RotoBaller writer Chris Lacey highlights a handful of players on most of your waiver wires to keep track of. You can find many of these players and recommendations, along with many more, in our Daily Updated Waiver Wire Pickups List.
STANDARD MIXED-LEAGUE VIABLE PICKUPS
Brett Lawrie - Lawrie is not doing well with Toronto this season, as he has just a .208 batting average in 168 at-bats. The power numbers are down as well, with just six HR and 20 RBI. The right-hander can’t seem to figure out how to hit right-handed pitching with a .198 average, but with eligibility at a very thin second base, his value comes closer to his as-yet-unreached potential.
Andrelton Simmons - Simmons is not hitting for a very high average with the Braves this season, at just .244 in 397 at-bats. But he has shown some surprising pop with 11 HR and 35 RBI to go along with 11 doubles. He might be a guy to play the matchups with, as he fares OK against right-handers at .249, but he can’t seem to figure out lefties, hitting a paltry .229 against LHP.
Kyle Lohse - Lohse has been consistent for the Brewers with an ERA of 3.37 while throwing 128.1 innings. The long ball is a definite concern, as he has surrendered an astounding 20 home runs already, but he's been able to limit the damage by exhibiting great control, walking just 19 batters, good for a WHIP of 1.12. Lohse is one of those bizarre right-handed pitchers who has issues facing righties, who hit him at a .286 clip. Against lefties, on the other hand, Lohse has kept them to a .225 batting average. Lohse is dominant with runners in scoring position, holding teams to a .200 average.
Norichika Aoki - Aoki is a very underrated outfielder for the Brewers, hitting .294 including an OPS of .730 in 377 at-bats. He is also a threat to steal bases, notching 13 SB so far on the year. The left-handed outfielder excels at hitting southpaws with a .328 average, and hitting at a clip of .277 against right-handers. He is also very good with runners in scoring position, with him hitting .300 in 55 at-bats. You could certainly do worse than this under-the-radar across-the-board contributor for a fourth or fifth outfielder.
Miguel Gonzalez - Prior to getting torched last night by the suddenly-surging Royals, Gonzalez was quietly having a very nice year pitching for the Orioles, with a 3.34 ERA in 107.2 innings pitched. He has now struck out 79 batters and walked 35. One spot of worry going forward, though, is that he'S allowed 14 HR this season. Still, the right-hander is holding opposing batters to a .236 average, and is very effective in limiting damage as he's held hitters to a .150 batting average with two out and runners in scoring position.
Scott Kazmir - Kazmir has reinvented himself as a pitcher this season for the Cleveland Indians, with his six wins and an ERA of 3.96. The left-hander has walked 35 batters in 100 innings pitched with 90 strikeouts so far. Kazmir is keeping left-handed hitters looking confused, as they hit just .182 against him.
Devin Mesoraco - Mesoraco is a solid player at a thing catcher position, hitting .262 with an OPS of .732 in 195 at-bats for the Reds this season. He's tallied six HR and 28 RBI while striking out 42 times, but over the last seven games, he has a .458/.480/1.313 triple-slash with 20 total bases in 24 at-bats.
Scott Feldman - Feldman was recently traded to Baltimore and is not faring too well in the AL. He has a 4.73 ERA in 26.2 innings pitched while giving up 25 hits. However he does have 18 K against just four free passes. Feldman is holding the opposition to a .237 average, and righties just hit .240 against him. But once runners are on, he has trouble stranding them there, as teams have hit .280 against him with men on. There could be some regression coming here, as the ERA will drop as the strand rate improves, indicating there could be a buying opportunity here for a back-of-the-rotation matchups guy.
Mike Zunino - Zunino is young catcher with a bright future, but is learning the hard way that success in the minors does not always translate to success in the majors. He has a .237 average and an OPS of .652 in 97 at-bats while striking out 26 times against just nine walks. He is having problems facing left-handers with his .227 average against them. He will be a force at some point, but probably not just yet.
Junior Lake - Lake was just brought up to the majors by the Cubs and he has impressed in his limited exposure to major league pitching. He has a .519/.536/1.388 triple-slash in 27 at-bats. This is obviously unsustainable, and he's been getting very lucky so far with a .550 BABIP. For now he is crushing left-handed pitching with a .545 average and a OPS of 1.727 in 11 at-bats-- you might want to take a chance and ride him while he is still hot, but don't expect any long-term contributions, though.
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