Another season basically in the books. September always sneaks up on me, and when it arrives, I am always shocked that only a few games remain in the 162 game marathon. Congratulations to those who brought home a title, and for those who did not, next year always remains.
Whether you came up short in your league (or took home the trophy) read on to see who is ending the year with a hot streak and who is already on a beach somewhere for the offseason.
Next week we will begin our off-season keeper and dynasty league coverage, looking at each position around the diamond. If you have a player you would like profiled or have a question about, starting with catcher, feel free to post in the comment section or reach out to me on Twitter @hedenson18 and I’ll see if I can work them into the next installment.
2018 was a rough one for Cano owners, but those who stuck with him through his 80 game hiatus (or snatched him up off waivers) have enjoyed above average production from him as the season has ended. For the second half of the season, Cano is slashing .312/.361/.500 with six home runs. Most of that damage has happened over the past thirty days, with five of his home runs occurring during this stretch to go along with a .333/.398/.559 line.
He has been torching the ball during the past month, registering a 44.3% hard hit rate, and is rocking a 28.4% LD% as well. His overall numbers (.300/.373/.471, 10 HR) are obviously muted due to his suspension, but Cano has proven that he is still a dangerous hitter, and now has two positions to offer potential owners moving forward (1B, 2B).
Mondesi has been a surprise contributor this season for the Royals, slashing .285/.307/.496 for the season with a great mix of power and speed (12 HR, 28 SB). He has really turned it on over the past thirty days, smacking eight of those long balls while swiping eleven bases, frustrating opposing pitchers to the tune of a .330/.357/.642 line.
His recent BABIP (.380) is inflated, even considering his 23% LD% over the same stretch, so he is likely playing a bit above his head right now. Low walk rates (3.5% last thirty days, 2.9% in 2018) and a proclivity to strike out (26.4% in 2018) will bring him back down to earth a bit, but even with that his recent production is hard to ignore, especially in keeper leagues.
Marquez continues to be steamroll over opponents as the season wears down, firmly cementing his name in the minds of fantasy owners everywhere with his recent record-setting start, and the fact that he just set the season strikeout record for a Coors pitcher. I know many of you red that and thought, “Ok, sure….but holding the strikeout record for the Rockies? How high could it be?”
Pedro Astacio held the record with 210 strikeouts, but Marquez supplanted him due in part to a monster stretch over the last thirty days that saw him send 61 batters (38.6% K%) back from whence they came. During this time Marquez has posted a 2.16 ERA (1.43 FIP, 1.52 xFIP, 1.94 SIERA) and a glittering 0.89 WHIP. He has walked only 3.8% of batters faced, and if you needed any further proof that a new ace is in town in Denver, his last start of less than 6 innings came over two months ago. Given the stigma of Colorado pitchers you still might be able to buy at a discount this off-season.
The Rays have to be completely satisfied with what they have seen out of Pham over the past 30 days. In that time he has stolen three bases, notched six home runs, and slashed .394/.487/.745. In short, he has been playing out of his mind, as evidenced by his .500 BABIP.
While that is obviously not something that will continue into next season, Pham’s batted ball profile during this stretch (30.9% LD%, 38.2% GB%, 30.9% FB%) and contact generated (50% Hard%) have done a lot to show owners that he is still an interesting power/speed option going into next year. On the year, Pham has posted the following numbers (.274/.364/.464, 21 HR, 13 SB, 98 Runs). Not too shabby for a deadline pickup.
2017 looks a long way off when you consider how Andrus has performed this season. Andrus has scuffled to a .253/.305/.365 line with only six home runs and four steals to his name in 2018. The past thirty days have been particularly rough for Elvis, seeing him slash .207/.274/.299 with two home runs and zero stolen bases.
His batted ball profile on the season is down slightly (-1.1% LD%, +1.3% GB%, -.2% FB%) when compared to last year, though he has been hitting the ball slightly harder overall (+3.6% Hard%; +0.9 MPH Average Exit Velocity). Even with those gains, however, his expected stats per STATCAST are less than flattering (.249XBA/.294WOBA/.385XSLG).
Pivetta has been roughed up lately, struggling to a 6.14 ERA over his past three starts. This recent rough patch is an exacerbation of his struggles over the second half of the season (5.05 ERA and 1.29 WHIP) though he has still managed to post above average strikeout totals despite these struggles (26.7% K%).
Advanced looks at his ERA in the second half are more optimistic (3.84 ERA, 3.41 xFIP, 3.55 SIERA) continuing a trend of large differences between his ERA and other metrics (4.77 ERA, 3.79 FIP, 3.43 xFIP, 3.51 SIERA overall for 2018).
Some of these struggles may be related to workload as Pivetta has tossed 31 more innings than last year, making some struggles understandable as he takes on a bigger role in the rotation. Even with these recent struggles, it is hard to overlook these numbers for the season (27.1 K%, 7.4 BB%, 12% SwStr). His price tag should be next to nothing for those willing to gamble on his metrics one day aligning.
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