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Bridges of Fantasy County: Hot Guys

Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (]

Bridges of Fantasy County: Hot Guys

Estimated Reading Time: 10 Minutes

I am so interested to see if people stumble upon this article based on the non-ironic title I’ve picked out for it. If you mistakenly ended up here hoping for something very different, I am sorry to disappoint you. This is a fantasy baseball article. Thanks for visiting, though!

Ok, now it should just be us nerds left in here. Hey, guy. Or girl. How you doin’?? There’s only 2 weeks left in the regular season, and it’s now or never time in all your leagues. Still in it? Of course you are. Otherwise, you’d be reading a Week 2 waiver wire column for fantasy football. You got this, though. You can bring home this title. I believe in you.

Enough with the motivational talk for now. I’ll start with a little caveat. Writing articles at this point is admittedly a little difficult. First, you have to face the reality that most people are out of the race and would rather you talk about your sleeper picks for the week.

Side note: Thanks, Jared Goff!

Also, you have to realize that the only thing really left to talk about is either picks for next year or streaking guys you should pick up for the last push. I have chosen to talk about the latter!

Please note that you have definitely heard of everybody on this list, and while many of them will probably be owned, it’s worth identifying those guys who are catching fire at the right time. You never know if an owner will get desperate for a streamer and drop one of these guys! It’s championship week. Anything is possible. So, in hopes of helping you bring home the hardware, here is a list of hot guys:

Please note that all ownership percentages reflect ESPN leagues only.

Hot Hitters

OF/1B Jose Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals (35% owned)

Who you calling a Quad-A player now?! Martinez is taking advantage of the Cards devil magic with hits in 16 of his last 18 games coming into tonight. Also, 6 of those have been multi-hit efforts. He’s been on absolute fire hitting for a .342 average in the second half and .379 in September. He barely made the team out of spring training, he’s a 29 year-old minor league lifer, and what more do you need to see to prove the Cardinals devil magic??? They literally have like…an endless supply of these guys. In fact, Pham is about to finish as a top 25 outfielder for crying out loud! SHEESH. Anyways, Martinez is currently hitting 4th in the order behind Carpenter, Pham, and DeJong, which is giving him plenty of opportunity to produce counting stats. I would jump on him in all leagues if nobody has, but that likelihood is decreasing with every game.

OF Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies (70% owned)

Stop me if you have heard this one before: CarGo looked totally lifeless for a good portion of the year, and just when everyone thought it was safe to abandon ship, he suddenly gets hot again. Even though he’s stayed relatively healthy this year, there’s been a major drop off in production with just 13 HRs, 54 RBIs, and a .256 average. That being said, he has quietly put together a rock solid September with 5 HR/13 RBI/15 R and a .388 average. In fact, he’s put together a respectable .307 average in the second half total. We know what the upside is when he’s feeling healthy and producing, but we also know this hot streak could go south at any time. He’s risky, but considering he’s a potential big bat in Coors down the stretch, I’m willing to roll the dice.

SS/2B Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves (20% owned)

I have been banging the drum almost weekly for Albies, and I will continue to do so! He’s diminutive, he’s hitting out of the 2 hole now, and he’s stolen my little tomahawk heart. Though it’s infuriating that he literally seems unwilling to steal a base, I can’t hate on him because he is getting on base literally every single game. In fact, since August 17th, do you know how many games Albies was held off the bases entirely? 2. 2 games total. He’s literally a Billy Beane wet dream for how much he gets on base. It’s just…when you get on base…can you run for the next one??? But I digress. For the season, he has a surprisingly good .282/.357/.466 triple slash, and did I mention that he is literally a 20 year-old? Like I said last week, if he starts stealing, then he rockets up draft boards for 2018. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the boost to my AVG and OBP categories.

3B/2B/SS Jose Reyes, New York Mets (50% owned)

What is this? 2009?! Jose Reyes is once again hitting leadoff for the New York Mets, and he is absolutely crushing it down the stretch. He’s hit safely in 15 of his last 18 games, and since the end of August, he’s been one of the best hitters in the Mets lineup. Which…isn’t saying much admittedly. In September alone, he’s got 4 HR/13 RBI/13 R/6 SB to go with his excellent .281 average, and I wish I had jumped on this train before it got going. Someone go check Ponce de Leon’s grave because the Fountain of Youth has been found! The power/speed guy we used to know has returned for the month of September at least. The Mets still suck though.

SS Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox (17.4% owned)

As I was about to advance to the championship round of my H2H league last week, I noticed that I had like 4 White Sox players rostered. Most of them are pitchers I’m streaming (Giolito, Fulmer, Lopez), but Tim Anderson is my newest obsession. He may stick around for more than a start or two. I was very high on him coming into the year, and after a slow start, I had to unfortunately move on from the youngster who seemed to need time to adjust to the majors. And adjust he has! He’s slashing a sizzling .418/.426/.612 in September, and he’s swiped 7 bags to go with that. 7 steals! THIS MONTH. OZZIE ALBIES PLEASE TAKE NOTE. It is very encouraging to see him running finally after he didn’t steal one in all of August. I’m enjoying the hot finish to the season, and I think because of where he plays, he’s going to stay under the radar for drafts next season (hopefully).

OF/1B Matt Olson, Oakland A’s (55% owned)

Everyone was (correctly) going bonkers for Rhys Hoskins last month, but Matt Olson was like…move over because September is MY MONTH! Time to mash on the West Coast. He’s been like the Tupac to Rhys’ Biggie! Granted, he’s not conquering world hunger and having babies named after him like Hoskins (yet), but he has 13 jacks since August 27th. That includes his current 3 game homerun…make it 4….game homerun streak. He literally just donged while I was writing this. In the second half, which has been the majority of his season with the big league club, he has 18 HR/33 RBI/25 R and a triple slash of .301/.381/.748! Rhys who?! JK…I love you both. Bottom line is he can really swat the hell out of the ball, and he’s a big upgrade over Ryon Healy or whoever the A’s were starting earlier this year. Question for you…how high do Hoskins and Olson go next season in drafts?

3B Nick Castellanos, Detroit Tigers (58% owned)

Raise your hand if you have been personally victimized by Regina Geo…wait…I mean Nick Castellanos. Yeah, that’s it. In fact, can you really say you’ve played fantasy baseball if you haven’t had your heart broken by an underachieving Nick Castellanos? Well, fret no more because it looks like the wait is finally over. Castellanos currently has a 15 game hitting streak heading into Tuesday night’s games, and he also has 9 multi-hit efforts during this streak. He’s slashing .400/.411/.686 in the month of September, and he’s now posted career highs in homeruns, runs, and RBIs this year. He’s improved in every way imaginable in the second half, and did you know that Castellanos is just 25 years old? It feels like he’s been personally victimizing owners for like a decade now, when in reality, he could be just now coming into his own. I think it’s finally happened. I think he’s finally becoming the player we’ve been waiting for, fam!

Hot Pitchers

P Luke Weaver, St. Louis Cardinals (78% owned)

Oh man, I can see it now. The minute I post this article, some real neckbeards with fedoras are gonna emerge from their online caverns and scream “BLARGH BLARGH BLARGH YOU DIDN’T RECOMMEND ANYONE FOR MY 52 TEAM KEEPER WITH 624 MINOR LEAGUE ROSTER SPOTS! WEAVER HAS BEEN OWNED SINCE 1997!” It’ll happen. That being said, how do you write an article about hot players and NOT mention Weaver. He’s been on a tear and now has a 1.89 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in his limited amount of starts in 2017. Shut up, small sample size guy! Let us enjoy Weaver!!! He has 3 quality starts in his last 5 outings, and he missed quality starts by a single out in the other two. He’s been good for at least 6 Ks a game during that stretch and even put up back-to-back AAU NATIONAL CHAMP….10 K outings. Excuse me. Weaver is good at baseball.

P Sean Doolittle, Washington Nationals (74% owned)

You know that if Dusty kept throwing spaghetti against the wall, one of those noodles was gonna stick eventually. That noodle came in the form of Sean Doolittle in a trade deadline deal with the A’s. And boy has it worked out. Since the change of scenery, Doolittle has converted every save opportunity he’s been given, and he now owns an impressive 2.66 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, and 10.9 K/9 on the season. He’s going to finish as a top-10 closer this season, but I’m sure the Nationals will do something silly in the off-season and claim they have no good arms in the bullpen to start 2018.

P Tanner Roark, Washington Nationals (76% owned)

And speaking of Nationals, Tanner Roark has been one of the better pitchers in the National League in the second half. After we all left him for dead following an uninspiring first half, Roark has “roar-ed” to a streak of 4 consecutive quality starts in which he has averaged almost 8 strikeouts per outing. That’s pretty good, usable pitching, guys. His Ks are up, his walks are down, and he gets to face the Braves this upcoming Thursday. Fire away!

P Kyle Gibson, Minnesota Twins (32.3% owned)

I had all these really impressive stats about how good Gibson had been when I started piecing this thing together on Sunday, and then he got roughed up against Toronto later that day. THANKS A LOT, KYLE. Prior to getting lit by the Jays, he had put together 5 consecutive quality starts, and he was doing his best impression of a strikeout guy in the process. Known for being more of a game-manager type (think pre-2017 Alex Smith in football talk), his floor of about 5 strikeouts a game in this stretch was a nice boost for those starting him. Also prior to the blow up, he was walking virtually no one. But of course…he walked 5 on Sunday, which is more than he had walked since like…January or something. He has to face Detroit on Friday, and that team is so checked out that he may as well be pitching against the Red Wings. I like him to get back on track this week.

P Dinelson Lamet, San Diego Padres (34.8% owned)

I can already tell I am going to have Lamet and Luis Castillo higher in my 2018 rankings than just about anyone else. I really love both of their skill sets, and Lamet is finishing strong to make me feel smart. He’s posted 4 consecutive quality starts, and 3 of those teams are still in the playoff hunt (Dodgers, Cardinals, Twins). Those are some pretty good teams, yo. If you are feeling pretty good about your WHIP and can afford to weather the walks and occasional blowups from the youngster, you will be rewarded with those oh-so-valuable strikeouts. He faces Arizona tomorrow at home, and while his home ballpark is an advantage, facing Goldy and JD Martinez is not.

P Ben Lively, Philadelphia Phillies (8.9% owned)

UCF grads in the house! Let’s think about some notable Central Florida alumni real quick…me, Brandon Marshall, Blake Bortles, Ben Lively, Jason Colette, Daunte Culpepper, my former roommate Brad, Daniel Tosh, etc. The list goes on and on. Anyways, Lively has recorded 3 quality starts in a row, and if we go back and choose another arbitrary point that fits my narrative, he has 7 QS in his last 10 outings. He has a respectable 3.86 ERA and 1.29 WHIP for an absolute dumpster fire of a team, and although all of that is impressive, I would look elsewhere for strikeout upside. He’s facing Atlanta this Friday, and we’ve already been over what you should do in that scenario (see: Tanner Roark).

P Carson Fulmer, Chicago White Sox (5.4% owned)

The White Sox are not a very good team, but I have been using the crap out of their young pitchers for streaming purposes as we discussed earlier. We have a very small sample size for Fulmer, but he has now posted back-to-back quality starts against fearsome offenses like the Tigers and Giants. Obviously, don’t get too excited because those teams are awful, but there’s no denying the 14 combined Ks he put up against them. He’s young, he’s got high draft pick pedigree, he’s flashed some good stuff lately, and even though I’m definitely skipping his next start against Houston, I think you can use him for the final week of the regular season. Stream away!

So, that’s who is on my radar right now. Those guys are really lighting it up down the stretch and worthy of some praise. I’ll be writing one more in-season article this year, then I’ll do a wrap-up piece, and then I’ll be shifting in responsibilities here on the site! Stay tuned for more exciting details. Bring home the ‘ship!

Follow me @jakebridges03 across all social media platforms!

Jake is an NYC based actor who loves to put off daily responsibilities by writing and researching about all things fantasy baseball and college football. He is a life long Auburn Tigers fan, and yes, he does have the same SEC bias as ESPN. Most days, he can be found reminiscing about the 1990s Braves teams or complaining about their rebuild. Auburn 26 Alabama 14. #WDE

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