Roto Riteup: September 27, 2019

The Roto Riteup hopes you had a great fantasy baseball season!

On the Agenda:
1. Felix Says Goodbye
2. Various News and Notes/Quick Hits
3. Streaming Pitchers


Felix Says Goodbye
In his final start of his career, Felix Hernandez hurled five innings of five-hit ball against the Athletics, allowing three earned runs while striking out three and walking four. The most touching part was when he was lifted from the game.

King Felix will go down as one of the most iconic pitchers ever to play the game. Over his 15-year career he amassed over 30 starts an astonishing 10 times, logging a total of almost 2,730 innings pitched. He finished with one Cy-Young award and three Top-2 finishes (six Top-10 finishes), while making the All-Star Game six times and holding the league’s best ERA in 2010 and 2014. He had five seasons where he received MVP votes and owns a 54.1 WAR as well. Overall, I think he’s Hall of Fame bound, and it was an absolute pleasure to watch him over the years.


Various News and Notes/Quick Hits
Luis Castillo finished his 2019 campaign on a sour note, as he yielded five earned runs on five hits over five innings against the Brewers; striking out eight and walking four. This wasn’t the way H2H players wanted their final start to go with him; especially since he’s been solid against Milwaukee all year. Either way, 2019 was a huge success for the 26-year old. He logged a career high 190.2 IP with a 3.40 ERA (3.49 xFIP), 55% GB, 10.7 K/9, and 3.7 BB/9; finishing as a top-15 starter on the ESPN Player Rater.

In the same game, Aristides Aquino went 3-for-5; launching his 18th home run in 210 PA while adding his seventh stolen base in as many tries. After coming off an absolutely blistering August, Aquino has fell back to Earth a bit in September (.200/.221/.367, four home runs), but he’s converted five steals and ranks in the 86th percentile in Sprint Speed per Statcast. There’s a lot to like heading into 2020, but Aquino will no doubt be one of the more polarizing players when fantasy owners start drafting.

I talked about this on Thursday, but Mookie Betts was once again held out of the lineup against the Rangers due to his re-aggravated foot issue. Today is a big day in determining whether we’ll see him as we close out the season.

Daniel Palka delivered his third multi-hit game in his last five starts – including two home runs yesterday – as the White Sox put a damper in the Indians playoff hopes.

The White Sox have four games against Detroit (one double-header) the rest of the way. Palka could add a home run or two during that time.

Zack Collins also had a double, two RBI, and a walk against the Indians yesterday. He’s hit safely in seven-of-eight with four multi-hit efforts and two home runs during that time.

Tyler Beede (one of the recommended streamers yesterday) was removed from his matchup against the Rockies due to a left oblique injury. He struck out seven and didn’t allow a baserunner before exiting. An unfortunate end to a middling year for Beede.

The Cubs announced that Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks will not be making their final scheduled starts of the season. Alec Mills and Cole Hamels are set to take the mound the next two days, but we don’t have a confirmed starter for Sunday as of yet.

Stephen Strasburg held the Phillies to one earned run on four hits over six innings pitched – striking out 10 and issuing zero walks – as he earned his league-leading 18th win of the season. His 209 IP this year will be the second-highest of his career, and from a pure skills perspective this is one of his best as well. This is the first time in four seasons that he hasn’t missed an extensive amount of time, so keeper/dynasty league owners should keep that in mind when evaluating him as an asset heading into 2020. In fact, redraft owners should probably have that understanding as well; his ADP will surely be pushed up next season.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch announced that Carlos Correa will not be available for the Astros last three games of the regular season due to his back ailment. Aledmys Diaz, Myles Straw, and Jack Mayfield all figure to receive an increase in playing time against the Angels.

Zack Wheeler and Jordan Yamamoto had a pitchers duel on Thursday, yielding a combined three earned runs and three walks with 20 strikeouts. Wheeler is set to become a free agent this year, and ends his season with a 3.96 ERA (4.07 xFIP) and 16.9% K/BB. He’s logged over 180 IP for the second -straight year, which will no doubt help his case with other clubs. Yamamoto has been serviceable in spurts this year, and his home ballpark is always tantalizing for fantasy. He’ll be a late round option in drafts next season.

Pete Alonso struck out in all four of his at-bats yesterday. Mickey Calloway mentioned that he’s toyed with the idea of putting Alonso in the leadoff spot so he has a better chance at breaking the rookie home run record. Regardless, Alonso is a must-play the rest of the season and should be a high draft pick in 2020.

The Athletics activated Stephen Piscotty from the 10-day injured list, but he didn’t see any playing time. The Athletics only need one more win to secure a Wild Card spot in the AL, but you’d assume they want to get Piscotty some live reps before the postseason.

Staying with Oakland, Bob Melvin announced that Mark Canha’s injured groin continues to improve, and he could be in the lineup against the Mariners on Friday.

Sean Manaea posted another fine outing – allowing one earned run on four hits – including five strikeouts and zero walks over six innings pitched against the Mariners. He’s compiled a 1.62 ERA and 0.78 WHIP over 29.2 IP (5 GS) with a 30/7 K:BB since returning from the injured list.

Daniel Hudson picked up his third save this week and sixth since joining the Nationals after shutting the door on the Phillies yesterday (one walk, three strikeouts). He’s been an undervalued piece recently.

Mauricio Dubon continued to have a brilliant month of September as he went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, two runs scored, and an RBI in the Giants victory over the Rockies. He’s slashing .296/.337/.506 with four home runs and three steals in September, and could be an everyday player with the Giants in 2020. His stock is on the rise.

Dubon’s teammate Mike Yastrzemski relieved Joey Rickard and went 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs scored, and two RBI. He’s enjoying a splendid month as well; posting a .304/.389/.494 line with three home runs, 10 RBI, and a steal.

Jean Segura exited Thursday’s game against the Nationals with a right ankle sprain. There’s a very high likelihood we don’t see him again this year. I was hoping Scott Kingery would get some more reps at shortstop so he could gain eligibility next season, but time is running out on that thought.

Mike Minor did everything he could to get to 200 strikeouts for the year – going 8.2 IP and throwing 126 pitches en route to nine strikeouts in a Rangers victory over the Red Sox. It wasn’t all roses; he yielded five earned runs (two home runs) on 10 hits, but the 31-year old southpaw will end the year having surpassed the 200 IP mark for the second time in his career, to go along with a 3.59 ERA and 1.24 WHIP.

Danny Santana’s crazy season continued as he went 1-for-4 with a grand slam, two runs scored, and a stolen base.

The home run was his 27th of the season to go along with a .284/.322/.534 line and 19 SB on 25 attempts. His plate skills will definitely bring pause when evaluating him for 2020, but he has speed and the bouncy balls help his power play up.

The Cardinals could potentially skip Miles Mikolas’s outing on Sunday if they’re in need of a win to clinch their division. If that happens, fantasy owners could get another start from Jack Flaherty. Be sure to keep an eye on this.

Aaron Nola will not be making his scheduled start for Sunday, and Trevor Bauer’s last outing will come this Sunday instead of Saturday due to illness.


Streaming Pitchers (Less than 50% owned)
Pitcher for Today: Anthony DeSclafani at PIT

High Risk Options: Tyler Alexander at CHW, Reynaldo Lopez vs DET

Pitcher for Tomorrow: Brett Anderson at SEA

High Risk Options: Martin Perez at KC, Zach Eflin vs MIA


Side Note: This is our last post for the Roto Riteup this year, and I wanted to take the time to thank all of you who’ve read the column at all. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did writing it. Our goal was to provide you with helpful tidbits and information that was actionable, so you could use it in any way to be successful. I wish you all a great offseason and hope you come back to check us out next year! Thank you!

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.

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