5 Things to Know for Week 21 (Fantasy Baseball)
In some head to head leagues, the fantasy baseball playoffs are already underway, and for those who aren’t, we are certainly getting quite close. Today I’m going to give you five quick-hitting nuggets that I believe will increase your odds of lifting up that trophy in a few weeks. Let’s get right to it.
#1 Brendan McKay is about to have a big week
You may be disappointed by McKay’s performance over the last three weeks and I’m right there with you, but nuow is the time to scoop him up, not give up on him. The rookie draws Seattle then Baltimore in a delicious two-start schedule. Granted, he’ll need to get his control together so this is by no means a guaranteed producer, but at this point in the season, it’s as good as you’ll find at under 30% ownership for two starts. Let’s not forget that prior to his call-up, McKay was the favorite to win Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He has phenomenal stuff and could win two ball games with friendly ratios this week.
#2 If you need a long-term starting pitcher…
Adrian Houser is your guy. He may not have the same name value as McKay, or really anyone, for that matter, but he has been blazing over the last month. At just 6% owned, Houser has a 2.79 ERA with a 29:6 K:BB ratio and a strikeout per inning. It isn’t as though his schedule has been a walk in the park either. He has accomplished this against the Nationals, A’s, Rangers and Cubs twice. What’s more, is that the Brewers have been ramping up his innings every outing and he is now posted 14 Ks while allowing just 2 runs in his past two outings. And don’t overlook the fact that he was cruising in the minors too with a 1.27 ERA and 0.79 WHIP before he was called up.
#3 Is Nick Anderson the best reliever in baseball?
Now, he isn’t going to pick up saves, but let’s not act like we weren’t all scrambling to draft Josh Hader and his 15.8 K/9 in the 11th round this spring before Corey Knebel was knocked out for the year. Anderson now sits at 15.0 on the season but it’s what he has done lately that has my jaw hitting the floor. In the past month, he has 24 Ks, and just 6 base runners in 11 innings. I don’t know what magic the Rays have put on him since the trade deadline, but he has suddenly become a force of nature. If you could use an asset like this, and who couldn’t, Anderson is still available in 80% of leagues.
#4 How about a hitter who is just as hot?
Ok, maybe not 19 K/9 hot, but Corey Dickerson has been pretty dang close to that. Since the all-star break, this veteran outfielder is slashing .365/.415/.689. In fact, the Phillies new outfielder has a better OPS on the entire season than Nolan Arenado, Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor, J.D. Martinez, and Ronald Acuna. No one has noticed, however, because he spent so much time on the IL. Dickerson won’t pile up homers and rarely swipes a bag, but with batting average, runs and RBIs for days, you can’t do much better on the waivers.
#5 The top pickup of the week, though, is Willie Calhoun
This 24-year-old outfielder may be just 5’8″ but he swings like a future all-star. The former prospect has a .984 OPS over the last month and thus far in the season, is performing at a full-season pace of 42 homers, 102 runs and 102 RBIs. Regardless of whether you are in a redraft league competing for a title or a dynasty league looking to rebuild, Calhoun should be at the forefront of your list this week. He ought to be drafted in the top 10 rounds next season without hesitation and carries that type of value over the remaining six weeks of the 2019 fantasy baseball season too.