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
Daniel Murphy. Murphy is having an amazing season for the Mets with a 122 bas hits (.282 BA). He's a doubles machine with (26), and has 37 extra-base hits overall. Over the last 14 games, the left-handed-hitting Murphy has a .364 BA that includes 20 hits and 13 RBI. He is just as good with runners in scoring position with a .304 average and 41 RBIs in 92 at-bats. Murphy has been an upper-tier second-baseman for most of the season, but he's done it fairly quietly, so for the 25% or so of you who play in leagues where Murphy is unowned, or those who can get him as a throw-in in a late season deal, he will be a very solid player to own down the stretch.
Nick Franklin. The Mariners' young second baseman is having a fine rookie campaign with a .267 average in 206 at-bats. He is showing the ability to drive the ball with 10 HR and 13 doubles, good for 32 RBI. There is an added bonus with him being a switch-hitter; he loves facing right-handers with a .283 average against them. He also handles the bat well with runners in scoring position, as indicated by his .289/.353/.997 triple-slash. The one drawback with Franklin is the strikeouts (57), so points-league owners should be careful.
Chris Johnson. Johnson is a hitting machine and leads the National League with a batting average of .342 in 322 at-bats. He has 110 hits to go along with 37 RBI and 41 runs scored. He can hit any type of pitcher, but the third baseman excels against southpaws with a .382 average and .948 OPS in 86 at-bats. With runners in scoring position, Johnson has a .313 batting average and 32 RBI. He's definitely viable in deep leagues at a tough position.
Alex Avila. Avila is not hitting well this season, with only a .200 batting average in 230 at-bats, but he's shown some power with eight HR and 30 RBI. That said, Avila has been en fuego over the past two weeks, with a .344/.400/1.025 triple-slash with 11 RBI in his last 32 at-bats. If you need a boost at your second catcher, Avila might just be your guy.
Jarrod Dyson. Dyson is hitting well for the Royals even though he only has 95 at-bats this season. The outfielder has a .274.337/.779 triple-slash, and is a legitimate threat to steal bases. He has swiped 16 bags and has just been caught three times. The issue for Dyson going forward will be playing time. If he can get a solid role, he will be a force in the stolen base category down the stretch. Monitor the Royals outfield situation carefully if you need steals.
Tyson Ross. Ross is proving to be a useful starting pitcher for the Padres this season. He has a 2.90 ERA in 59 innings pitched and has struck out 47 batters. He is holding the opposition to an average of just .231 on the season. If you need help in NL-only or are looking to play the matchups, you could do worse than to start Ross at home.
Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenez is pitching fairly well for the Indians with a 4.17 ERA and 106 K in 112.1 innings pitched on the season. He is coming off a dominating performance against the Rangers in which he threw eight shutout innings, only giving up two hits and walking three batters. The right-hander is holding teams to a .242 average, with lefties just hitting .224 against him. The thing about Jiminez, though, is that there is never any consistency-- you cannot know when he will go and give up eight ER in 1.2 IP. Better to leave that kind of volatility on the wire, but if there's a good matchup, he can be helpful in short bursts.
Erik Bedard. Bedard has pitched well for the Astros with a 4.28 ERA and 95 K in 103 innings this season. The left-hander is holding opposing batters to a.251 average. The odd thing about Bedard is that he struggles to get lefties out, as they have a .300 average against him. He has no problem with righties, though, who are hitting just hitting .239. Bedard appears to be a candidate for a post-waiver trade, and he was scratched from his last start with speculation being that he was on the way out of town. Nothing materialized, but if he moves to a contender with a favorable home park and remains a starting pitcher, he could have some value in the final months of the season. On the Astros in Minute Maid, though, he likely won't be much help.
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