The impending return of Lance Lynn on Monday might occupy the day’s spotlight for the Chicago White Sox, but a scorching-hot bat from their lineup stands out among fantasy baseball pickups for Week 10. Here are three names you should add, and with the possible exception of super-shallow leagues (ESPN’s standard or smaller), get into all of your lineups:
A onetime 60-grade-power, top-100 overall prospect (entering 2018, on some offsite lists), Burger ruptured his left Achilles’ tendon in a Cactus League game in February 2018, only to re-tear the same ligament 10 weeks later during his rehabilitation process, costing him the entirety of that season. He’d then miss all of 2019 due to a bruised heel in the same leg and spent 2020 with the White Sox’s team at the alternate site. Burger had 18 home runs and .239 isolated power with Triple-A Charlotte to begin 2021, earning a brief look with the big-league club, and two additional stints with the team this year. However, it’s his recent stint that has stood out. Since his May 24 recall, Burger has batted .322/.385/.712 with six home runs, 16 RBIs and 12 runs scored in 16 games. He moved into regular duty between third base and designated hitter while occupying the No. 5 spot in the lineup for each of his past four games. In the process, Burger has shown exceptional pop in the majors this year with a 16.7% Barrel rate per Statcast in the 95th percentile, a 44.4% hard-hit rate in the 73rd percentile and a 33.3% fly-ball rate in the 86th percentile. That’s a hot streak well worth exploiting, especially with a three-game, week-opening series against an injury-ravaged Detroit Tigers rotation ahead.
Speaking of hot streaks, why not ride one that matches up with one of Week 10’s most favorable hitting schedules? Stott has batted .333/.400/.694 with four home runs, 11 RBIs, one stolen base and 12 runs scored while playing all 10 of the Phillies’ game during their 9-1 run, earning regular play between second base and shortstop regardless of the opposing starter’s handedness. In the process, he posted an 83.3% contact rate that was significantly improved upon his 65.8% number in his 24 games that preceded it, also chasing pitches 6% less often and looking much more like the greater-disciplined prospect he had been in the minors. Stott isn’t a top-shelf prospect, possessing closer-to-mid-range skills, but that’s the kind of player who can capitalize upon the kind of eight-game schedule the Phillies have, one that includes five weekend games against a weak Washington Nationals rotation.
Kiley McDaniel’s No. 11 overall prospect entering the season, and No. 7 among prospects who aren’t now in the majors, Moreno was summoned from Triple-A Buffalo by the Blue Jays on Saturday. The team demoted Zack Collins in the process, opting to go with two catchers rather than three, while continuing to utilize Alejandro Kirk in a catcher/designated hitter hybrid role. That speaks volumes about Toronto’s confidence in Moreno to handle a regular role. He is a contact-hitting, line-drive type with a decent amount of quickness, his 86.7% career minor league contact rate underscores the likelihood that he should be able to adapt to big league pitching quicker than the typical catching prospect. The Blue Jays begin their week with four home games against a mediocre Baltimore Orioles pitching staff, if you’re hurting at catcher, he’s well worth the add-and-start.
Additional Week 10 notes
Injuries to Nathan Eovaldi (back) and Garrett Whitlock (hip) have cast the Boston Red Sox‘s rotation into flux, at a time where they’ll begin their week with three favorable home matchups against the Oakland Athletics. The team can move up Rich Hill and Michael Wacha to fill Wednesday’s and Thursday’s games, but keep an eye on their decision-making as they seek one fill-in between then and Saturday. The team’s top pitching prospect, Brayan Bello, has a 3.49 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 35.9% strikeout rate in his five starts since being promoted to Triple-A Worcester, and his prowess in the latter department makes him a worthy stash if you have the space in a deeper mixed or AL-only league.
While the White Sox indicate that Michael Kopech, who left Sunday’s game after only 13 pitches due to knee discomfort, might be ready to take his regular turn in the rotation next Sunday, the matchup is on the road against the potent Houston Astros which makes him a pitcher to sit for Week 10. The aforementioned Lynn, who already has a great return matchup at Detroit, could pick up a second start if Kopech isn’t ready. The White Sox will also need a fill-in starter for Wednesday, though the team could go again with a Reynaldo Lopez-opener, Davis Martin-bulk strategy then.
The San Diego Padres, who typically prefer to give their starters a minimum of five days’ rest, have a decision to make for Wednesday’s game at the Chicago Cubs as Mike Clevinger is on the COVID-19 injured list. Bear in mind that the team concludes Week 10 with three games at Coors Field and rookie MacKenzie Gore appears to be their only lock to make a start (the others could move up or back a day as needed). Gore was hammered in his last turn, surrendering six runs in 2 2/3 innings.