Can you believe it’s September already? With just under four weeks to go until the end of the MLB regular season, it’s time to push your chips all-in. Outside of the elite players, everyone is expendable in redraft leagues from this point on. If you want to make that final surge up the standings before it’s too late, production trumps reputation. Nursing a sore wrist? Thanks for the memories, Marcell Ozuna. Looking for more than a .220 average with mediocre counting stats out of your #5 outfielder? See you later, Josh Reddick. Need some ratio relief down the stretch? Adios, Marco Estrada. The problem is that trade deadlines have passed and the waiver wire is looking pretty thin at this point of the season. Who are you going to replace these players with? Fortunately, the recent roster expansion has allowed for a fresh influx of rookie talent at this key time in the fantasy season. The youngsters who were held down in the minors earlier this summer for some extra seasoning (or to delay their arbitration clocks) are being called up to get a taste of the big leagues. This week’s most added player, Boston Red Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada (39.6% owned; +33.3% over the past week), is a prime example of the upsidey September call-up. Moncada is about as toolsy as it gets – plus-plus speed (94 steals over the last year and a half in the minors), above average power (.254 ISO in Triple-A), and a patient approach at the plate (double digit walk rates at every level) – which has made him one of the top prospects in all of baseball. His plus throwing arm has allowed the Sox to move him over to third base from his natural position of second base as well. The one caveat is that he strikes out. A lot. He’s already whiffed six times in his first fourteen MLB at-bats and his 30.9% K% in 207 Double-A plate appearances this season is a concern. That being said, it wouldn’t surprise me if he hit three homers and stole half a dozen bases over the season’s final month. Moncada is definitely worth adding for his upside alone.

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

Dylan Bundy: 46.9% owned; -5.8%

I touched on Bundy several weeks ago in this very space and determined that the combination of his likely innings limit, his home park, and tough division made him a risky bet for the remainder of this season. Following a nice five start stretch from July 22nd through August 12th (9.82 K/9, 1.53 BB/9, 0.92 HR/9, 1.84 ERA, 0.68 WHIP), he’s hit a bit of a rough patch over his last four starts (7.65 K/9, 5.85 BB/9, 1.80 HR/9, 5.40 ERA, 1.70 WHIP). The thing is that no much has changed for Bundy in recent weeks. His contact and swinging strike rates have been comparable over this recent stretch to his best one, and two of his matchups over that rough stretch (vs Boston; @ Yankees) were poor ones. If you need a streamer over the next few days, roll Bundy out there for his matchup in Tampa against the Rays tomorrow. TREASURE.

Seth Lugo: 22.3% owned; +18.5%

What’s going on with the Mets starting pitchers lately? Matt Harvey and Steven Matz are injured, Noah Syndergaard has had mysterious examinations performed on various parts of his pitching arm, and Jacob deGrom has struggled recently after experiencing a significant drop in velocity this season. Enter the unsung Seth Lugo. The 26-year-old minor league lifer has been given a spot in the starting rotation and he’s made the most of it thus far. In four starts since August 19th, Lugo has a 2.19 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in 24.2 innings. His K-rate (5.84 K/9) isn’t terribly impressive, but his walk (1.82 BB/9) and home run (0.73 HR/9) rates over that span certainly are. His velocity and control have both been impressive, and Lugo can spin it with the best of them. Keep an eye on the matchups here, but Lugo looks like a solid streaming option down the stretch. TREASURE.

  1. knucks says:
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    Looking for a QS this weekend.

    Rather stream Lugo or Colon against the Braves?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @knucks: Both are decent streams even though the Braves have been surprisingly good on offense recently. I’d give a slight edge to Colon due to his consistency and track record of going 6+ innings in most starts.

  2. Five-On-One says:
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    I own Moncado, but am way in last in steals. Is Moncado a better play than Adonis Garcia or Josh Bell (or the like), if steals are not valuable?

    I also own Lugo. I saw the matchups he has and grabbed him, although, as you point out, the Braves offense has not been horrible lately. SON has Lugo as -3.3 for his next start against ATL. Prefer him or Fulmer vBAL ($6.0) or Gsellman (also @ ATL)?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Five-On-One: I’d still roll with Moncado over players like Garcia and Bell. His power production is likely to be comparable to those guys and his upside is greater elsewhere.

      I like Lugo a bit more than Gsellman, but would still go with Fulmer there if you have to choose just one. Fulmer has slowed down a bit over the past few weeks but he’s still been very good. Baltimore has a better offense on paper but they haven’t hit better than Atlanta recently either.

  3. Noam says:
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    Do you think AJ Cole or de Leon get starts this week?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Noam: I think that Cole has a better shot. It all depends on the Strasburg/Kershaw return dates and whether or not the Dodgers will shut Urias down or move him to the pen.

  4. The Hack says:
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    By my estimate you are at 7 more posts. Let the countdown begin

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @The Hack: Haha, nice. I’m here til the end.

  5. Treva says:
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    In order to get Strasburg off my DL I need to drop one of my pitchers. We are in a points league with 5 for wins, -5 loss, -3 for HR allowed, -2 ER, -3 blown save, 5 Save, -1 BB, 1 K and -1 for hits allowed. Categories don’t matter and I’m looking for rest of season advice as this is week 1 of the playoffs. Who to drop out of Maeda, Wainwright, DeSclafani, Roberto Osuna, Pomeranz, Kyle Hendricks or Gausman?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Treva: Well I think that you have to keep Hendricks and Maeda. Gausman has been terrific lately, so he’s safe. You can use Osuna in place of starters who have bad matchups.

      That leaves Waino, DeSclafani, and Pomeranz. DeSclafani is on a bad team in a hitter’s park, but he has a good K/BB ratio and he keeps the ball in the yard. Waino has been inconsistent recently, but he pitches in a great park for a good team. Still has plus control too. Pomeranz racks up the Ks, but he’s a bit wild and has never thrown anywhere near this many innings in a season before. He has two wins and a 1.59 HR/9 in ten starts with Boston. He’d be my drop, assuming this is a redraft league.

      • Treva says:
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        @Big Magoo: Yes, it’s a redraft league. Thanks for the help!

        • Treva says:
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          @Treva: @Treva: Decided to peruse the waiver wire just in case, would you rather have Ivan Nova over any of those other guys? Carlos Rodon and Dylan Bundy are available too but I think Nova ranks higher than those 2. Any thoughts?

          • Big Magoo

            Big Magoo says:
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            @Treva: In a vacuum, I’d prefer Waino and DeSclafani over those other pitchers in your format, but if it’s an unlimited transaction league, you could play matchups with those last two pitcher spots. All of those guys are useful in the right matchups.

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