We are truly getting down to the end of seasons, the nitty-gritty of grinding out a championship. What do you need this week to bring it home? A couple of homers? Steals? Wins? Saves? Let’s see who is low-rostered this week who might be able to give you that boost as you chase your title.
Brett Gardner (rostered in 1% of Online Champions): For reasons no one can fully explain, Gardner is getting everyday at-bats in the Bronx. He’s hitting over .300 in September with three home runs. If you are stuck for an outfielder, he’s been good recently. And recently is all that matters right now.
Andy Ibanez (rostered in 1% of Online Champions): Give credit where it is due. Ibanez has hit since getting an opportunity with Texas, including 11 hits in his last week before hitting the IL. He came back from an injury on Friday night. One thing you know for sure is that he will get the chance to play for an awful Rangers squad. Add in that he has eligibility at both CI and MI, and you could have a bargain on your hands.
Leury Garcia (rostered in 7% of Online Champions): Much of his opportunity has been when other players have been hurt, but Garcia has hit in every spot for the White Sox. This is more of a play of you are trying to squeeze out some extra batting average in your league, but Garcia can also hit a home run or steal a base each week too. He’s eligible at CI, MI, and OF. Could be a useful tool for you down the stretch.
Shane Baz (rostered in % of Online Champions): If you have a chance to grab him, go for it. A 1.76 ERA and .85 WHIP in 10 AAA starts has let the Tampa Bay brass know that he is ready. I don’t know what to expect but you could let it ride here. In those ten starts, Baz has struck out 64 hitters in 46 innings. Control and command have been issues for him in the past, but not so far in 2021, with only 11 walks. Could be a lottery ticket this week.
Jose Suarez (rostered in 14% of Online Champions): He didn’t have a rotation spot to start the year, but has one now. And he’s been very good the last two weeks: a complete game with eight strikeouts, and then followed that up with 5.2 innings and seven strikeouts. Those are stats you can use and this guy is flying under the radar. Small bid could net you some gains.
Jon Lester (rostered in 3% of Online Champions): I know you won’t believe me, and I wouldn’t blame you if you stopped reading anything I write starting now. But Lester has been really good over the last four weeks: he’s surrendered two earned runs or less in his last five starts, throwing at least five innings in each, and giving up runs primarily on solo home runs. Is he invigorated by being in a playoff race, resurgent or just lucky? Maybe all of the above. He’s 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in three September starts. He has two starts this week, at Milwaukee and at the Chicago Cubs. Maybe catch lightning in a bottle?