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Fantasy Baseball Category Analysis: Gavin Lux, Brendan Rodgers, Michael Fulmer

Sep 24, 2021

This is it. The final week is finally upon us! Congrats to all those who are leading the pack or are still fighting for position. And for the rest of you, well, there’s always next year. Plus, it’s only Week 3 in football!

It was quite the journey after playing just a 60 game season last year, but for those of us who love it, the baseball season still seemed to fly by. It’s been a blast, to say the least. And hopefully, you were able to heed my advice and add many of the highly profitable players throughout the year while they were still flying under the radar. This will be the last piece of this series for the season, so I thank you all for listening, and hopefully, you came out ahead.

If you are still in the running, however, and are on the cusp in a few of the major categories, then pay attention! There is work to do yet! Luckily for you, there are still a handful of highly valuable targets, undervalued and unrostered, out there who can still make a difference.

Wrapping up my season-long series of categorized waiver-wire adds, these 10 players can push you over the top and hopefully win you that big prize or bragging rights you’ve been fighting for all season. These studs are all rostered in less than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues and can help you in at least one of the main categories. Most will aid you in more ways than one, with their primary contributions coming in the category under which they are listed.

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Batting Average

Gavin Lux (2B/SS/OF – LAD): 43%
Lux has been on fire this month, so it’s no surprise he’s been Dave Robert’s favorite player to fill in for the injured starters. The infielder, now playing the outfield, has hit in six straight, resulting in a .474 batting average and a 1.313 OPS. For the month, the Dodgers former top prospect is hitting .444 and looks very similar to the kid who nearly hit .400 in Triple-A.

Lux does possess some power and a bit of speed, but his main attribute will be the amount of hits he puts up between now and October 4th. The Dodgers are still fighting for the division title, so it’ll be meaningful baseball down in Los Angeles, starting with the very hittable Arizona Diamondbacks. Pick up Lux ASAP to help give that final boost to squeeze you ahead in batting average.

Runs

Brendan Rodgers (2B/SS – COL): 27%
Brendan Rodgers, anyone? It’s surprising to see the Rockies’ second baseman still rostered in so few leagues. The numbers he put up in the second half should have made him an obvious addition long ago.

Since the All-Star break, the Rockies’ phenom has been fantastic, producing a .500 SLG with a .361 wOBA while maintaining a near .300 average. He is thoroughly entrenched in the two-hole for the Rockies and is batting .305 for September, with five home runs, 13 batted in, and 13 runs scored (including seven this last week). All nine remaining games are to be played at Coors, so expect more steady production out of the 25-year-old. Add Rodgers immediately to help boost nearly every offensive category.

Home Runs

Jarred Kelenic (OF – SEA): 47%
This guy, Jarred Kelenic. No player took fantasy managers on a rollercoaster ride quite like Kelenic did. The 21-year-old went from overly-hyped, uber-prospect to an overly-downgraded “bust” in just a matter of months. However, now that he has seemingly found his timing again, fantasy players are singing his praises again. Amusing.

While the enigmatic outfielder is crushing baseballs, he is still tough to rely on, considering he has been atrocious against the Angels so far, and six of his last nine games are against them. Still, there is no taking away from the power he has shown this month (six dingers), and the Angels are likely to call upon a few young starters he’s never faced before. So, if you’re in a close race in homers, then he is definitely worth the add.

RBI

Hunter Dozier (1B/3B/OF – KC): 18%
Who I favor even more than the Mariners center fielder of the future is the Royals’ current cornerman, Hunter Dozier. Dozier can be labeled a bust this year after playing so poorly for most of the season, but the 30-year-old is finally showing signs of life. Dozier’s OPS for September is nearly an even 1.000 while clubbing five home runs and driving in 12. The sudden outburst shouldn’t come as a complete surprise, as he has slowly increased his production since the All-Star break and registered a .522 SLG in 2019.

What’s even more appealing is that he’ll close out the year versus Cleveland and Minnesota, the two clubs he’s performed the best against. Dozier’s already crushed eight long balls and knocked in 20 RBI facing them (in under 100 at-bats), and the way he’s been raking, you have to believe that output will carry on. The Royals will give him every opportunity to continue to build momentum going into next season, so expect a lot more out of the powerful Dozier over the final few days. Add him now.

Stolen Bases

Nick Gordon (2B/SS/OF – MIN): 5%
Nick Gordon is FAST, and now, he’s hitting. With 11 hits over his last seven games, including two homers, the young rookie should be penciled into the lineup every day to finish out the year. He is up to 10 stolen bases on the season, including three in the last week, and will likely add a few more before it’s all said and done. Gordon can add a point or two for you in the standings if you’re in a battle for steals, and he’s available in almost every league. Add him now.

ERA

Kris Bubic (SP/RP – KC): 11%
Bubic has been great lately, shutting down his last three opponents. He’s really only had two bad games over his last 12 and has allowed just two earned runs or fewer in nine of those last 12 starts. He has been quietly impressive for the Royals and is lined up to face Detroit and Minnesota in his final two starts. Bubic has only thrown 116.1 innings in the year, so I doubt they limit him too much over his final two games. He is worth the gamble if you are closely trailing in ERA.

Wins

Wily Peralta (SP/RP – DET): 15%
Wily Peralta was a fine add last week and should have little trouble keeping the good times rolling. He’s lined up to take on the Royals sometime this weekend, followed by a meaningless game in early October where Tony La Russa will likely rest some of his starters.

Peralta, at 32 years old and playing on a one-year deal, will be motivated to continue his strong play (3.04 ERA) to help land a lucrative contract next season. He’s not someone the Tigers need to baby down the stretch either, so he should have no problem reaching the prerequisite five innings in both games to qualify for a win. Plus, he’s only thrown 83 innings all season. Add Peralta now and hope his lights-out split-finger continues to keep hitters at bay.

WHIP

Miles Mikolas (SP – STL): 10%
The Cardinals are going berserk, and so is Miles Mikolas. After looking like a batting practice pitcher earlier in the month, the veteran righty has put together back-to-back solid starts. He shut down the Padres over nearly six innings, then ousted the Brewers, lasting seven innings, while allowing just two runs on four hits with no walks. The Lizzard King looks to be back to his old self, and with the Cardinals looking nearly unstoppable, expect more of the same from the Florida native. Add Mikolas to help lower your WHIP and break that close tie in your standings.

Strikeouts

Jon Gray (SP – COL): 28%
If you’re looking for strikeouts, a starter who still has a pair of full 5+ inning starts practically guaranteed is your best bet. And judging by the schedule, Jon Gray is your guy. Lined up to face SF and Arizona, Gray will be matching up against two teams that he has already totaled 48 K’s against in just 45.1 innings this year. The Rockies’ ace (near ace?) has had an up and down season but can always be counted on for strikeouts. At this point, your total ERA and WHIP won’t move much one way or the other, but a few extra strikeouts can have a huge impact. Add Gray now if a few extra earned runs won’t hurt you, but if 12 to 15 K’s will make a difference.

Saves

Michael Fulmer (SP/RP – DET): 27%
There are plenty of names who could feasibly garner a handful of saves down the stretch, but I really like what Micheal Fulmer has been doing lately. With three saves over the last week and a half and the Tigers winning ball games, I think Fulmer is a strong candidate to add at least a few more before the season’s end.

Since returning from the IL back near the All-Star break, Fulmer has only allowed an earned run in three games. And that’s over 24 appearances! The starter turned closer has looked extremely impressive, and with an easy schedule including a makeup game (giving them 10 more games), the Tigers should have their fair share of save opportunities. Add Fulmer before it’s too late if you need a few more saves.

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Austin Lowell is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Austin, check out his archive.

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