Royals’ Nicky Lopez among the best gems in fantasy baseball
People go to the beach for fun in the sun – you lie in the sand, go swimming, play paddleball or throw a soccer ball. Maybe you build a sandcastle… then Billy walks on it shouting, “Nana, nana boo-boo, put your head in doo-doo”, and you start to cry.
Everyone’s beach experience is different, but one thing in common is the man or woman walking the beach with a metal detector. They are looking for a buried treasure. Even if they offer cans, bottles or change, sometimes they find gold and find something of value.
Roto Rage’s metal detector has sounded, as there are tons of treasures buried on the Waiver Wire. You just have to look deep, really deep.
Prior to this season, the Royals’ Nicky Lopez was a guy who performed well for four seasons in the minors, but didn’t leave a lasting impression in the majors in 2019-20. He hit .228 with three homers, 43 RBIs, 92 strikeouts, one stolen base and a .586 OPS in his first 159 games.
In the first half of this year, he hit a respectable .265 with 15 RBIs, 35 RBIs, eight stolen bases and a .676 OPS.
Fantasy owners, however, should now take note of the 26-year-old, as he hit .302 with a homerun, 18 RBIs, 17 points and 10 goals stolen in his first 35 games in the second half.
Lopez, eligible for shortstop and second, is fourth in stolen goals majors for the second half (10, including eight in the last 11 games). It also has the 25th lowest strike rate (7.2%) in the second half. For the season, he’s 11th in stolen bases and his 13.9% strikeout rate is 14th lowest in majors.
Lopez managed to reach ninth in the Royals’ batting order (0.287, 22 RBIs, 41 runs, eight goals stolen, 0.716 OPS), but they recently moved him to second place (behind Whit Merrifield) . In 16 batting games, he has hit 0.274 with a homerun, nine RBIs, eight runs, 10 goals stolen, an OBP of 0.338 and an OPS of 0.677.
Lopez doesn’t offer anything in terms of power, but he gets stable playing time while delivering speed, a respectable batting average (0.278) and solid batting discipline (walks in 9.5% of his appearances at the stick). He was the second most added player in ESPN leagues this week, but remains available at 74%. It’s the type of under-the-radar movement that could help increase your chances of winning a title – and it’s not the only buried treasure.
Opportunity is everything, and Frank Schwindel has had a lot of playing time since being traded from Athletics to the Cubs. In his first 23 games in Chicago, he’s 29 for 79 (0.367) with four homers, 16 RBIs, and 1.071 OPS – which includes a 14-game streak August 5-18 in which he hit 0.412 with four homers. , 15 RBIs and a 1,229 OPS. He was the third most added first baseman this week, but remains 80% available in ESPN leagues.
The fifth most added first baseman was Connor Joe of Colorado, who was 21 for 67 (0.313) with six homers, 19 RBIs, 13 points and 1.027 OPS in his last 19 games before Friday. He is also eligible as an outfielder and is available in over 80% of ESPN leagues.
Rangers’ Andy Ibanez is eligible for second and third, and it doesn’t hurt that he has reached .303 with four homers, 12 RBIs, 16 points and a .839 OPS in 36 games since the break. He’s hitting .313 with three home runs, nine RBIs, 10 runs and an .845 OPS in his first 23 games this month. Ibanez entered Friday with a 10-game hitting streak, going 19 for 38 (0.500) with a homerun, five RBIs, five runs and a 1.262 OPS during that span.
Catcher is a position that brings power, but a lot of really bad averages. Yes, the Diamondbacks’ Daulton Varsho is hitting .229 this season, but he’s 27-for-85 (.318) with eight homers, 18 RBIs, one steal and 1,090 OPS in his last 28 games. The most added receiver in the ESPN leagues this week is also eligible as an outfielder and remains available at 70%.
Vladimir Gutierrez SP, Reds
Has allowed no more than two earned runs in his last six starts, going 5-1 with a 1.86 ERA, 36 strikeouts and an opponent’s 0.220 average.
Dansby Swanson SS, Braves
After hitting .243 with 15 HR, 40 RBI and a .755 OPS in the first half, he reached .320 with 10 HR, 37 RBI and a .961 OPS in 37 games in the second half.
Hunter Renfroe OF, Red Sox
Before being on the bereavement list on Thursday, he was 0.333 with seven home runs, 17 RBIs, 14 points and 1,230 OPS in his last 13 games.
Chris Sale SP, Red Sox
Although he hasn’t gone into games in depth, Sale is 3-0 with a 2.35 ERA, 12.3 strikeouts per nine, 1.8 walks per nine and an average of 0.228. opponents in his first three starts since 2019.
Tylor Megill SP, Mets
Has not won since July 23, allowing 21 points (won 20) in his last 29 ² / ₃ innings (6.07 ERA). He’s allowed eight home runs and an average of .309 to his opponents in that six-start span.
Adam Frazier 2B / OF, Padres
In his first 26 games in San Diego, the All-Star was 22 for 97 (0.227) with two RBIs, 15 strikeouts, a stolen base and a .540 OPS.
Jon Gray SP, Rockies
In his last four starts, all losses, he allowed his opponents to reach .321 with an .828 OPS. He struck out 28 at bat and walked seven.
Fernando Tatis Jr. SS / OF, Padres
Retired 14 times in his last eight games (four times Wednesday), while also getting 3 for 32 (.094) with two homers, four RBIs and a .529 OPS.
Check the swings
- Tyler Naquin, the most added player in ESPN leagues this week, entered Friday with a 15-game, 25-for-56 (0.446) hitting streak with five homers, nine RBIs, 15 points, six steps and one. 1.339 OPS for the reds. It is available in over 30% of the leagues.
- While Starling Marte has had a great start to the season with Miami (0.306, seven homers, 25 RBIs, 52 points, 22 points, 0.859 OPS), he’s been even better since moving to Oakland. In his first 25 games with the As, he’s reached .355 with two homers, 14 RBIs, 15 points, 18 goals stolen (including seven in his last eight games and 17 this month) and an OPS of 0.877. .
- St. Louis veteran Adam Wainwright has turned back time in his last seven starts. The 39-year-old is 5-1 with a 1.76 ERA, strikeout rate of 44-7 and an average of 0.197 for his opponents.
- Atlanta’s Max Fried has allowed just two earned runs in his first four starts this month, going 4-0 with a 0.67 ERA, 23-2 strikeout rate. and an average of 0.204 for the opponents.
Team of the week name
Koerner from Kiner
Submitted by Joseph Carolla