Back from a one-week hiatus, we are now in the final stretch of fantasy baseball season. By now, you have a good idea whether or not your team in a position to make a run at the league championship. Hopefully, your constant vigilance and due diligence to this point have you in the sweet spot.
September in MLB is an interesting proposition, as your fantasy team needs guy who are getting starts, plate appearances, and innings pitched. The rookie call-up influx can impact that all across real baseball and fantasy baseball, so you have to make sure your players are still actually playing.
Resist the urge to grab rookies making their MLB debuts, no matter how heralded they may be. If the kid is going to get regular starts, then and only then is it worth considering taking a flier on the rookie(s) getting their first shot at the big leagues. Otherwise, stick to the players who are getting the ABs and the IP.
Players to Get on Your Team Now
1. Mark Canha, 1B/OF, Oakland Athletics: He showed a lot of promise as a rookie in 2015, but injuries derailed him for a few years. Now, Canha is thriving with a .935 OPS as the A’s made a playoff charge. He’s hitting .317 with 11 home runs since the All-Star break.
2. Andrew Heaney, SP, Los Angeles Angels: No, the Halos are not competing for the playoffs, but Heaney has posted a 2.17 ERA and a 12.1 Ks/9 ratio in the second half. Those kinds of numbers can help any roster’s SP stat lines. At age 28, he may finally be there.
3. Corey Dickerson, OF, Philadelphia Phillies: By hitting .331 since the All-Star Game, Dickerson has commanded regular playing time. The .987 OPS in the second half is built upon 21 extra-base hits in 39 games. Ride him while he’s hot.
4. Mark Melancon, RP, Atlanta Braves: In his last five appearances, he has four saves and a win for a playoff-bound squad. That’s what you want in a relief pitcher right now. He is still available for some reason in more than 75 percent of online leagues.
Players to Drop to Waivers Now
1. José Ramírez, 3B, Cleveland Indians: A wrist injury has ended his regular season, so you might as well drop him. He had a down year this season after two straight third-place MVP finishes, although his numbers were still fantasy worthy.
2. Jon Gray, SP, Colorado Rockies: Overall, his numbers this year were solid (3.85 ERA, 11 victories, 150 Ks in 150 IP), but he broke his foot, and now Gray is done for the year. He remains one of the only Rox pitchers to bother with on draft day every spring.
3. Chris Sale, SP, Boston Red Sox: You got burned pretty badly if you drafted him this year and then waited for him to get healthy … just like Boston. The 218 Ks in just 147 IP were nice, but that 4.40 ERA and just six wins were painful.
4. Scooter Gennett, 2B, free agent: His 2017 and 2018 seasons in Cincy seem a long ways away now, as Gennett started the season hurt and couldn’t put it together even after a trade away from the Reds. The Giants waived him, and his season is done.