Last Ditch Effort Part II: Final Speed Push

While streaming hitters may not help too much in roto leagues, it could mean all the difference in a close head to head battle. Some categories may be lost already, or at least just too hard to recover, as the case may be with stats like WHIP and ERA, but a late surge in the counting stats for hitters could be the difference in your final battle. It might not be the most glamorous bunch out there, but here are a few names to consider throwing into your lineup this weekend for some potential help.

Michael Brantley, OF CLE — He’s always been a guy with a little bit of pop and a little bit of speed but has never seemed to get over the hump of producing a mediocre stat line. He’s had his fair share of injuries during the early part of his career, but has managed to put together two straight full seasons and this year, has posted career-bests across the board. With Cleveland surging here at the end and jumping into that last wild card spot ahead of Texas, the Tribe need to keep their momentum rolling and Brantley is one of the guys leading the way. He’s 14-for-25 (.560) with two home runs, nine RBI and two stolen bases over his last six games and is heading into a final three-game set against the Twins. He’s hit lefties and righties fairly evenly with his power coming against right-handers. But with two southpaws scheduled, it may be Brantley’s RBI and stolen bases that help the most.

Craig Gentry, OF TEX — If you’re lookign for a potential speed burst here at the end, then keep your eyes on Gentry who is 8-for-20 (.400) over his last six games with three walks, five runs scored, and four stolen bases and is actually having a fairly hot September overall, batting .333 over 19 games with seven stolen bases in totalĀ  He’s been patrolling left field regularly and will be counted on to help manufacture some runs, or at least get himself into scoring position as often as he can, as the Rangers host the Angels for the season’s final three. Gentry is another one who hits lefties and righties similarly, so the match-ups aren’t worrisome at all. He’s got the green light on the bases and should be able to swipe you a few over the next three days.

Eric Young, Jr., OF NYM — Apparently, if you’re playing in an ESPN league, he’s likely owned already, showing up on 83.3% of rosters right now, but in Yahoo, Young is only owned in 33.0% of leagues. If there’s a chance that he’s available, he is a must-own if you are looking for some speed to make a final push in the category. Over the last week, he is 10-for-31 (.346) with three doubles, four runs, two RBI and five stolen bases. He seems to hit better on the road (.266 vs .234) and has a relatively even split against lefties and righties so three games in hitter-friendly Miller Park against three right-handed starters should prove positive for you. You’ll obviously have to get your power from somewhere else, but runs scored and steals should be aplenty.

Good luck to you all here in the final three days. May your arms be strong and your bats be mighty. See you at the finish line.


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Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. In addition to his work here, you can also find him at his site,, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at

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A question which I do not know how to easily answer…what is Brantley’s longest hitless streak for his career? And how does that compare to all-time leaders in that category? I believe this site ranked him as MLB’s “peskiest” hitter last season.