Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Which Recently How Hitters Are Worth Trusting?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Over a short period of time anything is possible, so trying to decide who to use and who to ignore for the final week of the season is a tricky proposition.  Are the recently hot hitters worth riding?  Are things too good to be true, making them easy to ignore?  Let’s take a look at three hitters who are owned in less than 50% of CBS leagues, but have been raking over the past week to determine their viability:

 

Luke Voit – New York Yankees – First Baseman
Past 7 Days – .368, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R, 0 SB

An under-the-radar Trade Deadline addition, Voit has clearly outplayed Greg Bird and assumed the role of Yankees’ starting first baseman.  He’s been raking ever since arriving in New York, hitting .306 with 11 HR and 25 RBI over 121 AB, so is it possible to write him off now?

You can question his ability to make consistent contact, considering his 14.9% SwStr%, but he doesn’t chase (28.6% O-Swing%) and is scorching the baseball (42.7% Hard%).  While the Yankees play all 7 games on the road this week, Voit has produced well away from Yankee Stadium (.320 with 5 HR over 50 AB).  Plus, with something to play for there is every reason to think Voit will be in the lineup every day.  A slump is a risk, but he’s been playing too well to write him off now.

Verdict – Use Him

 

D.J. Stewart – Baltimore Orioles – Outfielder
Past 7 Days – .583, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R, 1 SB

Stewart has performed well in his 10 games in the Majors, but the problem is that Baltimore has deployed him as part of a platoon (2 AB against southpaws).  That’s interesting, because he actually performed better against LHP while at Triple-A this season:

  • RHP (315 AB) – .225/.311/.381
  • LHP (106 AB) – .264/.377/.406

The Orioles have three lefties on the schedule this week, assuming all goes to plan (never a given this late in the season), and none of them are particularly easy matchups (Chris Sale, David Price & Dallas Keuchel).  Throw in the strikeout risk (13.5% SwStr% at Triple-A) and the risk outweighs the potential reward.

Verdict – Don’t Use Him

 

Joc Pederson – Los Angeles Dodgers – Outfielder
Past 7 Days – .462, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 6 R, 0 SB

Pederson always seems to be on our radar, doesn’t he?  He’s gotten hot at the right time though he’s also a platoon player and that’s always going to create a risk.  The Dodgers are scheduled to face three left-handed pitchers this week, and there’s little reason to think that anything is going to change with Robbie Ray early in the week and the Giants having little reason to alter their schedule (Andrew Suarez & Derek Holland).  Could he be highly productive in the other three games?  It’s possible, but do you really want to risk getting enough production from three starts with your fantasy title hanging in the balance?

Verdict – Don’t Use Him

Sources – CBS Sports, Fangraphs, MILB.com

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