When Roto Riteup readers start creeping up in the standings…..
“I think I might be able to help with the Pan/Pam dilemma.” pic.twitter.com/1sqAjD1Gbz
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) September 19, 2018
On the Agenda:
1. Bauer’s Back!
2. Various News and Notes
3. Streaming Pitchers
Trevor Bauer will make his return from a fractured fibula on Friday against the Red Sox.
Francona confirms: Bauer to be activated on Fri for start (couple innings) vs. Red Sox. Bieber will follow him out of bullpen. Clevinger will start Sat with Plutko starting Sun. Bauer’s next start would then be Tue.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) September 19, 2018
As stated in the tweet, Bauer will be limited to an inning or two – essentially acting as the “opener.” Since he hasn’t made a start since August 11th, the Indians will play things very cautiously; allowing him to start on Friday and give it another go next Wednesday against the White Sox (as it stands right now) prior to setting up things for the playoffs. For fantasy purposes, there’s no doubt that Bauer was having a career year prior to going down. If you’ve been stashing him on your DL, then he’s worth using next week against the White Sox, but he’s definitely not an option tomorrow. As for next season, Bauer will go for a high cost in drafts. In the #2EarlyMocks, Bauer’s ADP is currently sitting at 43rd overall – 11th among starting pitchers.
Various News and Notes
Aaron Judge notched his first hit since being placed back in the Yankees lineup. He should be started in all formats. Speaking of the Yankees, Luke Voit went 4-for-4 with a pair of home runs, 3 RBI, and 4 runs scored against the Red Sox on Wednesday.
Louis flips one out. pic.twitter.com/Bsxq4QyXW3
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 20, 2018
Another case of Déjà Voit. pic.twitter.com/csp1qndiVT
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 20, 2018
Both knocks came against David Price, and his line now sits at .308/.390/.615 to go along with 10 HR, 23 RBI, and a 31/13 K:BB over 104 AB this season. He’s the fourth-best first baseman on the ESPN Player Rater over the last 30 days, but is still less-than 30% owned. He’s getting the majority of the playing time at first base and deserves to be on more fantasy teams down the stretch. As you can see in the videos above, both of his bombs were opposite field, and his Barrel%, Hard%, wOBA/xwOBA, Launch Angle, and Average Exit Velocity all back what he’s doing. To articulate my point about his power, here’s a strong tweet from @Cut4.
We shouldn’t be surprised by Luke Voit hitting 2 dingers in a game.
— Cut4 (@Cut4) September 20, 2018
Miguel Andujar also had two extra-base hits on Wednesday – swatting his second home run in four days – and 25th of the season en route to a 2-for-4 day.
Oppo Papá. pic.twitter.com/fgQpsISGSk
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 19, 2018
.@MAndujarPapa is the 17th rookie since 1940 with 25+ HR and 65+ XBH …
The previous 16 all won Rookie of the Year. pic.twitter.com/HpptgMvwP0
— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) September 20, 2018
His season line is now at .298/.331/.524 with 25 HR, 78 R, 84 RBI, and two stolen bases. He’s a top-10 third baseman for the season and should be valued that way heading into drafts next year. The one thing that could make him better for real-life and fantasy purposes would be his plate skills. He’s only accrued 24 BB in 562 PA. His K% is solid, but a higher BB% often correlates to power hitting.
Jose Abreu missed his second game in a row and was in fact hospitalized for an infection on his right thigh that stemmed from an ingrown hair.
Jose Abreu released from Cleveland hospital. Was admitted Monday with infection on thigh. Is out for the series, which concludes Thursday night. #WhiteSox
— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) September 19, 2018
Abreu could be back by the end of the week, but we’ll have to wait for updates on his status before we count on it. Owners that already put him in their lineup in weekly leagues (two thumbs pointed at this guy) are out of luck. The good news is that he should be back next week for the final stretch, but owners that need production now – especially in shallow leagues – can cut bait for someone else (maybe Luke Voit perhaps). Abreu hasn’t recorded a hit in his last 20 AB after going 3-for-4 in his return to the White Sox lineup. Matt Davidson will pick up playing time in his absence.
Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reported that Eduardo Nunez departed Wednesday’s game against the Yankees with knee soreness. Red Sox manager Alex Cora said he’ll undergo some tests and be held out of Thursday’s series finale. Rafael Devers and Brandon Phillips will receive a few more at-bats manning third base for however long Nunez is out. Steve Pearce could mix in for a few more at-bats as well for the days that Nunez would normally DH.
Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com reported that Trevor Story is, “day-to-day” according to Rockies manager Bud Black, adding that, “it’s truly encouraging where he is.” Gonzalez also reported that Story is headed off to the Rockies spring training complex to receive treatment today. His UCL injury is structurally sound, so the Rockies and fantasy owners can breathe a collective sigh of relief for the 25-year old shortstop having the year of his life. He’s been held out the last two games, but there’s been chatter that he could come back this weekend. We’ll keep tabs on this, but fantasy owners may actually be able to use him in the season’s final days. With the Rockies only 1.5 games out of the second Wild Card, the organization as well as Story himself are likely chomping at the bit to get him out there. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that he can return and be productive.
In other NL West news, the Giants season continues to get even more grim.
— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) September 19, 2018
Wednesday marked the fifth game that Belt has missed. In what was looking like a possibly career season in the making in the first half, things have gone off the rails for Belt since the calendar turned to July. Since then he’s hitting .194/.273/.258 with 1 HR, 9 RBI, 12 R, and 2 SB over 155 AB. Heading into next season he’ll surely be selected higher than the 301st pick (2018 ADP), but at some point his underlying skills for short spurts will equate to a full season of strong production (barring health which is obviously a major question mark). As for the rest of this season, the Giants will role with a platoon at first base between Aramis Garcia and Austin Slater. Garcia homered for the third time yesterday and has 10 hits in his first 30 PA since making his MLB debut. With that said he’s struck out 14 times and hasn’t walked.
A Pitcher for Today: Matt Boyd vs KC (If available)
There aren’t many options today. Boyd has been decent against KC over 4 GS this season (4.32), but he does better when pitching at home. KC is awful on the road and does worse against LHP for the season. They have been a top-10 unit according to wRC+ this month, but Boyd is still my top choice among possible streaming candidates if he’s available.
Hail-Mary Option: Josh Tomlin vs CHW
What’s more entertaining than watching James Shields face Josh Tomlin? The answer is almost anything. With that said Tomlin is facing the White Sox without Jose Abreu and he could get some strikeouts because they’re 29th in K% against RHP (26%).
A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Wei-Yin Chen vs CIN
Always love Chen at home – he has a 1.77 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and 8.4 K/9 at Marlins Park. The Reds offense is a lot worse on the road and has sat about mid-pack in September.
Hail-Mary Option: John Gant vs SF (If available)
He went on a pretty nice run over seven starts before facing the buzzsaw that is the Dodgers offense. Gant often has lapses in command that shorten his outings, but this Giants offense is awful.
Fantasy Baseball and Tampa Bay Rays enthusiast. Restaurant manager by day, fantasy analyst by night. Contributor to Rotographs, Baseball HQ, Fantasy Pros, and co-owner of Friends with Fantasy Benefits. Follow me @MikeWernerFWFB.