Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Waiver Wire Pickups List (Updated Daily)

Our running MLB list of 2015 fantasy baseball draft sleepers and waiver wire pickup options. RotoBaller's Ultimate Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Waiver Wire Pickups List is a daily updated article of hot MLB players to add.

RotoBaller

Back by popular demand in 2015… RotoBaller has brought back for the MLB season our Ultimate 2015 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Waiver Wire Pickups List. 

Our team of MLB enthusiasts and fantasy baseball analysts follow baseball all day, during the offseason and especially during the season. We recommend players for you to consider as 2015 draft sleepers, ADP values, or hot pickups off the waiver wire once the season starts – every single day of the fantasy baseball preseason and season. Drafting the right undervalued player or adding the right guys off the waiver wire can be a huge difference maker in fantasy leagues. Last year, players like J.D. Martinez, Jake Arrieta or Jacob deGrom went undrafted in most leagues, and players like that helped win a ton of fantasy championships.

What’s better than snagging that big time sleeper or hot player off the waiver wire before your league does? Well, not much really. Each day we will update this list, so be sure to check back to see who we’ve added and read the latest analysis about each player. If you aren’t sure who to drop, we’ll help you decide – just ask us in our chat room. Now let’s win some leagues!

RotoBaller's Fantasy Baseball App - Waiver Wire PickupsPrefer using your phone? Our 2015 Sleepers & Waiver Wire Pickups iPhone app is free and available in the Apple Store. Just search for “waiver wire” in the App Store.

 

 

Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Waiver Wire by MLB Position

ALL – C – 1B – 2B – SS – 3B – OF – SP – RP

 

Matt Cain (SP, SF) – Waiver Wire Analysis

5 hours ago

Published by: Edward Sutelan - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues/NL-only Leagues OWNED: 22% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Matt Cain has not been overly impressive in his return from injury earlier in the season. He has a pedestrian 4.09 ERA that is really harmed by his alarming 1.64 HR/9 this season. Granted, he has pitched in only a small sample size of 22.0 innings this season, but fantasy owners are right to be skeptical of the right-hander. There is a lot of reason to be optimistic on Cain bouncing back and being a potentially strong fantasy player this season. For one thing, he has a 14.3% HR/FB rate which would be the highest in his career. It is very unlikely that he will continue at this pace given his career track record of limiting the long ball (0.83 HR/9 and 7.5% HR/FB rate in career). He also pitches in what was considered last season to be the toughest ball park to hit home runs in based on park factors. The home runs will definitely go down as he throws more innings. His SIERA (Skill-Interactive Earned Run Average is an run estimator based on batted ball statistics) this season of 3.86 indicates that he should be much better than his current 4.09 ERA would have you believe. The biggest risk that fantasy owners take on at this point with Matt Cain is the possibility that he will be injured again during this season. But taking the risk and adding Cain could provide fantasy owners with a potential plus arm.

Erasmo Ramirez (SP, TB) – Waiver Wire Analysis

5 hours ago

Published by: Edward Sutelan - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team leagues OWNED: 12% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Erasmo Ramirez has been having a sneaky good year this season. He currently has a 3.74 ERA with a 3.76 FIP, 7.19 K/9, 2.56 BB/9, and 0.79 HR/9 in 91.1 IP in 2015. His SIERA (Skill-Interactive Earned Run Average which creates an ERA based on batted ball statistics) is at 3.80 which indicates that his season is about what it should be. But what is really the big selling point on Ramirez is his recent stretch since May 30. In that time, he has a very impressive 1.93 ERA with 7.07 K/9, 1.61 BB/9, 0.64 HR/9 in 56.0 innings pitched. And his 3.17 FIP during that time span says that he may experience some regression, he still has been on quite the hot streak that cannot be ignored. While Erasmo Ramirez may not be a great strikeout pitcher, he will keep runners off base and maintain a low ERA. He is not going to keep up this 1.93 ERA for the rest of the season, but fantasy owners would be wise to add him now to take full advantage of his recent surge.

Eugenio Suarez (SS, CIN) – Waiver Wire Analysis

5 hours ago

Published by: Edward Sutelan - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED: 4% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Zack Cozart was in the midst of a career offensive year before going down with a gruesome knee injury. Luckily for the Reds, they had acquired then 23-year-old shortstop Eugenio Suarez in a trade with the Tigers for Alfredo Simon. Suarez has not disappointed this year. The now 24-year-old Suarez has a slash line of .315/.350/.485 with five home runs and three stolen bases. And though he has played replacement level defense, he has made his presence felt in Cincinnati. Many believed that his defense would be above-average, but that his range would necessitate a move to second base. And while that change could take place in 2016 with the return of Zack Cozart, his bat will ensure that he stays in the lineup. Suarez’s .315 batting average is likely to decline as his .391 BABIP is very unsustainable and he may see a decline in his current power rate as he doesn’t have enough pop to maintain a 15.2% HR/FB rate (even in Great American Ballpark), but he will hit more than enough to have a positive fantasy impact at a generally weak offensive position.

Alex Wilson (RP, DET) - Closer Waiver Wire Pickups and Adds

6 hours ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues for Saves OWNED IN: 3% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: After today's trade of Joakim Soria to the Pirates, it was assumed that Al Alburquerque or maybe Bruce Rondon would be next in line for saves. Turns out that Alex Wilson was called upon to get the first crack at being the new closer for the Tigers tonight. There are no guarantees in this bullpen yet, but based on usage tonight, it certainly seems like Wilson is the guy to grab off the waiver wire if you're looking to add saves to your fantasy baseball teams. Alburquerque pitched earlier in the game, and then Wilson came in to relieve him in the 8th inning. He proceeded to come back out for the 9th inning, and nailed down the save by pitching 1 2/3 innings. Wilson has been solid this year, throwing 52 2/3 innings before tonight, and racking up a 1.84 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 32:8 K:BB ratio in the process. He doesn't have a high strikeout rate, but he's kept runners off the board thus far. He seems like the closer to own for now, but this can be a fluid situation so stay tuned for further updates. You can see our full MLB closers & saves depth charts updated here, and follow further updates and waiver wire pickups/stashes as we continue through the trade deadline.  

Hector Rondon (RP, CHC) - Closer Waiver Wire Pickups and Adds

10 hours ago

Published by: Jorge - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues for Saves OWNED IN: 68% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: It's no sure thing yet, but it seems that Rondon is the closer again in Chicago. Earlier in the season, Cubs manager Joe Maddon pulled him from the job after a rough start to an inning, not even an implosion. Fantasy owners and fans alike were left scratching their heads. After enduring an extended period of a closer by committee approach, it appears that the Cubbies are ready to go back to the more conventional one-closer setup. In his time as the closer this year, Rondon was pretty reliable. His 96 MPH fastball / 86 MPH slider combo is good enough to get a solid 10.5% whiff rate and 8.2 K/9. The only question you need to ask yourself here is if you trust Maddon to stick with Rondon for the rest of the season, or if you think he will go back to his committee should things get rough. The truth is though, unless you're in a very shallow league, there aren't many closer options available. So if someone dropped him when he lost the job, now's the time to scoop Rondon up again and vulture whatever saves you can out of him.

Arodys Vizcaino (RP, ATL) - Closer Waiver Wire Pickups and Adds

10 hours ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Saves Leagues OWNED IN: 18% of Fleaflicker Leagues  ANALYSIS: Earlier today the current Brave's closer Jim Johnson was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a blockbuster trade. He will serve as the setup man for Kenley Jansen, and youngster Arodys Vizcaino is expected to take over as the closer for the Braves. You can see our full MLB closers & saves depth charts updated here, and follow further updates and waiver wire pickups/stashes as we continue through the trade deadline. If you are looking to boost your team saves, and Vizcaino is still available, go ahead and grab him off the waiver wire. He's only pitched nine innings so far this year, but he's rocking a 1.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 8:4 K:BB ratio to go along with three holds. Not too shabby at all. The Braves have yielded plenty of saves this year for fantasy baseball owners, between Johnson and Jason Grilli, and I'd expect that continue going forward. Vizcaino should have the first crack at the job, and may run away with it. The trade season of saves-a-plenty continues...  

Al Alburquerque & Bruce Rondon (RP, DET) - Closer Waiver Wire Analysis

10 hours ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Saves Leagues OWNED IN: 1% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Joakim Soria has been traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates and is out as the closer in Detroit. Enter Al Alburquerque and Bruce Rondon. Alburquerque has been the setup man in Detroit and seems like the favorite to get the first crack at saves for the Tigers. He has close a to 9 K/9, but walks a ton of batters with a 4.57 BB/9 and also allows a fair share of homers (4 in 43 IP). We could see some blown saves from Alburquerque just as easily as a few saves. Rondon has been dominant since returning from Triple-A, picking up 18 Ks in just 12 IP. He also has a high walk rate but has proven much better at home run prevention in his career than Alburquerque so those walks are less likely to hurt him. Rondon is certainly the more dominant pitcher with his 97 MPH heater and nasty slider, but we still think he'll have to wait for an Alburquerque blow up or two in order to get a shot at closing duties for the Tigers. For now, if you have room and are desperate for saves, the smart move would be to add both relievers.  If you are strapped for room and can only add one, go with Alburquerque.  We'll have a better indication of who Brad Ausmus will roll with as the Tigers closer after tonight's game vs. the Orioles. UPDATE: Alex Wilson came in after Al Alberquerque during tonight's game, closing out the 8th inning. He then stayed in the 9th inning, and locked down the save. Based on tonight's game usage, it seems that Wilson is the guy to own for now in this bullpen for saves You can see our full MLB closers & saves depth charts updated here, and follow further updates and waiver wire pickups/stashes as we continue through the trade deadline.

C.J. Cron (1B, LAA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

22 hours ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in deeper leagues. OWNED IN: 6% of fleaflicker leagues. ANALYSIS: Due to recent acquisitions of players like Shane Victorino and David Murphy by the Angels, things have gotten a little hairier for C.J. Cron in Los Angeles. However, due to Cron's recently high level of offensive performance and lack of defensive versatility, it is very possible that he has a more secure hold on the DH spot than people may think. He is at least a good addition for fantasy baseball managers in deep leagues given his widespread availability. Cron has 174 AB this season and in that time has accumulated six HR, a .707 OPS, a 101 OPS+, and has shown signs of improvement in plate discipline by lowering his SO% from 24.1% to 20.7%. Cron has been red hot against lefties this season as well. Cron has a .322 BA and .802 OPS vs LHP and a .884 OPS against left handed starters. Cron is also batting well outside of LA with a .813 away OPS. Cron had been ice cold until July by posting April, May and June OPS of .622, .282, and .616. Cron has since exploded to a July OPS of 1.074. The Angels offense has made measurable improvements this week via trade and fantasy baseball managers in deep leagues can take advantage of these circumstances by taking advantage of Cron's hot July slugging.

Jeff Locke (SP, PIT) - Waiver Wire Pickups

22 hours ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in deeper leagues, stream at home. OWNED IN: 9% of fleaflicker leagues. ANALYSIS: As shown by his All-Star season back in 2013, Jeff Locke is kind of like the Jay Bruce of pitching when it comes to streakiness. However, with streak producers; when they are hot, they are really hot. In total this season Locke has a 4.15 ERA, an encouragingly indicative .365 FIP, and is only allowing 0.6 HR/9. Locke also has a slightly unlucky BABIP of .319 considering the fact that his LD% isn't bad. Locke is especially good at home with a 2.90 ERA and a 1.262 WHIP, while his poor away ERA of 6.57 can be in part attributed to a very high away BABIP of .361, as Locke doesn't give up many HR. Locke has steadily heated up from the mound in the last couple of months. Locke had a June ERA of 2.96 but a high WHIP of 1.463 that can be in large part attributed to a June BABIP of .326. So far in July Locke has had a relatively normal BABIP of .271 and has lowered his WHIP to a solid 1.066 with a 2.84 ERA. The motif throughout all of these numbers is that Locke is producing well, and when he isn't, it can largely be bad luck to blame. Fantasy baseball managers in deep leagues should trust in Locke's isolated pitching and recently lowered BABIP and add him to their rosters, or at least stream Locke in Pittsburgh for his consistent home performances.

Aramis Ramirez (3B, PIT) - Waiver Wire Pickups

22 hours ago

Published by: Rick Lucks - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in the deepest of leagues for power. OWNED IN: 55% of Fleaflicker leagues. ANALYSIS: There can be no doubt that Pittsburgh fans were excited to see one of their best players of the last decade get a chance to contribute for a winning Pirates team - even if he is doing so 10 years too late. Still, the question must be asked - exactly how much is left in this soon to be retired bat? On the positive side of the ledger, his 10.1% HR/FB is still league average. He also hits the ball into the air at an above average rate - 43.4% of the time. Together, this gives him a solid 11 bombs so far with 20 HR upside - not bad for a guy on waivers this late in the year. He also strikes out rarely - just 13.7% of the time. That should give him average upside as well, though his current .237/.283/.412 triple slash line does not reflect it. The average is not higher because the shift exists. When you pull your groundballs 63% of the time and lack running speed, your BABIP is going to suffer in the modern game. This has been true for Ramirez, who has a .242 BABIP on the season. Optimists should note that his BABIP has been .293 (career .291) in the month of July, leading to a .288 average on the month. Perhaps he has changed something, or perhaps this is a flash in the pan and will regress soon. Sadly, we may never get a chance to find out. Ramirez can play everyday today because Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer are injured, but both will be back soon. This could lead to a playing time crunch that leaves Ramirez out in the cold despite the good feelings associated with his return. Harrison, Kang, and Neal Walker pretty much have to play everyday, and the slumping Pedro Alvarez is always a good week away from being allowed to look awful for a month. Filling in for Alvarez is also problematic because Ramirez has never played first base in his MLB career - it may be too late to teach the old dog a new trick. A platoon is also unlikely, as Ramirez has been awful vs. LHP this season (.161 average). If they decide Mercer needs playing time too despite being terrible, Ramirez will rarely see the field. So what to do with him? He is a fine short term power add in league specific and very deep formats, but consistent playing time for the rest of the season is not guaranteed. Honestly, his 55% ownership rate is way too high, and more owners need to cut him than add him.

Jonathan Schoop (BAL, 2B/3B) - Waiver Wire Pickups

22 hours ago

Published by: Jorge - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add and platoon in 14 team leagues or deeper OWNED IN: 9% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Frankly, this guy is Jimmy Paredes 2.0. He has power, but can be streaky and a drain on your team's average. Last year in 481 AB's Schoop hit 16 big flies and recorded 45 RBI, but only hit .209 with an atrocious .244 OBP. This year in 81 AB's, he's hitting .269 with six bombs and 14 RBI. The red flag here is his 25.9% K rate, so if your league penalizes strikeouts stay away. The positive takeaway from Schoop though, is that he rakes against righties and especially at Camden Yards. In general against righties, Schoop is hitting .314 with five homers and 12 RBI. In Baltimore, he hits .438 against right-handers with four homers and eight RBI. You see what I'm getting at here. Schoop could be a solid guy to spot start when he faces righties and when he's at home. Playing him full time on the other hand will likely just do more damage than good to your team.

Jonathon Niese (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

22 hours ago

Published by: Matt - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Pick up in deep or NL-Only leagues OWNED IN: 10% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Jon Niese was roughed around in his last start, giving up 6 ER and 8 hits in only 3 IP against the Dodgers. It was probably the pitcher's poorest outing thus far in 2015, and rose his ERA to 3.75, but don't let it overshadow Niese's recent success. Despite trade rumors swirling around him, Niese posted 8 straight quality starts prior to the debacle against LA, allowing 2 ER or fewer in 5 of them while managing eight scoreless innings against San Fransisco and 7.1 scoreless innings against St. Louis over that span. He won't strike many batters out, as indicated by his 5.8 K/9, and walks remain a problem, but Niese has shown spurts of strong pitching in 2015 and deserves a higher ownership than 14%. A change of scenery could also do some good in the event that he does end up being traded. Overall, Niese is more than capable of adding depth to a fantasy pitching staff and should provide solid production for the remainder of 2015, regardless of what uniform he is wearing.

J.J. Hardy (SS, BAL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

23 hours ago

Published by: Matt - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues/AL-only leagues OWNED IN: 13% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: There's no doubting that J.J. Hardy has had an rough season. Coming off a 2014 campaign in which his production saw steep decline, the 32-year-old SS is hitting .239 thus far in 2015 with 6 HR and 28 RBI. Those numbers aren't great, not by a long shot, but there is still value in the once powerful SS. First off, a size-able chunk of those struggles can be attributed to left-handed pitching, against which Hardy has a .215 AVG and .026 ISO in 2015. His numbers against righties are much better, with a .250 AVG and .394 SLG. He's also making hard contact on nearly 29% of his successful swings against right-handed pitching, suggesting the aging SS still has some pop left in him. Lastly, and most importantly, Hardy's bat has found some life in the last couple of weeks, hitting .308 over his last 15 games with 8 runs, 1 HR, 6 RBI, and a still active 11-game hitting streak in that span. He's far from a star fantasy SS, but as long as there is a right-hander on the mound and a hole at SS in your lineup Hardy can prove a solid pickup.

Aaron Hicks (OF, MIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 day ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 4% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: While Byron Buxton and Torii Hunter have grabbed the headlines during Minnesota's surprisingly resurgent season, it is Aaron Hicks who has been stealing the show lately (not in attention though, just look at his ownership). Hicks has just 155 AB in 2015. In that time he has amassed four HR, eight SB, a .722 OPS, a .920 OPS vs LHP, and a .906 OPS at home. Hicks has turned on the heat behind the plate very recently, as he has a July OPS of .908 and has a .956 OPS in the last seven days. Hicks is a widely available power/speed combo on the waiver wire, a player that is slugging in the .900s at home, in the last month, in the last week, and against lefties. In a time of the MLB season when some outfields with sleeper hitters are getting a little crowded (Angels, Royals), it is a savvy idea to add the player who is producing recently, regardless of the lack of headlines produced. Grab Hicks off the waiver wire, and ride the hot wave at the very least.  

Mike Leake (SP, CIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 day ago

Published by: Edward Sutelan - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 45% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Following the trade of Johnny Cueto, the only Reds starting pitcher likely to still be dealt is Mike Leake. Leake has been solid on the season throwing 128.2 IP with a 3.78 ERA, 3.94 FIP, 6.09 K/9, 2.10 BB/9, and 0.97 HR/9. His numbers are virtually identical to all of his numbers from his last season, which indicates that this is about as good as he is likely to get in Cincinnati. But Leake does have one thing going for him: he may be leaving Great American Ballpark soon. This season, Leake owns a 4.93 ERA at home compared to a very low 2.57 ERA on the road. In fact, Leake has been significantly better on the road in his career (3.48 ERA in 504.1 IP) compared to at home (4.31 ERA in 516.0 IP). A major factor in his splits is the home run rates. He owns a 1.24 HR/9 at home in his career and a 0.98 HR/9 on the road in his career. A change of scenery from hitter friendly Great American Ballpark would do him a lot of good. Mike Leake will never be a top of the rotation top arm, but a trade to another team will help him become a more consistently successful pitcher. He immediately becomes worth owning in just about all leagues the moment he is traded, and given his recent strong of fantastic starts he can be added in most leagues off the waiver wire now.

Taylor Jungmann (SP, MIL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 day ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 35% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Just when you thought the Milwaukee Brewers cupboards were empty after Jimmy Nelson's callup late last year, here comes Taylor Jungmann to keep hope alive. Even though this is a lost year for the Brewers, Jungmann's first season in Milwaukee has been a special one. His 2.14 ERA and 1.05 WHIP have been impressive and he has solidified his place in the long term plans for Milwaukee. Even though his K/9 has dropped to 7.02 from his highest at 8.94, the BB/9 is also down considerably from 4.72 to a pleasant 2.90. Jungmann's BABIP has slowly dipped over his time in the minors, and should level off around .260, while his FIP has also taken positive strides and currently sits at 3.22 for 2015. Jungmann is another pitcher that relies heavily on the fastball, throwing it 72% of the time. Until he can command his curveball or changeup, he will be relying on his efficient fastball. That fact brings about some concerns, especially long term, if he fails to develop another top-notch pitch. But for now, Jungmann has delivered 6 QS and has given up more than 2 ER only once which took place on his June 19th start at Colorado. It looks like the Brewers have found themselves another starter, to help get them eventually get back to being an NL contender. Make him a part of your fantasy baseball team by adding him off the waiver wire, and put yourself in a better position.  

Joaquin Benoit (RP, SD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 day ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stash in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 14% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The San Diego Padres have been at the center of big name trade talks before Friday's trade deadline, and the leaders of San Diego's bullpen Craig Kimbrel and Joaquin Benoit are being mentioned by many buyers this week. Benoit has earned the attention he has been receiving by posting a 2.27 ERA, 0.847 WHIP, 8.0 K/9, 17 holds, and a 157 ERA+ so far in 2015. Benoit has only allowed opposing batters to hit for a .142 BA and a .519 OPS on the season, and has been especially good in the pitcher friendly confines of Petco by allowing opponents a .396 OPS on the season. The trade deadline for Benoit is a Win-Win. If he gets traded to a potential contender, he could end up with even more chances for holds and could potentially become the closer. If Kimbrel is traded and Benoit remains with the Padres, Benoit is the obvious choice to receive all save opportunities in San Diego. Don't wait until Friday to find out, as Benoit could see his value take a leap this week and could see his dominant pitching be rewarded with more holds or saves.

Edward Mujica (OAK, RP) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 day ago

Published by: Jorge - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Saves Leagues OWNED IN: 20% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: After the A's traded Tyler Clippard to the Mets on Monday, the ninth inning is up for grabs in Oakland. Drew Pomeranz could be a factor, but there's still a chance he transitions back into the rotation. For this reason, Mujica could run away with the job. Needless to say, if you need saves, grab this guy quickly because he is widely available. He has closer experience from his time in Boston after covering for Koji Uehara, and also with the Cardinals in 2013 when he racked up 37 saves. The home park is favorable too, so it should help him to pad his stats. However, there is a chance he still gets traded as well, so nothing is written in stone yet. If possible, avoid this situation as there are simply too many variables. Fantasy baseball often throws owners some unideal situations though, so those in deeper leagues may want to take a gamble on Mujica in case he sticks.  

J.J. Hoover (RP, CIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 day ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stash in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 5% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The Cincinnati Reds are blowing up their team and with that fallout comes opportunities for other players to become fantasy relevant. With the potential trade of Aroldis Chapman looming on the horizon, J.J. Hoover should be taking over the ninth in the Queen City. Even including Hoover's disastrous 2014 campaign, Hoover sports a career 3.20 ERA and a 3:1 K/BB ratio. He relies heavily on a four-seam fastball that has movement and tops out at 93 MPH. He adds a slow moving curveball and occasionally sprinkles in sliders and changeups. In leagues that count holds Hoover has already proven to be valuable, but in leagues that only count saves, now is the time to add him. A key strategy at this time of year in the fantasy season is taking chances on guys that will benefit post trade deadline. The Reds have said they want to move Chapman's $8 million contract, which makes sense given their non-contender status. Hoover is the next guy in line and has proven that he can be the guy to close games for the Reds for now.  

Michael Conforto (OF, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 day ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team / NL-Only Leagues OWNED IN: 17% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: It took quite some time for the New York Mets to put ailing OF Michael Cuddyer on the shelf. But they didn't wait long at all to add another Michael to their roster to help bolster their hitting which has slumped mightily for most of this year. Michael Conforto has handled minor league pitching quite well this year to the tune of a .297 BA, 12 HR, 54 RBI, and an impressive 61:40 K/BB in 91 games. How has he fared since being called up? He is hitting over .300 and has contributed in the positive manner that many people expected him to as one of the more polished hitters in the Mets' system. Conforto seems slotted to play predominately LF and figures to see at-bats in the bottom third of the lineup---for now. The Mets offense is ranked 29th in runs scored, 22nd in HR, and dead last in BA at .236. Have no fear -  Conforto will keep inching up the lineup as the year progresses. If the Mets truly see themselves as a playoff contender this year, playing Conforto every day should be a must regardless of what they do at the trade deadline to improve upon the dreadful team hitting statistics. The concern for Conforto will be his ability to hit the ball to the opposite field. He is only currently doing that 13% of the time but with more seasoning and a better grasp on MLB pitching, Conforto should adjust. He has solid BABIP and K/BB ratios and creates solid contact. He won't steal a ton of bases but he should do just about everything else. He is not the typical young hitter poised to have high K totals, so buck the trend and buy into Conforto before someone else does.

Ken Giles (RP, PHI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 days ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Saves Leagues OWNED IN: 41% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The Philadelphia Phillies just traded current closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Washington Nationals. While setup man Ken Giles is already owned in 41% of fantasy baseball leagues, he is still being written about as he should be grabbed everywhere now that Papelbon is out of the picture. Giles has long been expected to step in as the closer, to be the future saves man for the Phillies, and his chance has finally arrived. You can see our full MLB closers & saves depth charts updated here, and follow further updates and waiver wire pickups/stashes as we continue through the trade deadline. Giles has been very solid this year, with a 1.85 ERA and 1.35 WHIP, racking up 54 K over 43 2/3 IP. The walks have been a little high, with 20 BB over that time, but he's been much better of late in that department. Just in case Giles is still available in your league, and saves count in your format, be sure to go and grab him immediately off the waiver wire. Regarding Drew Storen, Papelbon demanded that he be the closer for whatever team he is traded to, and the Nationals apparently agreed. This trade will send Drew Storen back to the 8th inning role as a setup man for the Nationals. Those in holds leagues will still benefit from Storen in that role, but it seems that Storen will no longer be grabbing saves for the Nats.  

Patrick Corbin (SP, ARI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 days ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stream in NL-Only and Deep Mixed Leagues Ownership: 15% Yahoo!, 15% Fleaflicker ANALYSIS: Patrick Corbin finally earned his first win of the season in his last outing. The Diamondbacks are hoping that his 10-strikeout, seven-inning performance will continue against the offensively-challenged Mariners on Wednesday. Seattle owns a somewhat healthy 20.5% K rate against lefties.

Edward Mujica (RP, OAK) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 days ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Saves Leagues OWNED IN: 3% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The Oakland Athletics just traded current closer Tyler Clippard to the New York Mets. This opens the question of who will be the next closer for Oakland? Based on current game usage, the answer would seem to be Edward Mujica. Although his numbers haven't been phenomenal, he has been deployed as the setup man in recent games and grabbing some holds in the process. You can see our full MLB closers & saves depth charts updated here, and follow further updates and waiver wire pickups/stashes as we continue through the trade deadline. Oakland may very well trade Mujica as well, but Mujica seems to be the likely candidate to take over as the closer, at least in the near term. Fernando Rodriguez has pitched well, and may eventually grab some saves, but he most likely won't get the first crack at the job. Drew Pomeranz and Eric O'Flaherty are other names that have been discussed as potential options, but both are lefties and Pomeranz has been working out of the rotation recently. If you are looking for a boost in saves, grab Mujica off the waiver wire and see how this all plays out.  

Aaron Nola (SP, PHI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 24% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The Year of the Youth carries on with Aaron Nola, the highest rated pitching prospect (28th overall) to reach the majors this year. The Nola hype train only added more coal to its burners in his debut (6 IP, 1 ER, 6/0 K/BB), so what’s up with the 22% ownership? This needs to be addressed now. Yes, it was the Tampa Rays’ putrid offense, but Nola looked like a poised veteran on the mound with his only mistake being a Nathan Karns HR, which is safe to say a first in MLB history for a pitcher’s debut. If you didn’t get a chance to view his outing he relied primarily on his fastball (65%) while mixing in his curve (18%) and changeup (17%). His changeup had some serious bite as it dives out the zone and I anticipate it being his best pitch here on out. The reason Nola has staying power is his ability to limit the walks (ZiPs and Steamer project a 2.15 BB/9 rate). The wins are going to be hard to come by for Nola with his own anemic offense behind him, so if he can maintain solid ratios, which I think he can, Nola will be a useful fantasy commodity in any league size. The matchups aren’t too intimidating (@ CHC, vs ATL, vs LAD) and Nola’s ownership should propel up for his start vs Atlanta, but be on the front end of this one if you still can. It’s crazy how obsessed owners are in the young hitters but Nola remains available in 78% of leagues.  

Ervin Santana (SP, MIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 50% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Like a scorned lover, fantasy owners kept Ervin Santana out of sight and out of mind for his 80 game suspension, but he’s come storming back into our hearts and deserves our attention. Through his first four starts he’s racked up a 2-0 record with a 2.60/0.98 line and a 21/7 K/BB ratio, including a dominant performance last time out vs LAA. I’m bullish on his potential to keep this up. His .205 BABIP is well below his career average while his 0.94 WHIP is well below his career numbers (1.25-1.30). He hasn’t added any pitches or velocity to his repertoire  and he’s always been prone to rough outings, as evident by his one poor start this year (@DET – 4 IP, 6 ER). That said, Santana has shown us he has the talent to be fantasy asset as recent as 2013 when he produced a 3.24/1.14 line in 211.0 innings, so his strong start needs to be taken seriously. I can see scenarios where Santana would not be talented enough to stick on shallow fantasy rotations, but if you’re struggling for ratios or are on the stream police (vs PIT – Yes, @ TOR – No) he’s worth keeping an eye on. Out there in half of fantasy leagues, give him a spin vs Pittsburgh next time out.  

Tom Koehler (SP, MIA) - Waiver Wire Analysis

4 days ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 26% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The Marlins have been a sneaky source for a quality pitching this year and the buck doesn’t stop with Tom Koehler. Koehler has arguably been the Marlins #2 behind Jose Fernandez since the start of June. Koehler was excellent last time out at the poor Padres, throwing seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts. (Cue to A.J. Preller taking way too many tequila shots). Since his June 5th start at Coors, Koehler has a 2.22/1.04 line with 5-3 record. Even more impressive he’s on a run of six straight starts with two earned runs or less. His fastball (92.2) isn’t blowing any batters away but his knuckle curve has been keeping hitters in check. The sabremetrics imply that Koehler’s ERA should be in the 4.00 range, but the good times aren’t over just yet for this 15% owned option. Here are Koehler’s next three matchups lined up: vs WAS, vs NYM, @ ATL. In case you were curious, those teams are 12th, 22nd, and 26th in OPS vs RHP. This represents a great opportunity for players in deep leagues with limited adds. Ride Koehler for the next three outings and reevaluate from there.  

Danny Duffy (SP, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 21% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The Duffmeister has come back with a fury after a DL stint, posting a 2.15 ERA over six starts. Even more impressive has been the month of July where he owns a 1.37 ERA, including his latest outing vs HOU (6 IP, 1 ER, 3K, ND). He isn’t striking anyone out (2.73 K/9 in July) but he isn’t walking batters either. In the process he’s dropped his ERA from 4.65 to 4.03. Duffy is the same pitcher who posted a 2.53 ERA in 149.1 innings in 2014 and a 1.85 ERA in five 2013 starts, so improvement was anticipated from his rough start. He also tends to pitch his best baseball in the dog days of summer (2.99 in July, 3.60 in August). He’s not going to be a front-end pitcher for any fantasy team, but he can carry strong ratios with a great chance to pick up wins on the pennant-seeking Royals. That said, maybe lay off for his game at Toronto coming up. After that is a trip to Detroit. Oof. Proceed with caution.  

Erasmo Ramirez (SP, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 33% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Erasmo Ramirez has been discussed at Rotoballer previously so I’m not going to dive too deep here. After his rough outing vs Baltimore (7.1 IP, 5 ER, 3K) it’s possible a few owners jumped ship this weekend. Keep in mind the majority of that damage was a Chris Davis grand slam and he settled down well after. He gave up two hits to Adam Jones and a little league HR to David Lough. Even with the rough start Ramirez owns a 2.20/0.98 line since June 4th and has displayed the consistency required to roster a pitcher full-time. His fastball/changeup combo has been extremely successful for Ramirez and he locates each pitch well enough to throw in any count. His 12.4 SwStk% would be 12th among SP if he qualified, ahead of the likes of Michael Pineda, Jacob deGrom, and Madison Bumgarner. Pretty impressive considering how poor his slider has been. His next outings are at Boston and at Chicago (AL) and some owners may be scared off by his ugly home/road splits and the Orioles game. A deeper dive shows those splits are caused by some terrible games at Miami and Toronto in early April. Grab a share in deep leagues and you won’t regret it.  

Chris Tillman (SP, BAL) - Waiver Wire Analysis

4 days ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 40% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Chris Tillman was drafted in almost every league this preseason with most projecting he would serve as the Orioles ace. That didn’t come to fruition (Wei-Yen Chen has been their best SP) and Tillman saw his ownership start to tank after posting a horrendous 6.22 ERA through 14 starts. After a painful outing at Toronto on June 21st (in which no one should have used him), he’s bounced back with a 1.38/0.95 line and a 28/6 K/BB ratio. Those are useful in any league format. So what changed? Let’s take a look: It’s figuratively a completely different pitcher. Limiting the walks and homers has been the key, along with some added luck from the high LOB rate. This wasn’t exactly a cake walk stretch either (vs CLE, @ CHW, vs WAS, @ DET, @ TB). His next start is a home outing vs the weak hitting Braves, so I recommend giving him a shot in any league size. That’s followed by a road outing at Oakland who will likely have traded Ben Zobrist by that point. Act accordingly.  

Michael Conforto (OF, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 16% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The 22-year-old Conforto was just called up from Double-A, and he’d only been there since May. So expectations probably should be on the modest side. On the other hand, he was the 10th overall pick in last year’s draft and hit .312/.396/.503 in that brief time with Binghamton. There’s clearly talent here, and seeing as so many other prospects have already been called up, the list of high-upside youngsters on the wire who could give your fantasy team a spark is probably rather short. Given how awful he Mets’ lineup is, there’s a non-zero chance he’s already their best hitter.

Randal Grichuk (OF, STL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 33% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: According to StatCast, Grichuk’s exit velocity (the average speed of the ball off his bat) is second in all of baseball, behind some guy named Giancarlo Stanton. Put another way, this kid hits the crap out of the ball. The former first-round pick has muscled his way into the starting center field gig in St. Louis, posting an excellent .877 OPS with 10 homers and 23 more extra-base hits in just 216 at-bats. Somehow, he’s freely available in two-thirds of Yahoo leagues. Grichuk has been snapped up in all four of mine, so please – let me live vicariously through you. Pick this dude up now.

Nori Aoki (OF, SF) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 38% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Aoki will be returning from his leg injury on Monday. Before suffering the small fibula fracture, he was having an excellent first season in the Bay Area with a .317/.383/.386 slash line. With just three homers over his last 750 at-bats, Aoki won’t help you in the power cats, but he’s an asset in average, runs, and stolen bases. He should slide back into the leadoff spot in the Giants lineup before long.

Dexter Fowler (OF, CHC) - Waiver Wire Analysis

4 days ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 46% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Fowler slumped badly after an excellent start to the season. He’s still managed to accrue enough counting stats to be relevant in many leagues with eight homers, 15 steals, and 58 runs scored. That .239 batting average isn’t doing owners any favors, but there’s reason to expect improvement there, as his current BABIP is 50 points below his career mark with not much in the data supporting that kind of drop. I’ve touted Fowler quite a bit in this space over the course of the year, and he’s shown signs of life since the break.

Jed Lowrie (SS, HOU) - Waiver Wire Analysis

4 days ago

Published by: Bill Dubiel - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stash in 14+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 7% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Lowrie has just begun his rehab stint after being on the shelf since late April. While Carlos Correa and Jose Altuveare locked in up the middle, Lowrie should see ample playing time at the corner infield positions and spelling both of the aforementioned middle infielders. Prior to landing on the disabled list, Lowrie was having an excellent season, hitting .300 with four homers, 10 RBIs and 11 runs scored in just 60 at-bats. I think he’ll play his way right back into fantasy relevance in any format, so stash him now if you’ve got the room.

Scooter Gennett (2B, MIL) - Waiver Wire Analysis

4 days ago

Published by: Bill Dubiel - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 5% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: I don’t get how Gennett’s ownership percentage is still so low. In his last 30 games (roughly around the time he was recalled from Triple-A), Gennett is hitting .364 with 13 runs scored, two homers, 11 RBIs, and only six total strikeouts. He’s hitting the ball, he’s scoring runs, and he’s doing it all from the bottom of the lineup. He should move up relatively soon, although since it’s the hapless Brewers who knows. He’s bordering on must-own territory at a relatively thin position.

Delino DeShields (2B / OF, TEX) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Bill Dubiel - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 1o+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 16% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: DeShields has been thriving at the top of the capable Rangers lineup in recent weeks, hitting .333 with over his last 15 games. He’s also swiped three bags over that time span, bringing him to 16 on the season. He should continue to score runs and steal bags, making him incredibly useful in roto formats. He’s not without value in points leagues, but since he won’t rack up RBIs and total bases, he’s still more of a fifth outfielder or middle infielder.  

Jung Ho Kang (3B / SS, PIT) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 20% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: While Kang’s power hasn’t translated to the majors as much as the Pirates probably hoped, he’s having a fine rookie season. A barrage of hits since the break has lifted his overall slash line to a tidy .285/.363/.418. Even with the return of prodigal son Aramis Ramirez in a trade this week, Kang will continue to play every day as long as Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison are out. Even after they return, he’s unlikely to lose much playing time – especially if he can keep up the hot hitting. He’s also eligible at shortstop, making him an even more useful fantasy asset.  

Nick Castellanos (3B, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 17% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Losing Miguel Cabrera was a huge blow to the Tigers’ precarious playoff hopes. While they remain on the edge of the bubble, Castellanos has improbably stepped up to help fill the void. He’s hit .292/.356/.523 in July with four homers and 26 R+RBI. As middling as the former top prospect has been to this point in his career, he’s still only 23 years old. You can gamble on his upside for free in over 80 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Billy Butler (1B, OAK) - Waiver Wire Analysis

4 days ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 38% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Since his career year in 2012, the man they call Country Breakfast has been more like a crappy hotel continental. Butler’s numbers have dropped pretty much across the board every season. Given that, it’s sort of surprising he’s owned in as many leagues as he is. That said, he’s approached his previous level of production over the past month, with four homers, 24 R+RBI and an .808 OPS. The .291 career hitter continues to post a middling batting average, but may be worth a rebound bet in deeper leagues.

Kelly Johnson (1B / 3B / OF, NYM) - Waiver Wire Analysis

4 days ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 11% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: With a new ball club, it’s unclear exactly how the Mets plan to deploy Johnon. He’s done what he can to prove he shouldn’t be relegated to the bench, though. With a .925 OPS this month, he’s raised his season line to .275/.321/.451. Johnson doesn’t carry eligibility at second base anymore, but he is OF eligible. Deep league owners looking for a short-term source of pop could do worse.  

C.J. Cron (1B, LAA) - Waiver Wire Analysis

4 days ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 9% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Though they might be able to do better. Cron struggled badly for most of the first half, but has turned a corner in July. Since the calendar flipped, he’s exploded for a .447/.460/.723 line. While that obviously isn’t going to continue, Cron definitely has playable power – he’s hit 16 homers in 404 career MLB at-bats. He’s also a former first round pick and only 25, so there’s at least a little room in which to dream. That’s all big-picture stuff, though. Right now, he’s swinging a hot bat – hop on and enjoy the ride while it lasts.

Matt Shoemaker (SP, LAA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ and AL-Only Leagues OWNED IN: 21% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: After a breakout season in 2014, Matt Shoemaker had every intention of becoming a mainstay in the Angels rotation. After a rough first two months, Shoemaker has settled back into some form of normalcy and has become a viable part of the rotation again. Since his first start in June, Shoemaker has compiled a 2-3 record with 4 QS and 41 K. The walk total was astronomically awesome last year and proved to be unsustainable this year. His real issue lied in his slight drop in velocity across the board. His LOB% also dropped down to around 72% and his FIP has risen to 4.41 both of which are career worsts for Shoemaker. The impending return of Jared Weaver puts doubt into whether or not Shoemaker retains his spot in the rotation but has Weaver done anything all that special to warrant him getting his spot back immediately? Take out Shoemaker's back-to-back starts vs Oakland in June and you have a pitcher who is keeping his team in games. The K totals are rising, the BB totals are still very low and his team is giving him run support. Weaver has not been the same guy he has been and needs some more time to be ready. Shoemaker gets to keep his spot and thus warrants an add for the stretch run.

Trevor Plouffe (3B, MIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ and AL-Only leagues. OWNED IN: 43% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The only talk coming out of the Twin Cities that involved Trevor Plouffe this season was how long would it take for Miguel Sano to take his job? The answer to that clearly has been that Mr. Plouffe still has a lot to give in the field and more importantly to fantasy owners staying fancy with his stick work. Plouffe has comfortably put up a .255 BA with all-time or near all-time marks in OBP, SLG%, and OPS. His BB/K rate is up to .45 and his BABIP hangs around .285. Plouffe has still been mainly a pull hitter this year spraying the ball in that direction 41% of the time. Plouffe is also on pace to crush his previous high of 72 wRC as he sits at 50 right now. The guy has some pop in his bat and plays at a important 3B position and has tremendous value as a CI on a deep roster. The average should top out around .270 this year which owners could do a lot worse in. Plouffe shouldn't hurt owners as he will have ample opportunities to increase his overall stat line as the Twins surge towards a playoff push for the first time in what seems like forever. Middle of the order hitters normally aren't sitting on the wire and yet Plouffe is. He has hit no lower than 6th this year with most of his at-bats coming in the cleanup spot. At 43% owned some owners get that Plouffe can help them more than he can hurt them. He neither strikes out a lot nor walks a lot and should garner some attention for teams looking to feed their playoff needs.  

Robbie Ray (SP, AZ) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ and NL-Only Leagues. OWNED IN: 9% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: If someone were to ask you who the best pitcher in 2015 has been for the Arizona Diamondbacks, the answer should be Robbie Ray. Chase Anderson had a nice first half, but ever since Robbie Ray was inserted into the rotation back in early June, he has been the captain of the D'Backs staff. After being a forgotten entity in both the Washington Nationals and Detroit Tigers organizations, Ray has found a home as a solid contributor in Arizona. A 2.63 FIP and nearly 8.00 K/9 should have prospective owners foaming at the mouth. Half of Ray's starts this year have been QS without any blowups. The ability to go deep into games has still been an issue for Ray, particularly as of late. At least the Diamondbacks offense has not failed to produce adequate run support. The biggest change for Ray from his 2014 season in Detroit has been his pitch selection. He has all but abandoned the curveball and has thrown his fastball with more velocity, command, and movement. He has also significantly cut down on how often he throws his changeup and has given up fewer hits as a result. Ray is a real threat for the Diamondbacks and your fantasy roster, and it is criminal that he is merely 9% owned. Pitching is probably either plentiful or barren in your league. In either case, adding Ray is more than just a good idea.

Danny Duffy (SP, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 days ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ and AL-Only Leagues. OWNED IN: 11% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Ever since Danny Duffy came back from left biceps tendinitis, he has become the pitcher the Royals were expecting all along. The stats may not wow anyone, but his effectiveness has taken some serious strides forward this season. With less than 70 career games started, Duffy sports a 3.78 ERA with a modest 1.37 WHIP and a solid .288 BABIP. The strikeout totals are going to be low due to a lack of a true out pitch, but his walk totals have slowly improved since his first season in Kansas City. The 4.17 FIP must improve in order for owners to get on board for the long haul, but his control should garner some speculation. In his last four starts, he has averaged 7 IP, 3 K, 5 H, and 2 ER. The K/BB ratio quite frankly is not anything to marvel over. However, he is getting the job done on a team that will score runs. The loss of Jason Vargas puts even more pressure on a pitcher like Duffy, but his run support and QS should be there more often than not. If you are looking for a pitcher to give you SP and RP eligibility for a stretch run into the fantasy playoffs, Duffy is a sneaky add to bolster your rotation.

Mark Buehrle (SP, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 days ago

Published by: Rick Lucks - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 38% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Buehrle may seem mixed league relevant based on his 11-5 record and 3.23 ERA, but fantasy owners find his 4.49 K/9 to be a huge letdown. If you play in a league that uses K/9 or caps innings, you can stop reading now - you can't possibly roster someone like Buehrle. In standard roto leagues, however, there is a place for the veteran southpaw. His BB rate is very good (1.40/9), and he plays for a team with an elite offense. Even if he slips up, that offense might find him a W. He will throw innings - at least 200 in the last 14 seasons. If innings are a roto stat or generate points in a points league for you, Buehrle has to be owned despite his flaws. Buehrle does have flaws beside his strikeouts. His home park, the Rogers Centre, is a great place to hit bombs - every home start has the potential to go awry for a finesse type like Buehrle. So far, he has limited the damage with a roughly average 9.2% overall HR/FB, but that could change in one bad start. His luck thus far would be more believable if he was an elite groundball thrower, but he's not. His fastball induces worm killers at a 53.7% rate, while his change generates them 54.8% of the time. His other offerings tend to be in the air, though. Likewise, his stuff shows zero strikeout upside. His changeup manages to get chased 41.3% of the time and still posts a below average SwStr% of 9.4%! Finally, he has a couple of pitches that simply do not work against MLB hitters. His curve is hit on a line 30.6% of the time, while his cutter clocks in at 26.3%. That is just too many line drives. On the plus side, Buehrle seems to be aware of the problem. He is throwing his 4-seamer - which allows liners at an average rate and generates grounders - roughly 10% more often this year and at the expense of the curve. The fastball is also a strike 59.7% of the time, so you can count on Buehrle to not walk anyone. This, combined with his superlative defense, can make him an asset in WHIP. He is also a pleasure to watch, working so quickly that the rest of the league is in slow motion by comparison. Basball is a game of rhythm, and Buehrle almost certainly derives an advantage from disrupting the hitter's routine. He is also left-handed, and some players - like division rival David Ortiz - can't hit them at all. The Chicago White Sox have a wRC+ of 50 vs. LHP on the season - an entire roster of David Ortizes. This helps Buehrle get key outs in most games, and he dominates teams like the White Sox while lacking elite stuff. The next worst AL team is Seattle at 85 wRC+ vs. LHP, but a bunch of NL teams are between them. By trusting Buehrle's offense and abusing teams and players that struggle against southpaws, Buehrle can provide value for a very low cost. Don't expect Ks, but Wins and innings are as sure a thing as you can find.

Tim Cooney (SP, STL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in deep leagues OWNED IN: 4% of fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Tim Cooney is a solid young starter for the best team in baseball. That carries plenty of value. At the Triple-A level this season; Cooney had a 2.74 ERA, a 0.868 WHIP, while allowing only 0.9 HR/9, and only 1.6 BB/9 in 88 2/3 IP. This season in the majors; Cooney has produced a 3.33 ERA, a 115 ERA+, a 1.356 WHIP, a 4.04 FIP, and nine K/9. Cooney's numbers are a little inflated due to a poor performance in April when he had a start ending in an ERA of 11.57. Since then, however; Cooney has a 2.45 ERA and a 1.136 WHIP in 22 IP in July. The Cardinals are 59-34 this season and they have a bullpen that offers the starting pitchers plenty of support, as the Cardinals lead MLB in team ERA at 2.66. If Cooney can find his elite control that led to his low BB/9 in the minors, he could potentially be lethal for the Cardinals in the remaining months in the season if he can keep his rotation slot. While Cooney is producing at a quality level for an elite team, he is a solid deep league add for fantasy baseball managers.

Joe Ross (SP, WAS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 13% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Heeeeeeee's baaaaaaaaack. The Washington Nationals are calling up Joe Ross again to join the starting rotation, at least for the time being. The impressive young hurler pitched very well in his first MLB stint earlier in the season, and I'm expecting more of the same from him this time around. Ross may only get a few starts, as Strasburg is expected to return from the DL in the near future, but until that time he makes for a great waiver wire pickup in just about any league where you're looking to add pitching depth. A two-start pitcher this week, Ross is slated to face off against the putrid Mets offense, followed by a hit-or-miss Pirates team. In his first three starts this season, Ross impressed with a 2.66 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and an awesome 23:2 K:BB ratio over 20 1/2 IP (along with two wins). Young pitchers are always a bit risky in fantasy baseball, but I think the upside is just too good here. I've already added him in any league where he was available, and recommend that you do the same if you can spare the near-term roster space.

Stephen Piscotty (1B / OF, STL) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 6% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Earlier in the week, the St. Louis Cardinals announced that they will be calling up top prospect Stephen Piscotty for today's game. As of now it's not fully clear where he will play, or how much he will be playing, but he is certainly an intriguing waiver wire flier for fantasy baseball owners. He's been playing first base recently in the minors, so the thought process is that he alternate with strikeout specialist Mark Reynolds over at first, and hopefully produce so that he can take over permanently. He will probably get some time in the outfield as well, but in general he may not be playing every day initially. Over his minor league career, Piscotty owns a career .288/.360/.444 stat line, and he's racked up 11 HR, 41 RBI, 54 R, and 5 SB over 320 ABs. If you're in a deeper league, or are looking for some hitting depth, feel free to take a chance on Piscotty off the waiver wire and see how this all plays out.

Mark Buehrle (SP, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ team leagues OWNED IN: 37% of fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Mark Buehrle has been a good contributor for fantasy baseball managers in 2015, and his performance is even more welcome considering the fact that he is supported by the best offense in baseball. Buehrle is currently second in the majors in average runs in support per start with 6.44. That figure isn't luck either. The Blue Jays have currently scored the most runs in the league with 505 and, in fact, Buehrle's teammate Drew Hutchison is first in the league in run support with 6.84. This season Buehrle has a 3.34 ERA, 1.162 WHIP, a 3.88 FIP, 0.9 HR/9, 1.5 BB/9, and a 1.42 GO/FO ratio. Buehrle has especially been on a tear lately. In June Buehrle had a 1.75 ERA and a 0.972 WHIP, and in July Buehrle has a 1.23 ERA and a 0.818 WHIP. Buehrle is pitching well by walking few batters and by producing a high amount of ground balls. When a pitcher is pitching well and is being supported by six or seven runs per start, he is highly likely to win a lot of games. Buehrle is possibly one of the safest win candidates in baseball considering the offense behind him and his solid performance, and fantasy baseball managers should add Buehrle to rosters and take advantage of his contribution to ERA, WHIP, and Wins; especially considering his performance in June and July. UPDATE: Last evening Buehrle earned his 11th win of the season by pitching seven innings, allowing one earned eun, eight hits, and zero walks. The Blue Jays supported Buehrle by defeating the Athletics 7-1.

Nathan Karns (SP, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only and Deep Mixed Leagues Ownership: 20% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Nathan Karns does a solid job of pitching to contact and forcing outs, and the Phillies don’t strike out too often. This has the makings of a very, very boring game to watch. Although Karns got rocked in his last start, he was working effectively in his previous five. Let’s chalk up his last outing- seven earned runs six innings- to the timing of facing a solid Royals squad.

David Peralta (OF, ARI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in NL-Only and Deep Mixed Leagues ANALYSIS: David Peralta has been one of the best hitters in the game over the last month, slashing .306/.404/.600 with three homers. His overall mark sits at .272/.349/.488, with eight homers, four steals, 36 runs and 40 RBI. With A.J. Pollock entrenched in center and Yasmany Tomas too much of a liability to play third base, Peralta may lose some at-bats going forward now that Ender Inciarte is healthy. That will be less of a concern if he keeps hitting as well as he has. Even if not, he’s a solid contributor across the board when he does play.

Jarrod Dyson (OF, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 14% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The injury to Alex Gordon was bad news for the Royals’ AL pennant defense, but it gives Dyson ample opportunity to make a fantasy impact barring a trade. He’s stolen 30 or more bases each of the last three seasons despite being a part-time player and is 11-for-12 this year. For his career, he’s on a 67 SB per 500 AB pace. He won’t be of much help anywhere else, but Dyson should provide a big boost to owners who need to inject a little speed into their rosters.

Curtis Granderson (OF, NYM) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 49% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The Mets are a terrible offensive team this year, but Granderson has been a bright spot. Hitting at the top of the order, he’s managed to score 44 runs even with the struggles of those behind him, thanks to a solid .344 OBP. After managing just one homer in April, he started Friday night’s game in Arizona with his 14th of the season. Over the past month, the Grandy Man has posted an .892 OPS. He’s also chipped in five steals on the year. At 34, his best days are clearly behind him, but there’s value to be had here.

Steven Souza Jr. (OF, TB) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 48% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Souza is on track to return from the disabled list on Tuesday. A three true outcomes guy with speed -- he’s walked, struck out, or homered in over half of his plate appearances. The 26-year-old rookie is on pace for 45 HR+SB. He’s streaky and the high strikeout total means his batting average will always be a liability. Still, who else are you going to find on the waiver wire with double digit homers and steals?

David Peralta (OF, ARI) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 17% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Peralta has been one of the best hitters in the game over the last month, slashing .306/.404/.600 with three homers and 26 R+RBI. His overall mark sits at .272/.349/.488, with eight homers, four steals, 36 runs, and 40 RBI. With A.J. Pollock entrenched in center and Yasmany Tomas too much of a liability to play third base, Peralta may lose some at-bats going forward now that Ender Inciarte is healthy. That will be less of a concern if he keeps hitting as well as he has. Even if not, he’s a solid contributor across the board when he does play.

Rafael Soriano (RP, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stash in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 12% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: A few weeks ago, Rafael Soriano was signed to a minor league deal by the Cubs. Today, it was announced that he will be called up to the major league roster. Will Soriano be the closer immediately? Most likely not. Will he eventually take over as the Cubs closer? It's certainly possible. Either way, Soriano has a lot of closer experience and he will most likely be used in high leverage situations, whether it's as a setup man or even as the team's closer. Manager Joe Maddon has switched his closers a few times this year, between Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, and more recently Jason Motte, so it's certainly possible the Soriano picks up some saves in the 2nd half. It's still to be seen how this will all shake out, but if you're looking for some saves potential or holds off the waiver wire, add Soriano and enjoy the ride.

Adam LaRoche (1B, CWS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only and Deep Mixed Leagues ANALYSIS: Most of the time, you should be wary of putting too much stock into first and second half splits. In the case of Adam LaRoche, however, it seems safe to expect a better performance going forward. For his career, the veteran has posted a .767 OPS before the break and an .860 mark after. So while he, like most of his teammates, has been a disappointment so far, brighter days should lie ahead. If you’re looking for other reasons to hope, his batted ball profile is more or less in line with previous years.

Luis Severino (SP, NYY) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stash in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 2% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: If the NL east leading Yankees are going to make a post season run, they need pitching help, as they currently rank 20th in the majors with a 3.95 team ERA. It is very possible that the Yanks will be calling up this highly touted 21 year old very soon. This year in the minors Severino has a 2.45 ERA, 1.019 WHIP, 8.6 K/9, while allowing only 0.2 HR/9, and 2.5 BB/9. Considering that the Yankees are second in MLB in total runs scored, Severino will have plenty of run support for win potential if he dominates in New York like he has dominated every level of the minor leagues. In a deeper league, Severino is a sneaky prospect grab for a fantasy baseball manager looking for some new life in their rotation.

Stephen Drew (2B / SS, NYY) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 2% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Stephen Drew is a decent candidate for a bounce back second half. Drew currently has a horrific BA of .182 and a below average OPS of .630. However Drew also is second among 2B in HR with a solid 12 hit so far. Why are many of Drew’s numbers so atrocious? Drew currently has one of the worst BABIP in MLB at .171. This figure is particularly unlucky considering that Drew has increased his LD% to 25% and has increased his GO/FO ratio to 0.72. These numbers tell a story: Drew has been unluckier than most, as he is hitting a lot of fly balls, with a 25% LD%, and they aren’t becoming hits. Since last season Drew has also made improvements in his HR% (1.9% to 4.3%), SO% (23.2% to 16.2%), XBH% (7.1% to 8.3%), and BB% (8.4% to 9.4%). Drew’s double eligibility in the infield is a definite bonus, and most of Drew’s numbers indicate he will see improvements in his hitting as the season progresses and his luck improves. Throw in the fact that Drew is one of the best power hitting second basemen in baseball with an isolated power of .190 (tied with Jose Abreu), and fantasy baseball managers have a solid AL roster add in deep leagues.

Jed Lowrie (SS, HOU) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stash in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 7% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: In Lowrie’s 60 AB in 2015 before he went on the DL, he hit .300 with four homers, a .999 OPS, and a 178 OPS+. These figures put Lowrie among baseball’s top power hitting shortstops. Since his injury, Carlos Correa has more than cemented himself as Houston’s starting shortstop. However with Luis Valbuena batting only .197 with a .708 OPS, Lowrie will likely see a lot of time at 3B when he returns from his current rehab stint. The month of August has been a hot time for Lowrie throughout his career, as he has a career OPS of .788 in August. Lowrie is also a consistent hitter against both arms of pitching, posting a career OPS of .725 vs RHP and .796 vs LHP. He will be returning to the fourth highest run scoring team in baseball, so if you need a power hitting infielder in a deep league, look no further.

Alejandro De Aza (OF, BOS) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 16% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: It has (pun unfortunately intended) truly been a tale of two seasons for Alejandro De Aza. He had a horrendous start to the season in Baltimore, but since his move to Boston, he has been fantastic. The journeyman has five triples, three HR, three SB, a .323 BA, a .932 OPS, and a 154 OPS+ in 96 AB for the Red Sox. De Aza has significantly improved his SO% since the move (30.4% to 17.5%) and his XBH% (7.1% to 12.6%). It is for this reason that owners should add De Aza to their rosters in deep leagues.

Yordano Ventura (SP, KC) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in all leagues / Target in trades OWNED IN: 66% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Ace Ventura did not have the first-half that fantasy owners imagined when they drafted him in the middle rounds this preseason. He has followed his 2014 campaign (14-10 record with a 3.20 ERA and 1.30 WHIP) with an ugly 4.73 ERA and 1.27 WHIP over 72.1 innings. The team reported that Ventura dealt with “lateral elbow discomfort” last season although it didn’t require him to miss any time. He sat out a month this season with ulnar neuritis in his pitching hand and just returned to the rotation July 9th. In that start vs Tampa he allowed three runs on four hits and three walks while striking out four over five innings. Not what you want to see vs a weak Tampa lineup, but this series of events may be just what fantasy owners needed that are looking to buy Ventura stock. His velocity is down on his fastball and cutter, per Fangraphs, while his first strike percentage (58.9%) is down along with his swinging strike percentage (9.0%). So what’s to like about his first half? For starters his walk rate is down (2.99 BB/9) and his changeup his been much more effective than in 2014. It’s produced a Pitchf/x score of 2.5 and limited hitters to a .170 AVG. The advanced numbers indicate the ERA is due to improve and Ventura is still just 24 years old. There is oodles of potential here and Ventura owners may be getting impatient. Considering he’s available in 34% of leagues, you may be able to get him for free.

Kyle Hendricks (SP, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ team leagues OWNED IN: 26% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The forgotten man in the Cubs rotation. While Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, and Jason Hammel are the headliners, Kyle Hendricks is fortifying the backend of that rotation. Through 104.2 innings Hendricks has compiled a 3.44 ERA and 1.11 WHIP with a 84/18 K/BB ratio. This is after a 2014 campaign in which Hendricks completed 13 starts with 7-2 record and 2.46 ERA. So is this legit? The numbers say yes. Hendricks has improved his K rate (7.22 K/9) and lowered his BB rate (1.55 BB/9). He has also limited the use of his cutter which had graded out as his worst pitch, so Hendricks is self-aware of his shortcomings and making the necessary adjustments. In his last four starts (26 innings) Hendricks has a 0.35 ERA and 0.77 WHIP, with the only earned run coming in his latest start at Atlanta. Those are fantastic numbers for a pitcher who’s unowned in 74% of leagues. Hendricks has earned the right to be owned in shallow leagues, and if he’s a FA in your league I highly recommend you snag a share. I just traded for Hendricks myself, so know if things go wrong I’m going down with you!

Taylor Jungmann (SP, MIL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ team leagues OWNED IN: 21% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Not much has gone right for Milwaukee in 2015, but Taylor Jungmann’s emergence in the Brewers rotation stands out as one of the bright spots. Called up from AAA-Colorado Springs after Matt Garza and Wily Peralta went to the DL, Jungmann has been exactly what the Brew Crew envisioned when they drafted him 12th overall in 2011. In seven starts Jungmann has produced a 4-1 record with a 2.15 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over 46 innings. These numbers do not include his performance on Sunday in which he limited the Pirates to one run over seven innings. Jungmann relies primarily on his fastball while mixing in the curveball and rarely the changeup and sinker. It’s been working in 2015, limited hitters to a .209 AVG. In addition hitters have whiffed at his curveball 17.24% of the time, well above league average. The main flaw with Jungmann is rotation uncertainty. There’s a good chance Jungmann gets demoted when Garza and Peralta return, but if the Brewers are smart they will let Jungmann hang around and continue his development. It’s apparent that Jungmann, Peralta, and Jimmy Nelson represent the future of the Brewers rotation and the team is well out of contention this season. Until that time comes, fantasy owners in deep leagues would be smart to grab a share and see how the events unfold in the next few weeks. Available in 79% of leagues, it’s likely you can join the fun.

Jake Peavy (SP, SF) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVER: Add in 14+ team leagues / NL-Only OWNED IN: 7% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Not often you can find a former Cy Young available in more than 90% of leagues, but that’s where things stand with Jake Peavy. Peavy had a rough first half, only lasting three starts before suffering a back injury that held him out till July. Since returning Peavy has pitched 19.2 innings (3 GS) with a 3.20 ERA and 1.17 WHIP and a 13/6 K/BB ratio. It’s safe to say Peavy isn’t the same pitcher from his glory days, but Peavy has always been a second half pitcher. In his career he holds a 3.36 ERA in the second-half, with his best month historically being August (2.98 ERA) followed by September (3.01 ERA). It’s shocking to see Peavy has basically ditched his slider, which was at one time his best pitch (23.3 wSL in his Cy Young season). The Giants have once again found themselves in the thick of a Wild-Card race and with the Dodgers likely to add a front-end starter to their rotation, it’s looking like the Giants best avenue to the postseason is the WC. If they do make a run, Peavy will have to be a consistent piece at the backend of their rotation. I can’t advise snagging Jake the Snake in shallow leagues aside from streamer duty, but NL-Only participants should give Peavy a shot if they need a boost in pitching.

Trevor Plouffe (3B, MIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 29% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Let's take a look at two different player stat lines: Player A: .259/.320/.449, 11 HR, 43 R, 46 RBI Player B: .269/.329/.438, 12 HR, 36 R, 39 RBI Player A is Plouffe, of course. Player B? Kyle Seager. Plouffe has turned himself into a solid player over the last couple of seasons. He may not be a terribly exciting fantasy option, but he’s on pace for the best season of his career and costs nothing to add in nearly three-quarters of Y! leagues. Third base has been much deeper this season than in recent years, and Plouffe is one reason why.

Joe Mauer (1B, MIN) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 47% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: After struggling through much of the first half, Mauer has shown signs of life lately. He’s slashed .319/.382/.495 over the past month, with four of his six homers on the season coming in that span. Mauer’s age and injury history are a concern, and his lack of power makes him a less than ideal option at first base. However, he’s a .316 career hitter and his batted ball data suggests improvement on his current .271 mark should be expected. If he can continue to pop the occasional homer, Mauer should be an asset in deeper leagues.

Nathan Eovaldi (SP, NYY) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in deeper leagues. OWNED IN: 14% of fleaflicker leagues. ANALYSIS: Nathan Eovaldi has had a decent first half to the 2015 season. He currently sits with a quality 4.50 ERA, a record of 9-2, a 3.53 FIP that indicates he is pitching better than his actual ERA, a high 1.54 WHIP, while only allowing 0.7 HR/9, and only 2.4 BB/9. Eovaldi's numbers indicate he could have a monster second half. First off, it has already been established that Eovaldi's FIP shows that he is pitching better than his ERA indicates. Eovaldi has also gotten off to a hot start in July by posting a 2.87 ERA. Eovaldi is likely to maintain his pace of racking up wins as well. Eovaldi currently is fourth in MLB with 5.61 runs in support per start. That isn't a lucky coincidence either, as Eovaldi pitches for the AL East leading Yankees who rank second in all of baseball with 413 runs scored on the season. Even if Eovaldi's ERA remained at quality start level, he would still be in good shape to accumulate wins. However, Eovaldi's ERA is likely to drop. This is because he currently has the highest BABIP among all qualified pitchers in baseball at .340. Given that Eovaldi doesn't walk many batters and that he gives up few HR, it can be concluded that the majority of the runs scored on Eovaldi and his high WHIP have more to do with the bad luck of so many balls in play becoming hits. If you are a fantasy baseball manager looking for a solid second half charge candidate for your rotation, count on Nathan Eovaldi to continue his winning ways and have his indicative FIP and BABIP turn his luck around to drop his ERA and WHIP.

Chris Young (OF, NYY) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Jorge - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in all 14 team leagues or deeper. OWNED IN:  11% of Yahoo leagues ANALYSIS: Ever since being cut from the Mets last season, Young has had a resurgence with the Yankees. He is batting .257 on the season with 11 homers and 27 RBI. Those numbers don't jump out at you, but let's take a look at his lefty-righty splits. Against southpaws, Young hits .365 and has six big flies and 14 RBI. When facing right-handers Young doesn't even crack the Mendoza line, batting a measly .178. He still has five HR and 13 RBI against them, but that's more quantity of at-bats over quality. He's no longer the 20-20 player he was in Arizona, but he can still provide modest production for a owners. Those in daily leagues would be wise to play him against lefties and to sit him against righties. Owners in weekly matchup leagues would do well to check how many lefty starters he faces that week before inserting him in their lineups. Even when he doesn't start, the Yankees tend to use him as a pinch-runner/defensive replacement, so he can still bring the occasional steal to the table.

Rougned Odor (2B, TEX) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Jorge - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in all leagues OWNED IN: 37% of Yahoo Leagues ANALYSIS: Rougned Odor really stunk it up to start the season. As such, he was demoted to AAA to try and get himself going. Fortunately for the Rangers, the demotion was just the wake-up call Odor needed. He tore up Triple-A pitching to the tune of a .352 BA, and went yard five times. Since coming back up, Odor has continued to put some thump on the baseball by going 31-for-85 with three homers, 15 RBI and four stolen bases in 24 games. At second base, that kind of across the board production is very welcome. His .290 BABIP suggests that he should be able to continue putting his bad start to 2015 in the rear-view mirror. He is still widely available, and he really shouldn't be. His home ballpark and strong lineup only give Odor more value. His slot in the order seems to vary a bit, but, if he can stick in the two-hole, he's going to be very good for fantasy purposes.

Kyle Schwarber (C, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Matt - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNERSHIP: 35% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Kyle Schwarber's first stint in the majors was short lived, but oozed with top-prospect potential. The young Cubs catcher made the most of his 23 June plate appearances, notching 8 hits en route to a .364 AVG, 6 RBI and 1 HR across only five full games, numbers highlighted by a 4 hit, 2 RBI performance in his major league debut on June 17. He's been in the minors ever since, a product of a deep Cubs' roster. With starting catcher Miguel Montero headed for the DL, it appears Schwarber is in line for another look at the big leagues, this time for at least a couple of weeks. The 22-year-old is worth an add regardless of league format, boasting huge potential at one of fantasy's thinnest positions. Reports indicate he'll likely bat second in the Cubs lineup, which will almost assuredly hinder the RBI production, but Schwarber should emerge as a solid source of hits and runs in the short term with the chance for long term production if he can continue where he left off in June.

Kyle Gibson (P, MIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Matt - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNERSHIP: 12% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: July has been good for Kyle Gibson. The young right-hander has allowed only 2 ER in 21 IP since the beginning of the month, a stark contrast to the 16 ER he allowed in 30.2 June innings. He has dropped his season ERA to a superb 2.85 with a 1.21 WHIP. He's also notched a 4 - 0 record over his last four starts, raising his season mark to a solid 8 - 6. In fact, Gibson hasn't given up more than 2 ER since the middle of June, and has boasted a K/9 of 8.39 across his last 8 starts, not a great mark but a solid one for sure. Like most Twins pitchers, he won't get you double-digit K's and isn't even a lock for half that much, but Gibson has a way of getting batters out and his .156 OBA/RISP shows he's more than capable of limiting damage. If the Twins offense can continue its hot hitting into the second half, Gibson could become a boon to both a fantasy team's ERA and wins. He's certainly worth a shot if you find yourself in need of pitching.

Neil Walker (2B, PIT) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Matt - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in most formats OWNERSHIP: 72% of ESPN Leagues ANALYSIS: Neil Walker has done nothing but hit and score runs thus far in July. The switch-hitting 2B opened the month with back-to-back four hit outings and hasn't looked back. He's batted .370 across 54 July AB with 3 HR, 10 RBI, and 12 runs scored. He's improved his season average to a solid .278 in the process. Despite missing some time in June, he now has 7 HR and 34 RBI on the 2015 campaign. He has struggled from the right side of the plate, though, batting only .240 against lefties versus .286 against righties this year, but his average creeps above .300 with RISP and, oddly enough, his .317 AVG in away games is 70 points higher than his .247 mark at home. While Walker hasn't established himself as a dependable source for HR and RBI thus far in 2015, he has been one of the better players at his position across the last few seasons and appears to be heating up. As long as he's hitting and as long as the Pirates keep driving him in, the 29-year-old could prove useful for a team looking to fill a hole at 2B.

Cesar Hernandez (2B / SS / 3B, PHI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Matt Hartman - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 50% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Recently the Philadelphia Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. stated, "Cesar Hernandez is our best second baseman. I would assume that Cesar would be our second baseman." This clearly shows that Utley's time with the Phillies is coming to an end and the time of Hernandez is just beginning.  So far Hernandez has come out of the gate hot with a .280 AVG, one home run, 12 SB, 19 RBI, and 31 runs scored. Besides the potential of being the starting 2B going forward, the stats have clearly got fantasy baseball players attention. While these stats look tremendous, I expect a regression to occur as his minor league BA average is .271 with 27 SB. If you are in a deeper league or NL league, I'd recommend Hernandez as a nice SB or middle infield bench option for your team.

Nathan Karns (SP, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Matt Hartman - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 22% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: This season the Tampa Rays has been plagued with injuries but with those injuries its provided opportunities.  One person who has filled in admirally has been Nathan Karns.  So far Karns has posted a 3.63 ERA (top 50 in MLB), 99 Ks (35 in MLB), and opposing batting average of .238 (31 in MLB) just to name a few stats.  Even with these fantastic stats Karns remains under the radar of fantasy owners.  It may be due to his win, loss record (4-5), but there is an explanation for that. Karns' run support ranks 81st in MLB and the Rays offense is in the bottom tier for runs and batting average.  Whatever the case is, Karns has posted a solid 3.44 ERA with 82 K's in 86 innings with 1.30 WHIP the past 15 games. If you are looking for a solid starting pitching option who will post solid numbers across the board, target Karns on the waiver wire immediately.

Kyle Schwarber (C, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Jorge - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12 team leagues or deeper OWNED IN: 47% of Yahoo leagues ANALYSIS: It took an injury to get him back up to the bigs, but Kyle Schwarber has returned. He was impressive in his first cup of coffee and continued to showcase his ability in his first game back. Schwarber picked up right where he left off, going 3-for-4 with a run scored against the Braves. He obviously won't bat .423 for the rest of the season, but it's very clear this guy can flat out hit. He likely won't play every day, and could be sent back down when Montero returns. In the meantime, enjoy the ride. He's never batted under .300 at any level in the minors, and he makes the Cubs lineup that much more dangerous. Catcher is a thin position after the top few options so Schwarber could help boost your team's offensive stats. In Yahoo leagues he has outfield eligibility which gives him some added value.  

Andrew Heaney (SP, LAA) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL Only Leagues OWNED IN: 20% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The former first round pick of the then Florida Marlins back in 2012, Andrew Heaney has compiled an impressive set of stats in the first half of the season. Sure it's only over four starts and 27 1/3 innings pitched, but look what the 24-year-old has done in that time: he's 3-0 with a 1.32 ERA, 2.78 FIP, 0.84 WHIP, 22.6% strikeout rate and 1.32 BB/9. It's irresponsible to judge a starter wholly on such a small set of statistics, but for now it's all we have to go by and this season's numbers are a marked improvement over his five starts with the Marlins last season (5.83 ERA, 1.33 WHIP). One should also consider his talents and scouting grades, especially in this situation, where you would then find that Heaney projects to be an average to above-average regular during his career and has three very solid pitches he can rely on in his fastball, changeup and slider. His command is pretty great, especially considering his age and experience, and if the strikeout figures stay somewhere in the range of 7-8 per game (currently 7.57 K/9) and the walks stay limited, he can be quite effective in AL-only leagues this season, potentially blossoming into something more for 2016 and beyond.

Rob Refsnyder (NYY, 2B) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Jorge - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ team leagues OWNED IN: 5% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: So the Yankees have said that their young second baseman will stay with the team after the All Star Break. Given the fact that Stephen Drew has been just awful, you have to think the Bombers will give Refsnyder a chance to run away with the job. His glove was what many thought was keeping from the majors, but clearly Drew has fallen short even in that regard. In AAA, Refsnyder has put up a .290/.387/.413 slash line with seven homers, 37 RBI and 10 steals. He already showed what he can do in the majors too as in his second big league game he went 2 for 4 with a huge home run over the Green Monster. Obviously there are some growing pains to be expected once Major League pitching gets the scouting reports on him, but he has upside at a shallow position. Even if he hits towards the bottom of the Yankee lineup, he will still have some value as the Bombers are (surprisingly) a pretty solid offense to this point in the season.

Erasmo Ramirez (TB, SP) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 28% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: In case you haven't noticed, Erasmo Ramirez has been on quite a tear lately -- he is ranked 33, 81 and 85 over the last 30, 14 and 7 days. Over the last 30 days, he has a ridiculous 1.01 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, three wins, and 22 K over 26 2/3 IP. It gets better though. Since May 14th, he's only allowed more than three earned runs once (over a span of 11 starts). And over that same two month stretch, he's given up zero or one earned run in eight of the 11 starts. That's quite a run he's on. His walks are still a bit high for the season, although much improved recently, so we can't realistically expect this type of dominance for the entire second half. But at the same time, Ramirez needs to be owned in just about all fantasy baseball leagues. He's only 28% owned right now, which is crazy low, so hit that waiver wire and shore up the back end of your pitching rotation for the second half.

Bobby Parnell (RP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Ryan Nakada - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Once an effective closer, relief pitcher Bobby Parnell has taken over the setup role with the Mets as they look to compete in the National League East. Returning from Tommy John surgery, the 30-year-old Parnell is re-establishing himself as a strong component of the Mets' bullpen. He has opponents hitting just .269, but a particular red flag in his numbers since his season debut is the speed on his pitches. Parnell's fastball has seen a 2-3 mph decrease, and his slider has seen a 3-4 mph decrease. This could be explained by hesitation to really “let loose.” When Parnell finds the comfort to see what his repaired elbow can do, watch out for the holds to come for this veteran reliever.

Johnny Giavotella (2B, LAA) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Bill Dubiel - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 2+ of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Giavotella has been batting leadoff for the Angels on occasion, which should provide him with plenty of opportunities to score runs considering he has Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, and the red-hot Kole Calhounbehind him. He has a respectable .265 average on the season, and already has 30 runs scored and 33 RBIs. I like him as a middle-infield option for the rest of the season in deeper leagues, particularly if he can bring his batting average up a bit. His 12.7% K-rate and .293 BABIP indicate that an uptick is definitely possible.

Jedd Gyorko (2B, SD) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Bill Dubiel - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 13% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Gyroko has actually been pretty good since returning to the Padres on June 30th, collecting 10 hits in 33 at-bats. The raw power is there, and at his best Gyorko can knock 20 balls out of the park. Unfortunately, his .230 batting average and 24.8% K-rate makes him difficult to trust in most points leagues, particularly if he is unable to find his power stroke. Gyorko is a roll of the dice at the moment in deep leagues, but keep an eye on him going forward. Be ready to pounce if he heats up.

Jim Johnson (RP, ATL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 41% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: With the recent news of closer Jason Grilli's injury, and that he is expected to be out for the season, setup man Jim Johnson will take over as the closer for the Atlanta Braves. After a hideous 2014 season, Johnson has been very solid this year with a 2.09 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 31:14 K:BB ratio over 43 IP. If you're in a league that counts saves, go grab Johnson off the waiver wire as he will get the first crack in Atlanta to run away with the job.

Jon Niese (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 14% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Jon Niese has been a part of one of the top rotations in baseball, and on a roll over his last few starts. Unfortunately for all of those streaming Niese, he is being supported by the second worst run scoring offense in MLB. Niese currently only receives 3.00 average runs in support per start from the Mets offense, which is tied for the ninth worst in baseball and this is also why Niese is tied for fourth in baseball with four tough losses. In short, Niese's performance warrants more rewards than he has received. Niese started off the season on a great note, with a 2.74 ERA in March/April. Niese had his struggles in May with a 5.56 ERA, but recovered in June with an ERA of 3.00 and had a great first start in July; going eight innings allowing three hits, two walks, and zero earned runs. There have been talks of the Mets either trading Niese to the Dodgers or Cubs, or bringing some higher powered bats to New York. If Niese finds a home with a better run scoring team, or the Mets improve their own offense, fantasy baseball managers should stream Niese with the expectation that his solid performance finally earns some wins.  

John Jaso (C / DH, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team / All Two-Catcher Leagues OWNED IN: 6% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: In his 19 AB since returning from the DL, John Jaso has been great offensively. Jaso has a .421 BA, a 1.184 OPS, and a 229 OPS+ so far this season. Jaso has been a shining picture of consistency at the plate for the last three seasons, and has established himself as one of the most solid catchers in baseball with a bat in his hand. For the last three seasons Jaso has OPS of .850, .759, and .767; and OPS+ of 142, 114, and 117. Jaso is also especially effective against righties, with a .800 career OPS against RHP. Now, are there a few catchers in baseball who have more offensive acumen than John Jaso? Of course there are. The difference is, those other catchers aren't available to 94% of fantasy baseball managers at the halfway point in the season. If you need a catcher, or just a batter who is currently on fire, add Jaso before it's too late.

C.J. Cron (LAA, 1B) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Jorge - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14 team leagues or deeper OWNED IN: 6% of Yahoo leagues ANALYSIS: Cron has a big time bat. Unfortunately that also comes with a big whiff rate. He also doesn't walk much, but the Angels are absolutely starved for offense so he will get an extended run. He has 10 RBI and three bombs in his last four starts, and raised his average from .198 to .255. Not too shabby. Obviously he won't keep up this ridiculous pace, and that 31/3 K to BB ratio is going to catch up with him. However, if you need some help with home runs, Cron is your guy while this streak of his lasts. Be ready to drop him once he cools off because he can get ice cold very fast. He hits much better against lefties (.302 BA) than righties (.226 BA), but ironically, he has eight more RBI against righty pitchers and one more big fly. Nonetheless, conventional wisdom says play him for sure against lefties, and if you're feeling lucky take a shot vs. righties.

Logan Morrison (1B, SEA) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 12% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: After a rough start to the season, Logan Morrison seems to be finding his stride. H started the season with just a .488 OPS in March/April, but bounced back with OPS of .874 and .702 in May and June. In total on the season, Morrison has 12 HR and five SB. Morrison is also a candidate for daily streaming, given the pitching match up, as he has an OPS of .783 against RHP. If you are scouring a deep league for power hitting at 1B and some upside in base stealing, Logan Morrison is a solid option for fantasy baseball managers to add.  

James Loney (1B /DH, TB) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 10% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: James Loney is a safe add at 1B in deeper leagues if you are attempting to mix a high BA with an above average OPS. Loney is currently batting .286 with a .734 OPS in Tampa Bay. Loney is most effective against RHP whom he has a .756 OPS against. Loney’s cumulative numbers aren’t as impressive this year, but that is because he has had only 133 AB due to being sidelined with injuries. In seasons with at least 300 AB, Loney averages 11.4 HR. Loney is a consistent contact hitter throughout the ten seasons of his career with a .285 career BA to go along with a career OPS of .754. If you want to add a good BA to your team’s 1B slot and you don’t want to give up too much power, James Loney is a good idea as a deep league pick up.  

Brad Miller (2B / SS, SEA) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 11% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Brad Miller could end up having the quietest 20-20 season in the history of baseball, and based on Miller’s ownership, the history of fantasy baseball. Miller currently has eight HR, nine SB, a .743 OPS, and a 112 OPS+. He is also well suited for daily streaming against RHP as he has a .831 OPS against righties. In 2015, Miller has been one of the steadiest shortstops in terms of producing above average offensive statistics. In March/April Miller had a .733 OPS, in May he had a .718 OPS, in June he had a .712 OPS, and so far in July Miller is hot with a .988 OPS. Throw in his flexible positions eligibilities, and Miller is a must have for fantasy baseball managers in deep leagues.  

Seth Smith (OF, SEA) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 7% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: There are few under the radar outfielders who put up more consistent offense than Seth Smith. In 2015 Seth Smith has seven HRs, a .788 OPS, and a 124 OPS+. Smith is solid against both lefties and rights. He has a .773 OPS against RHP and a 1.00 OPS against LHP. Smith is also most clearly effective at home with a .856 home OPS. The consistency shows through Smith’s .799 OPS since 2007. If you are plagued by inconsistent production, Smith might be your guy.  

James McCann (C, DET) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team / Two-Catcher Leagues OWNED IN: 4% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: If you are looking for a catcher to stream on a daily match up basis, James McCann is the deep league option. McCann is having a solid overall season with a .738 OPS, three triples, four HR, and a .274 BA. McCann has also gotten off to a good start in July with a 1.171 OPS. What makes McCann valuable in a day-by-day situation is the fact that he has a .920 OPS this season against LHP. He is also almost certain to get the start over Alex Avila when the Tigers face LHP, as Avila has only a .255 OPS against lefties.

Ervin Santana (SP, MIN) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 15% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Ervin Santana has finally arrived and is ready to help the Minnesota Twins. Even though this is his fourth team in four years, Santana had a lot to give when the season began. That was ultimately derailed by his 80-game suspension for PED use. The Twins are ready to make a big push for the playoffs for the first time since 2010, and Santana could be the jolt this staff needs. His career 4.16 ERA isn't that exciting, and neither is his 4.26 FIP or 1.28 WHIP. However his .543 winning percentage, 7.2 K/9 and 3:1 K/BB will be welcome stats as a frontline starter in the Twin Cities. After giving up an unprecedented 39 HR in 2012, Santana surrendered 42 over the course of the next two seasons while increasing his K totals and giving up fewer runs. His GB% has gone up every season since 2010 where it now resides above 47%. Santana is keeping the ball down and achieving more wasted at-bats. The important thing to remember is that the Santana is expected to be a focal point rather than an afterthought of this rotation. Some guys play better when the pressure is on and some guys play better when more responsibility rests on their shoulder. Santana should fit the mold for both instances. He has playoff experience which is something most Twins lack. If you are looking for a difference maker in the second half of your fantasy season, Santana can provide a spark. At only 15% owned, he probably got dropped because of the suspension and has only recently been brought back up in discussions. While everyone is taking the week off for the All-Star break go ahead and drop some under-performing dead weight on your roster and add Santana.

Patrick Corbin (SP, ARI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 14% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Patrick Corbin missed the entire 2014 season after becoming a victim to the dreaded Tommy John surgery. Now Corbin is back to be the ace of the Diamondbacks rotation, and it could not have come at a better time. The Diamondbacks are on the cusp of contention this season. Corbin just might make that decision to be a contender in 2015 a much easier choice if he returns to form. Corbin's 2013 season seems to be recognized as a yearly expected outlook for him simply based on talent and the fact that the Diamondbacks offense is going to give him every chance to win on a nightly basis---that is if the bullpen doesn't blow it. That season saw a 3.5 K/BB plus a 1.67 WHIP and a .283 FIP with high K totals. Every pitcher responds differently to TJ surgery so the Diamondbacks are likely to be careful with Corbin's pitch counts. However, you should not shy away from rostering him. If your team is rebuilding for next season, Corbin is a perfect addition as well because frankly there aren't many ace pitchers sitting on the waiver wire for owners to pickup. Expectations should be tempered this season. Owners can anticipate an ERA below 4.00 with high K totals and plenty of quality starts given that the Diamondbacks seem committed to being competitive the rest of the way in the NL West. If you missed out on grabbing Matt Moore then Corbin is not a bad consolation prize for whatever your team needs for this year or for years to come.

Kendall Graveman (SP, OAK) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 25% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The 24-year-old rookie right-hander that had a cup of tea with the Blue Jays last year (4 2/3 innings pitched total) is putting together a solid campaign for the Athletics in 2015. Through 13 starts, Graveman owns a 3.16 ERA, a 6-4 record, a 4.35 FIP and a 45:24 K:BB ratio. There are certainly no eye-popping stats there, but the low ERA is noteworthy and six wins is a nice figure before the All-Star break. He's also been on a roll recently, with a 1.25 ERA and 1.06 WHIP over the last 30 days. Today he faces the Cleveland Indians, which isn't the most intimidating matchup, so he may be worth a look off the waiver wire if you're looking to stream or try and shore up the back of your rotation. As a minor-leaguer, Graveman projected only as a back-end starter at the MLB level. While he has been effective this season, nothing has really changed in his makeup and he's most likely still a back-of-the-rotation guy. The lack of strikeouts is also a little concerning in the long run. That said, I think his command is precise enough and he induces enough ground balls that he can keep his ERA on the lower end, and, ultimately, be an effective fantasy starter in deeper formats this season.  

Khris Davis (MIL, OF) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Jorge - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 24% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Davis has legitimate power. There's no doubt about that. I know I know, you're all worried about Gerardo Parra getting a bigger share of the playing time. However a trade involving Parra seems all but imminent so there appears to be an opening coming up for Davis. Just to remind you about Davis' upside, he hit 11 home runs in 2013 in only 136 AB's. Then last season he launched 22 big flies, despite putting up a pedestrian .244 BA. His ISO has regressed since the .316 he posted in 2013, but, come on, it was bound to. The main attraction here is that he is still widely available, and can give you a source of cheap power. The injury bug has been biting lately so chances are many of you could use someone to take a flier on. The Brewers are hot right now too and Khris has the benefit of hitting in a lineup with Braun, Lind, Lucroy, and Gomez. He won't hurt your team batting average too badly either so his floor is a bit higher than most waiver options.  

Brandon Phillips (CIN, 2B) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Jorge - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 49% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: So he's not what he once was, but he's still a very serviceable player at a shallow position. He also hits in a favorable ballpark and has a track record of being a very good hitter. Here's the thing, he won't put up the home run or RBI totals he used to put up in his prime. He's a few years removed from his 103 RBI outburst, but a 70 RBI isn't bad at all. Phillips has also had a resurgence in stolen base numbers, swiping 11 bags to this point already. His BABIP is hovering around .300 so his current production is definitely sustainable, and, most importantly, it's dependable. Phillips is a much safer option than other second basemen that are potentially on your wire, like Neil Walker per instance. Obviously Walker has more power, but for many leagues his cold streaks could be major headaches. So there you have it. Brandon Phillips: Productive, dependable, rosterable in fantasy.

Jarrod Dyson (KC, OF) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Jorge - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 10% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: With Alex Gordon out for the next eight weeks, Dyson becomes a very interesting play in all leagues. Speed is the name of his game as he doesn't offer any power, but 130 steals in 395 games is pretty impressive. Ned Yost loved Dyson as a pinch runner off the bench but with Gordon out, he doesn't have this luxury anymore. Dyson has never really gotten consistent playing time so it remains to be seen how he does in his current situation. Right now, Dyson is batting a career high .273 and has a respectable OBP at .321 so far. His BABIP is a tad high at .325, but I can't imagine such a significant drop-off. His strikeout rate is down to 16.4% too which is a good sign that he could be a great mid-season pickup for a lot of teams. Paulo Orlando should see some playing time too, but it's very possible that Dyson could run away with the job. Anyone in need of steals should run to the wire and grab him.

Yovani Gallardo (P, TEX) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Matt - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 66% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Yovani Gallardo has been among the best pitchers in baseball since the beginning of June. In seven June and July starts, the 29-year-old right hander has given up only five total runs while striking out 31 batters across 45 IP, a streak of success highlighted by a 33.1 inning stretch in which Gallardo didn't give up a run. The hot streak has dropped Gallardo's season ERA to a superb 2.67 with a 1.20 WHIP and a 76:36 K:BB ratio, extremely strong numbers for a pitcher not even owned in two-thirds of leagues. Gallardo has struggled to win, however, only picking up two Ws across his last seven starts despite pitching almost perfectly. In addition to that, the right hander's FIP, which measures predicted ERA given league average marks on balls in play and other factors, is nearly a run higher than his 2.67 ERA, suggesting at least some of Gallardo's success can be attributed to luck. That doesn't change the fact that he is among the hottest pitchers in baseball, and with a track record of putting up good numbers Gallardo should be owned in all formats.  

Mark Buehrle (P, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Matt - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only / 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 45% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Despite taking the loss in his last start, Mark Buehrle pitched eight solid innings without giving up an earned run. The effort has his season ERA at a cool 3.38 to go along with a 1.19 WHIP, 59 K, and a 9-5 record. While those numbers aren't eye-popping, they are exactly what Buehrle has been thus far in 2015--solid. The Jays southpaw hasn't given up more than two earned runs in a start since the end of May and has pitched seven or more innings in each of his last five starts. He seems to have perfected the art of spreading hits across innings and has shown great control as well, walking two or fewer batters in each of his starts since mid-May. He may not be an excellent source of strikeouts, or even a good one for that matter, but the ERA and WHIP look to remain strong and a powerful offense behind him will likely equate to consistent wins as long as the lefty can keep opponents off the scoreboard. He did undergo X-Rays on his ankle following his previous start, but looks to be fine with the All-Star break coming soon.  

 

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