Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


The Cut List (Week 26) - Time to Let Go?

Here it is, the final week. With 96% of the season in the books, anyone can be considered droppable under the correct circumstances. Most obvious would be a situation where you have already hit a playing time cap and thus have no use for anyone who plays that position. Or if you are 15 home runs behind and 15 home runs ahead of your neighbors in the standings. Or if someone like Anthony Rizzo is out for the year.

That's mostly a joke, but also the Rizzo situation is a fluke. If you're in a redraft league and still have Christian Yelich or Joey Gallo or Ketel Marte or all three (sobs), it is safe to let them go. But let's try to find some tougher calls than that.

Stats are through Friday, September 20, unless otherwise noted. Weekly reminders: Recommendations are for mixed leagues -- redraft, unless otherwise noted, as keeper leagues have their own rules. 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.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off. Exclusive access to our Draft Kit, premium rankings, projections, player outlooks, top prospects, dynasty rankings, 15 in-season lineup tools, and over 200 days of expert DFS research. Sign Up Now!


10-Team Cut Candidates

Whit Merrifield (2B, KC)

Merrifield was a somewhat rhetorical 10-team cut suggestion four weeks ago. He's back now as a very serious suggestion. Since that time, he's posted a .304/.333/.384 line with one home run and two steals in four tries. He's not going to get to 20 home runs or 20 steals.

In the past 14 days, it's an even worse .232/.271/.304 with no home runs and not even a steal attempt. He's struck out 17 times in 58 plate appearances with just three walks.

Merrifield's positional eligibility makes him easy to put somewhere in the lineup if you're out of games at one of his positions, but he's not much more than a body right now. With only a week to go and an offense that won't drive him in very often even if he does reach base, there's not enough upside here anymore with so little time to get right.


Max Muncy (OF, LAD)

Muncy has a quad issue. It's not a significant one, but it doesn't have to be at this point in the season. If Muncy only plays three games of the last six, you might find better value in someone more likely to play every game of the last week.

Another factor for Muncy is where the Dodgers conclude their season: at San Diego and at San Francisco. That is not where you want your players hitting down the stretch.

The Dodgers already have an ever-present roster crunch, and even just a minor ding could exacerbate things. Because of this as well as the parks they travel to, any Dodgers hitter should be considered a question mark in the final week, not just Muncy.


Aaron Nola (SP, PHI)

You may well mostly be cutting pitchers at this point in the season, since now a one-start week is also a one-start ROS. And if it's not a favorable match-up, you may want to go with a stream of a hitter or pitcher.

Nola, for instance, looks to have only one start left this season, and it's at Washington. (There is a very slim chance he starts the final game, however.) The Nationals have struggled of late, but remain a dangerous offense. Nola is also coming off a bad start vs. the Braves and three bad starts in four tries overall this September. Nationals Park has also been a major hitter's haven this season.

That all adds up to an iffy situation for Nola and if there are better streams available on the wire or a hitter you really want, consider going for it.


12-Team Cut Candidates

Starling Marte (OF, PIT)

This is one of those in-between health issues that can make for a tough call. Marte's wrist injury has prevented him from playing since September 10 and from starting since September 8. He's been a terrific asset this season, hitting .295 with 23 HR/25 SB and 179 R+RBI, and so a fear of missing out on his last week is reasonable.

But the Pirates have nothing to play for, and wrist injuries can sap performance more so than other ailments. It's not clear why they haven't simply shut him down yet--and as of Wednesday they still planned not to--but for the Pirates and for Marte, there's little apparent incentive to return especially with the possible downside of aggravating the injury.

Even if Marte does come back, there's not enough time to make an impression and the chances that the injury hurts his performance even if he does return are significant. There are probably better uses of his roster spot now.


Mike Minor (SP, TEX)

Minor is the 12-team version of Nola here. He's working on two consecutive bad starts against Oakland and a 4.65 seasonal xFIP and will face Boston to end his season.

Although the Red Sox may start resting players after elimination, the game is also in Texas' extreme run-heavy environment. Unsurprisingly, Minor has gotten significantly worse results at home this season, including a BABIP that is 90 points higher at Globe Life than on the road. And unless Boston rests everybody for his game, they will still have tough hitters in the lineup.

Minor was a 10-team cut eight weeks ago and has put up a 4.59 ERA since then, despite two scoreless outings to start August. He's iffy at best for his final start, especially with the Texas offense falling off late in the year (79 wRC+ in September) to hurt his win chances.


Marcus Stroman (SP, NYM)

Stroman is lined up for the Braves. Of course, like Boston, Atlanta seems susceptible to giving its starters a bit of rest as the regular season winds down (albeit for different reasons).

That said, they probably won't rest everybody all at once. By Sunday they might, but Stroman's start is looking like Friday. Stroman has actually turned in decent peripherals with the Mets, but he's also put up a 1.51 WHIP with his new club.

Stroman is also starting Sunday, at Cincinnati, which is a tough park but not a tough offense. If it's a struggle for Stroman, that should reinforce the idea of cutting him. If he does okay, maybe you choose to hold, but he's another of the one-tough-start-left crew that should be looked at if more pertinent streams are available on the wire.


14-Team Cut Candidates

Buster Posey (C, SF)

There have been a lot of catchers to have surprisingly decent seasons, so it's somewhat of a surprise to see so many rosters still including Posey as the season concludes. For example, with just six home runs, he is tied for 43rd among catcher-eligible Yahoo players. Additionally, the Giants only play at home in the final week. That's bad news for offensive production given how badly Oracle Park suffocates it.

Posey, specifically, has exactly zero home runs at home this season. Who knows, maybe he runs into the first one in the final week, but it's a bad bet.

If you are competing while still rostering Posey, there should definitely be a catcher available who will be more productive in the final week. Maybe he won't have the name recognition, but few catchers are looking at tougher situations in the final week than Posey.


Nomar Mazara (OF, TEX)

A 12-team cut several weeks back, Mazara has had a decent second half but there are likely to be several better options out there even in deeper leagues.

As usual, the complication is an injury. Mazara's oblique has limited him to just six appearances and five starts in September. Although he did homer on the 19th, that's not enough playing time to trust in deeper leagues and he's also hitting just .250/.273/.400 the past four weeks.

Although Texas gets to host Boston and New York at their bandbox in the final week of the year, there are too many issues with Mazara to be rostering him at this critical juncture.


Johnny Cueto (SP, SF)

Well, Cueto in his third start of the year finally showed the downsides of coming off of a long injury layoff, and now his final start comes against the Dodgers.

Yes, it's in San Francisco's friendly park, but that's about the only upside. Cueto still hasn't gone more than five innings in a start since returning, and the Dodgers don't seem like a good bet for him to produce an extended start at any park.

Cueto has also run into control issues with eight walks in his three starts despite just throwing 14 innings. The risk doesn't outweigh the reward. At best Cueto is looking at reasonable ratios but with little chance at strikeouts or a win. But the risk that even the ratios won't be there is pretty high.


Last Week's Updates

Player (links to piece) This Week Reasoning
Eddie Rosario Cut in 10 Hold We'll eat this one after a strong week and concluding the season against the Tigers and Royals
Yuli Gurriel Cut in 10 Hold Looks like hammy is fine after all, and season wrap-up is friendly (Angels and Mariners)
Lance Lynn Cut in 10 Hold* *Only for visiting at Oakland and only if the win isn't important, then cut for final start against the Yankees
Edwin Encarnacion Cut in 12 Cut in 12 He's expected back but the injury is a big question mark and how much will he really play instead of being saved for the playoffs
Lorenzo Cain Cut in 12 Cut in 12 A couple home runs haven't really turned things around with the .217/.250/.478 slash line
Mike Fiers Cut in 12 Hold Fiers continues to defy expectations this season and at Seattle isn't the toughest final start
Andrelton Simmons Cut in 14 Cut in 14 Even with .304 BA past week, tough to trust a .304/.333/.348 slash and .259 season
Edwin Diaz Cut in 14 Cut in 14 Still not closing, still somewhat struggling
Ivan Nova Cut in 14 Cut in 14 Handling Detroit with a 1.60 WHIP not a ringing endorsement for his final start whether Cleveland (definitely cut) or Detroit again (probably avoid playing with fire)


More Fantasy Baseball Busts and Avoids

More Recent Articles


ADP Cost Analysis – Robbie Ray vs Trevor Bauer

With fantasy baseball draft season in full swing, those of us who partake in this joyous game are now looking through as much draft data as possible in a bid to find players we love who have lower average draft positions (ADP) than we believe they should. All this to eke out as much draft... Read More

2020 Keeper Value Rankings - Second Base

Keeper Value Rankings are intended for Keeper Leagues in which a fantasy owner must forfeit a designated draft pick in order to keep a player into the upcoming season. These rankings are based on Keeper "Values". In the marketing world, Value can be defined as "the extent to which a good or service (player) is... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers – C.J. Cron

As another fantasy baseball season approaches, we once again have the chance to discuss C.J. Cron as a fantasy sleeper. Cron will be playing for his third team in three seasons. It is tough to wrap one's head around the idea that a player of Cron's talent continues to be undervalued by professional and fantasy... Read More

2020 Starting Pitcher Rankings - H2H Points Leagues

Points leagues may seem like a slight variation from traditional 5x5 category scoring leagues but you must approach draft day with a very different strategy if you wish to truly compete. All preseason long, RotoBaller has you covered with the latest rankings for all fantasy baseball league types. Here we present our points league rankings... Read More

Second-Half Improvements: Buy Into These Starting Pitchers

The second half of the season is always put under a microscope for starting pitchers. Fantasy players have a love for the second half of the season, as the belief is that pitchers who take a step forward could carry over that success the next season and perhaps even build upon it. But, as we... Read More

How to Attack RP in SV+HLD Leagues

No position has seen as much evolution in recent seasons as the relief pitcher. Gone are the days where starters were expected to go seven innings as most teams have embraced the idea of "super-bullpening" and try to fit as many pitchers that can throw 95+ MPH into their bullpen as they can. Many fantasy... Read More

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Pitch Info

One of the most fundamental questions in fantasy sports is if a player's current performance is sustainable. More than any other sport, baseball has a slew of statistical measures that can be dissected in numerous ways to analyze player performance. Pitch Info is a publicly-available pitch tracking system that provides a lot of different data to... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Staff Rankings

Below you will find RotoBaller's 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, tiers and auction dollar values for the 2020 MLB season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Mixed, Head-to-Head, Points, AL/NL Only, Two-Catcher Top 2020 prospects, Dynasty leagues, Keeper values Export the rankings easily... Read More

Mock Draft Review: Best Late-Round Targets

Last week, some members of the RotoBaller staff completed a 12-team mock draft for standard 5x5 format. After the draft, we each broke down our strategy and some of our favorite picks, which can be found here. However, I want to take a closer look at one portion of the draft in particular. Since we know that... Read More

Faster and Furious: Pitchers with Rising Velocity/Performance

Welcome fantasy baseball players! I’m sure that you, like me, are anxiously counting down the days until your drafts and Opening Day. While the fantasy season may not start for several weeks, there are plenty of things we can do to start preparing for a successful season. One of those things is to take a good... Read More

James Karinchak Is A Relief Pitcher To Know in 2020

One of the lesser-known players that intrigues me for the 2020 MLB season is Indians relief pitcher James Karinchak. The former Bryant Bulldog was drafted by Cleveland in the ninth round in the 2017 draft and went on to have one of the most outrageous statistical seasons in minor league baseball history. As someone who... Read More

2020 Relief Pitcher Rankings - H2H Points Leagues

Often regarded as an inferior fantasy baseball format, points leagues offer a different style of boasting over your friends or coworkers similar to that of fantasy football. These setups are typically head-to-head formats for a one-week stretch where the player with the most points gets a win. Easy right? While it's true that roster construction... Read More

2019 Barrel Breakouts: Who's For Real and Who's Next?

As pitchers and catchers get even closer to reporting and most fantasy leagues prepare for their drafts, everybody is looking for a leg up on the competition - a way to get in on a guy before everybody else does. In this article, we're going to look for a way to identify hitters who improved... Read More

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Pitcher BABIP

While FIP is a useful tool to predict a pitcher's future ERA performance, fantasy owners should remember that ERA, not FIP, is what really matters in most formats. This means that we are interested in the "luck" that separates the two statistics. While some of this luck is unpredictable, we can and should predict some... Read More

Second Year Player Preview: Fantasy Baseball 2020 ADP Analysis

Host Anthony Aniano of RotoBaller Radio discuss the 2020 fantasy baseball season and keeps you updated with all the latest news and analysis Be sure to tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel Sirius 210, XM 87) - every weekday morning between 6-7 AM ET, every weekday afternoon from 1-2 PM ET, Saturday nights from 9-11 PM ET... Read More

More Recent Articles


NFL Draft Combine Preview: Quarterbacks

With the Super Bowl now behind us, it is officially NFL Draft season! It's time to speculate on draft picks for teams, who should land where, and which players should be valued over others. This also marks the unofficial start to the 2020 fantasy football season. Getting in the early preparation can give owners a... Read More

RB Opportunity Share and Impact (AFC South & West): 2019 Review

We roll on with coverage of each of the eight NFL divisions, discussing the teams that are part of them and the running backs that were part of those teams in 2019. To present those teams and players I use a set of easy-to-read charts: treemaps. The graphics will hold all of the players of... Read More

Dynasty Price Check - Anthony Miller

Many of you have already begun planning and building your 2020 rosters. This includes best-ball owners who have assembled teams in that popular format. A number of owners in redraft leagues are inspecting the early rankings, while those of you who are involved in dynasty leagues have continued your process of relentless roster evaluation. As the... Read More

Is Lamar Jackson Worth a First Round Pick?

RotoBaller fantasy football analysts Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano discuss the idea of taking Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in the first round of 2020 fantasy football redraft leagues. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure... Read More

Why Lamar Jackson Should Be a First-Round Pick in 2020

Sometimes I like to make noise and some headlines if I can. That is why I host shows six days a week on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio representing RotoBaller. If I can get people buzzing about a topic, calling in or responding on social media with passion and vigor, I am having fun. But whenever I... Read More

Dynasty Price Check - Darren Waller

Many of you have already launched into the planning process for your 2020 rosters. This includes best-ball owners who have embraced the opportunity to draft in that popular format. A number of owners in redraft leagues are also monitoring the early rankings, while those of you who are involved in dynasty leagues have continued a pace of... Read More

Biggest Breakouts of 2019: Tight End

There were a lot of fantasy football busts at the tight end position in 2019, but there were also a lot of breakout stars. The 2018 season saw Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz break the NFL record for most receptions in a season by a tight end, while San Francisco’s George Kittle broke the record for most... Read More

Dynasty Price Check - Courtland Sutton

With the conclusion of Super Bowl LIV, football season is over for many people. But for anyone that plays in a dynasty fantasy football league, the season is never over. For the fantasy addicts out there, now is the time to start preparing. In today's column, we will take a look at wide receiver Courtland... Read More

Dynasty Price Check - Josh Allen

The NFL offseason has arrived, which means that it's time for us to go all-in on dynasty mode. The time between the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft is the time for dynasty players to make some moves and try to make their team better -- or worse, if you're rebuilding and looking for draft... Read More

RB Opportunity Share and Impact (NFC East & North)

With the season over and real-life free agency and April's NFL draft ahead of us, it's time to look at how each team split their targets and carries (both of them combined in what is called opportunities; sometimes it's receptions instead of targets, but I wanted to look at the overall volume and total chances instead)... Read More

Odell Beckham - Dynasty Buy or Sell?

Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano discuss the dynasty value of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.. Will he bounce back in 2020 to return WR1 fantasy football value or is he no longer an elite receiver? Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us... Read More

David Johnson - Dynasty Buy or Sell?

Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano discuss the fantasy football value of Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson in dynasty leagues. Is it best to get something in return for him while you can or try to buy-low in hopes of a rebound season? Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all... Read More