Trust Marlins’ Trevor Rogers in the home stretch

We are constantly looking for people in our lives that we can depend on.

Whether building friendships or a relationship, or choosing a barber or doctor, we ultimately want someone we can rely on in good times or bad.

Trust is not given, although it is earned over time. It isn’t always easy to find trustworthy people to keep by your side, but you must hold on to them when you do — even if it isn’t everlasting.

The Marlins’ Trevor Rogers earned fantasy managers’ trust during his 2021 All-Star campaign — when he went 7-8 with a 2.64 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 10.6 strikeouts per nine and a .218 opponents’ average. He allowed more than three earned runs in a start only once in 25 outings.

That performance gave him credibility and made him a target for fantasy owners in 2022 (it doesn’t hurt that he is on a team with a track record of developing young pitchers).

Despite being drafted as a top-30 starting pitcher, Rogers quickly lost fantasy managers’ trust this season. In his first 19 starts, he was 4-10 with a 5.85 ERA, .283 opponents’ average, .831 OPS and 83-41 strikeout-walk rate before landing on the injured list with back spasms on July 26. He didn’t pitch again until Aug. 31 against Tampa Bay.

In his first two starts since returning, Rogers is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA, 13-1 strikeout-walk rate, .222 opponents’ average and 10.5 swinging-strike rate. He struck out eight and walked none Thursday against Philadelphia, despite giving up three runs and four extra-base hits. It was his second straight quality start after he completed six innings just twice in his first 19 outings.

Marlins pitcher Trevor Rogers will take on the Nationals on Sept. 17 in Washington.
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Rogers is slated to make two starts this week — Monday against the Rangers and Saturday against the Nationals. Roto Rage believes he is worthy of being in your fantasy lineups for those outings — and beyond. Yes, it’s the playoffs, but here’s why he should be considered a reliable option:

Rogers is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 8.4 strikeouts per nine in two interleague starts this season — one of which was his solid start against the Rays on Aug. 31. Entering the weekend, the Rangers were hitting .225 with a .652 OPS as a team over the previous 14 days (.178 with a .493 OPS over the past seven). He should fare well against the team that was 1-10 over its past 11 games entering Friday.

Rogers will take on the Nationals on Saturday in Washington and lines up to face them again Sept. 23 in Miami. It’s great because the MLB-worst Nats are one of the few teams against which the lefty has done really well this season.

Three of Rogers’ four wins have come against the cellar-dwelling Nats, a team he is 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and .179 opponents’ average against in 2022. Home or away (2-0, 1.64 ERA, 0.82 WHIP), it doesn’t matter — he has beaten them each time.

Pop quiz: What team did Rogers beat to capture his fourth win in 2022?

If you answered the Brewers, you’d be correct.

Pop quiz: What team is Rogers lined up to pitch against on Sept. 29?

If your answer was Milwaukee, you’re right again.

The Brewers have a winning record and are fighting for a wild-card spot, but it’s not as if they’re an offensive juggernaut. Milwaukee entered the weekend with the ninth-worst average and fourth-most strikeouts. Even worse, they were hitting .215 against left-handed pitchers and had the third-most strikeouts against southpaws.

Not only is Rogers 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 13.5 strikeouts per nine and a .238 opponents’ average against Milwaukee this season, but he is 3-0 with a 1.10 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 11.6 strikeouts per nine and .246 opponents’ average in three career starts.

Rogers’ final start will come against the Braves and … well, Roto Rage doesn’t trust him that much.

Big hits

Elvis Andrus SS, White Sox

Had at least one hit in 15 of his previous 18 games before Friday, hitting .307 with four homers, 15 RBIs, 12 runs and a .862 OPS in that span.

Spencer Strider SP, Braves

Has not lost since Aug. 7, going 4-0 with a 1.45 ERA, 45-7 strikeout-walk rate and .147 opponents’ average. In 13 starts since June 26, he is 7-2 with a 2.22 ERA, 111-19 K-BB rate and .171 opponents’ average.

OF Michael Harris II, Braves

Took a 14-game hitting streak into the weekend, going 23-for-51 (.451) with three homers, 10 RBIs, 12 runs, a stolen base and a 1.254 OPS in that span.

Michael Harris II
Michael Harris II
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Lance Lynn SP, White Sox

Before pitching on Saturday, he was 4-1 with a 2.06 ERA, 53-6 strikeout-walk rate and .194 opponents’ average over his previous seven starts.

Big whiffs

Jose Berrios SP, Blue Jays

Despite going 2-1 over his past six starts, he has allowed four earned runs or more in half of those outings and has a 6.19 ERA in that span.

Ryan McMahon 2B/3B, Rockies

Entered the weekend 4-for-28 (.143) with no homers or RBIs, 12 strikeouts and a .343 OPS in his previous nine games. Likely reason: All those games were away from Coors Field (.226, 632 OPS on the road).

Ryan McMahon
Ryan McMahon
Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Martin Perez SP, Rangers

After going 9-2 with a 2.47 ERA over his first 21 starts, he is 1-4 with a 4.11 ERA and .254 opponents’ average over his last six.

Rafael Devers 3B, Red Sox

Hit .195 with three homers, 18 RBIs and .602 OPS in his first 33 second-half games. That’s what came after a great first half (.324, 22 HR, 55 RBI, .981 OPS).

Check swings

  • Andrew Heaney of the Dodgers leads the majors in strikeouts per nine (13.50) in the second half, but has allowed 16 runs (13 earned over 21 innings), 10 home runs and a .262 opponents average over his past four starts. Despite his solid 36-3 strikeout-walk rate in those outings, he was 1-2 with a 5.57 ERA (6.87 FIP) and a .950 opponents’ OPS.
  • Seattle backstop Cal Raleigh had a red-hot start to the month, going 6-for-16 (.375) with four homers, nine RBIs, six runs, a 1.188 slugging percentage and a 1.632 OPS in his first five games.
  • Speaking of catchers swinging hot bats: Orioles rookie Adley Rutschman has hit .283 with 10 homers, 32 RBIs, 50 runs, 47-44 strikeout-walk rate, three stolen bases and a .910 OPS in 69 games since June 15. His 33 runs in the second half rank sixth in the majors, and his 17.7 percent walk rate ranks fourth.
  • The Rangers’ Nathaniel Lowe had at least one hit in 48 of his previous 62 games entering the weekend — going 80-for-238 (.336) with 14 homers, 36 RBIs, 34 runs, one stolen base and a .974 OPS in that span.
  • Baltimore’s Dean Kremer has allowed more than two earned runs just once over his past seven appearances (six starts) — going 3-2 with a 2.49 ERA, 30-7 strikeout-walk rate and .237 opponents’ average. His next start will likely be Tuesday against the MLB-worst Nationals, followed by a start against Detroit.
  • Arizona’s Jake McCarthy, rostered in just 30 percent of ESPN leagues, continues to have an incredible second half. He is 46-for-146 (.315) with four homers, 26 RBIs, 24 runs, 13 stolen bases and a .849 OPS. He already stole three bases in his first six games this month after leading the majors in August with eight.
Adley Rutschman
Adley Rutschman
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Team name of the week

Ketel Corn

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