It's the final Tuesday of the season and it feels like we just got going, so it's bittersweet. I'm happy that we even got a season given everything going on in the world that is much bigger or more important than baseball, but I'm bummed that it's already coming to an end.
Hopefully you are chasing down a title in this final week and if you need some interesting pickups, I've got a great group for you!
Kyle Freeland (L), rostered in 42% of ESPN leagues, Colorado Rockies at San Francisco Giants: There are two Rockies starters with sub-4.00 ERAs and neither are German Marquez which is somewhat surprising. Freeland (3.75) and Antonio Senzatela (3.13) have been doing great work for the Rockies, but they haven't received much support elsewhere on the staff so the team ERA is still at 5.52 for the year. Freeland has been especially good on the road with a 2.63 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in four starts while striking out 22 in 24 innings.
Brady Singer (R), 25%, Kansas City Royals vs. St. Louis Cardinals: Singer is in the midst of a 14-inning scoreless streak over his last two starts, dominating Cleveland and Detroit by allowing just three hits and three walks while fanning 16 in that time. The rookie hurler has done a great job for the Royals in 54 1/3 innings of work with a 4.14 ERA and 1.18 WHIP with 52 strikeouts. He should be available at a remarkably fair draft price next year, too, so keep him in mind for 2021.
Keegan Akin (L), 3%, Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox: Akin's 2.35 ERA over his last four starts is really good, but it's even better when you break it down a bit more and realize it's been three excellent starts and one dud. He allowed four runs in just 2/3 of an inning against the Yankees last Friday. Apart from that, he has allowed just two unearned runs in the other 14 2/3 innings in matchups against the Blue Jays, Braves, and Yankees. He also has 23 strikeouts in those three starts. Sign me up!
Bullpen: The O's bullpen has quietly posted a top 10 ERA this year at 3.94 in 226 1/3 innings (7th-most). They've had pen issues the last few years so it's nice to see them succeeding and gives streamers like Akin, Dean Kremer, John Means, and Alex Cobb more viability when it comes to securing that win.
For the latest team-by-team closer situations, please consult our Closer Chart.
Catcher -- Sean Murphy (R), 18%, Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Dodgers (RHP Dustin May): Murphy sputtered a bit through the first month-plus, but he's hit his stride in September. He's hitting .313/.463/.688 in 41 plate appearances this month with strong work against both lefties and righties. After hitting just two homers through August (81 PA), he's smacked four this month. He's also got more walks (9) than strikeouts (7) which is fueling that excellent on-base percentage.
First Base -- Jared Walsh (L), 49%, Los Angeles Angels at San Diego Padres (RHP Zach Davies): Walsh just continues to rake. Even if you were a little late to the party and didn't get to pick him up until last Sunday, you still got a fantastic .400/.435/.800 line with 2 HR, 6 RBI, and 5 R last week. He's currently rocking a 12-game hit streak and has hits in 15 of his last 16 games. Walsh is also doing his best work against righties so getting five in their six games this week will definitely worked.
Second Base -- Jurickson Profar (S), 36%, San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Angels (RHP Griffin Canning): Things were looking bleak for Profar 20 games into the season. He had just a .580 OPS in 77 PA, but like clockwork for the third straight season, he's closing with a bang. Over his last 30 games, he has an .882 OPS with 5 HR and 4 SB in 113 PA. In 2019, he posted an .850 OPS in the final 45 games after a .653 in the first 94 and in 2018, he had a .756 after 85 games and then rallied with an .846 in the final 61 games. We can worry about whether or not he will be able to put together a full season of great work next year, for now we just need another big week of production to finish off this stretch run.
Third Base -- Jake Lamb (L), 3%, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Texas Rangers (LHP Caleb Smith): The Lamb-aissance is upon us! Or so I desperately hope. I am a huge fan of Lamb dating back to his 59 homers across two seasons in 2016-17, but injuries have ravaged him since then, limiting him to just 134 games in 2018-19 and only 23 this year. Since joining the A's, he's hitting a cool .364/.417/.727 with hits in all six games and even a homer against a lefty! With health, I believe Lamb still has major pop in his bat. Obviously, it'll take more than a 2-week run to prove that, but hopefully this is the start of him getting back on track.
Shortstop -- Miguel Rojas (R), 20%, Miami Marlins at Atlanta Braves (RHP Bryse Wilson): Batting average is a lot more movable than many fantasy managers realize in a standard six-month season so imagine the movement still available in the final week of a two-month season. Rojas is hitting .343 on the year and last night swiped a pair of bags, making it five for the season. Grab Rojas if your team can move in average this final week.
Corner Infield -- Ke'Bryan Hayes (R), 9%, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs (LHP Jose Quintana): In a season of strong rookie performances, Hayes has slid under the radar a bit. He didn't get the call until September 1st and he's stuck on the worst team in the league, but he's gotten hits in 14 of his 17 games en route to a .310/.385/.603 line with 3 HR, 8 RBI, and 11 R in 65 PA. Let Hayes help lead you to a title this year and keep him firmly on your list for 2021, too.
Middle Infield -- Luis Garcia (L), 5%, Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies (RHP Aaron Nola): Washington has a pair of infielders atop their prospect in Carter Kieboom and Garcia with the former carrying big expectations coming into the season, but it's been Garcia who has made the impact. He's been on fire over the last week with a .522 AVG and 1.261 OPS in 23 PA and if you pick him up on Monday, you still get seven games of action thanks to their doubleheader on Tuesday.
Outfield -- Clint Frazier (R), 55%, New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays (RHP Tanner Roark): Have you seen what Frazier is up to this year? He didn't make it up until August 12th, but he's been on fire throughout his 34-game run with a .296/.410/.574 line with 8 HR, 26 RBI, and 22 R in 139 PA. He has also greatly improved his defense which has some fantasy relevance because it was costing him playing time prior to this season. The one-time top prospect has done his best work against righties (.990 OPS) so this matchup against Roark sets up nicely for him.
Outfield -- Ryan Braun (R), 37%, Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds (RHP Sonny Gray): The 36-year old veteran just keeps hitting. In fact, his .860 OPS is a four-year high and his 16% strikeout rate is the best it has been since 2011 (15%). He has tough draw against Gray, though his 270-point OPS platoon split favoring what he has done against righties makes it less worrisome.
Outfield -- D.J. Stewart (L), 17%, Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox (RHP Nick Pivetta): Stewart is a pure power bat who has crushed righties to the tune of a .960 OPS thanks to 6 HR in 73 PA against them. He's only hitting .214, but the .389 OBP and .571 SLG are both great. Pivetta has been a home run machine throughout his career with a 1.9 HR/9 in 93 2/3 innings last year and an even wilder 4.8 mark in his 5 2/3 innings this year.