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

 

David Freese (3B, LAA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

16 hours ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only and Very Deep Leagues OWNED IN: 14% of Fleaflicker leagues. ANALYSIS: David Freese has established himself as a staple for cheap power for fantasy baseball managers. So far this season, Freese has a solid 10 HR, and an average OPS of .703. Freese has a career OPS of .758, and his OPS got as high as .839 when he hit 2o HR in 2012 with the Cardinals. Why is Freese's OPS now sinking below his solid career average? This season Freese has a BABIP of .274. Throughout the other six years of Freese's career, his BABIP ranged from .320-.376. This season, Freese has been a bit unlucky on balls hit in play, so his OPS should be higher. A higher OPS from balls hit in play means a better BA and more opportunities for R and RBI (Freese has 28 R and 34 RBI on the season). It isn't just previous bad luck that gives Freese future upside, he has also improved his power hitting at the age of 32. First off, Freese has already hit 10 HR which is the amount he hit in all of last season and half of what he hit in his All-Star 2012 season. The Angels are currently 41-38 and not half way through the season. Freese has also improved his HR% from last year (2% to 3.4%) and his XBH% (7.1% to 8.4%). In fact Freese's numbers are better than his 2012 numbers (2012: 3.5% HR%, 8.1% XBH%). Freese is especially good against LHP with a career OPS of .837 against them. Given that Freese is potentially having his best power season in his career, he has been unlucky on balls in play, and he is a good option against LHP, David Freese is a good cheap option for power hitting at 3B.  

Jake Peavy (SP, SF) - Waiver Wire Pickups

16 hours ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues OWNED IN: 9% of Fleaflicker leagues. ANALYSIS: Jake Peavy returns from the DL on Friday after a horrendous start to the season that two appearances of a combined seven and two-thirds IP and eight ER. Jake Peavy was also plagued by a back injury at the start of the season, so that can at least be partially blamed for his poor performance. What is interesting is that despite an ERA of 9.38 this season, Peavy has a decent FIP of 4.52, so it can also be determined that Peavy didn't pitch nearly as bad as his ERA indicates (In eight ER, only one was accomplished on a HR, which was a Grand Slam). Fantasy baseball managers should take a chance on Peavy when he returns. Last season in 78 IP in San Francisco Peavy had a 2.17 ERA, a 3.03 FIP, and a 1.042 WHIP. Peavy had his ups and downs with Boston in the first half of the season, but after he was traded, Peavy had a 2.54 ERA and a 1.094 WHIP. Peavy steadily progressed to downright dominance by the end of the year. In August he had a 2.40 ERA and a 1.065 WHIP in 41 and one-third IP, and in September/October Peavy had a 1.44 ERA and a 0.957 WHIP in 31 and one-third IP. This high success in San Francisco can be attributed in part to Peavy's career GO/FO ratio of 0.89 which is ideal for the confines of AT&T Park which ranks dead last in HR rating with an ESPN rating of 0.537. If your arsenal of streamers is running dry, give Peavy a shot to return to his 2014 Giants form when he comes back from the DL this Friday.  

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

16 hours ago

Published by: Justin Berglund - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues OWNERSHIP: 11% in Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Despite the preseason surplus of outfield depth the Boston Red Sox had, injuries to Hanley Ramirez, Daniel Nava and Shane Victorino forced the team to make a move, acquiring Alejandro De Aza from the Baltimore Orioles after he had been designated for assignment. Starting the year with the O’s, De Aza was slashing just .214/.277/.359 with three homeruns and seven runs batted in 112 at-bats. He has caught fire in Boston, hitting .319/.356/.623 with three dingers and 14 RBI in just 73 AB’s. While you can thank a .358 BABIP since joining Boston, he has seen spikes in plenty of other statistics. De Aza has a career K% of 21.3%, and hit an all-time high of 30.4% to start the year in Baltimore. Since joining Boston, he has lowered this number to 17.8%. He also has a .304 ISO since the move, thanks to 12 of his 22 hits going for extra bases. On the season, he has been the 461st most productive fantasy player, right on line with his original rank of 420. However, he has improved to 171st the past month, and as high as 11th in the past week thanks to a current nine game hitting streak. De Aza is on a major high right now, and is still only owned in 11% of Yahoo leagues. That is thanks to his uncertainty in Boston’s lineup for the rest of the season. Hanley Ramirez has recently come back from dealing with a left hand injury. With that, De Aza seems to be fourth in the outfield with Ramirez, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. If De Aza continues to produce at the level he is, the struggling Red Sox have no reason not to put him in their lineup, and the same applies to your fantasy team.  

Adam Lind (MIL, 1B) - Waiver Wire Pickups

16 hours ago

Published by: Jorge - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12 Team Leagues OWNED IN: 53% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Lind is about as consistent a bat as you can find available on the wire. First base is usually a pretty deep position so it's easy to overlook Lind. His Achilles heel is that he struggles against southpaws, but then again most lefty batters do. He is hitting .307 against righties, but still a semi-respectable .233 against left-handers. In other words, you don't need to platoon him although if you have a good option on days he sits or faces lefties, it wouldn't be a bad play. Overall on the season he has hit 12 home runs, 44 RBI, and a .294/.366/.506 triple-slash line on the season. As for his consistency, from 2009 to 2013 he put up HR totals of 35, 23, 26, 11 and 23. The 11 was an outlier there, but the point is that Lind has some pop. Hitting in hitter-friendly Miller Park helps, as does hitting in the lineup with Ryan Braun.  

J.A. Happ (SP, SEA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

17 hours ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stream in Most Leagues Ownership: 11% Yahoo!, 11% Fleaflicker ANALYSIS: J.A .Happ has basically proved that an old dog can learn new tricks, as he has really improved his command and limited issuing walks. Of course, it also helps when you start half your games in an extreme pitcher’s park. Happ’s 8.4% HR/FB rate will take a dip after he induces a ton of fly balls in cavernous O.co Coliseum.

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

1 day ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stash in Deep Leagues OWNED IN: 4% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: After a few years of ups and downs, J.J. Hoover seems to have really found his rhythm. So far this season Hoover has a 5-0 record, one save, six holds, a 1.53 ERA, a 2.97 FIP, a 0.991 WHIP, and a fantastic ERA+ of 253 (ERA adjusted to player's ballpark). This shift in performance comes in part from Hoover lowering his HR% from 4.7% to 0.0% and his XBH% from 9.1% to 3.6%. Much of this drop off in damage can be attributed to the fact that Hoover is producing many more ground balls in HR friendly Great American Ball Park. Last season when Hoover was struggling with a 4.97 ERA, he had a GB/FB ratio of 0.38 and a GO/FO ratio of 0.40. This season Hoover has a GB/FB ratio of 1.09 and a GO/FO ratio of 1.11. Hoover is valuable in several pitching categories right now. With the Reds so actively shopping Aroldis Chapman, Hoover could be next in line to become the closer in Cincinnati. If you are in a holds league and also need help in ERA and WHIP, Hoover is your guy now. If Aroldis Chapman is traded, Hoover is everyone's guy.

Matt Duffy (2B / 3B, SFG) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 days ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues; use vs. RHP OWNED IN: 15% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Few players in baseball have been able to find their stride throughout the season like Matt Duffy has. Duffy began the season with a March/April OPS of .642, then Duffy improved to a May OPS of .778, and so far in June Duffy has been on fire with an OPS of .953. Duffy has been especially good against RHP, with an OPS of .894 on the season. In total this year Duffy has a BA of .297, eight HR, 37 RBI, a .825 OPS, and two SB; while improving his XBH% from 3.1% to 9.1%. When you play for a good team full of offensive X-factors, your BA has great potential to be converted into RBI and when you get on base, you have a great chance to score a run. That has been the case with Duffy recently. Matt Duffy also carries the added bonus of being eligible at two different infield positions. Now that Duffy has hit his stride and is hitting consistently and for solid power, fantasy baseball managers should take the hint that Duffy's OPS trend is giving them and add him to starting lineups, especially if the Giants are facing a RHP.

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

3 days ago

Published by: Justin Berglund - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team / AL-Only Leagues OWNED IN: 8% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Since Chase Utley has been sidelined and placed on the DL, Cesar Hernandez has taken his ball and rolled with it. In his seven games played since being the Phillies everyday second baseman, he has batted an even .500, with five runs scored, two RBI and four stolen bases. This includes three stolen bases in their doubleheader against the Nationals on Sunday. Oh, and he had two more tonight to give him six steals in eight days. With his recent explosion of productivity, he is now slashing .277/.365/.365 on the year. As you can see, he is not going to be much help in the power department, as he only has one home run on the year, but has plenty of speed. Along with his 11.3% BB% and 14.9% K% improving from last season’s 7.2% and 26.4%, his SwStr% is down from 10.9% to 6.7%, and has lowered his O-Swing% (Percentage of pitches a batter swings at outside the strike zone) from 32.6% to 24.8%. This has been a big reason for his improved numbers at the plate. Even when Chase Utley returns, the Phillies have a continued reason to play Hernandez. Utley has a vesting $15 million option for 2016 if he reaches 500 plate appearances on the season. He currently sits just under at 249. While his current DL stint decreases his chances of reaching that number, he is further hurt if Hernandez continues to produce the way he currently is. As for Hernandez’s fantasy value, he can only be added in deeper leagues. He is only owned in 8% of fantasy leagues, and should be a nice boost to a team lacking in stolen bases. He also holds eligibility at SS and 3B, making him just that more worth adding to your fantasy team. He could become more valuable once his role with the Phillies is determined. Until then, ride the high until Hernandez either crashes down or is placed back on the bench.

Kyle Hendricks (SP, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 days ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stream in Most Leagues Ownership: 13% Yahoo!, 10% Fleaflicker ANALYSIS: Kyle Hendricks has been torched in each of his last two starts, against the Twins and the Dodgers. Clearly, there are more red flags in the former than the latter, so streaming owners should think hard about if they want to start Hendricks every five days. That being said, he won’t have as many problems against the anemic Mets, who have won four straight and will be due for a loss on Tuesday. The Rotoballer Matchup Rating slates Hendricks at a green 105. Go for green.

Carlos Beltran (OF, NYY) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 days ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in NL-Only and Very Deep Mixed Leagues Ownership: 32% of Yahoo! Leagues ANALYSIS: Carlos Beltran stumbled badly out of the gate, and the impact of that rough start is still apparent in his overall numbers. However, he’s been a different player since April ended, putting together a .297/.363/.500 line with seven homers. This is roughly the level of production Beltran showed in his last two years with the Cardinals, so it certainly seems like the graybeard has enough left in the tank to be fantasy relevant for the rest of the season. Older players are typically undervalued in fantasy leagues for a variety of reasons. This one can be had free of charge in over two-thirds of Yahoo leagues.

Torii Hunter (OF, MIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Matt - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Pick up in AL only or deep leagues OWNERSHIP: 67% ESPN ANALYSIS: When Torii Hunter returned to Minnesota this year, many saw him assuming the role of a mentor for the wealth of young talent on the Twins roster. Basically, Hunter was brought back to Minnesota for the same reason Kevin Garnett was. Now nearing the halfway point of the season, it seems Hunter didn't quite get that memo. The 39-year-old is hitting .266 with 11 HR and 43 RBI in 67 games played thus far in 2015, placing him 20th in scoring among all fantasy outfielders. Three of those HR have come in his last 7 games, and Hunter also has 7 RBI over that span, not bad for a player who was drafted several months before Twins top prospect Byron Buxton was even born. While it's clear that Hunter isn't the hitter he once was, it's also clear that the aging outfielder still has plenty left in the tank, and should provide a good source of HR and RBI as long as the young Twins can put people on base in front of him.   MLB & Fantasy Baseball Chat Room

Eddie Rosario (2B / OF, MIN) - Waiver Wire Analysis

4 days ago

Published by: Bill Dubiel - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 2% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Rosario has played his way into a starting gig in Minnesota, and has impressed so far in 2015. In limited playing time thus far (132 at-bats), Rosario has hit .280 with 16 RBIs, 16 runs, four homers and five steals. Multi-category contributions are always useful, and Minnesota is still winning ballgames. He’s been hitting towards the top of the lineup recently, which should yield more runs scored as the season progresses. If he can keep his batting average up, he ought to be on base enough to approach 15 steals as well. Plug him in while he’s playing well, but monitor him moving forward.

Randal Grichuk (OF, STL) - Waiver Wire Analysis

4 days ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 22% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Grichuk has made the most of his opportunity after Matt Holliday went down with a quad strain. He’s currently hitting .273 with six homers and 42 R+RBI in 44 games, and he’s even chipped in three steals. Grichuk’s 43/7 K/BB ratio isn’t pretty, but it hasn’t kept him from being productive. As long as he continues to hit, the Cardinals can afford to let Holliday take it slow with his rehab. After that, playing time will be difficult to come by for the 23 year old. Until then, though, he’s worth an add.

Adam Eaton (OF, CHW) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 36% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Eaton continues to climb back from the abyss he fell into in April. Though his slash line for the season still sits at a middling .252/.318/.388, he’s posted an .855 OPS in June with three homers and four steals. He’s been the leadoff hitter for Chicago all season, and now that he’s getting on base at an excellent clip, he’s scoring runs like many hoped he would when they drafted him. It’s been a disappointing year on the South Side, but Eaton is doing his part to get the White Sox out of the cellar.  

Nick Hundley (C, COL) - Waiver Wire Analysis

4 days ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / All Two-Catcher Leagues OWNED IN: 34% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The Rockie’s seem to have a surplus of good offensive backstops, and their starter is Nick Hundley. He’s been on a nice little streak recently, bringing his season slash line up to .304/.349/.464. In the last seven games in which he’s started, Hundley has raked in eleven hits, one homerun, six RBI, and five runs. That was Hundley’s sixth homerun of the year to go with his 27 runs and 26 RBI. Hundley is currently ranked as the seventh best catcher for fantasy purposes, and his current pace is fairly sustainable. His .368 BABIP compared to his career .300 means regression is to be expected, but all the other stats are in line with is career averages. The Rockies are near the top of almost every offensive statistic, and batting behind Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado doesn’t hurt either. Hundley should remain a top ten fantasy catcher for the remainder of the season.

Wilin Rosario (C / 1B, COL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues / All Two-Catcher Leagues OWNED IN: 38% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: It’s not often that multiple catchers from the same team can be fantasy relevant, but the Rockie’s fit that case this season. Along with Nick Hundley as their starter, Wilin Rosario is their starting first basemen and is catcher eligible in the majority of fantasy leagues. Rosario is currently riding a nice three game multi-hit streak in his starts, during which he clobbered one home run, and racked up three RBI to go with his three runs. Rosario’s season slash line now sits at .299/.315/.480 and he’s currently ranked as the 16th fantasy catcher in standard leagues. It should be noted that Rosario wasn’t starting nearly as often early in the season, and did miss some time in late April to early May. The Rockies are near the top of almost every offensive statistic, and being surrounded by the likes of Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, and Nolan Arenado doesn’t hurt either. Rosario c0uld easily creep into the top ten fantasy catchers by the end of the season.

Kendall Graveman (SP, OAK) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: George Bissell - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 14% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: If you take away a pair of awful outings against the Houston Astros, Graven has been quietly excellent this season. Since making his return to the A’s rotation on May 23, he’s 2-2 with a 2.27 ERA with 30 strikeouts and just nine walks in 39 and two-thirds innings. The most encouraging sign during that stretch (aside from an increase in strikeouts) is the 50% ground ball rate during that span. As a command and control artist who lacks overpowering stuff, he’s always going to struggle with home run issues, but he’s in the perfect situation to cover up that weakness in Oakland. Owned in just 11% of Yahoo leagues, Graveman is an under the radar option for fantasy owners to consider adding to the mix.

Jaime Garcia (SP, STL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: George Bissell - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 63% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: If Garcia were a robot, he would have blossomed into one of the premier southpaws in baseball years ago. He’s failed to crack 150 innings since 2011, which feels like an eternity. After years of shoulder woes, he’s finally healthy and has done a masterful job stepping into the St. Louis rotation in the wake of the season-ending injury to Adam Wainwright. Through six starts, Garcia owns a 1.76 ERA, 0.90 WHIP along with 28 strikeouts and just seven walks. That last number is even more impressive considering five of them came in his first game back. He’s still available in 40% of fantasy leagues, and that number needs to be much lower. If you’re in need of a quality back-end of a fantasy rotation starter, Garcia can fill the void.

Ivan Nova (NYY, SP) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Jorge - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stream in 14-team leagues or deeper OWNED IN: 14% of Yahoo Leagues ANALYSIS: After over a year away from the game to recover from Tommy John surgery, Nova came back strong against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday. He pitched 6 and 2/3 innings of shutout baseball, allowing only three hits, two walks, and striking out one. Granted, it was the Phillies, but this was an encouraging start nonetheless. Nova was touching 95 mph on the gun, and could be a solid guy to round out rotations in deeper leagues. Back in 2011 when Nova won 16 games, he posted a 3.70 ERA, but only a 5.33 K/9. Then in 2013 he went 9-6, posting a 3.10 ERA and 7.49 K/9. The message here is to not expect him to rack up the strikeouts, but he won't kill your ratios. There will be some rough outings in all likelihood but rolling him out there based on matchups could pay off. His next start against the Angels should be a good litmus test.  

Dioner Navarro (C,TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in deep two-catcher and AL-Only leagues OWNED IN: 5% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Dioner Navarro is not the sexiest name in fantasy baseball, but don't be fooled - the guy can produce if given the chance to show it. Fantasy catchers often go underutilized unless leagues require that two backstops be started. Navarro might reside in a second tiered catcher spot in most leagues but in a high powered offense such as Toronto he might find himself in the upper tier sooner than later. Navarro has been hampered by injuries throughout his career but certain stats have not changed regardless of how many at bats he gets. The low K totals will help in points and h2h leagues tremendously. In 139 games in 2014, he struck out a minuscule 69 times and added 32 walks. Navarro can give owners some power from a fantasy production abyss of a position such as catcher and should see a timeshare with Russell Martin if he keeps hitting. Players such as Mike Zunino, J.T. Realmuto, Travis D'arnaud and Kurt Suzuki are owned at a higher rate than Navarro and have had subpar years at best. Navarro has a chance to be a solid replacement for any of them right now.  

Justin Turner (1B / 2B / 3B / SS, LAD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ and NL-Only Leagues. OWNED IN: 23% in Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Justin Turner has gone from plug-and-play utility man to fantasy juggernaut in 2015. With injuries galore for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Turner has found himself on the field regularly and playing a key part in seemingly every game. His .320 BA, 11 HR and 36 RBI rank him in the top 25 in the NL. His OPS sits at .959. As a point of comparison, Seattle OF Nelson Cruz has a .922 OPS. Clearly Turner has been an absolute monster for fantasy owners, who almost certainly did not draft him. They probably picked him up hoping and praying that he would help get them by until someone like Anthony Rendon returned from his early season injury. The looming arrivals of Hector Olivera and highly touted prospect Corey Seager make Turner's long term fantasy outlook a bit murky. But Olivera is currently on the shelf at Triple-A and Seager is not going to be rushed, even as Jimmy Rollins continues to struggle. If he keeps hitting the way he has, Turner will remain a huge fantasy asset this season.  

Taijuan Walker (SP, SEA) - Waiver Wire Analysis

5 days ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 26% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: As talented of a pitcher as Taijuan Walker clearly is he has struggled mightily to the point of ownership in fantasy leagues plummeting in epic proportions. At 26% owned Walker is a guy that will not last very long on the wire for good reason. With this being Walker's first full season with the Seattle Mariners bumps in the road were to be expected. Walker still has 8 K/9 but has 4 BB/9 as well. His FIP of 3.82 and WHIP of 1.35 are both career highs and have both been steadily rising as the year has gone on. However the night is always darkest before the dawn right? Walker's recent numbers are as follows: 34.1 IP, 36 K, 3 BB, 9 ER and 4 wins to boot. Those are "ace-like" elite numbers and Walker plays along side one of the best pitchers in the league in Felix Hernandez. How is this guy not owned universally? Buying low and or trading for someone of this stature is a must have plus a necessity for any team! This acquisition should guarantee a trip straight to the fantasy playoffs. Walker has been working feverishly on his command and something has obviously clicked. The run support is better and his defense has stepped up behind him but his control and presence on the mound has finally been brought to the light. Walker must be taken seriously now more than ever as a mainstay for fantasy rotations for years to come. As mentioned before, go get Walker any way you can and get an ace to carry you to the promise land.

Eduardo Nunez (SS, MIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 days ago

Published by: Bill Dubiel - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only and Deep Mixed Leagues Ownership: 1.7% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Eduardo Nunez is slowly finding his way into the lineup regularly-- a result of solid work at the plate on his part and abysmal performances from Eduardo Escobar and the now-demoted Danny Santana. Nunez is hitting .302 on the season, and does have a bit of power for the shortstop position. He’s never seen more than 309 at-bats in a season, and probably won’t get there this year, either. However, in the season he saw 309 at-bats he swiped 22 bags. The speed/power combo is useful in the shortstop/middle infield position, and he should provide good value in the weeks to come.

Marco Estrada (SP, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 days ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only and Deep Mixed Leagues Ownership: 26% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Marco Estrada made headlines this past week with his perfect-game bid vs. Tampa Bay. He ended up with 8.2 scoreless frames with two hits, no walks and 10 strikeouts. Estrada now has a 3.45 ERA and 1.10 WHIP with a 63/23 K/BB ratio over 73 innings. He has allowed one earned run in his last 15.2 innings, and has a 3.10 ERA over his last six starts. Estrada was last fantasy relevant in 2013 for the Brewers, when he posted a 3.87 ERA and 1.08 WHIP over 21 starts. The AL East is not the ideal situation for pitching; the Yankees and Orioles join Toronto in the top four of runs per game. That said, Estrada’s ability to limit base runners in his career (1.17 WHIP) should help him avoid big innings. In addition, his changeup has been extremely effective to this point, limiting hitters to a .159 AVG while producing a Pitchf/x value of 7.7. I’m buying Estrada in deeper leagues, although I caution using him in his next start vs. Boston. He threw 129 pitches his last outing and 118 in the one before, so Estrada may see his pitch count limited to reduce his workload. Also, the BoSox are the only team to rough him up in the month of June (5 IP, 5 ER). Regardless, he should be added in 12-team leagues and larger.

Yasmani Grandal (CA, LAD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 days ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues Ownership: 29% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Yasmani Grandal was a pre-season sleeper pick at the catcher position, and is rewarding those who decided to instill faith in the 26-year-old former 12th overall pick. He is currently ranked as the tenth best backstop for fantasy purposes, and his defense has received praise from many, as well. Another enticing part of Grandal’s performance thus far is that his line does not look unsustainable, he looks like he is simply becoming a better hitter as he enters his prime. And while his 22.2% home run per fly ball rate screams regression, the rest of his metrics show he has turned a corner and become a better offensive player. So, what has Grandal changed to become such a quality hitter? He has dropped his strikeouts down nearly eight percent while boosting his walk rate beyond the 15% mark for the first time in his career. The Dodgers rank near the top of most offensive categories, and batting behind Adrian Gonzalez and Howie Kendrick has only helped Grandal’s opportunities this season. Grandal has always had pretty good skills with the bat, but combining those skills with top-notch plate discipline has pushed him into the upper echelon of offensive catchers.

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

5 days ago

Published by: Jeff Kahntroff - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only and Deep Mixed Leagues Ownership: 8% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Rougned Odor is only 21 years old. Small timeframes can lead to significant improvement at that age, and inconsistency can also plague such young hitters. I bet on Odor to start the season and lost, but he obliterated AAA pitching to the tune of a 1.065 OPS with five homers and three steals in 30 games, and is now back to the big show. In his 30 at-bats since, he is hitting .333 with one homer and two steals. While the sample is limited, his speed, power and ability to hit MLB pitching at age 20 last year present a lot of intrigue for me. With his match-ups this week, he is worth the gamble, and should be a hold in many leagues.

Logan Forsythe (1B/2B/3B, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 days ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues OWNED IN: 23% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: This guy shouldn't be a difficult sell, but apparently 77% of Fantasy Baseball Managers still need to be sold. Logan Forsythe currently has a .293 BA, a .827 OPS, eight home runs, and seven stolen bases. He went 1-3 last night on June 23rd and he is eligible at 1B, 2B, and 3B in fleaflicker leagues. Other utility players like Ben Zobrist (Owned in 84%) and Marcus Semien (Owned in 29%) are owned in less leagues and they are producing lesser offensive numbers than Logan Forsythe. Forsythe has a pretty maintainable BABIP of .325, all of his splits (against RHP, LHP, Home, Away) have an OPS no lower than .806. If you are a Fantasy Baseball Manager that needs a player that can play several infield positions, can hit for average and power, and who can steal a good amount of bases, then Logan Forsythe is a pretty obvious option for instant production. MLB and Fantasy Baseball Chat Room

Steven Matz (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickup

6 days ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in all leagues. OWNED IN: 7% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Dost thou eyes deceive me!? The New York Mets are not only competing but they are calling up their prospects appropriately!? The era of Steven Matz in New York may create one of the most sought after pitching staffs in all of baseball. Without even throwing a single pitch for the New York Mets, Matz has been compared to the next Clayton Kershaw. Perhaps "Meet The Mets" will be changed to "Here Comes Matz" and all will be right in Flushing for years to come... In all seriousness Matz has all the makings of an elite pitcher and should bring immediate fantasy value to any team looking for or stockpiling pitching. Matz brings a career 2.28 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, .227 BAA and a 26 K% to the table and is a must add to any size league. His highest walk total in any one season was 38 in 106 IP in 2013 at A-Savannah. He uses his fastball, changeup, and curveball interchangeably with veteran command and presence at only age 24. The Mets already have the likes of Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Jacob DeGrom paving the way for success now. Add in the return of Zack Wheeler in 2016 and now Matz, the Mets are not only loaded but are ready to be serious contenders for the foreseeable future. Matz has been a stash for many people waiting for him and Syndergaard to be called up. This move comes as no surprise given his track record across the minor leagues. If you are lucky enough to be an owner of him already, it is about to pay off big time. If you are fortunate enough to be in a league where he is still available stop what you are doing right now and go drop your worst player.  

Dioner Navarro (TOR, C) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 days ago

Published by: Jorge - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Monitor in deeper leagues, add in two-catcher leagues OWNED IN: 4% of Yahoo Leagues ANALYSIS: The sporadic playing time makes him an add in only the deepest of leagues, but in that Jays lineup, he has more value than most backup catchers. Dioner Navarro missed some time due to a DL stint. Since his return, he has been playing pretty well. Over his last seven games, Navarro has gone 7-for-19 (.368 BA) with four runs scored, two HR, and three RBI. Make no mistake, Russell Martin will still get the lion's share of playing time. Should anything happen to Martin though, Navarro would obviously become much more valuable. The former Yankee prospect also gets some value because he is a switch-hitter and could see some time as the DH. It's not a sure thing by any means, but if he keeps hitting, he could squeeze out some more playing time. Also, let's not forget that just last year he hit 12 HR as the starter and drove in 69 RBI.

Logan Forsythe (2B, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 days ago

Published by: Matt - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Pickup in AL Only and Deep Leagues or as needed OWNERSHIP: 58% ESPN ANALYSIS: Logan Forsythe isn't great at anything yet he seems to be good at everything. The 28-year-old Tampa Bay Ray has caught fire after enduring a horrible start to June, raising his batting average to a strong .292 with eight HR, 32 RBI, and seven SB through 73 games, numbers good enough to make him the eighth best second baseman in fantasy baseball. Projecting those stats over the remaining 89 regular season games equates to a season line of 18 HR, 71 RBI, and 15 SB, not bad production for a player in fantasy's weakest position. He won't carry a team, and won't excel in any particular category, but Forsythe has been nothing but consistent and solid thus far in 2015. He can be relied upon for a steady trickle of hits, HR, and RBI. His dual-position eligibility (1B and 2B on ESPN) doesn't hurt, making him a strong pickup for teams with a hole at 2B.  

Roberto Osuna (RP, TOR) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 4% in Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Relief pitchers in fantasy baseball are often labeled "dime-a-dozen" as they tend to change hands on a moment's notice. In the case of Roberto Osuna of the Toronto Jays, it has been long overdue that this talented flame-thrower finally gets his opportunity to shine. After making a splash in Spring Training, Osuna made the Opening Day roster in the bullpen for the Blue Jays based on his electric arm and impressive arsenal at his disposal. He has the tools to be a potentially lethal back end reliever but just needed the chance to show it in crucial spots in games. With Brett Cecil, Miguel Castro, and Cecil again failing at locking down the closing duties for Toronto, Osuna now has the spot for the time being. Osuna brings 95 MPH four-seam and two-seam fastballs to the table. Throw in a wicked changeup and slider combination and you have a tricky at bat for 9th inning foes trying to edge out some late wins. His 2.10 ERA along with his 4:1 K/BB ratio have been nothing short of impressive for a 20-year-old getting his first taste of Major League hitting. He has also only given up one HR the entire season and his 2.11 FIP ranks among the best in 2015. The only monkey wrench that can get thrown in the mix is former All-Star RP Steve Delabar. The Blue Jays have all but said the Osuna is the closer right now but beware of the vulture save for Delabar on any given night. A handcuff situation might be the play. If Osuna just keeps chugging along, he will have a lock for the rest of the season. If you have someone like Hector Rondon who is in a similar situation with Jason Motte in Chicago, Osuna has the better upside to keep the job and has fewer suitors looking over his shoulder.

Andrew Heaney (SP, LAA) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team / AL-Only Leagues OWNED IN: 4% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: One of the highest rated left-handed pitching prospects of the past few years has finally made his case to join a Major League rotation. After two trades and countless momentum swings between levels of competition Andrew Heaney has arrived in Los Angeles. Expect him to stay. The Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers both moved Heaney for 2B Dee Gordon and Howie Kendrick leaving Heaney a shot of making the Opening Day rotation for the Los Angeles Angels. He would start the year at Triple-A Salt Lake where he struggled to a 4.71 ERA and gave up 41 ER in 78.1 IP. He did post a 6-2 record and a 3:1 K/BB ratio and showed signs of refinement throughout his time in Salt Lake. With not much left to prove at the minor league level, an opening had to arise for Heaney to get his shot. Heaney uses a polished fastball to go with a heavy moving slider to get batters out. He still needs work with his changeup and curve. The biggest knock on Heaney is that he leaves those pitches up in the zone where they are pummeled. His 9.00 K/9 rate along with a higher command of his off-speed pitches should pay off for a young pitcher still trying to be a factor. The one caveat to anyone buying in on Heaney long term is his high BABIP and FIP. His 4.85 FIP must come down for him to remain a fantasy target. The BABIP sits at .280, but until he gets all four pitches working for him, Heaney remains susceptible. He is a must own for dynasty owners. For 10+ team mixed and AL-Only owners looking for a boost in the SP department, Heaney should be a solid play. Hope that he gets it all figured out by season's end.

Steven Matz (SP, Mets) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Jorge - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in all leagues OWNED IN: 21% of Yahoo leagues ANALYSIS: The Mets have said that their young lefty would be promoted around July 1st. Well July is a week away, but Steven Matz is expected to start this Sunday. With all the hype surrounding him, expectations are high and, given his minor league numbers, they should be. In the hitters' paradise known as the PCL, Matz has dominated by posting a 2.11 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, .211 opponents’ batting average, and 86/31 K/BB ratio in 85 1/3 IP this season. Even though walks may be a slight issue for him, and I'm really nitpicking, his strand rate is 82.1% so he tends to work out of any jams he creates for himself. He pitches in a pitcher-friendly park, and many in the organization think he is the second best pitcher the Mets have behind Matt Harvey. He sports a strong 9.37 K/9 this year as well so he will be a great add in terms of helping owners in ERA and K. Expect the occasional rough outing due to growing pains, but the upside is way too high to ignore.

Justin Turner (1B / 2B / SS / 3B, LAD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Jorge - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 67% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Despite not getting consistent playing time early on, Justin Turner has now secured a job as the everyday third baseman in Los Angeles. Not only that, but Turner has also put up numbers worthy of being an All Star. To this point he has a .323 BA, 10 HR, 35 RBI and even one stolen base. He was always a good depth option because of his positional versatility, but now that he has earned more playing time he is a must own in fantasy leagues. Over his last seven games he has been on fire, going 7 for 19 with four HR, nine RBI and six runs scored. Even if he doesn't keep up this pace, the fact that he can be plugged in at all four infield slots gives him a ton of value. There is one note of caution though as a promotion to prospect Hector Olivera could reduce Turner to a super utility role once again. However with Olivera on the shelf for a bit, that won't be a concern for owners for at least a few weeks. Especially given Turner's middle infield eligibility, he should be grabbed off all waiver wires where he's still available.

Steven Matz (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: George Bissell - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 25% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: During internal discussions with other industry fantasy analysts about Matz this offseason, the question which always came up was whether or not he had front of the rotation upside. He’s done everything possible at Triple-A Las Vegas to answer in the affirmative. Not only does he own a stellar 2.11 ERA over 13 starts while striking out more than a batter per inning, but his arsenal has taken a step forward as well. His fastball has been reported as sitting 92-94 mph consistently, while his curveball and changeup are good enough to be a weapon against both left and right-handed batters at the Major League level. His realistic floor is as a quality mid-rotation starter, but the fact that he’s left-handed and has three quality pitches gives him a chance to be great. With Dillon Gee on his way out of the Big Apple, it was announced today that Matz will be called up to join the Mets. It may be too late to invest in long-term dynasty formats (I drafted him in my home dynasty league in April), but he’s worth the risk in re-draft leagues. He’s going to make a major impact over the final three months of the season. If he's still available in your league, go grab him now off the waiver wire.

Eugenio Suarez (SS, CIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 2% of fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Just as he was having the best offensive season of his young career, Zack Cozart had his season end abruptly by a scary knee injury. His replacement has been Eugenio Suarez. While everyone may be more excited about young shortstops like Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, and Francisco Lindor, Suarez is a fantastic offensive option if you need production at SS and the top prospects have already been snatched in your league. This season in the Minors for the Louisville Bats: Suarez had eight home runs, three stolen bases, and a .786 OPS. Suarez also has a career Minor league OPS (since 2009) of .778. This season in the majors so far; Suarez has one HR, one SB, and a .743 OPS.  If you are looking for a good offensive option at SS who can offer HR and a few SB, Suarez is a great sleeper option. Update: On June 23rd Suarez went 2-5 against the Pirates, improving his BA to .278. MLB and Fantasy Baseball Chat Room

Tommy Milone (SP, MIN) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

  BALLER MOVE: Stream in deeper leagues OWNED IN: 16% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: The trade that brought Tommy Milone to the Twin Cities may not have been a blockbuster, but his improvement this season has served Minnesota well. Milone is 4-1 with a 3.59 ERA and 1.34 WHIP for the surprisingly competitive Twins. Milone is inducing more strikeouts, pop-ups, and double plays while allowing fewer line drives, extra base hits, and walks. Milone's FIP is a thoroughly uninspiring 5.06, but that metric tends to underrate pitch-to-contact guys like him. If you don't need strikeouts and you are just looking for a quality performance to boost your ratios, Milone is worth a stream.   MLB & Fantasy Baseball Chat Room  

Drew Hutchison (SP, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ team leagues; stream for home games OWNED IN: 29% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Drew Hutchison currently has a record of 7-1 with a 5.33 ERA. How is this possible? Hutchison currently leads all of baseball in average run support, with 7.27 runs supplied per start by the Jays' sluggers. Hutchison also hasn't pitched nearly as poorly as his ERA indicates. His FIP sits at 3.93, buoyed by a 7.9 K/9 and better than 3-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio. At the very least he's a must-start at home, where he ranks 23rd in MLB among qualified starters (minimum 40 IP) with a 2.38 ERA. Hutch is pitching far better than his superficial stats would indicate and is usually a good bet for a W with the powerful Toronto lineup backing him.

Francisco Cervelli (C, PIT) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Two-Catcher Leagues Ownership: 18% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: So far this season, Francisco Cervelli has been consistently underwhelming, but that consistency has him currently ranked as the 12th best backstop for fantasy purposes. His season slash line currently sits at .311/.389/.400, which accurately portrays what fantasy managers can expect from the Pittsburgh catcher. Even though Cervelli blasted his second home run of the season this past week, he is useful for average, just not so much in the counting stats. When Pittsburgh lost Russell Martin this past off-season, they lost one of the league’s best on both offense and defense. The Pirates knew Cervelli was a capable backup when they brought him in from the Yankees, but took a chance on a 29-year-old that never had the chance for a starters role. They have to be more than happy with the value they’ve gotten. Even though Pittsburgh is hovering right around the middle of the pack in most offensive categories, Cervelli continues to get things done while remaining under the radar.

Juan Lagares (OF, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in NL-Only Leagues Ownership: 10% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Juan Lagares has bounced back from a lousy May, hitting .309 with a .811 OPS thus far in June despite nursing an elbow injury that is limiting him in the outfield. Overall, he’s got a solid .271 batting average and 30 runs scored, with five steals in seven attempts. The fact that he hasn’t run more is surprising, given that his speed is one of his strongest assets. There have been rumblings that he may eventually need Tommy John surgery, but for the moment, Lagares appears to be suffering no ill effects at the plate.

Mike Pelfrey (SP, MIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stream in AL-Only and Deep Mixed Leagues Ownership: 19% Yahoo!, 13% Fleaflicker ANALYSIS: It’s becoming the same old story with the Sox this season. Stream a pitcher against them knowing that their offense is poor right now, but their bats could wake up at any moment. Something like that has probably been written at least 10,000 times already. As true as it may be, I’m going to go ahead and target any pitcher that is starting against the White Sox and their 83 wRC+. Add in Mike Pelfrey and his excellent home splits of 1.41 ERA, .209 BAA and 1.02 WHIP, and he makes for a great streaming option until Chicago proves otherwise.

Yunel Escobar (3B / SS, WAS) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 37% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: It’s almost July and Escobar is still hitting the daylights out of the ball. He’s batting .329 /.380/.408 as the regular number three hitter for one the best offense in baseball. As hard as it might be to believe, he’s stepped up his game during June and is batting .377 on the month. While Escobar doesn’t deliver much in the way of power or speed, as long as he continues to post batting averages like that, fantasy owners should be happy to make room for him. There’s also the matter of the team he plays for. The Washington Nationals have scored the 7th most runs in baseball through this point in the season. Looking up and down their lineup, one might almost conclude that this number was an under-achievement considering the amount of talent running through the team. As long as Escobar continues to get on base at the rate he has been so far this season, he’ll be a major source of Runs, RBI, and Batting Average from that position in the lineup. With series against the Phillies, the 3rd worst pitching staff in baseball by team ERA, and the Braves, the 8th worst pitching staff, there isn’t a matchup coming up in the near future which you should be afraid to use Escobar against. My advice is to take full advantage of this potent hitter while he’s still available on the waiver wire.

Chris Parmalee (1B / OF, BAL) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 9% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Parmelee burst onto the scene with a vengeance this week. After being called up the Orioles, he made his season debut by going 4/6 with two home runs, three Runs scored, and two RBI. He’s hit another home run since then and is batting a sizzling .375 through his first week in the big leagues. While he’s consistently crushed the minor leagues, Parmelee was never able to make any grounds in the big leagues during his time as a Twin. His recent performance has some asking whether or not he’s managed to figure something out. While it’s much more likely that what we’re witnessing is the product of small sample size, there’s upside to a player that batted .312 with six home runs through only 61 games in the minors this year. Especially for our friends in deeper leagues, Parmelee represents the perfect kind of low risk flyer. Grab him now while his bat is hot and he’s hitting for power. If he continues to preform well, then great. If not, you got a few weeks of valuable production for pennies on the dollar.

Mitch Moreland (1B / DH, TEX) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 31% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Moreland has continued to hit his way up the Texas Rangers‘ batting order. Thanks to his impressive play, Manager Jeff Banister has entrusted him with cleanup duties twice in the last three days. Most notably, these outings have come against Zack Greinke and Carlos Rondon, a righty and lefty respectively, showing that Moreland has become something more than just a platoon option in the eyes of his manager. Looking at his season stat-line it’s easy to see why. Moreland has delivered for the Rangers all season long, batting .303/.358/.514 with eight home runs, 33 RBI, and 20 Runs scored. He’s been even more impressive during the month of June, hitting .328 with three home runs, 15 RBI, and 10 Runs scored. Looking ahead, the Rangers have a schedule which could very much play to Moreland’s strengths. After a tough series against Oakland, the Rangers will embark on a road trip to the hitters havens in Toronto and Baltimore. I especially look forward to seeing what the Rangers might be able to accomplish against the Jays’ feeble pitching staff. Especially if Moreland continues batting cleanup, these could be some prime matchups for fantasy owners.

Brock Holt (1B / 2B / 3B / SS / OF, BOS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 31% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Holt was a last-minute cut from last week’s column after news of Byron Buxton’s promotion broke. Since then, his ownership rate has tripled. A combination of injuries and ineffectiveness on the part of his teammates has allowed Holt to carve out consistent playing time in recent weeks. He’s taken advantage by slashing .341/.437/.545 over the last month, including hitting for the cycle on Tuesday. Holt’s .402 BABIP may give you pause, and considering that only three players have finished a full season with a mark over .400 in the last 90 years, it probably should. But regression may not be as harsh as you’d expect. Holt has a history of high BABIPs in the minors and is absolutely crushing the ball right now with a line drive rate of 30.6%. Plus he’s eligible at every position outside of catcher. BROCK HOLT!  

Kevin Pillar (OF, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 30% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Though his overall numbers are still recovering from a vicious slump in May, Pillar has been an unsung hero in the Jays’ leviathan lineup of late. This month has been much kinder to the rookie, as he’s hit .403 with four homers and three stolen bases so far. For the year, Pillar has six homers and 10 steals in 12 attempts, to go along with 40 runs. He has drawn more attention to this point for his excellence in the field than his prowess at the plate. If he keeps hitting the way he has lately, though, that won’t last. Even with the bulk of his at-bats coming as the 8-hole hitter, Toronto’s league-best offense and favorable home park have allowed Pillar to accrue enough counting stats to be fantasy relevant.

Joey Butler (OF, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 25% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Butler is a 29 year old rookie with a 40/5 K/BB ratio and a .420 BABIP. Skepticism is merited here. But as the season wears on, waiver bargains become more difficult to find and teams begin to fall back from the pack, and it behooves owners in these situations to roll the dice. It’s not as though there is nothing to like about Butler. He posted strong walk rates and showed solid pop throughout his minor league career, and a glance under the hood shows he’s hitting plenty of line drives. To this point, he’s rocking an .879 OPS with six homers and five steals. The batting average comedown is inevitable, but if he can keep filling up the box score as he has to this point in other categories, he’ll be worth owning in several formats.

Wilson Ramos (C, WAS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues OWNED IN: 22% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Wilson Ramos is a guy who just simply isn’t getting enough love this year. After an atrocious start to the season, Ramos has picked things up in the past month or so. He’s brought his season slash line up to .266/.289/.415 with his current hot stretch, and has racked up seven homeruns, 19 runs, and 33 RBI. Ramos is currently on pace to break his career highs in homeruns and RBI and would come close to his career mark in runs as well if that pace came to fruition. The Nationals currently rank in the top third of nearly every offensive statistic, and it helps that Ramos is surrounded by the likes of Danny Espinosa and Bryce Harper. Harper is helping Ramos’ case to break his career RBI mark quite a bit. He’s leading the league in walks and is fifth in batting average. Ramos is currently the tenth ranked fantasy catcher, and there’s no reason he won’t finish the season with that rank or better.

Yadier Molina (C, STL) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 80% 0f Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: It's a stretch to call him a waiver wire pickup because of his high ownership percentage, but we're talking about catchers here. It’s also understandable why some fantasy managers recently dropped Molina out of frustration. I’m here to make sure that if that happened in anyone’s league, they go snatch him up quickly. Molina had a terrible start to the season for his standards, but has brought his slash line up to .291/.339/.368 thanks to a recent hot stretch. Since May 26th he has recorded a hit in 16 of 22 games he’s participated in, including belting his first two home-runs of the season this past week. The St. Louis Cardinals have the best record in baseball, and even though they’re not at the top of any offensive categories they still continue to get it done. Molina bats sixth, surrounded by Kolten Wong and Jason Heyward, so the opportunities should continue to roll in for him. He has been one of the league’s best backstops for the past ten years, and a couple of rough months to start the season is no reason to give up on that kind of proven player. Unless managers already have a top tier catcher and don’t have anyone to drop, Molina is worthy of picking up to start or as trade bait in all formats.

Mike Fiers (SP, MIL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Justin Berglund - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stream in NL-Only and Deep Mixed Leagues Ownership: 21% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Mike Fiers was a popular sleeper candidate this season after a 2014 in which he went 5-6 with a 2.13 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and a 76/17 K/BB rate. However, he has not had the same dominance this year, to the tune of a 3-7 record, 4.50 ERA, 1.55 WHIP. His K/BB rate of 82/28 has been solid, but he has been hit with a high BABIP of .370, which has been the cause of a lot of his problems. Before his last start, Fiers had a streak of seven consecutive starts in which he gave up three runs or fewer. Meanwhile, he has only gotten more than three runs of run support once since May 1, as the Brewers' offense is just terrible. Starting the week against the Mets, this is a good matchup for Fiers. The Mets have an ISO of .131, 23rd in the league, including .122 against right-handed pitching (26th in baseball). While the Twins, who face Fiers on Sunday, have been a surprisingly solid team this season, they have not been the most offensively productive. They have a 84 wRC+ and .677 OPS against righties, both numbers among the worst in the league.  

Mark Buehrle (SP, TOR) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stream in Deeper Leagues Ownership: 27% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Mark Buerhle doesn’t get much love in fantasy circles and rightfully so; his WHIP is usually in the 1.30s and he doesn’t strike many guys out. But his latest string of performances warrants some attention for fantasy purposes. In Buerhle’s three June starts he’s compiled a 1.23 ERA in 22 innings, all vs NL East opponents. History shows Buerhle typically starts off rough (4.12 ERA in April) and then starts to settle down (3.58 ERA from May-July). He was excellent in his last outing vs. Baltimore, completing seven innings of two-run ball with five strikeouts and one walk. His BB/9 rate is sitting at 1.79, which, if he can maintain, will be key to controlling his WHIP. In five of the previous six seasons in which Buerhle has had a BB/9 rate below 2.00, his WHIP has been at or below 1.26. The hard-hit contact rate is at a career-high 35.6%, which leads me to believe the fun won’t last forever here. The data also shows that Buerhle tends to regress in the dog days of summer, so my advice is to grab him now for streaming purposes in mixed leagues and as a rotation option in deep leagues. That said, his inability to rack up Ks limits his potential, so don’t grow attached to his recent string of performances. Ride the wave and then be ready for the next one.

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

1 week ago

Published by: Bill Dubiel - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Mixed and NL-Only Leagues Ownership: 47% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Scooter Gennett has been en fuego since returning from the DL on June 11, hitting .310 with four RBIs over that time. He is still a very weak hitter against lefties, but his ability to destroy right-handed pitching makes him a valuable fantasy asset. His power ceiling is understandably low, but you want him for the runs scored and the batting average. He may chip in five steals by the end of the year, but don’t expect much more than that out of him. He makes for a nice injury replacement or middle infield plug-and-play option for now.  

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

1 week ago

Published by: Bill Dubiel - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 27% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Hardy has been lighting it up lately, and is currently riding an 11-game hit streak. During that streak he’s hitting .390 with seven runs scored and six RBIs. He missed a large chunk of time this year due to a DL stint, and he’s been productive since he returned. The former All-Star won’t give you much in the way of power or speed, but as long as he’s hitting in the potent Orioles lineup the counting stats should be there. I wouldn’t hesitate to start Hardy while he’s hot.

Jon Gray (SP, COL) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stash in Deeper Leagues / Add in NL-Only Leagues OWNED IN: 2% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: When a 23-year-old pitcher that grades as a potential above-average regular to All-Star is available on your waiver wire, you have to grab him in an NL-only league. Even if he hasn’t technically received his call up to the majors yet, he can be stashed in deeper leagues. Such is the case with Rockies’ stud Jon Gray. He has corrected some minor issues and is now pitching very well at Triple-A, just waiting for a call from Walt Weiss. Gray has a plus fastball and plus slider, a solid changeup and while the command isn’t stellar, he seems to miss enough bats to get away with it. Since May 21st, over a span of six starts (with one complete game), Gray posted a 2.01 ERA and 25 strikeouts. If you’re against adding him to the roster before the call-up, monitor MLB transactions over the next few days, as he should be getting the call any day now. After all, the Rockies really have nothing to lose with their abysmal starting rotation.  

Steven Matz (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stash in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 19% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: With the Mets’ decision to (finally) demote Dillon Gee, opportunity arises for Steven Matz, one of the organizations best pitching prospects. We’re seeing Matz at the major league level a year earlier than he was projected, but that doesn’t mean he can’t assist your struggling fantasy rotation. Matz relies on three pitches – fastball, slider, changeup – with his fastball grading as a plus pitch and the changeup above-average. At the Triple-A level this season, he has had some issues with command, but he’s posted a strong ERA (2.11) and FIP (3.47) despite it. He should benefit from playing in a pitching friendly park and at the back of an already strong rotation.

Chris Heston (SP, SF) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 45% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Heston has been one of the season’s biggest surprises, a lightly regarded rookie whose minor league track record didn’t move the needle much. 14 mostly good MLB starts (including a no-hitter) later, it sure seems like it’s time to start taking him seriously. There are no real red flags in his performance thus far – in fact, his ERA is actually a half run or so higher than his FIP and SIERA. He’s striking out around eight batters per nine and more than three for every walk, and his groundball rate currently sits at 56%. With a good team and favorable home park, the formerly fringy right hander looks like a solid bet for continued success moving forward.

Wei-Yin Chen (BAL, SP) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10 + Team Leagues OWNED IN: 46% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: I had no intentions to discuss Chen - that was until the Orioles decided to demote Chen to the minors after his eight-inning shutout vs the Phillies. Video can be seen here. The move allows the team to skip his next start at Toronto and keep him on regular rest, but safe to say Chen wasn’t pleased. Chen voiced his opinion on Twitter, displeased with the underlying assumption he is injured. Considering most injured players go to the DL, the consensus behind the move is the Orioles gamed the system, a move that allows Chen to miss 10 days instead of 15. For fantasy terms, the hope here is that unaware or impatient owners see the N/A slapped next to Chen and make a foolish drop. His ownership has already lost a few ticks. If he becomes available in your league, I recommend making a move. Chen has been arguably the best pitcher in the Orioles rotation, posting a 2.89 ERA and 1.12 WHIP with a 71/19 K/BB ratio. In June he has a 1.89 ERA with 23/4 BB/K ratio, although the road hasn’t been very treacherous (@ HOU, vs BOS, vs PHI). His advanced numbers are similar to his 2014 campaign, although the strikeouts and walks are both up and his BABIP is .274, down from .296 in 2014. I do expect some regression from Chen, but it won’t be enough to make him not worthy of mixed team consideration. Make the move and wait it out till he returns to the rotation.

Luis Valbuena (2B / 3B, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Bill Dubiel - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 30% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Valbuena has evolved into a somewhat steady source of power in 2015. The veteran lefty has slugged 16 homers so far to go along with 35 runs scored and 30 RBIs. Four of those home runs and 10 of the RBIs have come in his last 15 games, which proves he’s not slowing down from his hot power start. As great as the home runs are, the batting average is a tough pill to swallow. Valbuena is hitting .185 on the season with plenty of strikeouts, making him more useful in roto than points formats. As long as the homers keep coming though, he has value in either format.

Matt Wisler (SP, ATL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Mixed and NL-Only Leagues Ownership: 4% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The Braves’ top pitching prospect and a consensus Top 100 prospect overall, Matt Wisler can provide an immediate boost to fantasy teams in NL-only leagues and deep mixed leagues. The 22-year-old right-hander has performed well in the minors. He has a bulldog mentality on the mound that gives him the potential to be a strong middle-of-the-rotation starter, and a four-pitch repertoire with good command of all four pitches, particularly his fastball (low 90s) and his late-breaking slider. Wisler is especially dominant against right-handed hitters and posts incredible K:BB ratios when battling players on that side, but loses a little of his glow when throwing to lefties. Overall, he’s a low-risk guy, and he should receive a good deal of starts as Mike Foltynewicz has been optioned to Triple-A. The rotation job is his to lose, and he’s available in nearly every fantasy league.

Luis Valbuena (2B / 3B, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Matt - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues OWNED IN: 36% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Luis Valbuena has been the epitome of a power hitter so far in 2015. His 16 HR and 35 RBI have provided fantasy teams with an excellent source of power and runs, but his .185 AVG, which ranks him 164th in the league, has left much to be desired. Despite that brutal average, though, the 29-year-old power hitter holds some future promise. His strikeout rate is a reasonable 21.5%, only a couple percentage points higher than Bryce Harper, and that number becomes more significant when factoring in Valbuena's BABIP which currently sits at an absurd .161, the lowest mark in the league. He does lead the league with a 51.8% fly ball rate, however, and his 17% line drive rate is far from spectacular, but such a low BABIP suggests a little spice of luck could lead to greatly improved numbers. He can't be expected to hit .300 or provide much in terms of runs and stolen bases, but Valbuena looks to be a solid source of HR and RBI in the second half of the season at the thin 2B position.  

Mat Latos (SP, MIA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Matt - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Pickup in All leagues OWNED IN: 22% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Mat Latos had about as rough a start to the 2015 season as a pitcher can have, only managing two outs in his 2015 debut while giving up a whopping seven runs on six hits and two walks. Nothing like starting the season with an ERA of nearly 100. Since then, however, the 27-year-old right hander has been solid, giving up three runs or less in seven of his nine other starts despite being bothered by injuries that eventually landed him on the DL about a month ago. Now healthy, Latos pitched 7 strong innings of 1 run baseball last week while striking out 11 batters, dropping his season ERA to 5.44 (4.22 excluding his first start debacle). Even more significant was his average fastball velocity of 93.8 MPH, nearly 2 MPH faster than any of his previous 2015 starts and a promising sign that he may still regain the velocity that made him dominant in the past. While Latos struggled Thursday night @NYY, that is one of the toughest matchups in baseball for a right handed pitcher. He still recorded a 6:2 K:BB ratio and his velocity was strong early. If he can continue reaching 93-94 MPH on his fastball, Latos could reemerge as a dominant pitcher and be a waiver wire steal.

Chris Young (SP, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Matt - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Pickup in Deep/AL-Only leagues OWNED IN: 20% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Excluding two rough starts at the end of May and beginning of June, Chris Young has pitched himself to a spectacular 0.56 ERA thus far in 2015. Even after factoring in those two starts, in which he gave up 10 runs in 11 IP, the 36-year-old right-hander still boasts a strong ERA of 1.98 with a WHIP 0.92 and a 6-2 record. Not bad for a player owned in not even half of ESPN leagues. Young won't provide much else beyond innings and outs, though. His fastball is peaking at about 89.3 MPH, hardly fast enough to scare a batter, and he only has two outings with more than four strikeouts this year which results in an unspectacular K/9 of 5.9. Regardless, the veteran seems unaware of his age, holding opposing hitters to a .180 AVG with a lights out 1.64 ERA in 8 starts away from home. Couple that with an improving Kansas City Royals offense behind him and Young's recent success could last well into the summer.

Lance McCullers (P, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Matt - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 31% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: At 21-years-old, Lance McCullers has quietly been among the best young pitchers in baseball this year. After pitching five hitless innings in a win against the Seattle Mariners earlier this week, the right-handed McCullers saw his season ERA and WHIP drop to 2.00 and 0.89 respectively while his record climbed to 3 - 1. Those are strong numbers for any pitcher, much less a 21-year-old rookie. He does struggle with his command, however, as was apparent in his last start when only 48 of his 90 pitches went for strikes, but the rookie right-hander has a spectacular 10.0 K/9 and has only given up 1 HR in 36 IP. As an added bonus, McCullers' next start comes in gaping Safeco Field where he'll face a struggling Mariners lineup currently last in the American League in run production. He's certainly worth a spot start, and holds genuine long term appeal. INTERESTING STAT: Despite pitching right-handed, left-handed batters are hitting a minuscule .121 against McCullers in 2015.

Chris Coghlan (OF, CHI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Matt - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Pick up in deep mixed and NL Only leagues OWNED IN: 7% of ESPN Leagues ANALYSIS: Despite playing in a platoon role for the majority of 2015, Chris Coghlan has still managed to maintain strong value in NL-Only fantasy leagues. In his last 15 games, the 29-year-old outfielder has managed a .310 AVG with 1 HR and 6 RBI, not spectacular numbers by any means, but solid stats for a player owned in less than 10% of ESPN leagues. Coghlan struggles mightily against left-handed pitching, though, hitting only .083 in 12 AB against southpaws thus far in 2015. He'll likely lose playing time when the Chicago Cubs play against lefties because of that, but it's not unreasonable to expect Coghlan to provide an adequate stream of hits, runs, and possibly RBI. INTERESTING STAT: Coghlan is a career .239 hitter against left-handed pitching, much better than his 2015 mark of .083.

Cameron Maybin (OF, ATL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Matt - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 24% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Coming off a solid May in which he hit .290 with 5 HR and 17 RBI, Cameron Maybin has continued his strong season into June. The 28-year-old outfielder has driven in 10 runs with 4 SB in only 11 games this month, all the while posting a .420 AVG, the highest mark of any hitter in baseball. The only flaw in the young outfielder's game over the last couple of weeks has been a complete lack of power. His last long ball came on May 27, and 20 of his 21 June hits have gone for singles, leading to a slugging percentage of only .440. Regardless, Maybin is been as clutch as it gets this season, hitting .500 across 16 AB with 2 outs and RISP. He hits near the front of a strong Atlanta Braves lineup and should continue to be a productive source of runs, hits, and RBI. If he's still available, don't hesitate to pick him up.

Rafael Soriano (RP, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Dillon Borgida - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Monitor in Most Leagues Ownership: 9% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Veteran reliever Rafael Soriano signed a minor league deal with the Cubs and is expected to be brought up to the big leagues in the near future. While there is not an exact date yet, he is certainly a player on whom to keep an eye. When he is brought up, one would expect that he will be put into the closer role pretty quickly. Soriano has 207 career saves and will look to add more to his total this season. Definitely monitor the transaction reports because he’ll be a great waiver wire option once he’s promoted to the big leagues.

Ubaldo Jimenez (SP, BAL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stream in Deep Mixed and AL-Only Leagues Ownership: 50% Yahoo!, 29% Fleaflicker ANALYSIS: Ubaldo Jimenez has been eerily effective this season, as he has improved his K and BB rates while allowing fewer home runs as compared to last season. Strangely, hitters are actually hitting better off of him than last season and his HR/FB rate is just a wee bit higher as well. Overall, these numbers don’t scare the way the Phillies' offense does. At least scary to their fans.

Carson Smith (RP, SEA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Andrew Cohen - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Saves Leagues OWNED IN: 36% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Smith has been a recommended grab for weeks, but now that Fernando Rodney has been at least temporarily removed from the closer’s role to work on his mechanics, Smith becomes a must add for all owners looking for saves. His second save of the season came last Tuesday against the Indians, and he did allow one run during the outing. Nevertheless, the 25-year-old has been too good all season to not control the ninth inning for Seattle going forward. Despite his 32:5 K:BB ratio in 27 innings this season with a 1.27 ERA and 0.74 WHIP, he is owned in just 25 percent of fantasy leagues. That number should substantially rise now that he’s the Mariners first option for save opportunities.

Maikel Franco (3B, PHI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 36% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: It’s about time something went right for the Philadelphia Phillies. Franco has been putting on a show this June, slashing .425/.465/.850 with four home runs and eight RBI. He’s been so good in fact that Manager Ryne Sandberg has even experimented with batting the rookie cleanup, although he seems more comfortable batting him in the 5th spot instead. It’s tough to say what Franco could be going forward. One one hand, his pedigree as a prospect is impressive. On the other, one cannot just ignore his May struggles and his inexperience. The only thing one can really say with any confidence, is that right now, today, Franco is swinging one of the hottest bats in the majors. There will come a time for debating his true talent value as a fantasy prospect. I’m just not so sure now is that time. Fantasy owners have ridden much less talented players than Franco on the basis of a hot streak alone. I see no reason why the young 3rd baseman should be an exception to this strategy. Grab him now and enjoy the ride while it lasts. You can worry about Franco’s long-term value another day.

Williams Perez (SP, ATL) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team / NL-Only Leagues OWNED IN: 3% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Told you we were going deep. Perez has performed respectably after climbing through the Atlanta farm system, compiling a 2.78 ERA over 32.1 innings albeit with a 1.42 WHIP and a 29/17 K/BB ratio. If you dig a bit deeper you'll see that since Perez began starting for Atlanta (May 20), he owns a 2-0 record and 1.80 ERA with a 1.30 WHIP. His last start vs San Diego was quite impressive, completing seven innings with one unearned run in a 4-1 win. It was the fourth time in five starts he limited the opponent to one run or less. So Perez has shown he can produce results, but can he be a regular of your rotation? The 4.73 BB/9 rate prevents Perez, a predominantly ground-ball pitcher with low K rates, from being useful for mixed leagues. But he's also done a good job of keeping the ball in the park (0.56 HR/9 this year). The high WHIP is due to his erratic control from game-to-game, but he's shown he has streamer potential and is an option for NL-Only leagues. I wouldn't advise streaming Perez for his next start at Boston, but I'd give him a go when he sees the Mets the turn after.

Jordy Mercer (SS, PIT) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Bill Dubiel - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 3% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Mercer’s overall numbers are still abysmal for the year, but he has truly picked it up in the last two weeks, putting himself back on the radar in deeper leagues. Over his last 15 games, he’s hitting .342 with a pair of jacks and six runs scored, which is useful in any format. He’s a bottom-of-the-lineup guy, so his RBI totals will never jump off the page. However, the more he gets on base the more he’ll score, and perhaps even find his way to 10-12 steals by the end of the year. I wouldn’t expect to ride him for the year, but if you’re an unlucky Zack Cozart owner, he could be a good injury fill-in for now.

Billy Burns (OF, OAK) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 46% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Burns has cooled off since the calendar turned to June, but he’s still reached base in all but one game so far this month. He remains a good source of runs and steals as long as he maintains his grasp on the leadoff spot in Oakland. Since Burns first appeared on this list two weeks ago, his ownership has shot up from 19 percent to its current level. Anticipate its continued ascent.

J.T. Realmuto (C, MIA) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Formats / Most Two-Catcher Leagues OWNED IN: 4% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The Miami Marlins surprised a lot of people earlier this year when they DFA’d Jarrod Saltalamacchia. He had two years and $15 million left on his contract, leaving a lot of fans scratching their heads. The 24-year-old Realmuto wasn’t complaining, however, as he was promoted to the team’s No. 1 catcher. Even though Realmuto is primarily known for his defense, he’s showed decent contact ability in the minors and nearly identical splits against both left- and right-handed pitchers. He hasn’t been doing too poorly against big-league pitching either, with a slash line of .246/.272/.392 without crazy BABIP luck. Let’s keep in mind, he has just 13 Triple-A plate appearances to his name, so he’s going to be a bit raw in his first go-around in the majors. But if he can continue to do what he’s been doing at and behind the plate, then the future is looking pretty bright. So while his game will progress, he’s currently only an option for fantasy managers in 12+ team leagues who are struggling at the position. But all managers should keep an eye on him to see if his consistency improves.

Wandy Rodriguez (SP, TEX) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 10% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Wandy the Wizard just doesn't want to leave the fantasy landscape. Now 36, Rodriguez put together a solid spring for Atlanta until they surprisingly released him to roll with Eric Stults. Texas was happy to scoop him up on a minor-league deal and he's proven to be a steal, compiling a 3.03 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and a 49/21 K/BB ratio over 59.1 innings. He's been pitching particularly well of late; since May 21st he owns a 2.30 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, including just three free passes in his last 19.2 innings. Can Wandy keep this up? I tend to lean on the optimistic side, mainly due to the adjustments he's made. Check out his pitch usage percentages from just last year to now. Wandy Rodriguez Pitch Usage 2014/2015 (Brooks Baseball)He's basically dumped the changeup, and good riddance; since 2010 the Pitchf/x value on his changeup has ranged from -1.8 to -8.0. As a veteran pitcher it is imperative to be realistic about your shortcomings and make the adjustments necessary to succeed in the bigs. I think Wandy's done just that. His knuckle-curve has been particularly effective; hitters have been limited to a .173 AVG and .204 SLG vs the pitch since the beginning of May. I'm buying Wandy in deeper leagues hoping owners have been scared off by his poor 2014 and his injury history. Again, worry about injuries later when the player costs nothing to add now.  

Mitch Moreland (1B / DH, TEX) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 22% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Moreland is the kind of player who could have a MVP-caliber season and the world wouldn’t notice. While he hasn’t quite been an MVP, Moreland has been a surprisingly productive fantasy asset for the past several weeks. He is hitting .310/.366/.542 on the season with eight home runs, strong numbers from a player owned in less than a quarter of leagues. It’s also worth noting that three of those homers have come this month alone, during which time Moreland has delivered a .366 batting average to go along with them. With the Texas lineup in shambles, Moreland has etched out a position as the team’s cleanup hitter. Much like with Lind, a good cleanup hitter on a bad offense can still be a productive fantasy player. Moreland’s very much a ride the streak kind of guy, but while his bat is hot, he’s one of the first names I’d turn to if Lind is already off the board.

Jaime Garcia (SP, STL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 44% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: It blows me away how much resistance there is to grabbing a share of anyone in the Cardinals rotation. Yes, Jaime Garcia has shown he consistently comes down with an ailment that stalls his season, but at this point you aren’t paying more than a FA transaction. If you’re in a competitive league, chances are someone has snagged Garcia at this point. If not, you need to listen up. Garcia, the #15 pitcher among qualified SP in the past 30 days, has now gone five straight outings with a quality start and has yet to record a walk since his debut against the Mets. In his last turn, Garcia had easily his best outing of the year. He stifled the Royals (8 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 6 K). Garcia isn’t going to put up 6+ Ks a night but he has shown effectiveness in limiting his free passes throughout his career (6.8 BB%). His groundball rate is at a career high 65%, but he usually is in the high 50s and had a 63% GB rate as recently as 2013 (he only lasted nine starts that year). His .247 BABIP combined with the fact that hitters are still making solid contact 87% of the time tells me the numbers are due for regression. That isn’t to say he wont’ be useful for mixed leagues; just think SP60 instead of SP40. At this point I would advise to buy Garcia while he’s upright and enjoy him until the DL stint comes, but be aware a hiccup is due. I would advise sitting Garcia his next outing at Minnesota considering his career splits on the road and some of the righties in that lineup. Regardless of his next matchup, he shouldn’t be able available in 65% of leagues. Act accordingly.

Jace Peterson (2B / 3B, ATL) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Bill Dubiel - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 18% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Peterson has established himself as a reliable leadoff hitter in Atlanta. He is setting the table in front ofFreddie Freeman & Co. Over his last 15 games, Peterson’s hit .340 with a .411 OBP. He has a .349 OBP on the season. The point: you want this guy for his run totals and batting average. He’s a solid contact hitter and will probably have 15-18 steals at the end of the year. With middle infield being as thin as it is in fantasy, Peterson should be rostered in most leagues. If nobody else in your league is smart enough to recognize that, snatch him up and plug him in.

Byron Buxton (OF, MIN) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 54% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: By the time you read this, Buxton may already be owned in the majority of leagues. His ownership level has jumped 16 percent in the hours since news broke of his promotion on Saturday. Buxton, of course, is considered perhaps the best prospect in baseball. He hit .283/.351/.489 with six homers, 81 R+RBI and solid plate discipline metrics. He also stole 20 bases in 22 attempts at Double-A. At 21 and with no experience above A-ball until this season, fantasy owners should keep their expectations modest. Even so, Buxton has massive upside and should prove to be a good source of steals at the very least.  

Travis d'Arnaud (C, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 49% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Travis d’Arnaud has now returned as the New York Mets starting catcher, he was hitting .317 with a .892 OPS this year in 11 games before missing nearly two months on the disabled list. The fact that the Mets demoted Anthony Recker in order to keep Keven Plawecki around is a bit of a scare-off here. But if d’Arnaud comes anywhere close to his early season production, he won’t get more than one or two days a week off. The Mets have cooled off significantly from their early season outburst. They now rank in the lower half of nearly all offensive categories, but d’Arnaud could be the spark this offense needs to get closer to where they were before he hit the DL. He had a bit of a breakout year in 2014 with 13 dingers in 421 plate appearances. Even with the time d’Arnaud has already missed, he could still get to double digit homerun totals and respectable numbers in other counting stats by the time the seasons over.

Adam Lind (1B, MIL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 51% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: I’ve waxed on about my love for Adam Lind enough times in this column that I won’t bore you with a long-winded rewrite. After his early season surge, Lind is slowly but surely turning on the gas again. He’s hit .375 through the month of June with a home run and 10 RBI. During this time, Lind has been the ultimate evidence that even on a weak offense like that of the Milwaukee Brewers, a locked in cleanup hitter can do a lot of damage. There are downsides to Lind’s game of course. I’ve written numerous times about his inability to hit left handed pitching and the frequent rest days this deficiency results in. This might pose a real problem for our friends in head-to-head formats. In season long Roto formats, however, Lind’s rest days prove much less troublesome and his ability to crush right handed pitching more than makes up for his struggles against southpaws. Frankly, I’m excited to see what Lind might do next week when the Brewers take on the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. You should be too.

Erasmo Ramirez (SP, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Justin Berglund - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stream in Deep Mixed and AL-Only Leagues Ownership: 10% of Yahoo! Leagues ANALYSIS: Erasmo Ramirez’s 4.96 ERA and 1.22 WHIP aren’t great. However, he has vastly improved since being put back in the Rays' rotation. In his six starts over the last 30 days, he has gone 5-1 with a 2.97 ERA. That certainly justifies him being owned in more than just 10% of Yahoo fantasy leagues. Ramirez had a breakout 2012 campaign, and while he has failed to equal that performance since, he has shown improvements in recent years. His 7.52 K/9 is the best of his career, and his 3.08 BB/9 has improved from last season’s 4.06. What I find most encouraging about Ramirez is his swinging strike rate of 13.3%, which is up from a 10.9% last season, and even from his career high 11.3% in 2012. Color me surprised that I am writing about how you should start a pitcher against the Nationals. The once high-powered Washington offense has struggled in June, with their .660 OPS this month being 24th in MLB, whereas their .781 OPS in May was the fourth best in the league. He is also opposing Gio Gonzalez, whose 4.66 ERA over the past 40 days should be good for the Rays' offense, which happens to own left-handers. The Indians, who are 12-18 this season at home, have also found trouble in June. They have a .113 ISO, the fourth worst in the AL, while their 99 wRC+ this month is a far cry from their 122 in May.

Justin Smoak (1B, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Jorge - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 16+ team leagues OWNED IN: 1% of Yahoo leagues ANALYSIS: Justin Smoak was once a highly touted prospect for the Texas Rangers, but has bounced around the league ever since he was brought up. He currently resides with the Toronto Jays who have one of the best lineups in the game, if not the best. Playing at Rogers Centre definitely boosts Smoak's value as well. He is in a bit of a platoon situation at first base with Edwin Encarnacion and Chris Colabello, and he will only start vs. right handed pitchers. If Smoak can earn more playing time, he could be a cheap source of power in that strong lineup vs. the right matchups. In his last seven games, Smoak has smoked the ball, batting .316 with 2 HR, 5 RBI, and 4 R. When he's played he's been productive as he has 20 RBI so far, and would pretty much be comparable to a guy like Adam Lind with consistent playing time. He's also only 28 years old so it is possible that Smoak has some solid months left in his bat.

Mark Canha (1B/OF, OAK) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Jorge - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 10% of Yahoo leagues ANALYSIS: Canha has likely been on and off many fantasy teams so far this season. However, he makes for an interesting add because of his dual position eligibility, and because he has brought some speed to the table. Let's not confuse him for his teammate Billy Burns, but Canha has actually stolen 5 bases. Given that he's only ever maxed out at 7 steals in the minors, this comes a little bit out of left field. With eight HR and 25 RBI to this point, he could be a solid UTIL player or bench bat to own in a lot of leagues. His slash line is nothing spectacular at .247/.319/.432, but it's by no means terrible either. Over his last seven games, Canha is batting .368, with one HR, 4 R, 3 RBI, and 2 SB. Canha is only worth starting vs. right handed pitchers. He has a .955 OPS vs. righties compared to a .365 vs. lefties. In deeper leagues though, he could be a solid starter if you have someone to sub in for him when he sits.

Vincent Velasquez (SP, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Jorge - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leauges OWNED IN: 2% of Yahoo Leagues ANALYSIS: Vincent Velasquez was very solid in his Major League debut on Wednesday. He hurled 5 innings of shutout ball, walking 4, giving up 3 hits, and fanning 5. He managed this with only 90 pitches. It wasn't an incredibly efficient outing, and the free passes definitely drove up his pitch count, but overall it was a good first crack at big league batters. Velasquez has good velocity, typically in the 91-95 range with movement. His out pitch though is a devastating change-up that is going to make big league hitters look silly for years to come. With only 26.1 IP above A-ball, some growing pains are to be expected. The upside is real though, as he had a 3.26 ERA in his 5 minor league seasons. Velasquez has a chance to be very serviceable in 2015. His next start will be against the Rockies (in Houston), which is a positive matchup for the youngster as the Rockies aren't very formidable away from Coors field..

Lance McCullers (SP, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Jorge - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues. OWNED IN: 66% of Yahoo leagues. ANALYSIS: Lance McCullers has been very impressive in his first five MLB starts and has been part of the youth movement for the Houston Astros. In those five starts, McCullers has posted a 2.32 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. His K/9 has been great at 10.45 thanks to his 36 strikeouts in 31 IP. This number is consistent with his minor league stats, and shows that he should continue to make big leaguers whiff at a high rate. He's got a good arm, as he typically lives in the 93-96 mph range, which makes his off-speed stuff all the more devastating. Walks were an issue for McCullers in the minors, but it seems as though he has put those issues behind him...for now. He has been compared to Jake Peavy, as his arm action is almost identical and adds a degree of deception when he's on the mound. McCullers won't be available much longer, so if he's out there in your league grab him now.  

Didi Gregorious (SS, NYY) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Deep Leagues OWNED IN: 5% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: While it seems incredibly unfair that Didi Gregorious seems to be blamed for being Derek Jeter's replacement, it is hard not to be a little disappointed with Gregorious's start in pinstripes. However, recently, Didi's production has been trending upward. In April; Gregorious had a .206 BA, and a .499 OPS. In May; Gregorious improved to a .232 BA and a .641 OPS. In June; Gregorious has improved yet again with a .304 BA and a .668 OPS. In the last seven days; Gregorious has a .313 BA and a .708 OPS. This improving offensive statistics also go along with two HR and three SB on the season. This trend of steadily improving offensive statistics is not a new trend for Gregorious. Last season, Gregorious had to battle several injuries and missed significant time, but he improved as the season went along. The passing of time is often kind to Gregorious and Yankee Stadium is even more hitter friendly than Chase Field. If you are in a daily league you should play Gregorious only vs. RHP (he has just a .490 OPS against LHP but a .743 OPS against RHP).

Yonder Alonso (1B, SD) – Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Matt - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Mixed and AL Only leagues OWNED IN: 12% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: In only nine games since returning from his last DL stint, Yonder Alonso has managed a .364 AVG with 1 HR and 8 RBI while batting cleanup in a strong San Diego Padres lineup. The recent success is nothing new, either, as the 28 year old was solid all season, hitting .342 across 35 games with 2 HR, 18 RBI, and 2 SB. He's even hit .429 against left handed pitching thus far in 2015, a vast improvement over his .251 career mark, albeit one that will likely prove difficult to sustain. Regardless, the first baseman has the likes of Matt Kemp and a red hot Will Venable batting before him, which should correlate to similar success in the near future, making him a worthy pickup in deep and AL Only leagues. INTERESTING STAT: The gaping expanse of Petco Park has held Alonso to a .269 AVG at home this year, nearly 130 points lower than his .397 AVG on the road.

Aaron Nola (SP, PHI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting for Potential Call Up OWNED IN: 1% of Fleaflicker leagues. ANALYSIS: For how much people talk about rapid risers to the majors like Brandon Finnegan and Carlos Rodon, there's shockingly little chatter about LSU alum Aaron Nola. With his minor league numbers and the struggles of the Philadelphia rotation, it is hard to imagine why Nola isn't yet in the big leagues. So far in the minors this season; Nola has a 1.76 ERA, 0.865 WHIP, 0.4 HR/9, and 1.0 BB/9.  His total time in the minors paints a similar picture: 2.27 ERA, 0.953 WHIP, 0.8 HR/9, 1.3 BB/9, and 7 K/9. Nola was always thought to be one of the most major league ready college pitchers before he was drafted, and now Nola has proven how major league ready he is by his display of fantastic command. Look for Jerome Williams or Sean O' Sullivan to get the boot from the Phillies rotation very soon to make room for Nola. When they do, make sure you're on top of Nola for some incredibly consistent production from a rookie.

Jake McGee (RP, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Andrew Cohen - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Mixed and AL-Only Leagues Ownership: 11% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: With Brad Boxberger taking a few days to rest his ailing forearm earlier in the week, Jake McGee may have found the opportunity he needed to reclaim the Rays’ closer role he held in 2014.  McGee locked down his first save of the year on Wednesday, June 10, pitching a scoreless inning vs. the Angels while allowing just one hit and racking up two strikeouts. McGee has been flawless this year since returning from an injury that sidelined him the first six weeks of the season, and it wouldn’t surprise us to see him hold the closer role the rest of the year. That makes him a great waiver wire pickup if he’s still available in your league. Just be aware that Boxberger, who was one of the most dominant closers in the majors through May, is now healthy and has made appearances in two straight days. The Rays are always unconventional, so it remains to be seen how this will shake out exactly. The wise owner would be rostering both of these players right now.

Avisail Garcia (OF, CWS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Matt - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stream in Deep Mixed / AL-Only leagues OWNERSHIP: 42% ESPN ANALYSIS: Long touted for his power potential, Chicago White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia has 3 HR in his last seven games to go along with 7 RBI, a .217 AVG, and 1 SB. While the average may not be stellar, the young outfielder still boasts a .297 / .356 / .805 line on the season with 7 total HR and a strong 25 RBI, good enough to make him one of the more appealing hitters on a struggling White Sox lineup. He'll face tough road matchups this week against the Tampa Bay Rays and Pittsburgh Pirates, two clubs sporting team ERAs of 3.28 and 2.97 respectively, but the 6' 4'' 240 pound Garcia still supplies enough power potential to be a productive source of HR and RBI.  Garcia also has hit .290 with 12 HR in 90 career road games vs. .270 with only 9 HR in 101 home matchups, so the road may bode well for him.  

Steven Matz (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Keepers & Stash in Deep Leagues OWNED IN: 4% of Fleaflicker leagues. ANALYSIS: With the arrivals of Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant, Noah Syndergaard, and Carlos Rodon, there have been a lot of major league debuts to look forward to this season. It is hard to believe that there is yet another top flight MLB debut coming soon with the imminent arrival of Mets stud prospect Steven Matz. Matz has been lights out this season in the minors with a 1.94 ERA, a 1.103 WHIP, 0.5 HR/9, and 9.1 K/9. His minor league totals since 2012 average out to a 2.24 ERA, 1.161 WHIP, 0.3 HR/9, 3.0 BB/9, and 9.3 K/9. Matz has been incredible at every minor league level that he has pitched at and with the trade rumors surrounding Dillon Gee and Jon Niese heating up, it looks like Matz's MLB debut should happen sooner rather than later. If Steven Matz is available in your deep or keeper league, go pick him up  

Joe Smith (RP, LAA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Saves+Holds Leagues. OWNED IN: 8% of Fleaflicker leagues. ANALYSIS: So many teams in MLB would kill for a solid closer, and a guy like Joe Smith is stuck behind Huston Street in Los Angeles. The good news is, Joe Smith not being a closer means he will accumulate holds for all of you in leagues that score holds. At only 8% owned, Joe Smith is flying under the radar compared to other elite setup men. He currently has 16 holds on 24.2 IP in 2015, and he is a solid bet to continue to pitch well. After a rough four ER outing against San Diego, Smith's ERA jumped up to 3.80, but this isolated incident is misleading regarding Smith's overall performance. Smith currently has an elite FIP of 1.85, a 1.05 WHIP, and a 9.5 K/9. Smith has yet to give up a HR in 2015 and is striking out over 1/4 of batters with a K% of 26.3%. Joe Smith is as reliable as a reliever comes and if you are looking to improve your bullpen's ERA from here on out or you are looking to accumulate holds, look past his painfully boring name and pick up Joe Smith.

Jace Peterson (2B, ATL) – Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues & NL-Only Leagues OWNED IN: 8% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Jace Peterson may be the second baseman of the present and future for the Atlanta Braves, but he still has quite a ways to go before he's fantasy relevant in shallow mixed leagues. For now, he's a solid middle infield option in deep leagues and starting 2B option in NL-Only leagues, since he should be able to continue hitting fairly well and have ample run scoring opportunities hitting at the top of the Braves lineup in front of Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis. He's started and led off for the Braves in nearly every game this season and there is no real threat to his playing time. He has missed a handful of games this past week, but there is no structural damage to his thumb and he'll return to the lineup within a day or two. Through 54 games this season, Peterson is hitting .270 with a .343 on-base percentage, 22 runs scored and 22 RBI. His value moving forward will rely heavily on his ability to get on base and steal bases, the latter of which he's been able to do six times in 11 tries. One would hope for a bit more success but the speed is there and the 25-year-old should be able to improve with more experience. As he doesn't offer much in terms of power or extra-base hits, his drastic improvement in cutting down his strikeout rate and increasing his walk rate this season are welcomed changes. The batting average may fall a few points, but so long as he can keep the walk rate at or greater than 10%, he'll keep the OBP where it needs to be and hold his value in deeper leagues by scoring runs and stealing bases.  

Wandy Rodriguez (SP, TEX) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stream in Deep Mixed and AL-Only Leagues Ownership: 7% Yahoo!, 7% Fleaflicker ANALYSIS: It seems like ages ago that Wandy Rodriguez was a stud in Houston, but it appears he has regained at least a sliver of what made him so good in the mid- to late-2000s. He has maintained his control on the low portion of the strike zone, as his ground-ball rate is the highest it’s ever been. That does not bode well for a Twins squad that is somewhat aggressive and struggles against left-handed pitching.

Tanner Roark (SP, WAS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stream in Deep Mixed and NL-Only Leagues Ownership: 46% Yahoo!, 17% Fleaflicker ANALYSIS: There is no evidence to suggest that Tanner Roark will be a great pitcher. He doesn’t strike guys out, he rarely tops out at over 92 MPH, and his HR/FB rate is disgusting. But he just keeps getting it done. His owners are hoping he can continue to stymie weak bats as the Brewers will enter the game with an 80 wRC+, good enough to be placed second from the bottom.

Ben Paulsen (1B/OF, COL) - Waiver Wire Analysis

3 weeks ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in NL-Only / Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 6% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: If ever there were a fantasy baseball category entitled Epic Mustaches in Player Photos, Ben Paulsen would hands-down be the number one overall pick. Unfortunately facial hair is not included in baseball analysis. Instead, we’re going to focus in on Paulsen’s insane platoon splits. While filling in for an injured Justin Morneau, Paulsen has recorded a .339/.393/.661 slashline against right-handed pitchers on the road and in the thin air of Denver. Southpaws own a little bit of an advantage over the 27-year-old, but that is over a small sample size of six plate appearances. The Rockies are committed to utilizing the platoon advantage with Paulsen and there’s no reason fantasy owners shouldn’t as well. At the very least, Paulsen makes for a great stash and stream option against RHP, especially at home. His true value is short term only however, as it will be difficult for him to sustain this kind of production, especially if and when Morneau returns.

Ryan Vogelsong (SP, SF) - Waiver Wire Analysis

3 weeks ago

Published by: Dillon Borgida - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 14% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: 37-Year-old veteran pitcher Ryan Vogelsong has quietly had a nice stretch of starts over the past month, that has started to garner some attention from fantasy owners. While he has never been a high volume strikeout pitcher, he’s had a stretch of allowing just three or fewer runs in eight of his last ten starts. Since he doesn’t get a lot of strikeouts, he relies heavily on his defense which has picked him up this season. So far he has held batters to a stellar .266 average on balls put in play. While this number is solid and generally implies that batters aren’t making solid contact, it can also be fools gold for potential fantasy owners. Since so many of his at bats result in balls being put in play, a few of these falling for hits in each game can drastically change an outing for Vogelsong. All in all, he has definitely found a nice, consistent rhythm this year and can be a solid option in deeper leagues. He will have some outings where he gives up large hit totals, but it is always nice to own a pitcher who can consistently get past the fifth inning.

Will Middlebrooks (3B, SD) - Waiver Wire Analysis

3 weeks ago

Published by: Silent Investor - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 12% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Will Middlebrooks makes a solid option going forward if you’re desperate for power at the corner infield spot as he’s owned in just 30% of CBS leagues. Middlebrooks has eight home runs on the season, and while his .244 average leaves a lot to be desired about, he’s made some improvement since April when he hit .222 for the month. He’s now sporting a moderate seven game hit streak as of June 8th. Middlebrooks certainly has his flaws, and I can’t recommend him in any OBP leagues. He’s a favorable option particularly in hitter friendly ballparks, like last week when he was in Cincinnati and connected for his eighth home run. In 2015, he looks a lot more like the Middlebrooks from 2013 that hit 15 home runs with an .835 OPS for the Red Sox rather than last year’s abomination. Temper expectations on power though as San Diego is a far cry from the friendly confines of Fenway Park, but as a 26-year old, Middlebrooks is the kind of player that could have a strong second half.

Mitch Moreland (1B, TEX) - Waiver Wire Analysis

3 weeks ago

Published by: Silent Investor - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-only / 14+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 8% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Mitch Moreland has quietly tallied an impressive .881 OPS so far this season, which is pretty solid for a guy that’s owned in only 23% of CBS leagues. After a slow start in March/April, Moreland hit four round-trippers in May with a respectable .279 average. So far in June, he’s hitting a scorching .391. He’s a career .257 hitter, so the current average that we see is certainly inflated by his .350 BABIP, but not by as much as you may think. His 22.0% LD rate is pretty solid, and the fact that he’s cut down on his K rate to 19.5% from over 22.0% the last two years means that he shouldn’t hurt your average much. That’s a good sign for a guy that should hit 20+ home runs this year. If you’re in need of help at utility position, you can certainly do worse than Moreland as he’ll hit for moderate power while batting in the middle of the Rangers lineup, all while being in a favorable park. While he hits too many groundballs right now to take a leap to the next step, but he's worth a spot on your roster if you manage your expectations.

Kennys Vargas (1B/DH, MIN) - Waiver Wire Analysis

3 weeks ago

Published by: Jorge - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 8% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: After starting the season with the big league club, Kennys Vargas was sent back down because he struggled in his 28 games with the Twins. He posted a .248/.297/.365 slash line, and only knocked in 10 RBI. The power wasn't quite there either as he only hit three homers. His time in AAA seems to have been the wake-up call he needed though, as Vargas raked to the tune of  .327/.414/.551 with three HR and eight RBI in his 15 games. He'd never played above AA before coming up to the Twins last year, so the fact that he hit well in AAA is a very good sign. The Twins are hot and he should see the majority of his at-bats as the cleanup hitter now that he has been recalled, so he definitely has some value if you need a potential boost to your power numbers. Owners in deeper leagues should cross their fingers, and hope Vargas can channel his inner David Ortiz.  

 

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