Ian Happ, OF, CHC
Happ went 1-5 with 2 K's against the Pirates on Monday and he continues to slump through the final weeks of the season. Happ is hitting just .148 (8-54) with no HR's and 4 RBI over his last 14 games and has a disturbing 35% K% during that time. The positive news is that Happ is still hitting the ball hard with a 90 EV during this slump, but that doesn't help with the strikeouts. After striking out more than 30% of the time in his first two full MLB seasons, Happ had improved in that regard, but seems to have regressed recently. If he doesn't get the strikeouts back under control, he not only will have reduced fantasy value but he may start losing playing time with the Cubs.
Brian Anderson, 3B, MIA
Anderson went 1-5 with an RBI against the Braves on Monday as he continues to be productive out of the middle of the Marlins lineup. Over his last 13 games, Anderson is hitting .267 with 4 HR's and 15 RBI over 47 PA's. He has been striking out more than in recent years though and has benefitted from a .352 BABIP this season despite the fact that his EV and HardHit% are merely average. This makes him more of a BA risk than he has been in the past, which would be a big blow to his fantasy value. Still, hitting in the middle of the lineup should allow him to keep collecting counting stats.
Luis Castillo, SP, CIN
Castillo dominated the Brewers on Monday, striking out 9 in 6.2 IP while allowing just 1 ER. He's been unbelievable in September, posting a 1.26 ERA and 33:9 K:BB in 28.2 IP covering 4 starts. Castillo has been a very good pitcher since the beginning of his career, but he's picked it up a notch this season with a career-best 2.82 xFIP that ranks 6th best in MLB. With a 15.6% SwStr%, 30.6% K% and 58.5% GB%, it's fair to say that Castillo should be viewed as a top-ten SP heading into 2021.
Jacob deGrom, SP, NYM
DeGrom racked up 14 strikeouts in 7 IP against the Rays on Monday, allowing 2 ER's on 4 hits and 2 BB's in a tough luck loss. DeGrom left after 2 IP in his last start but seemed perfectly fine today as he makes a push for his 3rd straight Cy Young. He has struck out at least 9 in 5 out of his last 6 starts and for the season he has a 94:16 K:BB across 63 IP. That gives him an insane 13.43 K/9 and 2.43 xFIP, numbers which both rank 2nd in MLB and are good even by deGrom's standards. But the most ridiculous number is probably his 21.4% SwStr% (entering Monday) which would beat the previous all-time record by nearly 5%! deGrom may or may not win the Cy Young but it is pretty clear that he is the best pitcher in the NL.
Jon Lester, SP, CHC
Lester continues to defy the odds, going 6 scoreless innings against the Pirates on Monday despite only striking out 1 batter. This is the 2nd straight start that Lester has fared well with just 1 K', and while his ERA has dipped to 4.40, his xFIP is still at 5.00. Lester's 6.12 K/9 is just not acceptable and like we warned at the beginning at the year, his mini hot streaks can't be expected to last. At age 36, it doesn't seem like he really has that much left in the tank.
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