Well folks (leaving the comma out makes it sound like you live in a well and you’ll emerge like The Ring and I like that aesthetic) — you’re either in the fantasy baseball playoffs, or you really love reading me week in and week out. Probably the former, but I’ll pretend it’s the latter. Some leagues have already finished, like the Tout Wars Daily Fantasy League that our own MattTruss claimed second place in this year. Congrats Truss! Other leagues are entering their first (or second!) round of playoffs right now. RCLs and best ball leagues go until the last day of the season. So, let’s put it this way: as long as you’re here asking questions, I’ll keep posting. Sound fair?

That said, as we’re down to less than a month of MLB baseball, it’s less and less useful for me to tell you how a pitcher might regress. So, just as we did away with the rankings about a month ago, we’re going to continue shifting the format of this column to help everybody with their pitching plans throughout the fantasy playoffs. We’ll combine some news, some pitcher pickup options, and cover some matchups to target or avoid. As always, toss your questions down in the comments, and I’ll do my best to not embarrass myself or yourself or Greyself. Grey’s elf? What is this, The Lord of the Rings?

News and Notes

Freddy PeraltaRecap montage time! He was an ace. Yeah! Then he got injured and was supposed to miss the 2022 MLB season. No! Then he surprisingly came back in August. Yeah! Except when he came back, he wasn’t an ace. No! Now the Brewers are doing the right thing and putting him on the 15-day IL with…uh oh…shoulder inflammation. Lesson to young pitchers out there (I see all 1 of you): freaking rest. When you’re hurt, you should rest. If you don’t have your proper mechanics, you should rest. It took Tyler Glasnow all of two weeks of switching his mechanics to destroy his elbow. Peralta’s mechanics were all messed up and his velocity was way down from his career norms, and now he’s got shoulder issues. Ugh. Drop in all fantasy formats because you don’t want any of this jelly in 2022.

Tony LaRussa: OK he’s not a pitcher but his absence seems to affect every White Sox player. Let’s do the Peralta intro but with LaRussa, OK? Tony LaRussa was a Hall of Famer. Yay! Then he came back to baseball to coach the White Sox. No! But he did an OK-ish job for 15 months. Meh? And then he tanked the team before disappearing to a Sweat Lodge in Arizona for homeopathic treatment. OK. Now he threatens to return. In LaRussa’s absence, the White Sox became one of the hottest teams in MLB, and they’ve nearly claimed the AL Central lead. Except…LaRussa might come back to manage the team. If LaRussa reclaims the White Sox helm, that affects Lance Lynn, Dylan Cease, Lucas Giolito, Johnny Cueto, and Michael KopechWhat a roster! With all due respect to the Hall of Famer, I think everybody wishes LaRussa a happy convalescence and second retirement. Miguel Cairo should be allowed to finish the year as the White Sox coach. Full stop. If Cairo coaches, start all White Sox without concern. If LaRussa finishes the year as White Sox manager, then I’d be extremely nervous about the pitching lineup.

Shane McClanahanMuch like 20-year-old me, SMC is playing The Sims. Well, simulated game. Supposedly coming back on September 15, which is Toronto day for the Rays. Yuck. I wouldn’t want that matchup — SMC fresh off of shoulder impingement vs TOR? Yuck. But the next day is the Rangers, and you should all hope that SMC plays on the 16th instead.

Tony GonsolinBullpen sessions ahoy! The man that could not BABIP (that’s Gonsolin, bee-tee-dubya) still doesn’t have a timetable to return. If you’re in dire straits in the playoffs, it’s time to grab a pitcher who could help your team (and that’s not Gonsolin).

Max ScherzerScherzer pulled himself from his previous start with a fatigued oblique, and now he’s off to the IL. My best guess is the Mets are doing the “Regular Season for show, Postseason for dough” thing. Yeah, I’d rather have Scherzer and deGrom going full speed in October. Scherzer is an IL stash until he returns, and we’ll probably see him get a couple 5 IP warmup games in the championship round.

Pitchers to Add

Tyler GlasnowSuccessfully passed his first rehab start, striking out 2 batters. Glasnow won’t be a starter in 2022, but he might be able to Roleless Rob for your championship round. Add if you have roster space.

Dean KremerLast week I told you to wait a hot minute on Kremer, but his next two starts are against Washington and Detroit. That’s practically free money. The Orioles are still in the playoff hunt, and we could see some playoff-inspired heroics from Kremer. Also, check out Coolwhip’s 100th Razzball article, all about Kremer vs Kremer.

Michael KopechSome of us like to live dangerously, right? And some of us just like to target the Tigers. Kopech — hopefully under the watchful eye of Miguel Cairo and not Tony LaRussa — gets the Rockies and the Tigers next, and that could be a great combo for your fantasy playoffs.

David PetersonSticking in the Mets’ rotation after the IL-stint of Scherzer! Peterson is slated to face the Cubs (start!) and the Brewers (meh!). Keep starting Peterson throughout the end of the fantasy playoffs.

Pitchers to Avoid

Eduardo RodriguezSomehow rostered in 50% of leagues right now. His FIP is nearly 75% more than his ERA, and he faces the Astros and blazing hot White Sox. Here’s one tiger that you’ll want to cage.

Reid DetmersRostered in 60% of leagues, he faces off against the Guardians and the Mariners this week, neither of which are stellar matchups. The Angels are in tank mode, which limits any Win upside for Detmers. Plus, over his last 4 starts, Detmers has a 4.74 ERA and nearly 2.00 WHIP. Yeeesh. Detmers is a must-keep in dynasty, but you can probably cut him in redraft.

Kyle GibsonRostered in 60% of leagues. Between ERod, Detmers, and Gibson, it’s safe to assume 60% of teams are abandoned. Gibson’s stat line looks like Detmers’ over the past month, and Gibby faces the Blue Jays soon. I think you know who to drop. Side note: has Razzball ever made a “Drop the (Anthony) Bass” headline?

Drew RasmussenThis is a “you do you” recommendation. Rasmussen has been hot over the past month, but those starts came against teams like the Royals, Angles, and Marlins. Sure, Rasmussen did fine against the Yankees, but he’s got this crucible of the Blue Jays and Astros coming up. Rasmussen has been rather ineffective vs the Blue Jays in 2022, and that’s a less than optimal start for the fantasy playoffs.

OK players! Let me know your questions down in the comments, and have an awesome week!