From lessons learned to postseason predictions, this one's got it all.
This week in the podcast:
This week, Jared and Ian have returned from their road trip. As all of our Scoresheet decisions are done for the year, we talk about lessons learned, we look back on the year in the podcast, and we reflect a little bit too much. After Scoresheet business is out of the way, we wander through discussions about real baseball for a bit, including the playoff races in the American League. Some of us venture to guess who will make and win in the playoffs, and we all concede that this year’s team of destiny must be the Baltimore Orioles. We run a little long-winded, as we also got the chance to discuss the many adventures of Jared and Ian on their road trip and take a diversion through some other current events. This one’s got it all, and then some—Scoresheet, MLB, personality, and jokes on which we are trying too hard. Soak it up; this is our penultimate episode this season.
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If these players are on the waiver wire, they might be worth a look, depending on the format of your league.
Juan Lagares, OF, New York Mets
September fantasy baseball is all about positioning. And it seems only fitting that a player who is so great at it in the field has made himself awfully useful to those looking to make a push in stolen bases over the last two-and-a-half weeks of the season. Lagares has been better than anticipated all season at the plate and as good as advertised in the field—leading to a ridiculous season per some stats (he’s been worth 3.6 WARP and 5.6 rWAR). He’s been making it count down the stretch, though, as he’s hit safely in 15 of his last 17 games, hitting .338/.370/.456 with only eight strikeouts in 73 plate appearances in that time frame. However, the most interesting aspect of his performance has been how many liberties he’s been taking on the base paths. After only stealing four bases over the first four-and-a-half months, Lagares has heisted eight since the start of his hitting streak. With the Mets going nowhere, despite what math may say, Lagares may find himself with the green light as often as he wants it throughout September. That would turn him into a mixed-league play nearly across the board. —Bret Sayre
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Corey Seager and Adalberto Mejia.
Jeimer Candelario, 3B, Cubs (Kane County, A-): 2-4. As if it weren’t tough enough to make a name for oneself in the Cubs system, Candelario laid an egg in the Florida State League to begin the year, then rebounded only slightly after being demoted back to Kane Country, performing on par with his previous stint in the league. The good news is that he’s only 20, so there’s plenty of time to take another hack at the FSL and move quickly, but the obstacles in between him and Wrigley seem a lot less surmountable than they did at this time last year, and Candelario didn’t make things any easier on himself with a disappointing season.
Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers (Chattanooga, AA): 2-4, HR, 2 K. Will he stick at shortstop or shift over to third base? That’s really the only question left for Seager, who has hit at every level and gives no indication that he will stop any time soon. It’s not just the home-run totals that are impressive, but the doubles power as well, which indicates a more balanced approach and the potential for even more power down the road.
A guide to when to tune in to a no-hitter in progress.
There were some years in there, before he got busy and I got Twitter, that my brother and I would have this arrangement. He would text me or I would text him “turn on the Phillies game” or “turn on the ESPN game.” The rest would go untexted, not because either of us was necessarily all that superstitious, but just because the rest was assumed. Somebody had a no-hitter going.
When to send the message, though? Too early, and you’re wasting somebody’s time. Not that baseball is a waste of time, but if we weren’t watching the game, we were probably doing something better. Too late, and you’re depriving him of some of the more exciting innings.
With the Tigers and Royals tied atop the American League Central, one of the squads would walk away with sole possession of the division by the end of last night’s series finale. However, the leader would have to be determined nearly an hour later than planned due to the downpour of rain that delayed the start of the game. The sky continued to open up throughout the night and at times led to tough playing conditions, but that didn’t stop James Shields from turning in an outstanding performance for the visitors.
Ian Kinsler led off the home half of the first with a single, but was erased by a stellar pickoff move from Shields. The Kansas City ace went on to retire the next 18 Tigers that stepped to the plate, with only two balls leaving the infield.
By now, you’re familiar with what we’re trying to accomplish in these progress reports: We want to go beyond a simple “stock up, stock down” approach to fantasy rankings. Fantasy stocks are easy enough to keep track of. If someone’s doing well, then his stock is high. If not, it goes the other direction.