If you haven’t already, add Wilson Ramos. I’m totally gonna take credit for recommending him as a desperation play last week, even though I didn’t expect this. He is finally emerging as the prince who was promised. He made a change in his swing that is producing serious results so far. You might’ve given up on him after his struggles returning from an ACL tear, but you should never give up on good hitters, as they’re always capable of finding their stroke again. Yes, he’s had a light week in terms of opposing pitchers, but not just anyone goes 11/20 with 2 home runs, and my favorite part, three walks. It’s not a fluke either, as his hard hit% is up 9% and his soft hit rate is down 4% over this stretch. I know it’s only been a week, but the swing change explains it. And he passes the eye test as his hands definitely seem to be getting to the ball quicker. Unless you are rostering Sanchez, Posey, Realmuto, Salvy (who will be back Wednesday) or maybe Molina, I’d go with Ramos right now. He’s hotter than any other non-stud catcher right now and he could be a difference maker down the stretch for your team. Ramos did call the change a fix though, so I expect him to return closer to his career numbers. This means his 28% HR/FB% is unsustainable as is his FB%, which is significantly higher than his career numbers, but I like him regardless. I’ll discuss his schedule in the streaming section below.
Let’s recap last week:
Wellington Castillo (Baltimore Orioles)– 1/5, 2 BB, 2 Ks. Well… this one backfired. I got very bullish on him after I got criticized for recommending him 2 weeks ago and then he put up a big week. He only ended up playing two games last week which absolutely sapped his fantasy value. As much as I love the guy, his playing time is far too volatile right now.
On to this week’s recommendations:
Wilson Ramos (Tampa Bay Rays)– He’s the only hold recommendation this week because he’s capable of being a top 5 option at the position for the stretch run. He certainly could have an easier schedule; he’s got the worst schedule of anyone I’m recommending here. After an off day on Monday, he faces Chris Rowley, Marcus Stroman, and J.A. Happ at home, then the Cards come to town with Michael Wacha, Mike Leake, and Lance Lynn. I don’t love it, but I love him.
Robinson Chirinos (Texas Rangers)– A bunch of you were wondering if he’d be a worthy hold after Lucroy got dealt, and I told you that he wasn’t. I stand by that decision, but he’s got a cake week ahead of him and I think he’s positioned to take advantage. The Rangers spend this week on the west coast with a 4-game set against the Angels (Tyler Skaggs, Ricky Nolasco, Andrew Heaney, and TBD on Thursday) and then another one upstate in Oakland (Kendall Graveman, Jharel Cotton, and Chad Smith). He’s absolutely raking in August too, to the tune of a .312/.435/.608 xStats triple slash this month. He’s getting the big bulk of starts and sat Sunday, so I’d say he gets a minimum of 5 starts this week. I want all of it right now.
Tyler Flowers (Atlanta Braves)– The Knight of Flowers is back in the streamer recommendations after a big week last week and I can’t blame you if you’re thinking about holding. He’s got a nice week ahead with a series vs Seattle (Andrew Albers, Marco Gonzales, and Erasmo Ramirez) and then the Rox (Chad Bettis, Kyle Freeland, and Jon Gray). I do like Gray, but overall, it’s a soft schedule. He’s playing roughly 2 of each 3 days but they’ve got an off day on Thursday. I’m expecting 4 starts and hoping for 5. If you streamed him last week, feel free to hold on.
If you need a desperation play, Chris Iannetta (Arizona Diamondbacks), Yan Gomes (Cleveland Indians), and Jason Castro (Minnesota Twins) have easy weeks, but I have less faith in them as hitters to take advantage.