The start of September and fantasy baseball playoff season is upon us. I hope you all made your respective playoffs in head-to-head leagues.
Let’s dive in and win some ‘ships.
Kolten Wong (2B, Mil)
Since coming back from an IL stint on 16 July, Wong is batting .282 with an .810 OPS and a .351 wOBA. He’s also mixed in three stolen bases in that period. He bats atop a solid Brewers’ lineup who are fighting to maintain their NL Central division lead down the stretch, which bodes well for compiling in points leagues. In Roto leagues, he’s going to be a batting average and stolen bases contributor without hurting you anywhere else.
Tyler Naquin (OF, Cin)
Over the last 30 days, Naquin has been on fire, batting .333 with a 1.028 OPS and .432 wOBA. Similar to what I mentioned about Wong batting at the top of a solid Brewers lineup, Naquin hits from the two slot in a just-as-hot Reds’ lineup. The Reds are clinging on to a one-game lead for the second wild card spot, so every night they have to bring it.
This will surely jinx him, but he’s currently carrying a nice little 15-game hit streak.
Over the last 30 days, the Reds and Brewers rank 2nd and 4th, respectively, in team wOBA. It’s always great to get exposure to the meat of those lineups post-trade deadline when the league becomes so polarized between the good teams making playoff pushes and the bad teams just trotting out there to have fun.
Bailey Ober (SP, Min)
Ober is seriously flying under the radar, evidenced by him being only 3.7% owned. On the season he has a 19.3% strikeout less walk rate (K-BB%) and a 3.88 SIERA, which are both great. Over the last 30 days, which includes five starts, Ober has a 2.13 ERA with a 3.57 SIERA, 22.3% K-BB%, and a 29.8% called-strike plus whiff-rate (CSW%). I’m drooling over that line. As you’ll see below, next week he gets two starts, even though one is against the Rays I’m still looking to add and even start Ober anywhere I can.
Please bring fantasy awareness to Bailey Ober.
There are some heavy-hitters lined up to get two starts next week. If you have a fantasy playoff matchup that runs just one week, getting two starts from a pitcher you trust is a leg-up on your opponent.
They are presented in order of skill, per the super exclusive, proprietary Adam rankings method. In shallower leagues, I’m comfortable starting any of the above down through Bailey Ober. In deeper leagues, I’m fine with any down through Taijuan Walker. Anyone below Walker I’m trying to avoid unless absolutely desperate.
I may have prematurely called for the drop of redraft Jacob deGrom last week. In the least “Mets” thing of all time, they actually received good news from a recent MRI and are attempting to bring deGrom back in mid-September.
Brad Hand (RP, Tor)
Hand is still 66% owned in ESPN leagues, drop him. He’s a reliever with an abysmal 7.9% swinging-strike rate and a 5.08 SIERA over the last 30 days. He’s been relegated to a middle reliever role in Toronto.
Tommy Pham (OF, SD)
Pham is getting benched for poor play by his own team. If you are in your fantasy playoffs now is not the time to be messing around hoping Pham will turn it around for you now. He’s been largely disappointing all season, and especially so over the last month. He’s getting a big name recognition boost still being 74% owned. I’d ride the hot hand with Naquin over Pham.
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 & Instagram @SharpMoneyCo.
Photo by Kyle Rivas