As the season prepares to head into its final week everyone is fascinated by Aaron Judge and his quest for the AL home run record. It certainly adds a layer of intrigue and has led to some rousing discussion in the Razzball Writers chat as to whether Judge is more deserving of the MVP award than two-way star Shohei Ohtani. So who is the fantasy MVP? If you’re in an ESPN standard league, there’s no debate at all. Shohei’s two-way status has him a shocking 247 points ahead. Case closed then. Well not so fast if you’re in a CBS league where Judge finds himself with a 200 point lead. Then it’s not so clear cut because Shohei gives you great hitting and great pitching at the cost of only a single roster spot. And that’s the gist of the debate. Judge has been incredible at the plate but Shohei has been damn good at the plate and damn good on the mound at the same time. We’ll dive more into fantasy MVPs once the regular season has wrapped up but for now, there’s still a championship to chase and that means you might find yourself in need of a last-minute replacement. Now is the time to take full advantage of your league’s pitching limits, especially in daily formats. It may feel wrong but once your pitcher has made his last start for the season it is a good strategy to drop him for a streamer. Of course, make sure to balance your streaming against whatever pitching starts or innings limit is in place. Whatever that limit is, make sure you hit it. Take full advantage of the Streamonator to help you pick the best options. Now on to the hitters, options are a bit more limited but there are still options out there.
Elvis Andrus – He was first up on this list last week and finds himself there again today. That makes three strong weeks in a row now. Seems like the move to Chicago was good for him and he’s putting up some of the best numbers of his career. Great to see that he’s rediscovered his power stroke because that’s just what you want. Even if you’re set at shortstop you might try to squeeze him into your middle infield slot. You don’t want to see that hotness on the wire or worse, on your opponent’s squad.
Tony Kemp – Not the sexiest name out there, especially for points due to his light power numbers. Well, he’s got 3 the past two weeks so clearly he’s capable of some spurts of power. Right now he’s getting on base at a great clip and can show off his speed. Not the primary way we like to score points but those steals start to add up. That makes him still more of a deeper league guy but he does have some nice positional flexibility with his eligibility at both second base and outfield.
Harrison Bader – Lost in the hubbub surrounding Judge’s quest for 62 was Bader’s debut in pinstripes. It was his first action since his injury and he looked pretty darn good. He has speed and some pop. In that lineup, he could make a big splash to close out the season.
Oscar Gonzalez – I’m recommending him again because he’s still swinging a hot bat. He posted back to back strong weeks with 4 home runs over that stretch. Pair that with a batting average approaching .350 and you’ve got a guy who can help you finish your championship quest.
Carlos Santana – Ready for a blast from the past? Carlos has 7 bombs in the past 14 games and has really been on a power binge with 5 in the past week. Those are the kinds of numbers that put you over the top, especially with some friendly matchups on the docket.
Gunnar Henderson – The top prospect has looked right at home against major league pitching, flashing the talent that earned him top prospect status. It is still a small sample size but he has shown that he can do a bit of everything with power, speed and a .320 batting average. He’s looking like a guy I will be very interested in next season.
Bryan De La Cruz – I liked him as a sleeper coming into the season and while that hasn’t quite panned out, he has started to show why I believed in him in the first place. He’s on a strong run to finish the season. He can hit for some power and bat for a strong average as evidenced by his 3 dongs and .324 average over the past two weeks. Not bad for a guy who is widely available.
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