C.J. Abrams (SS-MIL) powered the Nationals to a 6-2 win over the Pirates on Monday at PNC Park, going 2-for-4 with two homers and three RBIs out of the leadoff spot. Abrams broke a scoreless tie with his two-run shot in the top of the third, then added a solo shot in the sixth as an insurance run. The game was Abrams' first multi-homer game of his career, boosting his season total to 18 and putting him within range of 20. It may not take him long to get there, as he already has four long balls in the month of September and 11 since the All-Star Break. He has three straight multi-hit efforts as well, boosting his average to .252. It's encouraging to see his power emerge as the season's progressed, making him a terrific fantasy option thanks to his elite speed as well (41 steals in 44 attempts). If he can be a bit more patient and improve on his 25:103 BB/K ratio next year, the rising star could be even better. As it is, he's already a top-10 fantasy shortstop heading into 2024.
Patrick Corbin (SP-WSH) picked up the win on Monday after going 6 2/3 innings, holding the Pirates to two runs on five hits and one walk while striking out eight. Corbin took advantage against a weak Pirates lineup, turning in one of his best starts of the season with his second-most whiffs (eight) and his most outs recorded (20) of the second half. He improved to 10-13 with a 5.13 ERA, bouncing back after getting torched for 14 runs on 17 hits in nine innings over his last two outings combined. That's par for the course for Corbin, though, who mixes in too many bad starts to be an effective fantasy option (blame all the home runs, hard contact and low strikeout rate for that. This is his third year in a row with an ERA over 5.00, and it's going to take a strong finish for him to avoid that streak. He's a risky fantasy option for his next start this weekend against the Brewers on the road.
Cedric Mullins (OF-BAL) powered the Orioles to an 11-5 comeback win over the Cardinals on Monday, going 2-for-3 with a grand slam, two runs scored and a walk. Mullins turned the game around with his big blow in the bottom of the fifth, putting Baltimore ahead for good with his 14th homer of the season. The game was Mullins' first with multiple hits since Sept. 3, snapping him out of a 2-for-13 skid at the plate. The veteran outfielder has lost some playing time lately as a result, coming off the bench in three of his last four games. The former All-Star is now batting .251 with a .780 OPS, falling in between his 2021 and 2022 production. His 67 RBIs are a career-high, which is even more impressive considering he's only played in 97 games thus far. With 14 homers and 17 steals, he's been a quality fantasy option when healthy, but his overall numbers are down a bit due to all the missed time. That could make him a bit of a bargain in 2024 fantasy drafts, especially if his recent slump continues.
Jonah Heim (C-TEX) powered the Rangers to a 10-4 win over the Blue Jays on Monday, going 2-for-5 with a homer and five RBIs. Heim delivered the big blow with his grand slam in the top of the seventh, putting the game out of reach with his 16th bomb of the year. The dinger was Heim's first since Aug. 27 and helped break him out of his 2-for-18 slide at the plate. The 16 homers tie Heim's career-high from 2022, while his 82 RBIs are more than his previous two seasons combined (80). His .263 average and .767 OPS are both personal bests as well, as his numbers have improved every year since he arrived in the big leagues in 2020. There's nothing in his batted-ball profile that suggests he's truly improved other than his BABIP (.290 this year vs. .249 last year), which can be largely luck-based. As such, fantasy GMs should be careful not to overvalue him in next year's fantasy drafts.
Willy Adames (SS-MIL) stayed hot on Monday, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, a triple, three runs and four RBIs against the the Marlins. That was more than enough run support for Brandon Woodruff, who cruised to a complete-game shutout in a 12-0 victory. It was also Adames' third multi-hit game in his last five contests, and he now has seven extra-base hits during that run. His batting average is up to .215 and his OPS is at .712 thanks to the surge, plus he's added 11 RBIs to his ledger. His numbers are still down a bit compared to last year, but they're getting closer and still have a bit of time to improve. It's been encouraging to see his walk rate bounce back to around 10% this year, but his high strikeout rate (26%) means his average is unlikely to improve much next year. His power still makes him a valuable fantasy asset at shortstop, but at this point he likely is what he is offensively.
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