We are just four days away from the MLB trade deadline and I’m expecting Thursday to be a fun day in the world of transactions. Only eight teams are in action — only six of them on this evening’s slate — so GMs and Presidents of Baseball Operations should have all the time they need to make some deals.
As we wait for the fireworks, let’s break down the aforementioned three-game featured slate. Why not, right?
Tanner Bibee, Cleveland Guardians at Chicago White Sox, $7,200 - Of the rookie arms the Guardians have had to rely on this season, and there have been many, Bibee has clearly been the best. The RHP owns a 3.04 ERA and a 3.24 xERA across 83.0 innings of work, striking out 85 opponents along the way. The numbers have been even more impressive the last month, with Bibee maintaining a 1.21 ERA and a 28.8% strikeout rate over his last five outings — a stretch he topped off with seven scoreless innings against the Phillies last week. Bibee should have little issue holding down a struggling White Sox lineup. In fact, Chicago enters play on Thursday with an 83 wRC+ versus right-handers — the second-worst mark in all of baseball.
Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs $6,000 - Goldschmidt hasn’t been able to recreate his NL MVP campaign in 2023, but that doesn’t mean he’s been bad. The veteran’s .379 expected wOBA is actually better than his mark from last season (.367). Goldschmidt has been especially good at home, where he sports a .209 ISO and a 151 wRC+. On a slate without much in the way of top-end talent, Goldschmidt is the first place I’d look to spend.
Francisco Alvarez, New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals, $3,800 - I don’t think it’s crazy to say that no backstop has a higher ceiling than Alvarez on this evening’s slate. The rookie has taken his game to another level in the month of July, entering play on Thursday with a .333 ISO and a 164 wRC+ over the past 26 days. To be blunt, Alvarez hits bombs, and while Josiah Gray ($6,600) has been better at keeping the ball in the park in 2023, he’s still surrendering 1.95 home runs per nine for his career.
Paul DeJong, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs, $2,900 - Rumors are swirling that DeJong might be moved at the deadline, and it’s not overly difficult to figure out why. The veteran has been quite useful for the Cardinals in 2023, particularly when it comes to hitting LHPs. In 74 plate appearances within the split, DeJong owns a .368 wOBA and a 135 wRC+. This is the third time he’ll face Justin Steele ($8,600) since the beginning of May. I’m expecting some damage.
Cody Bellinger, Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals, $5,600 - I keep writing up Bellinger, and he keep hitting home runs. It’s a nice little system we have going here. After clubbing his 15th long ball of the season on Wednesday, Bellinger is now slashing .415/.433/.756 with a 213 wRC+ in his 90 plate appearances since July 1. He’ll look to keep the good times rolling against Miles Mikolas ($6,800), who has had troubles with LHBs throughout his career. Mikolas’ 4.97 xERA in 2023 isn’t all that promising, either.
Steven Kwan, Cleveland Guardians at Chicago White Sox, $4,600 - For the first time all season, Kwan is starting to look like the dark horse Rookie of the Year candidate that he was in 2022. Since July 1, Kwan is hitting .310 with a 131 wRC+. The power is non-existent, but Kwan leads the Guardians in runs scored (67) and is second on the club in stolen bases (15). There’s many ways he can have a fantasy impact.
Dylan Carlson, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs, $2,300 - This is a layup. Carlson hit out of the leadoff spot for the Cardinals the last time they faced a left-handed opponent, and if that’s the case again on Thursday, that alone is enough to make the outfielder viable at this price. However, there’s more to Carlson’s value than lineup placement. The switch-hitter has always been at his best when batting from the right-side. To wit, for his career, Carlson is slashing .309/.380/.475 with a 139 wRC+ in the split.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.