Fantasy Baseball Daily Notes – Pitcher and Batting Rankings for Sunday
Sunday marks the end of the first round of the playoffs in the ESPN Standard Leagues. Good luck to those looking to close the deal, as well as to all of those struggling to find a comeback victory. As always, we’ll be there for you until the end of the regular season.
Good luck also at the rotisserie and points leagues throughout the season, as Sunday provides an opportunity to strengthen your roster while competitors can concentrate elsewhere. You have come this far; don’t let football rob you of all your hard work.
Here’s Sunday’s trip around the Diamond, with all but one of the stops available in more than half of all ESPN leagues.
Eric Lauer (L), registered in 55% of ESPN leagues, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs: You might as well put an end to the suspense and highlight the only option listed on more than 50% of ESPN leagues. It’s worth checking out Lauer’s availability as he faces a team that are grappling with a 28% clip against lefties over the past month. Lauer isn’t particularly dominant, but he’s racked up 23 punches out of his previous 24 frames, fueling a 1.50 ERA and 0.88 WHIP over that span.
Logan Gilbert (right), 29%, Seattle Mariners to Kansas City Royals: After posting a 9.13 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP in August, it appeared Gilbert had hit the rookie wall. It’s good to see that September has been milder for the first year, as Gilbert 2.35 ERA and 1.11 WHIP report this month. He sniffed 18 with just two free passes in 15 stanzas from September 1/3.
Paolo Espino (R), 6%, Washington Nationals vs Colorado Rockies: Like Lauer, Espino ends the season with a wave of strikeouts. In his previous five efforts, Espino has broken down 31 into 25 2/3 frames. While the Rockies hit right-handed people better on the road in the second half, they’re still below par against them.
Rich Hill (L), 42%, New York Mets vs Philadelphia Phillies: It is risky to make roster decisions only on small deviations from left-handed pitching, as only 28% of plate appearances occur with a left-handed person on the hill. So while the Phillies are an below average offense against lefties last month, it’s more about Hill and playing at one of the best pitching sites in the league. Despite losing three of his last five starts, Hill has recorded a 3.00 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP over those 27 innings, amassing a respectable 26 along the way.
Elevator enclosure: Since the main goal should be to get a victory on Sunday, but if you are able to comfortably anticipate, there will be a double schedule on Monday. If you’ve been with us all season you know what’s next, picking relievers from a two-man team has been a profitable approach all year round. The Cleveland Indians and the Kansas City Royals are the participants. Emmanuel Clase is closest to Cleveland, but he’s only available in 20% of ESPN leagues. However, Nick Wittgren and Bryan Shaw are candidates for a save if Clase is used in Game 1. Scott Barlow has been the Royals’ main ninth inning lately, recording two saves in the past week. He’s only listed in 36% of ESPN leagues.
For the latest team-by-team reconciliation situations, please see our reconciliation table.
Seeker – Austin Nola (R), 20%, San Diego Padres vs. St. Louis Cardinals (LHP JA Happ): Nola’s power has waned this season. It’s curious because his average output speed on flying balls, which boosts power, is much higher than last season. Asking a batter to go deep is usually a wild ride, but let’s do it anyway. Nola hit the ball hard this month and he faces Happ, who has allowed 71 home runs since 2019, tied for second in the MLB.
First Base – Patrick Wisdom (R), 34%, Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers (LHP Eric Lauer): Wisdom was one of the most frequent visitors to this space during the second half. While others (Aledmys Diaz, Abraham Toro) have faded, Wisdom is booming, with a .353 / .421 / .706 line over the past week.
Second Base – Kolten Wong (L), 45%, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs (RHP Adrian Sampson): Wong has been stranded on nine stolen bases since Aug. 18. That said, he’s been building up his muscles since being taken off the paternity list earlier this month, hitting 0.513 from first place so far in September.
Third base – Evan Longoria (R), 31%, San Francisco Giants vs Atlanta Braves (LHP Max Fried): As he has done with his entire roster, the Giants manager has made the most of Longoria, as the veteran crushes the southpaw this season, posting a line of .345 / .479 / .707 with l advantage of the peloton.
Shortstop – Jose Iglesias (R), 6%, Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles (LHP Alexander Wells): Bobby Dalbec and Enrique Hernandez shared the spotlight on Daily Notes when the Red Sox face off against a southpaw. They’re both still on the line, but let’s highlight Iglesias. The veteran returned to his home organization in early September when Boston was shorthanded. However, posting a .435 / .500 / .652 line has earned Iglesias a regular playing keystone.
Corner Infield – Ji-Man Choi (L), 3%, Tampa Bay Rays v Detroit Tigers (RHP Wily Peralta): This approach has been successful lately, let’s try it with Choi. His OPS is just 0.706 last week, but he hit seven bullets hit at over 95 mph, five eclipsing the mark of the century during that time. When this happens, a hot streak often follows.
Middle Infield – JP Crawford (L), 24%, Seattle Mariners at Kansas City Royals (RHP Jackson Kowar): Jarred Kelenic is an example of a player hitting the ball with force without the corresponding results. It was mentioned in Friday’s notes and then the rookie threw two over the fence that night. He remains on the line with Crawford, whose work from first place saw the Mariners advance to the playoffs in the second half.
Outfield – Yadiel Hernandez (L), 2%, Washington Nationals vs. Colorado Rockies (RHP Ryan Feltner): Since becoming a regular at the trade deadline, Hernandez has hit .278 / .331 / .458. The Nationals pulled Hernandez out of Cuba in 2017. At 33, he likely won’t be the key to their next contender, but his second-half performance could earn him a reserve spot next season.
Outfield – Jesus Sanchez (L), 15%, Miami Marlins v Pittsburgh Pirates (Undecided): Sanchez, meanwhile, is only 23, so his exploits in September are helping him carve out a place on a daily basis in the 2022 Marlins’ lineup. Sanchez has scored a dozen home runs in what amounts to a third of ‘one season, five over the past week.
Outfield – Brandon Marsh (L), 5%, Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics (RHP Frankie Montas): Marsh was promoted right after the All-Star break, battling for a .155 / .259 / .211 line in his first 24 games. In the 32 games that followed, he picked it up by recoding a .325 / .358 / .474 line.