Fantasy Baseball 2021: Updated Outlook for Top Players Traded at the Deadline

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 30, 2021

Fantasy Baseball 2021: Updated Outlook for Top Players Traded at the Deadline

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Ten players that were named to the 2021 Major League Baseball All-Star Game were dealt before Friday's trade deadline. 

    The Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals were the biggest sellers. The Texas Rangers and Minnesota Twins also offloaded stars to contending teams. 

    The top names traded on Friday and the days before the deadline will carry the same roster percentages in fantasy baseball leagues, but their respective impacts on some stat categories may change. 

    For example, Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo are in more ideal situations to hit home runs with the short right-field porch at Yankee Stadium. 

    Craig Kimbrel should be in line for more save opportunities with the first-place Chicago White Sox, and Kris Bryant will be the cornerstone of the San Francisco Giants order. 

Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    The Yankees drastically improved their batting order by adding two left-handed power hitters to the heart of the lineup.

    Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo should slot right into the middle of the order and will likely take advantage of the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium. 

    Rizzo and Gallo have a combined 39 home runs and 95 RBI this season. Both players have an on-base percentage over .345. Gallo owns an .869 OPS, and Rizzo has a .792 OPS. 

    The Yankees open their August home dates with seven games against the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners and then the Minnesota Twins come into the Bronx in the middle of the month.

    The three matchups with weaker teams would presumably boost the Yankees' run totals and could help them push back into the American League pennant races. 

    In the last seven games, the Yankees failed to eclipse the five-run mark while going 3-4 versus the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays.

    DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge have hit at the top of the Yankees order for most of the season, and they should present the newly acquired sluggers with more run-producing opportunities. 

    Yankees manager Aaron Boone could opt to mix and match his lefites and righties. Even in that case, Rizzo and Gallo should have plenty of chances to drive in multiple runs with one swing of the bat because opponents can't pitch around one specific batter. 

    New York is not guaranteed to beat out Boston and Tampa Bay in the American League East, but it will at least produce plenty of home run highlights in its chase to do so with Rizzo and Gallo on the roster. 

Max Scherzer

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    When the Los Angeles Dodgers are at full strength, they could have three Cy Young Award winners in their rotation.

    Max Scherzer will join Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler in the team's quest to repeat as World Series champion. The availability of 2020 NL Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer is uncertain after his suspension following a sexual assault allegation. 

    Scherzer's shift to the National League West from the NL East will be an uptick in competition given how close the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants are to the Dodgers. 

    Los Angeles has three series left with the Padres, but it only plays San Francisco three more times. The Dodgers have 15 divisional games left against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies. 

    The Dodgers have a fairly easy home slate in August for Scherzer to get adjusted to his new environment as the Los Angeles Angels, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets and Rockies all come to Dodger Stadium. 

    Scherzer has a 2.81 career ERA and 65 strikeouts in nine career regular-season starts at Dodger Stadium and should feel comfortable inside the ballparks the Dodgers visit in the next month. 

    Los Angeles has a six-game road swing against the Phillies and Mets in mid-August. Scherzer just threw six innings of one-hit ball against Philadelphia on Wednesday. 

    The right-hander should fit right into the Los Angeles rotation, and there is not expected to be much of a drop-off in his production until the end of the regular season. 

Jose Berrios

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    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    The Toronto Blue Jays added Jose Berrios to bolster their pitching staff for not only this season, but for 2022 as well. 

    The former Minnesota Twins pitcher will slide in between Robbie Ray and Hyun-Jin Ryu in the Blue Jays rotation, which is strong at the back end as well with rookie Alek Manoah. 

    Berrios is in the middle of a strong run of starts. He went at least six innings in each of his four appearances. He lasted seven innings in three of those outings. 

    Berrios struck out 30 batters over 27 innings and he did not allow an earned run to the Los Angeles Angels in his last start. 

    The 27-year-old could face the Angels in one of his first starts as a Toronto player. The two sides meet for four games in California during the second week of August. 

    Sixteen games against Cleveland, Kansas City, Detroit and Baltimore in the next month should help Berrios gain comfort in the rotation and allow the Blue Jays to remain in the hunt for the AL playoff spots. 

Craig Kimbrel

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    The Chicago White Sox set up an intriguing situation from a fantasy baseball perspective by acquiring Craig Kimbrel.

    The American League Central leader now has two of the game's best closers in its bullpen in Kimbrel and Liam Hendriks. 

    Kimbrel recorded 23 saves and a 0.43 ERA in 39 appearances with the Chicago Cubs. Hendriks owns 25 saves with a 2.58 ERA in 45.1 innings. 

    The White Sox could assign one of the closers to the role, but the more likely scenario is a split role between the two hurlers. 

    Hendriks has pitched nine more innings than Kimbrel, so that may be an inclination that the pair combines forces during save opportunities as the White Sox chase the AL pennant. 

    Kimbrel's dominance in the ninth inning and lighter workload suggests he may be the pitcher to get more save opportunities in the second half. 

    The strikeouts and innings pitched will absolutely be there as the White Sox lock up the AL Central, but until we see what Tony La Russa has planned, we can't make an assumption on what the concrete role will be. 

Kris Bryant

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    David Banks/Associated Press

    Kris Bryant comes to the Giants with 18 home runs, 51 RBI, a .267 batting average, .358 on-base percentage, .503 slugging percentage and .861 OPS.

    With Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and Evan Longoria currently on the injured list, Bryant is expected to be the main run producer for now. 

    Expect Bryant to hit in the No. 3 or No. 4 hole to start, and his run total should increase once the experienced bats in the Giants order return to full strength. 

    Bryant can use his gap-to-gap power to drive in Mike Yasztremski and others at the top of the order and put himself to be driven in by others. He has 19 doubles this season. 

    Although it is a small sample size, Bryant has a 1.004 OPS in 17 games across his career at AT&T Park. 

    Those totals combined with the potential return of the veteran hitters should be a promising sign for the Giants and their quest to outduel the Dodgers and Padres. 


    Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference.