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The Cut List (Week 20) - Time to Let Go?


It's now really getting to that point in the fantasy season where cuts are going to be highly based on statistical needs, which are much more obvious now than they were in April and May. This is more true of hitters, whose production in each statistic can vary more widely than for pitchers.

Additionally, with the season two-thirds over and no August waiver trades, player values are also largely well established at this point. There are far fewer obvious cases of failing sleepers or stale breakouts. So the recommendations become softer with more room for league context as time goes on.

Stats are through Saturday, August 10th unless otherwise noted. Weekly reminders: Recommendations are for mixed leagues. Recommendations in one league size obviously apply to smaller leagues. You can also feel free to drop a shallower suggestion in a deeper league, but the dividing line is generally there for a reason. And, as usual, you can find ideas on how to replace your cut candidates at the Waiver Wire Pickup List.

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10-Team Cut Candidates

David Dahl (OF, COL)

David Dahl has been one of the best outfielders in baseball this season, but he was carted off over the weekend and diagnosed with a high ankle sprain. The Rockies are hoping he can return by September, but you never know how long the swelling will take to alleviate. Once he returns, the Rockies are on the road for most of the month in pitcher-friendly ballparks (Dodgers x2, Padres, Giants). Raimel Tapia may be worth a look while the Rockies are at home in August, as he’s sported a .362 wOBA vs righties in Coors Field. It may not be easy to drop the 11th ranked OF in baseball, but I’d bite the bullet and make the smart move.

Yonny Chirinos (SP, TB)

Chirinos is having a solid season for the Rays, boasting a 4.04 xFIP on his way to a 9-5 record and 8 K/9. He’s walking less than two batters per nine innings and doesn’t often get blown up. With that being said, he’s been much worse in the second half and is now on the 10-day IL. If you need production now out of your starter, cut ties with Chirinos. He’s already on a pitch count and this inflammation will hold him back for at least two starts once he returns. There are better options on the waiver wire.

 

12-Team Cut Candidates

Josh VanMeter (OF, CIN)

The fantasy world got excited about the crazy .536 wOBA in July and Van Meter rose to over 60% owned. It makes sense if you don’t investigate, but a look at his .423 BABIP and 20% HR/FB in the month tell the real story. Van Meter isn’t getting any worse as a player, but simply regressing to where he should have always been. He’s not seeing the lineup vs lefties and his true wOBA vs righties is closer to .334. He may be worth holding on to in a deeper league, but you can safely move on in a 12-teamer.

Ramon Laureano (OF, OAK)

Laureano is going to miss at least a month from his injury, ideally returning him to play against the Angels at home on September 3rd. It could be even longer, and you might not be in a position to wait if you need production now. There is always production to be found in the outfield and Laureano is a dominant offensive player, anyway. He has power, but his peripherals suggest he’s hitting over his head and the last month schedule isn’t all that friendly. Unless you’re locked into the playoffs, Laureano isn’t valuable enough to hold onto a 0 for the next month and possibly longer.

 

14-Team Cut Candidates

Zach Davies (SP, MIL)

Davies has gone to the IL, but that might just be saving your team from crashing. He’s allowed 17 earned runs over his last three starts and hasn’t been able to get lefties out all season long. His ERA is finally catching up to his xFIP and I see no reason to stick around while he gets beat up. He’s also going to be out for the rest of this month, so you can do much better with a waiver wire pitcher. Davies is going to come back into a tight divisional race and get bullied around as he slowly recovers from injury. You can drop him safely in any league.

Robinson Cano (2B, NYM)

The Mets have released the news that a return during the regular season for Cano is “not guaranteed”. For a guy that is no longer a dominant second baseman and rather replaceable, it’s time to let go. The Mets are on a roll without Cano and there’s no reason for him to be hurried back. Cut your losses with Cano and find another second baseman.

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