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AL Fantasy Baseball Lineup Takeaways: 08/30

Time to catch up on all the latest news on American League lineups. Just as with the National League, there is plenty to dive into, including some possible impacts of the looming trade deadline. The five hottest hitters in the American League over the past 10 days have been: Adam Duvall, Julio Rodriguez, Anthony Santander, Luis Rengifo, and Max Kepler. Keep in mind the stats detailed below are through August 28. I will try to include any last-minute updates that come through from yesterday’s action. Keep reading for notes on all 15 American League lineups.

More great fantasy baseball advice and analysis: Waiver Wire & FAAB Recommendations | Daily MLB Injury Report | MLB DFS Picks | Line-up Analysis | Dynasty Rankings and Strategy | MLB Bullpen Updates | MLB Player Props | Prospect Rankings & Analysis | Fantasy Baseball Risers and Fallers

Fantasy Baseball Lineup Takeaways

AL East

New York Yankees

  • Everson Pereira is up from Triple-A and batting seventh in the lineup
    • Pereira was one of the hottest hitters in the Minor Leagues during the second half and is now getting his chance at the Major League level
    • There is big-time power in Pereira’s profile, although it comes with concerns about plate discipline and contact metrics. He is already showing a tendency to strike out a lot
    • He is worth a look in 14+ team leagues but is not a must-roster prospect
  • Oswald Peraza is also back from Triple-A and getting a chance to play every day
    • Peraza is primarily playing third base while batting eighth or ninth in the lineup
    • He has an interesting skill set of speed and power making him an intriguing fantasy asset although he is difficult to recommend rostering due to his struggles at the Major League level. He is somebody to keep on your watch list
    • With Peraza up, Isaiah Kiner-Falefa has seen his playing time take a hit. IKF should not be rostered in any leagues
  • Anthony Volpe is now batting fifth or sixth in the lineup on a regular basis
    • Volpe has quietly had a very strong second half and is an excellent target in keeper/dynasty leagues
    • He is very close to posting a 20/20 season despite many considering him to be a disappointment in 2023. Expect big things from Volpe in the years to come
  • Anthony Rizzo is taking batting practice
    • Rizzo continues to work his way back from a concussion he suffered months ago
    • When Rizzo returns this season he profiles to eat into the playing time of both DJ LeMahieu and Oswald Peraza
    • There is the possibility that Rizzo sits against some lefties moving forward as well
  • Harrison Bader was placed on waivers on Tuesday
    • If Bader’s time in New York is finished, the team could give Estevan Florial a chance
    • Josh Donaldson was also placed on waivers. He was already in a bench role, but Oswaldo Cabrera could see additional playing time with this move

Boston Red Sox

  • Adam Duvall has stepped back into an everyday role
    • Duvall is getting a chance to bat in the middle of the lineup and has been red-hot at the plate
    • He has hit safely in eight straight games including six home runs during that span
    • Duvall will likely always be a streaky power hitter due to his inconsistent contact metrics and plate discipline
    • With a timeline still undetermined for Jarren Duran’s return, Duvall should continue to get regular playing time
  • Wilyer Abreu is up from Triple-A but on the paternity list
    • Abreu had hit 22 home runs in Triple-A before his promotion and has gotten off to a fast start at the Major League level
    • His playing time is inconsistent so far but when he plays, he is batting seventh in the lineup
    • He holds the most value in OBP leagues but is not somebody worth rostering until his playing time increases
    • Masataka Yoshida is seeing his playing time decrease as a result of the crowded outfield
    • With Abreu on the PL, another prospect in Ceddanne Rafaela was called up from Triple-A. Rafaela has blazing speed although there are hit tool concerns
    • I am skeptical Rafaela will make a seamless transition and he could struggle for playing time early
  • Connor Wong is playing well as the primary catcher for Boston
    • Wong is batting ninth in the lineup and drawing the majority of starts
    • He has two home runs, two stolen bases, and a batting average of .319 since August 7
    • The batting average is bound to come down, but he is worth a look in deeper leagues where there are 18+ catchers rostered

Tampa Bay Rays

  • Josh Lowe is moving up in the lineup
    • Lowe is still on the bench against most lefties, but he is batting third or fourth against righties
    • Since the start of August, Lowe is batting .324/.361/.544 while striking out less than 20% of the time
    • If Lowe can continue to keep his strikeout rate down, he will continue to be a strong asset that gets a boost in daily leagues where you can take him out against lefties
  • Francisco Mejia was DFA’d
    • Mejia was just never able to figure things out at the Major League level
    • Christian Bethancourt and Rene Pinto will share time at catcher moving forward
    • Neither one is worth rostering in fantasy
  • Curtis Mead was sent back to Triple-A
    • Mead posted a 99 wRC+ in his brief time in Tampa, but will go back to Triple-A where he can get regular at-bats
    • I would not be surprised if we see him back in Tampa once rosters expand in September

Toronto Blue Jays

  • Matt Chapman is on the IL with a finger injury
    • Chapman missed three games earlier this season with the same issue and now lands on the IL
    • He was already in the midst of a major slump at the plate and now this hurts his value even more
    • After such a strong start to the season, Chapman is no longer a player who needs to be rostered in shallow leagues
    • With Chapman out, Davis Schneider is most likely to see his playing time increase. There is also a chance the team could promote prospect Addison Barger soon
  • Danny Jansen is getting more run as Toronto’s primary catcher
    • Jansen and Alejandro Kirk have been splitting time for the majority of the season
    • Jansen has more upside from a fantasy perspective although it is a bit concerning he has not hit a home run since August 1
    • His barrel rate has dropped recently which is the primary reason to his recent power outage. I expect Kirk and Jansen to move back into a timeshare relatively soon

Baltimore Orioles

  • Ramon Urias and Jordan Westburg continue to split time in the infield
    • Everything in Westburg’s profile is very encouraging from a player development standpoint. He has excellent exit velocities, a high line drive rate, and already has four stolen bases
    • He continues to be a buy-low target of mine in keeper/dynasty leagues
    • For redraft formats, he is a difficult player to roster due to inconsistent playing time. This could increase if Urias continues to struggle offensively
  • Austin Hays has been hitting for more power in the month of August
    • Hays has three home runs since August 9 bringing his season total to 13
    • Not much has changed in his batted-ball quality and I do not expect this power surge to continue

AL West

Houston Astros

  • Jose Abreu is back from the IL
    • Abreu has slotted back into the seventh spot in the lineup since returning although he has been on the bench twice already when facing right-handed starters
    • This season has been a major disappointment for Abreu and this might be the first sign of him losing playing time moving forward
    • Jon Singleton has been getting more playing time against righties although he has pretty significant reverse splits in a small sample this season
    • If Abreu is not playing every day, he is not worth rostering
  • Yainer Diaz has forced his way back into an everyday role
    • Diaz is splitting time between DH and catcher batting fifth in the lineup most nights
    • The fact that Diaz is up to 19 home runs in less than 100 games played is incredible and he has a chance to be a top-five catcher in future seasons
    • Diaz should be rostered in all leagues where he is available
    • With Diaz getting into the lineup more often, Yordan Alvarez is playing the outfield and Jake Meyers has moved into a bench role
    • The one wild card here is the return of Michael Brantley who is finally back from the IL
    • Brantley could take playing time away from a variety of players moving forward
  • Alex Bregman is heating up just in time for the push for October
    • Bregman’s season as a whole has been a bit disappointing, but he is showing up in a big way recently
    • Since August 7, Bregman is batting over .350 with plenty of power
    • Batting second in a strong lineup provides Bregman with plenty of fantasy value even when he is not playing as well as he has recently

Los Angeles Angels

  • Logan O’Hoppe is back after an extended stay on the IL
    • O’Hoppe was off to a fast start early this season and has stepped back into the starting catcher spot
    • He has been batting between fourth and sixth in the lineup since returning and appears to still be working on his timing
    • O’Hoppe is a strong player to target in keeper leagues where he profiles to be a strong catching option over the next several years
  • Luis Rengifo is batting leadoff against lefties and in the middle of the lineup against righties
    • Rengifo has been excellent lately and has been a really steady performer for the entire month of August
    • Lately, he is striking out less, walking more, and hitting the ball harder than before
    • There is sneaky power in his profile and he is a strong option with a desirable lineup spot
  • With Mike Trout back on the IL, Mickey Moniak will hang onto his starting job
    • Moniak’s season has really fallen off the rails since his incredible start
    • The power and quality of contact are excellent, but Moniak does not make enough contact to be a reliable fantasy asset. He is striking out over 40% of the time since July 20
    • I am not rostering Moniak in any leagues until he proves he can make contact enough to be a useful fantasy asset
  • Hunter Renfroe was reportedly placed on waivers after last night’s game
    • If Renfroe’s time in LA is done, Jo Adell or Trey Cabbage could see their playing time increase

Texas Rangers

  • Jonah Heim has slid down in the lineup
    • Heim, who was batting fifth a little while ago, has been batting seventh or eighth more recently
    • His old spot in the lineup appears to have been given to Mitch Garver who continues to play well and get more starts at catcher
    • Heim has really been struggling offensively since his injury which was supposed to keep him out longer than it did. There is the possibility that Heim is playing injured. He is no longer a player that needs to be rostered in shallow leagues
  • JP Martinez is no longer getting consistent playing time
    • Martinez’s run as a starter was short-lived as he has moved back into a bench role
    • The team clearly prefers Leody Taveras and Travis Jankowski to Martinez at this point
    • Taveras has just one home run and no stolen bases since the start of August despite hitting the ball extremely hard this month
    • He should start seeing his luck improve and is a sneaky add in leagues where he was dropped

Oakland Athletics

  • Jordan Diaz has lost his spot in the starting lineup
    • Despite making solid gains in several areas of his game, Oakland has decided to give another chance to Jonah Bride who is batting eighth in the lineup
    • Bride was putting together a strong season in Triple-A, but has never had much success at the Major League level
    • Neither Bride nor Diaz are worth rostering in fantasy at this point and will likely split playing time for the remainder of the season
  • Esteury Ruiz has also lost his starting spot
    • You have to admire Oakland’s ability to give up on young players exceedingly fast
    • Ruiz was only really contributing in the stolen base category for fantasy purposes and without consistent playing time, he is not worth rostering
    • Tony Kemp is getting consistent starts in the outfield batting fifth in the lineup
  • Ryan Noda is back from the IL
    • In a corresponding move, the Athletics sent Tyler Soderstrom back to Triple-A
    • Soderstrom struggled to limit the strikeout rate in the Major Leagues this season while also hitting too many ground balls to find success
    • Noda is batting leadoff against righties and can be a valuable source of power and on-base percentage for teams where you need help in those categories

Seattle Mariners

  • Josh Rojas is getting consistent run as the second baseman
    • The Mariners have been desperate for offensive production from the second base position this year and are finally getting some from Rojas
    • Since August 13, Rojas is batting over .350 with three home runs and four stolen bases
    • Although his BABIP is bound to come back down, Rojas is hitting the ball harder and has plenty of speed to be a fantasy asset
    • He is worth a look if you are in need of help at second base
  • Teoscar Hernandez is back
    • Hernandez has not been injured, but rather just disappointing this season
    • He now has five home runs since August 15 with an average over .400
    • Hernandez has proven to be a reliable source of power in the past and looks primed to be a potential league winner down the stretch
  • Dominic Canzone has taken control of the left field job
    • Canzone is batting seventh in the lineup and has been playing very well lately
    • His quality of contact has been very strong although the chase rate remains a major red flag
    • I am not prioritizing adding Canzone, but he is worth keeping an eye on
  • Julio Rodriguez was scratched on Tuesday
    • Hopefully, this is just a minor issue and Rodriguez will not miss extended time
    • If he is forced to take a trip to the IL, Cade Marlowe is most likely to see his playing time increase

AL Central

Detroit Tigers

  • Parker Meadows is up from Triple-A
    • Meadows is batting all over the back half of the lineup since his promotion
    • Meadows has played well in a small sample although the strikeout rate is a major concern
    • He has plenty of power and speed to be fantasy-relevant, but will not be a useful asset if he strikes out as much as he has early on
  • Akil Baddoo is seeing his playing time decrease
    • Maybe it is just Detroit’s way of doing right by Miguel Cabrera, but he has been the one to get more time in the lineup
    • If Baddoo is no longer playing against all right-handed starters, he is not worth holding onto even in deep leagues
  • Kerry Carpenter continues to be an underrated fantasy asset
    • At just 25 years old, Carpenter is now up to 20 home runs and is batting almost .400 since August 5
    • The average will not stay up as high as it is, but his quality of contact is phenomenal and he has a chance to be an elite four-category contributor even on a struggling Tigers team
    • He is a great add in any league he is still available

Kansas City Royals

  • Drew Waters is moving up in the lineup
    • Waters has been batting fifth or sixth over the past week as some of his other teammates have gone cold at the plate
    • Waters himself has looked a little bit better at the plate recently lowering his strikeout rate and increasing his walk percentage
    • The quality of contact is there for Waters to have success if he can maintain these improvements to his plate discipline
  • Michael Massey has cooled back off offensively
    • Massey has not worked a walk since August 8 and is batting just .222 since then
    • With his recent struggles, Massey is not worth holding onto

Chicago White Sox

  • The team promoted Korey Lee from Triple-A
    • Lee was acquired from Houston at the trade deadline and has shown big-time power in the Minor Leagues
    • He is currently batting ninth in the lineup and playing regularly over Yasmani Grandal
    • The biggest issue with Lee is going to be limiting his strikeout rate which he has appeared unable to do early in his Major League career. I am not adding Lee anywhere at this point
  • Yoan Moncada has quietly been playing very well
    • Moncada is batting in the middle of Chicago’s lineup with an average well over .300 since August 8
    • The quality of contact looks strong, but he is running an unsustainable BABIP that is bound to regress
    • I am not fully buying this breakout/bounce back but he is definitely worth a look if you need third base help
  • Lenyn Sosa is batting eighth in the lineup since returning from Triple-A
    • Sosa quietly has three home runs and a double-digit barrel rate since returning on August 18
    • He is worth a look in deep leagues as he continues to get regular playing time

Minnesota Twins

  • Donovan Solano has stepped into the everyday first baseman role
    • Solano has been batting at the bottom of the lineup against righties and lead-off against lefties
    • He is hitting for an excellent average and posting strong on-base percentage numbers lately, but there is not much power in his profile limiting his fantasy ceiling
    • Joey Gallo has moved into a bench role as a result of this change and is not worth rostering in any leagues
  • Jorge Polanco has been excellent lately
    • Polanco is batting fifth against righties and moving up to second against lefties
    • He has an average of well over .300 with four home runs and two stolen bases since August 11
    • Polanco’s quality of contact is excellent and even his walk rate is improving. He has a chance to be a league-winning type player if he can stay healthy
  • Eduoard Julien’s power has really slowed down
    • Julien has just one home run since July 28 with an average below .250 during that span
    • He continues to bat leadoff against righties although this could change if his struggles continue
    • I would not be relying on him to play a big part in your championship run if you are rostering him

Cleveland Guardians

  • Brayan Rocchio was sent back to Triple-A
    • Rocchio did not do enough to earn regular at-bats, so the team decided to let him continue his development at the Minor League level
    • Gabriel Arias has continued to receive the majority of starts at shortstop batting seventh in the lineup
    • He continues to strike out too much to be fantasy-relevant
    • Tyler Freeman could see his playing time increase down the stretch if Arias continues struggling
  • Kole Calhoun continues to bat in the middle of the lineup and play first base
    • Calhoun is posting solid wRC+ numbers since joining Cleveland along with two home runs
    • His average has started to come back down over the past week and I am not targeting him as somebody to add in fantasy
  • Josh Naylor is nearing a return
    • All signs have been positive in Naylor’s rehab process and he should be back in the next week or two
    • When Naylor returns to the lineup, Kole Calhoun could lose playing time
    • The other option is for Cleveland to move Calhoun to DH and Will Brennen to the bench
    • Brennen and Oscar Gonzalez have been splitting playing time although neither one is worth rostering in fantasy
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