Hopefully most of you still have something to play for this week. Everything becomes far more important at this point in the year, so if you have a guy who is struggling, don’t feel bad about cutting him loose for one of the high upside plays below. Sometimes, those aggressive moves are what win you championships. Welcome back Willson Contreras this week. Though he should be brought back along slowly, the Cubs have only a 2-game lead on Milwaukee and St. Louis and may force him back in there a lot over the next 2 weeks to replace the below average Alex Avila.
Last Week Recap
Wilson Ramos (Tampa Bay Rays) – 5/13, 2 R, HR, 2 RBIs. He rewarded owners on Sunday with a 3 for 4 day and a HR. Before that, he was on his way to a fairly quiet week. Overall, you’ve gotta like the line and hopefully this quells some people’s fears about him.
Desperation Plays Last Week
Yan Gomes (Cleveland Indians) – 4/13, HR, 3 RBIs. The HR helps, and he’s getting consistent playing time, but not much more than that. Anyone who was worried that Francisco Mejia would eat into his playing time was sorely mistaken. Mejia is apparently there to learn more than play.
Martin Maldonado (Los Angeles Angels) – 3/14, 2 HRs. Maldonado did exactly what I thought he would… except for hitting 2 HRs. He’s playing virtually every day, so the opportunity is there for him to put up big numbers. The problem is he’s just not very good.
Robinson Chirinos (Texas Rangers) – I recommended him here a few weeks ago, then decided not to include him due to a bad schedule. Chirinos laughed at that, going .500 with a .667 OBP and a HR last week. He’s on fire and has a light schedule ahead of him as the Rangers host the Mariners (Ariel Miranda, Marco Gonzales, Mike Leake, and Andrew Albers), followed by the Angels (Andrew Heaney, Parker Bridwell, and Garrett Richards). This already seems light. On top of that, Chirinos hits lefties especially well and he faces 4 (Miranda, Gonzales, Albers, and Heaney). Fire him up with confidence.
Wilson Ramos (Tampa Bay Rays) – I keep recommending him and keep getting pushback from people. He’s not the hitter he was with Washington, but he’s still a good hitter putting up decently solid numbers. You can’t expect the world from streamers, but he’s fairly solid. He’s also another hitter who hits lefties very well and he’s got 4 on the docket this week (CC Sabathia, Jaime Garcia, Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez) and 3 righties (Sonny Gray and Rick Porcello). He’s likely to sit against Sale because he sits whenever Archer starts, but could very well rake against the others.
Travis d’Arnaud (New York Mets) – Another catcher who hits lefties well? Yup. And he gets 3 this week (Jose Quintana, Jon Lester, and Max Fried). He’s likely to sit against Mike Foltynewicz based on start/sit trends plus it’s the first game after a travel day. He’s a high upside play hitting cleanup in the Mets lineup. It’s a bad lineup but he hits higher than anyone else on this list, giving him a solid shot a run scoring and RBI opportunities.
Desperation Plays This Week
Christian Vazquez (Boston Red Sox) – Vazquez is hitting well in the bottom half of the Sawx lineup and gets Sean Manaea, Jharel Cotton, and Daniel Gossett of the A’s and Jake Faria, Matt Andriese, and Alex Cobb of the Rays. He should sit against Cotton and Faria (he sits for Leon when Sale and Fister pitch it seems).
Martin Maldonado (Los Angeles Angels) – He’s starting almost every game for the Angels, who are pushing to win a Wild Card. He’s not great, but give him enough ABs and something could happen like last week.