Fantasy Baseball Today: Lewin Diaz a sneaky waiver add; deep-league hitters; why to target Rockies, Rangers

Happy Wednesday! With just two and a half weeks left in the Fantasy Baseball season, the only thing that matters is matchups. Of course you’re going to start your studs, but you will surely still have important decisions to make as well. That is why it’s time to get rid of Yu Darvish, Zac Gallen and Kyle Gibson. Scott White is scared of Darvish falling into his opponents’ hands, but I am not. Sure, if you have somebody worse to drop at this point, do that instead. The reality is that after this week, Darvish’s final two starts are against the Braves and Dodgers. There is no way I am starting him there with my season on the line.

On the hitter side of things, add and start your Rockies over the final two weeks. Three of their final three series are in Coors Field. Brendan Rodgers and Elias Diaz stand out as the two better names available but Garrett Hampson makes sense in category leagues, too. Now I know Scott isn’t on the Rangers hitters because, well, they’re bad. However, they have seven road games next week in Yankee Stadium and Camden Yards, two of the most hitter-friendly venues in the entire league. I know they’re not exciting, but Nathaniel Lowe and Nick Solak stand out with Leody Taveras and DJ Peters in deeper leagues.

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Diaz delivers big again

Marlins 1B Lewin Diaz is starting to look a lot like that sneaky waiver wire pickup who can provide a lot of help down the stretch run of the 2021 season. He was impressive again on Tuesday night. Diaz rocked a double dong that included homers traveling 410 and 421 feet. He has now racked up multiple hits in three of his last five games. He’s still just 3% rostered with six games next week that include the Nationals and Rays. Diaz is worth adding in deeper leagues and it might not be a bad idea to ride the hot hand.

Deeper-league hitters to consider

Astros OF Jose Siri went 4 for 5 with a double dong on Tuesday. He was a source of consistent power/speed in the minors with a .318 average, 16 homers and 24 steals at Triple-A. He’s just 2% rostered.

Royals OF Kyle Isbel went 3 for 4 with his first career homer on Tuesday. Here’s what his 2021 minors looked like: .269 average, 15 homers, 22 steals. He’s just 3% rostered with six road games at CLE, at DET next week.

News and notes

  • Chris Sale is expected to be activated from the COVID list to start Friday against the Orioles, which doesn’t really make sense to me because they announced he tested positive last Friday. You normally have to be out at least 10 days once you test positive. 
  • Blake Snell’s groin was feeling a little more sore and tender than expected Monday, one day after the lefty exited his start with left adductor tightness.
  • Jacob DeGrom threw 10 pitches off a mound Tuesday, which is a step in the right direction but we’re running out of time. 
  • Jose Berrios was removed from Tuesday’s start with left abdominal tightness. You couldn’t tell as he allowed just one run over seven innings against the Rays. 
  • Jesse Winker began a rehab assignment Tuesday.
  • Jake Cronenworth, dealing with that fractured finger, was out of the lineup Tuesday and isn’t expected to return until the weekend series against the Cardinals.
  • Michael Brantley isn’t expected back until Friday, either. 
  • J.T. Realmuto was out Tuesday due to right shoulder inflammation. 
  • Kenley Jansen was reinstated from the paternity list Tuesday. 
  • Tim Anderson returned Tuesday but will be eased in, playing every other day for now. 
  • Matt Chapman has missed two straight games because of a left foot/shin injury. 
  • Jake Odorizzi left his start early Monday and was placed on the IL with right foot soreness.
  • Joe Ryan’s X-rays were negative Tuesday after he was struck in the arm by a comebacker. He limited Cleveland to one run over five innings.
  • Andrew Vaughn was placed on the IL with lower back inflammation. 
  • Chris Paddack went back on the IL with right elbow inflammation. 
  • David Bednar was placed on the IL with a right oblique strain, which means Chris Stratton should be the closer. He’s 3% rostered. 
  • Seth Beer, who was recently called up, dislocated his shoulder on a diving attempt in the outfield
  • Tyler Clippard was activated but may not close right away, according to manager Torey Lovullo.
  • Trey Mancini was removed Tuesday with right abdominal soreness
  • Luis Severino is slated to face live hitters this week and could start a rehab assignment within a week. If he returns it will be as a reliever. 
  • Domingo German is expected to be activated this weekend and will also be used as a reliever. 
  • Willie Calhoun will be activated from the 60-day IL Wednesday. He’s coming back from a fractured forearm he suffered back in June. 15% rostered, any interest?
  • Jorge Mateo will miss the remainder of the season with right lumbar inflammation.
  • Ryan Braun has officially retired from baseball. He finishes his career with a .296 BA, 352 HR, 216 steals, and 47.1 WAR.

Best/worst remaining matchups

Scott White devoted an entire column to the best and worst remaining matchups for both hitters and pitchers. You can find that entire column here. Below, we’ll highlight some of the top matchups below:

Best matchups for hitters:

1. Cubs (@PHIx3,@MILx3, MINx2, STL x4, @PITx3, @STLx3)

2. White Sox (LAAx3, @TEXx3, @DETx3, @CLEx3, @CINx2, @PITx3)

Worst remaining matchups for hitters:

1. Diamondbacks (@LADx3, @HOUx3, ATLx4, LADx3, @SFx3, COLx3)

2. Angels (@CHWx3, OAKx3, HOUx4, SEAx3, @TEXx3, @SEAx3)

Best remaining matchups for pitchers

1. Red Sox (@SEAx3, BALx3, NYMx2, NYYx3, @BALx3, @WASx3)

2. Cubs (@PHIx3, @MILx3, MINx2, STLx4, @PITx3, @STLx3)

Worst remaining matchups for pitchers

1. Diamondbacks (@LADx3, @HOUx3, ATLx4, LADx3, @SFx3, COLx3)

2. Orioles (NYYx3, @BOSx3, @PHIx3, TEXx4, BOSx3, @TORx3)

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