Run To Get Ruiz

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AVG

Keibert Ruiz, C, Nationals

Acquired from the Dodgers in the Max Scherzer/Trea Turner trade, Ruiz went just 4-for-33 in his first 10 games with the Nationals while battling through a couple minor injuries. However, since then he’s shown why the club is excited to have him around for the long haul, going 16-for-34 with two long balls and nine RBI across his last eight contests. Ruiz has also struck out just once during that span, which is a continuation of his elite contact skills from the minors. It’s a big reason why the switch-hitter should have a good chance to hit for average to go along with his burgeoning power.

HR

Harrison Bader, OF, Cardinals

It’s difficult to say who has been the hottest hitter for the Cardinals during their ridiculous 16-game winning streak. Paul Goldschmidt and Tyler O’Neill can certainly make their cases. Over the last week, though, it might be Bader, who is in the midst of an absurd 14-for-23 stretch in his last six games. He homered for the third straight game on Sunday drilling a game-tying, 427-foot bomb in the eighth inning. Bader also stole a couple bases during Saturday’s game. We’ve seen the hot and the cold with the 27-year-old, as Bader posted a 1.021 OPS in July and then a .421 OPS in August before rebounding majorly with a 1.055 OPS so far in September. He might go cold again at the drop of a hat, but Bader needs to be in lineups this week while he’s scorching-hot.

RBI

Hunter Dozier, 1B/3B/OF, Royals

Dozier wishes he could hit the reset button on the 2021 campaign. He is doing his best to finish strong, though, posting a .314/.351/.765 batting line with five home runs and 11 RBI over his last 16 contests. Dozier was robbed of a sixth dinger during that stretch this past weekend when Akil Baddoo scaled the wall at Comerica Park to bring the ball back. The Royals are one of six teams which plays seven times in the final week of the season, giving Dozier an extra game to add some counting stats.

SB

Cole Tucker, SS/OF, Pirates

Tucker has spent a large chunk of this season in the minors and, at least on the whole, has not been productive when given a chance with the Pirates. He’s begun to right the ship over the last week and a half, however, putting up a .995 OPS with one homer, one stolen base and seven runs scored in his last nine games. He even batted leadoff in a couple of those tilts, including on Sunday when he homered and reached base four times. I’m not sure Tucker will ultimately be able to hit enough at the big league level, but he’s put up some big stolen base totals in the minors and could help out in that department in the final week. Like the Royals, the Pirates have seven games this week.

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R

Enrique Hernandez, 2B/OF, Red Sox

The Red Sox were swept by the rival Yankees over the weekend, giving them a sour taste in their mouths heading into the decisive final week of the season. Their leadoff hitter wasn’t to blame, though, as Hernandez reached base seven times in the three contests. He’s now reached base 16 times in his last seven games, scoring eight runs over that stretch. The Red Sox get to face the Orioles and Nationals pitching staffs this week as they fight for a playoff spot, setting up Hernandez to be on the basepaths plenty.

W

Cole Irvin, SP, Athletics

It can be tricky counting on pitchers projected to make two starts in the last week of the season, as teams will often switch up their plans, particularly in the final weekend. Irvin will at least get one start versus the Mariners on Monday, and it’s a favorable one against a club which ranks 27th in baseball this season with a .298 wOBA when facing left-handers. The southpaw is also tentatively currently penciled in for another outing this weekend in Houston. Irvin has generally done a pretty good job of pitching deep into games this season, giving him a better shot at a win if the A’s can get a lead.

ERA

Alex Cobb, SP, Angels

This season has been a bit of a mixed bag for Cobb. He’s been limited to just 17 starts and 88 1/3 innings because of blister and wrist issues, but he’s mostly pitched really well when healthy with a 3.46 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 93/31 K/BB rate. The veteran right-hander tamed the Astros last Friday in his return from the injured list, permitting just one run over 5 2/3 innings of work. Cobb will get a much more favorable matchup this week against the Rangers as he looks to head into free agency on a high note.

WHIP

Antonio Senzatela, SP, Rockies

Senzatela has probably been the least-heralded member of the Rockies’ surprisingly-solid rotation this season. He’s pitched quite well, though, posting a 4.10 ERA (3.57 FIP) and 105/30 K/BB rate over 156 frames. That’s after he put up a 3.44 ERA in 12 starts last season. Senzatela has been at his best of late, holding a 2.82 ERA across his last eight starts, and he currently boasts the lowest walk rate in baseball at 4.5 percent. The right-hander has a juicy final matchup on the road against the Diamondbacks.

K

Brady Singer, SP, Royals

Singer has battled a shoulder problem off and on this season, but he’s pitched really well since returning from the injured list last month, holding a 2.97 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 37/12 K/BB rate over 36 1/3 frames. Half of the 12 earned runs he’s given up during that span came in one outing, as Singer has allowed two or fewer earned runs in five of his last six starts. This week he gets a rematch versus an Indians team which he posted his first career complete game against the last time out (okay, it was a seven-inning complete game, but still).

SV

Tanner Rainey, RP, Nationals

Rainey has been terrible for the bulk of this season, spending some time in the minors while also dealing with injuries. However, he’s been lights-out since being recalled earlier this month, tossing 3 2/3 hitless and scoreless innings while striking out eight and walking just one. The 28-year-old picked up his second save of the season last week against the Marlins when he retired the only two batters he faced. Kyle Finnegan did a decent job for a while after assuming the Nats’ closer role, but he’s been touched up for eight runs in his last 5 1/3 frames. It wouldn’t be a surprise if it’s Rainey who manager Dave Martinez turns to in save chances this week.