One of the most unlikely stories of the 2015 season has been the surprising renaissance of 35-year-old southpaw Rich Hill (+30.9%), who was ESPN’s most added player over the past week. In three September starts, Hill is 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA, 0.52 WHIP and 30/2 K/BB ratio over 23 innings. He’s logged 10 strikeouts in each of those outings, which represent his first MLB starts since 2009 due to injuries and control issues (5.95 BB/9 from 2010-14). In terms of impressive comebacks, this one has to rank somewhere between that of Super Mario (the hockey player, not the plumber) and Kim Kardashian. Hill is scheduled to pitch once more this season on Thursday in The House Next to the House That Ruth Built in what appears to be a tough matchup for the comeback kid. However, the Yankees have the 4th worst team wOBA (.303) in MLB during the month of September thanks to a pedestrian .232/.302/.394 triple slash line which places them in the bottom four in each of those individual statistical categories during that span. I think that the Bombers will have some trouble with the curve. I know that Clint Eastwood baffles me these days.
Here are a few other significant adds and drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:
Jake Peavy – 33.6% owned (+11.4%)
Do you remember when Peavy dominated the National League en route to winning the Cy Young Award in 2007? I’m sure that those of you who were Padres fans and/or won fantasy leagues thanks to that performance (thanks Jake!) certainly do. The good news is that you’ll always have those precious memories to cherish. The bad news? Peavy isn’t the same dominant pitcher that he was eight years ago. That doesn’t mean that he can’t help your team make another championship run during the final days of the regular season. Peavy has been one of MLB’s best pitchers in September, going 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA, 0.76 WHIP and a 23/4 K/BB ratio in 31 2/3 innings (5 GS). He’s been especially good at home, where he’s logged 7 quality starts in his last 8 outings including allowing 2 earned runs or less in 6 of those starts. His last scheduled start of the season is on Saturday at home against the Rockies, who have produced the worst wOBA (.281) and 2nd highest strikeout rate (24.3%) of any MLB team on the road this season. TREASURE.
Erik Johnson – 17.7% owned (+9.4%)
I get why fantasy owners might be interested in streaming Johnson. In 5 starts this month, he’s struck out 26 hitters in just 28 2/3 innings and has a solid 3.45 ERA over that span. Dig a little bit deeper though and you’ll discover that he’s issued 14 walks and allowed 7 home runs as well. The HR rate seems abnormally high but control issues are nothing new for him (40 walks in 80 MLB innings). Streaming Johnson could lead to Johnson streaming all over your ratios when it matters most. TRASH.
Ketel Marte – 17.0% owned (+9.3%)
For this bonus pick, I’ll stick with the most added list and feature Marte since the most dropped side is a complete dumpster fire. Anyway, you can call this the bonus SAGNOF pick of the week. Marte has thrived since being promoted and inserted into the everyday leadoff spot for the Mariners, producing a .281/.347/.412 triple slash with 23 runs, 2 homers, 16 RBI, and 7 steals in 52 games. Both of his homers and all but one of his steals, however, have come in his last 33 games, putting him on a 10/30 full season pace. In reality, he’s more of a 5 homer player, but he certainly has 25-30 steal speed (20 SBs this season prior to his call-up; 29 SBs in 2014). Think of him as a young Alcides Escobar. Need steals? Sip on some Ketel-One. TREASURE.