We’ve reached the home stretch. If your lineup needs a short shot in the arm heading down the stretch, look no further than Samwell Tarly lookalike, Rowdy Tellez (23.9% ESPN, 20% CBS). The Blue Jays’ power lefty has been on a tear of late and has made some really impressive gains in the plate discipline department. Tellez has cut his strikeout rate nearly in half thanks to a lowered O-Swing rate and an increased Z-Contact rate. For the year, he sports a .383 wOBA and has managed to hit lefties pretty hard. That’s kept his bat in the lineup full time. Just take a look at his Baseball Savant page, it’s full of “Red”. Tellez currently sits as the 14th ranked first-baseman on the ESPN Player Rater and has provided positive contributions in every category except stolen bases. I was very surprised to see Rowdy as low owned as he was, so scoop him up now and ride the hot hand! Let’s take a look at some other pickups to help you down the stretch.
Brad Miller, 3B (26.8% ESPN, 49% CBS) – I’ll admit, I am late to the Brad Miller party. I guess I just didn’t see the 30-year old re-breaking out as his 26-year old self did in 2016. Oddly enough, Miller has been a source of consistency for the Cardinals in 2020. He’s managed to walk at a 17.3% clip and when he swings, Miller has been crushing the ball. According to Baseball Savant, Miller is in the 95th percentile in barrel rate and 99th percentile in xwOBA. Like Tellez, Brad Miller has provided positive contributions in every category except steals. With the Cardinals playing catchup from their long COVID break, the team will play 25 games over the next 21 days.
Daniel Bard, RP (27.2% ESPN, 23% CBS) – If you’re desperate for saves and not afraid of Coors, Daniel Bard is your guy. The Rockies had been going with a “closer by committee”, but Bard has taken over the duties in the 9th inning. Over the last two weeks, Bard has five saves and picked up a win while allowing just one earned run. Obviously, with Bard pitching for the Rockies, there is some downside – home park and well, the Rockies aren’t a great team – but if you’re searching for saves and Bard is available, time to grab him.
The Coors Report – Looking ahead to the end of this week, the Angels get a three-game set in Colorado. If you’re streaming catchers, make sure to grab Max Stassi (8.7% ESPN, 14% CBS) for Sunday’s matchup against Kyle Freeland. For the year, Stassi has destroyed lefties posting a .444 wOBA while mashing four homers. Andrelton Simmons (9.6% ESPN, 30% CBS) has returned from the IL and is hitting for average and a trip to Coors will do nothing to slow that down. Finally, if for some reason Justin Upton (43.3% ESPN, 48% CBS) is still out there on your wire, pick him up. He’s finally come around and is batting .371 with three homers over the last two weeks.
Dane Dunning, SP (15.9% ESPN, 40% CBS) – Dunning’s last start was not fantastic as he allowed three runs over 4.2 IP to the Royals. Walks were his biggest issue as he allowed four free passes. However, I’m going right back to Dunning in his next start against the Pirates on Wednesday. Over the last 14 days, the Pirates have posted a team wOBA of .274 which ranks last in the league. I expect Dunning to rebound in a big way.
Jake Arrieta, SP (15.2% ESPN, 45% CBS) – This is pretty boring as Arrieta isn’t going to throw up a flashy stat line. However, the veteran righty gets a matchup against the Marlins on Thursday. Considering the Marlins have posted a .277 team wOBA over the last 14 days while striking out at a 26.8% clip, I’d expect a good day from Arrieta. He should be able to help in ratios and be in line for a “W”.
Tommy Milone, SP/RP (5.8% ESPN, 14% CBS) – Milone had a rough start to his Braves career, getting blown up by the Phillies on August 30th. However, he had a nice rebound start against the Nationals his last time out allowing just one earned run over four innings. Milone faces the Marlins on Wednesday and should be able to provide you with some strikeouts to go along with good ratios. If he goes deep enough, he may even give you a shot at a win.
Alex Young, SP/RP (2.7% ESPN, 21% CBS) – Here’s our “close your eyes and pray” play this week. Alex Young gets a matchup with the Mariners on Friday. For the most part, Young has been fairly consistent but did struggle with his control two starts ago against the Dodgers. However, the Mariners are not the Dodgers. Over the last 14 days, the Mariners have posted a team wOBA of .291 against left-handed pitching. As long as Young can limit the walks, he should provide you with a sneaky stream this week. Good luck!