Giancarlo Stanton, OF (NYY)
Stanton made his first appearance since suffering a PCL strain in June. He doubled in three at bats before heading to the bench as the Yankees will take it easy with their slugger. It's also important to note he did play the outfield, not designated hitter, so his knee has to be at a capable point. New York will continue to take caution in the hopes of having a fully healthy Stanton for the playoffs. Stanton's injury concern will certainly play a role in his draft position next season, but he averaged 607 at bats from 2017-18, hitting 97 home runs over those two seasons. Stanton is another example of a player to take advantage of in terms of value. The injury issues are a legitimate cause for concern, but in the 3rd round, isn't it worth the chance?
Tim Anderson, SS (CHW)
Anderson is taking this batting title seriously (he leads the major leagues at .335) and for good reason since this is probably the only season he will be lucky enough to be in the conversation. That is because Anderson leads the American League with a .399 BABIP. By comparison, his career BABIP is .344 so that .335 average can thank that .399 BABIP. That is not to take away from a season where he lifted his average 100 points along with a 3% progression in contact rate, increased hard hit rate, more line drives, lower swinging strike rate, higher ISO and a more judicious spray chart. Again, the BABIP is a major factor, but Anderson made great strides. Unfortunately, he will probably fall short of a second straight 20/20 season. In fact, he might not reach the threshold in either category. As the White Sox continue to mature, Anderson will get more support in the lineup, which should help his counting categories and you would think his 2.5% walk rate could maybe go up? Either way, it's been a nice season, one he will never replicate.
Dee Gordon, 2B (SEA)
Gordon reached base twice on Wednesday, failing to score and more importantly, failing to attempt a steal. That's a 'fail' in the books of fantasy owners as there are three reasons one drafts Dee Gordon: runs, batting average and stolen bases. Well, with just over 400 plate appearances, Gordon has a measly 36 runs scored (doesn't lead off anymore), a mediocre .277 batting average and only 22 stolen bases. He is essentially a one-category player, and he is only around 15th place in that one category. Yes, he dealt with injuries this year and yes, he could end up on a better team next year, but he will be 32 next season, his swinging strike rate is over eight percent for the first time in his career and although the Mariners are bad, their offense is in the middle of the pack. Stolen bases are a real problem for fantasy owners, now more than ever, and it's an issue that will certainly be addressed during Fantistics spring training analysis, but Gordon is no longer a surefire stolen base stud, and he just doesn't help you in anything else. Let another owner reach for the aging speedster.
Danny Duffy, SP (KC)
Duffy was brilliant on Wednesday but not good enough to pick up a win. Instead, he gets a no-decision despite throwing seven scoreless innings allowing only two hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Duffy is finishing his inconsistent season on a strong note with four straight quality starts. He's only allowed two runs in his last three starts. Duffy is a buy-low candidate. He's only 30 years old and still has a double-digit swinging strike rate. He is on a bad team and that undoubtedly hurts his value, but a capable lefty with strikeout upside needs to at least be acknowledged. He's one of those players that other owners don't like because he's "burned them" before. Take advantage of that value.
Spencer Turnbull, SP (DET)
I simply cannot believe the Indians are 17-1 against Detroit. I know, that has nothing to do with Spencer Turnbull, but he was the product of his team losing despite a fine effort on Wednesday. Turnbull went five innings, allowing one run and striking out 8. He came in having allowed at least four runs in five straight starts, but he was strong on Wednesday notably sporting a little extra velocity on his fastball. He induced 18 whiffs on his 92 pitches. This performance was more reminiscent of his early season success, when Turnbull emerged as one of the more capable young pitchers in the game. At that time he was creating more groundballs with his heavy sinker and his heater was effective. The groundball rate dropped in recent games, but the heavy sinker was back on Wednesday. In fairness to Turnbull, he dealt with injuries and some bad luck (sub-70% strand rate), but he is an interesting player heading into next year. The team context is poor, but the pitch arsenal has potential.
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