It goes without saying, that at this point in the season, the standings are a complete and total sweat. Anything little thing that happens on the field could very well be the deciding factor in how your year goes. While there is some hyperbole in that statement, there certainly are some situations in which it is quite literal.
But the biggest sweat on this Sunday, was figuring out every possible angle with which to attack the waiver wire. Of course in a lot of leagues, most of mine to be honest, the wire has been picked clean, and there really isn’t much there. However, depending on your situation, that doesn’t mean it is for lack of trying.
With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the performances that caught our attention yesterday:
1) John Means Business
There are only seven days left in the season, so why not get started with a bad pun. All things considered, if John Means was on your roster, you have to be pretty excited about how things went yesterday, and for the majority of the season in fact. Means picked up his 11th victory of the season on Sunday with seven innings of one run ball against Seattle while allowing seven hits and one walk and striking out four. That brought Means ERA for the season down to 3.54; in other words far better than anyone would have thought. With a 3.02 ERA in his last seven starts, Means is finishing the season strong, and but does this mean for next season? For starters, striking out just under seven batters per nine innings isn’t sustainable, although we do like the fact that he is walking just 2.16 batters per nine innings. But with a 4.31 FIP and 5.50 xFIP, I’m going to maintain skepticism for 2020.
2) Severino Couldn’t Have Been Better
Rightfully so, the Yankees were cautious with Luis Severino on Sunday and they lifted the right-hander after five innings and 80 pitches (54 strikes). The right-hander missed the majority of the season, but by all indications, health is clearly no longer a concern for Severino. He limited the Blue Jays to just three hits and while not allowing a run or a walk and striking out nine. In nine innings (two outings), Severino has yet to allow a run to go along with 13 strikeouts. He is ready both for the playoffs and for next season as a possible value in drafts for those who forgot about him.
3) Conforto Has Another Strong Effort
As he went 2 for 3 with a walk on Sunday, Michael Conforto went deep for the 31st time this season with a three run shot in the first inning. The outfielder later added his 27th double as he brought his batting average for the season up to .252. Conforto is one of those players who, based on his natural swing, you would expect to hit for a higher average, but this seems to be what we can expect from him moving forward. With 87 RBI to this point, Conforto could be a good bet for a future of 30/100 campaigns.
4) Sierra Sets the Table
We know that Magneuris Sierra is fast, but you can’t steal first base. With a .190 average in 54 games last season with the Marlins, that certainly proved to be true. This season in the minor leagues, Sierra bounced back to hit a solid .275, but more importantly, he stole 33 bases. To this point, Sierra is taking advantage of his late season audition with the Marlins, and that was on display yesterday as he went 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored. Through 40 at bats, Sierra is batting .350 with five runs scored and three stolen bases as he looks to set himself up for a potential role next season.
5) Eloy Gets to 30
With so many explosive performances, power displays, and young players making a name for themselves this season, I feel like Eloy Jimenez has almost gotten lost in the shuffle. Playing for the White Sox doesn’t exactly help his cause either, but Jimenez is having a pretty solid rookie season. Yesterday, the outfielder went deep for the 30th time as he also added his 17th double of the season to bring his batting average up to .269. Jimenez is up to 77 RBI on the year, but he is certainly finishing the season strong as he is hitting .339 in his last 30 games with eight home runs and 26 RBI.
6) Webb Picks up the Victory
And this is why in September, there really aren’t many starting pitchers who are off limits as long as you have the stomach for it. One of those pitchers has gotten off to a less than stellar start to his major league career, but that wasn’t the case on Sunday. Logan Webb picked up his second victory of the season as he held the Braves to just one run in six innings of work. Webb limited Atlanta to just two hits and a walk as he struck out seven to get his ERA down to 5.61. The right-hander is striking out about a batter an inning (32 in 33.2 innings), but that’s really the only good thing we can say about his brief major league career to this point. With a 1.85 ERA prior to his promotion, after a 2.41 ERA in 2017, Webb can be a solid streaming option.
7) Thames Shows off the Power
Eric Thames has power, and when given an opportunity this season, he has shown it. The platoon role seems to be working for Thames, and yesterday he went deep twice which gave him 23 home runs on the season in 376 at bats along with 59 RBI. With a .250 batting on the year, Thames doesn’t exactly stand out from the crowd, and he can be known to be streaky, but as players are dropping like flies over the last week of the season, he should be on your radar.
8) A Hat Trick in Houston
There was a lot going on in Houston on Sunday as Justin Verlander won his 20th game of the season and the Astros secured their third straight division title, but George Springer was the star. The lead-off kicked off the game with a home run for the 12th time this season, and then Springer followed that up by going deep twice more for the first three run homer of his career. Springer is now up to 38 home runs on the season while driving in 94 as he guns for a 40/100 campaign. Batting .292 with 91 runs scored, Springer is taking the next step in his career, but the big thing for him, was the fact that he stayed healthy.
9) Calhoun Goes Deep Twice
After leaving the park twice on Sunday, Willie Calhoun is up to 20 home runs on the season as he is doing a good job taking advantage of his opportunity for playing time this season. In 290 at bats, Calhoun is hitting .269 with 44 RBI as he is setting himself up for a larger role next season. Defense is never going to be Calhoun’s strong suit, but he has at least done a solid job in left field, and as long as the bat plays, Texas will find a place for him.
10) Sano Shows off the Power
If only Miguel Sano was healthy enough to play the entire season, then what would we have seen out of him? Yesterday, Sano went deep twice to bring his home run total for the season up to 33, but it has come in just 367 at bats. With 77 RBI and 72 runs scored, despite batting at the bottom of the order, Sano has been a solid contributor. Well that is as long as you can handle the .248 batting average, but that really shouldn’t surprising. While we want to contain ourselves, we know that Sano’s power is real, and 50 isn’t out of the question for next season.