Tout Wars Free Agency Bidding Recap – Sunday, August 25

This is our final August weekly report for 2019, summarizing the top free agent bids in each of five Tout Wars leagues, with links to the detailed bidding action following our 8 p.m. ET deadline each Sunday evening. All prices are on a $1000 base.

After you scan the detail below, please join our live chat, starting at 9 p.m. ET Sunday evening, to discuss these results with Todd Zola of Mastersball and other Touts.

American League

Action for the Junior Circuit was fairly busy, with 17 players added via FAAB.

For $75, Chris Liss acquired Seattle prospect outfielder Jake Fraley. The 24-year old shot through Double-A and Triple-A this season, with a total of 19 long balls and 80 RBI in 96 games. Fraley has started five of the last six games, but is batting just .133 in very early action.

Mike Podhorzer acquired the next three highest-priced players this week – Houston’s Framber Valdez for $47, Matt Magill of Seattle for $38 and Brandon Dixon of Detroit for $36. The lefty Valdez was recalled from Triple-A to sub for Aaron Sanchez and spun six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts against the Angels on Sunday. Magill, the next in a long line of real and presumed Mariners closers, saved two games last week, but also had a blown save and a loss. First baseman Dixon is the cleanup hitter for the Tigers and leads the team with 14 homers, but is in the midst of a dismal August.

Review all 8/25 AL bids here.

National League

With a week until rosters expand and a week and a day until the minor league seasons end, free agent activity was muted in the National League, with just seven acquired.

Billy Hamilton has returned to the National League, as a designated pinch-runner for the Atlanta Braves. In his first three games with his new club, the 28-year old has two steals, a run scored and a bonus RBI. Don’t expect many of the latter. Phil Hertz, in a battle for the league, spent $24 to acquire the former Red and Royal.

Word out of Miami is that Opening Day starter Jose Urena, sidelined by a back injury since June, may become the Marlins’ closer in September. Then again, the last-place Fish haven’t had a save in a month, so work could be sporadic for Urena. Marlins insider Craig Mish spent $20 for the acquisition.

Review all 8/25 NL bids here.

Mixed Auction

20 players were picked up off the waiver wire this Sunday in Mixed Auction.

Leading the way, fetching $67 of Jeff Zimmerman’s cash, is Reds shortstop Freddy Galvis. Though he has yet to steal a base with his newest team, the 29-year old has shown surprising pop, with three home runs and seven RBI in his first 11 games there.

Ray Flowers dropped $39 on Magill and $38 for Nick Solak of the Rangers. The former Rays second base prospect is 7-for-21 including three extra base hits in his first six MLB contests and may see regular playing time in the final month.

For $27, reborn outfielder Harrison Bader of the Cardinals joined Zach Steinhorn’s roster. While demoted to Triple-A, Bader found his stroke and since his return has logged a .533 OBP by being more selective at the plate.

Review all 8/25 Mixed Auction bids here.

Mixed Draft

This week’s Mixed Draft action was slow, with 12 players being purchased.

Top dollar was just $23, paid by Perry Van Hook for Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco. The 26-year old spent three weeks in Triple-A before being recalled, but regular playing time down the stretch seems a question, with Scott Kingery holding down the hot corner as of late.

Shortstop Aledmys Diaz of Houston was acquired by Adam Ronis for $14. The veteran, who was out with dizziness, is scheduled to be activated on Tuesday and should be the regular while Carlos Correa is on the shelf.

Review all 8/25 Mixed Draft bids here.

Head to Head

15 free agents were acquired for FAAB (or $0 bids) this Sunday in Head-to-Head.

Magill was the top acquisition, going to Ryan Bloomfield for $39. Bloomfield also picked up Colorado outfielder Raimel Tapia for $26. The 25-year old has been a quiet success for the Rockies in the second half, but missed the last two games with a hand injury.

The Dodgers’ Dustin May had already been picked up in many leagues, but not here until Sunday, when $21 of FAAB was used for his acquisition by Ian Kahn. The rookie right-hander was bombed in his only relief appearance before being moved back into the rotation. May will bring a 4.26 ERA into his start on Monday against San Diego.

Review all 8/25 Head to Head bids here.

Tout Table: Down the Stretch

This week’s questions: We’re just past the quarter pole. What are some of your favorite tactics down the stretch?

Rick Wolf (Fantasy Alarm, @RickWolf1): My absolute favorite late season strategy is “addition by subtraction”. Let’s say you have a lead in home runs/RBI or wins/Ks. Look to unload the pitchers with high ratios who get wins since you don’t need them. Trade them for any small upgrade. If you need to move up in ratios…dropping or trading starters with high ERA/WHIP and using strong middle relief pitchers is the way to protect and win! It is also useful with batting average for home run hitters. When you have a low average home run hitter, you can often trade him for a high average hitter who is not a slugger. This corrects your batting average or OBP while not hurting you in the category that you do not need. Another winner.

Gene McCaffrey (The Athletic, @WiseGuyGene): Pay extra-special attention to the September call-ups on bad teams. Many of them will play fulltime or close to it. Watch for what their managers say about their playing time – sometimes they actually tell the truth!

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): 1) In roto, trade to turn your surplus in one category into incremental points in another category. 2) If you are in keeper or dynasty, made the deal if it gets you the win; make the deal if you are out and it gets you the keeper you need for next year, but for god’s sake–don’t lose focus because it’s football season–pull the trigger! 3) Preserve your ratio categories (ERA/WHIP/OBP) as it gets a little crazy late in the year and you don’t want to accidentally drop points there; 4) Sept call-ups are very often a cheap place to buy steals, fwiw.

Lenny Melnick (LennyMelnickFantasySports, @LennyMelnick): Trade LOW % Hitters and Pitchers Addition by Subtraction Thank You Rick Wolf

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): This is the time of year to stream and sit starting pitchers aggressively. In keeper leagues in particular, I’ve seen too many leagues won or lost because someone held onto a freeze for next year who isn’t performing. If you’re in a tight ace, you can’t have any loyalty to “your player” or to a stale projection from five months ago. This is also when I start looking at ROS schedule very closely. The Phillies (for example) have a soft week and a half coming up. I’m looking to maximize matchups and pick up starters of theirs in shallower leagues where they were dropped. The tanking culture (in the AL in particular) leads to far more favorable matchup opportunities than I have seen since the beginning of the last expansion era in the late 90s/early 00s.

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50): In addition to the ideas above, I try to pay attention to the moves coming up from the minors. Paying attention can get you players, not necessarily highly touted, who are going to have a nice two or three week period and that can make the difference in a couple of close categories. The corollary is to pay attention to your own players. Someone who may have been productive all year, can get benched for a prospect, or go into a major funk. The time for rebounding is short and it may be necessary to move on from that player.

Ryan Bloomfield (BaseballHQ, @RyanBHQ): To echo Phil’s point, I like to take advantage of September playing time experiments on teams that are just playing out the string. Guys like Jon Berti, Isan Diaz, and maybe Austin Dean on the Marlins; Josh Rojas in Arizona; etc. are good examples of hitters who might get a long look. Rojas and Berti are great SB sources, and we all need bags. It’s also a good time to look at September IP limits and shutdown candidates (looking at you, Chris Paddack owners). Start looking at Plan Bs for those guys.

Jeff Erickson (Rotowire, @Jeff_Erickson): If you still are allowed to trade, one fun tactic is to not just trade for categories that you need, but to force your opponents to protect their weaker categories. If you’re in second place and the team in first is vulnerable to losing 2-3 points in saves, if it’s possible to trade with one of those teams chasing the first place team in saves, by all means, do so.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Start your best nine pitchers, regardless of need through the month, maybe even into September. Good starting pitcher matchups will be hard to find. Even if you’re close in saves, take advantage of matchups now, get those whiffs and wins, even if it costs saves. If you need saves, overload with closers in September. There’s a finite number of good starting pitcher matchups, don’t waste them for balance when you can even it out later.

Eric Karabell (ESPN, @karabelleric): Because so many non-contenders give up early, it can be easier to find new and perhaps inexperienced free agents with playing time coming their way. Make a 2-for-1 trade. Or add players you might not need to keep away from other contenders. Strengthen your bench. And never stop trying to improve.

Ray Flowers (Fantasy Guru Elite, @BaseballGuys): Please look at the standings. I continue to get questions – who should I add? – with one being an infielder the other an outfielder. One being a power hitter, the other being a batting average lifter. The time to take the best player is gone. It’s time to play the categories.

Larry Schechter (Winning Fantasy Baseball, @LarrySchechter): I agree with most everything already written. I’ll add a tid-bit that in Tout Wars I had Joe Jimenez, who just became the closer after the Shane Greene trade. My position in the saves category is such that even if Jimenez gets 10 saves or so, it does me no good. So I looked to trade him, and started by identifying teams that if they got more saves, would also hurt the top teams in the league in the saves category. My slight chance of coming from 5th to win means I need every possible point possible for me to gain and the top 4 to lose. And I did trade him to Nando who is competing with all four of the top teams for saves.

Brent Hershey (Baseball HQ, @BrentHQ): Some great ideas here so far that I’ll echo to some extent: I also think it’s important to pay attention to late-season roster openings for the out-of-the-race MLB clubs. Sometimes those fringe guys are playing for a shot at the MLB roster next season, and can provide fantasy help in the short-term. I’m also more willing to ride out hot streaks for a historically lesser-skilled player, hoping that the eventual regression comes next spring rather than over the last six weeks. In deeper leagues where I have pitcher ratios established, I’m also more likely to replace any injured SP with a quality-ratioed reliever. These can often be easier to find. But also would heed what others have said … know your context as far as categories and as well as the weak links on your roster. Sometimes those small upgrades can make a difference even at this point in the season.

Jeff Zimmerman (Fangraphs, The Process, @jeffwzimmerman): Lineups, lineups, lineups. The “big” change is rosters expanding and those extra players are going to take away playing time from regulars. This applies to the rookie callups like Gavin Lux and Kyle Tucker. The Astros and Dodgers are trying to continue to win. Both prospects could help their parent club but they may play every other day, at most.

Vlad Sedler (Fantasy Guru Elite, @rotogut): Avoid zeroes at all costs and have backups at all positions (or at least, multi-position eligible guys). A league championship could come down to an RBI, strikeout or WHIP point on the final day. Be fully prepared when roster expansion takes place in September and pay attention to teams that may have run away with divisions who might rest their stud players more often those final two weeks. Every at-bat and pitch counts!

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): Everything above is great advice. An expert seminar on late-season tactics. The least appreciated idea is tactically trading to move your surplus onto the roster of another team who can gain points at the expense of the teams you’re chasing in the overall (or who are chasing you). A point lost by your overall opponent is as good as a point gained by you, and if it so happens that you can “place” your stats onto a team that will pass two or three overall opponents, you can realize an important “gain” without getting any actual points for your own team.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): Paying more attention than I would earlier in the season to pitcher matchups and the number of games a hitter’s team has in a week if I’m deciding among several options.

Ian Kahn (Rotowire, @IanKahn4): Trying to take advantage of all of the football focus that is going on, especially in Dynasty Leagues. Now is a great time to find those guys who are just getting called up to the majors and are showing signs that they could have real value this offseason and going into 2020. A little extra attention in these final weeks can pay major dividends in the future.

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): Pay close attention to playing time changes as teams out of the playoff hunt are going to be looking toward the future and giving their youngsters a shot with every day at-bats. Some of these guys may not have been top 100 prospects, but a quick look at their minor league results could reveal a potentially rewarding pickup.

Scott Pianowski (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @Scott_Pianowski): It’s a stretch to call this a tactic, but just showing up is gigantically important. Do your diligence, set your bids, pour over the box scores like you did in April. And remember you’re trying to solve the category puzzle and win the league – or move up – not necessarily make moves that will make sense in a vacuum. It’s all contextual. Tastes will vary, but if it’s a league with a high percentage of retained owners, I like built-in incentives that give everyone a good reason to compete, full throttle, for the complete season.

D.J. Short (Rotoworld, @djshort): A bunch of things, really. As Scott said, you need to just keep being diligent about making sure your roster spots are filled and lineups set for each day. It gets easy to lose sight of that down the stretch, especially in a daily league. The season is looooooong. On a related note. I like to have multi-position eligible players on my roster for the stretch run, as there are a variety of things that pop up in September which cause fantasy owners to have to switch their lineup on a dime. It’s exceedingly valuable.

Tout Wars Free Agency Bidding Recap – Sunday, August 18

Another Sunday night means another weekly report, summarizing the top free agent bids in each of the five Tout Wars leagues, with links to the detailed bidding action following our 8 p.m. ET deadline each Sunday evening. All prices are on a $1000 base.

After you scan the detail below, please join our live chat, starting at 9 p.m. ET Sunday evening, to discuss these results with Todd Zola of Mastersball and other Touts.

American League

14 players were acquired by American League owners in this week’s free agent period.

Leading the way at $128 is Royals outfielder Brett Phillips, a new member of the roster of Colton and the Wolfman. The former Brewers prospect should be playing in center along with Bubba Starling now that Billy Hamilton has been designated for assignment.

Chris Liss added catcher Jose Treviño of the Rangers for $35. It must be driven by a hope for better things to come as Treviño is batting just .188 in his first nine games after a .229 mark in Triple-A. His defense is good enough to keep earning him at-bats.

At $33, Rick Porcello joined Mike Podhorzer’s team. The Red Sox right-hander has alternated bad and good starts over his most recent six outings, but that is progress, as his ERA has crept down to 5.49.

Review all 8/18 AL bids here.

National League

This week, 17 free agents joined National League rosters via free agent bidding.

Former Astros prospect Josh Rojas joined the Snakes in the Greinke trade and has been called up. Starting at third base for Arizona, the 25-year old is batting .263 in his first 19 MLB at-bats. Todd Zola snapped Rojas up for $113.

When Neal Walker was about to come off the injured list of the Marlins, league leader Phil Hertz jettisoned the infielder. That led to a mini bidding frenzy this week, with Steve Gardner winning the bidding at $55.

In this evolving world of August waiver moves, Freddy Galvis returned to the Senior Circuit and is starting in the middle infield for the post-Scooter Reds. In his first five games with his new team, Galvis batted a cool .529. No steals yet, but the former Phillie-Padre-Blue Jay could pick up a few in the late going for a needy owner. Justin Mason’s top bid was $31.

Review all 8/18 NL bids here.

Mixed Auction

In a fairly busy Sunday night, 19 players were acquired via FAAB in Mixed Auction.

The top dollar and third-highest free agents were acquired by Scott Pianowski. Arizona’s Nick Ahmed for $113 and Adrian Houser of Milwaukee for $44. The D-backs’ infielder was red-hot this past week, with five long balls and 13 RBI in seven games. The Brewers’ right-hander has allowed one run each in three of his last four starts, logging a 2.74 ERA during that period.

Ron Shandler acquired Arizona’s Rojas for $57.

Left-handed pitcher Kolby Allard of Texas joined Scott Swanay’s roster for $35. The former Brave, who moved to the Rangers in the Chris Martin trade, has a 4.50 ERA in his first two American League starts, which were against the Brewers and Blue Jays. Allard fanned 12 in his 10 innings.

Review all 8/18 Mixed Auction bids here.

Mixed Draft

Mixed Draft had a busy week, with 22 free agents purchased.

At $89, Rojas led the way, joining Rudy Gamble’s roster.

It took $51 of Tim McCullough’s FAAB for acquire Brewers reliever Matt Albers. With closer Josh Hader slumping, the 36-year old Albers has picked up three saves already this month for a Milwaukee team which has been giving up runs at an alarming rate.

Peter Kreutzer, aka Rotoman, picked up Edwin Rios for $32. The first-third baseman was back from the minors and productive when given a chance while Alex Verdugo is out for the Dodgers. Rios had a two-home run, three RBI game in Miami on Wednesday and batted .333 for the week. However, he was still optioned to the minors on Sunday.  

Review all 8/18 Mixed Draft bids here.

Head to Head

The busiest league action this Sunday came in Head-to-Head, with 24 players acquired. Spending was muted, however.

Top dollar was just $35, spent by Dan Strafford on Pirates infielder Colin Moran. The third baseman is coming off a hot week during which he batted .368, with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBI. That raised his season batting average to .280 with a .327 OBP.

Ian Kahn made a nice acquisition of Daniel Hudson of the Nationals for $23. With Sean Doolittle placed on the injured list, the 32-year old Hudson should be in the middle of mix for saves with the resurgent Nats. He picked up one save this past week.

A player already picked up in many other leagues previously, Mike Yastrzemski, went to Andrea Lamont for $22. The Giants outfielder had a strong week, with five home runs and eight RBI in just five games. The 28-year old is up to 16 long balls in 71 games in his rookie season.

Review all 8/18 Head to Head bids here.

Tout Daily Picks: May Day

It’s the final week of the Tout Daily regular season. The final three Golden Tickets are on the line. Here are some of the players the Touts are banking on to get it done.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola)

Pitcher: Eric Lauer – Cheap, in a decent spot

Hitter: Jake Lamb – Not stacking Snakes, they’re slithery and hard to keep in one place, but like some exposure to Hoffman.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis)

Pitcher: Chris Sale – I originally planned on starting Clayton Kershaw, but his start was pushed back to tomorrow. Starting Chris Sale tonight in his place. Sale’s disappointing season has depressed his salary to $10,700 tonight. He is coming off his last start with 46.8 fantasy points and 13 Ks. Hoping for a repeat performance tonight.

Hitter: Vlad Guerrero Jr. – I’m still amazed at his salary being below $4,000, but I’ll take it at $3,800. Tough matchup against Lance Lynn might explain his salary, but I’m willing to take a chance on Vlad tonight.

Derek Carty (RotoGrinders, @DerekCarty)

Pitcher: Matt Boyd – Boyd may be popular, but it’s for good reason. He’s the top pitcher on the slate and is cheaper than some of the other strong aces like Chris Sale and Lance Lynn. He faces a weak Mariners lineup with a proclivity to strike out, has a good pitch-framer in Jake Rogers, and an elite pitchers’ umpire

Hitter: Kris Bryant – Jason Vargas is bad, and the depths of how bad he is have been masked for years by Citi Field. A contact prone, flyball pitcher will not fare well in homer-friendly Citizens Bank Park, especially while lacking the platoon advantage against some of the best right-handed hitters in the game. Bryant, Baez, and Castellanos are all underpriced tonight.

Steve Gardner (USAToday Fantasy Sports, @SteveAGardner)

Pitcher: Dustin May – The Dodgers haven’t been shy about letting their top pitching prospect pitch as far as he can into games. With a great matchup vs. Miami, he could last into the 7th and get 7-8 K’s.

Hitter: Franmil Reyes – Yes, he’s facing Chris Sale. But at only $3,300, he has to be one of the better values out there after homering yesterday off another lefty starter.

Clay Link (Rotowire, @claywlink)

Pitcher: Jack Flaherty – Still way underpriced on account of his lackluster first half. Since the All-Star break, Flaherty has a 0.86 ERA and 43:9 K:BB.

Hitter: Aristides Aquino – Pricey now, but I’m drinking the Kool-Aid.

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy)

Pitcher: Dustin May – A K per inning and faces the Marlins. Too good to pass up

Hitter: Bryce Harper – He leads a Phillies stack versus Quintana at $4500

Tout Wars Free Agency Bidding Recap – Sunday, August 11

We are back with another weekly reports, summarizing the top free agent bids in each of the five Tout Wars leagues, with links to the detailed bidding action following our 8 p.m. ET deadline each Sunday evening. All prices are on a $1000 base.

After you scan the detail below, please join our live chat, starting at 9 p.m. ET Sunday evening, to discuss these results with Todd Zola of Mastersball and other Touts.

American League

I guess it was post-trade deadline blues across AL Tout, as just 14 free agents were purchased.

It was oldies but goodies week, as Byron Buxton was acquired by Rob Leibowitz for the top sum of $56. The Twins outfielder is on the injured list with a shoulder problem, so it appears Rob is willing to take a week of zeros in hopes that Buxton can return strongly later in the season.

Howard Bender was busy, spending $90 on two injury infielder fill-ins – Ryan Goins of the White Sox ($52) and Dawel Lugo of the Tigers ($38). Goins has been producing at third while Yoan Moncada is out and Lugo is covering the hot corner for Jeimer Candelario.

Colton and the Wolfman dropped $50 on infielder/outfielder Tim Lopes of the Mariners. Fresh off a concussion-driven time out, the 25-year old had a pair of two-RBI outings in his four appearances this past week.

Review all 8/11 AL bids here.

National League

17 free agents were acquired in the National League, the most spent on any player being $20.

That is the amount of my winning bid on new Cubs catcher Jonathan Lucroy. I am not expecting miracles from the well-traveled former Brewers star, but I will get more at-bats from him and a batter contribution than from OBP-drain Yan Gomes.

The Braves have no shortage of former closers in the pen, with veteran Mark Melancon declared “the man” on Friday. He proceeded to give up four runs in the ninth on Saturday, with the help of Shane Greene, who blew the save. Pre-trade deadline closer Luke Jackson converted on Sunday. Still, Grey Albright spent $12 on Melancon, who I dropped last week thinking he would not get any saves with Atlanta. I might still be right.

St. Louis prospect outfielder Lane Thomas was called up 10 games ago and got just five plate appearances and no starts while infielder Tommy Edman made four starts in right, the latter’s first professional games in the outfield. Finally given a start on Sunday, Thomas hit a grand slam and an RBI triple, plus threw out a Pirate at home. Still, with Tyler O’Neill soon coming back from injury, Thomas’ chances for playing time remain with Mike Shildt – not a good thing. Craig Mish was willing to invest $9 in Thomas.

Review all 8/11 NL bids here.

Mixed Auction

Finally, a normal week, with 23 free agents acquired in the Mixed Auction league.

Leading the way at $77 was Jeff Zimmerman’s purchase of rookie right-hander Aaron Civale of the Indians. In two starts totaling 12 innings, the 25-year old has yielded just one earned run on five hits and four walks with 13 punchouts. Not bad at all…

Ron Shandler took a shot at Melancon for $73.

Derek Law of Toronto went for $61 to Scott Engel. The right-hander has logged 11 straight scoreless appearances and even if Ken Giles wasn’t iffy, he has earned a shot at the ninth. All three of Law’s saves have come in August, with two this past week.

Mitch Keller of the Pirates joined the roster of Zach Steinhorn for $54. The 23-year old prospect was sent down two months ago after three rough starts, but is getting another shot for the reeling Bucs on Monday against the Angels.

Review all 8/11 Mixed Auction bids here.

Mixed Draft

It was a busy Sunday night in Mixed Draft, as 27 players joined team rosters.

Leading the way at $164 is “The Punisher”, Aristedes Aquino, who homered in four straight games, including three long balls on Saturday. The Reds outfielder has 14 RBI in his last eight games, though Adam Ronis will get none of those impressive numbers.

Mike Foltynewicz is back from Triple-A and the Braves’ right-hander drew $70 of D.J. Short’s FAAB. The 27-year old fanned seven in 5 1/3 innings in his return, but was charged with three earned runs at Minnesota. On Sunday, Folty yielded four runs in six frames against the Marlins. A tough home showdown against the Dodgers is next.

With the Pirates’ season going nowhere, Jose Osuna is back from the minors and the infielder/outfielder is starting regularly. For good reason, as the right-handed hitter is batting .412 over the last two weeks with 10 RBI in 12 games. His new owner is Perry Van Hook ($49).

Review all 8/11 Mixed Draft bids here.

Head to Head

19 players were added via FAAB in the Head-to-Head League this Sunday.  

Dan Strafford, a name I almost never mention here, spent big, placing $300 in total on two players – Aquino for $200 and Yankee Mike Tauchman for an even $100. The New York outfielder has been on fire, with five home runs and 12 RBI over his last seven games.

Nick Anderson of Tampa Bay joined the roster of A.J. Mass for $75. The former Marlin has 11 strikeouts in just five innings since joining the Rays. Anderson has a win and a hold, but no saves yet with his new club.

Overall spending was down, as no other Head-to-Head player cost more than $12 to purchase this week.  

Review all 8/11 Head to Head bids here.

Tout Daily: Zack Attack

It’s the third week of the fifth period, chances to claim a Golden Ticket are running out. Here are some players the Touts are clicking in.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports)

Pitcher: Zack Plesac – Part of my Tribe double dose, he’ll get the win and 7+ K’s

Hitter: Franmil Reyes – Going deep tonight, makes by his trade from Padres looking good!

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy)

Pitcher: Zach Wheeler – The Mets are rolling and so is he with 21 Ks in his last 17.1 IP. He faces the Marlins tonight who strikeout out 9 times per game on average.

Hitter: Matt Chapman – He’s hitting 13 points higher versus lefties this season and averages a home run every 11 at bats versus lefties. He faces Jon Lester tonight.

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50)

Pitcher: Zach Wheeler – He’s been doing some of his best pitching of the year.

Hitter: Victor Robles – Price is right.

Ray Murphy (BaseballHQ, @RayHQ)

Pitcher: Mike Leake – He’s been sneaky good of late, PHI bats haven’t traveled well, and the ARI humidor is in full effect

Hitter: Jordy Mercer – He’s dirt cheap at 2600, has always hit lefties well, and there’s no more attractive lefty than Hector Santiago. Just hope he gets more than 1 AB against him. 🙂

Steve Gardner (USAToday Fantasy Sports, @SteveAGardner)

Pitcher: German Marquez – Going against the grain as Zack Greinke makes his Astros debut. Marquez gets a ton of strikeouts and pitches much better away from Coors. Can he tame the Astros lineup?

Hitter: Aristides Aquino – The rookie has a 50% hard-hit rate in his brief MLB career. He’s hitting cleanup at home in Cincinnati and is only $3700.

Gene McCaffrey (The Athletic, @WiseGuyGene)

Pitcher: Zack Greinke – Continuing the Zack theme, let’s see that Astros’ magic one more time. Home start, weak Rockies on the road, Zack goes a little deeper than most SP’s these days

Hitter: Miguel Cabrera – Showing signs lately and if he can’t crush Hector Santiago it really is over. And Miggy is cheap. I know, he deserves to be.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola)

Pitcher: Zack Cashner – I lost a bet. Either that or I need to make up a gazillion points and in this climate, that’s done with bats

Hitter: Miguel Cabrera – +1 on what Gene said, plus he’s hitting southpaws well.

Tout Table: Latent Deadline Deal Repercussions

This week’s Tout Table question is…

What is an under-the-radar or non-obvious fallout from the trade deadline machinations?

Brad Johnson (Patreon/BaseballATeam, @BaseballATeam): There are many directions to take this prompt. I think I’ll focus on the uncertainty posed by The One True Deadline. We saw clubs like the Braves and Nationals pile up mid-tier reliever depth. From the club perspective, having to survive two months using only internal resources seems quite daunting. Alternatively some playoff teams, like the Yankees and Dodgers, decided to roll the dice on a quiet deadline. Only later will we find out if they should have invested in more depth.

AJ Mass (ESPN, @AJMass): There are no Tigers hitters I feel are worthy of stepping in to fill the void left by the trade of Nick Castellanos, which means there’s zero reason not to stream any and all pitchers facing Detroit from this point forward through the end of the season. It’s a virtually guarantee of a quality start.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Several bullpens are even weaker, making it even better to stream hitters against the Rangers, Blue Jays, Marlins, Mariners and Giants when a lesser starting pitcher is scheduled.

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): If you were hoping for Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler to get a boost by leaving the Mets awful defense behind, sorry. If you dumped Taylor Rogers or traded him on the cheap because you assumed the Twins were going to make a deal for a bigger name, sorry again. One of the biggest takeaways from the deadline every year is never assume or expect that certain trades have to happen and don’t shift value based on a rumor.

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): I’ll also mention the Detroit Tigers, but for a different reason – an increase of playing time and opportunity for their remaining players. Jacoby Jones, Niko Goodrum, etc. will now get all of the playing time for the rest of the season. With a weaker / lower run scoring lineup, they may run more and could put up some decent power/speed stats. I will also say that Tanner Roark now goes from CIN to OAK – and might have the best short term fantasy boost of any player traded yesterday.

Gene McCaffrey (The Athletic, @WiseGuyGene): With the Giants going all in, watch for them to call up newly-acquired outfielder Jaylin Davis, either immediately or very soon. Davis has the big power that could make the difference for them or for us. Risky, but if they go all-in on him we should too.

Lenny Melnick (LennyMelnickFantasySports, @LennyMelnick): MLB made a huge error having deadline Aug 1…Aug 15 Next year..Etch that in your kitchen table

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): HOU has shows a remarkable ability to acquire and then develop castoff or underappreciated pitchers, and I wonder if it might be worth betting that HOU can straighten out Aaron Sanchez. Quite a few TOR observers have noted that TOR was leaning on Sanchez to generate ground balls with his sinker/change combo, even though his curve is his most effective pitch— per Statcast, curve getting .255 BAA and .201 xBA, .318 Slg and .269 xSlg; Sinker .381 BA, .334 xBA, .575 Slg, .527 xSlg. The challenge will be getting innings in a HOU rotation that added Zack Greinke, but could be a nifty get in keepers with HOU likely to lose Cole in the off-season. Rule of thumb: If HOU likes a pitcher, so should you.

Dr. Roto (Scout Fantasy, @DrRoto): The Marlins might have shocked everyone by trading Gallen, but they added hitters with huge potential who can make an impact within the coming seasons.

Andrea LaMont (LennyMelnickFantasySports, @RotoLady): Mets control the Winter Market in Starting Pitchers

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): I tend to hunt for players who are getting an opportunity because the team created a hole. And sometimes they don’t show themselves right away–sometimes it is a week later after everyone has spent their faab chasing the best guy they can get. One example: Trent Grisham (MIL)–what is he worth in faab? I suppose it depends on him to some degree, but also on Travis Shaw and Eric Thames and we are talking about 8 weeks with the clock ticking.

Tristan H. Cockcroft (ESPN, @SultanofStat): Ryne Stanek is going to become only the second pitcher since the save rule was introduced in 1969 to start at least 20 and save at least eight games in a single season (Tom Gordon, 1997).

Michael Stein (Fantasy Judgment, @FantasyJudgment): One prevailing draft strategy is to not overpay for saves by drafting closers too early. However, chasing saves later in the season is a daunting task, especially when relievers who emerge as closers get traded near the deadline to teams that already have a closer. No one will ever be as consistent as Mariano Rivera, but there is something to be said about taking a semi-reliable closer early in a draft to at least know you can stay competitive in that category for most of the season.

Ray Flowers (Fantasy Guru Elite, @BaseballGuys): With the change in rules this season, there are likely to be very few players moved from here on out. Given that, I’m surprised there weren’t more deals, and the new situation should reinforce the belief that emptying out your FAAB budget this week in Only leagues makes a good deal of sense.

Larry Schechter (Winning Fantasy Baseball, @LarrySchechter): Travis Demeritte has been called up by the Tigers and should play regularly. Not a sure thing, but has a lot of power. Joe Jimenez should take over as Tigers closer. Justin Shafer could get saves for Blue Jays as long as Ken Giles remains on the IL. Keep an eye on Seattle and see if anyone emerges as the new closer with Elias and Strickland both gone.

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50): Trevor Rosenthal winds up the year closing some games for the Tigers.

Ian Kahn (Rotowire, @IanKahn4): Crazy prediction. Mets continue to rack up the wins with the Stroman trade being the wind in their sails. They sneak into the Wild Card game and win it behind deGrom. They then lose a thrilling 6 game series to the Dodgers and go into the off-season having big dreams for 2020. Wheeler resigns with the team, and the Mets go into 2020 with their best rotation in Baseball. Crazy prediction.

Al Melchior (FNTSY Radio, @almelchiorbb): I had been anticipating Phillip Ervin as a waiver target once Yasiel Puig was traded, but I overlooked Aristides Aquino. It could be fun to see how his fly ball and pull tendencies play at GABP.

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): Lots of closing gigs totally up in the air, with no confirmations in DET, MIA, MIN, SEA, and TB. There are saves to be had!

D.J. Short (Rotoworld, @djshort): I learned some stuff reading this thread. Good stuff. I think it will be interesting to see Derek Fisher get a chance to play a little bit with the Blue Jays. I wouldn’t say my expectations are super high, but it wasn’t too long ago that folks were interested in him. He has some pop and speed, which could play nicely down the stretch. Another note from the deadline is that the Zack Greinke trade probably clinches that Gerrit Cole isn’t coming back to the Astros next season.

Jon Hegglund (Baseball Prospectus, @JonHegglund): Along with Ervin, Josh VanMeter should now get something approaching everyday run in Cincinnati. Also, that Tampa Bay/Miami trade is interesting: keep an eye on how the Rays use Trevor Richards in the pen and look for Ryne Stanek to get a shot at the ninth-inning role in Miami. (Sure, it’s the Marlins, but saves are saves…)

Craig Mish (SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio, @CraigMish): The Cardinals doing nothing at the deadline will create a lot of pressure for them to perhaps call up one of their top prospects from the Minor Leagues. Randy Arozarena or Dylan Carlson would seem likely to get a chance since they didn’t acquire anyone, combined with the demotion of Harrison Bader and IL of Tyler O’Neill.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis): The Closer carousel is in full force this week and through the month of August. Look at your league standings and strategically position yourself to make a run in the saves category.

Mike Sheets (ESPN, @MikeASheets): I like Josh VanMeter skill set and am intrigued by more consistent playing time. He’s playing all over the diamond (he should soon have second-base eligibility in most leagues), has a great walk rate, has shown some pop, and is even swiping bags. For now, it appears VanMeter is still going to sit against lefties, but should he start getting everyday playing time, there’s an outside chance he can turn into Max Muncy-lite.

Eric Karabell (ESPN, @karabelleric): I cannot remember simply ignoring so many bullpens so the fact that a few closers were traded means little to the former teams. Who wants to mess with Seattle or Detroit now? What about Miami? It might be Ryne Stanek, but what if there is nothing to save?

Tout Wars Free Agency Bidding Recap – Sunday, August 4

The trade deadline edition is our busiest weekly report for 2019, summarizing the top free agent bids in each of the five Tout Wars leagues, with links to the detailed bidding action following our 8 p.m. ET deadline each Sunday evening. All prices are on a $1000 base.

After you scan the detail below, please join our live chat, starting at 9 p.m. ET Sunday evening, to discuss these results with Todd Zola of Mastersball and other Touts.

American League

The AL- and NL-only leagues had the most action this week, as expected. In the AL, only one owner had more than $800 FAAB, Larry Schechter. Next at $691 was Mike Podhorzer and Doug Dennis at $482.

22 free agents joined AL-only teams in this week’s bidding.

Schechter used his hammer to acquire new Cleveland outfielder Yasiel Puig for $484. His new outfield mate by way of San Diego, Franmil Reyes, was acquired by Podhorzer for $416. That was a dollar more than Doug Dennis spent to acquire new Astros starter Zack Greinke.

Spreading his cash around, Schechter also nabbed Detroit outfielder Travis Demeritte for $297.  For $295, former Brewers-now Rays slugger Jesus Aguilar joined the roster of Jeff Erickson.

No other AL free agents went for more than $77, but as one might guess, the NL-only bidding was even wilder.

Review all 8/4 AL bids here.

National League

Money had been hoarded in the National League with two owners holding more than $1000 – Scott Wilderman at $1085 and Justin Mason with $1055. Next were Derek Carty at $940 and Craig Mish with $810.

It paid off as the biggest quantity of names to be traded headed into the Senior Circuit. In some wild and crazy bidding, a whopping 28 players were acquired this week.

Wilderman picked up new Reds starter Trevor Bauer for $1056. (As one would expect, Mason offered “just” $941.) Not coincidentally, that is what Mason paid for his second choice, new Cubs outfielder Nicholas Castellanos.

Per the unwritten script, Carty picked up new Mets starter Marcos Stroman for $811. Mish took new Braves closer Shane Greene for $709.

A pair of called-up prospects were next in the spending hierarchy. Dodgers starter Dustin May, with additional opportunity now that Hyun-Jin Ryu is out, fetched $602 of Grey Albright’s cash. Brewers outfield prospect Trent Grisham was snapped by Tristan H. Cockcroft for $400.

Steve Gardner added new Cubs second baseman-outfielder Tony Kemp for $204 and new Arizona starter Mike Leake for $145.

Review all 8/4 NL bids here.

Mixed Auction

While the dollar amounts were not higher, with none reaching $100, a whopping 31 free agents joined Mixed Auction rosters this Sunday evening.

Seattle has changed closers this season more often than Spinal Tap drummers (yes, I am dating myself with this reference). Maybe Anthony Bass is back around for another shot. He pitched the ninth Sunday, but the M’s were down by two runs. Scott Pianowski spent $99 to hook Bass.

Another new closer is Archie Bradley in Arizona, replacing (again) imploded Greg Holland. Brent Hershey spent $83 to land Bradley.

Eric Karabell likes shortstop Isan Diaz of the Marlins enough to submit a winning bid of $73. A call-up for the talented prospect is said to be imminent.

Review all 8/4 Mixed Auction bids here.

Mixed Draft

25 players found new homes in FAAB bidding this week in Mixed Draft, but spending was centered on two owners.

Arizona’s closer Bradley led the way, fetching $104 of the bankroll of league co-leader Rudy Gamble. He also acquired Royal Chelsor Cuthbert for $54.

D.J. Short dropped $145 on a trio of players – no-hit Astros starter Aaron Sanchez ($70), the Marlins’ Diaz ($45) and A’s outfielder Stephen Piscotty ($30).

Review all 8/4 Mixed Draft bids here.

Head to Head

24 free agents were acquired in the Head-to-Head League this Sunday evening.

Top dollar was the $188 pitching analyst Paul Sporer spent on former Jays-now Astros hurler Sanchez.

From there, the bidding dropped dramatically, to the $41 of Ian Kahn’s FAAB used to acquire new Dodgers starter May.

Next up was the $36 paid by Andrea LaMont for Blake Treinen of Oakland. The results have been there, but the right-hander’s chances to reclaim the closer’s job seem cloudy.

Review all 8/4 Head to Head bids here.