After the September roster expansion, MLB teams become diluted. You no longer have the best of the best facing against each other. Young players are brought up to get seasoning and Four-A players are also given time so teams can rest their stars (especially if a team is out of the playoff race).
If you play fantasy baseball, you’re always looking for an edge. Some of these players are going to look great, because they are facing sub-standard pitching/hitting every couple days.
I will show you some examples and explain to you why I am either buying or selling their stats so far in September.
Javier Baez (Chicago Cubs) – BUY!
I am buying the good and bad in Baez’s numbers. He has the potential to be a 40+ homer guy in the Majors and could even steal 30+ bases. That’s the good. The bad is his horrible strikeout rate. He may only bat around .220 early on until he can adjust to pitching.
Jacob deGrom (New York Mets) – BUY!
The Mets have Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard as their future #1 and #2 rotation guys, so there isn’t any pressure on deGrom. He has pitched really well the entire year and especially this month. Harvey is coming back from Tommy John and Syndergaard had a horrible year in the minors. deGrom could end up being the ace of the future.
Yusmeiro Petit (San Francisco Giants) – SELL!
Petit has bounced in and out of the Giants rotation. He’s a nice sixth starter and long-relief arm, but I don’t see any long-term fantasy value.
Xander Bogaerts (Boston Red Sox) – SELL!
Bogaerts looked like a complete bust…then September rolled around. He had a nice double-digit hitting streak and has shown a little pop. He was a really good minor league player and I think he’s just facing a lot of Four-A pitching. I wouldn’t target him in next year’s fantasy baseball draft. He could be a nice upside player is he falls late in a draft.
Mookie Betts (Boston Red Sox) – BUY!
I liked what I see from Betts. He will hit for average and will get you low double-digit steals and home runs. He’s a perfect fifth outfielder. Also, Red Sox are trying him out in middle-infield. If he can get eligibility there, I love Betts next year.
Drew Storen (Washington Nationals) – BUY!
Storen was supposed to be Washington’s closer of the future when they drafted him. Tyler Clippard stepped in front of him for awhile and then Storen just imploded. Nationals had to sign Rafael Soriano and Storen was trade bait. No one wanted him. Storen has filled in at closer and hasn’t allowed a run since August 5th. I don’t know what was going on with his mechanics, but he is pitching out of his mind. He is a closer I am targeting next season.
Shelby Miller (St. Louis Cardinals) – SELL!
I was a believer in Miller early last season, but he is turning into a Derek Lowe-level fantasy pitcher. His strikeouts per nine innings is now below six. He was near nine K/9 last year. Something isn’t right with him. Michael Wacha is the Cardinals pitcher I am targeting next season.
Kyle Hendricks (Chicago Cubs) – BUY!
Jake Arrieta and Hendricks are turning into a nice two-headed monster for Chicago down the stretch. They are both efficient and in the top-ten in pitches per inning pitched. Hendricks is pitching to contact and Arrieta is better at locating his strikeout pitches. You should be able to get Hendricks cheap late in next year’s fantasy draft.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.