Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman

Scott Cunningham - Getty Images

It's crazy to think the MLB regular season has just a few weeks left.

As the calendar has turned to September, some players have hit their stride, while others haven't been able to handle the pressure of baseball's stretch run. Even though there are only a few weeks left, we are going to try and steer you in the right direction for DFS, identifying who's hot and who's not.


Who's Hot?

Right now the hottest hitter in baseball is Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman. Over the last week, Freeman has 12 hits in 25 at-bats, with four of those hits being home runs. Freeman, who celebrated his 31st birthday on Saturday, has been a monster at the plate so far in September, registering eight multi-hit games already this month. Entering Tuesday night's action, Freeman is riding a nine-game hitting streak.

One of Freeman's teammates is having an incredible run on Wednesday's in September. Not only did Adam Duvall crush three home runs and drive in nine runs in a 29-9 win over the Miami Marlins last Wednesday, but Duvall also cranked three homers and drove in five runs against the Boston Red Sox on the first Wednesday of this month. Duvall already has nine homers and 18 runs batted in during September and we are only halfway through the month.

Eloy Jimenez MLB: Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Spor

Currently the Chicago White Sox are on top of the AL Central and a big reason for their success this year has been because of Eloy Jimenez. The left fielder has four straight multi-hit games, and it's no coincidence the White Sox have won each of those games. Jimenez's biggest hit came on Friday night when his three-run homer in the sixth inning against Detroit gave Chicago the lead for good in the game. Jimenez also has six doubles so far this month and is hitting .347.

New onto the scene is Jared Walsh of the Los Angeles Angels. Prior to this season, Walsh had just 79 career MLB at-bats. If Walsh keeps hitting like he is now, he'll see plenty of playing time going forward. Walsh has hit safely in all but one of the ten games he has played in during September, including notching two hits in each of the last four games. The first baseman also had a stretch of four straight games in which he hit a homer before failing to leave the yard on Sunday. Walsh already has five homers in September.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have the worst record in the National League, but you can't blame Josh Bell for their struggles of late. Since last Sunday, Bell is riding an eight-game hitting streak with three homers in the last six games. Bell has been able to raise his batting average for the season to .242 after it sat at .194 prior to his hitting streak starting.

Alec Mills Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs Getty Images

Shifting gears from the batters box to the mound, the biggest pitching story over the last week has been Chicago Cubs pitcher Alec Mills, who threw the second no-hitter of the season on Sunday. Mills held the Milwaukee Brewers hitless on Sunday, and in his prior start tossed six scoreless innings of four-hit baseball.

Another pitcher who has been electric over his last two starts has been Trevor Bauer of the Cincinnati Reds. Bauer has struck out 22 batters over his last 14 innings pitched and during that span has just a 0.64 ERA. Cincinnati is currently on the outside looking in on the playoffs, but a couple more strong starts from Bauer could be the difference in the quest for the playoffs for the Reds.

Aaron Nola Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Aaron NolaJohn Bazemore - Associated Press

One team who currently has a grasp on a playoff spot is the Philadelphia Phillies. The ace of Joe Girardi's staff is Aaron Nola, who has given up just eight earned runs in his eight starts since August. Nola was credited with a complete game shutout in his last start, but it is important to note the 11-0 win over Miami was just a seven-inning game since it was part of a doubleheader. he righty from Baton Rouge has struck out at least 10 batters in each of his last two starts, and now has four double-digit strikeout games this year.

Our final sizzling pitcher is Dinelson Lamet of the San Diego Padres. Lamet was impressive on Monday night, striking out 11 Dodgers in San Diego's 7-2 victory over Los Angeles. In September, Lamet has struck out 28 batters in 21 innings of work, as the Padres inch closer to the Dodgers in the NL West standings.

Who's Not?

Christian Yelich Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian YelichGene J. Puskar - Associated Press

One of the biggest surprises of the 2020 season is how much MIlwaukee outfielder Christian Yelich has struggled. Yelich has just two hits in his last 23 at-bats and has struck out 13 times during that stretch. After hitting .329 last year, Yelich is currently below the Mendoza Line, as he is batting just .195 this season.

Nick Castellanos started the season like a house of fire, seeing his batting average rise to nearly .400 in early August. Castellanos has been dreadful lately, notching just seven hits in 50 at-bats in September. While Castellanos is still a threat to homer in any plate appearance, he is coming up short when Cincinnati needs him most.

Out west, two hitters have a front row seat on the struggle bus. Rookie Jo Adell of the Los Angeles Angels is hitless in his last 17 at-bats, while Seattle Mariners first baseman Evan White has just one hit in his last 20 at-bats. With the Angels and Mariners separated by just two games in the standings, something has to give or both teams could find themselves watching the playoffs from home.

Framber Valdez Houston at Texas TNS

On the mound, three pitchers have already given up at least 10 earned runs this month, with Houston starter Framber Valdez giving up 16 earned runs in three starts. Valdez likely won't want to pitch in Los Angeles anytime soon after giving up 13 runs in starts against the Angels and Dodgers last week.

Milwaukee Brewers starter Adrian Houser actually has given up more runs this month than Valdez, but of the 17 runs Houser has allowed, only 12 were earned runs. Houser was the losing pitcher in Sunday's game against the Cubs, where Milwaukee was no-hit by Alec Mills.

After starting the season by giving up two earned runs or less in his first six starts, the wheels have started to come off for Miami Marlins pitcher Pablo Lopez. Following a loss to the Tampa Rays in his first start of the month, Lopez was crushed by Atlanta on Wednesday, giving up seven earned runs in just an inning and two-thirds of a 29-9 loss to the Braves. Lopez did rebound in his last start to beat Philadelphia on Monday night, but steer clear of Lopez for now.

Paul George grabbing a rebound in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals

Barry Gossage/Getty Images

In a must win game for the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George was finally able to look like the best player on the floor in a playoff game.

After a slow start, George poured it on in the second half on his way to a game high 41 points in Game 5. The performance elevated the Clippers over strong outings from the likes of Devin Booker and Chris Paul as L.A. outlasted Phoenix 116-102.

The Clippers don't have much time to bask in their win however as they have to turn around and play two more elimination games just to make it out of the West. The Suns jumped out to a 3-1 series lead as Los Angeles struggled to find their identity without Kawhi Leonard. If the Clippers are to stave off elimination any longer, George has to continue this level of play.

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Ben Simmons disappointed in the playoffs this season

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Following a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Philadelphia 76ers and coach, Doc Rivers, are questioning if Ben Simmons is the right guy to be running their offense through moving forward.

Offense being the key word here.

Simmons is an all-world defender possessing the ability to guard virtually any opponent on the court from the perimeter to the rim. But it was his lack of offensive help throughout this playoff season that stood out beyond any accomplishments this year. Simmons joined Rudy Gobert as unanimous selections for the NBA's All-Defensive First Team this year and also finished fifth in the NBA in assists per game with 8.8 per contest.

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The Lakers looked lost in the Valley

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns are just a win away from sending LeBron James home in the first round of the playoffs for the first time in the King's illustrious career.

After stating that "These shoulders were built for a reason," James referring to facing the challenge of taking on added responsibilities after Anthony Davis was ruled out for Game 5, the Lakers and LeBron disappointed in a big way Tuesday night. L.A. started off hot jumping out to a 10-5 lead behind a couple shots from James and a three from Davis' replacement Markieff Morris. But it didn't take long for the wheels to completely fall off for the defending champion Lakers as they spent most of the first half trying to remember how basketball works.

LeBron James LeBron looking on during Game 5Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Two numbers stick out in the Game 5 loss for the Lakers and those are 34.5 and 12. Los Angeles shot 34.5% from the field on Tuesday night and were minus 12 in turnover ratio. No matter who's on your team, if you can't shoot and you can't protect the ball, the outcome is already determined.

The Suns weren't simply beneficiaries of a poor performance however as the Suns put it on the Lakers early and often and they never let their foot off the pedal for 48 minutes. Phoenix ended with 15 more assists, had seven more combined steals and blocks, and outscored L.A. in the paint by 12 points. Devin Booker and Cameron Payne were spectacular and they seemed to hit big shots every time the Lakers appeared to threaten a comeback. Mikal Bridges was effective on both sides of the ball adding three steals and two blocks to help electrify his team with the defensive effort.


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