Fantasy Baseball Friday: Week 17 Preview

Back to our regularly scheduled programming for this week’s #FBF. It’s the home stretch of the fantasy season so at this point your team is pretty much solidified, but there are always a couple of moves to be made here and there.

Let’s dive in.



Mitch Garver*

*pending his potentially injured hand situation

Garver is below 50% rostered due to him getting out to a bit of a slow start and ending up in that “meh” category for catchers. Don’t look now but over his last 30 days, he’s averaging 6.2 fantasy points per game, which is insane. Even his season-long stats look great, he boasts a .926 OPS, .391 wOBA with a .394 xwOBA to support it, a 150 wRC+, and a 42.4% hard-hit rate.

Jorge Soler

He’s still going to crush you in batting average, but over his last 30 days, Soler has a .868 OPS and seven home runs. He’s been known to go on tears in the past, we could be in the middle of one now.

Joey Votto

Votto has been getting it done all year when he’s been healthy. He’s still less than 70% owned. Jared Walsh just went on the IL, if you have Walsh Votto should be an easy choice as a replacement.

Harrison Bader

Bader has clearly flown under the radar this year still sitting at less than 50% owned, but here’s his season-long stat line:

.293 avg, .893 OPS, .370 wOBA, 135 wRC+

He’s not going to help you much in any power department but he can hold pace as an average steals contributor and clearly would be a batting average source with that average. He’s a sneaky compiler in points leagues.

Starting Pitchers

Patrick Sandoval

Sandoval is still under 50% owned and has been very good this year, especially recently. His changeup is filthy, take a look at the image below, looks exactly like his fastball until it ends up being 10 mph slower. Because of that, he has the fifth-best overall swinging-strike rate in baseball, with his changeup being the second-best individual pitch.


Paul Sewald

Kendall Graveman got traded from Seattle so the clear closer role opens up for Sewald. Sewald’s peripherals all look elite as well, especially a 15.5% swinging-strike rate and a 2.17 SIERA. Of course in the middle of finalizing this Diego Castillo to the Mariners just broke. I still think both Sewald and Castillo will be used in closer roles and Sewald is worth an add in Roto leagues.

Two-Start Pitchers

Guys who are currently slated to get two starts next week who you should look at adding or bumping into your starting lineup. As always skipping the must-start guys defined as owned in greater than 80% of leagues.

Presented in order of best to worst, in my humble opinion.

P.S. I’m skipping Zach Davies, Wily Peralta, and Garrett Richards because I won’t subject you to torture.


Yadier Molina

Yadi has been very disappointing and is still around 70% owned, not much looks good in his profile. I’d rather have Garver, Max Stassi, or Mike Zunino who are all widely available.

Taijuan Walker

Walker’s SIERA over his last 30 days is a puke-worthy 6.80. He does have a two-start week this week, so maybe hold on another week if you’re desperate.

John Means

John Means from the start of the year through his 29 May start: 2.05 ERA.

John Means from his 5 June start through the present: 8.03 ERA

Those cut-off dates are relevant as his 5 June start was his first outing since the MLB announced they were cracking down on sticky substances. Granted he’s only had three starts since that day due to injury, but he was suspected of using some substances during his no-hitter.

Trade Deadline Roundup

The MLB trade deadline is today, so pending any last-minute deals, let’s take a look at some of the bigger moves and a quick note on their fantasy implications. In most situations there really isn’t a material change in the big-name players, however, the downstream impact could be felt especially with pitching rotations and closer roles.

Move: Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Dodgers
Implication: Maybe the slightest of upticks for Scherzer and Turner but they’ll still be studs. It appears Turner will slot in at second base with Corey Seager coming off the IL so that negatively impacts playing time for some combination of Chris Taylor, Gavin Lux, Matt Beaty, Zach McKinstry, and Billy McKinney. For now, Scherzer seamlessly slides into the rotation but when Clayton Kershaw comes off the IL either David Price, Tony Gonsolin, or Julio Urias will most likely be moved to a bullpen role.

Move: Anthony Rizzo to Yankees
Implication: Rizzo gets a slight boost from this, he’s going to a better park for lefties and a better lineup (in theory).

Move: Ryan Tepera to White Sox
Implication: The Cubs seem to be blowing it up, so IF Kimbrel also gets traded, the Cubs’ closer role opens up to either Rex Brothers or Dan Winkler. I’d lean Brothers.

Move: Brad Hand to Blue Jays
Implication: Jordan Romano and Hand should split closer duties in Toronto. Kyle Finnegan becomes the closer in Washington.

Move: Joey Gallo to the Yankees
Implication: Joey Gallo needs to shave. But seriously maybe a slight uptick in Gallo’s power output via a few 315 foot home runs.

Move: Starling Marte to A’s, Jesus Luzardo to Marlins
Implication: Marte goes to a better lineup, from the 27th ranked to 15th ranked in team wOBA on the season. He’ll most likely bat towards the top of that lineup so maybe a slight uptick in points leagues or the runs category in Roto. This could be a positive for Luzardo in dynasty leagues. The Marlins seem to develop pitchers well and a change in scenery can’t hurt.

Move: Eduardo Escobar to Brewers
Implication: It’s a better lineup and a good park to hit in, slight uptick for Escobar.

Move(s): Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero to Astros. Yimi Garcia to the Astros. Diego Castillo to Mariners.
Implication: Paul Sewald gets an uptick as he’ll most likely share the closer role in Seattle. Diego Castillo probably remains the same. The Marlins’ closer role becomes a mess with four possible options. Graveman and Garcia immediately lose almost all value as closers as they’ll most likely assume setup roles in Houston while Ryan Pressly remains closer. The Rays’ closer situation is pretty murky and they can be unconventional, but I’d look at Andrew Kittredge as getting a bump as a potential Rays closer.

Move: Tyler Anderson to Mariners
Implication: No notable fantasy implications.

Move: Adam Frazier to Padres
Implication: Frazier has been an unsung hero this year being amazing on a poor team, he gets an uptick hitting atop a loaded Padres lineup. For reference, the Pirates are 28th in team wOBA and Padres are 12th.

Move: Nelson Cruz to Rays
Implication: None really, he’ll still rip dingers.

Move: Joc Pederson to Braves
Implication: It doesn’t seem Pederson will be platooning in Atlanta so if he plays every day no matter the pitcher’s dominant arm that’s a plus for him in terms of volume.

Fantasy expert, Adam Gruttadaro, is a guest contributor for Bat Flips and Nerds. Check out his website for more fantasy tips and follow him on Twitter @SharpMoneyCo.

Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea

While you’re here, check out the latest podcast with Ben chatting to Mets’ fan and Maccabee, Felix White.

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