The final Fantasy Baseball Planner: Your top tips for the title
So now, the end is here…
Welcome to the season finale of the weekly Fantasy Baseball Planner. If you’ve got your league locked up, congrats. Still fighting down the stretch? That’s why I’m here. Focused on Fantasy Basketball and/or Hockey? Well, the drafts will be here soon enough.
Save the hugs and sappy talk for someone else. Let’s finish the same way we started.
Pitching For Two, Please (Recommended two-start pitchers)
Jameson Taillon, Pirates (at Cubs, Monday; at Reds, Saturday): The ace of the Pittsburgh staff has been overpowering this month, with his 11-strikeout gem over seven shutout innings against the Royals on Tuesday a sign that Taillon will be headed for bigger things next year. He’s won six of his last seven decisions while sporting a 21:3 K:BB rate over 19 innings this month.
Chris Archer, Pirates (at Cubs, Tuesday; at Reds, Sunday): He’s finally adjusted to his new locale and has tossed three quality starts in his last four outings. Archer has struck out eight batters in each of his last two starts while handcuffing hitters with a .224 opponents’ batting average in September.
Chase Anderson, Brewers (at Cardinals, Monday; vs. Tigers, Sunday): Despite not earning a win this month, Anderson has still been effective and gets two high-leverage starts as Milwaukee seeks to grab a postseason berth. Anderson has a 3.06 ERA in September and has kept the ball in the park, allowing just two homers this month after giving nine dingers in August.
Austin Gomber, Cardinals (vs. Brewers, Monday; at Cubs, Sunday): The homer he allowed to Braves uber-rookie Ronald Acuna on Tuesday was the first he had allowed since August 4. His September numbers are bloated due in part to the seven earned runs Gomber gave up in a forgettable three-inning start against the Dodgers on September 13, which is why I have no problem vouching for him to get a pair of do-or-die starts for the Redbirds.
Sandy Alcantara, Marlins (at Nationals, Monday; at Mets, Sunday): Walks (all six of ‘em) were a huge issue in his previous start against Washington. But the Marlins will give Alcantara and his .184 OBA two more nods before the slow build toward making him an anchor of a better Miami staff next spring.
Joey Lucchesi, Padres (at Giants, Monday; vs. Diamondbacks, Sunday): For a pitcher who hones his craft at a hitter’s hell like Petco Park, Lucchesi will be more at ease against San Francisco; he has a 3.23 ERA and .230 OBA on the road compared to 4.07 and .264 in San Diego. I think there’s a ton of 2019 sleeper potential lying here.
Matt Boyd, Tigers (at Twins, Tuesday; at Brewers, Sunday): Betcha didn’t know Boyd was 10th in the AL with a 1.12 WHIP. He had been inching toward whiffing a batter per inning much of the season but has been the bee’s knees this month, fanning 25 batters over 19 innings.
Tyler Anderson, Rockies (vs. Phillies, Tuesday; vs. Nationals, Sunday): To hell with his 4.50 ERA this month. Anderson has a win over the Phillies with a 1.29 ERA and has a 1.93 ERA against Washington.
Jay Bruce, OF, Mets: His recent spurt (four homers and a .908 OPS in the last two weeks) is enough for owners to consider grabbing him the final week of play. Bruce is owned in 37 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and will look to salvage something of what has been mostly miserable season.
Willians Astudillo, C, Twins: One of the more productive backstops this month, the 5’9, 185-pounder entered the weekend with a .351/.368/.541 slash line and a .909 OPS. We’ll have all winter to discuss whether catcher is in Astudillo’s future, so join the 14 percent of CBSSports.com loyalists who have benefited from his surprising production.
Erick Fedde, P, Nationals: You’re coming for the strikeouts, period. Fedde has fanned 22 batters over 15 innings this month, teasing us just enough to put him into the Clip ‘N Save file when looking for NL deep sleepers next March. Owned in 16 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, Fedde’s K-factor should appeal to deeper league owners.
Chris Stratton, P, Giants: A tough outing against the Pads on Wednesday overshadows what has been a solid month for Stratton, who is owned in 21 percent of CBSSports.com leagues. Good control (0.91 WHIP) is his calling card for those who could use a one-week jolt in that category.
Andrew Suarez, P, Giants: He will get at least one more start at home. At this point of the season, Suarez’s 3.18 ERA and .228 OBA is enough to consider picking him up. The 33 percent of CBSSports.com owners who are already in on Suarez welcome you.
Ty Buttrey, P, Angels: Listed as a starter, Buttrey has been devastating as a middle reliever who has allowed just one earned run over 14 appearances while fanning 19 hitters. Buttrey is owned in 14 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, and I get a sense Buttrey will use the final week to continue what is an audition to compete for the closer’s job next season.
Daniel Palka, DH, White Sox: His .265 batting average this month is enhanced by a loud 1.039 OPS sparked by seven homers. If you need cheap power to close out the season, Palka — owned in 15 percent of CBSSports.com leagues — is a pretty good choice.
A Streaming We Will Go (Pitchers Edition)
Julio Teheran, Braves (at Mets, Wednesday): Two or fewer earned runs in six of his last seven starts. Could be the NL East clincher as well.
Jholuys Chacin, Brewers (at Cardinals, Wednesday): Eight straight starts in which he has allowed three or fewer earned runs. This should be a high-leverage start for Chacin as the two teams fight for a NL wild card spot.
German Marquez, Rockies (vs. Phillies, Wednesday): Closing the season with at least seven strikeouts in five of his last seven starts. I said it before and I’ll say it again: Marquez is a legit staff ace in the making.
Andrew Heaney, Angels (vs. Rangers, Wednesday): Solid September with a 1.11 WHIP, Heaney has at least five Ks in nine of his last 10 starts.
Tyler Glasnow, Rays (vs. Yankees, Thursday): Quality starts in three of his last four starts. Oh yeah: 121 Ks in 100.1 innings pitched. Um, I’ll give him a shot against the Yankees’ Lumber Detail.
Trevor Williams, Pirates (at Cubs, Thursday): One of my favorite hurlers to watch this season, Williams has allowed two or fewer earned runs in 10 of his last 11 starts.
Kyle Hendricks, Cubs (vs. Cardinals, Friday): You’ll take a 1.82 ERA and 23 Ks over 24.2 innings this month in what could be a playoff clincher for the Cubbies.
A Streaming We Will Go (Hitters Edition)
Peter O’Brien, 1B/OF, Marlins (at Mets, Friday-Sunday): Give it up for the free-swinging O’Brien, who has three homers and 1.150 OPS in his first 30 ABs this month.
Franmil Reyes, OF, Padres (vs. Diamondbacks, Friday-Sunday): That .990 OPS coming off Reyes’ bat this month is scary if that carries over into next season.
Cedric Mullins, OF, Orioles (vs. Astros, Thursday-Sunday): Hitting .324 with an .843 OPS at Camden Yards. Gotta count for something, right?
Luke Voit, 1B, Yankees (at Rays, Monday-Wednesday): Stop. Just stop, Luke. A .320/.394/.649 since coming to New York. In the name of Kevin Maas, those are some sick-ass numbers.
Jurickson Profar, INF/OF, Rangers (at Angels, Monday-Wednesday): Fading as the season reaches its end (.241 BA this month), I still like him for the fact he finally stayed healthy enough to remind us just how good he could eventually become. A 20-20 season in 2019 isn’t a stretch.
Marwin Gonzalez, INF/OF, Astros (at Orioles, Thursday-Sunday): You’ll take his .909 OPS against O’s pitching and run that out there with a smile on your face.
Freddy Galvis, SS, Padres (vs. Diamondbacks, Friday-Sunday): His 1.148 OPS in the last week should help Galvis finish the season on a high note.
Omar Narvaez, C, White Sox (at Twins, Friday-Sunday): Stretch his numbers over 500 ABs and Narvaez is a .277 hitter with 17 homers and 60 RBI.