The Final Week Push
It's the final week of the fantasy baseball season. With that, the final kick for the finish line is in full effect. It's time to dig in and sprint, as fast as you can, for the tape. Here are some guys that don't have big names but are surging as the season nears it's conclusion. Maybe they can help you to hoist that championship trophy.
The Red Sox only play five games this week.
Teams that have made the playoffs are very likely to rest players, an even if it's just for one game, that can make the difference.
Young pitchers are likely to have their starts cut short if any problems arise during the start. Teams don't want to extend young arms at the end of the season.
Two-start hurlers this week just might end up being 1-time starters.
Be hyper-vigilant with your lineups this week.
AT THE DISH
Charlie Blackmon leads baseball the past two weeks with a .433 batting average. He's been pounding out the extra base hits with a homer, a triple and seven doubles. He's also driven in eight runs while scoring nine times. I added him in a couple of leagues.
Gregor Blanco is batting .267 with three homers and 13 steals this season. Blah city. However, he's been a star in Sept batting .413 with a .491 OBP and .969 OPS over 17 games. I know, right? He's also scored seven runs while swiping two bags (too bad he's been caught three times).
Cesar Hernandez is a middle infielder on the Phillies. He's also hit .308 with a .370 PBP over 27 big league games, and the last 10 games he's played he's produce 14 hits. Yeah, who knew? He doesn't have a homer or steal though, so it's really all about average and runs (10 runs in those 10 games as well).
Elliot Johnson is batting .203 with a .515 OPS. He's a pathetic, over matched hitter. No way around that. However, he's also a strong source of stolen bases, and he's rolling right now. He's swiped six bases in his last 15 games, and look at that, he's even hitting .271 in September.
Ed Lucas is batting .254 with four homers and one steal in 331 at-bats. But like others here, he's rolling now. In his last nine game he's had at least two hits six times. He's hitting .328 over his last 17 games albeit with one homer and no steals.
Danny Valencia is batting .364 against lefties (88 at-bats). He's batting .404 at home (57 at-bats). He's hitting .353 since the All-Star break (85 at-bats). He's hitting .328 in September (58 at-bats). That's a whole lot of good.
ON THE BUMP
Robbie Erlin of the Padres allowed nine runs on July 7th and that earned him a trip back to the minors. Since being recalled he's made four starts an in that time he's allowed a total of five earned runs. He only has one scheduled start against the Diamondbacks this week. Teammate's Eric Stults and Tyson Ross are set up for two outings each against the D'backs and Giants.
Brandon McCarthy is set to start against the Padres in San Diego and in Washington against the Nationals. If he makes those two starts he's a solid option this week, especially since he's gone at least six innings in each of his last five outings while allowing a total of 10 earned runs.
Charlie Morton is lined up to make two starts, both on the road, versus the Cubs and Reds. One solid matchup and one spotty one. He hasn't exactly killed it on the road this season (3.88 ERA, 1.41 WHIP), but he does have a 1.29 WHIP and 3.19 ERA over his last 10 starts.
Todd Redmond's last four starts have been impressive. In those four outings he's walked five batters, struck out 23 and won three games. Oh yeah, he's also allowed only seven earned runs. He's set to make two starts for the Jays this week. He's only owned in one percent of Fleaflicker leagues.
Yordano Ventura is scheduled to take the bump twice. The youngster throws mid to high 90's, and in his first outing in the bigs he held the Indians to one run over 5.2 innings. Always tough to trust a rookie in the final week of the season, especially when he's only got 5.2 innings under his belt, but this kid has a dynamic wing.
By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 5-8 PM EDT and Sunday 7-10 PM EDT), Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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- Jamal Crawford (calf) will miss Monday's game
- Lou Williams with 2nd straight DNP
- Danny Green re-aggravates wrist strain
- Rashard Mendenhall announced his retirement
- Jamal Crawford (calf) will play Saturday
- Bledsoe says he's looking to return Wednesday
- Jaguars sign former Seahawks DT Red Bryant
- Mayo has been suspended for Saturday's game
- Josh Hamilton about a week away