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MLB Week 20 FAAB Insights

Some exciting FAAB opportunities with seven weeks to go!

Welcome back to another FAABulous Sunday! I’d first like to give a huge shoutout to Dave Swan (@davithius) for putting this article out the past couple of weeks while I was vacationing with my family! Not only was it a break from writing, I knew right where to go to prepare my FAAB moves each week. This is a great week to return as there are players available in spots that I’m truly excited about, not just guys I’m hoping can fill a need. We have seven FAAB periods and seven full weeks of MLB remaining (over a quarter of the season), so whether you’re making a run or fending off those who are, let’s get to some names that may help us out.

 

Catcher

 

Elias Díaz (81% TGFBI, 17% Yahoo) – Díaz has shown incredible plate discipline for a catcher this season with his 8.7% BB% and 16.9% K% in 254 PA, but a .216 BABIP has led to a .221 BA. At Coors however, the BA jumps to .268 with seven of his 13 HR, 18 RBI, and 19 R in just 123 PA. In his most recent homestand, he was 7 for 17 with 2 HR, 6 RBI, and 5 R in four games. He also homered in four straight at home from June 28 to July 2. The Rockies are at home for six games this week.

 

First Base

 

Renato Núñez (5% TGFBI, 2% Yahoo) – After a 31 HR season as a 25-year-old in 2019 for Baltimore, Núñez followed it up with 12 in the shortened 2020  season (30+ pace) while bumping his BA from .244 to .256. He began his 2021 season with the Tigers going 4 for 28 and was sent to AAA where he hit ..291 with 20 HR, 64 RBI, and 59 R in 265 PA. Recalled by Detroit on Thursday, he went yard in each of his first two games while hitting fifth in the high-scoring Tigers lineup (it still feels weird typing that, but it has been for over two months) in all three games since his return. A .240 or so BA is more realistic with his K% approaching 30%, but double-digit HR and 25+ RBI and R are also realistic the rest of the way.

 

Second Base

 

Brad Miller (44% TGFBI, 5% Yahoo) – 1B, 3B, OF – Miller has appeared in this article at multiple positions throughout the season, but typically when he’s been on at least a bit of a hot streak, not coming off of a 1 for 20 stretch like he has been on since his two-HR game on August 7. Despite that stretch, Miller has been streaky throughout his career, and I’m a little worried about Rhys Hoskins‘ expected return this week after receiving a cortisone injection Friday. Monitor the Hoskins situation closely the next couple of days before locking Miller in your lineup, but if it appears the PA will be there the Phillies have seven games the next two weeks vs Arizona who is seventh in MLB in both most runs and most home runs allowed the past 15 games.

 

Third Base

 

Evan Longoria (68% TGFBI, 19% Yahoo) – Longoria returned from an over two month IL stint on Saturday going 1 for 4 with a run scored from the five-spot in the Giants lineup. He has hit .279 with 9 HR, 30 RBI, and 29 R in 190 PA this season, numbers he can come close to duplicating the rest of the way if his shoulder is truly healthy.

 

Short Stop

 

Bobby Witt Jr. (39% TGFBI, 19% Yahoo) – We may have seen the Royals’ top prospect a while back if the 16-9 start had been a true indication of how the team would perform this season. Witt Jr. has followed his AA numbers of a .295 BA with 16 HR, 51 RBI, 44 R, and 14 SB in 279 PA by hitting .293 with 8 HR, 19 RBI, 23 R, and 6 SB in just 110 PA at AAA (a 152 wRC+ at 21 years old). Kansas City may have him work on his defense for the rest of this season and a few in 2022, but I still think we see him for their 31 Sept/Oct games.

 

Outfield

 

Jorge Mateo (12% TGFBI, 2% Yahoo) – Mateo is in the nine-spot in the order today, and I love it! He had been in the seven and eight spots the previous eight games, which he started all of for Baltimore, but the move to the bottom of the order means more run-scoring opportunities with Cedric Mullins, Austin Hays, and Trey Mancini directly behind him. He’s 8 for 32 with 3 SB since entering the Orioles’ lineup, and double-digit swipes the rest of the way is realistic.

Lewis Brinson (15% TGFBI, 36% Yahoo) – I’m really excited about Brinson’s recent hot streak of 23 for 70 (.329 BA) with 5 HR and 20 RBI since returning to the Marlins’ lineup July 19. While I do take a look at Statcast numbers regularly, I don’t include them here often — but I believe they may show a real transformation taking place for the one-time top prospect. In 146 PA his maximum exit velocity is 89th percentile, his HH% of 44.3% is over six percentage points above his career average, his xwOBAcon of .429 is over 50 points above his career average, and his GB% is by far the lowest of his career at 44.3%. He’s hitting clean-up most days, and the Marlins have four of seven games this week at Great American Smallpark.

 

Pitcher

 

Carlos Hernández (32% TGFBI, 12% Yahoo) – The visit by the Astros to Kauffman Stadium this week is a bit concerning, but a trip to Wrigley is worth that risk for Hernández to get a shot at the decimated Cubs lineup this week. After giving up 5 ER in 2 2/3 IP in his second of five starts since joining the KC rotation, he threw 17 1/3 IP vs the Yankees and White Sox (two starts) with 13 K and just 2 ER while posting a couple of wins. It appears he would line up for starts at Seattle and back home vs Cleveland the following couple of weeks.

Bailey Ober (20% TGFBI, 2% Yahoo) – Ober has 21 K in 19 2/3 IP over his past four starts and has been impressive with a 25.5% K% and 6.6% BB% in his first 57 2/3 big-league innings. He has been susceptible to the long ball, but his opponents this week (CLE, @ NYY) have been mid-pack in home runs in recent weeks, and his opponent in his trip to New York looks to be Andrew Heaney who has given up eight as a Yankee in 15 IP, so we’re just looking for five innings!

Brent Suter (17% TGFBI, 17% Yahoo) – Suter has been a great depth piece for fantasy rosters all season racking up 11 wins out of the bullpen for the Brewers. He’s given up a run in his past two appearances, but maintains a 2.81 ERA on the season with 57 K in 57 2/3 innings and will continue to be relied upon by Milwaukee as they preserve their young arms for a postseason run. With an off-day Monday, he should be ready for a nice week even if he’s needed today.

Huascar Ynoa (61% TGFBI, 48% Yahoo) – I’m tempering my expectations with Ynoa a bit. He’s been great with K% and BB% both slightly better than Ober’s who I raved about above. I’ll be bidding on him this evening, especially in leagues where I need a boost in strikeouts, and his matchup at Miami for his return is appealing. I just have an uneasy feeling for what is going to be expected from him by fantasy managers and what it will cost to roster him in some leagues. I hope he’s great, but I just don’t like his minor league ERAs.

As mentioned earlier, I’m actually really excited about most of these players this week, including Ynoa. It looks to be an exciting FAAB evening. As always, enjoy the games, and good luck tonight!

 

Photo from David Santiago/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)

Kevin Hasting

Kevin is a life-long KC Royals fan who resides with his amazing wife and daughter in Abilene, TX. He has been playing fantasy baseball for over 20 years, cohosts the On the Wire weekly FAAB podcast with Adam Howe on the PitcherList Podcast Network, and was the 2020 TGFBI overall champion.

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