Matt Magill (right) has suddenly become very relevant in Fantasy leagues. (AP Photo/Louis DeLuca)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. We’re at the end of August now, so those of you playing season-long formats are running out of time. Last chance to grab something useful off the wire!
This week, Aristides Aquino broke yet another rookie record with his 14th homer in August; the D-Backs set a new standard for mediocrity by remaining within two games of .500 for the last 60 games; and with another three bombs on Thursday, Minnesota now has 141 jacks on the road, breaking a record the Giants set in 2001.
And now, let’s get to this week’s Fantasy baseball waiver wire recommendations and notes…
Matt Magill, RP, Seattle Mariners (ESPN: 4.7 per cent; CBS: 21 per cent): Once upon a time, Magill was a starter and he actually pitched very well in his MLB debut (see video below), but then shifted to the pen and more or less disappeared for a few years after that. After finally breaking through as a full-time big leaguer last year, he was hurt to begin this season with the Twinkies, and was a bit more hittable upon his return. In late-July, Magill was traded to the Mariners, and has really turned his season around since. In fact, with Seattle jettisoning most of its veteran relievers, he’s recently become the closer and has been on a major roll, tossing scoreless outings in nine of his last 10 games. Magill is armed with a 96 mph fastball and a curve that he tends to thrower harder than most pitchers. His overall ERA is still up from last year, but is trending in the right direction, and with four wins, four saves and some nice K numbers, he’s a fine addition.
Carter Kieboom, SS, Washington Nationals (ESPN: 1.9 per cent; CBS: 24 per cent): Sure to be a one of the more important September callups, Kieboom has enjoyed a huge season at Triple-A. Washington’s top prospect struggled to hit in his first taste of the bigs in late-April/early-May, but the Triple-A seasoning he’s received since should stead him well. In 105 games, Kieboom is batting .305 with 16 homers while racking up the runs and ribbies. Consider him a tremendous dynasty option.
Abraham Toro, 3B, Houston Astros (ESPN: 1.3 per cent; CBS: 8 per cent): With Carlos Correa out, Toro is getting a chance to play after kicking some ass in the minors this season. Toro has yet to gain enough attention to see his DFS salary rise, so he’s a great play in that format for the time being. Heading into action Friday, he’s hit safely in three straight, including bashing his first career dinger on Thursday. Toro’s been gaining popularity on the wire, but is still widely available — for now.
Nick Solak, 2B, Texas Rangers (ESPN: 2 per cent; CBS: 15 per cent): Solak is seeing regular action, and may soon be in line for way more as Rougned Odor keeps stinking it up and is on the threshold of losing his starting 2B gig. With three multi-hit games over his last four starts, Solak is red hot, batting .375 through his first 10 MLB games. He gained solid experience at Triple-A in both the Tampa Bay and the Texas systems, but do note his .500 BABIP is going to regress and bring that BA back to earth. Still, Solak’s upside is worth investigating.
- It’s been another tough season for Corey Ray. We documented his tough start, and shortly after that he got hurt and didn’t make it back to Triple-A until the beginning of August. Ray clearly will need more seasoning at Triple-A in 2020.
- Early last month, we marveled at how hot Anthony Rendon was. Well, he hasn’t slowed down. Rendon did a spectacular job getting on base last month, and he’s piled up 20 runs and a season-best 27 ribbies so far in August. It’s nice to see his walk rate bounce back this season, too.
- Mookie Betts snapped a mini slump on Friday with three hits — two of them homers — including the go-ahead two-run shot in the 15th inning. Not surprisingly, he’s not hitting nearly as well as he did last year, but it’s nice to see him coming through after a somewhat sluggish August. Hopefully, Betts has a big finish in store for his owners.
- Anthony Rizzo (back) will return to action Saturday for the first time in a week. You may recall he began heating up in early-May, and wound up enjoying his best month of the season. June brought a slump, but he bounced back in July and has been even better this month. Other than this current woe, Rizzo has again proved durable, and he should top 150 games for the fifth straight season.
- Ryne Stanek has just been dumpster fire lately. In getting scored on for the fifth time in his last seven appearances on Friday, he suffered another loss, giving him one save, four blown saves and two losses over his last five games. The Marlins are only using Stanek out of the bullpen, so there’s a chance he sets a new career high in games pitched this season, but he hasn’t looked nearly as effective as he did last year.
- Trevor Cahill enjoyed a nice comeback in the A’s rotation last year, but he’s never looked worse than he has this season with the Angels. He lost his rotation spot at the end of May, but hasn’t exactly looked much better pitching out of the pen. Cahill’s bounced back before, but this has been ugly.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
Canadian popster Amanda Marshall has been amassing hits since 1995, but is still best known for her 1996 hit, “Birmingham,” the only song she recorded that ever charted in the U.S.
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Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy baseball pickup of the week is.