Joey Wendle : Joey Wendle went yard Sunday in the Rays shutout win over the Red Sox.  On the year, Joey is hitting .291 with seven dingers and 41 RBI.  However, that is not the story.  With Daniel Robertson on the DL and Adeiny Hechavarria in Pittsburgh, Joey has gotten more PT and he is taking advantage.  Over the last 30 games leading into Sunday’s tilt, Wendle was hitting .340 with a .939 OPS.  That is some serious production!  I see little reason to think he is going to slow down – especially because he is hitting the ball on the screws with ahard hit rate that has approached 40% since the calendar turned to July.  I am buying. 

Starlin Castro : Starlin Castro had a huge day Sunday going 5-for-6 with a RBI and three runs scored.  I know the Marlins are bad (ok really bad) but Castro is a professional hitter who is hitting.  On the year, Castro is hitting .287 with 10 dingers and a BB rate over 50% higher than it was last year.  The recent slump makes it look like he has had a tough summer.  Take advantage if you are in a deep league.  Again, this guy can hit as his 1,400 plus hits at age 28 demonstrates. 

Rougned Odor : Roughned Odor was raking Saturday.  He finished the day going 3-for-5 with two runs and a RBI.  The annual numbers through Saturday are pretty good given he missed time: .276 with 14 dingers and 10 swipes.  However, the numbers look better when you zoom in on last the 30 days and his .348 average.  This is a good player who at age 24 already has over 2,500 plate appearances.  He is taking off before our eyes.  Get on before you cannot enjoy the ride.

Wily Peralta : Wily Peralta pitched a perfect ninth inning for his eighth save Sunday.  This just seems to be a different pitcher than the one who could not find the plate a year ago (6BB/9IP in 2017).   This year, Peralta has a solid 3.48 ERA and 1.21 WHIP.   Many in your leagues will be dubious about the new KC closer.  You should not be.  Saves are hard to find in the last few weeks of the baseball season.  Wily will get you some.   

Anthony DeSclafani : Last week we wrote: “Anthony DeSclafani pitched a gem Friday tossing 7 shutout innings while giving up just 3 hits and striking out 9.  On the year, the numbers do not jump off the page:  4.46 ERA, etc.  However, in his last two starts, he has 14 innings of 1 run ball with a k/bb ratio of 11:1.  Not too shabby.  He has clearly figured something out over the last two outings.  In his 10 outings preceding the two gems, AD was giving up at least 37% hard hit balls.  The last two games:  well under 30%.  With a tasty matchup on tap against the Giants this week, AD should be firmly on your FAAB radar.”  Well, if you listened, you were rewarded with 7 and 2/3 innings of one run ball/five hit ball and five K’s.  That is three strong starts in a row.  Keep riding the train.  It is moving smoothly over the tracks of baseball’s Dog Days. 


And now, the moment you have been waiting for -- Schultz says: “As the 2018 season enters its homestretch, wise roto-owners will pay attention not just to their own standings but also to those in the real world. Many a roto-team has lost a young starter down the stretch due to a desire to limit the strain on their arm or had a vital role player see scant action so that an up-and-coming prospect can get his feet wet in the big leagues. Oftentimes, a roto-league can be won by simply having a team that continues to play out the string. Pay attention to who's in the playoff hunt - especially the wild card - as teams with something to play for will actually play.

Similarly, in trying to find players that play every day, there is nothing more roto-valuable than a catcher that doesn't catch. John Hicks filled that role with moderate results for most of this season, having moved to first base after Miguel Cabrera went down for the season. Depending on your league rules, Taylor Ward, the Angel's rookie third baseman, may retain his catcher eligibility due his stint behind the plate in the minors. Ward can hit and has come out of the box swinging well. If his eligibility can be exploited, do it.

While he'll get the occasional break, Blue Jays prospect Danny Jansen should provide solid numbers for the rest of the season. His minor league numbers may not be sparkling but they do give good reason to believe he'll provide above-average numbers at a position where the goal is often to do the least damage.”

ResponseAgreed!  Love Taylor Ward but be careful as different leagues treat him differently.  He is a catcher in LABR but not in Tout Wars.