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De La Cruz’ing To The End

Bryan De La Cruz

Bryan De La Cruz

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

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Matt Vierling, OF, Phillies -- Available in 98 percent of Yahoo leagues

Despite a .247/.299/.399 triple slash line across 335 plate appearances, there’s been plenty to like in Vierling’s profile. He’s made plenty of contact with just a 19.7 percent strikeout rate, making contact in the zone at an excellent 89.5 percent clip. Vierling isn’t just a contact hitter, either. He’s also producing a 46.3 percent hard-hit rate with a max exit velocity of 112.1 miles per hour. Combined with a 23.9 percent line drive rate, he’s got the tools for a better batting average. The 26-year-old outfielder is starting to come around at the dish this month, going 17-for-57 in September. Look for Vierling to stay hot at the plate this week with great matchups against the Cubs and Nationals.


Oswaldo Cabrera, SS/OF, Yankees -- Available in 83 percent of Yahoo leagues

Like many rookies, Cabrera got off to a slow start after the Yankees promoted the 23-year-old from Triple-A, where he hit .262/.340/.492. But he’s really gotten things going at the plate over the last two weeks, going 14-for-45 with four home runs since September 10. Three of those home runs have come in the last week. He’s also been among the leaders in runs scored and RBI in that span. Cabrera broke out in the Yankees’ minor league system in 2021, hitting a collective 29 homers and stealing 21 bases across Double-A and Triple-A. Getting consistent playing time in the outfield, he could help fantasy teams with some five-category production over the final week.


LaMonte Wade Jr., OF, Giants -- Available in 97 percent of Yahoo leagues

Wade Jr. has had a disappointing season after posting a .808 OPS with 18 homers and six steals across 381 plate appearances in 2021. He’s had trouble getting going, working around injuries for most of the year. Limited to only 230 plate appearances, he’s hitting .198/.303/.365 with eight home runs. Wade Jr. has come around a bit in September with a .260 average, and he’s back in the leadoff spot for the Giants against right-handed pitching. This week, the team plays six games at home against the Rockies and Diamondbacks -- a couple of favorable matchups -- with all games projected to come against right-handed starters. Teams looking to chase some runs could look to Wade Jr. as a fifth outfielder in deep mixed leagues this week.


Bryan De La Cruz, OF, Marlins -- Available in 94 percent of Yahoo leagues

De La Cruz has been scorching at the plate this month after another two-hit day on Sunday. It’s his fourth multi-hit game in the last week. He’s also driven in eight runs in that time and 14 across 16 games in September. After playing in a small-side platoon for most of the year, De La Cruz’s play has earned him everyday run in center field. Among his most significant improvements this month is his 17.6 percent strikeout rate, down from 26.8 percent through August. He’s also producing a 21.6 percent barrel and 54.1 percent hard-hit rate. That’s something you’ll want to ride through the end of the season.


Nate Eaton, 3B/OF, Royals -- Available in 92 percent of Yahoo leagues

Eaton has been getting some consistent playing time at third base with the Royals over the last week and is putting together an excellent month at the plate. He’s batting .349 with eight steals over 49 plate appearances in September. Eaton is up to ten stolen bases on the season across 100 plate appearances and could help fantasy managers looking to add some speed over the final week of the season.


Bryce Elder, SP, Braves -- Available 96 percent of Yahoo leagues

Elder is a streamer you can consider in deeper mixed leagues for his two remaining starts this season. He enters the Braves’ starting rotation with Spencer Strider on the injured list. Over his last three starts with the team, he’s given up just two runs with 22 strikeouts over 18 2/3 innings and carries a 3.38 ERA across 40 frames on the season. Elder is coming off an excellent start against the Nationals and is in line to face them once again to start the week. He then lines up for a favorable matchup against the Marlins in Miami to close out the season.


Kyle Bradish, SP, Orioles -- Available in 87 percent of Yahoo leagues

Bradish got an opportunity with the Orioles early in the season and struggled, putting up a 7.38 ERA in the first half. He made some slight improvements across the board but was due for some good fortune after recording a .396 BABIP and 66.1 percent strand rate. Bradish has turned things around tremendously since the All-Star break, posting a 2.67 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 57 strikeouts across 64 innings. And the 26-year-old right-hander is coming off his best start after he stuck out ten batters with just two hits and no walks allowed over 8 2/3 innings against the Astros.


Joey Wentz, SP, Tigers -- Available in 97 percent of Yahoo leagues

Wentz was recalled to join the Tigers rotation after posting a 3.17 ERA across 48 1/3 innings in Triple-A. He’s been excellent over his last three starts with the team, giving up only two runs with a 14/4 K/BB ratio over 16 1/3 innings. Not only has he displayed excellent control with a 6.5 percent walk rate, but he’s also not giving up much hard contact, which has helped keep his batting average allowed low at .188. It’s led to an 0.96 WHIP for the 24-year-old left-hander. And this week, he gets a couple of favorable home matchups against the Royals and Twins.


Braxton Garrett, SP, Marlins -- Available in 84 percent of Yahoo leagues

Garrett was recalled from Triple-A to take Trevor Rogers’ place in the Marlins’ starting rotation last week. He impressed in his last start, striking out six batters with one run allowed against the Nationals. On the year, the 25-year-old left-hander has filled in admirably when needed, recording a 3.52 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 81 strikeouts across 79 1/3 innings. This week, he gets a matchup against the Brewers in Milwaukee. Over the last two months, no team has posted a higher strikeout rate against left-handed pitchers than the Brewers at 28.4 percent. Teams chasing some strikeouts this week should consider streaming Garrett in deeper mixed leagues.


Domingo Acevedo, RP, Athletics -- Available in 83 percent of Yahoo leagues

Acevedo doesn’t get the strikeouts you’d like to see from a closer, but he’s been one of the more consistent relievers for the A’s all season. The 28-year-old right-hander has a 3.34 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 55 strikeouts across 64 2/3 innings. His success earned him a chance to take over as the primary closer in Oakland. Acevedo has done well in the role, recording four saves in the last two weeks. With just over a week left in the season, teams chasing some last-minute saves should consider adding Acevedo wherever he’s available.