Groovin’ with Govier: Fantasy Baseball Roundup (9/26)


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It is my ultimate goal for you to absorb and apply winning fantasy baseball wisdom from each edition of Groovin’ With Govier. It’s similar to when Neo was offered the blue or the red pill. If you continue reading this, you will see how far down the rabbit hole my fantasy baseball analysis can go. That means each Monday, I’ll suddenly find my power stroke again just like Albert Pujols has so you can close out your league with that first-place payday! 

Hell Of A Season Pal…

I Don’t Believe What I Just Saw!

If you think about the 2022 Kansas City Royals, who just cut ties with their GM Dayton Moore who oversaw the construction of the Royals World Series championship team in 2015, you will be hard pressed to find a lot of comebacks. For the first time this year, they bounced back from a three-run hole against the Twins last Tuesday. With 162 games a season, there should be all manner of victories (and losses) achieved at some point. Maybe some of the players on KC are Vanessa Williams fans, because they’re saving their best for last (I realize that’s a longer stretch than Sid Bream in his prime at first base). Against Luis Castillo and the Mariners on Sunday, the Royals unleashed hell, Maximus style, on their Pacific northwest dwelling foes. After the Mariners ran up eight runs in the fifth inning, Kansas City responded in kind with an 11-run sixth inning that tied the club record for the largest comeback victory ever. 

The record was originally set in 1979 against Milwaukee. Rookie 2B Michael Massey had the only dong for the Royals on Sunday, as he hit his third yambo since being called up in desperation back in July when KC basically had a whole starting lineup on the Restricted List in Toronto. What I find stunning about this unique comeback is 11 runs being scored in one inning. KC only topped that mark in FOUR other finished games this season! I know scoring 11 runs isn’t easy, but I feel like that says a little something about MLB’s offensive environment in 2022 – especially the lack of homers. The future of the Royals was on display Sunday during their epic salvo in front of the smattering of fans at Kaufmann for the final time this season. In 2023, besides the obviousness of Bobby Witt Jr. and Salvador Perez, I will be looking to draft a few choice Royals – Vinnie Pasquantino, MJ Melendez, Edward Olivares, Brady Singer, Michael Massey, Daniel Lynch and even Nick Pratto. Uh-oh. I just caught myself getting too jacked up thinking about my first fantasy baseball draft of 2023. Did you?

Why Are We Not Funding This?

A point of contention for me in fantasy baseball is the apparent lack of focus or interest in quantifying and analyzing batting average with runners in scoring position (RISP). Players who show consistency in that department would certainly provide additional insight into how valuable those players are. I know RISP opportunities vary for each team, but so do all the other stats we count up. Some teams have more stolen base opportunities than others. Even the division or the ballpark a team plays in can influence the variance of certain statistical outcomes. With the impending 15-second pitch clock, reduction in pickoff attempts and the removal of the shift coming to baseball next year, we are certain to see an increase in hit and runs. 

I expect to see an uptick in the amount of plate appearances (PA) where a hitter will have a runner in scoring position across baseball in 2023. With that in mind, I thought I would highlight some of the best batting averages with RISP across the league in 2022. You might even look at this for your final nine days of regular season baseball. To be clear, the following names will show that players who have opportunities and perform when giving those chances with runners in scoring position often come in similar bunches of a team’s lineup. I will readily admit that batting average with RISP can be more team dependent than other stats, making the case for more stacks in season-long fantasy baseball necessary as the game continues to evolve. 

In the American League, Luis Arraez is 33-89 this season for the Twinkies, which is good enough for a .371 clip. You may be surprised to learn that Yankees catcher Jose Trevino is right behind Arraez at 32-88, with Trevino’s teammate Aaron Judge on both of their heels going 36-100. How about my most drafted hitter of 2022 Andrés Giménez showing out at 41-117? He’s had more chances, but he has risen to the occasion many times. In an indication of a team trend in Cleveland, José Ramírez and Amed Rosario are tied with 46 hits with RISP along with the underappreciated Adolis García. Over in the National League, Freddie Freeman has 55 hits with RISP leading over Joc Pederson .382 to .378. But, Freddie has 62 more at-bats than Joc does, making Freddie the undisputed king of clutch hitting. In another point of evidence to support that RISP opportunities are more team dependent than other stats, Freeman’s Dodger pal Trea Turner has 54 hits in 167 at-bats. A surprising name to me (especially because he was such a bust in Detroit) on this list is José Iglesias, who ranks third in the NL with a .357 batting average with RISP. Iglesias is a fraud, but the rest of the names on this list are a hodgepodge of elite hitters and value adds in the middle rounds of next year’s fantasy baseball drafts. 

Ratchet This Up A Notch

There are nine days (Story Of A Girl) remaining in the 2022 MLB season. Do you have a full plan of attack for these final opportunities that await you? You’ve made it this far, so the last thing you want to do is give a lackluster performance during the most critical time of the fantasy baseball season. Basically, you want to remember this season for the titles you won and not something arbitrary like, say…fried chicken and video games. If you’re in H2H, you may be sweating it out even more than usual because of an extended championship round that goes two weeks until the end of the year. For roto players, you may have current standings separated by a few runs, wins or saves. With an actual ending in sight, as a fantasy manager you can properly determine how much production you are going to need for each area of need. Many crucial pieces are falling by the wayside. Players like Spencer Strider, Dane Dunning, Brandon Lowe, Luis Robert, Edward Cabrera, Nick Senzel (HA!) and Kris Bryant are either on the IL or out for the rest of 2022. 

The managers who still had FAAB money to burn have likely been able to take advantage of the ample opportunities that are available in many free-agent pools. Shane McClanahan and Max Scherzer were dropped in my 12-team OC two weeks ago. Someone was able to pick up McClanahan, but I learned that the NFBC limits the ability of managers to add guys like Mad Max to preserve the integrity of their competitions. Is there a difference between these two pitchers? I doubt it, but I am all for regulation of the fantasy environment by the NFBC. Darik is the man! That’s first-rate leadership right there! That’s what ratcheting it up a notch is all about! Managers have to take risks to add players who can provide output right now. 

So don’t be that guy. Hanging on to injured players like Starling Marte as the days tick away may leave you feeling regret down the road. Monday is a real light day for the MLB schedule. In H2H matchups, you have to count how many more or less starts you will get from your hitters versus your opponent. Break down each day of your matchup to see that your opportunities to score points match up equally with your foe by the end of the matchup. If you haven’t already done so, highlight this section with your cursor and go do the due diligence needed to win your fantasy title! I’ll be right here waiting for you when you’re done, Richard Marx style (That’s two adult contemporary references today. What gives?).


Steven Kwan – I can think of at least a dozen times this year I saw Kwan sitting in the free-agent pool of one of my many leagues. This was back in June or July. From June 9 to July 25 he only stole three bases. After that day, he stole four in just over two weeks. Now he’s flashing power to mix in with his multi-hit days. Sunday he had an epic fantasy day going 3-5 with a homer, two steals and five RBI. Over his last six games, he has had at least three hits in three different games. Kwan is going to win a batting title someday. Right now, he’s pure fantasy gold! What many fantasy managers will debate endlessly in the offseason is what’s the ceiling on his power. Can he be a 20/20 guy? Let’s just enjoy his hot September for now.

Drey Jameson – It seems as if I write about a Diamondback every week. That’s a good thing for former Tiger Torey Lovullo and company. Jameson is the latest Snake to shed his minor league skin for a shiny new MLB coat. His numbers in 114 IP at Triple-A Reno were ghastly with an ERA of 6.95 buoyed positively by a 5.60 FIP. He walked over three per nine as well, and Jameson gave up 7 ER in his last outing before getting the call this month. The hitting environment in the Pacific Coast League can be unforgiving, so Arizona called Jameson up with full confidence that he would only surrender 2 ER in his first 18 IP all against NL West rivals. He induced 13 whiffs Sunday with his slider doing Giants hitters dirty with five whiffs on seven swings. Looks like Drey gets one more start before 2022 is over against the same Giants next weekend.

Joey Meneses – For those of you who were patient with Meneses, the time has come for you to collect your reward! Dude is on a tear with a six-game hitting streak, plus he cranked out three dongs in four games. The appetizer he gave everybody in early August sustained all those who fed from his trough long enough to reap the rewards of the moment. The Nats face Atlanta and Philly at home this week with a doubleheader on Saturday, giving Meneses seven possible games this week. He also catches a break, as Spencer Strider hit the IL with a possible oblique issue. If he happens to be on your waiver wire for some unknown reason, grab him!

Joey Wentz – Sometimes I just flat out feel good for a player. Wentz is one of those guys. It’s not because of his status as a Tigers starter. That alone wouldn’t do it for me right now the way that team has handled their business this year. Nope. It has more to do with Wentz having TJ surgery in March 2020 and having to wait until 2022 to make his MLB debut. I am thrilled for Wentz, because he has had three solid starts in September. In Baltimore last Tuesday, he surrendered two hits and two walks while striking out four over 5.2 IP. He induced a modest nine whiffs in that start. This dude was a 2016 compensatory pick of Atlanta before being dealt to Detroit in 2019. Wentz gets KC at home next on Tuesday. He’s at minimum a streamer.

Oswaldo Cabrera – Over the last two weeks, Aaron Judge has received all the attention, but Cabrera has been dutifully churning out solid fantasy production. Since September 11, he’s hit four homers, scored 12 runs, 11 RBI, 2 SB and a 30% K rate. It’s a small sample size, but he has a 208 wRC+ over this span. The Yankees head to Toronto and host Baltimore this week. Cabrera’s not missing a beat while playing everyday most of September. He’s only 20% rostered in Yahoo leagues. I would be adding him in 12-teamers or deeper at least.

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