Fantasy Baseball Friday: Week 18 Preview

Hard to believe we’re through with 17 weeks of fantasy baseball.

Let’s dive into week 18.


AJ Pollock (OF, LAD)

Pollock has slid under the radar this season it seems, for me at least. He’s 75% owned in ESPN leagues, so he’s still out there in enough leagues to take a look. On the season he’s batting over .300, at .306, as well as carrying a well above average wOBA and wRC+. Over the last 30 days, he’s averaging 4.3 fantasy points per game. He hits eighth for the Dodgers, but that’s an absolute beast of a lineup to be in.

Luis Gil (SP, NYY)

Gil made his MLB debut Tuesday, yes it was against the Orioles, but it was a strong outing nonetheless going six innings with six strikeouts and one walk. Gerrit Cole just went on the Covid IL so the Yankees’ rotation is pretty decimated at the moment, so Gil shouldn’t have an issue making at least his next two starts. He’s lined up to start Sunday against the Mariners and then could get another turn next week at the White Sox. Keep an eye on Gil.

Two-Start Pitchers

It’s currently lining up to be a horrendous week for two-start pitchers. Here are the five that I could scrape up:

Closer Dust Settling Post-Trade Deadline

Let’s run down the bullpens affected by the trade deadline and who appears to be emerging as the closer.

Nothing is ever clear with the Rays, but I’d put my chips behind Andrew Kittredge.

Blue Jays:
Jordan Romano appears to be the guy as Brad Hand continues to negatively regress.

White Sox:
Since Kimbrel moved to the south side there has yet to be a save opportunity, so it remains to be seen if Hendriks will retain the closer role or if La Russa will use Kimbrel in the ninth.

Ryne Stanek actually squeezed out a save Tuesday, but all signs point to Pressly continuing as the traditional closer as Graveman and Garcia assume setup roles.

Maybe I was a bit premature on the Paul Sewald love, Diego Castillo got the save Tuesday while Sewald got the hold. I’d now bet that combination is the most likely going forward.

Dylan Floro has emerged as the closer, getting back-to-back saves this week.

Ian Kennedy is still projected to be the more traditional closer, although Jose Alvarado got the save Tuesday.

Kyle Finnegan is taking over as closer post-Brad Hand.

Both Kyle Ryan and Manuel Rodriguez got saves this week, but I wouldn’t touch the Cubs’ bullpen with a 10-foot pole.

If you see any of the above names available in your Roto leagues they could be worth an add for saves sources down the stretch.


Ke’Bryan Hayes (Pit, 3B)

After coming off the IL, I was hopeful Hayes would be a great mid-season spark. Overall, he’s been a dud. On the season he is averaging 2.2 fantasy points per game. His wRC+ of 89 is, by definition, below-average. Nothing in his profile looks promising at the moment, so I’m moving on from him before playoffs.

Zach Thompson (SP, Mia)

I was hopeful Thompson would be another Marlins’ diamond-in-the-rough pitcher, but lately, he’s been disappointing. Starting pitching depth is always hard to come by, but if you’re in a fortunate spot or a shallow league there are reasons to move on from Thompson. Over the last 30 days, he’s averaging just 6.8 fantasy points per game. He somehow has a 2.38 ERA in that span, but is not striking anyone out and is walking batters, exemplified by his 3.8 K-BB%. His 5.38 SIERA over the last 30 days is a scary future indicator for serious ERA regression.

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 Quinn Harris

While we have you, make sure you check out Gav’s trade deadline review. Click on the photo below.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.