(Photo by Juan Salas/Icon Sportswire)
Every Tuesday from now until the end of the season, we will be taking a look at players with under 15% ownership that should be on your radar in deep leagues. The majority of fantasy baseball leagues are mixed leagues with 10-12 teams, however we know many of you play in 18-20 team leagues and/or AL/NL only formats. This column is for you all.
Four starting pitchers who could help down the stretch, as well as two hot hitters round out this week’s list of deep sleepers.
Ryan Borucki, SP, TOR (9.3% owned)
Ryan Borucki has made seven starts for the Blue Jays this season, with a 2.30 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. His 0.0% HR/FB rate is obviously unsustainable, although his 2.53 FIP indicates that some of this isn’t purely luck. A 6.28 K/9 is less than ideal, and the other shoe is going to drop eventually. Until it does, those in deeper leagues should be riding the Borucki-train.
Aledmys Diaz, SS, TOR (4.0% owned)
With Lourdes Gurriel out likely until the end of the month, the Blue Jays have turned to Diaz as their primary starter at shortstop. Since July 1, Diaz has quietly slashed .299/.313/.649 with seven home runs in just 24 games. His 2.5% walk rate in that time is astoundingly bad, but his 7.5% strikeout rate is very elite. Also, Diaz has pulled off a .299 BA with a .246 BABIP, so there’s actually some room for growth (although the 25.9% HR/RB rate is comically high). Still, in deeper leagues Diaz is a fine plug-and-play while Gurriel is out.
Tyler Glasnow, SP, TB (4.8% owned)
Glasnow is a speculative add, and speculating on what the heck the Rays are going to do with their pitchers is a risky endeavor. However, Glasnow is more talented and has wayyyy more fantasy upside than anyone else in Tampa’s, uh, rotation. Glasnow is drawing another start against the Orioles today, and if he is given a chance to throw five or more innings he should be added in a vast majority of fantasy formats.
Blaine Hardy, SP, DET (1.6% owned)
Look I get it. I don’t know why this is happening, you don’t know why this is happening, but it’s happening. Blaine Hardy has started 11 games for the Detroit Tigers this season. He has a 3.53 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in those outings, which included seven shutout innings against the Oakland A’s. In that outing he only gave up one run, with two walks and six strikeouts. He has also started using his changeup more, which has increased his strikeout numbers in recent outings.
With Mike Fiers traded, Hardy will assume a starting role for the rest of the season. Hardy’s 6.14 K/9 as a starter isn’t great, but his 2.15 BB/9 is very solid. At the very least, he will provide solid innings for a team desperate for starting pitching.
Daniel Palka, OF/DH, CWS (4.0% owned)
Palka is a home run hitting machine. The White Sox seem to crank these type of players out, from Matt Davidson to Nicky Delmonico and now Palka. Palka’s playing time is still the issue, as he loses starts to Delmonico. Palka hit eight home runs and slugged .657 in July, and the 26-year-old should get a chance to start against right-handers going forward.
If you’re in need of power and play in a league with daily lineup changes, Palka is a nice add ROS.
Trevor Richards, SP, MIA (11.6% owned)
Nick summed it up better than I could, but I’ll do my best to summarize anyway. Richards has a 1.32 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP in his last five games. While a lot of that is unsustainable, his increased changeup usage has helped make him an interesting arm going forward. If you’re in a deep league, or are considering Richards anyway, do yourself a favor and read Nick’s update.
I’m in win-now mode, but also thinking about next season with keepers. Who would be more valuable ROS and next year, Bieber or Glasnow? (of course if Glasnow is used more than 5 innings)
Glasnow, if it is confirmed he is going to be a starter full-time, is more valuable long-term. ROS though I think Bieber has more value. So it really depends what matters more to you.
Thanks. Just wondering if Bieber has more than what we’ve seen so far. He basically gives about a 12 point effort each start, would love more from Jim.
“Glasnow is more talented and has wayyyy more fantasy upside than anyone else in Tampa’s, uh, rotation”
There is this guy named Blake Snell.
Was referring to the many players they are alternating as openers and long relievers, but I can see how the wording is unclear. Obviously Glasnow does not have more upside than Snell.
I disagree. If Glasnow got his shit together, he’d be as good or better than Snell