2HR). While the power most likely won’t stay, the speed is always present (5SB over past 15 games).
Rodolfo Castro, 2B/3B/SS, PIT (25% rostered in Yahoo)- Rodolfo has grabbed a hold of an everyday job and inserted himself right into the heart of that Pirates offense. The Pirates will see 4 LHP this upcoming week, and Castro is ready to pounce. Very few have been as dangerous against lefties since 9/1 as Castro (3HR/7RBI)
Myles Straw, OF, CLE (22% rostered in Yahoo)- If you don’t have Myles yet, I have to believe you don’t need SBs. If that is the case, you can move on. If not, pick him up anyways to prevent your opponent from grabbing him.
Nate Eaton, 3B, KC (2% rostered in Yahoo)- Ride the hot hand…well feet. He has stolen 5 bases over the past 5 games.
Harrison Bader, OF, NYY (34% rostered in Yahoo)- Has the starting job since returning from the IL. It appears the plantar fasciitis is not bothering Bader, as he was running rampant during his rehab starts. Has hits in each of his first 3 games.
Bubba Thompson, OF, TEX (30% rostered in Yahoo)- 15 SB in his first 36 games. The Rangers lead all of MLB in SBs, and don’t expect Thompson to get any red lights on the base paths.
Dylan Moore, OF, SEA (2% rostered in Yahoo)- Moore has been anything but a fantasy league winner, but there is a chance he could help you secure your championship. With J-Rod apparently going to miss some time with a back injury, it should be Moore seeing the majority of the ABs this week. The speedy OF will see a handful of lefties and have the luxury of testing the basepaths against the Rangers, who have allowed the 5th most SB on the season.
SAGNOF (PART DEUX)
Domingo Acevedo, RP, OAK (9% rostered in Yahoo)- Acevedo has now converted the past 4 save chances for the A’s.
Brandon Hughes, RP, CHC (19% rostered in Yahoo)- Cubs’ most trusted reliever. Might see some high-leverage inning holds, but the most likely source for a SV in Chicago.
Jose Leclerc, RP, TEX (32% rostered in Yahoo)- Has recorded 5 saves over the past 30 days. 19 K’s during that stretch also!