It’s crunch time, and every opportunity to secure at-bats and IP counts. The Reds have nine games on the schedule this week: four against the Pirates and five against the Cardinals. Miami, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, and Toronto have eight scheduled games. Conversely, Boston, Baltimore, New York Yankees, Seattle, Colorado, Washington, and Milwaukee only have five-game schedules. The hot-hitting TJ Friedl and Jake Fraley should be part and parcel of your plans. Maximize your opportunities this week. In tight races, they can and quite often make a difference.
Cavan Biggio, 1B/2B/3B, TOR (CBS: 14% rostered, ESPN: 7% rostered): The Jays are playing eight games this coming week. Cavan Biggio will likely play in a fair share of them. Cavan Biggio has hit two homers in his past six games and plays all over the infield.
Lewis Brinson, OF, SFG (CBS: 2% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): Lewis Brinson hit home runs this week. Two on Monday against the Dodgers in one game, followed by a third a day later. In his next four games, he went 0-for-9 with four strikeouts. In NL-only formats, please give him a look but be very wary of the words of the great Peter Noone. “Second (maybe third) verse, same as the first.”
Hunter Brown, SP, HOU (CBS: 59% rostered, ESPN: 14% rostered): The talent-rich Astros called up Hunter Brown this week. With 134 strikeouts in only 106 IP and an excellent 2.55, he stepped up and tossed six shutout innings of three-hit ball against the Rangers. He’s looking at a two-start week with Oakland at home and Detroit on the road. Gimme, gimme, gimme! The rich get richer while the poor still swim in the Allegheny.
Alec Burleson, OF, STL (CBS: 11% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): Alec Burleson finally joins Nolan Gorman in St. Louis. The question now is how much playing time he will receive. Regular at-bats should be in the cards for the 23-year-old slugger until the return of Dylan Carlson from the thumb sprain that currently has him on the IL. After Carlson returns, all bets are off.
Alex Call, OF, WAS (CBS/ESPN: not rostered): Alex Call might not have the pedigree of some of the recent call-ups, but what he does bring to the table is a steady diet of quality at-bats. Two homers in his past three games should ensure plenty of future quality at-bats.
Garrett Cooper, 1B/OF, MIA (20% rostered, ESPN: 6% rostered): Here’s a name that hasn’t been mentioned in a while and for good cause. Cooper hasn’t been able to stay on the field, dealing with injury-after-injury. Well, he’s healthy and enjoying a nice little run for the Marlins, going 9-for-23 with a homer in his past six games. It’s time to spend a couple of bucks hoping that streak continues.
Nate Eaton, 3B/OF, KCR (CBS: 1% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): Yes, he’s one-dimensional, but that one dimension can quickly gain you points. He stole bases on three consecutive days last week, and there are no red lights in Kansas City.
Eduardo Escobar, 2B/3B, NYM (CBS: 52% rostered, ESPN: 56% rostered): We finally have an Eduardo Escobar sighting in New York. It has been a long, tough first year, but a 12-for-24 run with a couple of bombs is cause to remind us of the great 2019 campaign in Arizona.
Oscar Gonzalez, OF, CLE (CBS: 34% rostered, ESPN: 4% rostered): Gonzalez had a big game this week, swatting two home runs and driving in five runs against the Twins. The power hasn’t fully developed, but the 24-year-old has already shown the Indians enough that they parted company with Franmil Reyes. Hitting in the five-hole is a bonus.
Josh Jung, 3B, TEX (CBS: 40% rostered, ESPN: 6% rostered): We recommended a small bid on August 21, and it took a few weeks, but we finally have a Jung sighting in Texas. He has plenty of missed time over the past two seasons, and that solo home run in his first at-bat is the right way to get started.
Ryne Nelson, SP, ARZ (CBS: 11% rostered, ESPN: 2% rostered): Nelson’s run-inflated PCL numbers at Reno weren’t a precursor to his strong seven-innings of shutout ball against the Padres this past Monday. It’s a tough two-start week, with the Dodgers and Padres on the schedule, but both games are at home. He did already handle the Padres with ease in his debut. Can he repeat that performance this week?
Glenn Otto, SP, TEX (CBS: 11% rostered, ESPN: 2% rostered): Glenn Otto is enjoying an okay season. He’s sporting a 4.80 ERA with 87 strikeouts in 108 2/3 IP. Why does he get our recommendation this week? One reason and a straightforward one. He has a two-start week in Florida with the Marlins and Rays on the schedule.
Anibal Sanchez, SP, WAS (CBS: 3% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): Anibal Sanchez is living proof that it is possible for a Washington National starting pitcher to win a game this year. Hey, he’s actually won two. Over his past five games, against the Padres twice, Mariners, A’s, and Cards, he has allowed a total of five earned runs. Memories of that great 2013 campaign in Detroit are flooding back.
Edmundo Sosa, 2B/SS/3B, PHI (CBS: 2% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): He’s not a full-time regular, but he’s playing like he wants to be one. In the past week, Sosa has gone 7-for-12 with a pair of home runs and 5 RBI. Ride the hot streak for all it’s worth.
Louie Varland, SP, MIN (CBS: 4% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): A solid debut (3 hits, one walk, two runs over 5 1/3 IP with 7 K’s against the Yankees) doesn’t guarantee a second kick-at-the-can, as Warland has discovered. He was sent back to Triple-A St. Paul, but Rocco Baldelli insists it isn’t the last we’ll see from him down the stretch. Spend a penny now rather than a dollar down the road.
Mark Vientos, 3B, NYM (CBS: 8% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): The Mets are pulling all the rabbits out of the proverbial hat, with Vientos being the most recent. A strong season down on the farm (24 HR in 378 AB) should be, at the very least, cause to see regular at-bats against southpaws.
David Villar, 1B/3B, SFG (CBS: 2% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): It has been a good week for David Villar. He is splitting his time between First, Second, and Third Base this week. He has hit four homers and driven in seven runs. The Giants will find room somewhere to take advantage of his current hot streak.
Jose LeClerc, RP, TEX (CBS/ESPN: 1% rostered): Jonathan Hernandez has been struggling, incurring losses in two-of-his-past-four outings. His hold on the ninth inning is currently tenuous at best. Jose Leclerc has pitched very well this year. Well enough for the Rangers to pick up his $6 million club option? That might be determined in the next three weeks, but for now, he’s pitching well enough to get save opportunities.
Dylan Floro, RP, MIA (CBS: 10% rostered, ESPN: 8% rostered): Tanner Scott has been used multiple times in the 7’th inning lately. Dylan Floro saved a game against the Mets on Friday night. In a worst-case scenario, Floro has the lead role in a committee. In a best-case scenario, he owns the ninth-inning gig.
Sam Moll, RP, OAK (CBS: 1% rostered, ESPN: not rostered): A.J. Puk has pitched very well this year in every situation except one, the closer role. In his last outing, he imploded to the tune of five earned runs in blowing yet another save opportunity. That would be his fifth blown save in nine chances. Moll and Domingo Acevedo are next up and should start seeing save opportunities immediately.
John Schreiber, RP, BOS (CBS: 22% rostered, ESPN: 10% rostered): Schreiber has been the most consistent reliever in the Boston pen all season and is finally reaping some rather just rewards. When Tanner Houck hit the IL, Boston turned to Garett Whitlock. After a brief run as closer, Whitlock has gone two innings in each of his last two outings and been very unsuccessful, leaving Schreiber looking like the current go-to guy in the ninth inning. The three saves he has accumulated in his past six appearances confirm that fact.