Hope everybody out there had a great Labor Day weekend! I know my boy Frank Schwindel did is he hit another three homers. He’s now homered in six of his last seven games but you can read more about him below. Instead, let’s focus on two of the biggest MVPs in Fantasy Baseball this season: Salvador Perez and Robbie Ray. Despite battling a neck injury, Perez blasted three more homers this weekend, bringing his season total to 41. He’s currently the eighth ranked player overall in 5×5 rotisserie leagues. With an ADP of 86 before the season… that’ll work.
The same could be said for Robbie Ray who currently ranks as the 23rd overall player. He lowered his ERA to 2.60 and WHIP down to 0.99 to go along with 212 strikeouts. Simplifying his arsenal to just the fastball and slider to go along with much improved control has been the key for Ray this season. It will be interesting to see who emerges from the American League Cy Young race between Ray, Gerrit Cole and Lance Lynn.
Schwindel swats another three bombs
Cubs 1B Frank Schwindel was not some heralded prospect call up but instead a player who benefited most from Chicago’s decision to trade Anthony Rizzo to the Yankees and he is without a doubt taking advantage of his playing time. Schwindel grabbed nine more hits over the weekend! Those nine hits included three more homers and he now has a home run in six of his last seven games. He is now batting .338 with 10 homers and a 1.037 OPS.
Schwindel is just 39% rostered, has six games next week and he’s going to continue playing every day. He needs to be called up from the bench and roll with this while it lasts (which may not be too long if you dig into his profile). Schwindel makes a lot of contact and puts the ball in the air a lot. Those things equal extra base hits, but you should expect the batting average to take a step back at some point.
Schwindel hit for a lot of power in the minors. He reminds me a bit of Christian Walker and his rise (although he has fallen off this year).
Candelario keeps his monster second half rolling
Tigers 3B Jeimer Candelario is another out-of-nowhere hitter absolutely ripping through the second half of the season. Though not quite as old as Schwindel (27 to Frank’s 29), Candelario is coming on strong and on Sunday he went 2-for-3 with a 3-run triple in a game that was decided in Detroit’s favor by a 4-1 scoreline. He also added a walk and a run scored. Candelario has been a borderline elite run scorer in the second half.
Speaking of his second half, here are the numbers: .311 batting average, seven home runs, 19 doubles, and a .948 OPS in 47 games. That’s a pace of 22 homers and 60 doubles over 150 games. He’s just 59% rostered.
I asked guest Justin Mason to pick one of Candelario and Schwindel to fill out a top waiver claim and we came together with a split opinion. I preferred Schwindel and Justin is rolling with Candelario, in part due to the supporting cast. Who would’ve ever thought we’d be saying that about the Tigers and the Cubs.
News and notes
- Clayton Kershaw will make a three-inning rehab start at Triple-A on Tuesday. He reportedly felt good after a sim game on Friday.
- Jack Flaherty is expected to begin a throwing program in the next couple days. He’s on the IL with a right shoulder strain.
- Shane Bieber apparently threw a simulated game Saturday but there was no update on him anywhere.
- Jacob DeGrom is still likely about 10 days from advancing to bullpen sessions.
- Max Scherzer completed a bullpen Saturday and is expected to start Monday against the Cardinals. He left his last start a little early due to hamstring tightness.
- Michael Pineda is expected to return Monday and piggyback Bailey Ober. They’ll try and get 6-7 total innings out of the pair. Should we bench Ober then?
- Tony Gonsolin felt good after Saturday’s rehab start and could be activated soon. He’s 43% rostered.
- Daniel Lynch exited Saturday’s start in the third inning due to a cut on his finger.
- Jake Meyers and Chas McCormick will share center field throughout the month of September.
- Luis Severino is reportedly doing well and is expected to return to mound work by next weekend.
- Miguel Rojas was removed Sunday with left trap soreness.
To the IL this weekend (lots of hamstrings):
- Lucas Giolito strained left hamstring.
- A.J. Pollock with a grade 2 hamstring strain (will miss a few weeks).
- Connor Joe right hamstring strain.
- Brandon Nimmo right hamstring strain.
- Willy Adames straight left quad (aggravated it Saturday).
- Jonathan Loaisiga with a strained right rotator cuff.
- Austin Gomber with a back injury.
- Nick Pivetta to the COVID IL.
- Justin Upton with a right lumbar strain.
Waiver wire starting pitchers to target
- Phillies SP/RP Ranger Suarez was impressive again, this time going five shutout innings against Miami and allowing just two hits and two walks. He also struck out seven batters with 13 swinging strikes induced on 71 pitches. He’s 59% rostered and vs. Colorado this week. In seven starts since joining the rotation, these are his numbers: 1.71 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 63% groundball rate.
- Mets SP Rich Hill pitched six shutout innings against the Nationals and allowed just three hits and two walks. He also added four strikeouts. Hill has allowed just five earned runs over his last three starts — 16 innings in total. He is 52% rostered and at Miami this week (28th in wOBA vs. LHP, 29th last 14 days).
- Royals SP Carlos Hernandez had a nice outing against the White Sox going six innings deep and allowing two earned runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out three batters. The swing and miss stuff aren’t great, but since being put in the rotation mid-July here are his numbers: 2.94 ERA, 39 strikeouts over 49 innings pitched. This goes along with a 4.52 xFIP and a 10.6% SwStr rate. He’s 58% rostered and at Baltimore this week (24th vs. RHP, 5th last 14 days).
- Red Sox SP Tanner Houck went five shutout innings against Cleveland and allowed just three hits and no walks. He also struck out seven batters with a very impressive 15 swinging strikes on just 68 pitches. He’s 58% rostered and at CWS this week (6th vs. RHP, 1st last 14 days).
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