Zack Wheeler (SP-NYM) - Wheeler allowed just three hits against the Phillies on Monday, but with three walks and a three-run triple from J.P. Crawford resulted in four runs. Wheeler has a 3.31 ERA and 179:55 K:BB in 182.1 innings in a breakout season. He's also turned into a bit of a workhorse in recent outings, tossing at least seven innings in eight of his last nine starts. Wheeler has improved in many aspects of his craft, improving his velocity (avg FB of 95.9 mph versus 94.6 mph in 2017) while drastically improving his control (2.7 BB/9 versus 4.2 in 2017), and dropping his hard hit rate from 32.8% to 24.5%. Wheeler is going to be the subject of trade rumors all winter considering where the Mets are as a team and Wheeler's impending free agency (after 2019), but after being either hurt or terrible from 2015-2017, he's finally arrived. After the game it was revealed that Wheeler could be shut down for the seasons due to workload, so keep that in mind.
Michael Conforto (OF-NYM) - Conforto had a big game Monday, going 3-for-5 with a double, HR #26, and six RBI to take his slash to an improving .242/.345/.443. Conforto game into the game with a .953 OPS in September, so at least he's finishing strong after a somewhat disappointing season. The Mets are now hitting Amed Rosario leadoff, and though his .297 OBP is troubling, he actually had a .361 mark entering Monday's action, while #2 hitter Jeff McNeil has a .387 overall OBP after his three this on Monday. This has given Conforto plenty of RBI chances, and he certainly took advantage on Monday. Conforto should continue to hit in the middle of the Mets' lineup in 2019, and he should again be an everyday player, especially considering he's much improved versus LHP, batting .242/.314/.459 versus southpaws entering Monday's action. This after a .212/.284/.444 mark last year and an ugly .104/.170/.125 slash in 53 PA's in 2016.
J.P. Crawford (SS-PHI) - Things have yet to click for the former top prospect, but Crawford is getting a look this month as the Phillies prepare for 2019. Monday, Crawford laced a three-run triple in going 1-for-3 against the Mets, raising his slash to a still-disappointing .226/.333/.406 in 106 at-bats. For some reason, the Phillies have sent in Jose Bautista to pinch-hit for Crawford twice in his last three starts, but in those starts, Crawford is 5-for-9 while Bautista has gone 0-for-2 in his cameos. Crawford has yet to make sufficient contact to stick as an MLB starter, but he does have a 13.4% career BB% and at 23, age is on his side. Consider this an audition for 2019, and I'd think the Phillies would play him every day.
Christian Yelich (OF-MIL) - Yelich will get plenty of top-10 MVP votes this year, and Monday's performance won't hurt a bit. All Yelich did was hit for the cycle while driving in four and improving to .318/.385/.570 in 535 at-bats. With 31 homers, 93 RBI, 102 runs, and 19 steals, Yelich has been a fantasy beast this year while Marlins CEO Derek Jeter has to continue to cringe given that the main piece in trade coming back to Miami was Lewis Brinson, he of the 105:15 K:BB and .199/.240/.352 slash line. Yelich could stand to improve his 21% K% and maybe is .363 BABIP starts to trend down, but it's tough to find fault with anything he's done this year.
Curt Casali (C-CIN) - There was a Casali sighting in Monday's box score and he did well, going 2-for-3 before being replaced by Tim Federowicz. Casali is batting a surprising .307/.369/.472. He's seen some time at first base, but Joey Votto is back from injury and Tucker Barnhart is the starting catcher. That's left Casali with three starts since September 8, but he's been surprisingly productive when in the lineup, particularly against lefties. He may be a #2 catcher in deep mixed / NL-only leagues, but I'd probably reserve my usage for Draft Kings when it's confirmed he's going to be in the lineup against a southpaw.
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