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FAAB Factor - AL: McCarthy Coming Into His Own

Andrew Fiorentino

Andrew Fiorentino

A degenerate fantasy player since the age of 13.

STARTING PITCHERS

Philip Humber, SP, CWS - One of the season's biggest surprises on the mound, the amazingly effective Humber has been activated from the DL and draws a user-friendly start in Minnesota on Monday. Though his strikeout rate is low, FIP supports his 3.63 ERA, and even xFIP (which tends to aim high) is only 0.40 higher. Plus he gets two starts next week. Mixed: $2; AL: $4

Tyler Chatwood, SP, LAA - Barring injury, Chatwood may not get another chance to start this year unless someone gets hurt, as he was lit up in his spot start on Friday. Just recalled after a short spell in Triple-A, he has an unsightly 1.63 WHIP in 24 MLB starts, putting the lie to a 4.63 ERA that isn't impressive to begin with. Mixed: $0

Jacob Turner, SP, DET - One of the game's top pitching prospects, the 20-year-old Turner has been rushed through the system in a manner reminiscent of another Tigers starter, Rick Porcello. He had a rough time in his second start of the year, spotting the Royals six runs on Thursday, and you can expect up-and-down results from here on out. It's possible he'll be used out of the bullpen for the most part, too. Mixed: $0; AL: $2

Brandon McCarthy, SP, OAK - What does Brandon McCarthy have to do to win your love, fantasy owners? Just 18% owned in Yahoo leagues, he's got a 3.41 ERA and 1.16 WHIP on the year, thanks in large part to great control (just 22 walks in 142.2 innings). He struck out 10 in a three-hit shutout of the Mariners on Saturday, his fourth complete game of the year, and he struck out 10 in the start before that, too. I see a pitcher who's just coming into his own at 28 thanks to injuries derailing his younger years. Buy. Roll. Enjoy. Mixed: $7; AL: $11

RELIEF PITCHERS

Addison Reed, RP, CWS - Perhaps the best relief prospect in the game, Reed was selected in the third round last year and has been absolutely dominant at each level in a meteoric rise from A ball to the majors this season. His numbers in the minors are staggering: 78.1 innings, 111 strikeouts, 14 walks, 43 hits, a 1.26 ERA and 0.728 WHIP. Yeah, you read right. He's the closer of the future, but for now, he'll throw strikeouts on the pile and help you with ratios down the stretch. Mixed: $0; AL: $1

Shane Lindsay, RP, CWS - Lindsay has interesting numbers in Triple-A this year, as he's been essentially unhittable (78 strikeouts and a ridiculous 28 hits in 63.2 innings), but he's walked the world at times - 51 bases on ball is a crazy-high rate. His first MLB inning of work went about as you'd expect: a scoreless inning with a walk and a strikeout. Mixed: $0; AL: $0

Andrew Carignan, RP, OAK - A closer in the minors, he's got no chance of that in Oakland with Andrew Bailey nailing things down, but Carignan could be a nice bullpen piece for the A's down the stretch, as he put together a 46:12 K:BB and 1.85 ERA in 39 relief innings across three levels this year. Mixed: $0; AL: $0

Josh Judy, RP, CLE - The 25-year-old Judy is a viable relief arm right now, using his power sinker to induce plenty of ground balls while striking out more than a batter per inning in Triple-A. Control has been a bit of an issue this year, but he never had control problems this extreme in the past, so it could be written off to sample size. Mixed: $0; AL: $0

Nick Hagadone, RP, CLE - Before Tommy John surgery in 2008, Hagadone was a very good prospect as a starter, but things declined for him and now he's landed in the bullpen, where he's reclaimed his career with a nice season in Double-A and Triple-A this year. Had a rough MLB debut, though, giving up three runs in 1.2 innings. Mixed: $0; AL: $0

CATCHERS

Jesus Montero, C, NYY - Montero's started two out of three games since being called up, and he appears to be in line to get most of his time at DH, with perhaps an occasional catching fill-in. He's got great potential at the dish and he could produce some in a stacked Yankees lineup, but he's a long way from being what he's going to be eventually. In yearly leagues, there's no reason to go nuts for him. Mixed: $1; AL: $4

CORNER INFIELDERS

Justin Smoak, 1B, SEA - Still widely available (that .222 average helps), Smoak has returned from a broken nose that sent him to the DL. We all know the upside for the former first-round pick who was traded for Cliff Lee not so long ago; perhaps he'll finally get back on track against watered-down September pitching. I wouldn't bet the house on it, though. Mixed: $1; AL: $2

MIDDLE INFIELDERS

Adam Rosales, 2B, OAK - A utility player, and not a particularly good one, Rosales went 4-for-48 with the A's earlier this year and now has been called back up. He was more useful last season, putting together a .721 OPS as a fill-in with the help of a .339 BABIP, but fortune hasn't been as kind to him this year. Mixed: $0; AL: $0

Cliff Pennington, SS, OAK - Pennington has been fantasy-relevant in stretches, and he's in another one of those now, as the widely available shortstop has gone 19-for-52 (.365) over the past two weeks with a couple homers, 15 RBI and four steals. That'll help. Mixed: $0; AL: $2

OUTFIELDERS/DH

Austin Jackson, OF, DET - The top-ranked player in Yahoo leagues over the past two weeks, Jackson's been especially hot lately, collecting 16 hits in his last six games and flashing both power and speed. With this run, he's actually pushed his OPS over .700 for the first time since April 6. Jackson has been disappointing in every category but steals this year after a fine (if lucky) rookie season, but perhaps he's finally getting his act together. Mixed: $4; AL: $6

Brandon Guyer, OF, TB - One of the more intriguing bats to be called up in September, Guyer ripped off a .312/384/.521 line in Triple-A this year with 14 homers and 16 steals. He'll get a good number of at-bats in the final month of the season, but not every day. Still, that power-speed combo plays in deeper AL-only formats even if his at-bats are limited. Mixed: $0; AL: $2

Michael Taylor, OF, OAK - After a horrendous 2010, the one-time top prospect had a better year in Triple-A his second time around, collecting 16 homers and 14 steals, but still only hit .272 with a less-than-awe-inspiring .816 OPS. It sounds like he's going to be sharing a platoon for now, which isn't exciting either. Mixed: $0; AL: $0

David Murphy, OF, TEX - I'm sure he's appeared here before, but with Nelson Cruz out, Murphy's been the fill-in, and he's been absolutely raking. He's on an eight-game hitting streak in which he's homered three times and stolen two bases, and he has a clear line on playing time in a great lineup 'til the injury-prone Cruz returns. What more can you want? Mixed: $2; AL: $6

Jeremy Moore, OF, LAA - Unfortunately for him, Moore enters an already-crowded outfield situation in Anaheim instead of being called up to a team that could actually use him. The 24-year-old ripped off a .298/.331/.545 line in Triple-A this year, bopping 15 homers (and 18 triples!) and stealing 21 bases. Plate discipline is… a problem, to say the least, as he walked only 21 times while collecting 114 strikeouts. Mixed: $0; AL: $1

Andy Dirks, OF, DET - Thanks to a Brennan Boesch injury, Dirks has a short-term line on some playing time. He's been very productive in 41 Triple-A games (.325, .890 OPS, seven homers, 12 steals) and has shown some of that in his 62 MLB games. There's a nice power-speed combo lurking here if he ever finds full-time work. Mixed: $0; AL: $1