Well, a very happy Labor Day Weekend to you all as we again wind into the stretch run of the 2015 baseball season.
I hope your teams are hot and pushing towards the title, and if they are, there is a good chance you had Ryan Zimmerman active last week. In case you had not noticed, the Nationals first sacker has a ten-game stretch where he has hit .400-7-22 (that is correct, not a typo) and raised his line to .246-16-73. It is reasonable to expect more as Zimmerman has a career line of .293-40-145 over 261 September games. Zim is only better in August (.305-43-163) but is clearly a stretch hitter.
In the American League, Logan Forsythe of the Rays has not been quite as hot, but he is still banging the ball to a .300-4-13 clip over the past three weeks, with .375-3-10 going over just the past week. Forsythe has never really excelled like we hoped he would after his big 2011 (.243-23-72 with the Fish) but things have largely been a disappointment since. Forsythe, who qualifies at first and the outfield, is up to his second-best campaign at .228-16-50, and at 28 years old, with his plate discipline improving, Forsythe is certainly a guy to keep an eye on as a bargain going into next year. He also makes a nice potentially cheap DFS play right now.
Looking at the Marlins, Christian Yelich is again back (his knee and ankle are nettlesome) after his last stint on the DL, but he is hitting a hearty .500-0-2 with four doubles and six runs scored over the past week. Yelich won't turn 24 until December, and while it is not infrequent that a promising young hitter fails and loses favor (think Forsythe), similarly, it is easy to dismiss a youngster who excelled in the Minors but then struggled when he reached the Show.
Another hot stick belongs to Brandon Moss, of course now of the Cardinals, who had a nine-game hitting streak going into yesterday (it was stopped) and has hit .478-3-5 over the past week, bringing his St. Louis totals to .274-4-8 (a far cry from the .217 he hit in Cleveland, although with 15 homers and 50 RBI). Moss is streaky, and a good left-handed play in daily formats.
Looking at some streaky pitchers, Jorge De La Rosa is a lefty, and he pitches at Coors to boot. But, he is 2-1, 2.08 over the last three weeks, and 2-0, 0.69, with an 0.850 WHIP over 13 innings last week when he earned 14 whiffs as well. Again, if the Rockies are on the road, and facing a team that is vulnerable to southpaws, don't painstakingly dismiss De La Rosa.
Looking at a few more September call-ups, of course we all know the exploits of Corey Seager, the most anticipated of the next future superstars, who was advanced by the Dodgers and is hitting .400-0-3 over his first three games in the Majors. Seager was in Double-A for only three weeks, hitting .375-5-15 before moving to Oklahoma City for 105 games, where he hit .278-13-61 prior to the promotion this week. If Seager is not owned in your keeper league, grab him, at least for now. If you can hold him through the winter, and have the option of keeping or even trading Seager, that is a smart planning move this time of season.
Christian Colon, who was a hot commodity just a year ago, is back up with the Royals following a pretty good 2015 where he hit .281-0-17 at Omaha when not at Kauffman. Colon is exactly one of those guys who was hot, and then was not an immediate superstar, and thus we all dismissed him. He too makes a potentially interesting play as the Royals, who have a lot of parts and can make some trades, let us know their path for 2016.
DFS Watch: OK, Mastersball is dedicated to covering the fun market of Daily Games. In fact, you know we play FantasyScore and participate in the FanDuel Tout Wars contest (you play against all the Touts every Tuesday at the Tout Wars Challenge), so let's add to our daily MastersDaily coverage and simply pick a couple of series/games/starts this week that look good.
Pitchers to Watch: How can you not like Lance Lynn facing the Reds and Michael Lorenzen this coming Saturday? I mean, a contending team with arguably their strongest starter facing a struggling team with a 3-8, 5.66 mark. Good day for the hitter means it should be a good day for the pitcher in this case.
Hitters to Watch: I don't think we have much of a wait for a slugfest with the Toronto hitters lining up to face Rick Porcello on Monday. In fact, Boston has been struggling with their arms all season, meaning I would favor the Toronto hitters at least until the weekend series begin. I also have to think the Rays facing Matt Boyd (1-5, 8.36) seems like a good bet.