Rafael Devers (3B-BOS) was a bright spot in the Red Sox's 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Sunday, going 2-for-2 with a solo homer and two walks. Devers did everything he could to prevent Boston from getting swept, reaching base in all four of his plate appearances and smashing a game-tying homer in the top of the ninth. Unfortunately, the Red Sox immediately blew the game in the bottom of the ninth. The dinger was Devers' 33rd of the season and fourth in his last seven games, raising his RBI total to 98. A recent hot streak has boosted his batting average to .276 and his OPS to .876, but unfortunately it's too little, too late to save Boston's season. He's settled into being one of the best hitters in baseball and a top fantasy option at third base, putting up similar rate stats in each of the last three seasons and closing in on his third career 30/100 season. Next year will be his age-27 season, too, so he's still squarely in his prime and is usually quite durable.
Adley Rutschman (C-BAL) led the Orioles to a 5-4 win over the Rays on Sunday, going 3-for-5 with a double, a homer, two runs and two RBIs. Rutschman fell a triple shy of the cycle in his first three-hit game since Aug. 24, slamming a clutch solo homer in the bottom of the eighth. The big game snapped him out of a 4-for-29 funk over his last eight games. Despite his recent skid, Rutschman is still batting .270 with a .789 OPS to go along with 25 doubles, 19 homers and 73 RBIs. The second-year backstop's rate stats are nearly identical to last year, so he hasn't shown much growth offensively. On the plus side, however, he didn't endure a sophomore slump like many players do. Don't be surprised if the 25-year-old takes a step forward next year in his third season, but at the very least he's established a high baseline as his floor.
Anthony Volpe (SS-NYY) went 1-for-4 with a solo homer on Sunday against the Pirates, launching his 21st homer in New York's 3-2 loss at PNC Park. Volpe's seventh-inning solo shot extended his hitting streak to four games, keeping his average at .211 and raising his OPS to .680. The homer was his first of September, ending a 14-game homerless streak to begin the month. The 22-year-old is ending his rookie year on a down note with a poor September so far, batting just .153 with 18 strikeouts in 15 games this month. This season has been a mixed bag for the rookie shortstop from a fantasy perspective, as he's provided value with his 21 homers and 24 steals, but his poor rate stats have limited his overall value. He'll need to cut down on the whiffs (27.5 K%) next year if he wants to improve at the dish, but his power and speed still make him a decent fantasy option at a premium position heading into 2024.
Carlos Rodon (SP-NYY) took the loss on Sunday against the Pirates despite limiting them to three runs on six hits and no walks with 10 strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings. Rodon has struggled with his control in the past but was on point with his command on Sunday, throwing 76 of his 103 pitches for strikes, not walking anyone and racking up a season-high 10 strikeouts. After the first half with injuries and getting off to a terrible start this year, Rodon has really turned things around lately over the last month. He's allowed three earned runs or fewer in five of his last six starts, bringing his ERA down to 5.90. He's also piled up 19 strikeouts over his last two outings combined, recapturing his swing-and-miss stuff. Home runs remain an issue, however, as he's given up 14 long balls in 12 outings this year. His 2.2 HR/9 is easily the worst of his career, so he needs to bring that way down next year if he wants to be an effective pitcher again. He'll try to maintain his recent momentum against the Diamondbacks at home next weekend.
Jose Quintana (SP-NYM) picked up the win on Sunday after holding the Reds to two runs on eight hits and one walk with two strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings. Quintana nearly made it through the seventh on a relatively efficient 94 pitches, improving to 3-5 with a 3.02 ERA. Despite missing the entire first half with injuries, he hasn't skipped a beat since returning. In 11 starts, he's logged at least five innings in every outing and has only had one start with more than three earned runs allowed. While his 45:24 K/BB ratio is nothing special, he's done a great job keeping the ball in the yard with only two homers allowed in 65 2/3 innings. That kind of rate is unsustainable over a larger sample size, however, making the 34-year-old southpaw a prime regression candidate for next year. A tough road matchup against the Phillies is up next, where he'll be a risky fantasy option against their potent lineup.
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