Good morning, afternoon, or evening, everyone! As we begin September, there will of course be a flurry of call-ups with rosters expanding, which should provide more options for those of us in deeper leagues. For now, though, let’s take a step towards the shallower end of the fantasy baseball pool, and look at a handful of players that not only should be owned in deeper leagues, but may have become mixed-league relevant for the time being as well. The players below are the most added in CBS leagues over the last week that have still stayed near the 50%-owned-or-less threshold: let’s make sure none of them are flying too far under the radar, regardless of league size.
Mark Canha. Staying under the radar Canha is not, seeing as he was named AL player of the week last week, and his ownership is up from 16% to 43%. As you can see his ownership has nearly tripled, and I can’t think of a reason it shouldn’t actually keep going up until he shows serious signs of cooling off. There’s no way he’ll be able to keep up anything close to his pace of late – over the last two weeks he’s hitting .422 with 5 homers and 12 RBI – but he should continue to play every day, especially with Stephen Piscotty out indefinitely and could help out at OF or 1B in even shallower leagues.
Adam Plutko. Plutko’s strikeout numbers are fairly terrifying, as he has just 47 Ks in 77.1 innings. But he is somehow making it work thanks in large part to a mere 12 walks allowed. His ERA isn’t pretty (4.54), but a 1.16 WHIP at this point in the season is worth taking note of, which folks are indeed doing: his CBS ownership has more than doubled from 22 to 48% in the last week as Plutko keeps rolling as a member of the Indians’ rotation.
Homer Bailey. I picked up Bailey a couple of weeks ago in a league where I didn’t have to worry about ERA/WHIP but just needed to try to grab some extra wins and strikeouts… of course, as the fantasy baseball gods would have it, Bailey has pitched better than pretty much all of the guys I have in my leagues where I AM concerned about things like ERA and WHIP. After a 7-run debacle in early August, Bailey has allowed just four runs over his last three starts combined, covering 18.2 innings. The rest of the world is taking notice, as his ownership has gone from 34% to 51% as the A’s continue their quest to make the post-season. It seems likely another blowup could be coming, but I’ve grabbed him in my shallowest league as a potential streamer, if nothing else, over the last month.
Matt Magill. Magill was a true deep-leaguer a week or two ago with a zero to 2% ownership depending on where you were looking, but that number has zoomed up to 21% in CBS leagues. Magill quietly converted four saves over a nine-day period for the Mariners, and though he did have an ugly two-run-without-getting-an-out appearance in the middle of that stretch, he hasn’t allowed a run in the other eight of his last nine appearances. Saves are saves no matter how deep the league – hmm, someone should could up with a catchy acronym to represent that notion!
Josh VanMeter. Everything about the Reds feels a little all over the place these days, but no reason not to try to mine a little fantasy gold out of such situations. VanMeter’s fantasy ownership was almost non-existent a few weeks ago, and now has gone from 24 to 37% in CBS leagues in the last week. He’s now hitting .285 (with a very attractive .372 OBP), with five homers and 6 steals in 151 at bats. If you need a guy who’s got some speed, some pop, and often starts in a major league lineup of guys that occasionally look like they are really good at hitting, VanMeter could be of assistance in a variety of leagues.
Freddy Galvis. Let’s stay in Cincinnati for a moment and quickly discuss the seemingly always-underappreciated Freddy Galvis. Did y’all know that he has 22 homers on the season? He’s also scored 64 runs, has 65 RBI, and has chipped in 4 steals to boot. The fantasy community must like his move to Cincinnati and is paying him at least some attention, because his CBS ownership has gone up from 36% to 45% in the last week. Needing someone to plug a hole in my middle infield spot in my shallowest league this week, I picked him up and played him at MI even with several more high-profile options available. I was partly looking for a little boost in average, and I always find guys like Galvis to be sneaky-helpful in that category. He rewarded me immediately with three hits, a homer and three RBI on Monday, and I think he has at least a shot at continuing to provide a little mixed-league value over the final weeks of 2019.
Adrian Houser. Houser had a pretty rough go of things in his first few starts after being moved from the Brewers’ bullpen to the rotation, but he’s settled in quite nicely since then. He’s doubled his CBS ownership from 26 to 52% over the last week, and his season numbers are downright respectable if not exciting: 3.62 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, with 85 Ks in 82 innings. He’s allowed just one earned run in each of his last three starts, (going 7, 6, and 5.1 innings) against some tough opposition (Rangers, Nationals, and Cardinals). If he can keep it going, he could be a legitimate mixed-league option the rest of the way in 2019, and may even be an early sleeper candidate heading into 2020.
Jon Berti. I just mentioned Berti last week, but his CBS ownership has already almost doubled again since then (from 10 to 18% ), and while he may not be a legit option for shallow mixed leagues, I think he could prove to be a nice fantasy piece for the medium-depth crowd over the next month, especially if you are really reaching for a stolen base or two. He is clearly ensconced at the tops of the Marlins lineup for the time being, and seems to keep finding ways on base. The Marlins have no reason not to be aggressive in games in general, and on the base paths in particular, which I hope translates to a few extra runs and steals from Berti in the several leagues of various depths that I now own him in.