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White Sox’s Elvis Andrus providing late fantasy baseball spark

This is it! 

After Sunday, there are 10 days until the fantasy baseball season ends and your league will crown its champion. Though most of your league turned its focus to fantasy football ages ago, you’re still here, you still have something to play for (that, or you just love reading Roto Rage’s thoughts on late-season pickups — and, well, thank you for that). 

This is not the time to sit idly by. You have to find a player, or players, who can give your team a boost in as many categories as possible. 

Elvis Andrus stands out as one widely available player who can give you everything you need. 

Since joining the White Sox on Aug. 19, the veteran shortstop has been swinging a red-hot bat. He hit .305 with six homers, 22 RBIs, 21 runs, eight stolen bases and a .842 OPS in his first 31 games in Chicago. 

This month, Andrus had at least one hit in 17 of his first 20 games while hitting .333 with five homers, 16 RBIs, 17 runs and seven stolen bases (including six in his past nine games before Friday). He had a .563 slugging percentage and .940 OPS in that span. 

Elvis Andrus
Elvis Andrus can provide a vital boost for the fantasy baseball playoffs.
Getty Images

Andrus was the most added player in ESPN leagues this week, but remains more than 55 percent available. That is insane, because adding a red-hot bat like his to your roster this late in the season could be difference between winning and losing a title. If he is available, grab him. 

Here is a look at other widely available hitters who offer categorical boosts for your title run: 

Home runs

The Angels’ Luis Rengifo (24.1 percent), who is eligible at every infield position aside from first base, has 10 homers in the second half, including four this month. It doesn’t hurt that he has hit .291 since the break. 

Yes, Oneil Cruz (34.6 percent) strikes out in nearly 40 percent of his at-bats, but the Pittsburgh rookie was hitting .264 with a .940 OPS and six home runs in 18 games before Friday. He has smashed 13 homers and driven in 34 runs since the break. 

Despite entering Friday 2-for-19 (.105) over his past seven games, Oakland’s Seth Brown (15.8 percent rostered) had six homers, 12 RBIs and a .927 OPS for the month while hitting a respectable .262. Multi-position eligibility helps, too. 

Seth Brown
Seth Brown possesses multiple-position fantasy baseball eligibility.

If you’re desperate, Seattle’s Carlos Santana (46.4 percent rostered) entered the weekend with seven homers this month, despite hitting .193. But his team is playing for a playoff spot and will face off against three of the worst-pitching teams (Rangers, Athletics, Tigers) in the majors. 


Eligible at shortstop and third base, Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson (31.8 percent) hit .312 with three homers, 15 RBIs (11 in his previous nine games) and .894 OPS since getting called up on Aug. 31. 

Rengifo can also help out here, as he has driven in 32 runs in the second half, the 35th-best mark in the majors. 

Cleveland’s Oscar Gonzalez (26.7 percent rostered) drove in 15 runs (12 in his previous 15 games) while hitting .297 in his first 22 games this month. He drove in 24 while hitting .291 in the second half. 


Not only did Oakland’s Tony Kemp (16.9 percent) have at least one RBI in five of his past nine games before Friday, but also he scored 10 times in that span. He did that while hitting .371 with three homers, 10 RBIs, two stolen bases and a 1.207 OPS. He has scored 22 runs (and driven in 19) in 28 games since Aug. 20 while hitting .314 and stealing three bases. 

Stolen bases

Nate Eaton’s (1.6 percent) eight stolen bases were tied for the league-lead before Friday. The Kansas City rookie had five thefts in his previous six games. It doesn’t hurt that he was also hitting .368 with a .429 OBP in September, and had stolen 10 bases in 24 games from Aug. 11 through Thursday. 

Texas’ Bubba Thompson (6.0 percent) was tied with Eaton for the most thefts this month, and he had stolen 13 bases in 32 games since Aug. 17 (16 in the second half), while hitting .294 with a .337 OBP. 

Bubba Thompson steals second base.
Bubba Thompson steals second base.
Getty Images

The Yankees’ Isiah Kiner-Falefa (16.4 percent rostered) stole 20 bases in his first 120 games, and five of them have come this month while hitting .283 with a .349 OBP. 


Since arriving in Washington, 30-year-old rookie Joey Meneses (39.2) has done nothing but hit. He hit .328 with 10 homers, 25 RBIs, 27 runs and a .927 OPS in his first 43 big league games — and .321 with four homer, 14 RBIs and a .891 OPS in 19 games before Friday. Meneses is a .312 hitter at home, where the Nationals will play seven of their final 10 games. 

Any guesses as to which Angels player is also an option? Rengifo entered the weekend hitting .312 this month and .291 in the second half.

Big hits

Hunter Greene SP, Reds 

He is 0-1 with a 1.64 ERA, 19-3 strikeout-walk rate and .154 opponents’ average in his first two starts off the IL. He is 1-3 over his past six starts, but had a 2.36 ERA, 48-11 strikeout-walk rate and .198 opponents’ average. 

Javier Baez 2B/SS, Tigers 

The two-time All-Star entered the weekend hitting .348 with three homers, 11 RBIs, 10 runs and a .940 OPS in his first 19 games this month. 

Javier Baez
Javier Baez

Kyle Freeland SP, Rockies 

Allowed four ERs over his first four starts (24 ¹/₃ innings) this month, going 2-1 with a 1.48 ERA, 20 strikeouts and a .244 opponents’ average. 

Willy Adames SS, Brewers 

Had at least one hit in 12 of his previous 13 games, going 19-for-48 (.396) with five homers, 16 RBIs, 12 runs, two stolen bases and a 1.333 OPS. 

Big whiffs

Edward Cabrera SP, Marlins 

Despite going 2-2 over his past five starts, he had a 5.06 ERA (6.86 FIP) with 14 walks and seven homers allowed in that span. 

Cedric Mullins OF, Orioles 

Entered Friday with no homers or RBIs in his previous 10 games, and hit .212 with a .278 OBP and .581 OPS in that span. 

Pablo Lopez SP, Marlins 

After going 6-4 with a 2.86 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and .210 opponents’ average in the first half, he is 3-6 with a 5.57 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and .284 opponents average since the All-Star break. 

Bryce Harper OF, Phillies 

In his first 17 games this month, the reigning NL MVP hit .154 with two homers, five RBIs, 24 strikeouts, just eight walks and a .539 OPS. 

Check swings

  • Not only did Cleveland’s Amed Rosario steal five bases in his first 21 games this month (also four in past six games, and eight since the All-Star break), but also he hit .271 with three homers, 15 RBIs, 11 runs and .396 slugging percentage. 
  • Speaking of Guardians outfielders, Steven Kwan struck out just seven times in his first 21 games this month, while hitting .308 with five stolen bases, 14 runs, two homers, seven RBIs, 11 walks and a .817 OPS. 
  • Before taking the mound Saturday, the Giants’ Alex Cobb had not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his past 10 starts. He was 3-2 with a 2.45 ERA, 62-18 strikeout-walk rate and .239 opponents’ average in that span. The veteran was 2-0 with a 1.90 ERA and .230 opponents’ average over his first four starts this month. 
  • If you own any Mariners pitchers (including Marco Gonzales, as nerve-racking as that might be when playing for a title), start them over the final week-plus of baseball. Not only are they playing for a wild-card spot, but also they have the softest schedule: Rangers, Athletics and Tigers. 
  • Freddie Freeman had at least one hit in 13 of his past 16 games for the Dodgers entering Friday — going 22-for-58 (.379) with four homers, 12 RBIs, 14 runs and a stolen base, which was his career-high 12th of the season. He had a 1.107 OPS (.621 slugging percentage) and a 9-13 strikeout-walk rate. 
  • In his first four starts this month, the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA, 29-4 strikeout-walk rate and .164 opponents’ average. He is 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA, 15-1 K-BB and .170 opponents’ average over his past two. 
  • Despite hitting .236 this season entering the weekend, the Mets’ Eduardo Escobar was having his best month of the season. He was 24-for-71 (.338) with six homers, 13 RBIs, 13 runs and a 1.062 OPS in his first 20 games in September. 

Team name of the week

Smart Alek

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