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MLB Week 23 FAAB Insights

Down the stretch we come!

Welcome back to another FAABulous Sunday! Category contributions should be our focus for the players we roster all season, but that becomes especially important as we can more clearly see our needs as we enter the stretch run of roto seasons and the playoffs in head-to-head formats. We all know this, but remember to access the categories you need to protect your leads in, not just those where you stand to gain ground. Due to the seemingly large numbers of injuries this season, I’ve continued to list players by position. Let’s get to it!

 

Catcher

 

Jorge Alfaro (100% TGFBI, 14% Yahoo, 81% OC) – OF – Alfaro began getting run in left field August 3 and has received nearly a third of his season’s PA over the past month. In that time he’s hit .283 with 1 HR, 18 RBI, 10 R, and 3 SB. He still strikes out a ton (30.1 % K% in that time) and doesn’t walk at all (1 BB in 94 PA), but his elite max EV and 86th percentile sprint speed make him viable at a position where he’ll receive more PA than most going forward, especially in 12-team, two-catcher leagues where he is available.

 

First Base

 

Nathaniel Lowe (100% TGFBI, 37% Yahoo, 68% OC) – Having played in 131 of the Rangers’ 135 games thus far, Lowe has quietly been consistently producing in the middle of the lineup all season. In 534 PA he’s hit .262 with 14 HR, 61 RBI, 56 R, and 6 SB. He had been on a seven-week HR drought leading to him being available in nearly a third of 12-team OCs and 2/3 of Yahoo leagues, but has had one in each of the past two scoring periods and has hit .400 with 7 RBI and 7 R in that time. Seven doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s a 90+ pace.

Yandy Díaz (83% TGFBI, 5% Yahoo, 8% OC) – 3B – In 456 PA this season Díaz has elite plate discipline with a 13.4% BB% and 16.4% K% leading to a .360 OBP. While a bit more power would be nice, he’s hit .325 with 9 RBI and 6 R over the past two weeks while hitting in the middle of the highest-scoring team in MLB most days.

Miguel Cabrera (54% TGFBI, 8% Yahoo, 14% OC) – His 502 career HR don’t help us going forward, but he’s going well right now with three of his 15 HR this season coming in the past couple of weeks while hitting .263 with 7 RBI and 6 R. Projections tab him for 3 HR and double-digit R and RBI the rest of the way. That’ll play!

 

Second Base

 

Edmundo Sosa (17% TGFBI, 7% Yahoo, 6% OC) – SS – As Lauren Auerbach (@lkauerbach) pointed out on this morning’s episode of On the Wire (@OnTheWirePod) with Adam Howe (@EightyGrade) and myself, Sosa has taken over the SS position for the Cardinals making 11 of his 12 starts there (the other at 2B) the past couple of weeks and hitting .371 in that span with 2 HR, 10 RBI, 10 R, an 11.4% BB%, and a 20.5% K%. The Cardinals are scheduled to play seven, six, and eight games in the next three weeks.

Third Base

 

Yoshi Tsutsugo (17% TGFBI, 4% Yahoo, 5% OC) – 1B, OF – All six of Tsutsugo’s HR this season and 12 of his 19 RBI have come since August 20 and he’s hitting .273 in that span as opposed to his .188 for the year. He’s still a BA risk, but realistically can be a nice source of power the rest of the way.

Phil Gosselin (15% TGFBI, 2% Yahoo, 4% OC) – 1B, OF – Where did these stolen bases come from!? Gosselin will be 33 years old in less than a month and has three of his 10 career SB in 441 career games in his last nine games played. Now, I’m not counting on any more going forward, but if the Angels continue to turn him loose on the base paths any bags he accumulates will be a nice bonus to his steady RBI and R production – 12 each over the past four weeks typically hitting third or fourth in the lineup.

 

Shortstop

 

Alcides Escobar (22% TGFBI, 1% Yahoo, 2% OC) – 2B – Yep. I know what you’re thinking, but take a look! Esky has been in the one or two-hole for the Nationals since July 5 and has scored 33 R in those 209 PA. He’s also run into a couple of homers and driven in 17 R while hitting .283. We can’t count on that BA, but ROS projections have him in the .250-.255 range. Pretty good for a guy hitting at the top of the lineup every day and available in nearly every league out there.

 

Outfield

 

DJ Peters (12% TGFBI, 1% Yahoo, 1% OC) – Did the Rangers put Peters’ name on Joey Gallo’s jersey? Since joining Texas on August 3 Peters has hit .180 with 7 HR, 18 RBI, 12 R, 1 SB, a 2.5% BB%, and a 35.3% K%. Gallo would have more walks and SB, but that’s a 40 HR, 100+ RBI pace. He hits in the middle of the lineup every day, so if you can stomach the BA…

Lorenzo Cain (93% TGFBI, 23% Yahoo, 57% OC) – In shallower leagues, Cain should provide more balanced production going forward. Over the past two weeks he’s hit .250 with 3 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R, and 2 SB – just what we’d expect from a healthy LoCain.

 

Pitcher

 

Luke Weaver (34% TGFBI, 4% Yahoo, 2% OC) – Weaver returned from the IL for his first start since May 16 and went six innings with 4 H, 0 BB, 3 K, and 1 ER vs the Padres on Wednesday. He gets the Rangers this week who have scored the 5th least amount of runs over the past month and are 2nd to last on the season. Unfortunately, this looks to be a one-start pickup as he looks to line up vs the Dodgers, either Astros or Braves, and the Dodgers again for his next three.

Kyle Freeland (71% TGFBI, 22% Yahoo, 60% OC) – This could absolutely blow up in my face, but I really like Freeland this week. He has a 4.22 ERA and 81 K in 91 2/3 IP on the season, but since June 22 he’s thrown 71 innings with a 2.66 ERA and 69 K in 13 starts, six of them at Coors. He gets the Giants at home and heads to Philadelphia this week. The Giants were a tough matchup for lefties for a good portion of the season, but they are 22nd in MLB in runs scored vs LHP over the past month dropping them to 16th in that category on the year. The Phillies have scored one more run vs lefties over the past 30 days. He received an injection to alleviate some hip inflammation on Thursday, so monitor his status following this weekend’s bullpen session.

Aaron Civale (85% TGFBI, 73% Yahoo, 70% OC) – Available in a few more leagues than you may expect, Civale is set to return to Cleveland’s rotation for the first time since June 21. He was off to a great start to the season with a 3.32 ERA, 10 W, and 76 K (only 7.0 K/9, but we’re talking a quality SP in week 23!) in 15 starts. He threw 71 pitches in five innings in his most recent rehab start bringing his three-game total to 11 1/3 IP with 0.79 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, and 12 K. He’s lined up to face the Twins (only the Pirates have scored fewer runs in the past month) and Brewers this week, both in Cleveland.

 

Good luck to those participating in head-to-head playoffs! As always, good luck tonight, and enjoy the games!

 

Photo from Bob Kupbens | 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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