MLB Week 19 FAAB Insights

Boring vets and exciting rookies for the stretch run!

Welcome back to another FAABulous Sunday! The trade deadline moves, continued injuries, and more minor league promotions make for an intriguing FAAB week. With so much going on I’m looking at a combination of old boring vets and exciting young newcomers that may be a bit overlooked this week. Let’s get to some names!




Martín Maldonado – (53% ME, 5% OC, 2% Yahoo) – We can’t quantify it or put a number on it to sort in a spreadsheet, but there’s still something to be said for motivation. While there was some understandable excitement for those rostering Christian Vázquez when he was traded to Houston this week, Maldonado has started four of six games behind the plate since that acquisition. Sure, Tuesday was the day Vázquez arrived (he appeared as a pinch hitter) and today is a day game after he started behind the dish last night, but this appears to be an even split at worst for Maldonado going forward. Maldonado has out-homered Vázquez 11 to eight in 50 less PA this season and is 4 for 11 with one of those home runs since Vázquez arrived. The little bit of lost playing time will minimize the damage of Maldonado’s sub-.200 BA as well.


First Base


Garrett Cooper (92% ME, 61% OC, 16% Yahoo) – OF – I’m taking a bit of a leap of faith that Cooper will be completely healthy and back into the Marlins’ lineup full time by the weekend. Through his first 280 PA of the season he hit .320 with 5 HR and 36 RBI. He was in the midst of a three week slump when he hit the IL on July 24. He was 1 for 8 in his first two games back and has sat the past two games. I’m adding where I don’t already roster him for next to nothing this week anticipating he’s healthy for the four-game weekend vs. Atlanta.


Second Base


Aledmys Díaz (94% ME, 30% OC, 41% Yahoo) – 3B, SS, OF – Díaz is in the Astros’ lineup for the sixth time this week on Sunday and has hit .333 with 3 HR, 6 2B, 6 RBI, and 9 R in 13 starts since the break. He can be slotted in anywhere except catcher and first base, and Houston is home for six games vs. Texas and Oakland this week where he has six of his nine home runs this season in just 100 PA while hitting .287.


Third Base


Miguel Vargas (0% ME, 0% OC, 15% Yahoo) – The latest in a long line of top prospects we’ve seen added to MLB rosters this season, Vargas’ arrival may have been a bit quieter than it would have been otherwise due to this week’s trade deadline. While his stats have been impressive the past two minor league seasons, his 12.4 BB% and 14.6 K% in 487 PA at AAA this season are what I’m most excited about. He won’t play every day — it’s the Dodgers — but after Monday and Thursday off this week, L.A. has games scheduled 26 of the next 27 days. He’ll get his run.




Nick Gordon (19% ME, 1% OC, 2% Yahoo) – OF – Alex Kirilloff is out for the season, Byron Buxton is sitting for the second time in three games, and in spite of Max Kepler’s return Gordon is in the Twins’ lineup Sunday in the five hole. He has the 22nd best HC% in baseball and a GB% under 40% on the season. He’s getting quite a bit of Twitter attention over the past couple of days, so he may be a bit more expensive tonight than he would have been earlier in the week. I’m bumping my bids as it appears that his recent numbers are not only sustainable, but could continue to improve. Minnesota has a five-game week with just a two-game series vs the Dodgers Monday through Thursday, but then face Angels (missing Ohtani), Royals, and Rangers pitching 10 of the next 11 games.




Bubba Thompson (0% ME, 0% OC, 5% Yahoo) – Thompson had 49 SB in 80 AAA games prior to his MLB debut earlier this week and has already stolen two bases in his first three games with the Rangers. While a 25.3% K rate isn’t great, it is a vast improvement from the 31.6% we saw at high A in 2019 sending him plummeting down the Rangers’ prospect rankings. He’ll hit at the bottom of the order, but keeping that K% in check will keep him in the lineup. He’s got some pop as well with 13 HR, 48 RBI, and 77 R in those 80 games. The Rangers are off Monday, but then play 16 in straight days.




Zach Thompson (2% ME, 1% OC, 2% Yahoo) – After seven consecutive starts (and 10 of 11) giving up 2 ER or less, Thompson was shelled for 7 ER in each of back to back starts vs Miami (he’d gone 6.1 IP with 1 ER vs. them his previous start) and Philadelphia. He bounced back slightly vs Milwaukee with 3 ER but 5 K in 4.1 IP last time out. He gets Arizona and San Francisco this week who both have sub-.700 team OPS’s vs. righties. This is a gamble, as most waiver wire pitching is right now, so I don’t recommend him if your ratios can’t stand a bit of a hit. I do like the matchups.

Huascar Ynoa (0% ME, 1% OC, 8% Yahoo) – This is a long term play if you have a stash spot. Ynoa was recalled on Sunday, and if he’s not used in relief, it appears he may get a start vs. Miami as part of Saturday’s doubleheader. I don’t think we’ll get enough innings this week, and I won’t use him if he sticks in Ian Anderson’s rotation spot vs Houston next week, but he would then line up at Pittsburgh in a couple of weeks. It’s a long shot that could pay off for the final six weeks of the season.

Félix Bautista (100% ME, 46% OC, 56% Yahoo) – Baltimore could afford to trade Jorge López at the deadline because they had Bautista (1.77 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, and 62 K in 45.2 IP) next in line to close. He already recorded his first save since López’s departure, and the Orioles have games scheduled for the next 14 consecutive days. He should be added in every league he’s available that counts saves.


Keep grinding, good luck tonight, and enjoy the games!


Feature image by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on Twitter)/Photography by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

Kevin Hasting

Kevin is a life-long KC Royals fan who resides with his amazing wife and daughter in Keaau, HI. He has been playing fantasy baseball for over 20 years, cohosts the On the Wire weekly FAAB podcast with Adam Howe on the PitcherList Podcast Network, and was the 2020 TGFBI overall champion.

2 responses to “MLB Week 19 FAAB Insights”

  1. Mike Honcho says:

    By the weekend for Cooper, I hope you didn’t mean THIS weekend ;)
    ‘cuz so far, he’s had 1 AB.
    He’s such a delicate flower he’s tough to roster. Every time I pick him up he either sits or gets hurt.
    In 12 teamers are you dropping Nellie Cruz for Cooper or Oscar Gonzalez

    • Kevin says:

      Thank you for the comment and question, Mike! Yes, I’m looking for (hoping!) Cooper to be healthy for the 4-game series vs Altanta beginning Friday. And unfortunately, I’ve given up on Nelly everywhere – I’d prefer Gonzalez over Cooper where both are available.

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