Man, I have not watched a Braves game in a frog’s leap, but lemme tell you, Freddie Freeman takes batting seriously. It is no joke when he steps to the plate. First off, Too Close by Alex Clare is his walkup song. Not a bad choice to set a  dramatic tone. What happens is Freeman enters the batter box, takes a quick glance back at the catcher and umpire, as if he’s making sure they’re still there. Then he swivels his head around ever-so-slowly until it faces the pitcher directly, coming to a dramatic stop. After a quick smirk like he knows something you don’t, he assumes his batting stance and awaits to clobber the heck out of whatever you’re about to throw. Since breaking out big in 2012, Freeman has mostly repeated those numbers this year, albeit with a small amount of regression involved. Without an injury history to speak of, Freeman’s the kind of high-floor player that may not be able to win your league outright, but won’t prevent you from winning either.

With that epithet on Freeman aside (I did literally just watch an at-bat of his and spur of the moment wrote about it), let’s see who’s available and who’s retailable in this edition of Lineup Maximizer.

# 34 Cody Ross (R) – Ari– OF – @Col (Morales-L) – 8:40 PM – 0% owned

Ross has probably faded from memory as a useful blahtoon option since he’s had all of 188 at-bats this year. But if you remember, Ross was one of the first guys people would utilize in platoons due to his lefty-slaying abilities. “Dude, I’ve gotten a .310 average and 22 homers by platooning Ross and Seth Smith. What has Jose Tabata done for you lately?” was a statement the hippie in your league might have said back in 2012. Fast forward two years and the hippie’s neck skin might have distended a couple inches, but Thursday night he could be saying the same things about Ross and Smith.

#139 Justin Turner (R) – LAD– 1B/2B/SS/3B – @CHN (Wada-L) – 8:05 PM – 40% owned

It’s probably because Turner got his start with the Mets that I’ve always been a little skeptical of his ability to hit baseballs. At this point, I’ve got to do a 180  and admit he’s carved out a niche in the Dodgers lineup and has un sacco di talent. The Dodgers are riding on the Southpaw Express this week, facing lefties in five of seven, none of whom are particularly fearsome. Last night  Turner had a two-RBI double and figuring he sits tonight, I’d expect to see his golden locks fly around the bases Thursday in that Chicago wind. Consider Juan Uribe if also available.

Michael McKenry (R) – Col– C – vs Ari (Nuno-L) – 8:40 PM – 1% owned

Quick! Which catcher leads all catchers with a .915 OPS this year? No, three girl readers, the answer is not Buster Posey. “Who is Michael McKenry?” is the correct response. (I’m pissed I missed the finale of the Jeopardy! Battles of the Decade, does anyone know who won that?) Anyways, I expect McKenry to draw the start Thursday. In one catcher leagues you better have a stud or be willing to stream.

#108 Yangervis Solarte (R) – SDP– 2B/SS/3B – vs Ari (Nuno-L) – 8:40 PM – 1% owned

PSA regarding Yangervis, whose name I’m still getting used to, he should be picked up again in all leagues. The Gerv was worth owning at the start of the year then cooled off. Then he was traded to the Padres and worth owning until he cooled off again. Now riding a six game hitting streak, he’s back on that horse and makes your roster that much more flexible. Hot!

#164 Brad Miller (L) – Sea– 2B/SS – @LAA (Weaver-R) – 10:05 PM – 45% owned

Yup, another middle infielder for you. Over the last two weeks, Miller’s been playing like Grey fantasizes about batting .310 with a homer and steal. Weaver’s not a great matchup, in particular because he’s coming off a 12(!) strikeout performance in his last start, but within the confines of Grey’s head anything is possible.

Best of luck over the final two weeks of the season for those still in contention. May your closers not give up three run homers with two run leads with two outs in the ninth like mine do.

 

 
  1. Grey

    Grey says:
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    “but within the confines of Grey’s head anything is possible.”

    My Wikipedia page is longer than Carson from Fangraphs in the confines of my head.

  2. I asked Grey these exact questions on his page. Im desperate for answers. Well I’m having trouble deciding on my own lets say. Our I wouldn’t be asking right. Right. Jose Ramirez or Flores for MI. And Austin Jackson or AJ Pollack 7×7 ops and Ks as a negative. Head to head. I like Pollacks weekend in Coors. Your thoughts

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @Dnut eastwood: Happy to be of service Dnut. I think Pollock is the clear-cut option there. With the other two, Flores has the hot hand thing going for him, but also has two offs days while Ramirez plays everyday. If you have deep enough rosters where you could fill in on the off days, I’d go Flores.

  3. What about Charlie Blackmon? Had a great night tonight. Nice to be home in Coors Field! Just picked him up for this week on Sky’s advice and working out nicely so far!

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @madden_curser: Not the stud he was in April but can’t argue with 20 homers, 30 steals and a .280 average on the season. Should be owned everywhere fasho.

  4. Sam "CrimeDogs" says:
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    hello all

    w a 10-0 lead in my semi, i’m getting my team ready for next week vs the guy who finished 2nd to me in regular season.

    just added degrom for shoemaker and picked up carrasco as he’s got 2 starts in last week and dropped cobb for him.

    picked up pollock for stubs don’t like that stubbs doesnt play everyday and like that pollock is going to play some games in col

    now need to fix my 2B situation…mookie betts will be eligible in yahoo at 2B after his next game there. do i add him or danny santana or … jody mercer

    thanks

    • paul

      paul says:
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      D-Santan is a monster, I’d go with him.

  5. Sam "CrimeDogs" says:
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    for my championship week next week I only have Johnny Cueto pitching 2 times.

    Strasburg, Keuchel, DeGrom, McHugh, Y. Petit and Arrieta (is he a 2 start next week or not?) are all looking to go 1 time.

    D. Duffy, G. Cole, Y. Ventura, R. Porcello, F. Liriano and J. Odorizzi are all looking to go 2 times based on fact that they start on Monday Sep 22 or Tuesday Sep 23 and their teams play everyday so should get a 2nd start on Saturday Sep 27 or Sunday Sep 28.

    Group 1
    Strasburg, Keuchel, DeGrom, McHugh, Y. Petit and Arrieta

    Group 2
    D. Duffy, G. Cole, Y. Ventura, R. Porcello, F. Liriano and J. Odorizzi

    Is anyone from Group 2 worth ADDING to my roster to get those 2 starts by DROPPING from Group 1???

    Thanks a lot

    • paul

      paul says:
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      I prefer to take things one day at a time this late in the season, meaning what I say now could be different from what I’d say Sunday night. Of group 2 I’d be most likely to promote Yordano and demote Keuchel from group 1, but all these pitchers are reasonably close. Anything can happen.

  6. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    or like doolittle give up 5 runs with 1 run leads in the finals. that called safe at third was utter b.s, replay clearly showed foot off bag while tag was applied. should’ve only been 4 earned runs, but either way doolittle could have gotten me 2nd.

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: I thought so too at first, but then if you focused only when Donaldson had the tag on, his foot could have been sliding along the top of the base. So it goes.

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