Forget the Waiver Wire- Play your Bench

Injuries week one are going to open the door for multiple “handcuffs” and waiver wire pickups to make an impact in week two.  Injuries to Darrius Guice, Nick Foles, Tevin Coleman and Joe Mixon should leave other players with a chance to make impacts.  I am looking more toward the players that showed up bigger than expected the first week of the season.  Here are three players that are will continue to overplay their preseason fantasy value in week two. They are most likely owned in your league, put them in the lineup!

Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Baltimore Ravens (32% ESPN) (30% Yahoo)

Speed plays in the NFL. Look at the breakouts of Alvin Kamara and Tyreke Hill over the past few seasons.  Marquise Brown showed off that speed in his first career NFL game. Catching his first pass for a 47-yard slant straight to the endzone.  Brown continued to dominate the field going for 147 total yards and adding another 40-yard touchdown reception.  

Marquise will get another favorable matchup in week 2 when the Ravens take on the Arizona Cardinals who just gave up 385 passing yards to the Detroit Lions in week one.  Danny Amendola put up huge numbers last week hauling in seven catches for 101 yards and a touchdown.  While Brown will have his ups and downs during his first season in the league he will have flashes of brilliance like he did Week 1.  Week 2 should be just as explosive. 

Jamison Crowder, New York Jets, (70% ESPN) (46% Yahoo)

Drafting Jamison Crowder always comes with its risk.  As a multi time Crowder drafter I have been bite quit a few times.  Like an addict though I just couldn’t get enough of the potential high that Crowder can bring.  Taking Crowder looks like it may pay off heading into week one.  Crowder found himself as the favorite target for Sam Darnold. catching 14 of 17 passes for 99 yards. While Crowder didn’t find the endzone he still brought tons of value especially in PPR leagues. 

The best part about Crowder is that he is still available in over 50% of leagues.  Crowder’s health during a full season is always up in the air. In week two the Jets will matchup with the Browns coming off of an embarrassing defeat against the Tennessee Titans 43-13.  Marcus Mariota was able to torch the Browns secondary, the Jets should have a similar chance to do that on Monday.  

Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills, (70% ESPN) (71% Yahoo)

Singletary was listed at the top of the depth chart in Buffalo to begin the season.  Playing 70% of the snaps for the Bills in week one showed who was considered to be the #1 RB for Buffalo but his actual carries were limited to just four actual carries.  Singletary was able to gain 70 yards as well as bring in five catches. Singletary showed the bust-out potential he has, which will make him a featured back going into week 2. 

A matchup with the Giants defense is just what the doctor ordered for a potential impactful game. New York gave up 151 rushing yards to the Dallas Cowboys last week, they should not bring an impactful push against the run heavy Buffalo Bills.  Singletary will be the featured back and should have a very solid game ahead of him.  I’m looking for 100+ rushing yards and 50+ receiving yards.

NCAA Football Week Two Picks ATS

Cincinnati Bearcats at Ohio State Buckeyes -16.5, Total: 55.5

I am one of the many that stopped watching the Buckeyes opening contest against Florida Atlantic after they jumped out to a 28-0 first quarter lead.  The cover seemed like a forgone conclusion, unfortunately for Ohio State backers the Buckeyes were not able to hold the cover putting a stop to the offense

Justin Fields looked like the real deal accounting for five touchdowns in his first start, he will have a stiffer challenge coming versus a Cincinnati frontline that made life miserable for UCLA.  Former Ohio State player, now Head Coach of Cincinnati Luke Fickell will have a veteran team that will not be intimidated by the name on the jersey.  Fickell has a tough defense that will be able to stop the run early and make a game of it.  

16.5 seems like the right gap due to the immense level of talent on Ohio State but the Bearcats bring a stout defense as well as a sharp veteran passer in Desmond Ridder.  This game will be a dog fight early, but Ohio States overall talent will win out.  I like Cincinnati to cover by my favorite play is the under. 

 Under 55.5, Cincinnati +16.5

Syracuse Orange at Maryland Terrapins -2, Total: 57.5

Syracuse’s offense seemed out of sync against the lowly Liberty Flames.  Putting up just 24 points against the Flames defense.  Syracuse’s new starting quarterback Tommy DeVito struggle on the road. He didn’t hit half of his passes, couldn’t do much down the field, and ended up throwing two picks. Syracuse will have a tough challenge against the stout Maryland defensive front. Maryland is coming off of domination of Howard winning 79-0 in week one while racking up eight sacks. 

Maryland will be able to keep the Syracuse defensive front at bay with their rushing attack.  The Terps were dominate on the ground with 317 rushing yards.  This game will be a struggle to find out which offense can find its flow first.  With Maryland at home and the early struggles of DeVito Syracuse can be in for a tough game. 

Pick: Maryland -2, Under 57.5

West Virginia Mountaineers at Missouri Tigers, -14, Total: 62.5

The Missouri Tigers shockingly took a loss as 17-point favorites against Wyoming.  Mizzou couldn’t hold onto the ball in their defeat with three fumbles, losing two of them.  

The Tigers defense was also a huge problem giving up over 297 yards on the ground. 

The Tigers were still solid on offense with Kelly Bryant throwing for over 400 yards and two touchdowns. Mizzou was the dark horse to win the SEC East but now will have to go back to the drawing board.  A matchup with the rebuilding West Virginia Moutaineers at home should be just what the doctor ordered.  West Virginia is coming off of a narrow victory versus respectable FCS James Madison.  Mizzou should be able to run their offense efficiently against the Mountaineers defense.  Look for the Tigers to jump out to a lead early and then step on the neck of their Big 12 foe.  

Pick: Mizzou -14, Over 62.5

Nebraska Cornhuskers -4 at Colorado Buffaloes, Total: 64.5

This line has made an interesting move.  Opening at -7 in favor of the Cornhuskers has moved all the way down to -4.  This is most likely due to the subpar performance from Nebraska in week one versus South Alabama.  There is a reason that teams schedule a lower level team early in the season, they can work out the kinks in the offense.  The Nebraska defense took a nice step forward as the game went on causing five turnovers and sacking the QB four times.  

Colorado was impressive against the powerful offense of Colorado State in week one, with a 21-point victory. First year head coach Mel Tucker was quick to point out the flaws from the Colorado defense though as they gave up 505 total yards along with 27 first downs.  The Buff’s will have a step up in competition versus Nebraska.  Scott Frost’s offense will find a way to turn it around in this matchup.  With the line continuing to fall you can get the Cornhuskers at a value.  

Pick: Nebraska Cornhuskers -4, WAY OVER

MLB DFS Breakdown August 23

Pitcher Spotlight- Vince Velasquez, Philadelphia Phillies

Vince Velasquez is a confusing real life and fantasy pitcher.  Velasquez has an ideal matchup versus the Miami Marlins who sport a pathetic 75 wRC+ verus right-handed pitchers.  Velasquez’s 25.3% strikeout rate this season as well as a ballpark upgrade in Miami put his in a great spot at a much to low cost. 

Stacks: Minnesota Twins, St. Louis Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks. Milwaukee Brewers, Houston Astros

Focus: St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals offense has quietly begun to find its footing over the last few weeks.  They get a juicy matchup with the Rockies rookie powder keg Peter Lambert. Lambert has been bad whether he is Coors or on the road giving up a .500+ slugging percentage.  The focus of my lineup will be on the power guys.  If you can find a way to fit Paul Goldschmidt, Marcell Ozuna and Paul DeJong into your lineup they all have major power upside.  Pair them with lead-off hitter Dexter Fowler and you can have a stack that has the potential to carry you with two mid-level pitchers.

Focus: Houston Astros

Houston sports one of the baseball lineups in the majors.  You can get the red-hot Robinson Chirinos at a bargain bin price.  Add in your favorite players like George Springer, Jose Altuve and/or Yuli Gurriel and you have some combustible elements in the middle of your lineup.  The price of the bats outside of Chirinos will make it tough to have a full stack with any pitching but having a three man with the right one-offs can lead to a successful night. 

Favorite one-off: Jake Lamb, Arizona Diamondbacks

You will have to watch and make sure that Jake Lamb makes the lineup, if he does you have an affordable option that has decimated Brewers starter Jordan Lyles.  Targeting this game as a potential full stack would be ideal if you can afford it. The focus on Lamb is based on his domination of Lyles in 12 career at bats.  Lamb has 7 hits, .604 wOBA and an exit velo of 89MPH.

P: Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Cardinals, $9,400

P: Vince Velasquez, Philadelphia Phillies, $7,800

C: Robinson Chirinos, Houston Astros, $3,800

1B: Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies, $4,200

2B: Isan Diaz, Miami Marlins, $3,100

3B: Jake Lamb, Arizona Diamondbacks, $3,800         

SS: Adeiny Hechavarria, Atlanta Braves, $3,300

OF: Marcell Ozuna, St. Louis Cardinals, $4,900

OF: Dexter Fowler, St. Louis Cardinals, $4,200

OF: George Springer, Houston Astros, $5,300

NFC East- A Two Team Race

The NFL is giving social media dramatic gold over the last few months.  The Antonio Brown Saga, Zeke and Gordon’s holdouts and just Baker Mayfield being Baker Mayfield. While I love drama, I prefer to talk about the play of the field.   I am starting my NFL previews with the top-heavy NFC East.  

The Cowboys finished one game ahead of the Nick Foles lead Philadelphia Eagles last year.  A lot has changed for both teams heading into the 2019 season.  With Foles now taking his snaps in Jacksonville the Eagles are planning to lean solely on their injury prone Quarterback. The Cowboys have seen few actual changes, but they do have some bigger issues, that being the new contract for star running back Ezekiel Elliot as well as the new contract for the “franchise” quarterback Dak Prescott. 

Washington Redskins

The Redskins did the right thing, taking Dwayne Haskins with the number 15 pick in this year’s draft. Alex Smith will not be a part of the conversation any time soon, so they had to look towards the future. Haskins will compete for a job that most likely will be going to veteran Case Keenum, but the future looks bright along with the returning Derrius Guice.  

The Redskins will have a lot of offensive struggles this season. They have built a strong core for their defense with the pickup of Landon Collins.  Collins will sure up the secondary while fellow first round pick defensive end Montez Sweat, first team All-American from Mississippi State will sure up a defensive line that already features All-Rookie nose tackle Da’Ron Payne

Washington should be in full rebuild mode. Jay Gruden needs to make the youth movement happen in Washington.  It’s time to move on from Adrian Peterson and Case Keenum, if Washington focuses on the veterans rather than the future, they will not only suffer this year but for years to come. 

New York Giants

New York’s offseason was dysfunctional.  Moving on from Odell Beckham, Olivier Vernon, Landon Collins and drafting Daniel Jones were all questionable moves.  Filling in for Beckham was veteran Golden Tate who began his career as a Giant with a suspension.  

The Giants have last year’s offensive rookie of the year Saquon Barkley leading their offense, all they need is for Eli Manning to play mistake free football and to find a way to protect him to be successful. New York has to begin the rebuild.  They have the pieces to begin the rebuild but will be far from where they need to be.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are loaded offensively.  Re-Adding DeSean Jackson gives them a deep threat that will open up the middle for Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert.  Philly quietly added even more depth to the running game with the additions of bruiser Jordan Howard and rookie Miles Sanders joining the litany of other running backs.  Fantasy owners will have inner turmoil, while Doug Pederson utilizes each running back to their strengths.  

Philly has fixed their secondary issues from last season by simply getting healthy. The addition of Malik Jackson from Jacksonville should help clog up the middle allowing the elite outside pass rushers force throws.  The Eagles should have advantages on both sides of the ball next year.  In the end the health of Carson Wentz will determine the success of the Eagles and the division.

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas has built one of the best young defenses in the NFL.  DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch and the newly extended Jaylon Smith made Dallas a defensive force that gave the LA Rams all they could handle in last year’s playoffs.  The Dallas D will be the backbone of the Cowboys team.  

Jason Garrett will have a few more weapons this year.  A full season of Amari Cooper, an emerging Michael Gallup and free agent Randall Cobb should make for an explosive passing game.  The contract issues with Ezekiel Elliott will be huge in determining what the Dallas offense is going to look like this season.  Rookie Tony Pollard has stepped up early in the preseason but potentially not having the best running back is obvious bad news.  The Cowboys will be forced to rely on Dak Prescott taking the next step in his progression as a player. 

Prediction

The NFC East is a two-team race.  The Cowboys and the Eagles will compete for superiority in the division while the Giants and the Redskins will be fighting for mediocrity.  Saquon Barkley and Dwayne Haskins will be fun players to watch progress but for those teams to be successful they will need above average play from players that are not ready to play at a championship level. 

Eventually it will come down to Carson Wentz versus Dak Prescott.  Wentz ultimately has more talent on the offensive end to make the plays down the stretch.  The inner locker room turmoil of the offseason will be too much to overcome for “America’s Team”

  1. Philadelphia Eagles
  2. Dallas Cowboys
  3. Washington Redskins
  4. New York Giants

MLB DFS Breakdown August 13 2019- Brewers crush reeling Perez

Pitcher Spotlight- Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Cardinals

Jack Flaherty is priced at just $9,000 versus the Kansas City Royals, making him the seventh highest price pitcher on the slate.  At such a low-price Flaherty is a bargain for all DFS players. Jack has been on another level since the All-Star break.  Flaherty has totaled over 18 fantasy points in seven straight starts, including his two most recent starts where he scored 35 and 36 versus the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers.  

One of Flaherty’s biggest problems has been giving up power which the Royals as a team don’t bring a lot of those concerns.  As a team they only have an ISO of .160.  If Flaherty can avoid the power of Jorge Soler and Hunter Dozier he should be ripe for another high scoring outing. 

Potential Stacks- Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels

The focus for my stack will be on the Milwaukee Brewers.  Martin Perez has become the Martin Perez of the last few seasons over the last three months his ERA has ballooned to a 6.67ERA during the second half of the season. Perez has given up a ton of power to righties the entire season, a .459 slugging percentage has led to a lot of short outings.  Perez combined with the struggles of the Minnesota bullpen should put the Brewers in nice spot for a four-man stack. I am going to build my lineup around Keston Huira, Ryan Braun and Mike Moustakas can all be affordable along with some plays from the Dodgers against the regression of Jordan Yamamoto.

Sneaky Stack- Philadelphia Phillies

Attacking the struggling Jose Quintana is a great option for underpriced power.  Rhys Hoskins is underpriced at just $4.1K, if you pair him along with Jean Segura and Scott Kingery at the top of the lineup you can stack some top-level pitching with the stack. 

Lineup Build-

P: Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Caridinals, $9,000

P: Joe Ross, Washington Nationals, $5,500

C: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals, $3,000

1B: Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers, $4,700

2B: Keston Huira, Milwaukee Brewers, $5,000

3B: Mike Moustakas, Milwaukee Brewers, $4,400

SS: Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers, $4,000

OF: Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers, $5,400

OF: Lane Thomas, St. Louis Cardinals, $4,300

OF: Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers, $4,700

Three Fantasy Sleepers- Wide Receiver

Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers have lost both Adam Humphries and DeSean Jackson in the offseason leaving a huge gap in the wide receiving core of the Buccaneers heading into the season. Godwin had a breakout campaign last season going for 59 catches, 842 yards and 7 touchdowns. Godwin will now step into a starter role for the Buccaneers who have shown an inability to run the ball as well as hold onto leads.  That means they are going to have to throw the ball.  

The Buccaneers have two obvious high valued receivers in Mike Evans and OJ Howard.  Godwin should be able to slip down in drafts; his current ADP is projecting him as a 5thround pick.  Most drafters will not look to him that high, he can be a steal on an up-tempo offense.  

Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals

I was a major believer in Christian Kirk last season, and he had moments where he proved me correct. Kirk will enter the season with a new QB at the helm and a new offensive game plan. Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury will lead to major production for most Cardinals offensive players.  We know Kingsbury will be pass happy with his offense, so Kyler Murray could easily put up north of 500 pass attempts in 2019. 

Kirk is currently projecting as a seventh-round pick. Overall his ranking is as high as the #32 pick in some drafts. In this new offense Kirk will have the chance to be a top receiver on teams especially in PPR.  

Tyrell Williams, Oakland Raiders

Williams has moved out of the shadow of Keenan Allen and entered the shadow of Antonio Brown. Taking over the number two receiver role in Oakland doesn’t sound like a big deal but the history of the second receiver behind Antonio Brown should be something to look in to.  Juju Smith-Schuster and company have built their careers on being the second option opening up the field for single coverage. 

Williams has only had over 100 targets one in his career. In 2016 getting over 100 targets led to major production with 69 catches, 1,059 yards and seven touchdowns.  The Raiders have to replace over 359 targets from last season, if Brown plays then obviously, he will get over 100 but Williams should be second.  The Raiders have a lot of inner turmoil, but Williams speed and upside should make him a target for later rounds.  You can easily get him with one of your last couple picks, he will have the potential be a huge player down the stretch of your fantasy season.

MLB DFS August 9 Attack Edwin

Pitcher Spotlight- Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs

Darvish in a pitcher friendly ballpark at one point would have been a scary concept.  This Yu Darvish has turned his season around, putting up twenty points in 4 of 5 of his last five games.  His most recent start against Cincinnati Darvish went six innings, struck out seven, giving up just two hits.  

The Reds have a watered-down lineup after moving Yasiel Puig and Scooter Gennett.  They have officially entered into a rebuild mood around their pitching.  Sporting a top three rotation that can be one of the tops in the league entering 2020 is not going to help their offense.  They sport a 23.5% strikeout rate over their last 10 games.  Darvish has a great matchup and his cost is just outside of the top on the slate leaving you wiggle room for upper level hitters. 

Potential Stacks- Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox, San Diego Padres, Houston Astros

It’s hard to ignore the Kansas City Royals.  They have multiple low-priced power options that can help you fill up your lineups.  They get a matchup with the infamous Edwin Jackson. Jackson enters this matchup giving up a little over three homers per game during his time with the Toronto Blue Jays.  Jorge Soler, Hunter Dozier and Alex Gordon are all plays that make sense for a middle of the order stack.  Keeping my eye on Ryan O’Hearn at just 2.8K can be a great value for someone trying to play Walker Buehler.  

It’s simple, Edwin Jackson is a powderkeg and the low cost of the Kansas City Bats makes a lot of sense. 

Potential one off plays-

Justin Upton- Los Angeles Angels

Most will look to Mike Trout in the Angels matchup with Brian Johnson.  I would prefer the cost of Justin Upton who will most likely be batting cleanup holds a career .365 wOBA against lefties. Johnson only strikes out 16% of batters.  Upton at 3.8K is a value with monstorous upside. 

Xander Bogaerts- Boston Red Sox

Bogaerts is not cheap so this as a one off has to be well planned out.  Angels starter Jaime Barria gives up a lot of hard contact, 43.4% to right handed hitters.  Xander excels at home with a .680 slugging percentage in Fenway.

Aaron Judge- New York Yankees

Aaron Judge is way to cheap. He’s struggling right now but with his potential power against Sean Reid-Foley, worth the shot.

P: Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs, $9,200

P: Drew Smyly, Philadelphia Phillies, $5,800

C: Kyle Higashioka, New York Yankees, $3,500

1B: Yuli Gurriel, Houston Astros, $5,000

2B: Whit Merrifield, Kansas City Royals, $4,500

3B: Hunter Dozier, Kansas City Royals, $4,400

SS: Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox, $5,000

OF: Jorge Solar, Kansas City Royals, $4,600

OF: Aaron Judge, New York Yankees, $4,200

OF: Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals, $3,800

MLB DFS August 5 2019

Pitcher Spotlight- Charlie Morton at home is the way to go.

The top two pitchers for the slate are Lucas Giolito and Charlie Morton.  Giolito has the better matchup against the high strikeout rated Detroit Tigers.  Morton gets the nod for me facing the free-swinging Toronto Blue Jays at the Trop.  Morton has been great all season, he has excelled at home.  Over Morton’s last ten starts he has struck out at least ten in 8 of those games. The Blue Jays have legit power in their lineup, but they don’t walk much so the power can be limited as well as it can be negated by the potential K’s.  

Stack I’m looking at: Cleveland Indians

This is a gamble against Mike Minor.  The Indians have been one of the hottest teams in the league and Minor has been on a second half decline.  Minor has given up four runs or more in each of his last four starts.  The Indians will also be a low owned stacked with guys like Mike Montgomery, Merrill Kelly and Rick Porcello on the mound.  I am going to target the middle of the order with Jose Ramirez, Francisco Lindor and of course the lefty masher Jordan Luplow. You can fit them in at an affordable cost.

Stackable Teams: Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays

JD Martinez is a must start against Mike Montgomery whom has been a gas can all season. JD’s stats versus lefties are elite on all levels.  If you can fit him in with Morton and some nice smaller stacks around him, you are looking at a cashable lineup.

Sneaky Stack: Milwaukee Brewers

Moustakas is too cheap on this slate. The Brewers have a nice potential night versus a high contact pitcher in the Pirates Agrazal.  He gives up a nice hard contact and ISO versus left-handed power bats.

P: Charlie Morton, Tampa Bay Rays, $10,700

P: Eric Fedde, Washington Nationals, $5,600

C: James McCann, Chicago White Sox, $3,400

1B: Ryan O’Hearn, Kansas City Royals, $3,000

2B: Mike Moustakas, Milwaukee Brewers, $4,200

3B: Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians, $4,800

SS: Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians, $5,400

OF: Jordan Luplow, Cleveland Indians, $4,400

OF: JD Martinez, Boston Red Sox, $5,100

OF: Sam Travis, Boston Red Sox, $3,400

MLB Draftkings Breakdown August 2

Pitching:  Give me Lance and I will figure out the rest.

This is not a slate where we are going to have tough decisions on which stud to play.  Lance Lynn is the highest priced pitcher due primarily to his recent dominance and the pure trash that is the Detroit lineup against righties.  Lynn is averaging 12K/9 during the 2019 season and the Detroit lineup is full of right-handed hitters.  The only lefties that are in the lineup for Detroit are guys like Jeimer Candelario and Niko Goodrum, both don’t strike fear into an opposing pitcher.  The lone downside to Lynn would be playing in Texas were the ball will most likely be flying out at a pretty good rate.  With the Tigers high strikeout percentage, the potential of homeruns is negated by the fact that it’s likely Lynn will reach double digits. 

Sneaky Stack Option: Chicago White Sox

The obvious stacks today are the Astros against Kickuchi and ofcourse both the Giants and the Rockies in Coors.  The sneaky stack of the night is the Chicago White Sox versus the bipolar Jason Vargas. Vargas has had his moments of glory in both real life baseball and the fantasy side of baseball.  He will make his first start for the Phillies and from the outside it looks like a great matchup with the struggling Chicago White Sox. 

Vargas could be chalky in the matchup but I think that Chicago is a sneaky way to fit in the best pitchers and the highest upside one offs.  Chicago has good power with Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez and the always fun to watch and start Tim Anderson.  Vargas has a slight downgrade in ballpark when compared to New York, that along with a negative hard-hit percentage.  This is a gamble but isn’t all DFS a gamble?

One-offs to target: AJ Pollock, Robinson Cano, Josh Donaldson and Aaron Judge.

Robinson Cano- Price play with high upside against the struggling Trevor Williams.  They continue to bat Cano 4th

AJ Pollock- .450 wOBA and a .604 slugging percentage versus lefties.  

Aaron Judge- Judge is at his lowest price of the season, just $3,900 versus a lefty. Judge is struggling but a matchup with the Boston Red Sox which should light the fire for all the Yankees.

Josh Donaldson- The reverse splits for Donaldson are surprising.  His inability to hit lefties is surprising as his career versus lefties is actually very strong.  At just 4.3K his is worth the price.  

August 2 Draftkings Lineup

P: Lance Lynn, Texas Rangers, $11,700

P: Kevin Gausman, Atlanta Braves, $8,300

C: James McCann, Chicago White Sox, $3,500

1B: Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox, $3,700

2B: Robinson Cano, New York Mets, $3,200

3B: Josh Donaldson, Atlanta Braves, $4,300

SS: Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox, $3,900

OF: Eloy Jimenez, Chicago White Sox, $3,500

OF: Aaron Judge, New York Yankees, $3,900

OF: AJ Pollock, Los Angeles Dodgers, $3,500

The Nationals- The Underrated Winner of the Trade Deadline

The Nationals lost Bryce Harper in the offseason, rather than try and find a real replacement for the star power they filled in other needs and made them stronger.  Adding Patrick Corbin, strengthening their already stout rotation, also adding Brian Dozier to fill a need on the infield that has been a problem for a long time.  

They started the season in a funk, dealing with injuries and inconsistent play. Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Juan Soto, Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman and Trea Turner all spent time on the DL.  On May 24ththe Nationals were 12 games under .500. Manager Dave Martinez was sitting on the hottest of seats, it looked as if the Nationals would have to consider selling and selling anything and everything.  

Washington has begun to turn it around but had one fatal flaw. They currently have the worst bullpen in all of baseball with an ERA of 5.97 and a BAA of .274.  With the bats getting healthy the one thing holding them back was bonafide gas can of a bullpen.  They addressed those issues during the final day of the trade deadline. They added pieces that under the radar of most will be huge pickups down the stretch run of the season. 

Roenis Elias

You can look at Roenis Elias’s numbers and not be blown away.  4.14 ERA going along with .419 wOBA given up to lefties are not numbers you would look for in a late inning reliever, but Elias brings more to the table then just a specialist.  His ability to shut down right-handed bats is intriguing.  The converted starter has held righties to just a .341 slugging percentage and a .243 wOBA.  He has found a way to get out the reverse side of the plate.  Elias also added a surprising 14 saves in 16 opportunities on a team that literally seemed to have given up.  He has proven himself to be a stable force in the backend of the bullpen.

Daniel Hudson

The Toronto Blue Jays unloaded a lot of pitching over the trade deadline and Daniel Hudson could be the quiet prize of them all.  Hudson is a strikeout machine against righties averaging 11.71 K/9 this season. Hudson has been a journeyman throughout his career, currently in the midst of a career year, he will most likely be given the chance to take over the 8thinning duties in front of closer Sean Doolittle. 

Elias, Hudson and fireballer Hunter Strickland were not flashy moves by the Nationals.  Their lack of farm system depth was not going to allow them to make a move for the likes of All-Star Shane Greene, but these are underrated moves that will fill a need that was holding back the Nationals.  The aforementioned Greene was picked up by their division counterparts the Atlanta Braves, who seem to have a lock on the NL East barring in major injuries.  Still I believe that this Nationals team will end up having one of the most successful trade deadlines that no one is talking about.  Suring up the bullpen was the one thing that they HAD to do to continue their monumental recovery from a disastrous start to the season.