Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. With September upon us, many of you will soon be into your league playoffs. Keep working that wire to take you over the top, peeps!
This week, Milwaukee made a move to beef up its rotation by acquiring Gio Gonzalez from the Nats; the Yankees also made a splash, trading for Andrew McCutchen despite the fact Aaron Judge (wrist) is due back before the end of the season; and the Dodgers improved their bullpen by landing Ryan Madson from Washington, a team which clearly went into sell mode.
And now, let’s get to this week’s Fantasy baseball waiver wire picks…
Logan Forsythe, 2B, Minnesota Twins (ESPN: 2.2 per cent; CBS: 6 per cent): Forsythe seems like a different player since arriving in Minnesota at the end of July in the Brian Dozier trade. While he’s cooled off recently (taking a periodic seat as a result), he was hitting .377 through his first three weeks and change with the Twins and he’s still getting on base, drawing four walks over the last three games. Forsythe was worth spending a bit of FAAB on last week, and we’re still buying for the home stretch. With the Dodgers, he had never hit worse, but in a fraction of the time since the trade, he’s almost matched his counting cat numbers. Known as a glove first player, Forsythe has also had some decent seasons with the lumber recently (see 2015 and 2016, for instance), so he could be a nice asset in an AL-only league for your stretch run. He’s certainly no stranger to finding his way on a new team (see video below).
Dellin Betances, RP, New York Yankees (ESPN: 39.3 per cent; CBS: 49 per cent): With Aroldis Chapman out, the Yanks have employed a few different options for saves, but Betances is the one we want, despite a blown save on Thursday. In his two previous outings, Betances earned a win and a save and before Thursday, he had gone over two weeks since last being scored on. Going back further, he’s been on a roll since the end of May, posting a 0.00 ERA in June and 0.90 mark in July. Generally, Betances has been very reliable this season, and — as per usual — he’s been a workhorse. There are concerns about his ability to handle the ninth inning (33 career saves, 18 blown), but he’s on the cusp of a fifth straight 100-K season, making him a useful asset whether he’s earning saves or not.
- We already acknowledged that 2016 fifth overall pick Corey Ray rewarded the Brewers’ faith in him with his performance at Double-A this year. Okay, he’s slumping down the stretch, but he’s had a career year, racking up tons of total bases.
- Speaking of the Brewers, where would they be without Jhoulys Chacin this season, especially considering the injuries/ineffective of expected No. 1 and 2 starters Chase Anderson and Zach Davies? Chacin turned in another quality start Friday — his fifth straight, during which he’s gone 4-1 with a 2.09 ERA. He’s been quite consistent this season despite a lower strikeout rate.
- Cleveland improved its chances of returning to the World Series with the acquisition of Josh Donaldson. Shoulder and calf woes have sidelined him most of the season, and it’s still unclear when he’ll be back, but it’s supposed to be before the end of the season. Donaldson’s power was down significantly while active, but we all know what he’s capable of when healthy.
- The Dodgers also added help at the hot corner, landing David Freese from the Pirates for a minor leaguer. His extra-base pop has been better this year, but he only plays enough to be useful in very deep NL-only leagues. Freese is likely to only play first base against lefties, with the occasional start at third.
- After a career low 18.7 per cent strikeout rate in 2016, Bryce Harper whiffed more often last year, but this season his rate has skyrocketed nearly to a career worst. He fanned twice more Friday, but also walked for the fourth straight game as he wrapped up a very strong month of August.
- Paul Goldschmidt has shaken off a mini slump, recording his second straight multi-hit game on Friday with a homer and a double. He’s on pace for a career high in at-bats, but his walk rate has declined for the third straight season, dragging down his OPS.
- Lonnie Chisenhall’s ongoing calf issues continue to plague him, and he’s not improving at the pace the team had hoped for, possibly ending his 2018 campaign. So despite the fact he’s sort of found his niche as a part-time player the last couple of years, he may be done in Cleveland.
- Justin Smoak sure made the most of his first career pinch-hit homer. He came off the bench in the ninth inning on Friday and delivered a grand salami with two outs and two strikes to lift the Jays over the Fish, 6-5. Smoak has gone yard in three straight games, producing seven RBI. He’s given back some of the contact improvements he made during his breakout 2017, and that’s made it impossible for him to duplicate his slash line.
- Another dude that hasn’t quite duplicated his 2017 career season is Dodger third baseman Justin Turner. He has three hits, including a huge home run, over the first two games in this weekend’s big series against Arizona, but a broken wrist and groin strain cost him a good chunk of the season. Still, while active, Turner has been just as productive as last year.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
More CanCon today as we pick a classic from Canadian rockers Streetheart, who had a string of national hits in the late-’70s and early-’80s. From its 1978 debut album, Meanwhile Back in Paris, comes “Can You Feel it,” a tune that takes me back to my formative years.
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Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy baseball waiver wire pick of the week is.