While the Athletics are out of playoff contention, they are giving opportunities to players. Matt Olson is making the most of it with his power display.
September is known for two things in baseball. Playoff races and prospect call-ups. The former doesn’t affect fantasy baseball too much, just keeps the stars playing until the final day. The latter allows owners to see the young stars they may draft in many years to come.
However, there is a third benefit to September. For the teams that are out of the playoff hunt, they are giving some of their bench players more opportunities, like Oakland Athletics first baseman/outfielder Matt Olson.
Olson has just 126 at-bats under his belt this season and 147 for his career. Though, in those 126 at-bats, he has 14 home runs, 29 RBI and 19 runs scored with a .262 batting average. If you need help in the power categories, Olson is the guy to add.
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In his first 28 games this season, 18 starts, Olson hit .210/.289/.519 with eight home runs and 16 RBI. He wasn’t getting enough playing time to have any significant fantasy value in anything but deep, AL-only leagues.
Since that date, 13 games and 12 starts, Olson has a .356 average with six home runs, 15 RBI and seven runs. The power has come over the last week. Olson hit six home runs between Aug. 27 and Sept. 4, including a two-home run game in his last game.
If he hits a home run on Tuesday, that will be his third stint of hitting a home run in three straight games, which I think is a pretty cool feat.
Olson was blocked for most of the season by Yonder Alonso. He was getting some playing time in the outfield every now and then. With Alonso being traded to the Seattle Mariners, that opened first base up for Olson.
The downside to Olson is the high strikeout rate and low BABIP, 29.8 percent and .271 respectively. What that means is Olson is more of a power-or-nothing kind of hitter. Like I said earlier, if you need power, he’s your guy. If you’re slacking in batting average or lose points for strikeouts, look elsewhere.
Olson is one of the many players on a struggling team that will keep playing until the end of the season. Roto leagues play until the final day. Head-to-head leagues will start playoffs soon. Either way, Olson can give you a boost in home runs and RBI but may hurt you in batting average and on-base percentage.