Welcome back to another FAABulous Sunday, and a happy holiday weekend to all! Yet again we have some exciting young prospects making their MLB debuts or being recalled. We also have some old, boring guys who show up in this article multiple times throughout the season who have favorable schedules upcoming — there are a lot of games this week, with no teams playing a five-game week, 14 teams playing at least seven-game weeks, four of those with eight, and the Chicago Cubs have nine! Let’s get to some names!
Yan Gomes (66% ME, 18%OC, 3% Yahoo) – We’re going after that nine-game week the Cubs have scheduled right out of the gate. With two scheduled doubleheaders and at least a game everyday, we should be looking at at least three starts from Gomes this week, and quite possibly four or five. In the previous two scoring periods where he received double-digit at-bats, Gomes was a combined 10 for 28 with a home run and five runs batted in. I’m expecting one of those double-digit at-bats weeks.
Elias Díaz (100% ME, 92% OC, 14% Yahoo) – Colorado is at home for seven games this week. Díaz should definitely be added in the handful of 12-team, two-catcher leagues where he is available.
William Contreras (94% ME, 48% OC, 49% Yahoo) – I won’t often include three catchers or a player three consecutive weeks here, but Contreras’s production has earned him daily playing time in Atlanta, and he responded by hitting .300 with another HR, 3 RBI, and 4 R in 23 PA. Atlanta has a seven-game week, and I expect the everyday at bats to continue. Universal DH is a beautiful thing!
Edwin Ríos (36% ME, 8% OC, 8% Yahoo) – Max Muncy’s trip to the IL has made Ríos the everyday DH, hitting in the middle of one of the best lineups in baseball (first in both runs scored and team OPS). The 39.5 K% is an issue — a big one, but he’s cut it down a bit with just four strikeouts in 14 PA over the past three games. Yes, I know it’s only three games and that’s still a 28.6 K%, but it’s improvement and improvement we need to continue to see for this to stick. He’s in the lineup in the five spot again on Sunday.
Thairo Estrada (98% ME, 78% OC, 68% Yahoo) – SS – He’s not widely available, but Estrada is worth mentioning as his .270 BA, 2 HR, 20 RBI, 25 R, and 6 SB make him the 6th most valuable second baseman in 5×5 roto leagues so far this season. He’s still the near-everyday starter at the keystone for the Giants and will typically get a pinch-hitting appearance on the days he doesn’t start.
Yandy Díaz (87% ME, 19% OC, 10%Yahoo) – 1B – Díaz still hits the ball on the ground over 50% of the time, but he hits it so hard so often and has such great plate discipline that he is getting on base at nearly a .400 clip leading to regular playing time and a role as a nice runs scored contributor. Derek Carty’s (@DerekCarty) The Bat X rest of season (ROS) projections have him hitting double-digit home runs the rest of the way with a .271 BA.
Kyle Farmer (45% ME, 5% OC, 10% Yahoo) – I’m not including Farmer in consecutive weeks due to his three home runs in his past three games — he missed the first three games of the week with general soreness, but responded in a big way after the rest — but rather due to the upcoming schedule for Cincinnati and him still being widely available. The Reds have an off day Monday, head to Boston for two games, then return home for eight straight at Great American Smallpark.
Christopher Morel (62% ME, 12% OC, 15% Yahoo) – Morel was added in a good number of 15-teamers last week and he would not be as available as he is if the move to the leadoff spot had been expected. He had 18 HR and 18 SB in 110 AA and AAA combined games last season, he has 9 HR and 6 SB in 38 combined AA and MLB games thus far this season, his K% has drastically improved, and he’s hitting leadoff for the fifth consecutive game on Sunday. Sign me up!
Michael Harris II (0% ME, 0% OC, 29% Yahoo) – As a 20 year old, Harris had 7 HR and 27 SB in 101 games at A+ in 2021. He began this season with 5 HR and 11 SB in just 43 games at AA. His K% below 20% and BB% above 8% at both of those levels led to OBPs of .362 and .372. If the plate discipline continues I really think his defense will keep him in Atlanta’s lineup as their everyday centerfielder. He may stay at the bottom of the order for a while, regardless of production, but in that lineup the SB and R will be plentiful.
Dylan Bundy (87% ME, 16% OC, 20% Yahoo) – Bundy gets the Tigers for a second straight start on Monday and will face the Blue Jays over the weekend. Detroit is 30th in MLB in team OPS vs RHP and Toronto is 20th. There is always blow-up potential with Bundy, especially if the Jays’ bats wake up, but I’m willing to take the risk this week where I am in need of SP depth.
Roansy Contreras (98% ME, 61% OC, 24% Yahoo) – He’ll be expensive where available tonight, and while a not-so-good performance vs. the Padres later today probably won’t bring the price down much, a good one will send it soaring. Here’s hoping the holiday weekend will allow him to sneak through in a couple of spots with keep ’em honest bids in the low triple digits.
Rowan Wick (57% ME, 30% OC, 19% Yahoo) – This is not a closer stash for me as much as it is a volume play for this week with the Cubs’ nine-game schedule. A win or a save are realistically possible if Chicago can score some runs this week — let’s get greedy and hope for one of each! The BB% is concerning, but his 2.50 ERA and 20 K in 18 IP make him viable as long as we get three-plus appearances.
As briefly alluded to, the holiday weekend will influence my bids this evening as we’re getting to the point where some teams have spent over half their seasons’ budgets anyway. The old, boring vets will be a little less expensive than they have been in many leagues, and our keep ’em honest bids for the young, exciting guys may actually sneak through. Don’t forget to get your bids in! And avoid your league message boards and group text threads as to not alert your league mates of who they may be overlooking. As always, good luck tonight and enjoy the games!
Feature image by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on Twitter) / Photography by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire