Welcome back to another FAABulous Sunday! We have three weeks before the All-Star break as the injuries continue to mount all over MLB. Luckily, we have some call-ups, resigned vets, and a couple of HC% speculative plays to help us finish the first half strong. Let’s get to some names!
Austin Nola – (100% ME, 57% OC, 14% Yahoo) – Catcher injuries have been a big issue this season: Most recently, Salvador Perez had surgery on his injured hand this week and will miss at least a couple of months. There are only 18 catchers 100% rostered in NFBC 15-team Main Event leagues and 13 in 12-team Online Championship leagues, so check availability on just about anyone. Nola is one of those universally rostered in 15-teamers, but he’s available in over 40% of twelves. While Jorge Alfaro has become the preferred guy in San Diego, Nola is still getting his at-bats, with four starts behind the plate through Saturday of this week. He’s been better of late and The Bat X projects him for a .253 average with 4 HR, 19 RBI, and 20 R the rest of the way.
For those looking for an upgrade and able to stomach a catcher on their bench (or willing to take a zero in a catcher slot in two-catcher leagues), the likes of Tyler Stephenson (94%, 82%, 84%), Danny Jansen (94%, 43%, 10%), and Yasmani Grandal (98%, 84%, 54%) appear to be nearing returns, but won’t be viable this week.
LaMonte Wade Jr. – OF – (66% ME, 8% OC, 3% Yahoo) – Speaking of nearing a return, Wade Jr. has been on rehab assignment this past week and should be back in the Giants’ lineup, at least vs. right-handed pitching, soon. Some are speculating Tuesday, but with Monday and Thursday off, and facing a left handed starter on Tuesday, I anticipate a Friday return — we wouldn’t want him in our lineups until then anyway. In 339 PA vs. righties last season, he hit .268 with all 18 of his HR, 54 of 56 RBI, 49 of 52 R, and all six of his SB. He hit .135 in 42 PA vs lefties. The Giants are set to face three right handed starters vs. the White Sox over the weekend.
Tommy La Stella – (13% ME, 2% OC, 1% Yahoo) – La Stella has woken up this week, going 7 for 22 with a couple of 2B, 3 RBI, and 3 R. He was not in the starting lineup Sunday, but has been for the previous six games the Giants have played this week. What I really like about La Stella is that he’s 23rd in MLB in hard-contact rate with just a 38.8 GB% leading me to believe there’s better to come.
Cavan Biggio – 1B, 2B – (21% ME, 6% OC, 8% Yahoo) – As Adam Howe (@EightyGrade) pointed out on this morning’s episode of On the Wire, Biggio is still striking out at nearly a 30% clip, but he has been seeing playing time for the Blue Jays and his .358 OBP may allow him to stick in the lineup. He only has one SB in 35 games thus far, but he is still 24 for 25 in his career attempts. He had his first two home runs of the season this week, is in the lineup again on Sunday, and Toronto is scheduled for eight and seven games the next two weeks.
Dylan Moore – 2B, OF – (49% ME, 12% OC, 3% Yahoo) – “Shortstop is so deep!” Yes, it is, but as I’ve pointed out before there aren’t many available — 35 SS-eligible players are 100% rostered in 15-team NFBC Main Events. Ty France’s trip to the IL probably means more secure playing time for Moore, who was already in the lineup to start 10 games the past two scoring periods entering Sunday and appeared as a pinch hitter or runner in three others. Like Biggio, he’s much more valuable in OBP leagues (.339), but unlike Biggio, he already has 10 SB for the season and seven in June.
Victor Reyes – (17% ME, 1% OC, 0% Yahoo) – Reyes has been the leadoff hitter daily for the Tigers since June 11, hitting a nice .270 in that span. The problem is he hasn’t provided much else with 0 HR, 0 BB, 1 RBI, 5 R, and was caught in his only stolen base attempt. However, he’s another guy I’m expecting more from going forward based on his 6th in baseball 39.2 HC% and passable 44.8 GB%. Detroit has a five-game week, but will follow with consecutive eight-game weeks heading into the break.
Jarren Duran – (81% ME, 29% OC, 16% Yahoo) – Duran received his third call-up of the season, and it appears the third time’s a charm. He’s been Boston’s primary leadoff hitter and has four 2B, one 3B, 3 RBI, 6 R, and 4 SB while hitting .324 in nine games. Hopefully the probability that he will not be making the trip to Toronto for the Red Sox series to start the week doesn’t put his centerfield or leadoff spots in jeopardy.
Justin Upton – (0% across the board) – He’s hitting just .154 with a double and 4 BB in his first eight games since signing with the Mariners, but this is something to keep an eye on. He’ll have a prolonged hot streak at some point similar to the 23-game stretch in 2021 when he hit .333 with 6 HR, 15 RBI, 25 R, and 1 SB in 110 PA. I’m not saying pick Upton up now, but keep an eye on him, and maybe throw him in a DFS GPP once in a while if that’s your thing.
Jonathan Heasley (21% ME, 3% OC, 4% Yahoo) – Over his past four starts, Heasley has thrown 22 innings, struck out 22 hitters, and given up 9 ER for a 3.68 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. It had looked like he may line up for a two-step this week, but we’ll settle for a single matchup with Texas at Kaufmann Stadium.
José Quintana (66% ME, 16% OC, 11% Yahoo) – Quintana hit a snag, giving up 4 ER in consecutive games after giving up two or fewer in nine of his first 10 starts this season. He bounced back a bit with 3 ER in 5.1 IP vs. Detroit, and even better with 2 ER in 6 IP vs. the Cubs. He gets Washington and Milwaukee this week, who rank 19th and 24th in team OPS vs. left handed pitching. I’m looking for double digit strikeouts and his second win of the season this week.
As always, good luck tonight and enjoy the games!
Featured image by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on Twitter) / Photography by Frank Jansky & Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire