Here are what some talking heads think about fantasy baseball 2019:
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Chicago Cubs infielder Addison Russell (concussion) was able to play catch before Wednesday's game against the Cincinnati Reds. Russell who is still in concussion protocol was able to take batting practice and now throw. The Cubs don't have a timetable for his return, but he appears to be making progress. Ben Zobrist will bat leadoff and play second base versus righty Tyler Mahle. Zobrist has been hot with the bat since returning to the Cubs, so he's a decent DFS option for Wednesday.
Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (elbow) is expected to be activated off the 10-day injured list soon. Manager Joe Maddon says Kimbrel is on target to return to the bullpen in the next few days. Kimbrel was able to throw a 16-pitch simulated game on Tuesday. He's been sidelined since September 2 due to elbow inflammation. The Cubs are hopeful to get Kimbrel back for their weekend series.
Los Angeles Angels infielder Luis Rengifo (hand) has been placed on the 60-day injured list on Wednesday. Rengifo had X-rays taken on his hand and suffering an injury during Tuesday's contest. The tests revealed a fractured hamate bone in his left hand. His season is over after hitting .238/.321/.364 with seven homers and 33 RBI over 406 at-bats. The Angels will mix and match in the infield for the last week or so of the season. Rengifo should be ready to return by spring training next year.
Seattle Mariners outfielder Mallex Smith (rest) is out of the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Smith will get a routine day off here, but he should be back in the lineup next game. He won't be able to add to his league leading 44 steals, assuming he doesn't come off the bench. Dylan Moore will play center field and bat eighth versus righty Dario Agrazal. Moore has three hits in his last 19 at-bats. He's not a reliable option with the bat right now.
San Francisco Giants outfielder Alex Dickerson (oblique) is back in the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against the Boston Red Sox. Dickerson has been out of the lineup since September 3 due to an oblique injury. He was able to come off the bench and bat earlier in the week. He'll bat cleanup and play left field versus righty Jhoulys Chacin. DFS players will likely be able to find better options than Dickerson on Wednesday.
San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (back) is out of the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against the Boston Red Sox. Posey continues to deal with lower back tightness. The Giants have no reason to push their veteran catcher back onto the field. Aramis Garcia will bat ninth and draw the start behind the plate versus righty Jhoulys Chacin. Garcia doesn't have enough upside worth using in DFS contests. Posey is expected to return to the lineup as early as Thursday.
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun (rest) is out of the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against the San Diego Padres. Lorenzo Cain (rest) is out of the lineup as well, so the Brewers are loading up their lineup with left-handed hitters. Ben Gamel will bat sixth and play right field versus righty Dinelson Lamet. Gamel has been heating up with the bat, but still doesn't offer much upside in DFS contests.
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain (rest) is out of the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against the San Diego Padres. This is a routine day off for Cain, so he should be back in the lineup next game. Trent Grisham will bat leadoff and draw the start in center field versus righty Dinelson Lamet. Grisham has slowed down with the bat lately, so he's not the best choice for DFS contests on Wednesday.
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price (wrist) has been shut down for the rest of the 2019 season. This was an expected move, but it became official on Wednesday. Price is going to meet with a hand specialist to determine the next move. Price is owed over $30 for each of the next three seasons, so hopefully the Red Sox can solve this arm issue sooner rather than later.
San Diego Padres outfielder Wil Myers (arm) is back in the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against the Milwaukee Brewers. Myers was a late scratch from Tuesday's contest due to arm soreness. However, he was able to come off the bench and take an at-bat. Myers will bat fifth and play left field versus righty Adrian Houser. Myers is worth a look as a fairly reliable DFS option for Wednesday.
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Casey Sadler will draw the start against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday. Tony Gonsolin was expected to draw the start, but he might come out of the bullpen now. Sadler looks like he's going to be the "opener" and Gonsolin will pitch the bulk of the innings. This is a situation to avoid in fantasy formats.
Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (rest) is out of the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against the Texas Rangers. Correa returned to the lineup on Tuesday after being sidelined for about a month. It appears the Astros are going to be careful with Correa throughout the rest of the regular season. Alex Bregman will draw the start at shortstop and bat cleanup versus lefty Kolby Allard. Bregman has been in a bit of a slump lately, but remains a strong DFS option here.
Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner (ankle) is out of the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Turner has not played in a game since September 7 due to a sprained ankle. Chris Taylor will bat third and play third base versus lefty Brendan McKay. Taylor has three hits in his last 20 at-bats, so he's not worth a look in DFS contests.
New York Yankees RP Ryan Dull was claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday, Sept. 18. The Blue Jays also placed LHP Tim Mayza (elbow) on the 60-day injured list because of a ulnar collateral ligament injury.
New York Yankees RP Dellin Betances (Achilles) was placed on the 60-day injured list Wednesday, Sept. 18.
New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (knee) was activated off the Injured List on Wednesday and is headed right into the team's lineup for Wednesday's game against the Angels. He's hitting fifth and playing left field. Stanton hasn't seen the field since late June as he's been sidelined with a PCL strain in his right knee and recovering from other injuries as well. Stanton will likely take some time to get back into form, so he's a risky play in daily leagues or standard fantasy leagues. He's worth monitoring in season-long fantasy leagues, though, in case he heats up in the season's closing weeks.
Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Mike Moustakas continues to inch closer to his career-best home run season, which came when he hit 38 in 2017 with the Royals. On Tuesday, Moustakas hit 1-for-3 and blasted his 35th home run of the season. He is now slashing .262/.333/.535 with 85 RBI on the year. He's maintained a career-best 10.9% barrel rate this season, up from 8.8% last year. Moustakas is a fantastic source of power and should be targeted around the fourth round of fantasy drafts next season, but for now, keep inserting him into your lineup with confidence.
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain broke a substantial home run drought on Tuesday, hitting his first home run since July 31 and his ninth home run on the season. Cain is of course known more for his contact-hitting ability than his power, but he's had a down year all around. He's currently slashing just .251/.316/.352. The 33-year-old Cain doesn't need to be rostered in shallow leagues, but he's worth owning in NL-only leagues and 14+ team leagues as he can provide help in stolen bases and runs. He could end up being an intriguing late-round bounce-back candidate in drafts next year.
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel suffered his sixth loss of the season on Tuesday, giving up eight hits, one walk and five earned runs over five innings against the Phillies. Keuchel was fortunate his line wasn't even worse as he loaded the bases in the fifth inning with just one out, but was able to get out of the inning without allowing any additional runs to hurt his line. Keuchel is now 8-6 on the year with a 3.63 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. His next outing is a favorable one at home against the Giants on Sunday.
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Adam Plutko was solid on Tuesday, going six innings and allowing four hits, one walk and two earned runs while striking out six. He is now 7-4 on the season with a 4.34 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. Granted it was an easy matchup against the lowly Tigers, but Plutko has been a generally reliable starting option the past few months. Unfortunately, his next two outings appear to be difficult ones as he is slated to face the Phillies on Sunday, followed by the Nationals next week. Due to the difficulty of those next two matchups, he can be left on waivers in most leagues.
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