Down the stretch we come. Two weeks remaining of the MLB season and hopefully, this article finds you in the playoffs. I’ve tried to recommend relatively low-owned options all year long and that’s not changing at this point. This week the juggernaut offense of the Miami Marlins gets eight games over the next six days. I jest a little by calling them juggernauts, but over the last 14 days, the Marlins have posted a team wOBA of .334 – good for 11th in the league. Their opponents in this stretch are the Red Sox (3) and the Nationals (5). While they do face Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin, none of the other starting pitchers is anything to be scared of. Shoot, even Scherzer and Corbin have combined for a 4.07 ERA this year. After the starters, the Marlins bats will face bullpens that have posted 5.00+ ERAs on the year. So, who can help us this week from the Marlins? Since Jon Berti hit the IL, Corey Dickerson (25.8% ESPN, 35% CBS) has been leading off against right-handed pitchers. Jesus Aguilar (20.1% ESPN, 45% CBS) has quietly had a really nice rebound season. He’s reduced his strikeout rate for the 4th consecutive year and can help you in every category other than stolen bases. Miguel Rojas (10.3% ESPN, 18% CBS) returned from an IL stint and has batted close to .400 and has chipped in a pair of steals over the last two weeks. If you’re desperate at catcher, Jorge Alfaro (7.1% ESPN, 31%) has posted a decent batting average and has chipped in a pair of stolen bases. Finally, Garrett Cooper (10.2% ESPN, 22% CBS) provides multi-positional eligibility and has mashed three homers over the last two weeks. If there’s a specific category you feel that your team is lacking, pick your favorite Marlin. Let’s take a look at some other options to help you out down the stretch.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Please see our player page for Jesus Aguilar to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.
Jesse Winker had his open eye locked on the baseball Friday night as he extended his hot streak going 2-for-3 with two home runs and three RBI. It was the 26 year old outfielder’s first multi-homer game in ever. Winky’s now slashing an insane .365/.484/.712 with five jacks, eight RBI and a steal for good measure. But I’m not finished yet! Wink’s been hotter than Cardi B’s “WAP” video, batting .688 in the past five days and hitting all five of his homers in that stretch. To be fair, his .424 BABIP and .346 ISO aren’t exactly sustainable numbers, even by a Trout-Mookie frankenbaby (although that does sound adorable)–regardless, Jesse is a hot little potato right now. This is not completely out of nowhere either, as he flashed some pop with Cinnci last season, batting .269 with 16 bombs in 113 games. Are you intrigued yet? Because Jesse is still available in just about half of fantasy leagues! Where do I sign, you ask? And has this pen been sanitized? Well, unfortunately, like everything in 2020, Winker isn’t exactly a no thinker (err, brainer) of a pick up just yet. The Reds announced Friday that a PTBNL has tested positive for COVID-19 and Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates has been postponed. That’s all the information available to me at the moment, but I assume if this turns into a Marlins/Cardinals situation, then adding Reds players right now (no matter how hot) is probably not pro stratz, bro. Whatever happens, I’ll always remember that five day stretch where Jesse Winker was the hottest man in baseball, and I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “wow he didn’t make a ‘Winker? I hardly know her!’ joke this whole time. But you’d be wrong. I actually did. It just wasn’t funny! Lol. Jokes aside, let’s hope the Reds can get back to playing baseball ASAP as possible.
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY YESTERDAY ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $5/MONTH.)
Being hearing a lot of gossip about Clint Frazier. That’s healthy. Ya know, some ginger tea. Don’t think the Yankees called Clint Frazier up just for make-up games, though this was overheard: “He’s not a clown?” Aaron Boone continued, “Oh, I thought he was for makeup games.” Then Boone laughed himself out of his mask.
Artwork by our talented writer, CoolWhip.
So, Clint Frazier has struggled to get real playing time with the Yankees, but maybe he’s this year’s spark plug. He does look like he’s fire. He’s a 20-homer, 7-steal, .260 hitter over a 162 games, and that lineup is so great, I’d take a flyer on Frazier. Some might say, “Clint Frazier? I like Mike Tauchman!” Yeah, Tauchman’s projected for 3 HRs, 2 SBs and a .255 average, how can he not be owned?! Dude’s a 20-game hot streak away from one good Trevor Story game! Okay, I’m being unfair and underselling. Projections don’t love Tauchman, but if he gets everyday at-bats, he’s worth a look or whoever is in that lineup replacing Stanton, whether it’s Aaron Hicks, Mike Ford, Clint Frazier, or PTBYankee’dL. So, this is kind of a Yankees’ placeholder in lineup endorsement, but Clint Frazier is the most interesting. Plus, *pinkie up as I sip* ginger tea. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The 2nd game in a row Dinelson Lamet has taken a no-hitter into the 6th inning and, this time, it went into the 7th, ending up 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 11 Ks, ERA at 1.61. I’m about to start moaning out his name like a pizza deliveryman in a porn. “I didn’t ask for sausage.” “And I didn’t ask for my salad to be hand-tossed, but here we are.” There’s no whacks on Dinelson as he keeps the whacks off. Now paint the fence! *Dinelson starts painting Mejia’s glove* No, the fence, not ‘fense. Forget it, you’re beautiful. There’s nothing to gleam from 22 1/3 IP, other than to say he’s regularly hitting 97 MPH, and, while he only has two pitches, they’re good and there’s no reason to think he can’t keep something resembling this for 40 more innings. With a drooling sly grin, “Did someone order a Meat Lover’s?” Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY YESTERDAY ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $5/MONTH.)
The following happened last weekend: Bryce Harper laid on the hotel bed, on his stomach, feet up behind him, as he whispered into the hotel phone, “Tell me another story.” From the other side of the line, “I’ve told you all my stories,” replied the Phanatic. Bang! Bang! Against the hotel window, something loudly rapped. The Phanatic asked Bryce, “What’s that?” “Oh, Phillies fans have been standing outside the hotel throwing batteries at my window.” Bang! Bang! Another loud rapping. Finally, Bryce went to the window to politely ask the fans to cut him some slack. Bryce slid the window open and hanging from the side of the balcony was, “…Oh, hey, Spencer Howard? What are you doing?” “They told me I was pitching this weekend, and no one was allowed in and out of the hotel.” “No games, man. I’m just flirting–um, talking to the Phanatic.” With that Bryce closed the window, and moments later, a muffled, “Uh, could you let me in?” And Bryce shut his window’s curtains. So, Spencer Howard is being called up any day now. Prospect Hobbs gave us about 1200 words about him in his Spencer Howard fantasy, but here’s a juicy bit of tid, “Across rookie-level (just 5 1/3 innings), High-A and Double-A in 2019, Spencer Howard churned out 71 frames with 94 strikeouts to achieve a 2.03 ERA/0.83 WHIP/2.62 FIP. In producing those numbers, he cut down on his BB/9 from 3.2 in 2018 to 2.6, also finishing with a 11.2 K/9 in 2019. 30 2/3 of those innings came at the Double-A level, where he produced an equally impressive 2.35 ERA backed up closely by a 2.66 xFIP. For the complete picture, Howard pitched 211 1/3 innings across parts of three seasons in the Minors with a 3.28 ERA/1.14 WHIP, 12.0 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and 0.4 HR/9. That’s as good as Grey is bad.” Okay, not cool, but I’m in love with Spencer, and would grab him in all leagues. By the way, regarding the title: You’ve seen one New Jersey joke, you’ve seen a mall. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
For as batshizz crazy 2020 is, I will say that it is exciting. Maybe exciting isn’t the right word. Maybe batshizz crazy is the right thing to say, and leave it at that. Every day we have another rookie callup and I’m here for it, even if it might lead to roofies and waking up to wonder why a member of al Qaeda is making a lampshade out of your back skin. “Que quiero mi torso…lampshade?” Al Qaeda, “We don’t speak Spanish.” So, yesterday the Padres called up Luis Patino. My mom is always telling people about her kitchen cabinets’ faux patina, so this must be good. Check it out: Here he is in Prospect Itch’s top 25 prospects for 2020 fantasy baseball. Also, Prospect Hobbs wrote about 1200 words in his Luis Patino fantasy. I’m jazzed like hands and psyched like a shrink! Here’s a small snippet from PH’s post, “Even with just two refined pitches (and another two in the making), Patino has completely baffled right-handed hitters, as they produced a meager .163/.259/.220 slash against him in 2019. Clearly, Patino could step into a big league bullpen tomorrow and be elite. Like, ya know, the opposite of whatever Grey is.” Oh, man, cmon! So, is this the end of Joey Lucchesi of the Doing Crimes To Your Fantasy Team Crime Family? Not sure, but even if Patino is a long man in the bullpen, he’s worth a flyer in leagues 12-team mixed and deeper, depending on needs. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So, how’s everyone doing after four days of games? Still early, right? Actually, it’s not early. It’s never early this year. Early took the first train out of the station with your wife and dog. Say goodbye to your life, Early walked off with it. Four days this year is approximately three weeks into a regular season. Four days into the season this year is a cherry and whipped topping into this sundae, and one scoop in there might be chocolate chip mint, which you have to skip because it tastes like sugary toothpaste. One guy whose entire Sunday was chocolate chip mint is Justin Verlander. Sounds like he’s out for the season with a forearm strain, which is usually a precursor for much worse news. Won’t speculate what this means for his career, but if this is the last time he plays, it truly bums me out, even if I never wanted to own him. He was glorious to watch, in and out of the bathroom mirror with Kate. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Craig Mish (@CraigMish), host of the Swings and Mishes podcast joins the show to breakdown the Miami Marlins. We discuss the veteran loaded lineup. Can guys like Corey Dickerson and Jesus Aguilar bounce back and have a monster season? Will Jonathan Villar carry over his success from Baltimore? We also dive into the young, but promising rotation. Can Sandy Alcantara be the work horse of the rotation? Can Pablo Lopez and Caleb Smith take the next steps to stardom? Their farm system is loaded with talented guys like Sixto Sanchez and J.J. Bleday leading the way. We discuss all these questions and more.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hello, again. Time to wrap this baby on up with the NL East. I don’t know what else to write here that I haven’t in the other two pieces. Check out the NL West Edition and the NL Central Edition if you haven’t already.
Just made myself another old fashioned, the wife is reading, and the kiddo is asleep. Let’s do it to it.
Probably not gonna surprise anyone with this pick: Austin Riley. Riley was having himself a very nice spring, but so was Johan Camargo, his competition at third. Now the DH solves all that – let the slugging prospect, well, slug. Camargo is the better glove, so there you go.
Riley showed glimpses of serious power last season, bashing 18 homers in only 80 games. My lazy and mathematically-challenged brain would double that to 36 HR in 160 games just to give a very rough idea of what we’re looking at. Of course, that’s not sound fantasy advice nor very accurate given those were his first 80 games ever in the majors. We gotta look deeper. Deep dives are king! I’m no expert delver, but let’s give this a shot anyway. He slashed .226/.279/.471 with Atlanta, but hit for a much better average all through the minors. I know that’s not very telling, but I like to at least see if someone has shown ability to hit for average somewhere, sometime. The power last season was nuts – 127 games total and 33 homers. Looking at just his AAA numbers, in 2018 he hit 12 HR in 324 PAs, but launched 15 HR in just 194 PAs last year. Then came up to the bigs and hit 18 more. That’s quite the progression in just a year’s time. His isolated power was .182 in AAA in 2018, which is pretty solid (.200 is the baseline for “great” according to FanGraphs, though it fluctuates a little relative to league averages in a given year). Anyway, his ISO spiked to .333 in 2019, which is off-the-charts good. Yes, we’re judging these numbers off fewer PAs than FanGraphs recommends, but whatever. You can see the power is there. Riley did his best Aristides Aquino when getting the call last season, slashing .324/.368/.732 with nine homers and 25 RBI in his first 18 games. Buuut in his final 62 games, he had almost the exact same production (nine HR, 24 RBI) and a yucky, yucky slash (.192/.249/.379).
The 2019 AAA Riley struck out 20.1% of the time (his best anywhere) and walked 10.3% of the time; but alas, 2019 MLB Riley struck out 36.4% of the time and walked only 5.4% of the time. He still managed a .245 ISO in the majors, which is very damn good, but the rest of his offensive metrics definitely took a nose dive as the year went on. The batted ball metrics are great: 13.7% barrel rate, 44.6% hard-hit rate, and a 20.6-degree launch angle. Riley had 7.7% barrels per plate appearance, which would be top 50 in the league if he qualified. Better than Ketel Marte, Rafael Devers, Gleyber Torres, Max Muncy, and like a ton others, of course. Those are just some big fantasy studs that stood out.
I think you all get the picture. Riley has the chops to be a fantasy force as is, but he’s got improvements he needs to make. If a pitch is in the zone, dude swings like every time (okay, 80.5%) but also chased almost 38% of the time. If he can keep barreling balls and show some more patience, then whoa nelly. They’ve got Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman, Marcell Ozuna, and now this guy?!Please, blog, may I have some more?
On a recent spring afternoon, I hopped a DeLorean to go back to the future and discuss the top 100 prospects for 2021.
On Wednesday, we explored next year’s dynasty catcher crop.
Today, we’ll stay on that future theme but continue our position-by-position focus, zooming in on first base.Please, blog, may I have some more?