From today until the end of the Major League Baseball season, Saturday is for looking at the various streaks and trends across the MLB, as well as those fantasy baseball players with rising or falling stock. Who should be your priority waiver wire pickups? Who deserves some of your precious FAAB? Are there any potential fantasy baseball buy low trade candidates? As always, we’ll start by talking about some fantasy baseball risers and fallers, highlighted by Mark Canha and Reese Olson of the Milwaukee Brewers and Detroit Tigers respectively. On the other hand, we dive into recent numbers from Cincinnati’s Elly De La Cruz and the newest member of the Baltimore Orioles bullpen Jack Flaherty. Let’s take a look at some of the notable hit streaks and current trends across Major League Baseball, as well as fantasy baseball risers and fallers.
|1||Luis Arraez||.354||1||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.415||1||Shohei Ohtani||.654|
|2||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.337||2||Shohei Ohtani||.412||2||Corey Seager||.643|
|3||Freddie Freeman||.334||3||Freddie Freeman||.411||3||Matt Olson||.605|
|4||Corey Seager||.333||4||Mookie Betts||.408||4||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.597|
|5||Yandy Diaz||.322||5||Corey Seager||.407||5||Mookie Betts||.589|
|1||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.357||1||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.465||1||Aaron Judge||63.2%|
|2||Luis Arraez||.324||2||Aaron Judge||.458||2||Matt Chapman||56.7%|
|3||Freddie Freeman||.322||3||Yordan Alvarez||.439||3||Matt Olson||56.0%|
|4||Corey Seager||.321||4||Shohei Ohtani||.428||4||Rafael Devers||55.3%|
|5||Bo Bichette||.310||5||Corey Seager||.425||5||Juan Soto||54.8%|
|8||Ronald Acuna Jr.||37||12||14||4||6||1||4||.378/.400/.811|
Fantasy Baseball Risers
Canha is a member of the 10/10 club for the first time in his career, but he’s really kicked it into another gear since being sent to the Brewers. In 44 games with Milwaukee, he’s slashed .306/.389/.465 with five home runs, 21 runs scored, 32 RBI, and four stolen bases. Specifically in September, he’s slashing .347/.427/.542 with three home runs, five doubles, a 35.6 percent hard hit rate, and 85.2 percent contact rate. Canha closes out the 2023 campaign with matchups against Miami, St. Louis, and Chicago, with the final six games of the year coming at home. As a member of the Brewers, he’s hit .351 at home with a .176 ISO and .956 OPS.
Olson has been great for Detroit of late, posting a 1.50 ERA, 8.40 K/9 and a 28:11 K/BB ratio over his last 30 innings of work. As the year has gone on, he’s dropped usage on his sinker and slider a bit, while really ramping up usage of his changeup, which has posted a .204 BAA and 33.9 percent whiff rate. Olson will get a start on Tuesday against the Royals, a team that has been about league average against right-handed pitching over the last two weeks, and then it’s possible he gets the final start of the year, which would come against the Guardians, another plus matchup for the 24-year-old righty.
Fantasy Baseball Fallers
A couple of months ago, I never thought I’d be saying what I’m about to write… De La Cruz is going to be a polarizing player for the 2024 fantasy baseball season. In 91 games this year, he has 11 home runs and 31 stolen bases. He seems like a perennial 20/40 guy, at least, with the upside for so, so much more. However, he’s hit just .231 this year with a .297 OBP, while striking out 33.9 percent of the time and hitting a ground ball 53.6 percent of the time. He makes so much hard contact that when he does loft it, things will go well, as seen by his 22.4 percent HR/FB rate, but a 4.2 percent launch angle and 21.9 percent fly ball rate should pose questions surrounding power production. He is just 21 years young, so there’s so much growth and maturation that is yet to occur, but the questions at least have to be asked. In the month of September, De La Cruz has hit just .167 with a 30.6 percent strikeout rate and 39 wRC+, recording only one extra-base hit.
From trade deadline acquisition to second half bounce back candidate following a good first start with the club, to being transferred to the bullpen. It’s been quite a ride for Flaherty this year, and as a member of the Baltimore Orioles. He was solid in a recent relief appearance against the Astros, but in seven starts for the club, he went 1-3 with a 7.11 ERA, 5.06 FIP and 1.99 HR/9. Outside of a start or two, he’s actually controlled the walks, which was his biggest issue with the Cardinals, but not many other positives can be made. He can safely be dropped in all formats as he won’t help your fantasy baseball team over the final week of the season.