If you’ve been scouring all your picture books for a proper fantasy hitter in the final week, look no further. Oswaldo Arcia was 3-for-4 with his 19th home run and two RBI last night. Arcia has a nice little six-game hitting streak, with four homers in that stretch. To be fair, however, he’s also sat four games in that span with a tweaked muscle in his upper back. Injury concerns aside, Oswaldo is destroying baseballs when he’s on the field. In his past six games, he’s clubbed four homers and with 8 RBI. He’s slugging .858 in the past two weeks while batting over .400, and with 19 homers (12 at cavernous Target Field) in 94 games, he’s got serious power and might be someone to consider on draft day next year. He’s worth the pick up in all leagues if you need some pop in the final week of the season. Oswaldo could power you to fantasy glory. He’s missed some time in the past few days, but he hasn’t shown any ill effects of the injury while on the field, so hopefully this back injury is behind him for the most part. Get it!? Ha! Either way that shouldn’t discourage you from picking him up this hot little potato while he’s mashing.
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:
Clayton Kershaw – 5.0 IP, 7 hits, 3 ER, 3 BB, 9 K. The Dodgers gave him a 6-run cushion to work with so Clay reverted to mere mortal mode, surrendering three runs in the first. A more than half hour delay between warm ups and his first pitch may have been a factor, too. It’s funny when I have to explain why Kershaw didn’t pitch like a demigod. He was still above average, striking out nine in five innings en route to his 20th win. His second 20 win season, cause he good like that. In 26 starts Kershaw has a 1.80 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 228 strikeouts. Yes. Drink it in. That’s like, one of the best seasons in ever. IN EVER. Someday, you’re going to be telling your grandchildren stories about how you never drafted him in fantasy leagues because you preferred to go with offense early. We are all witnesses. Even you, Lebron.
Zach Putnam – 0.2, 1 hit, 2 K, SV (6). Jake Petricka pitched the seventh inning. Who’s the closer now, Robbie V? Wow, that’s sounds suspiciously like Bobby V. I’m having flashbacks to 2012! Who’s the closer? Is it Charlie? AHHH! I don’t know! Red team go! Pick up everyone there’s no time to lose! Calm down, Dan, just relax. Take a Xanax or three. Putnam’s seen the past two chances, and it looks like he’ll see the next, so exhale and pick him up.
Jacoby Ellsbury – 2-for-3, 2-run HR (16), 3 RBI. Strained his hamstring in this one and is likely done for the rest of the season. Sounds like you can drop D’Ellsbury in redraft leagues. Try not to look so smug while doing it Sawx fans.
Edwin Encarnacion – 1-for-4, 2-run HR (33). I guess his back isn’t THAT sore. With Edwin missing all that time this year, I might actually have a shot at drafting him next year.
Jose Reyes – 3-for-5, run, SB (28). He’s batting over .400 in the past week and his .285 AVG, with 88 runs and 27 stolen bases looks pretty respectable. What? I really believe that. Sorry if you were expecting something more sarcastic, I’m not always so cynical, you know.
Adam Lind – 2-for-4. Not a lot of options on waivers if your hurting for a corner this final week, but if Lind is out there he’s starting to display some of that power we all thought he lost, so I’d give him a shot if you’re out of options.
Adam LaRoche – 1-for-3, HR (25). If you asked me in the preseason how many home runs LaRoche would hit I would have said 25 without flinching.
Tom Koehler – 5.0 IP, 6 hits, 3 ER, 4 BB, 5 K. Koehler’s pretty meh, and Stream-O-Nator thinks his start next week vs. Philadelphia is also meh. But if you need a spot-starter next week, I recommend you consult the Stream-O-Nator.
Bryce Harper – 0-for-4. I hate so much the things that you choose to be.
Drew Storen – 1.0 IP, SV (8). Drew’s now got seven saves in the past 12 days and has given up just two hits in 6.1 IP in that stretch. This closer could save your season. Puns!
Justin Bour – 1-for-4, HR (1), 2 RBI. You will never be Giancarlo. Don’t even bother.
Yovani Gallardo – 7.0 IP, 5 hits, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. Arguably Gallardo’s best start of the year but Jonathan Broxton blew his chance at a big day, surrendering the go-ahead home run to Russell Martin in the 8th. Remember when the Brewers were a lock for the postseason, you guys? Me neither.
Jeff Locke – 7.0 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 3 K. I was never much of a fan of Locke after the first season. He got all crazy and started talking about fate and destiny, when he should have just stuck to killing boars with knives. Still, dude’s been solid all year and gets the Braves next week.
Jose Quintana – 7.1 IP, 9 hits, 1 ER, 6 K and his 9th win. I can’t decide whether or not I’m really going to like you on draft day next year or not, but I’m leaning towards yes. Either way he’s about as hot as that new J-Lo video, and Grey told you to BUY so I might take a chance on Jose next week in Detroit.
Avisail Garcia – 1-for-5, 2 RBI. If you’re looking for a high upside bat next week, Avisail away with Garcia. Grey told you to BUY and he’s hit safely in eight of his last ten games with nine RBI and a homer in that stretch. He could get hot at any moment. What better place than here. What better time than now!? Sorry, I must have left my Rage CD on repeat. Also, it’s still 1999 on my itunes.
Zack Wheeler – 6.0 IP, 7 base runners, 0 ER, 7 K and his 11th win. I’m having dreams of flash-forwards where I’m riding a tandem bike with Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler on a bicycle built for three. Are we excited about the Mets rotation next year, or what? Mets fans? You still with us?
Julio Teheran – 7.0 IP, 7 hits, 2 ER, 6 K. He’s got a 2.88 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 180 K and he was the first pitcher I drafted (ie my Ace) in most leagues where I was competitive. I got him around the 10th round. This is why we wait on pitching.
Lucas Duda – 1-for-4, 2-run HR (28). Dud-a bides! Shomer shabbos! You remembered! I’m gonna miss you too, buddy!
Edward Mujica – 1.0 IP, 1 hit, SV (7). He just seems like a player who’s waiting in the wings to destroy your ratios as soon as you pick him up. Grey told you to BUY, Koji’s out and Edward’s in and Mujica’s got four saves in the past two weeks. Truth is, if you need saves there are few options for the final week better than Mujica right now.
Mookie Betts – 2-for-5. I realize I’m much higher on Mookie than most (all). But to be fair I’m much higher than most people most of the time anyway, and all Mookie does is hit! Betts is about to change the meaning of the word “Mook” in New England. Keep it up, Mook! It’s a compliment!
David Ortiz – 3-for-5, 2 HR (33 & 34), 3 RBI. Big Papi now has eight 30+ HR, 100+ RBI seasons with Boston, passing Ted Williams on the Red Sox all-time list. Whenever you pass Ted the Head on any list you’re doing something real good. His hermano de bash, Yoenis Cespedes, was 1-for-5 with a homer (22). They hit back-to-back jacks in the fourth. He didn’t want to let down his old man. Hmm, I think there’s a misunderstanding here Yoenis. Despite what he keeps telling you, David is not your father. He is however, everyone’s “Papi.” I can see where there’d be confusion. Give it time, you’ll get it soon enough.
Yasiel Puig – 2-for-4, 3-run HR (15). Aww no, I’m not falling for that.
Matt Kemp – 2-for-3, 3-run HR (22). And I’m definitely not falling for this.
Dee Gordon – 2-for-5, run, SB (63). Slightly off my stolen base projection of 200 but I will take it.
Alejandro De Aza – 3-for-5, run. He’s been underwhelming since I told you to BUY him last week, but he still has hit safely in all but one game with the O’s with two homers and nine RBI. So what more do you want from me? He’s got some nice match ups the final week and is still worth the add if you need a bit of everything.
Nelson Cruz – 3-for-5, RBI. Nelly is a .270, 40 HR, 100 RBI outfielder. Shimmy shimmy cocoa what? Listen to him pound. Yup. I can’t wait to see what round someone else drafts him in next year.
Matt Holliday – 2-for-3, HR (19). His third home run in the past week. Holliday is having the kind of season head-2-head fantasy players dream of. You don’t have to do anything all year, as long as you do everything in the final four weeks.
Michael Cuddyer – 3-for-5, GS HR (9), 7 RBI. Cuddy raked in a team record seven RBI for the Rockies as they scored 15 runs on 16 hits. It’s good to be home. When he’s healthy, Cuddyer is a top 20 outfielder, but he’s never healthy. That Colorado air is poison to his bones, and magic to his bat.
Rafael Ynoa – 4-for-5, 3 RBI with two doubles and a triple. Ynoa Your Role. And shut your mouth. Or your eyes, and just pick up this schmohawk. He’s batting over .400 in the past week and with Nolan Arenado unlikely to return the final week, Ynoa should pick up a few starts, and as long as he’s in Colorado he’s worth a flier. If Ynoa what I mean.
Kennys Vargas – 2-for-5, HR (9). He hit this bomb with the strength of two men. Coincidentally, they were both named Kenny.
Michael Brantley – 2-for-5, HR (20). Extends his hitting streak to nine games, with seven multi hit games in that stretch, two homers and three stolen bases. I own Brantley because I read Razzball. I read Razzball to find players like Michael Brantley.
Trevor Bauer – 6.0 IP, 4 hits, 3 ER, 6 K. Cody Allen ruined Bauer’s shot at the win in this one, blowing the save chance. I like Bauer, but I’d avoid his start next week. Dude is dangerous. Bauer will be interesting to rank next year, but has finished the season decently enough, without too many casualties. Which is more than I can say about most NFL players. LOL! Topical!
Odrisamer Despaigne – 7.0 IP, 2 hits, 1 BB, 0 ER, 6 K and his 4th win. Not gonna lie. Pretty happy I’m not going to have to try to spell this guy’s name for at least another six months.
Jake Smolinksi – Since returning from the DL, he’s got seven hits two homers, four runs and five RBI in just four games. Can Smolinksi help you SmoWINski? I dunno, but Texas has no reason not to play the guy every day right now so he’s worth the add if you need some Smo in the final week.
Leonys Martin – Daaamn Gina! Martin is batting .375 in the past two weeks with six stolen bases. If only you’d started hitting and stealing bases sooner, maybe the Rangers wouldn’t be the way they are right now and Ron Washington would have stayed faithful.
Ryan Rua – Whoa now, three Rangers in a row!? I must have took the brown acid by mistake…Ryan doesn’t do much besides hit but he continues to do that well, batting .430 in the past week. If you need average, or just an outfielder getting ABs that won’t hurt you, pick up Ryan, you’ll Rua the day!
Justin Verlander – 7.1 IP, 7 hits, 1 ER, 4 K and his 14th win. Stepped it up against a team he needed to step up against. Kate must have been watching. She’s always watching. And I am always watching Kate.
Jason Vargas – 3.1 IP, 9 hits, 5 ER. Sigh. Well, I guess I should have known better.
Norichika Aoki – 2-for-3. Grey told you to BUY him and Nori has four straight multi hit games. That’s 13 hits in four days! He’s hotter than that new JLo video! What–I already mentioned that? Well, have you seen it? I had to take a cold shower after watching it. Because I worked up such a sweat dancing, of course! Sometimes I just need to let out all my fantasy frustrations in a solo dance session.
Jose Altuve – 3-for-3, run, SB (54). I like Jose because when he’s not playing I can store him in my pocket. Altoooove! Leads the American League in batting average. You can stop being valuable now, little guy, I’ve been out of it since Sunday. I will still draft you next year.
Jake Marisnick – 2-for-4, run, RBI. Just in the Maris-nick of time if you need some SAGNOF action. *dodges tomato* Jake’s got four steals in the past ten games and is hitting, what are you waiting for, your league’s not going to win itself!
Kyle Seager – 2-for-5, 3-run HR (24). In the preseason poll of which Seattle Mariner I thought would hit the most home runs, I was pretty closer with my selection of “Other.”
Taijuan Walker – 5.2 IP, 8 hits, 2 BB, 2 ER, 7 K and his 2nd win. I knew there was a reason I drafted him!
Dustin Ackley – 2-for-4, 2 HR (12 & 13). Mike Zunino was 2-for-5 with a 3-run HR (21) and Robinson Cano was 3-for-5 as the M’s trounced the Astros to pull within a half game of the wild card. This is your moment, M’s. One shot to seize everything you ever wanted. Forget mom’s spaghetti, will you capture it or just let it slip? You can do it! Do it for Seattle! Do it for the Supersonics! Do it for Grey! Do it…for Razzball!
Questions? Problems? Complaints to management? Advice, small gifts or large bribes? Please leave it in the comments below, or you can get at me on twitter @dandemanco. It’s been an honor and a privilege recapping the Friday night action for you all year long. Good luck in the final week! I hope all your teams win equally.