The Twins traded Nelson Cruz last week, opening up their DH role and creating a better window for Astudillo to get into the starting lineup. He has a four-game hitting streak (8-for-15 with three runs, one home run, and two RBI). His free-swinging style leads to minimal walks (two over 145 at-bats) while remaining one of the tougher batters to strikeouts (11 Ks in 2021). Astudillo has a chance to be in the lineup four to five times a week if he continues to play well, which works as a C2 in deep leagues.
Despite an underwhelming season (.251 with 10 home runs and 47 RBI over 303 at-bats), Cabrera found his rhythm as the plate over his last seven games (11-for-24 with five runs, three home runs, and eight RBI). His best value should come as a DH option in 12-team or 15-team formats while having a short leash if his power doesn't follow through.
The Nationals gift wrapped Garcia a starting job for the remainder of the year after trading Trea Turner to the Dodgers. He played well at AAA (.303 with 13 home runs and 25 RBI over 142 at-bats) this season while playing his best ball over his past 24 games (.363 with 10 home runs and 20 RBI over 91 at-bats). However, Garcia did miss 18 games from June 25th to July 13th with an unknown injury.
The Pirates called up Castro in early July after showing growth in his bat at AA (.300 over 207 at-bats with 11 home runs, 41 RBI, and six stolen bases). He has five home runs and eight RBI over his last 29 at-bats, leading to a .250 batting average. Castro falls more into the risk/reward category while being worth a week-to-week ride.
Cleveland has yet to call up Gimenez even with the second base job up for grabs after they moved Cesar Hernandez to the White Sox. Over his previous seven games at AAA, he hit .414 over 29 at-bats with five runs, four RBI, and two steals. Gimenez offers an improved balanced skill set that should help fantasy owners down the stretch.
Anderson remains in the free-agent pool in 78 percent of leagues in the high-stakes market. Since returning from the injured list, he has a six-game hitting streak (8-for-23 with three runs, two home runs, and four RBI). Anderson should be owned in all 12 and 15 team leagues.
The Cubs dismantled their starting lineup this week, giving multiple players a chance at more playing time over the final two months of the year. Ortega hit at the top of Chicago’s lineup over the past week, thanks to his success over 11 games (13-for-35 with five runs, one home run, four RBI, and two steals). However, his journeyman path to the majors suggests his window for success should be short. Buy the bump in at-bats while being quick to release him at the first sign of a cold streak.
The trade of Jorge Soler should give Olivares his chance to prove his worth in the majors. He played well this season at AAA (.322 over 208 at-bats with 43 runs, 13 home runs, 29 RBI, and 12 stolen bases). His next step is solving major league pitching (.240 over 129 at-bats with 13 runs, four home runs, and 12 RBI). Olivares should be a top target in the outfield in deep leagues.
In 2019 at AAA at age 31, Hernandez had his best season in the minors (.323 with 33 home runs, 90 RBI, and seven steals). This season, in a minimal role between AAA and the majors, he hit .281 over 154 at-bats with seven home runs and 22 RBI). Over his last three games, Hernandez has four hits in seven at-bats with four RBI. Sneaky flier in deep formats if the Nationals give him starting at-bats.
I was surprised to see that no playoff contender made a run at Freeland at the trade deadline. His arm has been impressive over his previous seven starts (1.98 ERA and 34 strikeouts over 41 innings), including four straight starts against the Dodgers and Padres. He has double starts next week against the Cubs and Marlins at home.
An injury to James Kaprielian opened up a starting opportunity for Jefferies this week. His arm turned the corner over his last four starts at AAA (3.75 ERA and 23 strikeouts over 24 innings) despite allowing five home runs. Jefferies has a command foundation in his skill set while drawing the Rangers over the next two weeks.
The Angels will call up Detmers on Sunday to make his major league debut. Over 13 starts between AA (12) and AAA (1), he posted a 3.15 ERA and 106 strikeouts over 60 innings. His command (18 walks) grades well, but home runs (10 allowed) could be an issue out of the gate. Detmers projects to have a minimum of 60 innings left in the tank in 2021 if he pitches well enough to stay in the majors.
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Senior analyst Shawn Childs is a multi-sport, high-stakes fantasy legend with lifetime earnings in the high six-figures. He has been providing in-depth, analytical break downs for years all while helping his subscribers to countless titles and winnings across season-long & DFS. A inaugural inductee of the NFBC Hall of Fame, Shawn can teach you how to prep like a champ!