10 Important Stories from 09/07/19 Box Scores: Numerous Under-the-Radar Options Emerging, Starters Who Can’t Be Trusted & More


As we prepare for the final stretch run, fantasy owners are forced to decipher which strong streaks we should be prepared to buy and which should be ignored. Let’s take a look at everything that happened on the field yesterday and try to help you determine the best route for the final few weeks:

1)Has J.A. Happ finally turned a corner…
He tossed 6.1 shutout innings, allowing 2 H and 1 BB while striking out 7, giving him 12.1 consecutive shutout innings. It’s a great sign and he no doubt was generating swings and misses (16), but is that really enough to get anyone excited? He’s been hit hard all season long (39.4%), which only backs up a potential regression in his BABIP (.276 BABIP). He’s also been miserable in terms of home runs allowed (1.97 HR/9), as he’s struggled with generating groundballs (41.0%). He obviously didn’t yield a home run yesterday, despite getting 4 groundballs vs. 7 fly balls, and he hasn’t mattered where he’s pitched (5.12 ERA at home, 5.09 on the road). Maybe he keeps it going, but we wouldn’t bet on it.

2) What an impressive performance from Alex Young…
Who you ask? The Diamondbacks starter was lights out, and while Luis Castillo did all he could to match him (7.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 10 K) it just wasn’t enough. Young delivered 8.0 shutout innings allowing 2 H and 1 BB, striking out 12, as he was a swing and miss machine (20 swinging strikes). Young had control issues at Triple-A (4.28 BB/9), but he also had been spending time both starting and relieving. Generally that hasn’t been an issue, while he’s also been a solid groundball artist (47.3% in the Majors). Where he’s struggled is generating strikeouts, with a 7.83 K/9 in the Majors even after yesterday’s performance, though a 12.5% SwStr% shows much more potential. He has the upside of putting it together and being a strong option the rest of the way, so don’t shy away if he’s available.

3) Anthony Kay makes his MLB debut for the Blue Jays…
Acquired as part of the Marcus Stroman deal, Kay allowed 2 ER on 4 H and 3 BB, striking out 8, over 5.2 IP against Charlie Morton (6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 10 K) and the Rays. Kay had to settle for a no decision, though that obviously doesn’t take away from the impressive performance, though he wasn’t generating many swings and misses (9) nor was he getting groundballs (3 groundballs vs. 5 fly balls). In 67.1 IP at Triple-A he managed just a 9.9% SwStr% and 34.9% groundball rate, so neither issue should be a surprise. Pitching in the AL East, is that a makeup that you really want to trust? Nice start, but for the rest of the season the risk is far greater than the potential reward.

4) Should the Royals’ Ryan McBroom be on our radar?
Recently recalled he’s flown a bit under the radar, but he’s been playing fairly regularly and after going 2-5 with 3 RBI yesterday he’s hitting .375 with 4 RBI over 16 AB in the Majors (both of his hits yesterday were doubles). While those numbers may not completely grab your attention, the right-handed hitter has 2 K vs. 2 BB after posting a 20.7% strikeout rate and 12.0% walk rate, courtesy of a 9.2% SwStr%, while at Triple-A. Throw in more power that could quickly present itself (29 doubles and 26 HR while at Triple-A) and the opportunity for regular AB down the stretch, consider him well worth grabbing in deeper formats.

5) Is it time to believe in the Angels’ Andrew Heaney…
Taking on the White Sox he got the W, though he wasn’t exceptional allowing 4 ER on 6 H and 0 BB, striking out 8, over 6.0 IP. You could argue that Shohei Ohtani was the bigger story (3-5, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 R, 1 SB), but we all know he’s a good option at the plate. For Heaney he has 8+ K in three of his past four starts and he’s shown great control when on the mound (11.02 K/9 vs. 2.76 BB/9 over 81.2 IP). Where he’s struggled is keeping the ball in the ballpark, with a 1.54 HR/9 courtesy of a 33.8% groundball rate. Sure there was no home runs allowed yesterday, but he generated 3 groundballs vs. 6 fly balls yesterday. There’s value and potential to make an impact down the stretch, but with the fear of home runs he’s more of a matchup/location dependent pitcher.

6) A strong return to the mound for Yu Darvish…
Darvish was forced to miss his previous start due to injury, which was especially disappointing for fantasy owners with the way he’s been pitching. He showed no ill signs yesterday, tossing 5.0 shutout innings allowing 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 7, though he had to settle for a no decision after the bullpen couldn’t get the final 12 outs. Darvish has had some disappointing starts, even while going well lately, though he has 7+ K in seven straight starts and after having control issues early in the season hasn’t walked more than 1 in 11 straight starts (and hasn’t walked more than 2 in 15 straight). While there’s still risk, if he’s healthy he’ll be worth utilizing most of the time.

7) The emergence of the Twins’ Mitch Garver continued…
He went 2-3 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R yesterday, putting him at .275 with 38 HR and 61 RBI over 273 AB. Obviously we’d like to see more than 12 doubles, but the power is highly impressive. Obviously there are going to be questions as to whether or not he can maintain a 30.1% HR/FB and a 47.2% fly ball rate for a catcher is going to cast some doubt on his ability to maintain a solid BABIP, but he’s hit the ball exceptionally hard (46.2% Hard%) and he’s shown an exceptionally strong approach (8.0% SwStr%, 20.3% O-Swing%). In other words maybe he’s not this good, but he is a strong option and if he gets the bulk of the AB he’ll be a Top 10 option in all formats.

8) Dee Gordon continues to show there’s still some value…
He went 3-3 with 1 RBI and 1 SB yesterday, and he now has an impressive six-game hitting streak (12-25 with 5 RBI, 3 R and 3 SB). Obviously he’s not going to be a great source of power and his OBP isn’t going to be great, thanks to his inability to draw a walk (14). However he makes contact (51 K) and there’s no doubting his speed (22-for-27 on SB). The value would be greater if he was hitting atop the lineup, which should lead to a few more runs scored, but speed is hard to come by and it’s possible he continues to produce down the stretch. Don’t be afraid to utilize him the rest of the way.

9) A lights out performance from Joey Lucchesi…
Taking on the Rockies he tossed 6.0 shutout innings allowing 2 H and 5 BB, striking out 8, to improve to 10-7 with a 3.84 ERA. While the results were there, obviously the control and lack of swinging strikes (8) are going to cast some doubt over the performance. Overall the former isn’t a concern (3.12 BB/9 on the season) nor is the latter (10.4% SwStr%). Of course he’s already thrown 150.0 innings this season, and while he should be able to go the rest of the way (137.2 IP last season) it’s also possible that he’s starting to tire at least a little bit and he also could see a regression in his .264 BABIP. Long-term there’s a lot to like, but in the short-term fantasy owners may not want to trust him.

10) Tony Gonsolin pitches fairly well for the Dodgers…
Sure it came against the Giants but he allowed 1 ER on 2 H and 4 BB, striking out 5, over 4.0 IP in what proved to be a losing effort (the Dodgers couldn’t score against Tyler Beede and a host of relievers). For Gonsolin it’s noteworthy that he threw 88 pitches, because it’s possible he continues to get starts down the stretch as the Dodgers give their top pitchers additional rest in preparation for a deep October run. That said Gonsolin struggled with his control (4.57 BB/9) over 41.1 IP at Triple-A, and he also wasn’t a groundball machine (35.7% groundball rate). Pitching for the Dodgers he could prove to be a streaming option, and there’s certainly upside, but don’t consider him a must start.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs


    • Newman I really have to dig into, but it’s possible he emerges if he can add a little bit of power.

      As for Aquino I’ve been lower on him than most and worry about the strikeouts zapping his power. For most he’s probably a lock, I’d say he’s borderline but it’s possible

  1. Hello Professor,

    Thank you for helping me get to the finals! Please rank your top 3 potential streamers from this waiver wire mess. I’m short on starts this week and can use up to 3 moves this week if needed.

    Lyles @ Mia
    Folty @ Phi
    T. Williams @SF
    Eovaldi @Tor
    P. Lopez vs. Mil
    Mahle @Sea
    D.Rodriguez vs. Mia
    Webb vs. Mia

    Thanks again for your feedback

    • I’d go with Lyles for sure, but after that I don’t particularly love anyone. I guess I’d lean Williams/Eovaldi but honestly don’t feel strongly.

      Thanks for the support and good luck!

  2. With Kepler out for a few days I need a replacement Choice:

    Fowler@ Colo
    C. Dickerson vs Atl
    Cano vs Ari
    Pillar vs Pit
    Yaz vs Pit
    Tucker vsOak
    A. Garcia @ Tex



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