For the third straight season, Boston clinched the American League East. In spite of losing only their third series since the start of July. They’ve won 104 games, 54 at home and 50 on the road while avoiding any four game or higher losing streaks all season. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martínez could split votes in the MVP race, but each has impacted Boston’s strong season. Betts went 4-for-5 in Thursday’s division clincher with two doubles and his 30th home run driving in five runs. Not only is Betts the first player to record four straight seasons with at least 40 doubles and 20 stolen bases, but he now sits on the precipice of his first 30/30 season if he can steal two more.

Martinez leads the majors in RBI (124) and slugging percentage (.629) justifying his contract to this point. Plus, he stole his sixth base in the win last night. In a quest for a triple crown, Martinez only trails teammate Betts in batting average and Khris Davis in home runs. Odds are he will not win a triple crown, but his production cannot be overlooked this year. Also, Steven Wright turned in his seventh straight scoreless outing getting the win allowing one hit with two strikeouts in three innings of relief. Wright lowered his ERA as a reliever to 1.38 in 13 appearances this season and could be a weapon in the playoffs confounding hitters with his knuckleball in high leverage situations following Red Sox starters. Plus, he can work in multiple innings as long as his knee remains healthy.

That Just Happened

As Oakland heads towards a play-in game versus the Yankees, most focus on the outstanding seasons by Khris Davis and Blake Treinen , for good reason. However, ignoring the breakout by Stephen Piscotty could provide a potential draft bargain for 2019. Not only has he overcome the loss of his mother during the season, Piscotty matched his career high in RBI driving in four during the A’s rout of the Angels along with his career best 26th home run. Piscotty has launched seven home runs in September with 22 RBI. Since June 13th, he’s hitting a robust .291 (93-for-320) with 23 home runs and 61 RBI in 85 games yet flies below the fantasy radar.

Although bludgeoned with a bevy of Tweets on Twitter, Francisco Arcia did make history on Wednesday:

Someday Mike Trout will be on a team worth his talent. Within the blowout loss, Trout did hit his 36th home run. Only he and Willie Mays have recorded three 30-plus home run and 20-plus stolen base seasons prior to their Age-27 seasons in baseball history.

Beneath the Yankees loss, some history made by one of their most recent acquisitions:

Not only did Luke Voit help the Yankees achieve history in regards to players with double digit home runs, this dinger set the franchise high as the 246th home run this year. Voit’s also the fifth player with at least 30 hits and 10 home runs within his first 30 games in New York. Giancarlo Stanton added his 35th home run, a grand slam and of his last 31 hits, 19 are for extra-bases (nine doubles, 10 home runs). A not so nice return to action after missing the last 25 games for Aroldis Chapman . He allowed two hits, three earned runs and a walk with one strikeout serving up Betts three run home run. Chapman could be a key to the postseason, but has not fared well versus the Red Sox this year (11.81 ERA in 5.1 innings). 

Like Piscotty, it seems like fantasy owners may miss Michael Conforto ’s recent productivity. Conforto hit his 27th home run, and 13th over his last 39 games, driving in two while walking three times last night. He’s set career highs in doubles, home runs and RBI this year working his way back from a shoulder injury. For the visual crowd, check out his home run spray chart:

Other Mets could be sneaky targets next year with Amed Rosario racking three more hits in six at-bats on Thursday night. He’s scored 13 runs this month with four doubles, two triples, two home runs, six RBI, five stolen bases and a .338/.358/.519 slash line. Jeff McNeil added two hits and has hit safely in 28 of his last 32 starts.

In Thursday’s wildest game, Toronto registered an epic comeback:

Danny Jansen (3), Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (9) and Justin Smoak (25) all homered in the Blue Jays seven run ninth inning. Rowdy Tellez went 2-for-4 with a double, his second home run and three RBI as well. He’s tallied 10 extra-base hits (eight doubles, two home runs) in 14 games since his promotion.

Pacing the Tampa Bay offense, Tommy Pham extended his on-base streak to 22 games going 3-for-5 with two runs, a triple and two RBI. He’s hitting .400 in this streak along with 23 runs, five home runs, 16 RBI, two steals and a 1.015 on-base plus slugging since joining the Rays. Mallex Smith stole two bases closing within two of the American League lead. Joey Wendle went 2-for-5 with a run, double, two RBI and stole his 15th base. Wendle’s an overlooked commodity as well this year but has seven extra-base hits his last nine games while hitting .412 in them.

Trying to project Yoan Moncada will be tough to do in 2019. He’s reached safely in 25 of his last 27 contests batting .291 in this stretch. Moncada added three hits including a double, two RBI and a walk against the Tigers. He’s one of six American League players with at least 25 doubles, five triples, 15 home runs and 55 RBI but leads the league with 206 strikeouts. There’s upside here, but can he take a leap like Javier Báez this year in spite of his plate discipline?

While Boston just clinched, the Indians continue to roll with Francisco Lindor hitting a triple and his 36th home run on Thursday. Lindor leads the majors in runs (123) while racking up 41 doubles, 87 RBI and 23 steals this year cementing his first round status going forward. A smash and dash for Michael Brantley who hit his 17th home run with his 11th steal as well in this game.

Just another night at the office for Scooter Gennett going 2-for-3 with a double, his 23rd home run and four RBI. This marks his first home run since September fourth but Gennett’s trying to become the first player since Pete Rose to lead the league in hits since 1976 as a member of the Reds. Cody Reed fired six shutout innings yielding only five hits and striking out six. Over his last two starts, Reed’s generated 29 swinging strikes of his 162 pitches (17.9 swinging strike percentage) and recorded a 23.6 swinging strike percentage with his slider. Something to track for next year.

Peter O’Brien tallied two hits with an RBI moving his modest hit streak to five games during which he’s recorded an at-bat and he’s reached base in six straight. J.T. Realmuto also notched two hits with a double and an RBI. Through 119 games, Realmuto’s slashing .284/.348/.499 with 71 runs, 21 home runs and 73 RBI.

Before looking up who Christin Stewart of the Tigers is, he did set some history last night:

Stewart launched his first two major league home runs and walked in Detroit’s win over Kansas City. He hit .264/.364/.480 at Triple-A this season with 21 doubles, 23 home runs and 77 RBI in 122 games. With his team in rebuild mode, Stewart makes for an intriguing add in this weekend’s last waiver wire as a player with power upside. Nick Castellanos added his 22nd home run, his 53rd multiple hit game this year and he’s compiled 25 hits this month with nine runs, three home runs, 10 RBI while hitting .379.

Whit Merrifield extended his personal hit streak to 11 games going 3-for-5 with two runs, a double and his 37th stolen base. He’s 15-for-47 (.319) during the streak with five doubles and one home run. Adalberto Mondesí hit his 11th home run in the ninth inning. Over the last 16 games, Mondesi’s hitting .348 with 13 runs and 11 RBI. He’s stolen 21 bases in the second half. For those thinking Mondesi will be a “sleeper” next year, he’s the first hitter to record at least 10 home runs with 25 steals in less than 250 plate appearances fueled by a .360 BABIP thus far. Mondesi’s going ahead of Starling Marte and teammate Whit Merrifield in early mocks, there’s zero value if targeting him this high. Plan accordingly, but Mondesi’s finish makes him anything but a sleeper.

As the Braves close in on the division, Freddie Freeman ’s getting hot at the exact right time. He’s recorded four straight multi-hit games, with two home runs in them, and hitting .404 over his last 12 contests. Kevin Gausman did not get the win, but worked 6.1 effective innings giving up five hits, three earned runs and two walks with seven strikeouts. Since his acquisition, Gausman’s 5-2 with a 2.80 ERA with Atlanta.

What To Watch For

How will Reynaldo López fare versus the Cubs and José Quintana ? This interleague match-up could open the door for a Kyle Schwarber return as the designated hitter as well.

Two starters trying to prepare for the playoffs will meet in Cleveland with Chris Sale facing Trevor Bauer . Since neither may work deep into this one, could a shootout ensue after the bullpens take over?

Jacob deGrom will try to cement his Cy Young status in Washington. Will he receive another no-decision with no run support?

Cincinnati heads to Miami with rebound hurler Luis Castillo trying to continue his recent surge against the Marlins.

Last, with both the Rockies and Diamondbacks adrift in the standings, they will face each other with German Marquez dueling Zack Greinke in the desert.

Be sure to check back on Saturday for Nate Miller’s Round Up to stay ahead of the competition with one week left. Good vibes to the Fantasy Alarm family trying to hang on to first place.

Statistical Credits: