Happy Kokomo Friday! Hope you are ready for Labor Day weekend and are ready to make the final push in your Fantasy Baseball leagues. Speaking of which, here’s hope Aaron Nola saves their best in the end. He put up another dud against Citizens this time he gave up six races over four laps, bringing the ERA to 4.54. It’s hard to believe that a pitcher can be unlucky an entire season, but based on everything we have, that seems to be the case. I know that when he watched Nola this season, he missed his places in the zone, which at times has led to hard contact. He’s not entirely innocent, but I think he’s been pretty unlucky. I know it’s hard to trust him at this time of year, but I would leave Nola in the lineup for two starts next week.
On the hitter side of things, it’s time to take a look Akil Baddoo again if he is available in your league. He is now homered in back-to-back games and is only 54% listed. Next week he has six games with only one left at the moment on the schedule. I still prefer it Connor joe over Baddoo, but if Joe’s already gone, Baddoo is next time in Week 24.
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Webb spins another pearl
Tea The giants is one of the best stories in baseball this year and SP Logan web is a big reason for that. The unsuspecting (borderline ace?) Spun another evil gem Thursday night. Webb went seven laps deep Breweries and allowed only four hits and one turn to go along with one earned race. Webb is a pioneering pitcher for a long time, but what has separated him as a Fantasy Baseball ace during the last 11 starts, is the fact that he also gets a shot. Webb struck out 10 on Thursday and induced 21 swinging strokes on 92 lanes (nine on the slider, five on his sinker, four on the prey and three on the fastball with four stitches).
Webb has been a legitimate must-start pitcher for a while now, and the bigger question has been where he ranks going forward. Webb may still have his doubters, but over the last 11 starts he has collected an ERA of 1.57 with 67 strikeouts in 63 1/2 innings.
I’ve moved him up to SP25, just behind Max Fried and Framber Valdez, and it feels almost too low at this point. Elite baseball pitchers who have an average strikeout per inning are a great resource in Fantasy. Web sites in Colorado next week.
McKenzie comes and shoots IL
He has not been close to the Logan Webb level from a lifetime or purely dominance point of view, but Cleveland SP Triston McKenzie continues to shine in the second half. We’ve been hyping McKenzie for a while now, and it turns out that his short time at IL was not going to slow down the momentum. Fresh from IL on Thursday, McKenzie continued what he has shown in the last excursions before the trip to IL.
McKenzie went six laps strong and allowed only two hits and one turn to go along with an unearned run. He struck out six and induced nine swinging strokes on 76 courses. He could have gone further in this one – of course – but Cleveland played it safe. The number of pitches will probably jump in the next start, but the important thing is that McKenzie’s speed remained in this start.
In his nine starts since the beginning of July, McKenzie has a 3.27 ERA with 54 strikeouts over 55 innings and just one turn. Funny fact: He has only allowed 60 hits over 97.1 IPs this season – a .173 BAA. It can only be the most incredible McKenzie statistic available right now.
News and notes
- Ozzie Albies has now missed two straight after breaking the ball from the knee on Tuesday. He was originally expected to play on Thursday, so hopefully he will return this weekend because we need Ozzie in Coors.
- Max Scherzer left Thursday’s start after just 76 places due to tightness in hoarding. “In the past, I have always been able to get my next start, and I definitely think I will get my next start.”
- After missing two days with an ankle injury, JT Realmuto came back to the lineup Thursday. He finished 1-4 with two races scored.
- Hiking free left Thursday’s match with a headache. He quietly puts together a solid second half.
- Avisail Garcia went out Thursday due to tightness in the back and hoarding.
- Gleyber Torres left the rehab game after being hit by a pitch, but later reported that all is well. If that is the case, we can see him back already on Friday.
- Ke’Bryan Hayes has missed three games in a row due to a blister on his hand.
- Wilmer Flores was placed on IL with a left hoarding strain.
- Kyle Freeland received an injection to relieve inflammation of the hip on Thursday and is expected to be ready for his next turn through the rotation.
- Brett Anderson was placed on IL with a left shoulder contusion.
- Zach thompson has been moved to the bullpen so it looks like Edward Cabrera the role is safe for now.
Every week Scott White drops his prospectus report highlights top opportunities around baseball that are either on the verge of being called up or on the periphery. This week feels even more important than usual with so many teams calling out prospects. This week highlighted the following players.
Witt: Assistant GM JJ Picollo already lay the groundwork for disappointment a couple of weeks ago when he pointed out that the rosters will not be expanded by that much in September, and that the Triple-A season will not end so early, and run out the end of the month.
“So do we really have the opportunity to give someone a chance in September? And if not, do we know they’ll get another close to 100 strokes during September,” he said Kansas City Star. “So I think it’s completely different, and I think the dynamics have changed completely.”
He did not specifically address Witt, but … he did address him, did he? I keep Witt as my No. 1 potential to save, but less because I’m optimistic, he will get the call than because his impact potential is so high if he does.
Five in the periphery: KEY OFF Oscar Gonzalez; SEA SP Matt Brash; KC 1B Vinnie Pasquantino; LAD SS Eddys Leonard; BAL 3B Coby Mayo
Gonzalez: Gonzalez is one of those swing-at-everything types who sometimes has trouble breaking into major subjects, and that may be why he failed to get much grip in the prospect ranking. But he has proven this year that he can damage the ball when he gets it. The profile starts to look like it Jesus sanchez, complete with all risk. But given that Gonzalez has continued to get it done since he went up to Triple-A – and especially in the last, homering five times in the last 10 games – I would say that he is underrated in dynasty leagues.