MLB Fantasy: Week 20 By Luke Garrison (Friday August 17th, 2018)
Photo by www.secaucustkd.com
Toronto—So, we're almost at the end of week 19.
If you’re in a 12-team league, you’re just over three weeks away from the beginning of fantasy playoffs.
Let’s take a look at the latest crop of potential bargains who are less than 60% owned on the wire. The owned percentage and position eligibility for each player are from Yahoo fantasy sports.
Lance Lynn—New York Yankees (59% Owned) Pos. Eligibility: SP
After posting a 3.38 ERA (3.64 FIP) through his first six years with the Cardinals, Lynn signed a 1-year contract with the Twins ahead of the 2018 season. Unfortunately, he struggled mightily upon his arrival to the AL. He was then dealt to the Yankees at the non-waiver trade deadline (July 30th) and had an atrocious 5.10 ERA and a BB/9 of 5.5 at the time.
A trade to the Yanks doesn’t seem like much of a solution given that Yankee Stadium is so hitter friendly; however, Lynn has recorded a 0.54 ERA (1.24 FIP) through his first three appearances (two starts) and looks to have a spot in the starting rotation for the foreseeable future.
He’s been a dominant starter for the greater majority of his career and should be a safe pick-up going forward. The Yankees also have a reasonably easy schedule coming up as their next five opponents are the Jays, Marlins, Orioles, White Sox, and Tigers.
Brandon Nimmo—New York Mets (37% Owned) Pos. Eligibility: OF
Nimmo was a very popular fantasy add during the beginning of this season. Through his first two months (115 ABs), he hit .287 with six home runs, five stolen bases, and an OPS of 1.004. Although he hit seven more homers over the following two months, he only swiped two bags and his batting average was just .229 over that span.
He’s rebounded since the beginning of August as his batting average is .333 and he’s managed 11 XBH with an OPS of 1.116 over the last couple of weeks. His power and speed production will be sporadic at best down the stretch; however, the potential for him to heat up is there and he’ll certainly help you more than he’ll hurt you. His OPS for the entire season is a team-leading .890 and the Mets will give him ample playing going forward.
He’s considered day-to-day right now after taking a pitch to the left index finger on Thursday but there’s no reason for alarm. Fortunately, the X-rays came back negative.
Mike Fiers—Oakland Athletics (33% Owned) Pos. Eligibility: SP
Fiers was hot before being traded from Detroit and hasn’t slowed down whatsoever since his arrival in Oakland. Over his last nine starts, he has an ERA of 2.05 while holding opponents to a .262 OBP.
The A’s must be especially excited about their new pitcher as he’s thrown 11.1 innings while striking out 13 and walking none over the two starts he’s made for them since being acquired.
What’s even more encouraging is the fact that those two performances were against the Dodgers and the Mariners. Fiers’ next two starts will come against the Rangers and the Twins; therefore, he’s a very appealing option right now if you need another starter.
Germán Márquez—Colorado Rockies (29% Owned) Pos. Eligibility: SP
If there’s one thing Márquez does best, it’s rack up the strikeouts. He has 146 punch outs through 135.2 innings this season and has recorded six or more Ks during his last six starts.
Other noteworthy stats from his last six performances include a 3.49 ERA and an opponent’s OPS of .684. Opposing hitters also have a .323 BABIP against Márquez during that period which suggests that he might even be getting a bit unlucky.
In terms of upcoming matchups, he’ll draw the Braves and the Cards which won’t be easy. But going back to June 30th, he’s recorded wins against the Dodgers, Mariners, Diamondbacks, and Astros. He can handle good teams and lately, he’s been rolling.
Danny Jansen—Toronto Blue Jays (22% Owned) Pos. Eligibility: C
If there’s one position that can be fickle to fill in fantasy (try saying that five times fast), it’s catcher. That’s where Jansen can provide value down the stretch—especially in leagues with two catching slots.
Seeing as Russell Martin can play all over the field (apparently), Jansen should see a lot of action behind the plate going into September. He posted a .275/.390/.473 batting line with 12 home runs and 58 RBIs for Triple-A Buffalo this season before his call-up (with 71 XBHs).
Jansen can hit and is 4-for-10 with a homer during his first big league sample. He has more appeal in deeper leagues, but the upside is apparent.
Just a year after being an all-star, Harrison finds him being owned at less than a 20% clip. He started the season hot posting multi-hit games in six of his first nine; however, he missed just over a month due to injury immediately afterwards.
He’s been hitting well for the most part this season. In the 78 games he’s played so far, he’s recorded two hits or more in 23 of them. He also has 23 homers and and 15 steals going back to the beginning of last season.
The multi-position eligibility is, of course, always a positive as well. He’s hit .308 since the start of August. If you’re really strapped for a utility option that won’t hurt your average while providing the occasional steal or homer, he could be worth an add.