We are really getting down to crunch time now with only a handful of games left in the season. And honestly, that makes it really tricky to decide who to start. Obviously, you start your studs, but you didn’t need me to tell you that. Dance with the one who bought you after all. Don’t worry, we’ll still be going through the hottest hitters of the last couple weeks. Setting the right lineup is more important now than ever and to help with that I highly recommend Rudy’s tools for individual start–sit decisions. Since this is the final push to the championship, we will also be checking in on some guys you may have picked up over the course of the season but may still have doubts about trusting them to take you home. Football season is upon us (we have great content for that too BTW) but you’re here to finish out baseball season. And I’m here for that. So I guess we’re all here, or there. Wherever we are, these hitters are hot.
Jake McCarthy – Covered him last week and he’s done nothing but hit since then. For those keeping score at home, that’s four straight 20 plus point weeks. He’s batting .317 with 3 home runs over the past two weeks and doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down. Still more of a speed guy than a power guy but he does have some pop and a very solid batting average. If you weren’t sold on him before you should be ready to buy now.
Yandy Diaz – I hope you trust him by now even though he’s not the prototypical points league hitter. He doesn’t have much power (8 on the year) and he doesn’t steal bases (2) but he makes very good contact (.289 on the year and .419 the past two weeks). However, when you add that to his 32 doubles you get a whole bunch of fantasy points. Despite his strong season numbers, he remains available in about 25% of leagues which is shocking because he’s been a top 30 hitter. That’s not something you usually find on the wire this late in the season and if you can grab him I would feel very confident in his ability to help you close out the season.
Michael A. Taylor – Here’s a deeper cut, Taylor is pretty much free right now. He’s batting .333 with 3 home runs the past two weeks and that’s pretty darn good. Back-to-back weeks of at least 20 points should get your attention at the very least. That said I still can’t recommend him as anything more than a guy on a hot streak, but if you find yourself in dire straits… you could do worse than a guy who plays more often than not.
TJ Friedl – A guy batting .545 over the past week is certainly eye-popping. That he has also chipped in 2 of his 5 dongs over that stretch is even better. You’re definitely rolling the dice with him but he has been surface of the sun hot. Actually, he might be even hotter than that. Might as well swing for the fences.
Lane Thomas – Might just be a hot streak but in deeper leagues, that’s exactly what you hope for. The batting average has been solid recently and he even has some home runs and doubles in his bat. He’s been playing every day and while that hasn’t always translated into big points, we have seen him go on hot stretches before. He has talent and he has opportunity so who’s to say he won’t close the season on a heater?
Cal Raleigh – If you need help behind the plate I really hope you picked up Adley Rutschman because he’s the bees’ knees or the cat’s meow. Whatever analogy floats your boat he’s great. Raleigh is no Adley but over the last two weeks, their point totals are very close. In week 22 Cal was an absolute monster putting up 33.5 points on CBS. Naturally, that week was an outlier and he doesn’t always make contact (batting .210 for the season) but he does have power and plays as close to every day as a catcher can. Should you find yourself in need, he is a fine option.
Nick Pratto – If you can get past his poor average and the streaky performances that go along with it, Pratto has big upside. As a rookie, some struggles are to be expected but with back-to-back strong weeks, he may be adjusting to the show. He does lose some appeal if your league punishes for strikeouts because even over this recent stretch he has some negative point games. That’s not entirely shocking for a rookie with a power bat. The good news is that he has been showing off his power with 7 home runs and doubles since his call-up. He’s definitely a gamble given his strikeouts but he is showing signs of improvement and there’s a lot to like about him.
Joey Meneses – Cooled after monster week as expected. However, he still plays every day and keeps putting up solid point totals. Deep league guy, but useful.
Lars Nootbaar – Over 20 points four weeks in a row and hit the 40 point mark a few weeks ago. Of course, his last week has not gone so well for him with multiple negative games. You hate to see that but you really hate to see him ride the pine against lefties after playing darn near every day. I’m still in on him but it does limit his appeal for weekly formats. I’m very interested to see how he closes out the season and he could be a target next year.
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