Following the lead of my colleagues this week I’ll continue with players available to stream as your head-to-head leagues come to a close.
As opposed to our own David Wiers, I’m not afraid of streaming Murphy, especially when his ownership is down to just 30% in Yahoo! leagues. Murphy has somehow been able to shed the platoon tag that’s been placed on him his whole career. Coming into the season his OPS against southpaws was .676…it’s .856 right now with a .351 batting average. That success has enabled him to turn into a fulltime player. His performance has dipped a bit in September as compared to August (.944 OPS) but he may be helped by the Rangers playing their next five games at home where he, like every other player in baseball, does very well. The A’s have a very good pitching staff and Murphy has been held hitless the past two games, but you’re not likely to find a better option owned in fewer than 50% of leagues.
The lingering stench from a horrid first half of the season is likely what is keeping his ownership down. His play –.576 OPS in April-June – looked nothing like the budding star we saw emerge in 2011. After adjusting some mechanics in his swing, as Jeff Sullivan notes, Maybin has taken off with a .788 since July and .855 in September. Despite reaching base at his highest clip of the season he’s stolen just one base this month, though has seven extra base hits and is hitting .351. He can help you in so many ways that even though the Padres play the Giants this weekend Maybin is still worth a pickup if you’re in need of outfield assistance. He’s turned his game up enough to be noticed.
While not an outfielder like Murphy and Maybin, I feel Keppinger needs to be mentioned in some capacity this week. He’s eligible at three positions and has hit .331/.372/.444 in 391 plate appearances this year. Joe Maddon is finding ways to keep Keppinger in the lineup, be it at first, second or third base, while the Rays chase a playoff spot, so playing time isn’t a concern. Historically Keppinger hasn’t hit that well against right handed pitchers. That’s not the case this year as he’s hit .311/.360/.418 against them. It’s a far cry from the .376 average and .903 OPS he has against southpaws, but it’s more than decent. Strangely enough he’s hit much better at pitcher friendly Tropicana field than on the road. The Rays play their next five games away, but in Fenway Park and US Cellular Field, two favorable offensive parks.