Just as soon as it began, the MLB regular season is coming to a close this week.
There's no question who the hottest hitter in baseball is right now. Jose Ramirez has been on a tear over the last week, hitting six homers and driving in 16 runs over his last six games. The last of those home runs was a dramatic walk-off dinger which clinched a postseason spot for the Cleveland Indians.
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody BellingerJohn McCoy - Getty Images
Out west, a couple of Dodgers are getting hot at the right time. Corey Seager is hitting .529 over his last four games, while Cody Bellinger is just behind the shortstop, slashing .500 in his last five games. Los Angeles has already sewn up the NL West crown but they'll need the duo to continue their hot hitting in the postseason if they Dodgers finally want to get over the hump and win their first World Series in over 30 years.
Battling Los Angeles to be the favorite in the National League are the Atlanta Braves. Powering the Braves of late has been Marcell Ozuna and Ozzie Albies who have combined for six home runs and 14 RBIs in Atlanta's last five games. If Albies and Ozuna can stay hot, and if Ronald Acuna Jr. can turn up his production, the Braves could give the Dodgers all they can handle if the teams meet in the playoffs.
Back in the American League, the Chicago White Sox have cooled off as of late. Trying to keep the flame from being extinguished is Jose Abreu. The Cuban first baseman has eight hits in his last 21 at-bats, with three of those hits being home runs. Abreu will be looking to continue his roll to close out the regular season to keep his name in the AL MVP race.
Looking for one last strong start for your fantasy team in the regular season? The best pitchers in baseball over the last week are relative unknowns. Pittsburgh's Steven Brault has thrown a complete game and struck out 14 batters in his last two starts, while Griffin Canning of the Los Angeles Angels has two wins and 17 strikeouts in 11 innings of work.
New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit ColeBrad Penner - USA TODAY Sports
For the month of September, three of the best pitchers are names that are a little more familiar to fans. Gerrit Cole is living up to his monster contract, going 3-1 so far this month with 34 strikeouts over 27 innings. Cole's efforts have helped the Yankees to break out of a dreadful August slump.
Luis Castillo has been a major reason why the Reds are currently sitting in a playoff position. Castillo is 4-0 this month, giving up just 16 hits over 28 innings, while striking out 33 batters. Even though it looks like they'll barely sneak into the playoffs, the Cincinnati rotation of Castillo, Trevor Bauer, and Sonny Gray could cause opponents fits.
Chris Bassitt of the Oakland Athletics might not have the star power of Cole and Castillo, but he has been just as good, winning all three of his September starts, allowing just one run so far during the month. Bassitt has quietly put himself at the top of the Oakland rotation with his work over the past two years.
Remember last week when Josh Bell was on our "Who's Hot" list? Funny how a week can change things. Bell hasn't been able to hit a beach ball over the last week. Bell is hitless in his last 19 at-bats, with nine of those at-bats ending with Bell striking out.
Joining Bell in the 0-fer club is J.D. Davis of the New York Mets, who is also hitless in his last 19 at-bats. Much like Bell, Davis has seen most of his at-bats lately ending in embarrassment, as he has struck out 10 times in the last week.
Earlier we put Jose Abreu on our "Who's Hot" list. The same can't be said for teammates Luis Robert and Yoan Moncada, who are a combined 1-41 over the last week. Moncada has the lone hit during that span between the two. If Robert and Moncada's struggles bleed into the playoffs, the White Sox will find themselves sent home early.
Trailing the White Sox in the standings are the Minnesota Twins. If the Twins want to avoid the New York Yankees in the playoffs, Miguel Sano has to bust out of the current slump he is mired in. Sano has just one hit in his last 20 at-bats, with 11 of those at-bats ending with a strikeout.
Washington Nationals pitcher Patrick CorbinScott Taetsch - Getty Images
There are a few pitchers who can't wait for this season to be over. After winning the World Series with the Washington Nationals last season, Patrick Corbin has been awful in September, posting an 0-4 record with a 6.17 ERA in four starts this month.
Jordan Lyles of the Texas Rangers has pitched in five games in September, starting three of those games. Lyles is giving up a hit an inning, surrendering 30 hits and allowing 18 earned runs so far this month.
Toronto is going to have a decision to make in the postseason in how they want to use Tanner Roark, who is 0-2 with a 9.72 ERA in four September starts. Roark's last start on Tuesday night saw him get shelled by the Yankees. We could see Roark get one more start in the regular season, but if he is ineffective he might not feature heavily in the postseason plans of the Blue Jays.
As the NFL postseason got underway last week, it became clear we need to make some halftime adjustments with our picks this week.
The Ravens were an easy cover for us, especially once Lamer found his groove and the grooves in Tennessee's D. Throw in a few head scratching punts by Mike Vrabel and that does the trick.
Meanwhile, Stefon Diggs came up two catches short for us with three targets left on the table. It was always going to be tough to get that many grabs, but it was worth a few bucks just to see what would happen.
Please, please, please remind me never to bet unders. I haven't hit one all year and yet the siren's song calls me to shore. I maintain this is the best one I bet all year. The pick 6 and DK Metcalf bomb in the second quarter killed after the best start imaginable. After 15 minutes, we had a combined score of 3, 15 minutes of game time later? 30. Bananas.
Then I don't really know what else to say about Pittsburgh losing to Baker Mayfield and co. that hasn't already been said. I just have to edit my list of completely impossible things to put, "Snowing in the Sahara desert," and "Taylor Swift ever getting back together with Jake Gyllenhaal" above "The Browns beating the Steelers in the playoffs."
Put on your general manager hat for a moment and ask yourself this question: If my team struggled mightily the past couple seasons, is struggling now and will continue to struggle, would I trade my franchise star?
It's an extremely difficult decision to make, but it's something the Washington Wizards have to be pondering with shooting guard Bradley Beal.
Beal has been on an absolute rampage through 11 games, posting a league-high 34.9 points per game on 49% shooting and 38% from distance. He's also dishing out five assists and grabbing 5.3 rebounds with 1.5 steals. All that in 36 minutes a night, yet the Wizards are 3-8 which is the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference.
"I'm pissed off," Beal told reporters after his 60-point game on Jan. 6. "I'm mad. I don't count [them]. ... Any of my career-highs, they've been in losses. So I don't give a damn. You can throw it right out the window with the other two or three I've had."
His frustration is evident, and though he hasn't verbalized that he wants out of D.C., it's hard not to think that the idea hasn't crossed his mind at least once with how bad the Wizards have been recently.
From 2018-20, they went a combined 57-97 with John Wall sidelined after he tore his Achilles. Before this season began, the Wizards acquired Russell Westbrook in exchange for Wall and a pick, thinking they were getting an upgrade at point guard. Plot twist, they weren't.
Wall is healthy and playing good basketball in Houston while Westbrook is sitting back-to-backs and is currently nursing a quad injury. More importantly, he doesn't make them much better because of his lack of defense and is thus piling up meaningless triple-doubles that don't translate to team success.
Each Friday, FindBet will preview the week's DFS slate, highlighting players that are priced well on DFS sites, as well as some contrarian plays that can push your team to the top of the leader board.
Most NFL DFS games have you putting a team together with players from a certain slate of games. It could be just Sunday 1:00 PM games, or it could be every game that is slated for the week. Once the last game that has eligible players is over, the final payouts are made according to how many fantasy points each team scored. Each player is worth a certain dollar amount, and you have a cap of $60,000 to build your team with. You have to have 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX (RB, WR, or TE) and 1 DEF.
The general scoring rules include (6) points for each rushing and receiving touchdown, (4) points for each passing touchdown, (0.1) points for each rushing and receiving yard gained, (0.04) points for each passing yard, and also (0.5) points for each reception. There are other scoring opportunities for defenses. Let's take a look at players we like in the first round of the NFL playoffs this weekend.