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

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

RotoBaller

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

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

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

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

 

 

Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Waiver Wire by MLB Position

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

 

Matt Shoemaker (SP, LAA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

9 hours ago

Published by: Edward Sutelan - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 31% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: To say that it has not been a good year for Matt Shoemaker is an understatement. A season removed from being one of the biggest breakout starting pitchers in baseball, Shoemaker is now looking like one of the worst starters in baseball and could potentially lose his spot in the rotation if he doesn’t get things going right soon. So why add him in most leagues? There are a lot of numbers that do not look good for him. The 5.60 FIP doesn’t look good. The 2.58 HR/9 doesn’t look good. But he has a higher strikeout rate than last year (8.92 K/9 this season compared to 8.21 last year), he is walking about the same number of batters (1.64 BB/9 in 2015 to 1.59 in 2014), and even his opponent batting average is still fairly low (.255 in 2015). It’s those home runs that are hurting him. He currently has a HR/FB ratio of 20.4% which is simply unsustainable especially given his track record of not giving up many home runs. He was sharp in his outing against Baltimore, going seven innings, striking out seven, walking none, giving up one run (a home run) all on three hits. He was even sharper on Tuesday night, going seven innings, striking out six while allowing just five baserunners and zero runs. This is a perfect time for fantasy owners to grab a talented pitcher from the waiver wire while he is being dropped by all other owners.  

Josh Hamilton (OF, TEX) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 day ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Mixed or AL-Only Leagues Owned In: 27% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Josh Hamilton is back in a Rangers' uniform after a two year stint with the Angels. In his first game on Monday, he was slooted into the five hole, behind sluggers Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre. Hamilton went hitless in three at-bats with two strikeouts, but did draw a walk and score a run. It's hard to know if Hamilton can eventually return to how he played in 2013 with the Angels, let alone his MVP campaign in 2010, but given his history in Texas, fantasy owners have to expect he can still contribute in some way. While 2014 was a down year by most standards, Hamilton did enjoy a career high line drive percentage of 24.6% last year. It may take some time for him to get back on track, but owners in deep mixed leagues with five outfield slots or AL-Only leagues can do a lot worse than the 34-year-old former MVP.

Mike Napoli (1B, BOS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 day ago

Published by: Jeff Kahntroff - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues Owned In: 44% of Leagues ANALYSIS: Mike Napoli is a streaky hitter, and after an ice cold start, he swatted four homers last week. Despite normally missing a chunk of games, Napoli has averaged 31 homers per 162 games for his career. While he has struggled this year, he has the second lowest strikeout rate of his career, and has been plagued by a .204 BABIP – .100 points below his career average.  I am betting on luck finally starting to return to his side, as he returns to his old stomping grounds in Texas for four games.

Carlos Rodon (SP, CWS)- Waiver Wire Analysis

2 days ago

Published by: Edward Sutelan - RotoBaller

Baller Move: Add in Most Leagues Owned In: 14% of Fleaflicker Leagues Analysis: The call up of Carlos Rodon went under the radar a bit due in large part to that other prospect that was called up to the Majors, but make no mistake, this guy is a future ace. Rodon was drafted with the third overall pick in the 2014 draft and less than a year later made it to the Majors. Initially used as a reliever, Rodon was eventually moved to the rotation in an effort to help the White Sox end their early season woes. There is a lot for fantasy owners to like in Carlos Rodon. He has a track record of racking up a lot of strikeouts, he doesn’t give up many home runs, and he is very difficult to hit. So far in his career, Rodon owns a 9.37 K/9 and only a 0.55 HR/9. But if he is so good, why is he owned in only 45% of Yahoo leagues? The 7.71 BB/9 and the 4.96 ERA may have something to do with that. In his last outing, he lasted four innings and walked six which will certainly do its part to raise that walk rate. Before that, he lasted six innings and struck out eight against the Cincinnati Reds. So he has shown that he can be very hit or miss as a starter. But make no mistake, this 22-year-old has insane velocity for a left-hander, averaging 94.6 mph on his fastball and 87.4 mph on his slider.

Tsuyoshi Wada (CHC, SP) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 days ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in NL-Only / Deeper Mixed Leagues OWNED IN: 6% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Wada was a personal favorite of mine for streaming purposes in 2014. In his 13 starts, he compiled a 3.25 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 57 K over 69.1 innings. Wada, who just returned from a groin injury and will be replacing Travis Wood in the Cubs rotation, only lasted 4.2 innings at San Diego and gave up two runs with one walk and nine punchouts. The issues limiting Wada are his inability to go deep into games combined with his poor splits vs righties, considering the righty dominant teams in the NL Central (STL, PIT, MIL). That said, Wada is a great addition for NL-only teams and should be on the streaming radar for shallow leagues. He's got a two-start week (WAS, KC) coming up as well, although I only recommend rolling him out for the KC game.

Kyle Hendricks (CHC, SP) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 days ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 11% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Hendricks earned himself a spot this week after his masterful complete game at San Diego. It was his first start to eclipse six innings this season while he finished with no walks and seven strikeouts. This was more along the lines of what owners expected from Hendricks after his solid 2014 stint (13 GS, 2.46 ERA, 1.08 WHIP). He’s never been a high strikeout pitcher, but he has solid control and keeps himself in ballgames. His 1.77 BB/9 rate is 15th among qualified SP and it’s actually up from his 1.66 BB/9 rate last season. He’s not a must add by any means but he’s worth keeping an eye on in shallow leagues to use in advantageous matchups. He has a matchup this week with Washington; play him at your own risk.

Tanner Roark (SP, WAS) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 days ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 36% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Roark was the odd man out coming into 2015 in the loaded Nationals rotation. Early on, we thought it would be Stephen Strasburg who would suffer an injury to open a spot, but it’s Doug Fister who has made Roark an asset once again. Roark put up excellent numbers in 2014 including a 2.85 ERA and 1.09 WHIP over 31 starts. He’s only given up one run over eight innings in May and I fully expect him to become a solid fantasy contributor until Fister returns. He’s expected to be limited to 75 pitches in his outing Monday at Chicago but with a two-start week (@CHC, @CIN) in store I have no problem rolling him out in weekly leagues. Available in 64% of leagues, feel free to give him a spin in mixed leagues.

Danny Espinosa (2B/SS, WSH) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 days ago

Published by: Bill Dubiel - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 12% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Espinosa is playing regularly at second base for the Nationals, and as the team has heated up so has he. In his last 15 games, he’s hitting .317 with eight RBIs and a whopping 13 runs scored. He does still strike out at an above-average rate, so he’s not as useful in leagues that aware -1 for a K. The run-scoring and RBI totals make him quite useful in roto leagues however, and he’s not without value in points leagues. I would add him now while he’s hot, and ride the Nationals offense for a while longer.

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

2 days ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 16% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Considering that I was never a big fan of Franco's while he was coming up as a prospect, I must say I've been impressed by how he's handled his time in the big leagues this year. Against the toughest competition he's ever faced, Franco has controlled the strike zone well, put together some quality at-bats, hit for a decent .286 batting average, and even flashed the power that made him such an exciting prospect for some. Colorado is allowing a league worst 5.31 ERA to right-handed batters so far this season. An owner in a deeper league looking to take a gamble on upside could do much worse than to pick up Franco against a matchup like that.

Yasmany Tomas (3B, ARI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 days ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 16% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Ever since being called back up from the minors, Tomas has just been crushing the ball for the DbacksNotebook” href=”http://www.rotoballer.com/mlb-fantasy-news/?team=ARI”>Diamondbacks. He’s sporting a .333 batting average through the month of May. Over the past seven days, he’s been even better, hitting to a .406 batting average. It is interesting that with only one home run on the season, Tomas hasn’t hit for much power yet. This isn’t something I’d worry about, however, given his scouting report and everything we know about the kind of player he is. After all, while he was being vetted by teams over the offseason, the third baseman drew frequent comparisons to eventual teammate Mark Trumbo because of his prodigious power potential and physical strength. Tomas will hit for power. The only question is when. Now, if those home runs start coming while his batting average is elevated like it is…well that could make Tomas a very dangerous fantasy player indeed. This is your chance to buy in on that potential. I wouldn’t miss it.

Brandon Belt (1B, SF) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 days ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 68% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Last week Brandon Belt was my number one waiver wire recommendation. If you’d followed my advice and picked him up then, you’re probably pretty pleased with me right now. Belt has hit a sizzling .450 with three home runs over the past week, raising his overall May statline to a .375 average and four home runs. Sadly, it looks like most Yahoo owners are too late to still snag Belt, but there’s still time for our ESPN friends out there. It’s a great time to buy in. The Giants will be starting next week off with a series against the bottom feeding Brewers and their 4.54 team ERA. That’s a tantalizing matchup for a player hitting as well as Belt is right now. It’s also worth noting that manager Bruce Bochy hit Belt cleanup in both of the Giant’s last two games. Given such a small sample size, it’s impossible to know whether this is a trend which is likely to continue. Still, the possibility of Belt getting daily at-bats at cleanup gives a nice boost to his potential ceiling. Bochy has never been afraid to tinker with his lineups, especially to give a hot hitter a leg up. This could very well be one of those times.

Wilson Ramos (CA, WAS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 days ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues Owned In: 71% of FleaFlicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Since I last wrote about Wilson Ramos two weeks ago, his ownership has “skyrocketed” from 68% to his current 71% ownership in leagues. May 20 was the first game in which Ramos started and didn’t record a hit since April 24. During that time he only has one home run, but has raked in 27 hits, scored nine runs and knocked in 12. The Nationals rank in the top five for nearly every offensive category, and with Wilson batting sixth behind Bryce Harper (leading the league in walks) and Ryan Zimmerman, the opportunities should continue to present themselves. While his lack of power thus far is a bit concerning, all of the advanced statistics point to him returning to form. He has hit at least eleven home runs in three of the past four seasons, and I would still expect him to end the season with double digits bombs.

Nori Aoki (OF, SFG) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 days ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Mixed and NL-Only Leagues Ownership: 37% ANALYSIS: Nori Aoki's ownership has actually dropped since we discussed him in Week 6, despite a .861 OPS over that time. Overall, Aoki is hitting .297/.374/.381 with 10 steals from his perch atop the Giants' order. With the hitters behind him finally showing signs of life, the veteran should see a boost in runs scored, making him a solid three-category contributor. It’s time to quit sleeping on him.  

Nick Martinez (SP, TEX) - Waiver Wire Analysis

3 days ago

Published by: Greg Rollins - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 26% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: If you don’t have Nick Martinez on your fantasy roster and he’s still out there, it may be time to consider adding him to your team, especially in deeper leagues. Martinez is eighth in the entire MLB with a microscopic 1.92 ERA, as he has been one of the biggest surprise players so far in 2015. The 24-year-old is in his second season in the big leagues. He had a 4.55 ERA in 29 games (24 starts) a season ago, but has made huge strides this year. Unfortunately, the Rangers' offense hasn't helped him much, as he's received some no-decisions while throwing quality starts. There is room for improvement, as Martinez doesn't strike out enough batters, but he can be a fantasy asset especially in deeper leagues.

Cory Spangenberg (2B/3B, SD) - Waiver Wire Analysis

3 days ago

Published by: Kirks - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in NL-Only / 14+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 2% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Cory Spangenberg who was called up last month to play for the San Diego Padres, continues to play all over the field and bat leadoff. This past week alone Spangenberg played in 6 out of 7 games and batted in leadoff in each of them. What is unique is that he did all that while playing both second and third base. The reason he has been getting so much playing time is because the two original starters in Will Middlebrooks .233/.254/.372 and Jedd Gyorko .208/.276/.333 have really been pretty bad this year. Neither of the players are playing as expected and for Gyorko time seems to be running out of what was supposed to be a great power hitting talent. This has led to Spangenberg playing both positions. In his short time so far in the majors Spangenberg has hit .221/.290/.364 and has been accompanied by 2 HR, 11 R, 4 RBI and 4 SB. While his average may not be anything special a deeper look into his stats can show us why he has been batting leadoff and why he should be considered. He has a good batting eye which has led to a BB% of 9% which is 2% above the league average, has league average contact rate at 79%, and has achieved a speed score of 7.3. His speed score is right in line with players such as Lorenzo Cain, Bret Gardner, Ben Revere and Carlos Gomez. In terms of pedigree he was a top 10 selection in 2011 in front of George Springer. While that may not mean he is better than Springer it just goes to show what people thought of him and his skills when he was drafted. Last stat to consider is that his ISO% (14.3%), which is the percentage of hits that result in an extra base hit not including HR, is on par with or even better than Gyorko (12.5%) , Middlebrooks (14.7%) and Yongervis Solarte (10.7%) who are his main competition. All off-season people spoke about how the Padres lacked a natural leadoff hitter. Spangenberg has the chance to keep the role and really excel with it. If he continues hitting when Wil Myers is set to return don't be surprised to see Spangenberg batting leadoff with the team's big three (Myers, Upton, Kemp) batting behind him. He should score lots of runs and with his walks be able to use his speed as well.

Erick Aybar (SS, LAA) - Waiver Wire Analysis

3 days ago

Published by: Rick Lucks - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 50% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Once upon a time, Aybar was a contributor to a lot of fantasy titles. You could draft elite hitters regardless of position early in the draft, and then count on .280 with 20 SB and a bunch of runs scored from your SS or MI slot. Sadly, those times are mostly in the past. Aybar is but a shell of his former self, hitting .269/.309/.308 on the season. The fact that his OBP is higher than his slugging percentage tells you all you need to know about Aybar's startling lack of power. Once a speed option, Aybar also has yet to pilfer a bag in 2015 - though he does have 2 CS. The lack of speed is really inexcusable, as its not like he can't steal because he is standing on second after a double. Worse still, Aybar has actually been lucky to put up these mediocre numbers. Fueled by an elevated .396 BABIP in May, the Angels shortstop has posted a .339 average this month after hitting just .246 in April. Despite the good fortune, he's still not moving the needle in fantasy - the .339 batting average is sure to regress, and even with all of the time on first base he hasn't swiped a bag. The average actually figures to drop going forward as his strikeout rate is up to 14.4% (from 9.7%). For some odd reason, the Angels are hitting him fifth or sixth in the order on most nights, but that does not mean your fantasy team should follow their idiotic example. While he is no longer a viable fantasy option in most leagues, and I wouldn't recommend him as a viable waiver wire option, he can be a fill-in middle infield option in deeper leagues while he's hot.

Rusney Castillo (OF, BOS) - Waiver Wire Analysis

3 days ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 57% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The last of the four heralded hitting prospects of the Boston Red Sox has arrived to ignite some fires within the clubhouse. Rusney Castillo had a few bumps in the road after signing a big deal to come to Boston but its all systems go now. The laundry list of injuries includes ankle issues to hamstring difficulties to go along with the more serious shoulder injury that had been lingering for some time. The Red Sox saw the power/speed combo that every team wants out of every position but Castillo's hype seemed to have trumped anything he would do on the field. Castillo sported a career .313 BA with SLG% above .500 and an OPS at .900 with incredibly low K totals. Rusney is going to bring a much needed element to the Red Sox as he fills the RF abyss that as existed for most of this season. The team ranks dead last in RF production and even though the youth movement is in full swing in Boston, Castillo is a veteran at 27 having played several years of professional ball in Cuba. Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Blake Swihart and now Castillo represent the future of the team but that does not necessarily bring about a transition year. The veteran leadership from the rest of the lineup should stabilize putting runs on the board. If Castillo can jump start the offense initially from the bottom of the order he will most certainly climb up the ranks and hit among the likes of David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez. Even if you were late to the party celebrate good times owning Castillo.

Cameron Maybin (OF, ATL) - Waiver Wire Analysis

3 days ago

Published by: Kirks - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12-14 Team Leagues OWNED: 4% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: So far this year Cameron Maybin has slashed .255/.352/.426 to go along with 4 HR, 13 R, 17 RBI and 5 SB. Since he has officially been named the everyday centerfielder on May 2 for the Braves, Maybin has gone 17/54 (.315) with 9 R, 12 RBI and 3 SB. There are a few reasons to be optimistic about Maybin moving forward. He recently was moved from the 8 spot in the lineup to batting second behind Freddie Freeman. This should provide more opportunities to score runs. Maybin has also done a fantastic job of getting on base. his BB% of 11.9% is incredible and so far has led him to having a .352 OBP. With that ability to get on base he should be able to score runs as well as use his speed. Maybin so far this season has 5 SB and is only only 4 years removed from a 40 steal season. Other improvements Maybin has made is that he is really taking the ball the other way with an above average rate if opposite field hits (36%). His LD% (percentage of hits that are a line drive) is at 33.8% which is the best type of a hit to get. All that together with an ISO of .170 really says that so far this season Maybin is a changed player and if he continues to bat second in the order could produce  line where he has 10-12 HR and 25-30 SB. Throw in a .270 AVG and 80 R, that is quite the fantasy value. Last stat, even though Maybin has been in the majors for 8 years, he is still only 28 years old, just hitting his physical prime.

Brandon Crawford (SS, SF) - Waiver Wire Analysis

3 days ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 31% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Never underestimate the power of a athlete in a contract year! Brandon Crawford had not hit over .250 for a season and suddenly he pops up with an early .300 BA with huge jumps in his power numbers. Exciting news for fantasy owners galore! Crawford needs to be under serious consideration as an early candidate for most improved player for a multitude of reasons. His HR, RBI, BA, OBP, SLG%, OPS and BABIP have all jumped at least 25% with only a 1/4 of the season in the books. Having a few of these categories take positive leaps shows a sign of not only patience but discipline as a hitter. The San Francisco Giants have stumbled a bit of out the box and they could really use Crawford in a more suitable place in the lineup than what he is currently being deployed in. Crawford has only hit higher than 7th in 10 games this season which is a shame given his breakout 2015 campaign. When the Giants finally figure out that his bat needs to be in the upper half of the lineup his value will skyrocket. A big key in fantasy baseball is riding hot streaks and knowing when players will keep up their breakout seasons. Crawford is in the middle of both of those scenarios which makes him an absolute must have for deeper leagues.

Mike Bolsinger (SP, LAD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues Ownership: 8% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Mike Bolsinger has pitched well through three starts for the Dodgers, owning a 1.04 ERA and 3.47 FIP with two wins. The 27-year-old right-hander finds himself in the rotation thanks to a slew of injuries to his Dodger teammates. Like so many other starters coming up from the minors, his prolonged success will hinge on the development of a third pitch. Right now, he’s got a fastball and curveball that are MLB worthy, but he’ll need to mix it up with a third pitch down the line. He’s a decent strikeout artist but doesn’t work very late into games, which, consequently, could be a saving grace for him. If hitters aren’t able to face him a third time, when we normally see hitters averages shoot up, he may be able to limit the damage and keep his ERA and WHIP low. He’s a good option to add if you’re hurting for pitchers who are guaranteed starts over the next few weeks.

Enrique Burgos (ARI, RP) - Waiver Wire Analysis

5 days ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Saves Leagues OWNED IN: 16% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Addison Reed was officially been removed from the closer's role last week, and Enrique Burgos looks to be the man now. After the announcement of Reed's demoition, Burgos proceeded to nail down saves two nights in a row. Brad Zeigler got the save last night, since Burgos was unavailable to pitch again, and can be in the mix for saves as well in the short term. Reed may eventually get the closer's role back, and manager Chip Hale has claimed it will be a committee, but for now it looks like Burgos has the best chance to grab saves for fantasy owners. To date he has a 3.86 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 20:8 K:BB ratio of 11 2/3 innings pitched. If you want some cheap saves off the waiver wire, look no further.

Shawn Tolleson (RP, TEX) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 days ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Saves Leagues OWNED IN: 22% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Shawn Tolleson looks to be the new closer in Texas, at least for now. Neftali Feliz hasn't been great in the role all season, and Tolleson has now converted save chances on back-to-back nights. He's sporting a solid stat line on the season with a 3.26 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 6 holds, 2 saves, and 26:4 K:BB ratio over 19 1/3 IP. If you're looking for a saves boost, grab Tolleson off the waiver wire and see how this situation plays out. He could be a long term source of saves this season if he continues to nail down his chances.

Lance McCullers (SP, HOU) - Waiver Wire Analysis

5 days ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only / Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 6% of fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: If you don't know who Lance McCullers is, don't fret. This guy went undrafted and if it wasn't for his major league debut the other day, there might not even be a picture of him on the internet. In McCullers's first start for Houston, he went four and two-thirds innings, one earned run, a WHIP of 1.286, a FIP of 2.94, and five strikeouts. Notice he produced more than a strikeout per inning? That seems to be McCullers's forte. In 2015 with Double-A Corpus Christi, McCullers produced a 0.62 ERA, a 0.897 WHIP, 0.3 HR/9, 3.4 BB/9, and 13.3 K/9. In total in the minors, McCullers averaged out with a 3.79 ERA, a 1.364 WHIP, and 10.7 K/9. McCullers is a high volume strikeout producer who looks like he might find a long term home in the youthful Houston rotation. If you need strikeouts or are looking for an electrifying streamer, at this point, McCullers is a wise selection for any fantasy baseball manager in a deeper league.

Raisel Iglesias (SP/RP, CIN) - Waiver Wire Analysis

5 days ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 4% Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Do you need an 8th inning pitcher with a potential for holds? Are you looking for a solid back-end rotation starter who has much more talent and potential than most back-end rotation starters? It is still unknown which one Raisel Iglesias will become long term, but when it is decided, take advantage of the Reds's newest Cuban prospect. In his brief time in the minors, Iglesias has a 3.80 ERA and a 1.312 WHIP. His K/9 rate wasn't great at Triple-A Louisville, but his BB/9 improved to 3.00 BB/9. Not to say Iglesias isn't capable from producing strikeouts. In the Arizona Fall League, Iglesias had a 9.00 K/9. Iglesias has a history of steady improvement, as his ERA improved every single year while pitching in Cuba (4.22, 3.29, 3.05). In the majors so far, Iglesias has a 3.00 ERA, a 1.067 WHIP, 6.6 K/9, a 2.68 FIP, 3.0 BB/9, and has yet to give up a HR in 15 IP. Jumbo Diaz has struggled in Cincinnati's 8th inning spot, Jason Marquis has significantly struggled as a starter, and Manager Bryan Price seems very tentative to try out Tony Cingrani as the setup man. Be the fantasy baseball manager that takes advantage of Iglesias's talent, and hope that Cincinnati does also.

Miguel Gonzalez (SP, BAL) - Waiver Wire Analysis

6 days ago

Published by: Rick Lucks - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting OWNED IN: 58% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: His sterling 4-2 record and 2.93 ERA look appealing on the surface, but the underlying statistics suggest that Gonzalez is likely to regress in a big way. His 7.12 K/9 isn't bad, but represents a leap of a full strikeout from his 2014 figure of 6.28. This could be sustainable if swing % or contact rate have undergone meaningful change, but they haven't. In fact, the only true change is in O-Contact %, down to 66% from 73.7% a year ago. With Gonzalez's already high walk rate climbing even higher (2.89 BB/9 up to 3.56 this year), batters are going to just start taking the wild offerings, making O-Contact % largely irrelevant. That is simply too many walks to help your fantasy team. Gonzalez's BABIP stands at .237, a number unsupported by both an elevated line drive rate (24% to date) and Baltimore's rotating defense (Steve Pearce the middle infielder?). This number figures to jump, which won't make for a pretty WHIP considering the walks. All of these base runners will test Gonzalez's favorable strand rate (79.3%), and since LOB% is not a repeatable skill, more runs should be expected to cross home plate. His current 9.3% HR/FB is only slightly lower than league average, but even that seems unsustainable for a pitcher in a hitter's park with a career 11.1% mark. Stuff wise, Gonzalez throws a great slider that is being used more often this year (14.6% to 18%), but otherwise offers nothing of note. His two-seamer was beyond bad last year, and has largely been replaced by an average four-seamer this season. This favorable change in pitch mix is really the only reason for optimism in Gonzalez's profile, but rate stats do not support any long term improvement resulting from it. Barring desperation, rostering Gonzalez is inadvisable, except for very deep leagues.  

Curtis Granderson (OF, NYM) - Waiver Wire Analysis

6 days ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 39% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Old dogs can learn new tricks even if they have been prone to make similar mistakes of the past. Over the last seven days, Granderson is batting .281 with 2 HR, 1 SB, 4 Runs and 3 RBI. Curtis Granderson has been an important part of what has made the New York Mets a legitimate contender in the NL East. As the leadoff hitter for the Mets this season Granderson is still posting a dismal .245 BA. However he has 23 BB compared to his 34 K and is still getting on base at least once a game. A solid top of the order hitter has to do whatever it takes to be productive for the team. The low K totals are a sign of increased patience as time has gone on. Granderson averaged 160 K per season between 2009 and 2012. He has not topped that mark of 160 since that stretch. Granderson is on pace for 30 doubles and 20 HR with a full season. Add in a more patient approach at the plate, and he should even out as a .270 hitter by season's end. His RC27 rating is in the top 40 with a 5.24 which is very respectable as a leadoff hitter. The most likable thing about Granderson right now is that he is finally hitting his stride for a winning team that does not have a ton of quality options to displace him. For those fantasy owners that live and die by a players BABIP rating, Granderson might not be right fit for you at a .295 clip. But he can provide a spark once or twice a week and help put a team over the edge in a few categories. The Mets look to be sticking around for a change, and Granderson is going to be at or near the top of the order as long as he wants to be with Juan Lagares faltering as a top-of-the-order player. Even at 39% owned he is probably sitting on someone's bench that you can grab as a buy low candidate. If you are lucky enough for him to be on the wire you could do a lot worse in your OF or in a UTIL spot.

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

6 days ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 7% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Let the youth movement in the City of Brotherly Love begin! Maikel Franco is the first of a laundry list of talented players within the Philadelphia Phillies organization to make it to the show in 2015. What is there to like about Mr. Franco you might ask? Let us start with a career .280 BA, .785 OPS and no more than 81 K in any one season in the minors. Let us then progress to his career 2.3 K/BB ratio with an OBP sitting at .329. What does this all add up to? Franco is the undisputed 3B of the Philadelphia Phillies for the next decade. Now that Franco has been shown to you as he truly is, the bottom line is that he currently plays for a lousy team. Or are they really that far off from being contenders? Sure the Phillies have made bad decisions before, but this franchise seems to have a different feel these days. Ryan Howard is even starting to come around (probably because he can't go anywhere else). Franco has all the tools to be a RBI threat at any spot in the order but lacks the speed or power to be a cornerstone in the lineup offensively for the time being. Franco can be the heralded "glue guy" to any roster as his contributions will shine brightly across the board. The K/BB ratio is going to be reliable the whole year unlike many young players who tend to K a lot early on in the majors. Franco is going to get every opportunity to succeed early and often. The Phillies will almost surely put him around talented hitters such as Chase Utley and Ryan Howard to alleviate some of the pressures early on. This guy can hit and it is his time to prove it. Conservatively expect a .290 BA with 15 HR and 70 RBI with excellent ratios and no signs of early setbacks or regression. Take comfort in knowing you made the right decision by buying in on Franco in fantasy leagues.

Alex Colome (SP, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 days ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stream in Deep Leagues Owned In: 5% Yahoo!, 4% Fleaflicker ANALYSIS: For a team that is fourth in the league with 185 runs scored, there seem to be a plethora of A's box scores that end up with two or fewer runs. The 26-year-old Alex Colome has taken his command to a new level with the Rays this season, as he posts a stellar 17.1% K-BB rate. Colome makes for a great option and is barely owned, so he should be available in deeper leagues.

Nathan Karns (SP, TB) - Waiver Wire Analysis

6 days ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only Leagues OWNED IN: 20% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Nate Karns may still need some work on his command and his changeup - a pitch he may or may not have in his repertoire yet - but I think he has good value in AL only leagues this season. So far, Karns is 3-1 with a 3.77 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. His FIP now stands at 4.44, which would lead any fantasy owner to believe he's had a run of good luck on his side, but a deeper look reveals that number is inflated due to two terrible starts (one of which was his first of the season) and also that the number is just 2.49 since April 27th. He's made four starts since that date, and none of the opponents - Baltimore, Texas, and the Yankees twice - are offensive pushovers. Karns is striking out batters in 23.3 percent of the batters he faces, good for the 28th best mark in the majors in 2015. The walks are a little bit of an issue, but he's limited hits so much that the WHIP is still a very desirable number for a starting pitcher. He's got an above average four-seam fastball that sits around 93-94 MPH and generates a good number of whiffs in addition to a knuckle-curve with great bite. In other words, the strikeouts should keep coming, and since his line drive rate is under 15 percent, there's a good chance his hits per nine innings (currently at 6.35) stays low, too. Grab Karns off the waiver wire if you need starting pitching help in your AL only league.

James Paxton (SP, SEA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 days ago

Published by: Rick Lucks - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Ignore in shallow formats; Stream in 12+ team mixed formats OWNED IN: 21% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Overall, Paxton has pedestrian numbers: 2-2 with a 3.59 ERA and 6.99 K/9. These middling numbers mask a massive month to month split, however, as his April ERA was an inflated 5.74 while the May figure has declined to 0.86. The real James Paxton is likely in the middle of the above extremes. Does that mean he should be on your fantasy team? Probably not, as Paxton's resurgence is the product of good fortune rather than skill. He actually recorded Ks with greater regularity in his terrible April (8.78 K/9) than in this month (4.71). Furthermore, his walk rate is too high overall (3.40/9) and worse in May (4.29). This is likely the result of a decreased O-Swing % (how often batters chase balls out of the strike zone), which has fallen 5.4% compared to last year. The improved performance recently can be traced to a low line drive rate (13%, 22.6% last year), a stat known for random fluctuation. This, in turn, has led to a low BABIP of .257 on the season, well south of both his .270 mark last year and the league wide norm of .300. With the expected regression, Paxton figures to more closely resemble his April self. This is not to say that there is nothing to like in Paxton's profile. His flyball rate has risen thus far in 2015, with 37.7% of balls in the air against him compared to 22.6% last year. This would normally lead to more HR, but Safeco Field suppresses power (Nelson Cruz notwithstanding). Home games in such a pitcher friendly stadium should allow Paxton to take advantage of the low BABIPs associated with flyballs and maintain at least some of his "luck". His recent run of success also reveals that he can be an effective major league hurler when everything breaks in his favor. The conclusion, then, is to stream him - you do not want to risk him in your lineup everyday, but he should do alright against weaker opponents in pitcher friendly stadiums. As a fantasy owner, you can control some of what Paxton needs to be effective, selecting him only in the most favorable situations. He won't be your ace, but he can help you cobble together a competent pitching staff.

Danny Espinosa (2B, WSH) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 days ago

Published by: Greg Rollins - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Short Term Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 12% Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Second base is always a thin position in the world of fantasy baseball. The emergence of Danny Espinosa’s offense makes for a temporary fix for a team’s fantasy season that can’t seem to find the right player to plug into the 2B position. The Washington Nationals second baseman has been hitting the ball well lately, having 12 hits in his last 11 games. Espinosa also slugged three homers and eight RBI. The 28-year-old has raised his BA to .269, his SLG to .476. and his OPS to .845. Anthony Rendon (knee/oblique) still appears to be a few weeks away from returning to action, so Espinosa will continue to see regular at-bats. This provides more value for Espinosa while Rendon is out. Once he comes back, it might be time to let him go though.

Ben Revere (OF, PHI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 days ago

Published by: Greg Rollins - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All leagues OWNED IN: 52% Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: You need stolen bases or a player who is turning his season around? Outfielder Ben Revere is the man for you. The 27-year-old Philadelphia Phillies player is hitting the prime of his career. His dreadful start is the reason he’s available in half the leagues out there. Last season, Revere had a .306 BA, 184 hits and 49 SB. He’s a career .289 hitter and is slowly raising his BA as it stands at .266 on May 19. In his last three games, he has stolen a base. He’s had two three-hit games in the past week. The upside is high and the risk is worth it in snagging Revere from the waiver wire. He’s not going to hit for power, but he’s going to do well in other categories you need to win your fantasy league. They’re also rumors that Revere might not even be with the Phillies for too much longer as his name is coming up in trade rumors. There’s a chance he could go elsewhere with the benefit of having better hitters to protect him in the lineup and allow him to cross home plate.

Edward Mujica (RP, OAK) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues/AL-only Leagues OWNED IN: 6% of fleaflicker leagues. ANALYSIS: The Oakland bullpen has looked downright awful this season. Aside from Tyler Clippard, Ike Davis has been their most reliable reliever this season (Ike Davis: 1 IP, 0 ER, 3 GO). Luckily, Billy Beane isn't one to watch helplessly while his team struggles. That is why the A's acquired Edward Mujica from Boston. Since moving to Oakland, Mujica has a 0.0 ERA, a 0.857 WHIP, a 2.07 FIP, and a 7.7 K/9. Mujica is also producing a 0.5 GO/FO rate. This high amount of fly outs is helpful in O.co Coliseum which currently ranks 27th in the majors with a 0.711 HR rate. With Eric O'Flaherty currently rocking a 11.57 ERA and Fernando Abad producing a 7.36 ERA, Oakland could be looking to move Mujica up the bullpen ranks very soon. Mujica and Tyler Clippard are both All-Star caliber relievers, but the savvy Fantasy Baseball Manager can still pickup Mujica. The A's won't trust O'Flaherty and Abad much longer.

Chris Colabello (1B/OF, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Greg Rollins - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL leagues OWNED IN: 5% Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: The Toronto Blue Jays have turned Chris Colabello into a valuable utility player. Ever since he was given a shot to play every day this season, he’s proving that he belongs in the bigs. The 31-year-old has a .365 BA, .500 SLG, .421 OBP and has five multi-hit games over the past two weeks. Colabello doesn’t hit for too much for power or drive in runs, but he simply racks up hits. Another positive is that he can be plugged in at 1B, RF and LF for your daily roster. This is his first season with Toronto and it’s been much better than his time with the Minnesota Twins.  In two seasons with the Twins, Colabello had a .194 BA, which was followed by a .229 BA and only 47 hits with 205 AB in 2014.  

Patrick Corbin (SP, ARI) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Tom Bellucco - RotoBaller

Baller Move: Add in Deeper Leagues Owned In: 10% of Fleaflicker Leagues Analysis: Patrick Corbin was a big fantasy name in 2013, when he pitched over 200 innings for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was able to rack up 14 wins and put together a 3.41 ERA on a very subpar team. Then, in 2014, he was a big sleeper candidate to potentially recreate his stellar first half the year before. As one of those suckers who were wide-eyed to see the lefty on the board in the middle rounds of my draft, I know the heartbreak that was felt when we found out Corbin needed Tommy John surgery just days after drafting him. Now let’s fast forward to the year 2015. The MLB season is in full swing, and every fantasy owner would love to find a difference-maker on the waiver wire to take his/her team to the new level. Corbin could very well be that guy. It’s unlikely that he’ll return to the sub-three ERA pitcher he was in the beginning of 2013, but Corbin can still throw in the mid-nineties with some pretty nasty off speed pitches. If he can sustain the low HR/FB rate he boasted in 2013 and continues to eat up innings for a team who has shown they can hit, Corbin could potentially turn into a great investment. With a return date scheduled for June 4th, fantasy owners in deep leagues especially should strongly consider stashing the high-upside starter.

Brad Miller (SS, SEA) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in all leagues. OWNED IN: 11% of fleaflicker leagues. ANALYSIS: Brandon Crawford will be the hot pickup at shortstop this week, the statistics insist that you consider Brad Miller. Brad Miller currently sits at 11th among SS in RBI with 14, sixth among SS in XBH with 14, sixth among SS in HR with five, sixth among SS with a .828 OPS, fourth among SS in slugging percentage with a mark of .500, and first among SS in isolated power with .236. Miller has amassed all of these high ranking power statistics while still maintaining productive base running with a 75% stolen base percentage and three SB on the year. Not only will Miller increase your offensive production at SS in almost every power category, he won't lose any precious SB at a high volume steals position in baseball. Brad Miller isn't even a sneaky pickup, he is just an obvious pickup for a Fantasy Baseball Manager, especially at his current ownership level. At SS, Brad Miller is the best available power option on the waiver wire.

Wilmer Flores (SS/2B, NYM) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Bill Dubiel - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 8% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Flores is the latest in a long line of sub-par Met shortstops. He’s actually been pretty good at the plate, tagging five homers with double-digits in runs and RBIs. His batting average leaves a lot to be desired, but I expect that to improve to a respectable range—his BABIP is lower than .250 so far. The Metswould love to make him the everyday shortstop, but his defense is making that call really difficult. Of course, defense doesn’t count for anything in most fantasy formats. If he continues to be a liability in the field, he may lose his regular role. Keep an eye on it, but add him for his offense.

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

1 week ago

Published by: Bill Dubiel - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 25% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Valbuena has the opposite strengths of Forsythe. He’s clubbed eight homers so far in the young season to go along with 14 RBIs and 19 runs scored. However, he’s flirting with a .200 average. While it’ll get a bit better, I’d be shocked if he finishes the season hitting over .260. You want the power numbers, making him much more valuable in roto leagues than in points leagues. Still, the batting average should pick up, so he won’t be totally useless in the weeks to come.

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

1 week ago

Published by: Bill Dubiel - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 22% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Forsythe is surprisingly the best hitter on a surprisingly good team right now. I had the Rays pegged dead last for the AL East this year, but they’re playing some good ball right now, and Forsythe has been a big part of it. In his last 15 games, he’s hitting .333 (and has a .304 season average) with an OPS over .850. He’s got a little bit of pop, and he doesn’t strike out very often, which makes him useful in any format. He’s also eligible at multiple positions, which increases his value even more. Add him while he’s hot.

Aaron Hill (2B/3B, ARI) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 13% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Aaron Hill probably wan’t one of the names you expected (or wanted) to see on here, but hear me out before scrolling down. He’s owned in less than 10 percent of most leagues, he’s got eligibility at second and third base, he’s hitting behind Paul Goldschmidt and David Peralta (see also: RBI opportunities) and he’s in the starting lineup quite a bit these days. With Yasmany Tomas struggling defensively at third, Hill is manning the hot corner on days he isn’t playing second. In the month of May he’s been scorching the ball, going 13-for-28 with three home runs and eight RBI in just nine games. His .308 BABIP is just a few points higher than his career average and he’s striking out a 15 percent clip – 2 percentage points less than last year. He makes great contact on balls in the zone and while his OBP (.333) leaves a lot to be desired, it’s mainly an effect of his inability to draw walks. He may not continue to produce at this level, but he’s a solid target if you need infield help.

Freddy Galvis (3B/SS, PHI) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 17% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Rockies fans are going to get mad at me at this rate, but the Coors Field effect is hard to ignore. Galvis might not qualify at 3rd base in all formats, but Yahoo owners are going to want to give this player a long hard look this week. Galvis is hitting .347 on the season and .333 during the month of May. Most encouraging of all is his .413 on base percentage, a figure which should translate into a healthy Run scored total for the Phillies number two hitter for as long as he’s able to maintain it. Along with Howard, Galvis will be making his way to Coors Field next week, which is about as close to heaven as you can get for a locked in hitter. If I’m high on Howard right now, it’s almost a given that I love the upside of the runner he’ll be most likely trying to drive in. The biggest drawback to Galvis is that he doesn’t offer much in terms of power, but if he keeps stealing bases here and there you might be able to forgive this flaw. He makes a lot of sense for an owner looking to plug a gap in 3rd or SS left by an injured star (I see you over there Jose Reyes). Galvis is also a great find for someone just trying to make inroads in batting average or Runs scored. If you fall in either category, give him a look. He’s almost certainly available and based on what he’s done up to this point, he really shouldn’t be.

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

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 25% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Yunel Escobar has been an absolute shot in the arm for the Nationals so far this season. He’s hitting .328 from the number two hole in a lineup that’s scored the 4th most runs in baseball. Recently he’s been even more impressive. Escobar is hitting .355 during the month of May and has already scored 12 runs and driven in eight more thanks to the strength of his supporting cast. He owns the fifth highest Run scored total of all active 3rd baseman so far this season. He has the highest batting average and the fifth highest OBP. Coming off a week in which he hit .400, now’s a great time to buy low on this red hot hitter and ride him as long as the streak lasts.

Ryan Howard (1B, PHI) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 14% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: There’s no denying the hit you’ll take in batting average by rostering Ryan Howard. His short term power upside might just be high enough to justify that risk, however. For all his faults, Howard is up to seven home runs on the season, proving that there’s still some pop left in his swing. No matter what you think about the strength of the Phillies‘ lineup, there’s value to a player who can hit the long ball while batting cleanup. The Phillies play against the Rockies seven times over the next two weeks. Four of these games will be played at Coors Field against a pitching staff which has allowed the fifth most runs in baseball so far this season. There are times when taking a calculated risk is worth it. Especially in a deep league, this might be one of those times.

Brandon Belt (1B/OF, SF) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 52% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: We’re at the point where we need to start talking about Brandon Belt. Many fantasy owners were turned off by his putrid numbers in March and April in which Belt only hit .235 with no power. Don’t let these figures distract you from what he’s done since May 1st, however. Since then Belt has been fantastic, hitting .368 with two home runs, eight RBI, and 11 Runs scored. What should excite you most of all is that his power is finally beginning to show up. Those two home runs he’s hit so far have both come within the last week and for a hitter as prone to hot and cold spells as Belt, very well might be the sign of more to come. There are caveats to these numbers of course. Belt’s BABIP is absurdly high right now and eventually that number is going to come down. When it does his batting average will start to look much more pedestrian. This may not matter as much for short term players who’re looking to plug Belt into their lineups while his bat is hot. The Giants have one of the best schedules in baseball over the next two weeks, featuring appearances at Coors Field and Miller Park, venues which should certainly maximize Belt. Against those pitching staffs, he’s about as close to a must play as you’ll find on the waiver wire right now.

Steven Souza (OF, TB) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 51% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Souza was blocked in Washington, so the Nationals flipped him to the Rays over the winter. With this new lease on life and playing time came a fair amount of sleeper buzz. So far, Souza’s been basically as advertised, a three true outcomes machine with speed. He’s hit half a dozen homers, stolen five bases, and either walked or struck out in exactly half of his plate appearances. If you can stomach a batting average in the .230s – or if you play in a league that uses OBP, as nature intended – Souza can be a serious asset to your roster.

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

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ team leagues OWNED IN: 9% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Morrison has had a tough time sticking in the lineup in his career, mostly due to injuries and defense that can charitably be referred to as a traveshamockery. In his lone season with at least 500 plate appearances, however, he hit 23 homers. Like Byrd, he stumbled out of the gate but has raked this month to the tune of a .310/.431/.762 line, with five of his six homers coming in that span. The Mariners are hiding his lead glove at first base, where they don’t really have anyone else to trot out. If LoMo can avoid his usual lengthy DL stint, he’ll be a sneaky power source.

Delino DeShields Jr. (2B/OF, TEX) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 10% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: DeShields isn’t going to maintain an average around .300 or a .400+ OBP for much longer. That said, he’s filling up the box score on a nightly basis for the Rangers, who quite frankly deserve a positive fluke with how the last couple of years have gone for them. DeShields has only 50 plate appearances, but has stolen nine bases in 10 tries and tallied 21 R+RBI. With Leonys Martin’s ongoing struggles, more playing time could be on the horizon. As a bonus, DeShields is 2B eligible. He’s basically a poor man’s Billy Hamilton at this point.

Patrick Corbin (ARI, SP) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ team leagues OWNED IN: 9% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Corbin is another pitcher recovering from Tommy John surgery, but his timetable is clearer than others. General Manager Dave Stewart stated the target date is June 4th, and Corbin has done nothing to this moment to dissuade that prediction. He showed solid command in his latest extended spring training game, with the fastball ranging from 92-95 mph. Corbin was effective in 2013, posting a 14-8 record with a 3.41 WHIP, 1.18 WHIP, and a 178/54 BB/9 ratio. Corbin is a huge proponent of the slider and had a Pitchf/x value of 10.0, which is outstanding. His low walk rate throughout the minors leads me to believe the 2.25 BB/9 rate is sustainable, so I’m buying Corbin shares. The key with Corbin is to not get overly excited or expect a high return. The team is going to stretch him out the first couple outings and may even limit him more, considering they are not in contention and have no reason to put meaningless innings on his healing arm. I’m still taking the gamble and he’s available in 91% of leagues.

Matt Moore (TB, SP) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 week ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12 + team leagues OWNED IN: 11% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Most seasons I am fading Matt Moore, mainly due to his high walk rate (4.28 BB/9) and lingering arm issues. But most seasons you have to pay for Matt Moore’s services. As Moore has recovered from Tommy John surgery performed last April, fantasy owners have all but forgotten about him. Moore threw a bullpen session on Friday and is in line for a simulated game on Monday. If all goes well he’s on to extended spring training followed by a rehab assignment. Expectations in Tampa are for a return around mid-to-late June. Moore was excellent in 2013, going 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and a 143/76 BB/9 ratio. The walks are definitely concerning, combined with the fact his fastball has dropped every season since 2011. But considering what’s out there in FA in the majority of leagues, he’s worth a gamble to see how he responds from TJ. Available in 89% of leagues, there’s a good chance you can grab a share.

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

1 week ago

Published by: Bill Dubiel - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues Owned In: 22.6% of ESPN leagues ANALYSIS: Logan Forsythe has surprisingly been the best hitter on a surprisingly good team right now. I had the Rays pegged dead last for the AL East this year, but they’re playing some good ball right now, and Forsythe has been a big part of it. In his last 15 games, he’s hitting .333 (and has a .304 season average) with an OPS over .850. He’s got a little bit of pop, and he doesn’t strike out very often, which makes him useful in any format. He’s also eligible at multiple positions, which increases his value even more. Add him while he’s hot.

Marlon Byrd (OF, CIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues Ownership: 49% ANALYSIS: He’s far from a spring chicken or a trendy fantasy player, but Marlon Byrd’s strange late-career renaissance refuses to end. Since the start of the 2013 season, Byrd’s 57 home runs are 20th in all of baseball. A putrid April has yielded to a torrid May, as Byrd has hit .342/.500/.895 with six homers through the first half of the month. The Barry Bonds impression obviously won’t hold up, but Byrd’s earned some respect with his performance in recent years. If nothing else, ride the hot hand here.

Tyler Lyons (SP, STL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stream in Deep Leagues Owned In: 2% Yahoo!, 2% Fleaflicker ANALYSIS: At first glance, streaming a starter off the wire against the Tigers looks like an insane idea. But that’s why we like it so much. Think about it. Conventional wisdom is to not start any lefty against Detroit. Tyler Lyons has a great K rate and solid BB rate, and the Tigers are in a bit of a funk right now. That 16.7% HR/FB rate, though.

Austin Jackson (OF, SEA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Edward Sutelan - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues / AL-only Leagues as DL Stash OWNED IN: 55% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Austin Jackson has the ability to be one of the best leadoff hitters in the game, but has never been able to really put it all together. This season, he had a decent start but then found himself on the 15-day DL with an ankle injury. When healthy, Jackson has provided a sub-par batting average with above average stolen base numbers, stealing 20 bags in 2014. In the past however, he has flashed some double-digit power (career-high 16 in 2013), but in Seattle we shouldn't expect much more than 10. The other detractor from Jackson’s game is his lack of plate discipline with a career 8.3% BB rate while striking out 23.3% of the time. In 2015 though, Jackson has cut his K rate to a respectable 18.4%. With his above average speed and high line drive rate, Jackson should see his current .242 BA rise to the .280 range as his BABIP regresses to his career average. Atop a decent Seattle lineup, he could score a fair amount of runs while stealing his fair share of bases. Jackson is, at best, a fifth OF in deep leagues, but if you have an open DL slot there are definitely worse players to pickup. He could provide a sneak BA / R / SB boost when he returns.  

Rubby De La Rosa (SP, ARZ) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues. OWNED IN: 15% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The talent and the arsenal have always been there for Rubby De La Rosa and the warm fresh air of Phoenix seems to have brought out all of the best he has to offer. De La Rosa has compiled a 4.50 ERA to go along with a 1.20 WHIP and 42 K in 44 IP. Those stats are inflated by two bad starts where he gave up 11 of the 23 runs he has given up on the year. The biggest concern for De La Rosa coming into 2015 was his control and the large number of free passes he would issue. His first pitch strike %, which is heavily tied to walks, is at a career high of 63.2% (MLB average is 60.6%), an excellent mark. His whiff rate is also at a career best 10.7% (MLB average for SP is around 8.5%). His improved approach has led to a fantastic 3.5:1 K/BB ratio and has kept the Dbacks in most games he has pitched in. He is still very susceptible to giving up the long ball with 7 already hitting the bleacher seats and that will continue in Chase field. Five of the seven HR De La Rosa has given up have come against lefties who are batting an alarming .304 off him on the season. This is his biggest cause for concern. He has been dominant vs righties this year holding them to a paltry .193 BA. De La Rosa still has a lot to prove to become a complete pitcher but thus far he has been a welcome addition to the desert. The bottom line is that it is hard to find starting pitchers with high K and low BB totals who have not already been scooped up. At only 15% owned De La Rosa has been overlooked due to the fact that the Diamondbacks aren't winning a lot these days. Don't be mistaken with the team's apparent lack of success. Instead of searching for diamonds, go get a "Rubby in the rough" and add him to your roster.

David Phelps (SP, MIA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep and NL-Only leagues OWNED IN: 9% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Every team has to have pitchers that simply eat innings and deliver quality starts. These players do not have to be flashy or dominant they just have to get the job done. Enter David Phelps as the Miami Marlin innings eater of choice. Phelps has done whatever has been asked of him in his two stops with New York and Miami. He has been successful in middle and long relief as well as being a starter. He has gone at least 6 innings in all of his starts this season and is looking to keep it going as the Marlins keep trotting him out there. The K and BB totals should be low as he induces more contact outs. His GB/FB ratio sits at 1.19 and he has a solid .283 BABIP. His fastball is still clocking in at a cool 90 MPH and he has yet to give up a HR this season. Phelps is not going to provide anything overly special to a fantasy team. However deeper leagues tend to value pitchers who turn in quality starts and limit damage with the walks they issue. Henderson Alvarez is due back soon for Miami and the thought is that Tom Koehler is going to be moved to the bullpen. This means more time for Phelps to settle into a more permanent role in the rotation for the time being until Jose Fernandez returns from Tommy John surgery sometime in June. Your league probably isn't flocking to pick up a pitcher such as Phelps but you should seriously contemplate someone who out dueled the likes of Madison Bumgarner and can be a solid back of the rotation starting pitcher.

Carlos Frias (SP, LAD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep and NL-Only leagues. OWNED IN: 8% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The Los Angeles Dodgers pitching staff has been decimated by injuries this year. First Hyun-Jin Ryu went down with a shoulder injury and then Brandon McCarthy became the latest victim to Tommy John surgery. The Dodgers searched high and wide within their organization to find anyone who could just eat up innings. After a very short search Carlos Frias appeared and provided them with more than just a stop-gap option. With a small sample size from last season Frias was merely an option in middle and long relief but has a quality arsenal at his disposal. Frias throws a blistering 95 MPH four and two seamer, along with a filthy 91 MPH cutter. His curve and change are sprinkled in time to time but only account for 3% of his total pitches. The early returns on Frias's ability have been extremely positive. Most recently, he held the Marlins to 3 ER and 7 baserunners over 6 IP while allowing just 3 ER. Not a dominant start, but certainly more serviceable than you would expect from a guy barely owned in fantasy. All signs point toward Frias being a mainstain for the Dodgers and your fantasy team. All of the major categories that fantasy owners pay close attention to for a SP are trending upward for Carlos Frias. In a short sample size with the Dodgers his BABIP rating is below .300, his WHIP is below 1.20 for the first time in his pitching career and his K% is above 20% for the first time as well. His control is exceptional at 1.93 BB/9. His unique combination of a 95 MPH heater and excellent control are reminiscent of Garret Richards and Michael Pineda. The Dodgers could really use him to shore up their rotation problems, and with all the pitcher injuries across MLB, you could likely use the boost to your rotation. Make the call and go grab Frias before he gets white hot on your waiver wire.  

Kelly Johnson (3B / OF, ATL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Silent Investor - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues as a DL Stash OWNED IN: 11% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Kelly Johnson is owned in just 19% of Yahoo leagues, but he’s putting together a solid first month and a half to the season now that he’s back in Atlanta. Maybe it’s the southern comfort that has afforded Johnson his strong start to 2015? He’s already tallied 17 RBI along with 6 home runs and 11 runs scored. It’s his .244 average that brings down his ownership, but there’s some upside there. Johnson has one of the highest LD% rates of his career in 2015 (23.4%), but a paltry BABIP of .224. He’s also striking out the fewest he has since 2009, which combined with his line drive rate is a sign his average will increase. With eligibility at 1B, 3B, and OF, Johnson can provide some flexibility to daily lineups. Going forward, I’d expect to see a jump in Johnson’s average if he keeps making the contact we’ve seen. Even with his very recent oblique injury and upcoming trip to the DL, he warrants a flier in deeper leagues to see if he can keep this up all year. He should be back in early June. While I don’t expect the home run output to continue as that’s a bit more of an anomaly (28.6% HR/FB), you can certainly do much worse on the waiver wire than Johnson, who I’d project winds up with 15+ HR and a .265 average, along with solid counting stats hitting in the middle of the Braves lineup. While the Braves don’t pack the power that they used to, hitting in the middle of any order is bound to result in more run and RBI opportunities. Steamer projected 35 runs/40 RBI for Johnson over a full season, yet he’s almost already halfway there on RBI and a third of the way with runs. Pick up Johnson and stash him in your DL for now.

Andre Ethier (OF, LAD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 17% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Andre Ethier is taking full advantage of his new found playing time. Thanks to a few injuries to Dodgers' outfielders - namely Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig, who's hamstring rehab isn't going as quickly as Don Mattingly had hoped - Ethier had started nine straight games in right field. Since going 5-for-5 at the plate yesterday, and hitting his fifth home run of the season, the 33-year-old lefty is now hitting .329 with 17 runs scored and 13 driven in. When Puig does return to health, Ethier's playing time will surely take a hit, but he's absolutely worth adding right now off the waiver wire. Ride him while he and the rest of his Dodger's teammates are swinging hot bats. Ethier has been slotted fifth and sixth in the lineup -- that position, combined with the production of the top of their lineup, should keep his RBI chances plentiful. He's hit for a good average (.357) in a tiny sample size against left-handed pitching, but he's definitely best to insert in your lineups when facing right-handers, as all five of his home runs have come from those match ups.

A.J. Ramos (RP, FLA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Saves Leagues ANALYSIS: Steve Cishek was finally pulled from the closer's role after his horrible start to the season, A.J. Ramos will get the first chance to replace him and grab some saves. He has some very nice numbers on the year -- in 17 IP, he has 21 K to go along with a 1.06 ERA and 0.82 WHIP. Mike Dunn may be in the mix as well, but he's a lefty and managers usually prefer to avoid that situation if possible. Ramos has the chance to provide some nice value if you need some saves, and currently is only 37% owned so he's still widely available. Grab Ramos off the waiver wire if he's still a free agent in your leagues.

Jimmy Paredes (3B, BAL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: George Bissell - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Every season, a nondescript utility man (think Josh Harrison for a recent example) turns some batted ball magic into a full-time gig and immense fantasy value for savvy owners who bought in early. Jimmy Paredes seems like just the latest comet streaking across the sky, except it’s hard to fake being this good for this long. After a scorching start in April, Paredes is riding a 10-game hitting streak, including three consecutive multi-hit games out of the gate in May. He’s now up to .368/.386/.675 with five home runs this season. His offensive surge has been fueled by a .421 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) this season. Nobody maintains a .421 BABIP, so Paredes may cool off in the coming months, but right now he’s certainly earned additional at-bats in Baltimore going forward. Playing time translates into fantasy production, and it’s the most difficult to predict for guys like Paredes coming into a season. Now that he’s getting the at-bats and showing that he can do something with them, there’s no reason to think he won’t be valuable the rest of the year.

Chris Young (OF, NYY) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 26% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: So far in 2015, Chris Young has been everything Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi could have imagined, and then some. In fact, I think you could go as far as to see he has already exceeded some expectations. Through 72 at-bats with his new ball club, the 31-year-old outfielder is hitting .306 with six home runs and 12 runs batted in. In all of 2014, Young managed just 11 home runs and had a .222 batting average which was .13 points lower than his career average. A look at his numbers, namely his .333 BABIP, suggests he could be due to fall in the direction of his career .273 average in that category, but the fall in his overall value might not be too affected. His biggest value to fantasy owners right now is in the power he provides, and a look at his home/road splits Yankee Stadium hasn't been assisting much in the supply of home runs - four of his six blasts have come on the road. A lot of his success this year can be attributed to the way he's been hitting lefties. It's a small sample, but in 30 at-bats, he's batting .433 with three home runs and six walks. In American League only leagues and deeper, mixed leagues, he is worth an add if you are looking for a source of power.

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

2 weeks ago

Published by: Rick Lucks - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting / Add in AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: So your offense is chugging along just fine, but your pitchers have underperformed your expectations thus far. You don't want to lose your league because of that, so you head to waivers to see what might be available. What's available? J.A. Happ, currently owned in 57% of CBS leagues. Some of that ownership is in single formats, so he is a solid bet to be available in a standard one. Is he the compliment your offense has been looking for? Thus far, Happ has posted a 2-1 record with a 3.51 ERA - the numbers of someone that won't hurt your ratios, at least, while you try to find something better. He strikes out few (6.48 K/9), but walks even fewer (1.62 BB/9), so you begin to think he can tide you over for a scoring period or two. Then you take a closer look and realize that he can't. Strikeouts are fully 20% of a pitcher's value in many roto leagues and a big factor in points leagues as well - ignoring them entirely by rostering Happ is unwise. Happ's .287 BABIP against is around league average, but that is not the norm for a pitcher allowing a 29.1% line drive rate - a full 10% greater than league average. His current HR/FB is elevated at 13.8%, but his fly balls allowed are exceptionally low at 28.2%. Even if his HR/FB normalizes to his career 10.2% mark, he will continue to allow too many HR as his fly ball rate returns to his career mark of 41.7%. His ERA is acceptable only because of a 77.8 LOB%, a number that is sure to regress for a pitcher that gets few punch outs. Pitch f/x data suggests that Happ has almost no "stuff" to speak of, with only his 4 seamer grading out as an above average offering and only barely so (0.17 runs above average per 100 thrown). Put simply, Happ is a below average major league hurler currently masquerading as a league average one. Your team needs and deserves better.  

Noah Syndergaard (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Justin Berglund - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues Owned In: 12% of FleaFlicker Leagues ANALYSIS: It took unfortunate injuries to Mets starters Zack Wheeler and Dillon Gee, but the club has promoted top prospect Noah Syndergaard to fill out the starting rotation. Syndergaard has been stellar this season for Triple-A Las Vegas, going 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and a 34/8 K/BB rate over five starts. This includes a 10.31 K/9 and a .191 batting average against, all factors that earned him the call-up over fellow top prospect Steven Matz. Syndergaard’s first two career starts will be against the Cubs at Wrigley, followed by the Brewers coming to Citi Field. The Cubbies are just 3-6 so far in May, and have a .246 average against right-handed pitching on the year. Syndergaard will be opposing Jake Arrieta, who is coming off back-to-back losses. I like the weekend start against Milwaukee even more. Bringing up the rear in the NL Central, the Brewers have the second-lowest team average in the NL at .229. And while the early production from Adam Lind is nice, the fact that he leads his team in batting average, home runs and RBI shouldn’t lower confidence in Syndergaard too much. At 12% owned in Fleaflicker leagues, Syndergaard should be owned in mixed leagues this week, and perhaps longer depending on how long he stays in the Mets rotation.

Rajai Davis (OF, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep, AL-Only Leagues Owned In: 45% of Leagues ANALYSIS: We know what Rajai Davis is at this point. He’ll give you a decent batting average, plenty of steals and not much else. He also doesn’t have a full-time starting gig and hasn’t topped 500 plate appearances since 2010 – the only time he ever did. He’s hitting well in the early going, however, and platoon partner Anthony Gose is scuffling after a blazing start. If you’ve got a need for speed, you could do a lot worse than Davis.

Yasmani Grandal (C, LAD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 47% of FleaFlicker Leagues Yasmani Grandal has absolutely exploded in the first week of May, but the signs of a breakout were already there. Fantasy managers are going to snatch up Grandal based on his recent streak, but i'm here to tell you this likely isn't just a flash in the pan. This looks like a talented young catcher growing into his own as a hitter in a great situation. Grandal clobbered 15 home runs last season, despite playing home games games at Petco Park. His abilities as a power hitter really shouldn't really be up for much debate. The more important thing to take away from his first month-plus as a Dodger is that the rest of his skills are coming along quite nicely. Grandal has struggled to hit for average in his career, and April looked like more of the same, as he had just a .189 BA for the month. But he has since raised his average up to .307 and doesn't look to be slowing down with at least one hit in each of his last six games. During that span he's racked up 3 multi-hit games, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 5 runs, and 3 walks.

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

2 weeks ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 6% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Kang was one of the biggest question marks coming into the year for fantasy baseball owners. He was a prolific shortstop in Korea, who hit a lot of home runs and stole bases too, and fantasy owners were all hoping to uncover a gem at the thin shortstop position. But after a poor preseason, Kang was playing second fiddle to the mediocre Jordy Mercer in Pittsburgh and was mostly forgotten about except for NL-Only and deeper leagues. Kang still isn't playing ever day, but he's seeing a lot more at bats and has been producing including hitting a home run today. His stat line for the year now sits at .333/.377/.521 to go along with 2 HR, 9 RBI, 6 Run and 1 SB in 44 ABs. Is he going to be a valuable fantasy asset going forward? Nobody knows for sure, and he's still a big unknown. But if you have some roster space, or are looking for upside at the shortstop position, take a flier on Kang off the waiver wire if he's still available. He's also third base eligible in most league formats as an added bonus. If Kang emerges and produces all year long, you don't want to regret missing a potential opportunity. The upside is real.

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

2 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 18% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Johnson was a revelation way back in 2010, hitting 26 homers, stealing 13 bases and posting an .865 OPS as a second baseman. He hasn’t been fantasy relevant since, but he’s tearing the cover off the ball right now. Over the last two weeks, he’s slashing .286/.333/.619 with four homers and 15 RBI. While he’s no longer eligible at second base, Johnson does carry eligibility at both corner infield positions in addition to the outfield. As you might expect, his hot hitting has made him one of the more popular adds this month. His HR/FB% will definitely regress over the long haul, but nothing else leaps out as particularly fluky. He costs nothing in over 80 percent of leagues.

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

2 weeks ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 16% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: It took a while to make a splash at the show for Mark Canha but make no mistake he is here to stay. Canha is the type of guy to not only have on the field but in the locker room. Having a guy that will go out and play wherever the manager needs him is a luxury that is becoming more common in clubhouses across the league. Even though Canha will only be called on to play the corner outfield positions and first base he also played third base and catcher in the minors. Canha should provide decent power as long as he keeps fitting into the lineup for Oakland. The BA should linger around .280 with a SLG% of .450 and an OPS near .750. If Canha can draw more walks he can improve on his OBP and create chances for the rest of the lineup. He seemed to have settled in as the number 2 hitter for Oakland in the early part of the season. But now with the return of Coco Crisp and the emergence of Billy Burns, Canha hitting 6th or 7th seems more likely. Canha should provide the protection needed in the lineup to help Josh Reddick, Stephen Vogt and Brett Lawrie. If his plate discipline can improve and he can even out his K/BB ratio, Canha could become not only a solid contributor but an efficient one at that. What more can you ask for with Canha. He has multiple position eligibility with good power numbers on a team that has thrived on productivity. He is must add off the waiver wire in most leagues until further notice.

Alex Colome (SP, TB) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 15% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Colome has been gradually working his way back into the rotation, recording consecutive scoreless outings going five innings a piece. He has yet to eclipse 80 pitches in an outing but he’s also yet to yield a walk with ten strikeouts. The results have been minimal so far but this is a pitcher who has mixed league value and should be available in 85% of leagues. He’s got a two-start week coming up vs NYY and @MIN and makes for a great add if you’ve got the space. If he can reach a full workload without reinjuring himself, he’ll become a mixed league fixture in the near future.

Chase Whitley (SP, NYY) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12 + Team Leagues OWNED IN: 15% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Whitley was a popular stream this weekend and didn’t deliver for fantasy players, going 5.2 innings with five runs including three long balls vs Baltimore. Because of this I expect his ownership levels to drop, which only benefits those looking for pitching help. Remember, the Orioles are not an easy matchup. Whitley still owns a 3.06 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 16/3 K/BB ratio over 17 2/3 innings. He has a successful track record in the minors but doesn’t blow hitters away as evident by his career .338 BABIP, which means I can’t recommend him as an immediate add in shallow leagues. I am a big fan of his matchup Thursday at Tampa and think he’s a solid streaming option, but if he performs well I’d try and sell high in deep leagues.

Wily Peralta (SP, MIL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12 + Team Leagues OWNED IN: 39% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Peralta scared off most owners with his inconsistent start to 2015 and saw his ownership rate drop into the 20s. After three consecutive quality starts, I think it’s time owners give him a second chance. Peralta was fantastic his last time out vs a tough LAD lineup, going eight innings allowing two runs with six strikeouts and zero walks. His line drive rate has not changed from 2014 which tells me his .328 BABIP is due for improvement. His WHIP has always been a liability but he’s done a good job so far limiting the free passes (1.85 BB/9). He needs to limit the long balls to reach ten team mixed league status, but he makes for a solid streaming option or a backend SP in deep leagues. He has a two-start week coming up vs CHW and @NYM if you need any further convincing.

Tim Lincecum (SP, SF) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10 + Team Leagues OWNED IN: 39% of Yahoo leagues ANALYSIS: It’s been difficult to trust the former ace since Tiny Tim lost the velocity on his fastball in 2012, with his best ERA being 4.37 since then. He somewhat lost his identity as a pitcher and was even relegated to bullpen work by Bruce Bochy. Now Lincecum is off to a terrific start, posting three scoreless starts in six outings while compiling a 2.00 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and a 28/14 K/BB ratio. There’s reason to believe this start is sustainable. The team was reporting a noticeable improvement in his ability to locate his off speed pitches during Spring Training and he’s increased his usage on the changeup and curveball while cutting back on the fastball. Keeping hitters off guard has resulted in a 54.0% ground ball rate (a career high) while reducing his LD rate to 18.0%, more in line with the Lincecum of old. The concerns are his K/9 rate is never going to reach pre-2012 status again and his 0.25 HR/9 rate is unsustainable. Still, I’m buying Lincecum in all leagues. With him out there in 61% of leagues, it’s likely you can join in too.

Noah Syndergaard (NYM, SP) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 39% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: The Mets made it official on Friday that Syndergaard will make his debut on Tuesday at Chicago, replacing the injured Dillon Gee in the rotation. Syndergaard was a universal top-10 prospect going into 2015 and has done nothing to dissuade those rankings, compiling a 1.82 ERA and 34/8 K/BB ratio over 29.2 innings in Triple-A Vegas, a traditionally hitter-friendly environment. The Mets have made no guarantees he will remain in the rotation but it’s worth streaming him and hoping he makes their decision difficult with a quality outing. Available in 61% of Yahoo leagues as of this posting, I expect that number to continue to climb and would recommend giving him a chance in all leagues.

Jarred Cosart (SP, MIA) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Alex Brock - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 12% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: After putting an illegal sports gambling scandal behind him, Jarred Cosart has been generally solid this year for the Miami Marlins, sporting a 3.67 ERA and 1.11 WHIP through 34.1 innings with a 20:11 K:BB ratio. Of course, one must ask the question - will this type of production continue? Well, probably not. Although the 24 year-old is still quite young, he's never posted an MLB ERA under 3.70 in a full season. However, Cosart has shown signs of improvement over the past three seasons in ERA, WHIP and strikeout rate. Perhaps this could be a breakout year for the young Cosart. In any case, if he can improve upon his brief MLB stint last season and produce an ERA anywhere close to 3.50 and a WHIP anywhere near 1.10, he will be well worth owning in deeper league formats.

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

2 weeks ago

Published by: Alex Brock - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 36% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Trevor Plouffe has been better than ever before as of late. After swatting a grand slam and 5 RBI this past Sunday, he's off to the hottest start of his career. Needless to say, this pace is unsustainable for Plouffe, whose .269/.358/.454 slash line in 2015 is higher in every category than in any prior season of his career. Still, his 5 HR and 17 RBI are likely some of the sharpest power numbers sitting on the waiver wire right now. Plouffe will regress back to his career averages at some point; but why not pick up a certified slugger on a hot streak? Let's not forget Plouffe's 2012 campaign, in which he delivered 24 HR. The 29 year-old is still in his prime. According to ESPN's 2015 projections, 24 HR would be higher than all but five third basemen this season. If this ends up being one of those seasons for Plouffe, you could have one of the best sluggers at the position for free.

Dan Haren (SP, MIA) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Rick Lucks - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues / Matchup Streamer OWNED IN: 31% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: So you are still chugging along with an offense that can easily win you your league, but you need one more SP to really seal it. You looked into J.A. Happ, but then you remembered you want someone good. The next name you come across is Dan Haren, a pitcher that once earned the title of fantasy ace. He is 4-1 with a strong 2.68 ERA this season. Owned in just a paltry 62% of CBS leagues, could he be the answer? Probably not, as his once elite stuff has deteriorated to the point that he is averaging just 5.84 K/9. That just does not move the needle in any format that acknowledges the existence of the K. In 2014, only two of his pitches graded out as above average: a 2 seamer worth 0.13 runs above average per 100 thrown and a knucklecurve worth 0.84 by the same metric. His fastball has lost velocity three years running, now averaging between 86 and 87 mph most of the time. As recently as 2013, Haren posted an above average K rate, but it does not seem to be coming back. His current success is not supported by skill (FIP of 4.62) but by luck, as evidenced by a shockingly low .194 BABIP against so far this season. This is partially attributable to a new fly ball tendency: While Haren has historically been a ground ball guy (42.4% career ground ball rate), he is actually allowing more balls in the air this season (46.3%). This might help his BABIP, but will hurt him in ERA when the homers that arise from his increased flies and steady 12% HR/FB rate begin to come with men on base. Thus far, he has managed to strand 89.8% of base runners. No way that number holds for an entire campaign, especially with such a low strikeout rate. Finally, Haren has been fortunate in the quality of opposition he has faced: PHI twice, SF, WAS, ATL, and TB. Only the Nationals in that group have a decent attack on their best day, and they chased him after 5 IP. Even the Phillies managed to hit him hard on their second try, and they have been terrible. Maybe Haren can be streamed in his first start of the year against weaker teams, but even they fare better in a second attempt. Overall, it is tough to recommend Haren for anything more than emergency duty.  

Alfredo Simon (SP, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only Leagues and Deep Leagues (14+ Teams) OWNED IN: 50% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: I'm still a little hesitant on fully endorsing Alfredo Simon this season, but he's doing his best to convince me that he's at least worth a bench spot in deep leagues. In 2015, the 33-year-old right-hander is 4-1 with a 3.13 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. His FIP (3.27) suggests he's been pretty good, too, and that his success has not been the result of a few lucky bounces. In fact, if anything, a .299 opponent BABIP this year - one that is .16 points above his career average - tells us that WHIP could even possibly go a little lower. It's encouraging that his HR/FB ratio is down to 6.9 percent from 11.8 percent last year, too. That statistic, coupled with the fact he's inducing ground balls from nearly 50 percent of the batters he faces tells me what he has going should be fairly sustainable. I also like the fact the Tigers are scoring 4.41 runs a game, and with that run support, don't be surprised to see Simon in line for wins at a good rate.  

Jake Marisnick (OF, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 54% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: After the Miami Marlins OF got crowded with talent, Jake Marisnick landed with the Houston Astros and became a welcome addition overnight. With the vaunted and dynamic power/speed combo every team is looking for Marisnick has shown that with a little bit of patience and the opportunity at everyday at-bats he can be a big time talent. The biggest transition for Marisnick will be the opportunity he has been striving for since he broke in with Miami in 2013. He has not had more than 237 plate appearances in one season and has had the injury bug hit him on multiple occasions. Marisnick has already collected a third of that total and is hitting above .330 with an OPS above .900. Although regression is on the horizon, Marisnick also has improved his K% in 2015 by cutting it in half down to 14% from the previous year. The BABIP rating is hovering around .370 right now but should stay above .350 as the season progresses. His BB% is also at an all time high at 6%. The Astros are off to their best start in years and have Jose Altuve and Marisnick to thank as they both rank in the top 10 in BA. Marisnick is the type of player that will go 1 for 3 with a double, a walk and a SB on almost any given night. Although that does not sound flashy for fantasy owners it can provide plenty of comfort knowing he will not create negative stats for you. He is ripe for the taking at only 54% owned so make the most of it and pick him up.  

Colby Rasmus (OF, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stream vs. RHP; add in 14+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 13% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Nothing says consistent, cheap power like Colby Rasmus. His power may be an even greater value this season. What  is most important about Rasmus is just how much power he packs into his swing. Rasmus currently ranks 11th in the Major Leagues in isolated power with .297. Despite a solid start to the season with five HR, a 13.4% XBH%, and a 0.883 OPS, Rasmus has just 10 RBI. This is an unlucky RBI total as only 10% of base runners have scored per Rasmus AB, and with the power Rasmus has been packing into his swing, he should have more than the underwhelming 1o that he has. Don't expect that to continue. It is clear that like in Toronto, Rasmus's GB/FB ratio of 0.32 is serving him well in Minute Maid Park, as he is converting 21.7% of fly balls into HR. In Daily Formats, use Rasmus against RHP, as 81% of his career HR come against righties. If you're looking for cheap power, once again, Rasmus is a safe and reliable pickup in deep leagues.  

Jon Niese (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Mixed or NL-Only Leagues OWNED IN: 13% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Jon Niese's numbers are practically calling out for regression. The 2.74 ERA with two wins may be shiny, but his underlying peripherals tell the story of a pitcher who's been remarkably lucky without great stuff. Niese's 5.48 K/9 and 3.52 BB/9 would stand as career worsts if extended over a full season, debunking the idea that some underlying change is leading to this heightened production. So far, he's been able to get away with this decline in stuff thanks largely to a strand rate that's over 7% above his career norm. That isn't sustainable, however. Niese's 4.86 FIP and 3.80 xFIP paint a better picture of who he's been in 2015 and who he's likely to be through the rest of the year. If his strikeouts come back up, I wouldn't mind streaming Niese in the a good matchup, but right now smart owners are keeping their distance.

Denard Span (OF, WAS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Matt Hartman - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Formats OWNED IN: 54% of Yahoo, 66% of FleaFlicker Leagues ANALYSIS:  Last season Denard Span was waiver wire gold for fantasy baseball managers. Unfortunately, this season he started on the DL due to having sports hernia surgery, and many fantasy owners forgot about him.  Let me remind you what Span did last season. He posted top 10 overall MLB stats in Runs, Hits, Doubles, Triples & Stolen Bases.  He also was a top 15 player in Batting Average. The Nationals offense struggled without him, and the absence of Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth  has made matters worse.  Now that the Nationals lineup is getting healthy, Span is right back where he was last year.  In the last 14 days Span is hitting over .300 with 11 Runs, 1 SB, and 2 HR.  If you are looking for any help in the categories Span excelled in last year and he's available on the waiver wire, pick him up immediately.

Tony Watson (RP, PIT) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Matt Hartman - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Hold & deep leagues (14+ teams) OWNED IN: 29% of Yahoo, 13% of FleaFlicker Leagues ANALYSIS:  The Pittsburgh Pirates closer, Mark Melancon, has struggled this year with 6 earned runs in 11 innings and opposing batters batting .268 against him.  To make matters worse Melancon's fastball velocity has been down nearly 3 MPH.  Meanwhile Tony Watson continues to thrive as the setup man in the Pirates bullpen, sporting a solid 2.35 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, one save, and four holds.  So far manager Clint Hurdle has stuck with Melancon but if he ever changes his mind Watson will the first in line to become the closer. In deep leagues, Watson should be owned for his peripherals and his decent chance of racking up saves later in the year. In shallower leagues, continue scouting this situation closely.

Jake McGee (RP, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Andrew Cohen - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues Upon Activation ANALYSIS: Brad Boxberger has done a great job filling in as closer for the Rays while Jake McGee recovers from elbow surgery. However, McGee is currently in the middle of a minor league rehab assignment, and will presumably regain the ninth inning job after he is activated from the disabled list sometime next week. McGee had 19 saves and a 1.89 ERA with 90 strikeouts in 71.1 innings for Tampa last season, and is available in over 30 percent of ESPN leagues. Even if he is eased into the closer role once he is activated, he figures to get back to closing later this month and is well worth a roster spot.

Joe Niese (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stream in Deep Leagues Ownership: 17% Yahoo!, 13% Fleaflicker ANALYSIS: Watching Jon Niese pitch this season, one can sense that he has just not put it all together quite yet. The velocity on his cutter has dipped a bit, and as a result, his changeup is getting decimated by opposing bats. Of course, Philadelphia’s offense is a great cure for any struggling pitcher’s ailments.

Mike Leake (SP, CIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Edward Sutelan - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Own in 12+ Team Leagues/NL-only leagues OWNED IN: 30% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The Reds pitching has had a lot of problems over the past couple seasons, but Johnny Cueto, Aroldis Chapman, and Mike Leake have shown consistency during that time frame. Leake threw over 200 innings for the first time in his career last season and he has started in over 30 games each of the past three seasons. With Mike Leake, fantasy owners can count on consistent, solid performances. Leake is not a strikeout pitcher as he owns a career 6.14 K/9 and has never struck out more than 6.89 batters per nine innings. He is very good at keeping the ball on the ground as he owns a career GB rate of 50% and that is crucial in a ballpark like Great American Ballpark. Every now and again, Leake will go through a stretch where his sinker rises too much and he gets hit hard, but for the most part seven innings of 2-3 run ball is the norm for him. Fantasy owners in need of starting pitching could do worse than to pick up the Reds right-hander just as long as they don’t expect him to be the guy who owns a 2.47 ERA for the rest of the season.  

Billy Burns (OF, OAK) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues. OWNED IN: 2% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: When a speedster becomes an OBP asset he transforms from a pinch runner to a table setter. This is what Billy Burns has the potential to be if he keeps going down this prosperous path. Aside from a couple of short stints with the Oakland A's in 2014 and 2015, Billy Burns hasn't had a real opportunity. He is ready to take over an important role within the club and take off with it running. With an impressive 184 steals in 5 seasons in the minors Burns catches the eyes of many as a pinch runner late in games and a situational player. Take a look closer and one will find an equally impressive .387 OBP which makes Burns more valuable. Burns should have ample opportunities to seize the leadoff spot in Oakland and garner immediate fantasy attention with high totals in R,SB and BA. Oakland is in the middle of the pack in stolen bases and attempts and with Burns that total should skyrocket. Josh Reddick and Stephen Vogt have provided the power game for Oakland but what the team truly needs is a leadoff man who can get the job done. If Burns can secure the job before Coco Crisp comes back from injury, buying in early on Burns will prove beneficial. At only 25 years old Burns still has some time left to prove he belongs on a big league team---but fantasy owners should not wait to pounce. Grab him now and hope he keeps the job. Even if he goes back to AAA keep tabs on him as the A's will assuredly give him another shot.

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

3 weeks ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues with an MI Slot OWNED IN: 25% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: When a player is past his prime he becomes overlooked in a hurry. Brandon Phillips's days of All-Star appearances, Gold Gloves and MVP level performances are indeed in his rear view mirror at the age of 33. But for The Cincinnati Reds, Phillips still hits in the middle of the lineup and that means fantasy value! Why should you get excited for a career .270 hitter who doesn't steal bases and fluctuates with RBI totals between 50 and 90? The simple answer is because he hits in a prime position for high fantasy counting stats as a MI. Even though Phillips' OPS, SLG% and OBP have all taken slight dips, his 2015 campaign shows signs of a turnaround season. He has already surpassed his SB total of last season (2) and has already compiled 1/4 of his 51 RBI total from 2014 as well. He is never going to be a 30 HR threat again but somewhere close to 20 is possible and should still prove quite useful for most fantasy owners. He is a solid contact hitter who can contribute modestly. Speaking of Cincinnati they are in the bottom half of almost every major hitting category as a team. Buried amongst that futility lies Phillips who can still bring value for someone who either gave up on him early on or as a buy low trade candidate. Phillips has a higher BA than Brian Dozier and Robinson Cano and more RBI than Dustin Pedroia and Jason Kipnis. He also has less K's than all of those players. Give this veteran a look and see if he can keep the magic going.

Alex Guerrero (2B/3B/OF, LAD) - Waiver Wire Analysis

3 weeks ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in NL Only leagues and in Deep Mixed Leagues OWNED IN: 20% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: With the oblique injury to Carl Crawford, Alex Guerrero should find himself in the Dodgers lineup with more regularity. It should also have something to do with the fact he's jacked five home runs in only 16 games, but that doesn't seem to phase manager Don Mattingly. Guerrero's statistics are from a small sample size, but boy are they impressive. The 28-year-old owns a .879 slugging percentage and .524 wOBA to go with a .364 average, six runs scored and 13 driven in. Additionally, the strikeouts haven't been the concern they were in 2014. The man just needs more at-bats to make a fantasy impact, and it looks as though they are finally headed his way. The Dodgers have such an injury prone outfield, and so even if he's relegated to the "4th outfielder" spot, he could still see a lot of playing time. As it stands now, go ahead an add him right away in NL only leagues and deeper mixed leagues, he could be worth a bench spot on your roster already.  

Mark Teixeira (1B/DH, NYY) - Waiver Wire Analysis

3 weeks ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 67% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: While the batting average might be lagging behind the rest of his impressive statistics, Big Teix is back and finally fully healed from the wrist injury that has hampered his production over the last year. Ignore the low batting average right now. Mark Teixiera already has nine home runs (only 22 in '14) and his ISO is standing at .381! Only Nelson Cruz has a higher mark in isolated power. In addition to playing half his games in one of the most home run friendly parks and getting protection from Alex Rodriguez hitting behind him in the order, Teixeira has cut his strikeout percentage from over 21% last year down to 14.4% this season. He's also done a great job of being selective on pitches to drive while drawing walks at a far better rate than last year. So the .202 batting average hurts a little, but his wOBA is .373. Part of the low batting average can also be attributed to some bad luck as evidenced by a .127 BABIP. He is without a doubt worth an addition to your team in any league.

Josh Hamilton (OF, TEX) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Deep League Add Only OWNED IN: 22% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Let's look at the facts. Josh Hamilton turned 33 years old this year. Over the last two seasons he's hit .255/.316/.426 with 31 home runs, seven stolen bases, and a strikeout rate well north of 25%. He's coming off major shoulder surgery and a bout with an addiction that once threatened to take his life. The Angels had so little faith in his abilities going forward that they were willing to pay the Rangers millions just to take Hamilton off their hands. Put together that's not standard league material. There's still upside left in Hamilton's bat. He's still the freak athlete that took the Rangers to the World Series two years in a row and he's hit well in Arlington in the past. A healthy, mentally sound Josh Hamilton can still hit 15 home runs with a .260-.265 batting average. He might also hit .150 with no power between trips to the DL, however. Frankly, there's just not enough upside left to make Hamilton worth the roster spot in standard leagues, but in deep leagues he's a decent speculative add.

Russell Martin (C, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All leagues. OWNED IN: 36% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Russell Martin is off to a great start, and the scary thing is, he has been unlucky. Martin only has a BA of .227 and still has hit six HR, 17 RBI, has scored 18 R, and is third among Major League Catchers with an OPS over .950. Martin has achieved all this despite getting unlucky with a BABIP of only .235. Martin ranks first among Catchers in R and is third in RBI, and he should have even more based on his unfortunate BABIP. For the purposes of managing your team, expect this figure to trickle back to normalcy and watch Martin produce even more. Martin is consistently one of the best base running catchers in the game with a career SB% of 70% and a career RS% (Scored Run Percentage) of 29%. Martin has stolen as many as 21 bases in a season, but last year still ranked first among MLB Catchers with four SB. Russell Martin can produce big numbers in categories other Catchers won't even touch (SB, R) and is among leaders at his position in the power categories (HR, RBI)  despite his poor luck on balls in play. Bottom line he is on a big scoring team, in a big scoring park, and will be a big scoring player for the Fantasy Baseball Manager savvy enough to pounce on him.  

Yimi Garcia (RP, LAD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in all Holds Leagues and Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 17% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Yimi Garcia had a season in the minors (2012) in which he had 18.6 K/9. That averages out to 2.07 K/IP. Through Garcia's time in the minors (2009-2014) he had a 3.10 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP, 11 K/9, and just 0.6 HR/9. Those are all borderline elite numbers. This season up in with the Dodgers, Garcia has a 0.66 ERA, 0.93 FIP, .58 WHIP, 13.8 K/9, and a strikeout percentage of 42%. Oh yeah, in 13.2 IP, Garcia has still yet to allow an XBH. In terms of scoring for a Fantasy Baseball Manager, there seems to be no category Garcia won't produce in. To go along with his low ERA, WHIP, FIP, HR/9, and extremely high K/9, Garcia has a record of 2-0, one save, and three holds. If you need holds or saves, it seems impossible that the Dodgers would keep him out of those pivotal situations if Garcia continues to strike batters out at his current rate. Look for Garcia to get more save or hold opportunities, and when he capitalizes in a big way, make sure to also capitalize in a big way and add Yimi Garcia to your bullpen.

Travis Wood (SP, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in NL-only leagues and Deeper Leagues. OWNED IN: 18% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: After 2014, Travis Wood might've looked like a one hit wonder. Last season Wood had a 5.03 ERA, a 1.53 WHIP, a 4.38 FIP, a 7.6 K/9, and a putrid 3.9 BB/9. Wood had a BABIP of .324, which indicated he was being hit hard and often. Wood has changed things up in 2015, to the tune of a 3.04 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP, an exceptional FIP of 3.35, an eye popping 9.9 K/9, and a much improved 2.3 BB/9. Wood is even out-performing his 2013 All-Star season in which he had a 3.11 ERA, a 1.145 WHIP, a 3.89 FIP, a 6.5 K/9, and a 3.0 BB/9. With Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro, the massively improved offense of the Cubs will help Wood win more games. Wood has a record of 2-1 this season behind an average of 5.6 runs of run support per start, as opposed to last year's run support mark of 4.7. In Wood's All-Star season, he received only three runs in support per start and was still able to pick up nine wins. Travis Wood has improved his game in many ways, and there is potential for nice strikeouts, ratios and wins in 2015.  You can add Wood with the confidence that he will be even better and more reliable than his All-Star 2013.

Ubaldo Jimenez (SP, BAL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep and AL-Only Leagues. OWNED IN: 32% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: We've seen this story before. During the homestretch of 2013, Ubaldo Jimenez turned a series of quality starts against a few of the worst teams in baseball into a multi-million dollar payday with the Orioles. His 1.82 ERA during the second half of 2013 was enough to make fantasy owners wonder if he'd turned a corner. He hadn't. A 4.81 ERA through 125.1 awful innings in 2014 was enough to remind people who Ubaldo really was. Now, he's trying to make us forget again. Don't let his 2.30 ERA through his first three starts of this season completely fool you. His 90.2% strand rate will go down, his .147 BABIP-allowed will go back up, and hitters are going to start squaring him up again. That being said, Ubaldo's 8.74 K/9 and 3.18 BB/9 are respectable. While he's not inducing many swings and misses, he's keeping hitters off balance, and inducing a career best elite 67% ground ball rate and very little hard contact. Ubaldo should definitely be owned in more than 32% of leagues, but unless you're particularly confident in the matchup or you play in an AL-only format, steer clear of  him vs. better teams.  

Everth Cabrera (SS, BAL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep 14 team leagues and AL-only OWNED IN: 8% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Considering that J.J. Hardy is getting closer and closer to a rehab assignment, Everth Cabrera's time of usefulness is drawing to a close. That isn't to say he doesn't have a role, however. Hardy has yet to actually begin that rehab assignment and until he does Cabrera still has potential to contribute to deep league teams on the hunt for speed. Considering the flaws in his swing, you'll be happy to get much more than a .250-.255 batting average out of Cabrera. Some teams may be willing to take that hit in the name of speed, however. Cabrera stole 55 bases between 2013 and 2014, averaging a stolen base roughly every 3 games. Going forward, there's no reason to think he can't do the same for the Orioles. If anything, Cabrera might be more eager to prove himself as he watches Hardy draw nearer to taking back his job.

Hector Santiago (SP, LAA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Mixed and AL-only OWNED IN: 14% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Don't be fooled by Hector Santiago's 2.28 ERA. In truth, Santiago is much more of a number 5 starter than the ace his run prevention numbers would seem to suggest. While his strikeouts are up so far this season, the increased wiffs have come at the price of a truly atrocious walk rate. To this point, a fortunate 89.6% strand rate has kept these mistakes from hurting Santiago too badly. When that rate drops to something approaching league average, however, we'll see his ERA start to climb. This is a large part of why Santiago's 4.64 FIP and 4.89 xFIP are as bad as they are. As a streamer against teams particularly prone to swinging wildly, Santiago could represent a high upside, all-or-nothing type streaming candidate in standard play. Until his peripherals start to catch up with his ERA, he's unlikely to ever be more than this though.  

Chris Heston (SP, SF) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stream in Deep Leagues Owned In: 27% Yahoo!, 28% Fleaflicker ANALYSIS: The surprise of the streaming season so far has to be Heston. His numbers have improved across the board, including a silly high 59.6% GB rate. His start on Wednesday may be an anomaly though, as AT&T Park tends to give up a lot more runs during day games than night games. That 9.5% HR/FB rate could spike up by the end of his start. Still, he has been the best pitcher available off the wire and he will be pitching in a pitcher’s park.

Russell Martin (C, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Formats Owned In: 83% of Yahoo, 32% of FleaFlicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Martin has now hit safely in 10 of his last 12 games for the Blue Jays, increasing his season average to a “blistering” .197. Since dropping to the sixth spot in the order, Martin has slashed .276/.488/.690 with three home runs, eight RBI, and 10 runs scored. The move in the lineup has clearly sparked a fire under the Jays' back-stop, and has put fantasy managers at ease since his disastrous start to the season. Toronto gave up on Martin hitting in the two spot after only a week into the season, but Josh Donaldson is clearly looking more like the number two hitter that they were looking for. The Blue Jays have one of the league’s hottest offenses so far in the young season, so the RBI and run opportunities should continue to roll in for Martin no matter where he ends up in the lineup.

Brett Cecil (RP, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Dillon Borgida - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Saves Leagues OWNED IN: 54% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: I mentioned last week that Miguel Castro might be faltering, and sure enough Brett Cecil was announced as the Jays closer coming into this week. At only 54% owned in fantasy leagues, Cecil would be a nice pickup off the waiver wire. There was only one save opportunity for the Jays this week and Cecil was able to convert, only allowing a single. Today he converted another. It is a little troubling that Cecil gives up a lot of base runners and isn’t a huge strikeout threat, but there is always value in grabbing a pitcher who will be owning the closing job for the foreseeable future. I also don’t expect any competition for the job especially since Castro wasn’t able to earn the confidence of manager John Gibbons and was demoted to the minors.

Mike Leake (SP, CIN) - Waiver Wire Analysis

3 weeks ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Target in 12 + Team Leagues OWNED IN: 44% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Leake was stellar in his last outing at Atlanta, limiting the Braves to two early singles over eight strong innings. He also helped himself out with a bomb to left field, which you have to love as a fantasy owner. So far he carries a 3.03 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, and a 25/10 K/BB ratio over 35 2/3 innings. His .179 BABIP is a signal that his current production is not sustainable and regression is expected. Leake was a top prospect for Cincinnati back in 2010 but was never able to reach the #2 status many envisioned for him. I don’t expect him to reach that level anytime soon but he makes for a great backend SP in deeper leagues or a quality streaming option in shallow leagues.  

Yangervis Solarte (2B/3B, SD) - Waiver Wire Analysis

3 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 10% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Solarte is a reminder that talent isn’t everything. While arguably the least physically gifted of any of thePadres‘ staple players, Solarte has made the most of the opportunities he’s been given this season. Starting off the year as a bench player, he forced his way into the starting lineup with a hot start and has swiftly become manager Bud Black’s go-to choice for the number two spot in the lineup. Despite not getting regular at-bats through the first half month of the season, Solarte has already accumulated an impressive 16 RBI. I suppose that’s what happens when you hit .328 with a bit of pop. If Solarte continues batting at the top of the Padres lineup, he could be an exceedingly cheap source of Runs during this hot streak. Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Derek Norris are all quality hitters who should have no trouble driving in the often on-base Solarte. There’s no telling how long this will last, but I recommend you enjoy it while it does.

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

3 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 13% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: Canha’s power is legit. He mashed 20 home runs last year in Triple-A with a .303/.384/.505 slash line, impressing the A’s brass enough to snag him from the Marlins in the Rule 5 draft. Thanks to the rules of that draft, the A’s are now forced to carry Canha on their 25-man roster all season long. This makes his floor for playing time much higher than a lot of untested rookies. That might not matter to owners in shallow leagues looking to stream Canha on a week-by-week basis, but in deep leagues playing time assurances can be worth their weight in gold. Hot bats are always a target on the waiver wire. It’s a bit too early to put Canha in that category, but he’s certainly looked locked in over the last few days. Including tonight, Canha has seven hits and three home runs in just three games and played a key role in the A’s victory over the Rangers on Friday. Hopefully, his heroics will be enough to catch his manager’s eye, because this is a batter with 20 home run power. If Canha starts getting regular playing time, you could start to see his ownership numbers begin to rise very quickly through the next few days.  

Danny Duffy (SP, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 42% of Yahoo Leagues ANALYSIS: Danny Duffy has made the most of his time in the rotation, going 2-0 with a 3.45 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and a 23/9 K/BB ratio. He was excellent for Kansas City last year, posting a 2.53 ERA over 25 starts in 2014, and although I don’t see him replicating that stellar number, I expect him to improve as the year goes on. His current ERA is inflated from a rough debut vs CWS (five innings, five earned runs), and since then he has yet to allow more than three runs in any outing. This includes back-to-back outings of one run ball versus CWS and DET. His .333 BABIP signals that improvement is on the way, although his 31% LD rate is worrisome. I’d be looking to buy Duffy at this point and if he’s available he makes for a solid add.  

Chris Owings (2B/SS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Jeff Kahntroff - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stream in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: The Diamondbacks get to play three in Colorado and four at home this week. However, most of their players either (a) are over 50% owned or (b) do not play every day. Enter Chris Owings. Owings could find his power stroke this week, and is always a threat to steal a base.  Despite facing seven righties and being right-handed, Owings has an OPS 80 points higher versus righties in his brief career.  Owings is a great middle infield option and widely available.

Aaron Harang (SP, PHI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Justin Berglund - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stream in Most Leagues ANALYSIS: In his last start against the Cardinals, Aaron Harang gave up five runs in six innings, breaking his streak of eight consecutive quality starts.  Despite that, Harang has been great this year, as he seems to be at the beginning of every season. In five starts with the Phillies, Harang is 2-2 with a 2.51 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP and 27/7 K/BB rate over 32.1 IP. The hardest part about Harang’s first start next week against the Braves might be that he is facing Alex Wood, and could miss out on getting a win. In his previous start against Atlanta this year, Harang tossed eight scoreless innings, giving up only two hits before getting a no decision. He has also faced the Mets earlier this year, allowing only one earned run over six innings. He took the loss, however, as he was given zero run support. He might not be guaranteed two wins, but Harang has shown he will be a quality pitcher early in the year.

Chris Young (OF, NYY) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Greg Rollins - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Standard and AL-only Leagues OWNED IN: 26% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS:  Chris Young seems to have found life in New York. He has become one of the top sluggers for the Yankees in this young season (no pun intended), as the 31-year-old is on fire whenever he plays. In 59 at bats, Young has five homers, 11 RBI, a .305 BA and .644 SLG. As of May 1st, Young has played in seven of the last nine games for the Yanks which makes him nearly an every day player. He’s been given a chance to win a starting position and he’s capitalizing. The question is whether or not it will last. Over the course of a full season, the outfielder has never had a better than a .257 BA, which was his lone all-star season with the Arizona Dbacks in 2010. He is too prone to whiffing to keep his BA higher than .270 for a prolonged period of time. In 2010 He had 27 HR, 91 RBI and 28 SB, but since then his stats have dramatically decreased. It’s always a risky move picking up Young, but for the short term it’s worth it if you have an injury depleted outfield.

James Loney (1B, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Banas - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues OWNED IN: 13% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Freshly activated off his recent DL stint and ready to make an impact in deep leagues is James Loney. You likely have a quality first baseman already due to the depth of the position and have no need for one even in a deep league. But if you find yourself searching for a replacement or need consistency in the batting average column, Loney is your guy. Loney is a career .285 hitter and hit .290 and .299 in his last two respective years. He's never been a home run hitter having never surpassed 15, but he can certainly help in the BA and counting categories. He’ll go for quite a few doubles and hit for a high average. He’s also set in the middle of the lineup, primed for RBI opportunities. Only owned in 4% of Yahoo! Leagues, he’ll likely be available for you. If you’re in a very deep league or you’re scramming for a first baseman, consider James Loney as an option.

Wilmer Flores (2B / SS, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickup

3 weeks ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in deep standard and dynasty leagues. OWNED IN: 12% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Wilmer Flores made his debut for the New York Mets back in 2013 at the age of 21. He was in the Mets minor league system since he was 16 years old. Although Flores's MLB stats have not equaled his highly touted minor league career, the best is yet to come for Flores and the Mets. The Mets shortstop position had been void of talent for several years before finally calling on Flores to be the full time answer. Obtaining power from the middle infield is rare and Flores has already shown that he can be every bit of a power hitter. He hit 77 HR and drove in 461 RBI in 7 seasons in the minors with a SLG% of .440 and an OPS of .774. In his first full season taking the reigns in Flushing he is hitting .254 with 3 HR and 8 RBI. The K and BB will both be low so creating contact will be his calling card which should lead to a solid batting average. His fielding is still a major concern but unless your league counts errors fantasy owners will not despair from using him as their starting shortstop. Flores won't steal a ton of bases but if he can harness his power game the potential is close to 20 HR as early as 2015. Middle infield power hitters who do not strike out are quite rare and must be taken as a serious bonus to any team. If Flores really wants to make owners happy he can shorten his swing out to create more hits to the opposite field and become a doubles hitter to add to the long ball. The closest hitter that compares to Wilmer Flores in the majors is Manny Machado. The BA, SLG, OBP and OPS are all similar and both can contribute across the board. Flores is not a sleeper anymore and he is only owned in 12% of leagues. The bandwagon is leaving the station so hop aboard!  

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

3 weeks ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues. OWNED IN: 12% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The Ben Zobrist model of player is an archetype that several teams try to and often times fail to replicate. The Boston Red Sox have had that exact type of player hidden on their roster for the past few seasons in Brock Holt. The epitome of a blue collar workhorse, Holt shows exceptional versatility in the field and with the bat and gives the Red Sox a valuable asset. After joining the Red Sox in 2013, Holt has been a super utility player used whenever needed as a plug and play. After a 106 game stint in 2014, Holt's role on the team changed from super reserve to irreplaceable commodity. His OPS skyrocketed and although everyday at bats were not always available, Holt made the most of his time. The Red Sox reloaded offensively last winter, adding the likes of veterans Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval to go along with young talent like Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts. The perception became that Holt was going to ride the bench again. Several players have been ineffective early in 2015, which has afforded Holt more playing time. He's hitting .386 in 44 ABs and logging innings all over the diamond. His.450+ BABIP is unsustainable, but he should continue to play well even as it regresses. Super utility players with fairly consistent playing time offer a lot of value to fantasy owners. Add Holt now in all deep leagues and be prepared to be pleased with the results.  

A.J. Pierzynski (C, ATL) - Waiver Wire Analysis

3 weeks ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / All Two-Catcher Leagues OWNED IN: 22% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Soooo... A.J. Pierzynski is batting .422 on the year. His ridiculous stat line now looks like this: .422/.442/.689 with a 1.131 OPS, to go along with 3 HR, 8 Runs and 14 RBIs, over 52 plate appearances. This puts him at number 68 overall in Yahoo leagues, and worthy of consideration in most leagues. Is this sustainable? Almost definitely not. But catcher is a thin position, so it never hurts to pickup hot bats off the waiver wire and ride the wave. Production is production, especially from your catcher, so if you're looking to take a flier or have an underperforming catcher, grab Pierzynski and see how this all plays out. One interesting benefit of being in a weaker lineup is that he's hitting in the middle of the order, batting cleanup some nights, giving him sneaky potential for runs and RBIs. While his current .372 BABIP and .267 ISO aren't sustainable, he may have a solid year for the Braves and it's low risk move to see what happens.

Chris Heston (SP, SF) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Greg Rollins - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues OWNED IN: 30% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Chris Heston has burst onto the scene for the San Francisco Giants as a viable starter as he is currently near the top of the NL in ERA (2.77). Originally ticketed for the bullpen, the 27-year-old rookie stepped up when his number was called to replace Matt Cain, who was placed on the DL with a strained flexor tendon in his throwing arm. Even with his recent rough outing (in Colorado), Heston has allowed just eight runs in four starts. In his 26 IP, the right-hander has a 6.92 K/9, elite 2.08 BB/9 and a respectable 1.23 WHIP. Cain is still long away from returning to the starting rotation, so the job appears to be Heston’s to lose.  There’s no reason not to ride the hot hand in any league...just make sure to bench him for future @COL outings.  

Aaron Sanchez (SP, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Edward Sutelan - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Keeper / AL-Only / Deep 14+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 43% of Fleaflicker  Leagues ANALYSIS: The Toronto Jays have quietly put together a rotation that could become elite in the near future. They have a plethora of young pitchers including Drew Hutchison, Daniel Norris, Marcus Stroman, and Aaron Sanchez already in the Major Leagues and many more looking to come up. And while Stroman and Norris typically grab the headlines, Sanchez can be a good middle of the rotation starter. For the most part, he has not been an overwhelming strikeout pitcher, but he has shown himself to be more than capable at handling a spot in the rotation. Sanchez alleviated some concerns about control in his MLB debut in 2014 as he threw 33 innings as a reliever and had a BB/9 of 2.45 with a decent K/9 of 7.36. He has an electric fastball that can reach the upper 90s and a curveball that is about 16 mph slower than his fastball. To top it all off, Sanchez has added a changeup to his repertoire. Aaron Sanchez won’t lead the league in strikeouts at any point, and he is showing some seriously nauseating control issues right now with a 6.41 BB/9. When he slowly starts to figure it out, whether that's with a Triple-A stint or in the Jays rotation, he could be a solid fantasy contributor for any team in need of pitching in the deepest fantasy leagues.  

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

3 weeks ago

Published by: Joe Hannon - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only Leagues Owned In: 3% of FleaFlicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The Angels appear to have found themselves an everyday second baseman in Johnny Giavotella. After playing sparingly for the Royals over the last few seasons, Giavotella is making the most of his opportunity in Los Angeles. He is batting .302 on the season with eight runs scored, one home run and eight runs batted in, and has hit safely in seven of his last 10 games. Giavotella is a solid waiver wire option for fantasy owners looking for middle infield help in deeper leagues.

Kyle Lobstein (SP, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Joe Hannon - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Mixed and AL-Only Leagues Owned In: 1% of FleaFlicker Leagues ANALYSIS: With Justin Verlander sidelined, Kyle Lobstein was only supposed to be a temporary replacement. Instead, Lobstein has impressed in his three starts, posting a 2-1 record. He has gone deeper into the game with each start, and has yet to allow more than three runs in an outing. He also has the potent offense of the Tigers backing him, which should be reflected in his win totals. It remains to be seen if Lobstein will have a starting role once Verlander returns, but he certainly has value until that day comes. There is no official timetable for Verlander yet, which bodes well for Lobstein getting a few more valuable starts.

Odrisamer Despaigne (SP, SD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting and Wait for Another Opportunity OWNED IN: 9% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: You could say Despaigne is off to a good start in 2015, backed by his 2-0 record, 1.37 ERA and shiny 0.66 WHIP in 19 2/3 innings pitched. Of his five appearances, two were starts and three came out of the bullpen in long relief. With the recent return of Ian Kennedy, Despaigne is back to middle relief as an innings eater. Since his only real fantasy value is as a starter, you can scout him from a distance for now, but at the rate pitchers are going down to injury this season, his chances of returning to the starting rotation are better than slim. Keep an eye on the San Diego rotation. If he is called upon again as a starter, he's worth a roster spot in all NL-only leagues and also in the deepest mixed formats (15+ teams). He had incredible strikeout numbers in the minors, 14 K/9 in Double-A and 11 K/9 in Triple-A, but that hasn't translated into strikeouts at the MLB level just yet. Despaigne has six pitches in his repetoire, but scouts have noted that only the sinker and curveball are above-average pitches. As such, opposing hitters make a lot of contact off him, so he relies on his elite ground ball rate, nearly 58% this year and at 53% for his career, to keep a decent chunk of runs off the board.  

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

3 weeks ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues and Stash in NL-only leagues OWNED IN: 21% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: It may be difficult to follow both Major League Baseball and the Korean Baseball Organization at the same time, but if someone found the time to follow the KBO, Jung Ho Kang is already on their radar. In 2014 for the Nexen Heroes, Kang hit .356 with a .739 slugging percentage, 36 doubles, 40 HR, an XBH% of 15.6%, and a 1.198 OPS. The level of competition may be a little different, but the KBO has produced pitchers like Chan Ho Park and Hyun-jin Ryu, so the league isn't lacking in high level talent. Jung Ho Kang currently sits behind Jordy Mercer as the Pirates shortstop. To start this season, Mercer has yet to hit an XBH, and is packing a .493 OPS, and only three RBI, all in 41 AB. Kang already has two 2B and six RBI in just 29 AB. Kang has a decent K% of 20.7% and a less than ideal 11% LD rate with a 3:1 ground out to fly out ratio. Jordy Mercer has yet to even attempt a SB this season while in 2012 Jung Ho Kang had 21 SB on 26 attempts and in 2013 Kang had 15 SB out of 23 attempts. Kang stole his first Major League base Wednesday night as part of a nice 3 for 5 night in the Pirates 8-1 drubbing of the Cubs As an added bonus, Kang won four Gold Gloves while playing in Korea, meaning once he gets into the lineup more regularly, his glove should help keep him there. It is only a matter of time until the Pirates end up starting him somewhere in the infield. When they finally do, be the shrewd manager Manager that takes notice and take advantage of Kang's SS power hitting potential.  

Anthony DeSclafani (SP, CIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: John Paul Nocerino - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues OWNED IN: 44% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: If you need to add a pitcher to your roster, look no further than Reds young stud Anthony DeSclafani. DeSclafani was a highly touted young arm in the Marlins rotation. He was traded to the Reds in the offseason for Matt Latos, a trade that has not worked out so far for The Fish. DeSclafani has always had impressive stuff, as evidenced by his 8.6 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 over 104 IP between Double-A and Triple-A in 2014.  To start the season DeSclafani is 2-1 with a 1.04 ERA, 21 Ks, and 6 BB over 26 IP. If you can project those numbers out for an entire season then DeSclafani will be in the running for rookie of the year. That's a bit of an aggressive projection, but his fantasy value is currently on the rise and he should be picked up before it is too late and everyone finds out about him. Do not miss out on a pitcher who might be this year's Jacob deGrom.

CC Sabathia (SP, NYY) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Brady Grove - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper AL-only Leagues and add as streaming option. OWNED IN: 24% of fleaflicker leagues. ANALYSIS: At first glance, it looks like CC Sabathia is having another disappointing season, but that isn't the full story. Sabathia currently has a 5.96 ERA, a 1.36 WHIP, and a record of 0-4; so why is there reason to be optimistic? Sabathia has a 22:4 K:BB ratio, and is averaging 6.9 IP per start and a 7.7 K/9. Those are really solid numbers that line up with his solid seasons of years past. Sabathia's currently high ERA can be attributed to fielding misfortune and some good old fashioned bad luck. Sabathia currently allows only 0.4 HR/9 and is among league leaders in Fielder Independent Pitching with a 2.32 FIP. His isolated performance has been superlative. The misfortune comes in with his Batting Average on Balls In Play (BABIP) which is at .356 and ridiculously unlucky 559% strand rate. With Sabathia's excellent ground ball rate of 53% and line drive rate of 15.2%, those hits should start turning into outs, and those ER should start turning into scoreless innings. Considering Sabathia's K/9 potential and massive IP totals, he should turn into a valuable streaming option once his BABIP and strand rate inevitably trickle down to more reasonable figures. For fantasy managers, bad luck statistically won't last when it comes to this aging ace.  

Caleb Joseph (C, BAL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Dillon Borgida - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues and all Two Catcher Leagues OWNED IN: 23% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: With former starter Matt Wieters still rehabbing from Tommy John survey, little known Joseph has had a hot start to the 2015 season. As an Orioles fan this has been awesome to see. In 55 plate appearances, Joseph has a great .436 OBP, up from .264 in 2014. He has improved his patience at the plate with a 16.4% walk rate and has decreased his swings at balls outside the strike zone to just 22%, significantly lower than the MLB average of 29%. What scares me with Joseph is that he has never proven to be a great hitter, even in his time throughout the different Minor League levels. That coupled with the fact that Wieters should be returning in the next month or so would put me off from picking him up in 10-12 team leagues. When Wieters comes back, he'll surely be put into the starting lineup, especially if the Orioles want to get him some exposure to try and make a trade. In deeper leagues, hitting catchers are a premium right now so I wouldn't mind picking him up for the time being, just don't rely on him for the entire season.  

Mark Teixeira (1B/DH, NYY) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Greg Rollins - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All leagues OWNED IN: 62% Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Historically, Mark Teixeira starts his seasons terribly until he turns it on and doesn't look back. This season has been different despite a .242 BA. Teixeira, 35, is one off the MLB lead in HR with eight in the young season. He’s also among the leaders in RBI (18), slugging (.608) and BB:K ratio (13:14). Teixeira seems to be healthy and plays half of his games at Yankee Stadium, where there’s a short porch in right field. Whenever the switch-hitter faces a right-hander at home, he is fantasy money. It appears as if Teixeira is as healthy as he’s been in a few years. Last season he played in 128 games, but only 15 in the season prior. He’s on pace to have his best season since 2011 with New York. That means good things for his fantasy owners. If you're holding a cold 1B or have a a player not producing the power you want, Teixeira is a solid temporary replacement. My Projection: 30 HR, 101 RBI, .250 BA  

DJ LeMahieu (2B, COL) - Waiver Wire Analysis

4 weeks ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues / NL-Only leagues OWNED IN: 27% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: DJ LeMahieu has been on a torrid hitting pace this season, leading the National League with a .406 batting average. Pair that scorching average with a home run, 13 runs driven in and a .446 on-base percentage, and you've got yourself quite the roto superstar (thus far) if you've slotted LeMahieu in your lineup. While he's swinging such a hot bat, he's definitely worth an addition to your team if you're in a 12+ team mixed league, an NL-Only league or have a middle infield slot. Is his pace sustainable? One sign - his .450 BABIP - says absolutely not. For his career, LeMahieu is a .337 BABIP guy. There will be regression towards that career number, but the fall may not be of the cliff dive variety as a .337 mark is above average. There is reason to be optimistic about LeMahieu going forward this season, too. While he doesn't have the most favorable position in the order batting in the bottom third, he does have playing half of his games in Coors Field going for him. Though it's a small sample size, he also has cut down on strikeouts considerably this season (11.9% compared to 18% last year) and his isolated power (.129) is well ahead of his career .087 average.

Alex Guerrero (2B/3B/OF, LAD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 weeks ago

Published by: Bill Dubiel - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Mixed and NL-Only Leagues Owned in 14% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: After Sunday’s game, manager Don Mattingly said that Alex Guerrero will see some time in left field, which is not his natural position. It’s the old baseball adage—if you can hit, they’ll find a place in the field for you. Boy, has Guerrero been hitting. In only 22 at-bats, Guerrero has 11 hits (five of which are homers), 13 RBIs and five runs scored. No baseball manager worth his salt will keep a stick that hot on the bench for long, and Mattingly is no fool. Expect to see Guerrero in the Dodgers' lineup more often, and he should be in your fantasy lineup accordingly.

John Axford (RP, COL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 month ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Saves Leagues OWNED IN: 8% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Earlier today, closer Adam Ottavino was placed on the DL with an arm injury. There's no timetable yet on his return, and John Axford will most likely step in as the replacement closer. There's a chance the Rafael Betancourt could be in the mix for saves as well, but Axford got the most recent chance and has better numbers on the year. Axford has plenty of closing experience, and could provide a saves boost for your teams off the waiver wire. If you're looking to add a potential closer, add Axford and see how this situation plays out.

Pedro Strop (RP, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 month ago

Published by: Ryan Nakada - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Holds Leagues or NL-Only Leagues OWNED IN: 7% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Reliever Pedro Strop continues to be a strong constant on an improving Chicago Cubs team. Throwing a heavy two-seam fastball that averages mid 90s, it is clear why Strop generates a ground ball on 64.1% of batted balls. The strong ground ball rate also explains why opponents are hitting .083 against the 30-year-old Strop. He's an elite source of holds and also a solid reliever to own for your ERA and WHIP in very deep or NL-only leagues.

Dale Thayer (RP, SD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 month ago

Published by: Ryan Nakada - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Holds Leagues OWNED IN: 3% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Mustache of the year goes to Thayer. The 34-year-old righty is more than just an impressive fuzzy face. While Thayer does not strike out many, what he does do is get weak contact. For the pitches put in play against Thayer, 17.4% are line drives while 47.8% are ground balls. The low 90s fastball and low 80s slider are keeping Thayer effective for a team expected to contend for the division. His line of three holds, 1.17 ERA, 7.2 innings, 3 strikeouts, and a 0.91 WHIP should continue to sparkle all year.

Jesse Chavez (SP/RP, OAK) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 month ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 8% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: With the recent news that Kendall Graveman has been sent down to the minors, Jesse Chavez will slide into the starting rotation. He pretty much pitched a gem in his first start of the season on Thursday, and has the potential to make an impact off the waiver wire pitching for a good Oakland team and in a great pitcher's park. If you recall, Chavez was a very nice surprise last year when he was in the rotation, putting up solid and consistent numbers for the most part. He ended the year with 136 K in 146 IP, to go along with a 3.45 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. If you're looking for some pitching help, feel free to add Chavez who is scheduled to face the light-hitting Rangers and Twins lineups his next turns out. The upside is there.

Kevin Plawecki (C, NYM) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 month ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / Most Two-Catcher Leagues OWNED IN: 5% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The Mets are the hottest team in baseball currently, having just racked up 11 straight wins and having the league’s best record before losing to the Yankees on Friday  night. They’re doing it on both sides of the field, ranking in the top third of most offensive categories. As well as making some really nice defensive plays, such as Juan Lagares’ amazing catch and Bartolo Colon’s unassisted pickoff. With Travis d’Arnaud sidelined until at least the end of May, Met’s prospect Plawecki brings an interesting mix of power and average to the position. The 35th overall pick in the 2012 draft, Plawecki has some of that prospect luster that fantasy owners love so much. He had two nice seasons across four levels in the minors, and has shown quality plate discipline with his 11% strikeout rate and 8% walk rate in 940 PA. His approach yielded a .307 AVG and .833 OPS with 19 bombs and 144 RBI in those two seasons. He wasted little time showing his skill set at the highest level, going 2-4 with 2 runs in his debut. And following that up with a less impressive 0-3 night that included one walk. I think he could be one of the sneakier pickups for those ailing behind the dish.While he could be a target for owners in deeper leagues or two catcher formats, he probably shouldn’t be on the radar for players in standard formats quite yet.

Caleb Joseph (C, BAL) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 month ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / All Two-Catcher Leagues OWNED IN: 22% of FleaFlicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Matt Wieters’ original timetable suggested that he would be back around May 1st, but the latest reports that have surfaced suggest that may be aggressive. This situation looks like it may wind up with Joseph still getting a good bit of playing time even when Wieters returns, as he just might not be able to catch all the time coming off of Tommy John surgery. All that being said, Joseph is not the solution for fantasy managers for the entire season, but is more than a viable stop-gap solution for those in need at the position. Since early April, Joseph has gotten at least one hit in eight of his last ten games, going 12 for 32. In that span, he’s racked up one double, one triple, one home run, 6 walks, 4 RBI, and 6 runs. That nice little stretch brings his season slash line to .333/.447/.513. The Orioles are in the top third of nearly every offensive category, so the opportunities should continue to roll in for Joseph to keep raking.  

Wilmer Flores (SS/2B, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 month ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 11% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Wilmer Flores was a guy I was touting back when I wrote about three shortstops who should outperform their average draft position, and he’s beginning to make me feel pretty good about including him in that piece. Like Flores, the season is still young and he is sure to have some growing pains. The big framed shortstop is swinging a big stick over the last few days. For the season, he’s hitting a respectable .271 in 48 at-bats. Since April 16th, though, he’s been on a power tear, hitting three home runs and driving in seven runs with at least a hit in each contest. Scouts still have mixed opinions on his overall potential, but I do think 20-25 home runs this season is in reach.  Shortstops are hard to come by, and ones with power (save for Tulo) are nearly extinct. He’s only 11% owned in Fleaflicker leagues, and frankly, I’m shocked more people are jumping on the everyday shortstop with pop. He's definitely worth an add off the waiver wire in deeper leagues, or those with middle infield slots.

Yonder Alonso (1B, SD) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 month ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 15% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: I bet a lot of people would be surprised to find out Yonder Alonso is hitting .379 this season. Commonly occupying the 5th spot in a potent Padres lineup, Alonso could be an cheap source of RBI and batting average production for fantasy owners in deep leagues. He’ll never be a big time source of power or speed, but he does just enough of both to make him valuable while his average stays high. Depending on the format you play in, Alonso’s short-term skillset might be exactly what your team needs.

 

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