The Dodgers, and their fan base, are likely crying uncle at this point. They are hurting. Less than one week after being activated from the disabled list, Hanley Ramirez suffered another injury that required a return to the DL. His injury prompted the team to promote Gordon from Triple-A, where he hit .314 with 14 stolen bases in 16 attempts through 25 games.
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Sanchez might not be the first name that comes to mind when thinking about lefty-mashers, but he has hit southpaws quite well in his career. He has 465 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers, and in them, he has a triple -slash line of .295/.388/.505. His ability to hit lefties fits well on the Pirates roster, as manager Clint Hurdle routinely wisely sits Garrett Jones against left-handed pitching. Sanchez is making the most of his playing time against southpaws this year, and has already smacked two doubles and three homers in 25 plate appearances against them.
Jose Reyes’ ankle injury is causing all sorts of shuffling in the Toronto lineup. One positive side effect is Jose Bautista potentially gaining third-base eligibility, with two starts at the hot corner over the weekend. The speedy Rajai Davis also figures to receive more starts in the outfield as a result. At first glance, you might think the injury also opens significant playing time for Izturis, but that might not be the case.
Owners hunting for saves should have a couple of NL Central flamethrowers on their radars.
Each week, two members of the BP fantasy team will provide a rundown of potentially valuable players that are available as free agents in most fantasy formats across the major platforms. We will run one column on the National League and one on the American League each week, with Josh Shepardson tackling the senior circuit on Mondays and Paul Singman focusing on the junior circuit on Tuesdays.
Paul gives you his final slate of outfield Value Picks for the homestretch.
Lots of production from the players but not a lot of movement in ownership rates over the past week leads me to one conclusion: people have transitioned their attention over to fantasy football. Worry not; if you’re here, I’m guessing you are still contending for the title or another top spot. And I’m still here to help you get there.
Value Picks gets the Disney treatment this week as the season winds down to the final week.
This column is coming a few days late since I spent a week with my brother’s family in Orlando—a trip that, of course, included a day at Disney World. Inspired by the visit, I’m giving this week a Disney theme (instead of the other video I introduced my nephews to). After all, sometimes Value Picks makes me feel like WALL-E, sifting through the discards of other teams to find something worth saving. With only a dozen games to play, we’re all hoping to run across the final piece of the puzzle to put us in the money for our fantasy league and make our dreams come true.
Several bullpens are feeling the effects of a long season, potentially opening up save chances for some unheralded relievers.
The Rangers’ top three relievers—Joe Nathan, Mike Adams and Alexi Ogando—have all gotten some rest over the past week or so. Whether that’s because they’re dinged or because the team is looking to rest its primary assets with an eye toward the postseason (or both), the net effect of stirring some uncertainty from a fantasy perspective is all the same. Nathan was reportedly set to be back for full deployment by Tuesday night, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rangers look to limit his usage over the final couple weeks, and the same goes for Adams and Ogando. Koji Uehara(Yahoo! 2%, ESPN 0%, CBS 1%) picked up a save in their absences over the weekend, and while that may have been the result of a flukey confluence of circumstances, those conditions could very well remain in place over the next two weeks. It’s a long shot but one worth taking if you’re scrambling for that last point or so in saves.
Jed Lowrie is healthy and Gordon Beckham is hot again, leading to stretch-run VP stints for the pair of middle infielders.
If he played a different position, Manny Machado(Yahoo! 29%, ESPN 38%, CBS 67%) would be an easy departure. Shortstop is a wretched offensive position this year, though, earning Machado a bit more leash as the season winds down. He recorded zero extra base hits this past week but did manage to steal a base. His strikeout rate is down this month, and his line drive rate is up. He has enough thump in the bat to put a charge into the ball, so deep mixed leaguers and AL-only owners should refrain from dumping Machado.
With Aroldis Chapman struggling and facing a potentially decreased workload, Dan looks at the Reds' late-inning situation in this week's VP.
A couple weeks back, I touted versatile Reds lefty Sean Marshall(Yahoo! 30%, ESPN 20%, CBS 21%) as a sharp stash, hedging against the possibility of ace closer Aroldis Chapman being shut down. I was premature then, but it appears likely now that Chapman will see some rest over the season’s final three weeks. He’s pitched poorly—and with diminished velocity—in his past two outings, apparently due to a fatiguedshoulder. The Reds, understandably, seem quite concerned.
Lacking significant September corner infield call-ups, Michael still fields a strong Value Picks lineup, joined by Josh Donaldson and Matt Dominguez this week.
The Value Picks crew had a fine week, hitting five homers, scoring 10 runs, and driving in 15 more. That’s a good thing, since the latest round of call-ups only brought one corner infielder likely to deliver fantasy value. That, however, doesn’t mean there’s nobody to be found on your waiver wire: almost all of my VPs are available in 80 percent of fantasy leagues.
Kurt Suzuki and Manny Machado join the VP crew for the stretch run in this week's edition.
Since the last Second, Short, and Catcher Value Picks article (on break last week for Labor Day), Zack Cozart(Yahoo! 23%, ESPN 22%, CBS 59%) has slumped, and more importantly, he has been bit by the injury bug. A strained oblique has Cozart riding the pine, and it's unclear when he'll return. A player can't accumulate stats if he isn’t on the diamond, so cut bait with Cozart.