Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups List (Updated Daily)

Our running MLB list of 2014 fantasy baseball waiver wire options. RotoBaller's Ultimate Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups List is a daily updated article of hot MLB players to add.

RotoBaller

Back by popular demand in 2014… RotoBaller has brought back for the MLB season our Ultimate 2014 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups List. And for you fantasy football fans, be sure to check out the same 2014 fantasy football waiver wire pickups list as well to dominate your football leagues.

What’s better than snagging that hot player off the waiver wire before your league does? Well, not much really. Our team of MLB enthusiasts and fantasy baseball analysts follow baseball all day, and recommend players for you to consider off the waiver wire – every single day of the fantasy baseball season. Adding the right guys off the waiver wire can be a huge difference maker in fantasy leagues. Last year guys like Jose Fernandez went undrafted in most leagues, so it’s important to stay on top of things.

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!

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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire by MLB Position

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

 

Jake Marisnick (OF, MIA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 months ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: With less than a week left in the regular MLB season and fantasy baseball roto seasons, some of you are looking for all the help you can get even if it comes from the bottom of the barrel.  Jake Marisnick, traded to the Houston Astros at the deadline by the Marlins, is only 12% owned in Yahoo! leagues, but he's playing like a man on fire right now. 12 hits, 5 Runs, 9 RBIs, 2 HR, and 3 SB over his last 9 games.  That is a stat line that anyone can benefit from if you've suffered late season injuries to players like Stanton or Ellsbury. The Astros lineup has been surprisingly productive at different times this season, and Marisnick is most certainly the flavor du jour. Pick him up and ride his hot streak for the last week of the year.

Mark Trumbo (OF, ARI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 months ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Trumbo has been healthy for a while now but has only recently found the groove he was in at the beginning of the season when he was belting HRs left and right.  He has 3 HR and 13 RBIs over his last 8 games.  The BA is not a bright spot, and the D'Backs lineup is fairly terrible so Trumbo won't get many runs the rest of the season, but if you need some power over the last few days of the season, he's as good a bet as any to jack 4 HRs to end the year and finish off just how he started.

Steve Pearce (1B/OF, BAL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: This should be a fairly obvious pickup, but somehow Steve Pearce is only owned in 48% of Yahoo leagues. If you're still contending, or are in a playoff battle, and Pearce is available go grab him now off the waiver wire and put this post-hype sleeper into your lineup. He's been absolutely sizzling recently batting .385 with 4 HR, 6 Runs and 9 RBI over the past seven days. He's been a true breakout this year for fantasy baseball owners, after being a highly touted prospect and disappointing for several years. With some regular starters around the league getting days off over the next few days, his multi-position eligibility at first base and outfield make him a perfect candidate for any team.

Wilmer Flores (2B/3B/SS, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / Stream in H2H Matchups ANALYSIS: New York Mets rookie Wilmer Flores has always been a touted prospect for his bat, and less for his defense. Good thing that's all we care about as fantasy owners. He has been raking over the last 7 days with a .409 AVG to go along with 3 HR, 4 Runs and 10 RBI. His shortstop and second base eligibility makes him an easy add in deeper leagues, especially those with middle infield spots, if you're not happy with your current production. If you're in a head-to-head matchup, and are looking for a boost, I'd ride the hot hand and plug Flores into your lineup off the waiver wire. This sleeper can give you a boost down the stretch, and will be someone to keep an eye on heading into next season.

Edward Mujica (RP, BOS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues (if you need saves) ANALYSIS: With the Red Sox out of contention, Koji Uehara was shut down for the remainder of the season. Edward Mujica has stepped into the closer's role, making him the latest edition to our waiver wire sleepers list for saves. Tonight he nailed down his 4th save since taking over for Uehara, and he has pitched pretty well racking up a 3.18 ERA in the last 14 days along the way. If you need saves for the home stretch, Mujica is still only owned in 28% of Yahoo leagues and can give your team a boost.

Wade Davis (RP, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues for ERA, WHIP Help ANALYSIS: Wade Davis has a 0.69 ERA. Through 65.1 innings pitched. That is five earned runs, over the course of almost an entire year. His 0.81 WHIP, 13.22 K/9 ratio and 4.57 K/BB ratio are all significantly above-average, as well. In short, Davis is having a historically dominant season for a relief pitcher. A former starter, Davis' two best years, 2012 and 2014, have come with him pitching out of the bullpen. The 29-year-old may not be an exciting fantasy option, but for an owner in a deep league looking for help in the fantasy playoffs in the last couple weeks, Davis is a sure bet to improve your ERA and WHIP, and is especially valuable in a head-to-head categories league. Owners in the 54% of Yahoo! leagues where Davis is still unowned may want to look towards the Royals' setup man for some extra help as they try to win their league's playoffs.

Drew Hutchison (SP, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Mixed Leagues ANALYSIS: Hutchison has had an up-and-down year, but has really turned it on as of late with the exception of his most recent start  (@BAL, giving up 6 ER but K'ing 11). The 24-year-old lefty had tossed four straight quality starts prior to that, and has struck out 43 batters in 31.2 frames over his last 5 starts. He even spun a seven-inning, one-hit shutout against a Yankees team with which Hutchison's Blue Jays are competing over a playoff spot. He has been pitching much better than his 4.36 ERA and 1.25 WHIP indicate, as his FIP and SIERA are both above-average. He is still only owned in 19% of Yahoo! leagues, but owners in mixed leagues looking for an injury replacement for a Michael Wacha or Mat Latos could definitely turn to Hutchison for the fantasy playoffs. Beyond that, he should absolutely be owned in all AL-Only leagues and deep mixed leagues where you need strikeout help.

Rusney Castillo (OF, BOS) - Waiver Wire Analysis

3 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only Leagues / Keeper & Dynasty Leagues / Continue Scouting in Standard Leagues ANALYSIS: With the recent news that the Red Sox are expected to call up international super-prospect Rusney Castillo for Tuesday's game, he becomes the most recent addition to our waiver wire sleepers list. It's still not really known how much regular playing time he will be receiving on the MLB level, which is why I'm not recommending adding him across the board in all leagues. It's possible he will start down the stretch, in which case he should be added in most formats just for his upside alone. But for now, the super talented outfielder should be stashed away in AL-Only leagues, or much deeper leagues, until we see how this plays out. And he should definitely be added in any sort of keeper or dynasty league, assuming he isn't already owned in those formats, as he has huge upside for the 2015 fantasy baseball season.

Carl Crawford (OF, LAD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Carl Crawford is not the player he once was in Tampa. While he hasn't completely lost his abilities to hit and run, he doesn't have quite enough left to earn everyday at-bats in a crowded, talented Los Angeles outfield. He's managed just a .289/.326/.410 triple slash line, and has now hit below .300 for four straight seasons.  That said, the four-time all-star has been scorching recently, going 12-for-his-last-20, with 8 RBI, 4 Runs, and a HR over his last 5 games, and his 22 stolen bases actually puts him on pace for his highest total since 2010, so he does have some appeal. He plays most days, but cannot be relied on as a starting outfielder in a mixed league. At this point in his career, the 33-year-old Crawford should be left alone in all but deep leagues with deep benches for the fantasy playoffs.

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

3 months ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues ANALYSIS: If you've owned Wei-Yin Chen most of the year (and he's certainly been consistent enough to justify that in deep leagues), then you already know how solid he's been.  For those of you not acquainted with Mr. Chen, allow me to introduce you to his stat line: 15-4 record, with a 3.59 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and a sparkling 123:31 K:BB ratio over 168 IP. He is by no means a dominant high K-rate pitcher, but he gets the job done for the AL East leading (and playoff bound) Orioles on a consistent basis.  In his last three starts on the year, he gets to face a Blue Jays lineup that is fairly inept vs. LHP (Monday 9/15), a pitiful Red Sox lineup, and the Blue Jays again. If your fantasy playoffs extend all the way to the end of the year and you need a solid depth starter, Chen is a great starting pitcher streamer to consider for each of those matchups.

Joe Panik (2B / SS, SF) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues Owned in 6% of Fleaflicker, 20% of Yahoo Leagues ANALYSIS: Joe Panik is not a guy that is going to hit you a ton of home runs or get you many steals, but he is a solid fantasy baseball player at a thin position. Since he is a good contact hitter and hits for average, he will have opportunities to score runs and drive some runs in as well. Panik is shortstop and second base eligible in most formats, and over the past 14 days is hitting a sizzling .370 with 10 Runs and 3 RBI. Not too shabby. Over the last 30 days, more of the same -- a robust .370 batting average, with 16 Runs and 10 RBI. If you are looking for a middle infield upgrade, are hurting in the batting average department, or are just not getting enough production out of your 2B/SS slots, grab Panik off the waiver wire as he's on our list of sleepers who can help your fantasy baseball teams down the stretch.

Mookie Betts (OF / 2B / SS, BOS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues Owned in 14% of Fleaflicker, 48% of Yahoo Leagues ANALYSIS: Mookie Betts is playing every day for the Red Sox, has been hitting very well since being recalled from the minors, and is eligible at the thin shortstop and second base positions in many fantasy baseball formats. All of these factors add him to our list of waiver wire sleepers for fantasy baseball, as we head down the home stretch towards that championship run. Betts has been hitting for average, and has speed, which will yield runs for fantasy owners. Let's take a closer look. Over the last 7 days he's batting .333 with 6 runs and 1 SB. Over the last 14 days he's batting .339 with 12 Runs, 2 HR, 8 RBI and 1 SB -- which is equivalent to the 26th best player in Yahoo over that time. Over the last 30, he's racked up 16 runs, 3 HR, 9 RBI and 4 SB. This time of year is fun, since we get to cut bait on dead weight on our rosters, and pickup hot hitters instead. Betts is one of those hitters, so if he's still available in your fantasy baseball leagues go grab him now off the waiver wire.  

Drew Storen (RP, WAS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues Owned in 6% of Fleaflicker, 38% of Yahoo Leagues ANALYSIS: Rafael Soriano has been yanked from the closer's role in Washington, and Drew Storen has been pitching admirably as his replacement. Racking up three saves over the last 7 days, Storen is now making his way onto our waiver wire sleepers list for closers. He's been pitching extremely well all season long, posting a stat line of 1.29 ERA, 0.96 WHIP with 42 K over 49 IP. Storen hasn't allowed a run since August 5th, which is the equivalent of his last 15 appearances, and has been utterly dominant over the timeframe. It looks like he should hang onto the closer role for the rest of the MLB season, and his ownership numbers are just way too low right now. If you need saves down the home stretch, go grab Storen immediately.

Tyler Flowers (C, CHW) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues (12+ Teams) / All 2-Catcher Leagues ANALYSIS: If you are still scrapping around for a first place finish in any leagues (like I am luckily in one lonely money league), then pay close attention because you may need that little extra production out of the catching slot, and we have your best shot at some fluke bombs down the stretch. Tyler Flowers hasn't surprised the White Sox or fantasy insiders with his per-at-bat production because he's always possessed the pop (as evidenced by his minor league track record and the HR/PA ratio he's shown previously in the majors), but never had the clear path to playing time. But he's been mashing recently, and now makes his appearance on our waiver wire sleepers list. Everything seems to have come together for the 28 year old in 2014. In 418 plate appearances, he's hit a healthy 14 bombs and driven in 47 of his teammates. Looking like he wants to finish off this breakout campaign with a statement, the White Sox catcher is batting .389 with 4 of those homers and 6 RBI coming in the month of September. We say snag him off the waiver wire while he's hot, and see if you can catch lightning in a bottle, especially if you're struggling with a Yadier Molina or a Wilin Rosario type.

Jarred Cosart (SP, MIA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / All NL-Only Leagues Owned in 25% of Yahoo, 13% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: In his first full season in 2014, Jarred Cosart struggled a bit in 20 starts with the Astros before being moved to the Marlins before the July 31 trade deadline. Since the deal, the 24-year-old righty has been dominant in five of his six starts, his only poor performance coming in his first start with Miami against the Reds in which he gave up four earned runs in 5.1 innings. His most recent five outings have seen just five runners cross home plate, striking out 20 batters and walking just six over 35.1 innings pitched. The Marlins have won all five of those starts, and Cosart's 1.27 ERA over the past 30 days is the fifth best in all of baseball, even better than those of Clayton Kershaw and Chris Sale. Cosart is a prototypical ground ball pitcher (2.01 GB/FB ratio), and his improved command helps him keep his team in games. He basically just throws a mid-90s fastball and a looping curveball, but it works for him. Like Fiers, Cosart doesn't have the most incredible stuff in the league, but he works with what he has, and has found success with it. Over the last week or two of the season and the playoffs, consider Cosart a solid option in NL-Only leagues and deep mixed leagues, assuming he continues to pitch this well.

Mike Fiers (SP / RP, MIL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues Owned in 71% of Yahoo, 29% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Not to say that Mike Fiers is really a sleeper anymore, seeing as he is owned in almost three out of every four leagues, but he is still under owned, given how he has pitched since returning to Milwaukee's rotation in early August. Six quality starts in six trips to the mound speak for themselves, which is why he is appearing on our waiver wire sleepers list. With only one full year under his belt (2012), the 27-year-old's success has been incredibly unexpected. He mixes up five different pitches pretty well, but he doesn't have anything more than average stuff, as a whole. Fiers has a 9.43 K/9 ratio, a 2.15 BB/9 ratio, a 0.74 HR/9 ratio, a .222 BABIP and a 2.71 FIP, all of which are well about average. Basically, his command has improved, he is hitting spots that opposing batters aren't able to touch, and when the ball is put in play, it is not hit all that well. He has struck out as many as 14 batters in a game, and has yet to walk more than two. Like Carrasco, it is perplexing that Fiers is not owned in almost all fantasy leagues. If you are an owner in one of the leagues where Fiers is unowned, grab him now. Chances are he is pitching better than at least one or two of the guys currently on your roster, and he is sure to help you make that last minute playoff push.

Carlos Carrasco (SP, CLE) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues Owned in 50% of Yahoo, 16% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Since making the jump to Cleveland's starting rotation, Carlos Carrasco has been virtually untouchable. In six starts, he has posted four quality outings, with just four earned runs allowed in 38.2 frames tossed, lowering his ERA from 3.88 to 2.69 over that span. Over the last 30 days, his 0.70 ERA is the best in baseball, and he now makes his long awaited debut on our waiver wire sleepers list. Now a 27-year-old, Carrasco has mustered just a 5.55 ERA over parts of four years in the majors prior to 2014, but his 2.69 ERA so far this year is no fluke. He has greatly increased the use of his slider and relied less on his change-up. As a result, he has an above-average 17% line drive percentage, and just 7.4% of the fly balls he has allowed have cleared the fence. His 2.59 FIP puts him fifth among all pitchers with at least ten games started. With an awe-inspiring performance at home against the Sox on Sunday in which he allowed no runs on four hits over 8.2 innings, Carrasco has cemented himself as a legitimate fantasy option. Still, he is owned in only half of Yahoo! leagues. As long as he continues to pitch at this level, there is no reason he should not be owned, except for possibly in the shallowest of mixed leagues.

Joc Pederson (OF, LAD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep NL-Only Leagues / Keeper and Dynasty Leagues ANALYSIS: Joc Pederson is not in a great spot right now, given the depth of the Dodgers' outfield, but his talent combined with the struggles of some of the outfielders on the Dodgers could lead to Pederson grabbing some at-bats down the stretch. A five-tool player, Pederson doesn't excel in any one particular category, but he can do anything that is needed of him and is the most recent addition to our waiver wire sleepers list. He has improved his power, smacking 33 longballs in 445 at-bats this year in the minors, and stole 30 bases to go along with it. His .435 OBP is also the highest of his five-year minor league career. For the last couple of weeks of the fantasy season, Pederson is a deep NL-Only option for owners looking for a potential spark. Owners in all keeper and dynasty leagues should jump on the chance to snag the young lefty if he is still available.

Jake Peavy (SP, SF) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues ANALYSIS: Jake Peavy has been lights out recently. Including last night's high quality  vs. the Tigers (6 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 3K), Peavy has allowed just 4 ER in his last 5 starts, totaling 34.2 IP, with a shiny 27:7 K:BB ratio. Peavy has completely turned his season around with the Giants, and he has the benefit of pitching in a division with a bunch of great pitchers parks and poor lineups, which can erase his mistakes much  more easily than the bandboxes of the AL East and the potent lineups of the O's and Jays (well, at least they used to be potent). Bottom line, Peavy is rosterable in almost almost all leagues at this point, especially for his next start vs. the D'Backs.

Chris Tillman (SP, BAL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately in All Leagues ANALYSIS: What are you doing not owning Chris Tilllman? The man has been a force of destruction in his last 10 starts. Over that span he's allowed 3 ER just twice, and less than 3 ER 8 times. He's racked up a 54:13 K:BB ratio in 68.1 IP. He's 4-0 during that stretch. He gets the Red Sox next who are putrid offensively. After that? The Yanks at home, followed by the Red Sox at home again. Once upon a time that schedule looked like murderers row, but times have changed, and Chris Tillman has changed since the first half of the season.  He's pitching great right now, and he should be in your lineups for the rest of the season.

Kevin Quackenbush (RP, SD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues (that count saves) ANALYSIS: With the recent news that Joaquin Benoit is dealing with an injury, Kevin Quackenbush will be filling in as the closer for the Padres and becomes the latest addition to our waiver wire sleepers list for saves. Quackenbush is currently only owned in 11% of Yahoo leagues and 1% of Fleaflicker leagues, so he's widely available for anyone who's looking to boost their saves total down the fantasy baseball home stretch. On the year, Quackenbush has been phenomenal stat line racking up a 2.58 ERA, 1.04 WHIP with 47 Ks in 45 1/3 IP. If he can pile up a few more saves to along with these types of ratios, he has the ability to be a borderline elite closer for your team.

Adam Dunn (1B / OF / DH, OAK) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only Leagues / Deep Mixed Leagues for Power Boost ANALYSIS: Adam Dunn may be sacrificing the Hall of Fame by retiring at season's end, less than 40 home runs shy of 500, but is being given a chance to make the playoffs for the first time in his 14-year career. Even though his batting average hasn't cleared .220 since 2010, he can still hit homers, and moving to the Oakland Athletics has given him enough of a boost to make an appearance on our waiver wire sleepers list. In 363 at-bats to date in 2014, Dunn has hit 20 long balls. He still hits fly balls 42.6% of the time, 20% of which have cleared the fence. I'm assuming the A's didn't trade for the 34-year-old slugger for him to just sit on the bench, so he should be getting close to everyday at-bats at DH in Oakland. Owners in AL-Only leagues and deep mixed leagues where you can fit him at a DH/Utility slot can rely on Dunn to knock a few more balls out of the park over the final month of the season. Grab him if you need a power boost, and he is sitting on your waiver wire.

Lance Lynn (SP, STL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add In All Mixed Leagues ANALYSIS: Is there a more undervalued starting pitcher in fantasy baseball year after year? All Lance Lynn does is strikeout a guaranteed 200 batters a year, and pile up a bundle of wins. Now in the past, he has been a tad of an ERA and WHIP liability, but not in 2014. This young man has quietly put up ace-like numbers, posting a 2.70 ERA and 1.28 WHIP (ok, maybe still a touch higher than we like to see), to go along with 14 wins and 147 strikeouts in 160.2 IP; those are not waiver wire fodder numbers folks. And one other important point about Lovely Lance, he stays healthy and makes all of his starts on a very reliable schedule. That counts for a truckload these days in an MLB environment where guys blow out their elbows, and get pulled out of the rotation, more often than I complete the "Three S's" (#%&!, Shower and Shave). Net, net, bottom line: If for some crazy reason you play in a league so shallow that this dude is available for the plucking, we suggest you take a good hard look at who you can dispose of on your roster to make this add/drop immediately if not sooner. Get him in your lineup for his start vs. PIT today.  

Tsuyoshi Wada (SP, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues / NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: With the Cubs clearly in rebuilding mode, they have been trotting out many of their minor leaguers that need to get a cup of coffee in The Big Show, and Tsuyoshi Wada has been one of the beneficiaries of that. Not really doing anything to stay toiling in the minors (with his second MLB team), Wada had struck out more than a batter per inning during his 2014 minor league campaign, surely earning him a much deserved promotion. Wada has been pretty successful thus far since being called up, posting 4 wins, a 2.56 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, all the while holding opponents to a .220 batting average, and his made his way onto our waiver wire sleepers list. But realistically, you cannot expect this kind of production to continue forever in the hitter friendly confines of Wrigley Field. Also keep in mind that Wada is no spring chicken, so at the ripe old age of 33, you are pretty much seeing his talent ceiling being maxed out. With that being said, he is a steady arm who can provide a boost as an injury stop gap or just a streamer in a good matchup, so add him for the home stretch if you are in any need of starting pitching help - you may be pleasantly surprised at how he performs.  

Mookie Betts (OF/2B/SS, BOS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / All AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Since being recalled from the minors in mid-August, Mookie Betts has been playing much better and has made his way onto our waiver wire sleepers list for fantasy baseball. One thing I like a lot about Mookie, aside from his name, is that he's SS or 2B eligible in some formats. Oh, and also his speed. Both components give him sneaky value in fantasy leagues down the home stretch. Betts has been getting regular playing time of late, and over the last 7 days has racked up 3 SB and 1 HR to go along with 3 Runs. Not too shabby, especially from your shortstop, second base or middle infield position. Will Betts win you a league? Most likely not. But in deeper formats, such as those with middle infield slots, or AL-Only leagues, Betts should be grabbed off the waiver wire as a nice upside flier. If he can unleash some of that pedigree and upside going forward, he can be a solid fantasy contributor for your teams down the home stretch. Betts is currently only owned in 9% of Yahoo leagues, and 3% of Fleaflicker leagues, so he's still widely available. Update 8/29 (late evening): The above was written earlier today, and Mookie Betts went 2-for-4 tonight with a grand slam. He continues to hit well and play every day for the Red Sox. He now has 3 SB, 2 HR, 5 RBI and 4 Runs over the past 7 days including tonight's game.

Dexter Fowler (OF, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Nathan Calderon - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Dexter Fowler has had a wishy-washy season, to say the least. He has dealt with injury, and he has been a part of a somewhat anemic offense. That being said, over the last month Fowler is batting .291 which has hiked his season average up to .274. He has hit safely in ten of his last twelve games dating back to August 17th, creating a very consistent streak that has put him into fantasy consideration, and has added him back to our waiver wire sleepers list. Fowler is no home run machine, nor is he a real big run scorer. He also has some strikeout issues, as he has struck out at least once eleven of his last twelve games. His consistency has to lead somewhere though, and that could mean some runs produced in the coming weeks headed into the fantasy baseball playoffs. According to ESPN, he is only owned in approximately 20% of leagues. If you're looking to add an OF this late in the season, the upside with Fowler is there. One can only hope that he and the Astros can capitalize on it.

Drew Smyly (SP, TAM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add In All Mixed Leagues & AL-Only Leagues Immediately ANALYSIS: Mazel Tov Tampa, you have managed to get pretty decent return for one of the top established aces in the league, David Price. The best part is that they traded a lefty for a lefty, so in theory, their rotation only loses potential skill, but not value. While Drew Smyly may not have been a #1 overall pick, he has been a sabermetric darling for the better part of the the last full season. At the point of this trade, he was not fully delivering on the hype quite yet. But since then, it seems like something has truly clicked for the former 2nd rounder as he's posted a stunning 1.50 ERA and 29/7 K/BB ratio, making him the most recent addition to our waiver wire sleepers list for starting pitchers. Now without checking, we are pretty sure that is quite a bit better than the veteran stud he traded places with. That being said this is a very small sample size for the youngster, so some regression may be on the horizon, but this is surely a sign of a very bright future for Smyly in the AL East. Pick up this sizzling stud immediately for the home stretch run if he is not owned in your league for some preposterous reason. He is still only owned in 44% of Yahoo leagues, and 29% of Fleaflicker leagues. Those numbers are just way too low.  

Eric O'Flaherty (RP, OAK) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: With the recent news that stud closer Sean Doolittle hit the DL, Eric O'Flaherty has stepped in as the Oakland closer and has made his way onto our waiver wire sleepers list for saves. Let's be honest here - there is no replacing Doolittle. He has been absolutely filthy this year. But anyone closing for one of the best teams in baseball (if not the best) is an immediate waiver wire pickup. Given his extremely low 27% ownership rate in Yahoo leagues, O'Flaherty should still be widely available on waiver wires. He notched his first save last night, and is rocking a very solid 12:4 K:BB ratio over 15 2/3 IP, to go along with a 1.76 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. If you need saves, go grab him now if he's still available and get him active. It's still unclear how long Doolittle will be sidelined, and O'Flaherty can help your fantasy baseball teams down the stretch.

Jorge Soler (OF, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues, Keeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Between the stack of other young Cubs to get the call lately and the wave of emerging Cuban-born stars in Major League Baseball, Jorge Soler has a lot to live up to. Perhaps we shouldn't make a big deal about yet another highly-touted young prospect to come up and play ball on the north side of Chicago, but where is the fun in that? The fact is that it is exciting to watch these kids all make their debuts as the Lovable Losers attempt to break back into the realm of relevance. Though not as highly ranked as some of the other Cubs' prospects (51st according to MLB.com), Soler's abilities should not be in question. He is a toolsy 22-year-old righty with real potential, raw power being his greatest weapon. He seems to finally be healthy, and we could see him tap into that potential sooner rather than later. In 200 at-bats while playing at three different levels in 2014, Soler has knocked 15 balls out of the park while driving in 57 runs and maintaining a .340 batting average. He got the call on Wednesday and did not disappoint, crushing a 2-1 pitch over the wall in left-center field in his first career plate appearance. If Wednesday night is any indication, Soler could be yet another integral part of Chicago's future, and fantasy owners should take note. He is worthy of an add in all but the shallowest of mixed leagues, and is especially valuable in keeper and dynasty leagues.

Kyle Hendricks (SP, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Just in case you hadn't noticed, Kyle Hendricks has been pitching extremely well for the Cubs - essentially since being called up to the majors - and is now making an appearance on our waiver wire pickups and sleepers list. Given that he's still only 43% owned in Yahoo leagues, it is certainly warranted. Since giving up four earned runs in his major league debut on 7/10, Hendricks has given up two earned runs only once. More specifically, he has give up either zero or one earned run over the next seven starts. And then gave up two earned runs in his last rain-shortened start. To summarize, he hasn't given up more than two earned runs for eight consecutive starts. Wow. His Ks aren't overwhelming, racking up 31 K vs. 11 BB over 50 2/3 IP - but he's also rocking a pristine 1.77 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. There may be some bumps along the way, as most MLB pitchers and rookies will experience from time to time, but if you're looking to boost your pitching rotation down the stretch, or are in a keeper league, make sure Hendricks is on your roster and grab him off the waiver wire if he's still available. He looks to be the real deal, and should be a solid contributor down the fantasy baseball home stretch and in future years as well.  

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

3 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Mixed Leagues ANALYSIS: Despite his impressive play through 94 games, the Red Sox have struggled to find Holt a steady position. He has played all over the outfield, as well as both spots on the left side of the infield, filling in for injuries and basic days off. In 395 at-bats to date in his true rookie season, Holt has posted a .290 batting average with three home runs and seven stolen bases. Boston's utility man doesn't do anything particularly great, but he does everything pretty well. He won't add much in the power or speed categories, but if you are looking for at-bats in a deep mixed league, Holt might be your guy. At the very least, he gets on base enough not to hurt you.

Avisail Garcia (OF, CHW) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Mixed Leagues ANALYSIS: Garcia's return this year came as a bit of a surprise, just five months after tearing the labrum in his left shoulder diving for a ball in the outfield. The White Sox may be a longshot for the postseason, but that doesn't take anything away from their excitement to have one of their future core pieces back in the lineup. The toolsy Garcia has posted a solid .288/.323/.522 triple slash line over parts of the past three seasons in the majors. He hasn't quite shown hit power or speed potential, but he is only 23, and that will come with consistent at-bats. The White Sox love his aggressiveness, both at the plate and on the basepaths, and he will be playing every day down the stretch. Given that information, consider Garcia a viable fantasy option in all AL-Only leagues and very deep mixed leagues with five outfield slots.

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

3 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only Leagues / Deeper Leagues (14+ Teams) ANALYSIS: At this point in the season, if you are in a mixed league and looking to turn to Jonathan Schoop as the savior of your MI slot (or even worse, 2B slot), then you are probably the captain of a sinking ship, or just fighting it out until the very end to maintain your self respect. On the other hand, if you are in an AL-Only league, or a much deeper league, then Jonathan Rufino Jezus Schoop is a borderline undroppable commodity. In his first full season in the big leagues, the young man has shown flashes of power, as evidenced by his 12 bombs in his 353 at bats. Unfortunately, his free swinging ways have yielded a putrid .218 batting average and anemic .254 OBP. He has also managed to strike out 89 times and only walk ten times, so the long term potential for his playing time may be in jeopardy if he doesn't show some plate discipline heading into the last month of the season while the Orioles battle to win the AL East. If you need a deep flier or injury stop gap, this young man can be a short term solution in the right situation; just don't expect any Robinson Cano numbers in the near future. He will hit for power in bunches, but probably won't be a consistent producer down the stretch.

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

3 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in NL-Only Leagues / Deeper Leagues / Two-Catcher Leagues ANALYSIS: When the Mets traded reigning Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey before the 2013 season, they expected a little more from top propsect Travis d'Arnaud than they have gotten thus far. In 385 at-bats over the past two seasons, d'Arnaud owns just a .221/.291/.361 triple slash line, not quite equaling his .290/.350/.488 line over parts of eight years in the minors. He also has just 12 home runs, 11 of which have come this year. The 25-year-old catcher has dealt with injuries and has struggled at the plate, finding himself bouncing back and forth between Triple-A and the majors. He has absolutely dominated throughout his stays in Triple-A, and the fact that their stadium in Las Vegas is historically hitter-friendly doesn't take away from his remarkable line of .436/.475/.909 in 55 at-bats there this year. While he hasn't quite lived up to the potential just yet, he has shown signs of improvement as of late, batting .266 since returning to the majors in late June, after hitting just .180 before being sent down. As he continues to become more comfortable facing major league pitching, d'Arnaud's value in both fantasy and real baseball will dramatically increase. He has above average power for a catcher, and should begin to further tap into his overall potential. As for now, though, consider him a viable fantasy option in just NL-Only leagues and two-catcher leagues, and perhaps in deep mixed leagues as an injury replacement.

Alex Avila (C, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only Leagues, Mixed Leagues With Two Catcher Slots ANALYSIS: Perhaps Alex Avila has been overlooked as a result of the strength of the team around him, but he has been a consistently solid contributor for the Tigers over the past five years. When healthy, he has good power for a catcher, having hit 19 homers in 464 at-bats in 2011. While he is just a career .259 hitter, he has a tendency to draw a ton of walks, so he gets on base a lot, and with the offense that surrounds him, he scores a lot a runs. In 2014, Avila has crushed 10 long-balls in 307 at-bats while maintaining a .329 OBP. The 27-year-old currently owns a .283/.365/.384 triple slash line for the month of August, including six hits and four walks in his last 30 plate appearances. In reality, Avila should be owned in a lot more than 4% of Yahoo! Leagues. His power coupled with the lack of depth at the catcher position makes him a very intriguing fantasy option in AL-Only leagues and mixed leagues with two roster spots reserved for a catcher.

Dayan Viciedo (OF, CHW) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Jeffrey Klein - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Daily Lineups Leagues (12+ Teams) ANALYSIS:  Viciedo has flashed some very solid power for stretches so far during the 2014 season, delivering on the promise showed by his six opposite-field homers in 2013.  At just 25 years old, Viciedo's power continues to grow, and he is on pace to hit 20 bombs this season.  That said, the .235 BA could be an issue for teams in the fantasy playoffs.  It's worth noting that Viciedo has been victimized by a slightly depressed .270 BABIP, so there could be some BA growth in his future, except that with the return of Avisail Garcia, Viciedo has been riding the pine too much for comfort over the past week.  Playing his home games in a park that increases right-handed home runs by over 30% mitigates against that some, but if the status quo continues with regard to his playing time, Viciedo is only a legitimate option for an owner who can set his or her lineups daily. In a deep daily format, though, Viciedo is a fairly solid fifth or sixth outfielder from whom you can expect a handful of home runs the rest of the way.

Michael Morse (1B / OF, SF) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Displaced Tigers Fan

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Michael Morse is having a solid year at the dish, and his power numbers should be enticing for fantasy owners in deeper leagues, especially given the flexibility offered by Morse's multi-position eligibility. Playing 1B and OF for the Giants this year, Morse is slashing .286/.341/.487 with 16 HR and 56 RBI on the year. But to go along with that solid line, Morse has been hot at the plate recently. In his last ten games, Morse has been on base 17 times and now has two consecutive 3-hit games. He also has 9 RBIs in that same time-frame. The Giants are in the midst of a series against the Cubs, and Morse has performed particularly well on the road, collecting 10 of his 16 dingers away from San Francisco. Morse is definitely worth a pickup in leagues of more than ten teams.

Jarrod Dyson (OF, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues (14+ Teams) ANALYSIS: The Kansas City Royals have been holding on tight to their 50th round investment in the 2006 draft, but was it all worth it in hindsight? After all these years, Jarrod Dyson, the Royals' veteran 4th outfielder is finally getting enough MLB at bats to have a fantasy impact, albeit mostly with his legs. He is just about to reach the 30 steals mark for the third straight reason and it's not hard to see why the Royals management loves him. For fantasy purposes, he is best used as "waiver wire rabbit", which in english means he should only be relied upon for his speed. Since steals only help out in 1 out of 5 offensive categories (for most roto leagues), and his non-guaranteed full time at bats don't help his case, we only strongly recommend him in extremely deep mixed leagues (14 teams or more), deep mixed leagues with 5 OF, or  AL Only leagues. That being said, if you are desperate to make up some ground in the steals category, and you play in a daily mixed league with bench spots, he may be a good option to stream on days he is actually in. Just be careful managing your lineup, you don't want him to be the cause of you losing any precious at bats this late in the season.

Oswaldo Arcia (OF, MIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: You were almost ready to give up on your fantasy baseball team, but wait, there are still studs like Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia available for the plucking in plenty of leagues. This is were we tell you the fun stuff; take for example that your boy Young Oswaldo was a very highly touted prospect, who raked with power at every stage of his minor league career. He is most likely overlooked due to the fact that he plays for the inept Twins offense, but also because he missed some time at the beginning of this season with a wrist injury. Even with his low batting average (.225 or so), this future stud is still hitting bombs at a very healthy rate of once per 22 at bats (not appearances). That rate is slightly better than the one round-tripper per 25 at bat average he posted last season in 341 at bats. Net, net, bottom line: If you play in a 12 team league or larger, you should consider adding this streaky hitter as your 5th outfielder or utility bat. After all, you don't want to be watching on the sidelines as he finishes off 2014 strong for someone you are trying to beat for bragging rights or a few shekels.

Jordan Schafer (OF, MIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: NBA_NateMiller - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only Leagues and Very Deep Mixed Leagues ANALYSIS: Jordan Schafer has been off to the races since debuting in Minnesota back on Aug. 5th. The Twins claimed the fleet-footed outfielder after he was placed on waivers by the Braves, which has led to him becoming the strong side of a center field platoon over the past couple of weeks. As evidenced by a career .615 OPS, Schafer is not a huge threat with a bat in his hands. However, when he takes to the basepaths, the story changes. Over 11 games with the Twins so far, the fifth-year big leaguer is batting .281 (9-for-32) to go along with a .343 OBP and six stolen bases. For those in AL-Only or deep mixed format that are desperately searching for speed, Schafer is certainly worth a look as he is owned in just one percent of Yahoo! Leagues and three percent of ESPN Leagues.

Matt Shoemaker (SP, LAA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues ANALYSIS: Matt Shoemaker has been far too good for far too long to only be owned in 26% of leagues. At this time of year, when a lot of managers in roto leagues have stopped paying attention, you have a lot of opportunities to be a rotoBaller and stream high quality starters, starters that would never be this available on the waiver wire in April / May.  But Shoemaker is more than a stream - he's a guy you can and should own in any deep leagues and many shallow leagues too.  He plays for one of the highest scoring clubs in the league in the Angels which has helped him rack up 11 W, and he has a 93:18 K:BB ratio over 96 IP.  His 3.84 ERA is a tad high, but he's been a tad unlucky at times too.  In his last seven starts Shoemaker has allowed more than 2 ER just once, with a 40:6 K:BB ratio and 6 W. That's a filthy fantasy line. Pick him up now if you need any Ks, Ws, or WHIP.

Hector Rondon (RP, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Mixed Leagues ANALYSIS: With 16 saves in 20 opportunities, Hector Rondon has emerged as a legitimate major league closer. The 26-year-old righty has  a 3.30 ERA over 46.1 innings pitched, striking out 49 in the process. He draws a remarkable 49.6% ground ball percentage and as a result, has only given up one home run all year. Rondon has dominated right-handed hitters, allowing just a .204 batting average against such hitters, but has yielded a .308 batting average against lefties. He may not be the most reliable pitcher in the game, but steady closers are hard to come by, and anyone who picks up saves on a regular basis has fantasy value. As long as he maintains his role as the Cubs' closer, which there is nothing pointing to otherwise, Rondon is worth an add in all leagues that count saves and use two or more relief pitchers.

Dustin Ackley (2B / OF, SEA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add In Very Deep Mixed and AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Since his rookie season in 2011, Dustin Ackley has done nothing but disappoint Mariners fans and fantasy owners. In 2012, he had still-standing career-highs in home runs, stolen bases and runs, but only managed a .294 OBP. For a guy with a .397 OBP over three years in the minors, he has simply not been able to hit consistently in the majors. This year, despite his OBP sitting at just .298, that number is .324 since the All-Star break, a huge increase from the putrid .225 OBP he posted before the break. According to manager Lloyd McClendon, Ackley's recent surge is a direct result of a confidence boost, and nothing else. The 26-year-old utility man may finally be on his way to reaching the potential that scouts saw in him back at the University of North Carolina. He very well might reach that ceiling, and soon, but as of now he has just not been able to put it all together. Until that happens, feel free to leave the former second overall pick alone in all but the deepest mixed leagues and AL-Only leagues.

Francisco Liriano (SP, PIT) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Since returning from injury on July 13th, Francisco Liriano has been very steady, and worthy of owning in all leagues.  He hasn't allowed more than 2 ER in the 6 starts after his July 13th return (in which he allowed a whopping 3), and after a 6 BB hiccup in that same July 13th start, he's managed to rack up a very nice 42:12 K:BB ratio in just 38 IP.  He sprinkled in starts with 11, 9 and 8 punchouts during that stretch, and he's limiting the home runs and inducing groundballs as per usual.  All in all, Liriano is looking nearly like the Liriano of old, and he's a big part of the Pirates' 2nd half push. At 76% owned in Yahoo! leagues, Liriano is available in a quarter of all leagues out there. He has the ability to be a 3/4 SP down the stretch, so go and pick him up if he's out there.

Mike Fiers (SP, MIL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately in All Leagues  ANALYSIS: You can probably watch Mike Fiers ownership percentage increase in real time after his otherworldly start Thursday afternoon. Fiers punched out 14 Cubs before getting yanked after 6 IP and 106 pitches.  Now frankly speaking, I think it's absolutely absurd that Ron Roenicke couldn't leave him in for at least 1 more non-K out - I mean the guy had a chance to breakout the single-game strikeout record!  I digress, but that tangent should tell you all you need to know. Mike Fiers has a huge ceiling for the last 100 days of the season, and you need to own him for it. He had a 10:1 K:BB ratio in 102.1 Triple-A IP before getting the big league call this year, and he already showed in 2012 that he can punch out MLB hitters at an elite level (9.52 K/9 over 127.2 IP). Net net, pick him up, immediately, if not sooner!

Seth Smith (OF, SD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Nathan Calderon - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: In live chat, I see a ton of questions regarding the OF position and guys that should be snagged from the waiver wire, dropped, traded, and so on. If you are in need of some quick value and headed towards fantasy playoff time, I would take a look at Seth Smith if you play in leagues where you can adjust your lineup daily. Over the last six days, Smith is hot at the plate, racking up 6 RBI on 6 hits, and taking three walks. He’s clobbered two doubles, a triple, and a home run, bringing his average up to .291 on the year. His season stats aren't half bad either, sporting a .291/.387/.506 slash line with 12 HR and 38 RBIs. The one caveat is that while Smith mashes right handed pitching, he either doesn't play or doesn't hit left handed hurlers, so you need to be able to take Smith out of your lineup on certain days. Smith is definitely worth a grab in deeper leagues if you're looking to add some power and RBI potential.

Robinson Chirinos (C, TEX) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep AL-Only Leagues or Leagues with Two Catcher Slots ANALYSIS: Heading into the 2014 season, Robinson Chirinos had one career home run and seven RBI with a .189 batting average. Which begs the question: How did this 30-year-old lifelong minor leaguer become the starting catcher for a team that has two world series appearances in the past four years? Well, for starters it has something to do with the Rangers' downward spiral over the past two years, but it also comes as a result of Chirinos' move behind the dish. Since making the transition in 2008, his offensive numbers have improved, most notably his BABIP, which rose up to .324 in his final full year in the minors in 2012. Chirinos has solid power, smacking a career-high 18 home runs in 2010. He currently sits at 11 homers, but he doesn't get on-base nearly enough (.275 OBP) to warrant being a number one fantasy catcher. Fantasy owners can consider adding Chirinos in very deep AL-Only Leagues, or leagues with two catcher slots, but nothing more.

Drew Stubbs (OF, COL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add In NL-Only Leagues, Deep Mixed Leagues ANALYSIS: Drew Stubbs will likely never again be the 20-30 guy he was with Cincinnati back in 2010. He has, however, reestablished himself as a legitimate outfielder, both in fantasy and in real baseball, after he seemed destined to disappear from the realm of major league baseball earlier this year. The 29-year-old is on pace for 14 home runs and 17 stolen bases, but those numbers should be even higher by season's end considering he will be given a chance to grab everyday at-bats with Carlos Gonzalez back on the disabled list. Stubbs is hitting the ball harder and getting on base more, and his .336 OBP being the highest of his six-year career. Stubbs was already worth a look in NL-Only leagues, but now that he will playing just about every day, he becomes a viable fantasy option in deeper mixed leagues, too.

Mike Leake (SP, CIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Displaced Tigers Fan

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Mike Leake didn't get off to the start that some analysts thought he might this season, and as a result he's currently owned in only 48% of Yahoo Leagues. But his recent performance suggests you might want to snag him for your late season push. In his last ten outings, Leake has lasted 7 innings or more on six different occasions and collected 60 strikeouts in that timeframe. He owns a solid 3.42 ERA and a very nice strikeout to walk ratio of 3.41. If you're looking to add a solid starter to the middle of your rotation, Leake is a solid option who can help your ERA, WHIP, and K numbers in a hurry. At the very least, you should consider streaming him for his start this week against the inept Boston Red Sox offense.

Chris Carter (OF/1B, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Chris Carter has gone yard again today... twice. He's also sprinkled in 5 RBIs, and it's only the 5th inning! This man is white hot, and on an absolute tear, making him the most recent addition to our waiver wire sleepers list, and a must-add in all fantasy baseball leagues right now if he is still available. Given that he's already 67% owned in Yahoo leagues, time may be running out, but he's still widely available, so get on it. This power-hitting, home run binging slugger may not be around for much longer. Let's take a look at what he's done recently, in case you aren't following his ridiculous stretch: including today, he has at least 1 home run in 5 out of his last 10 games, including 2 multi-home run games. Over the last 32 games, he has 15 dingers, including 4 multi-home run games. Not including tonight's bonkers performance, he's already ranked #3 overall in Yahoo over the last 30 days, #6 over the last 14 days, and #5 over the last 7 days. And he's hitting for average too. Over the last 14 days (not including today), Carter has racked up 5 HR, 12 RBI, 11 Runs, 1 SB and a .313 AVG. I can keep going on here with the stats, but I think you get the point I'm trying to make. This guy is absolutely tearing the cover off the ball, and is mashing like a possessed man. Carter probably won't keep up this torrid pace for the remainder of the season, but you never know. One thing's for sure, he is absolutely locked in, and doesn't seem to be slowing down. So if you haven't been riding the hot streak, it's time to jump on board. This type of production isn't easy to come across off the waiver wire, especially this time of year, and if Carter keeps it up he can be a major boost to your fantasy baseball home stretches and championship runs.

Zach Wheeler (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Displaced Tigers Fan

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues ANALYSIS: Zach Wheeler is in his first full season as a starter with the Mets, and he's performing quite nicely. He owns a very respectable 8.7 K/9 rate and has pitched his way to 7 victories thus far. His 3.53 ERA is solid, aided by the fact that he allows less than one HR/9 innings pitched. Looking at Wheeler in terms of Ace Composite Rating (ACR), he currently stands at -1.73, which is better than league average. Wheeler has gone at least six innings in each of his last eight starts, notching wins in four of those games and allowing only 11 ER total in that time. I picked up Wheeler a long time ago in my ten-team league and have been more than happy with his performance thus far. He has the potential and upside to be a top 20 SP down the stretch.

Danny Duffy (SP, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Nathan Calderon - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: On the season, Danny Duffy has been a strong starting pitcher for the Royals. Given that he's only 49% owned in Yahoo leagues, Duffy is making another appearance on our fantasy baseball waiver wire sleepers list. In 115.2 IP this season, Duffy has given up 82 H and only 33 ER, including a very low 9 HR. With a 2.07/1 K/BB ratio and 91 Ks on the year, Duffy is no strikeout machine, yet he's still a great option as a waiver wire pickup. His season ERA sits at a fantastic 2.57, although the last seven days have shown a negative trend as his ERA is a 3.86 over that span. Duffy did win both of those outings due to great run support coming from the Royals' offense, which has been hot as of late. On a four game winning streak, Duffy should be able to improve on his 7-10 record if the offense keeps producing and he continues to throw as he has in his last four. Danny Duffy has had the hot hand as of late, so look for him to continue winning in his coming starts.

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

4 months ago

Published by: Nathan Calderon - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: In the last seven days, LaRoche has been very strong at the plate putting up ten hits in 26 AB, three of which were doubles, along with 7 runs, 3 HR and 4 RBI while taking five walks. His batting average over the last week has been .385, which is fantastic and shows he's seeing the ball very well right now.  LaRoche is one of the older players on the Nationals roster at 34 years old, and the lefty first baseman has provided a boost for the Nats that is much needed heading into the playoff hunt. The Nationals, at the top of the NL East currently, have not been playing their best as of late. This timely hot streak at the plate for LaRoche definitely flags him as a guy to snag in most leagues if he’s available on the waiver wire, and he should be started if he is on your team for the foreseeable future.

Brandon McCarthy (SP, NYY) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Displaced Tigers Fan

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: A lot of times when pitchers switch from the NL to the AL, they're greeted with the harsh reality that, well, offenses are more potent in the AL. This has not been the case for Brandon McCarthy, who has been fantastic since joining the Yankees at the beginning of July. In his last six starts he has pitched his way to a 2.11 ERA and 4 wins while collecting a cool 36 strikeouts. Not bad for a guy whose ERA had climbed to 5.01 while he was pitching for the D'Backs. While McCarthy has always been a solid producer in the strikeout department, the rest of his repertoire seems to have caught up -- at least for now. Ride McCarthy as long as he's hot, but jump ship if he has a couple poor outings in a row.

Caleb Joseph (C, BAL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / All Two-Catcher Leagues ANALYSIS: Caleb Joseph may be baseball's hottest hitter, with a home run in five straight games now after Saturday night's game against the Cardinals, making him the most recent add to our waiver wire sleepers list. The 28-year-old rookie is a career .268 hitter in the minors with just 74 home runs in parts of seven different years, so it is no surprise that he had yet to make it to the majors before Matt Wieters went down with a torn UCL ligament earlier this year. Joseph is currently batting .220 with seven home runs in 150 at-bats, but is 8-for-his-last-8 with 5 HR in his last 5 games. It is highly doubtful that Joseph maintains any significant fantasy value going forward, so don't expect him to be your starting catcher for the final two months of the season, but why not ride him while he's hot? In two-catcher leagues, this is a low-risk option to consider. He can be a solid short-term boost our of the catcher position while he is on this hot streak. Once he cools down, however, he will most likely be nothing more than a reach in very deep leagues.

Vance Worley (SP, PIT) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues ANALYSIS: Vance Worley has made quite a resurgence with the Bucs this year after getting rocked on a consistent basis to the tune of a 7.21 ERA in 2013 with the Twins. Now back in the National League, he has regained his form, with a 2.43 ERA in 55.2 innings pitched. He has essentially gotten rid of his changeup from his repertoire and increased the use of his curveball this year. It is not as if Worley is inducing more ground balls, but pitching in the pitcher's haven that is PNC Park, the fly balls he is allowing are not leaving the park. He also seems to have dramatically improved his command, leading to less walks, shorter innings, and, as a result, less baserunners overall. His BB/9 ratio has dropped from a 2.8 in 2013 to a 1.5 so far this year. As long as he is performing, there is no reason for Worley not to be owned in all but maybe the shallowest of mixed leagues where heavy strikeout pitchers may be all that's worth owning.

Jake McGee (RP, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Jake McGee is the new Sean Doolittle, and by that I mean he's the new "most dominant closer who also doesn't walk anyone, ever, for real".  Don't believe me?  Consider this: since taking over the closer role for the Rays on June 27th, McGee has pitched 17 innings, during which he has a filthy 27:2 K:BB ratio. He has allowed just 3 ER in that span, but hasn't blown one save or taken a loss. Oh yea, he's also racked up 11 saves during that stretch.  These numbers make him a top 5 RP since his dominant stretch started. So why is he only owned in 62% of Yahoo leagues? Probably because 20% of them have stopped paying attention, but that still leaves 18% of you in the hunt for a fantasy championship who could get a lot of value out of one of the best MLB closers in the game.  Not only is he on our list of waiver wire sleepers for saves, he's at the very top of it. Run to your waiver wire and pickup McGee, immediately, if not sooner!

Adeiny Hechavarria (SS, MIA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Nathan Calderon - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues / NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Adeiny Hechavarria is not great at any one thing. That being said, the Marlins shortstop has posted decent numbers across the board this season, but nothing totally astounding. With post-break injuries and slowing production coming from several utility players and players in the shortstop position, Hechavarria is on the deep-league sleepers radar and not a bad pick up in 14 team mixed leagues (or deeper) with a middle infield slot. In 98 games played this season, he has racked up 36 R on 101 H for 22 RBI over the course of 366 AB. Not the most impressive stat line in the world, I know, but it’s better than some guys that you can find on the DL at this part of the season (here’s looking at you, Nick Punto). Some even less glamorous stats from Hechavarria include his abysmal zero homers and only seven steals on the year. Do not let these numbers discourage you though. If you need some supplemental points, the right hander may be a good fit for your line up. In his last four starts, he has hit in three of them, all of them being multi-hit games. His .278|.305|.350 slash line is actually pretty impressive for having no HR on the year. ESPN.com has him listed at only 5% owned, so he should be picked up if you need a guy to put some points on the board as we get later into the season in the deepest of leagues.

Jason Castro (C, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add In AL-Only Leagues, Mixed Leagues With Two Catcher Slots ANALYSIS: The 27-year-old catcher Jason Castro has taken a major step back this year after a breakout season in 2013. In 339 at-bats, he has posted just a .230 batting average with 11 home runs and 43 RBI. He is struggling equally against righties and lefties, but his numbers at home are significantly better than those on the road. This makes sense, considering Minute Maid Park typically favors hitters, but his overall numbers both at home and on the road are down tremendously from 2013. Castro's career-low 20.0% line drive rate (his average is 25%) shows that, for whatever reason, he is just not hitting the ball as hard as he had in the past. He is putting more balls on the ground instead of lining them which means less hits, less HR, and less overall production. This could have something to do with the fact that he is seeing less fastballs and more offspeed pitches, most of which are coming in low in the zone.  That said, the catcher pool is pretty shallow, especially with injuries to Yadier Molina, Joe Mauer and Matt Wieters, so Castro is still worthy of being owned in AL-Only Leagues and deep mixed leagues with two catcher slots, and his recent "hot streak" makes him ownable in 16-team deep leagues as well as a streamer when the matchups are right.

Josh Reddick (OF, OAK) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / Stream in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Since coming off his most recent DL stint, Josh Reddick has been absolutely raking, and is the latest addition to our waiver wire sleepers list. If you need outfield help, have the ability to easily stream hot players, or are just looking to add some hitting depth -- Reddick can be your guy if he's still available in your fantasy league. Over the last 7 days, Reddick's hitting a blistering .455 with 2 HR, 6 RBI and 4 Runs. Over the last 14 days, he's hitting .383 with 4 HR, 10 RBI and 8 Runs. Let's not forget this is a guy who hit 29 HR with 85 RBI and 85 Runs in 2012. He plays for the highest scoring offense in baseball, and may be able to make an big impact down the stretch for your fantasy teams if he continues this kind of hot streak. Still only owned in 38% of Yahoo leagues, Reddick is widely available - so consider adding him off the waiver wire and ride the hot streak until he cools down.

Will Venable (OF, SD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / Monitor in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Will Venable has been quietly heating up recently, and has found his way onto our fantasy baseball waiver wire sleepers list. Venable is a very streaky hitter, but when he gets hot, he can be a really solid fantasy producer. As many will recall, Venable was a fantasy monster for a big chunk of last year's 2nd half run, hitting HRs and grabbing SBs consistently - so hopefully he has some of that left in him for this year's fantasy home stretch. Over the past 7 days, Venable is hitting .391 with 1 HR, 3 RBIs and 2 Runs. Not spectacular, but definitely better than what he's been doing most of the year. Over the last 14 days, he's hitting .326 with 2 HR, 9 RBI and 4 Runs. And over the last 30 days, he's hitting .333 with 3 HR, 10 RBI, 7 Runs while sprinkling in 3 SB. If he can continue to hit for average, and add in some HR and SB in the process, he can be a solid outfield contributor for your fantasy team going forward. I like his upside a lot, as we've seen what he's capable of in the past. So if you have room to grab him off the waiver wire, it's a low-risk high-upside move. You can start him, or stash him, and see if the upward trend continues. He's only 16% owned in Yahoo leagues, so he's widely available for the plucking.

Mark Reynolds (1B / 3B, MIL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add In Very Deep Leagues For Power Boost ANALYSIS: This isn't the same Mark Reynolds who hit 44 bombs back in 2009, but he can still drive the ball out of the park. However, that's about where his fantasy appeal ends. He hasn't posted a batting average over .240 since his breakout 2009 campaign, and hasn't stolen more than seven bases since swiping 24 in that same season. The 31-year-old currently sits at 19 home runs with a .208 batting average in 303 at-bats for the Brewers. He can really only hit right-handed pitching at this point, with 16 of his 19 home runs coming against such pitchers. He is hitting a whopping .198 against lefties. Reynolds can be worth a pick up in NL-Only leagues or very deep mixed leagues for teams that need power help, but don't expect him to save your season, as he will really only help in one or two categories. If you are in a deep enough league that will allow you to only play Reynolds against righties, then definitely jump on that opportunity.

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

4 months ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leauges ANALYSIS: Luis Valbuena is the definition of sleeper.  He is producing at a high enough level to be owned in many more leagues than he's currently rostered in.  Why is that? Because he plays with the Cubs, who have a new high profile, highly touted prospect join the team every week it seems. Valbuena is a matchup play only - he's slugging .450 vs. RHP but only .380 vs. LHP.  With no speed, that mean he is really only a guy you can start vs. RHP.  He is putting the ball in the air at a high rate and giving it a very nice charge, and in the summertime in Wrigley, that's a dangerous combination. He only has 9 HR in 267 ABs vs. RHP, but 3 of those have come in the past 7 games, and we think Valbuena might have a little power binge in him in the coming weeks.  His duel eligibility doesn't hurt either, so if you're struggling at MI or CI, give him a look in deeper leagues.

Tommy Medica (1B / OF, SD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep 5 OF Leagues ANALYSIS: Let's start with the obvious: Tommy Medica is not sexy, as he plays for the worst offensive team in the MLB in the worst offensive park in the MLB.  That's a tough combo to overcome. But he's actually put up somewhat respectable numbers and he is definitely rosterable in deep 5 OF leagues. In just 166 ABs, Medica has a .277-7-23-22-2 fantasy slash line.  He's been hot recently too, with 3 HR, 6 RBI and 10 hits over his last 5 games.  With his upcoming schedule vs. Pittsburgh and Colorado, Media will have the opportunity for some juicy matchups, so he's worth a deep league add if you're searching for a productive CI / OF.

Denard Span (OF, WAS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Denard Span is the 3rd ranked player in Yahoo! over the last two weeks, but he's still only owned in 54% of leagues.  Since it's August, you know his ownership % is simply a result of many owners being out of contention and not paying attention. But if you're paying attention, go pick him up right now and then come back and read this to feel ok about it.  Span is tearing it up atop the Nationals potent lineup, with 11 runs, 6 RBI, 7 SB and a whopping .449 BA over his last 49 ABs. He has hits in 9 straight games, with 6 runs in and 5 SB in that span.  He's blazing hot and he has tons of great hitters behind him (Werth, Rendon, Harper, Desmond) to keep knocking him in.  Span could easily be a top 5 leadoff hitter the rest of the way and make for a solid #3 OF in all leagues.  If you have the need for speed, go snatch him up!

Jon Singleton (1B, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Jon Singleton was scuffling for a long time and saw his average dip all the way to .174 as recently as 10 games ago, which is pretty gross and entirely unrosterable in every non-keeper league.  But he's found his stroke recently, and has collected two multi-hit games over his last 3, and 4 HR and 8 RBI over his last 9 games. He's seen his BA rise 20 points during this short stretch.  Singleton's splits are kind of crazy, as he's the rare lefty who mashes lefty pitchers (.264-.322-.566 triple slash in 53 AB) but is horrible vs. RHP (.168-.269.-336 in 137 ABs).  He wouldn't be getting regular playing time in most lineups, but the Astros are letting their young players sink or swim.  Singleton is available in 83% of leagues, and if you play in a deep league where you can change your lineup every day, he's a decent pickup while he's seeing the ball well.

Javier Baez (SS, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately In Most Leagues ANALYSIS: Javier Baez is one of many top prospects currently in the Cub's farm system, along with Kris Bryant and Addison Russell. Second baseman Arismendy Alcantara was the first to get the call in early July, and now Baez is right behind him. Baez, a shortstop at the minor league level, will likely play second for the Cubs in the long run, considering his lack of elite defensive abilities and the loaded talent the Cubs have at the shortstop position. He does have a strong arm, so third base may also be an option if Kris Bryant is moved to the outfield. Regardless of where he plays in the field, Baez can flat out hit. In just 388 at-bats in 2013, he drove 37 balls over the fence while knocking in 111 runs, the latter being good enough to lead the Minor Leagues. So far in 2014, he has slowed down a bit, but has still belted 23 homers and driven in 80 runs in 388 at-bats. His incredible bat speed and ability to drive the ball all over the field will ensure that he will be able to hit at any level, as long as he continues to improve his plate discipline. You will definitely want to give Baez a shot in all but maybe the shallowest of mixed leagues, given what he has the potential to do. The 20-year-old should without a doubt be owned in all keeper leagues, no matter how deep. Hitters like Baez do not come around everyday, so you will not want to miss your chance to grab him.

Jarrod Dyson (OF, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues for Speed ANALYSIS: Dyson has 22 SB in only 187 ABs for the Royals.  He's getting semi-regular playing time as he sits vs. most lefties, but he still manages to get into these games late as a pinch runner.  Dyson is pure speed, and nothing else. He can be counted on for a very empty solid 280ish BA when he plays, but very few runs or RBIs and absolutely no homers.  Bottom line, if you need speed, Dyson is a great add for leagues with daily lineups where you can swap him in and out depending on the opposing pitcher, but you should pass on him in weekly leagues unless you're absolutely desperate for speed.

Brett Anderson (SP, COL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Anderson is riding a nice stretch and owners in deep leagues should take notice. Over his last three starts, he's pitched 20.1 IP allowing just 3 ER and racking up 18 Ks to only 5 free passes.  Anderson gets the Cubs Tuesday who are actually a pretty solid team vs. LHP. Still, with the way Anderson has been rolling he's a solid streamer pickup for this start and if he shuts down the Cubs hold him for his next start as well.

Ike Davis (1B, PIT) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Ignore In All But Deepest Mixed and NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: The Ike Davis that hit 32 round-trippers in 2012 has ceased to exist ever since. With only 16 homers in 580 at-bats since his breakout 2012 campaign, Davis has cemented himself as a platoon hitter with no real fantasy value in all but the absolute deepest of leagues. He is utterly incapable of touching lefties, and is nothing more than solid against righties. The left-handed power hitter is batting a whopping .103 with runners in scoring position and two outs, and while he is enjoying a career-low 17.7% strikeout rate, his 9.1% home run to fly ball ratio is by far the worst of his career, down from 21.1% in 2012. To be fair, since being traded to the Pirates in April, Davis has to play in the least longball-friendly stadium in the MLB in PNC Park, but his power potential doesn't change the fact that he will continue to watch his fly balls drop at the warning track as long as he is wearing a Pirates uniform. His lack of everyday at-bats and his highly unfavorable location in Pittsburgh make him a player to stay away from in all but the deepest of NL-Only leagues.

Mike Moustakas (3B, KC) - Waiver Wire Analysis

4 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Ignore in Most Leagues, Consider Adding in Very Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Once one of the top prospects in all of baseball, and on many popular sleepers lists, Mike Moustakas has been one of the biggest fantasy baseball busts in the last few years. In 2010, his final full season in the minors, he blasted 36 homers to go along with a marvelous .322/.369/.630 triple slash line. However, in four seasons in the big leagues, he has decreased production with each passing year. While his power numbers aren't non-existent, they are undoubtedly underwhelming for a player of his pedigree and potential. So far in 2014, he has failed to muster a .200 batting average, currently sitting at .194 for the season. Though his 13 home runs in 284 at-bats isn't bad, that number (as well as most of his other offensive numbers) should be higher. Moustakas is only worthy consideration in extremely deep head-to-head leagues where he will not necessarily hurt you with his miserable batting average in the long haul, but can contribute at times in the power categories. Otherwise, feel free to leave him alone on the waiver wire as he continues the demoralizing downward spiral that has taken up most of the early stages of his career.

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

4 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only Leagues, Most Mixed Leagues ANALYSIS: The 30-year-old Jaso has found his place in baseball within Billy Beane's platoon system. He has been playing half his time at DH, the other half behind the dish. Now, with Yoenis Cespedes out of Oakland, things should open up for Jaso to play everyday, likely at DH, with Brandon Moss getting more time in the outfield. Jaso has never had much pop, and still doesn't, but has a knack for getting on-base, and will continue to score and knock in runs in a potent offense like Oakland's. He will likely even see those numbers increase as he sees more at-bats. He currently sports a .358 OBP, which puts him eighth in all of baseball among catcher-eligible players, ahead of guys like Buster Posey and Evan Gattis. Utilizing a DH could be tricky, seeing as oftentimes they can only be plugged into a DH or utility slot, but Jaso has catcher eligibility, which makes him extremely valuable. Jaso should be owned in all AL-Only leagues and deep, 12-team or 14-team mixed leagues, as well as any shallower mixed leagues that happen to use two catcher slots.

Jake Odorizzi (SP, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Jake Odorizzi was hyped as a sleeper coming into the season. Like Marcus Stroman, he is another young kid who struggled to start the season. On may 20th his ERA sat at 4.98 and his WHIP was 1.59. What still made him intriguing if he could ever get his ERA and WHIP down was the K/9 rate which was 10.8. I suppose Odorizzi is someone who heats up with the months, because since the start of June he has pitched to a 2.66 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 9.74 K/9. Sure the strikeouts are down a bit, but I think any owner would take it for the vast improvements in ERA and WHIP. Odo the great and powerful hasn't given up more than 3 runs since back on June 5th either. That's a stretch of 9 starts of giving up 3 runs or less! Odo does not quite have the history of success that Marcus Stroman does, but he is absolutely worth owning for his huge K-upside. Can someone please explain to me why this kid is only 36 % owned in Yahoo leagues? I must be going crazy. Go get him now.

Anthony Gose (OF, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only / Deep / Deep Keeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Gose seems destined to accumulate his most single-season at-bats this year, and for good reason. In 152 at-bats to date, he has posted a .347 on-base percentage, exponentially higher than that of his first two partial seasons. Gose is known mostly for his speed and base-stealing abilities, but he isn't powerless. The 6'1" lefty won't be looking at any potential 40-40 years, but he did knock out 16 longballs in High-A ball in 2011. Throughout his time in the minors, the Jays's highly-touted outfield prospect put up similar numbers across the board to Reds speedy sensation Billy Hamilton. Like Hamilton, as Gose becomes more comfortable and selective facing major league pitching, he will continue to see an improvement in how often he gets on base, and with it, his stolen base numbers will begin to skyrocket. His speed alone makes him worthy of an add in many formats, assuming he is is the majors for good this time. For now, Gose has excellent fantasy value in all AL-Only leagues and deep mixed leagues where you have enough spots to compensate for his lack of production in other categories. Going forward, however, he may gain more fantasy value, and is an enticing option in keeper leagues.

Marcus Stroman (SP, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Marcus Stroman was a highly thought of prospect for the Jays coming into the year. Unfortunately, between May 4th and May 14th, the Blue Jays decided to experiment by having Stroman go to their bullpen. It resulted in a obscene 12.79 ERA, 5.68 K/9, and 2.21 WHIP. The start to his young career led many people to disregard Stroman as having an impact this year. However, on May 31st the Blue Jays made the decision to put Stroman in their rotation which is where he was used to pitching. How has he responded?  By pitching to a 2.11 ERA, 8.11 K/9, and 0.98 WHIP. Maybe this will teach teams to stop experimenting by having their young guys go back and forth between the pen and being a starter. Regardless, that 2.11 ERA is over his past 10 starts and makes him a must add in all leagues. His success is not unsustainable either as his minor league career shows a guy who continually pitched to under a 3.50 ERA with a high strikeout rate. At 49 % owned, Stroman is one of the cheapest ace level producers you'll find on your waiver wire. Let's get that ownership % up RotoBallers!

Drew Smyly (SP, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues; Continue Scouting in Shallow Leagues ANALYSIS: Drew Smyly is someone I had as a preseason sleeper. I really expected him to breakout this year, and get a decent amount of wins with that powerful Tigers' offense behind him. Unfortunately, at the end of May Smyly didn't really live up to his name. He did not make me smiley at all, instead pitching to a 3.70 ERA, 7.55 K/9, and 1.29 WHIP. Granted, those are not terrible numbers but for a guy I expected to have a breakout season they were kind of disappointing.  Maybe I expected too much from Smyly after his 2.37 ERA and 9.59 K/9, or maybe it was the Tigers fault for shuttling him between being a starter and in the 'pen. The numbers he has put up made him ownable in 12 team leagues, but not anything shallower in my opinion. Unfortunately, he hasn't done much to change my opinion.  In his last two starts he has a 2.13 ERA, 12.08 K/9, and 0.87 WHIP but that is a very small sample size. I did pick up him up in a 10-team league for now, but only because my league is oddly deep in pitching. I would love to see him maintain the pace from his past two starts, and I was impressed since one of the starts was against the Angels, a top 3 offense vs. LHP. However, I'm not fully confident that he doesn't regress more to the form he has shown through most of this season.  Enjoy the ride, but if you see him get cold don't be afraid to drop him.  

Jacob deGrom (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Jacob deGrom had not been that impressive in his minor league career with middling ERA numbers in the 4.00 + and not overly impressive strikeout totals, leading many to talk about other Mets prospects such as Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Zach Wheeler, and others before they mentioned deGrom. However, deGrom's numbers started to look a bit better in Triple-A this season when he pitched to a 2.58 ERA,6.81 K/9 and 1.28 WHIP. So far, that success has translated to the big leagues with deGrom pitching to a  2.79 ERA, 1.26 WHIP. and most impressively a 8.59 K/9. With his 11.2% swing-and-miss rate, the strikeouts are for real for deGrom, and as long as he continues this, he is worth riding in all leagues. Any pitcher with decently high strikeout totals as well as a low ERA is worth an add, especially if they are pitching against National League teams. I missed out on picking up deGrom in my leagues, don't make the same mistake I did. deGrom is out there in 46% of leagues for your clicking pleasure.

Yasmani Grandal (C / 1B, SD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in NL-Only Leagues, Mixed Leagues with Two Catcher Spots ANALYSIS: After a promising rookie campaign in 2012 in which he belted eight home runs and posted a stellar .394 OBP over 192 at-bats, the once-highly-touted prospect Yasmani Grandal has struggled, not only at the plate, but to stay in baseball, as well. Grandal began the 2013 season by serving a 50-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy. Upon his return, he hit just one home run in 88 at-bats before tearing both his ACL and MCL in early July. This year, he has smacked nine home runs in 224 at-bats, which is a better pace than he has ever hit them before, but he simply cannot seem to find his way to first base. His .305 OBP is inexplicable for a player who enjoyed a .408 OBP over four seasons in the minor leagues. Until he figures out how to consistently get on base, Grandal is only worth an add in NL-Only leagues or deep mixed leagues with two catcher slots.

Nick Kingham (SP, PIT) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep NL-Only Leagues Upon Call-Up / Continue Scouting ANALYSIS: Kingham was promoted to Triple-A by the Pirates in June with the intention of getting him to the majors sooner than later. Despite a shaky performance in his most recent outing, he owns a 3.04 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP with 91 strikeouts in 121.1 innings pitched between Double-A and Triple-A. At 6'5", he has a plus, mid-90s fastball, and he has really developed both his curveball and changeup throughout his years in the minors. Overall, Kingham has dramatically improved his command and ability to mix up pitches, and the numbers back it up (4.39 ERA in 2012, 2.89 ERA in 2013). The 22-year-old has also been involved in various trade talks, especially in ones concerning David Price. Regardless of what team he is pitching for down the line in 2014, he is likely going to make the big leagues by September 1 at the latest. His ceiling isn't that of some of the top pitching prospects in the game, but Kingham is a MLB-ready prospect who will be an intriguing fantasy option immediately. When he does get the call, owners in deep NL-Only leagues will want to jump on him right away, at least as a stash, but in shallower leagues, you will definitely want to keep an eye on how he performs in his major league debut.

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

4 months ago

Published by: Joe Gallina - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add In Most Leagues ANALYSIS: J.J. Hardy is owned in just 67% of Yahoo! Leagues which is surprising considering the lack of fantasy depth at the shortstop position. Fantasy baseball owners may have avoided picking him up due to Hardy’s sudden lack of power. For a guy who has hit at least 22 bombs five times during his career, the fact that he didn’t hit his first home run until 6/21 had to be troubling. The good news is that he has hit four homers since that time. And given that power hitters, and Hardy especially, tend to hit the ball out in bunches, his home run percentage should soon return to its normal range. If you need an example of just how streaky Hardy can be, check out his 2008 season. In his first 53 games that year he hit just two home runs, and he followed that up by hitting 22 in the last 93 games of the season. Other than his power outage, Hardy has been a very consistent hitter this season and his batting average hasn’t dipped below .279 since 5/21. If you throw in the fact that Hardy’s stats typically get better as the season drags on it would be wise to consider picking him up for the long haul. He is not the best fantasy shortstop but you could end up doing a heck of a lot worse.

Jon Niese (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Upon being placed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury in early July, Niese's ERA stood at 2.96 (the latest in an MLB season he had ever had a sub-3.00 ERA). The 27-year-old has improved dramatically since coming into the big leagues, and is on pace for his third straight season with an ERA under 4.00. The improvement has come with less reliance on his four-seam fastball and additional off-speed pitches, namely the cutter. Including his start on Saturday night, Niese has 14 quality starts in 19 games started, one of which was cut short due to injury. The Mets have been able to rely on his each and every start. He was a little shaky in his first outing back from his injury, giving up four earned runs on 11 hits over six frames, but that shouldn't be of too much concern. Adding Niese in deep mixed leagues should be a no-brainer, and if he bounces back and continues to pitch like he had been in his next start or two, he will become an immediate add in most leagues, except for extremely shallow ones.

Danny Santana (SS, MIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Throughout his time in the minor leagues Danny Santana went from organizational depth, destined to never reach the big leagues, to one of the better pure hitters in the Twins' farm system. He has just about no power, but he has proven in 147 at-bats so far that he can get on-base, boasting a .348 on-base percentage over that span. He has good speed, having stolen as many as 30 bases in one year in the minors, but has only swiped 6 of 8 attempts since his call-up. That should increase as he continues to get a feel for major league pitchers. His fielding is what is really keeping him around the major leagues, but his offensive game as a whole has been improving. Even if he is not driving the ball, his speed allows him to beat out tough ground balls in the infield, as shown by his .393 BABIP, which puts him third in the American League among players with at least 150 plate appearances behind only Josh Hamilton and Brock Holt. Most importantly, Santana is HOT right now, going 6-for-14 over his last 4 games with 4 runs, 1 HR and 2 RBIs. Santana may not be an exciting fantasy option in any league, but as long as he is hitting, he is without question a reliable option in deep leagues, and he should be owned in all AL-Only leagues at this point. He also may not be a long-term solution, but for the time being, there is nothing that should keep him on the waiver wire in very deep leagues.

Adam Eaton (OF, CWS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12 team leagues for steals ANALYSIS: I had Adam Eaton pegged to be a breakout this season after making his way from the Dbacks to the ChiSox. Unfortunately, very early in the season Eaton hurt his hamstring and had to spend 15 days on the disabled list. However, Eaton has still managed to put up very serviceable numbers with a .284 AVG, 1 HR, 27 RBIs, 44 runs,and 10 SBs on the year.  Since the start of July, Eaton has hit for a .310 BA, scored 7 runs, knocked in 5, and stolen 3 bases while being caught once. Why is this significant?  Because the middle finger on his right hand has been broken since the July 8th-10th series that he played against Boston. He's had to compensate for breaking his finger by changing his swing a bit, and since that series he is hitting above .500 with a couple steals. Eaton isn't a guy who is going to get you a lot of RBIs or hit for a ton of power, but he does have some sleeper speed if you are in need of steals or runs scored. His average may come down a bit because his BABIP is well above career norms, however, his speed means he should be able to sustain the high BABIP since he can beat out infield hits. The man referred to as "Dirtbag" by his general manager can eat a lot of dirt as he slides into yet another stolen base for your team. Pick him up as a 4th outfielder in 12 team leagues or deeper while he's rolling.

Lucas Duda (1B, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Lucas Duda, the Mets' first baseman, is enjoying by far the best season of his career. With the 16 home runs, he has already surpassed his previous career high of 15. His 51 RBIs is just shy of his career-high 57 set in 2012, and he needs just two more runs scored to tie his career-best of 43. He is playing everyday for the first time in his five years in the big leagues, and is rewarding the Mets for giving him that opportunity. He is still struggling against lefties, posting just a .154 batting average with one home run, but overall, his numbers are impressive. He may never be more than a .250 hitter, but he draws enough walks that he gets on-base about 35% of the time, with a .358 on-base percentage to date in 2014. Duda has emerged as the Mets' primary source of power, and he seems to be improving every year. The 28-year-old has shown enough to be a viable fantasy option in deep mixed leagues, but given the depth of the first base position, he is likely to remain unowned in shallower mixed leagues.

Jake Petricka (RP, CWS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: With the recent news that Zach Putnam has been placed on the DL earlier today, some more clarity has has been shed onto the White Sox bullpen situation. Jake Petricka should now have the opportunity to handle the closer duties all to himself, at least in the short term, making him the most recent addition to our list of saves sleepers for fantasy baseball. He picked up a save on Monday, giving him 4 for the year, and holds pretty solid numbers on the season. In 51 1/3 IP, he's compiled a 2.10 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, and 39 K. The 26 BB are a bit concerning, so we'll see how that plays out, but if you're looking to add some saves to your team go ahead and add Petricka now. He's only owned in 13% of Yahoo leagues, so he should still be widely available.

Neftali Feliz (RP, TEX) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately ANALYSIS: The closer carousel continues as Joakim Soria has been shipped to the Tigers to either close or setup for incumbent Joe Nathan, opening a spot at the backend of the Texas Rangers bullpen. Enter Neftali Feliz, who should walk right into that open spot and run with it all the way to the end of the season. Feliz had been recovering from TJS for a while in 2014, and then toiled in Triple-A for a while, putting up a 3.14 ERA over 28 2/3 IP with a 9.73 K/9 and 2.51 BB/9, borderline elite ratios for a closer.  So far in 10.1 IP since returning to the bigs, Feliz only has 4 punchouts, which is slightly worrying in that he's not missing bats the way he used to.  However considering he was dominating hitters in Triple-A and had 72 saves in 2010-2011, we feel confident that Feliz regains his form and puts up top-10 closer numbers the rest of the way. Add him immediately, if not sooner!

Colby Rasmus (OF, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Once considered a big time prospect within the Cardinals organization, Colby Rasmus had his best year in 2010 when he hit .276, with 23 HRS, 85 runs scored, 66 RBIs, and 12 steals. That's very solid production. Unfortunately, his numbers have not come close to that since. This year with the Jays, Rasmus is hitting just .221 with 13 HRS, 29 runs scored, 29 RBIs, and 2 steals. Granted, these numbers have been put up while Rasmus missed nearly a month between mid-May and mid-June with a hamstring injury but I don't believe that explains the lack of steals entirely. Every year since 2010, Rasmus has seen his power numbers climb while his speed has dropped. This season has also seen Rasmus strike out 33 % of the time. Yikes. However, Rasmus is hot right now. In his past 7 games, he is hitting .301, with a HR, 4 runs scored, 2 RBIs, and his 2 steals for the season. Rasmus does hit in the Blue Jays lineup which when healthy, should help him to score a decent amount of runs and knock in some runs as well. Also, considering that power is down across the league and his prospect pedigree, Rasmus is still a decent play as your 4th outfielder in deeper leagues.

Wily Peralta (SP, MIL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12 Team Leagues; Scout in Shallow Leagues ANALYSIS: Wily Peralta is someone I've heard about from the fantasy community on and off all year, and with good reason. He has had many starts where he has given up 3 runs or less, but he also had a run of starts where he gave up more 4 runs or more 3 games in a row. All of this has led to a season line of a 3.58 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and a 6.73 K/9, which is pretty average. However, right after Peralta gave up 4 runs, 4 runs, and 9 runs - he followed that up by giving up a total of 1 run in his past two starts combined. In his past two starts he has a 0.64 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, and  6.43 K/9. While the Cardinals are not the offensive force they were once, his most recent start came against one of the better lineups in the National League in the Cincinnati Reds. Peralta is worth a look for the back end of your rotation as long as this streak continues, especially when you stop to consider his consistency throughout the year. Yes, he has had a few bad games here or there but 15 of his 20 starts have resulted in 3 runs or less given up. That's very useful for someone that you don't need to be your ace. Not to mention that the next time out, Wily E. (not his actual middle name but props if you get the joke) Peralta gets the light hitting Mets. Make the add as needed managers.

Jarred Cosart (SP, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Super Deep Leagues; Continue Scouting in Most ANALYSIS: Jarred Cosart is one of my favorite up-and-coming young pitchers in the game. The high school righty was drafted in the 38th round of the 2008 MLB Draft by the Phillies, and after a solid start to his minor league career, he wasshipped off to Houston in 2011 as one of the centerpieces in the Hunter Pence deal. Cosart made his first start in July of 2013 and immediately showed a ton of potential, breezing through eight shutout frames in Tampa Bay in his debut. Though inconsistent to date in 2014, Cosart has given his owners in 10% of Yahoo leagues signs of promise. He had a horrid April, with a 5.52 ERA in 31 innings pitched, and struggled his way into the All-Star break, with 11 earned runs in his final two starts of the first half, but was incredibly dependable for Manager Bo Porter through May and June, during which he posted a stellar 2.67 ERA over 10 outings. His 5.77 K/9 ratio, though woeful, is not as big a concern,considering his 1.32 ground ball to fly ball ratio puts him sixth in all of baseball in 2014. There have been concerns in the past regarding his awkward delivery, but he smoothed it out a bit and it hasn't seemed to be an issue. As of now, Cosart is nothing more than a deep AL-Only fantasy option, especially since his strikeout numbers are less than noteworthy, but continue to monitor his production. With a little more consistency, Cosart can become a very appealing option in deep mixed leagues.

Tanner Roark (SP, WAS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: The fact that Tanner Roark is only 61 % owned is downright criminal. Sure he had back to back hiccups on June 27th and July 4th, where he gave up 4 runs to the light hitting Cubs, but otherwise he has been an ERA and WHIP saint. On the season he has a 2.91 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, a .239 batting average against, and a 6.71 K/9. So the strikeouts may not dazzle you, but what a pitcher does after a couple of bad starts tells me a lot more than a bad start here or there. So what has Roark done in his past two starts? Pitched to a 1.29 ERA, with a WHIP under 1.00, and even raised his K/9 to 7.07. Granted, those starts did come against the Phillies and Brewers who have a lot of free swingers. But c'mon, he's rebounded nicely. Last year, Roark had a 1.51 ERA, .91 WHIP, .197 batting average against, and 6.71 K/9 in a smaller sample size. Look familiar? That's almost exactly what he is doing this year! That's consistency for you.The guy even pitches for the Nationals which means he should get plenty of wins if he keeps pitching like this, and he is currently ranked 25th among all Yahoo starting pitchers. If you're not convinced by now you probably never will be. Go pick up Roark before it's too late!

James Paxton (SP, SEA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stash in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: James Paxton and Taijuan Walker were two of the highly touted Mariners' pitching prospects coming into the year. Taijuan is the one people are more familiar with since he has pitched in the majors more recently than Paxton, but Paxton is the one with more upside in my opinion, at least in the short term. The main knock against Taijuan has been that he has great stuff, but not so great command. The same can not be said of Paxton. His stuff may not be as good as Taijuan's, but he is a much more polished pitched than Taijuan at this point in their careers. Before hitting the DL, Paxton pitched to a 2.25 ERA, .67 WHIP, .146 AVG against, and 9.75 K/9. Granted that was only in two starts, but those are ace level numbers. It's also not totally unprecedented because in another stint with the Major League team last year he pitched to a 1.50 ERA, .92 WHIP, .172 AVG against, and 7.88 K/9. So far, the numbers he has put up in the majors have actually been better than anything he has done in the minors and he has shown better control too. The thing to watch with Paxton is that he is coming off a shoulder injury, but in his most recent rehab start he felt great and said his pitches were all coming out well. He's worth a DL stash in all leagues because his upside is tremendous.

Chase Headley (3B, NYY) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Chase Headley has been worse than dog poop in 2014, and it's incredible he's still 51% owned in CBS leagues.  BUUUUUUT, he just got traded to the New York Yankees. You don't need to be a scientist to know that the difference between Petco Park and Yankee Stadium is enormous when it comes to a batter's production.  Add in the fact that the Padres lineup is worse than some Triple-A teams, and the Yankees are an above average MLB offense, and Headley's situation has improved by leaps and bounds. There is the other thing, the elephant in the room, which is that Headley has just been terrible, and a terrible hitter in one place won't all of a sudden become a great hitter somewhere else.  To that, I will tell you to look at Headley's SLG % in 2012, his breakout year. He slugged 30 pts higher vs right handed pitchers, which leads me to believe that once he's played within the friendly confines of Yankee stadium, we could see some nice power out of him in the second half.

Zach Putnam (RP, CHW) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: It's clear the ChiSox have settled on Zach Putnam as their closer after notching back-to-back saves on July 18th and 19th.  If you own Petricka, you can safely cut him loose now, because despite Ventura's public statements that the closer role will be shared, it's looking more likely that Putnam is THE guy to own in the Sox bullpen. Putnam has a very solid 32:13 K:BB ratio over 37.1 IP - not as dominant as you'd like to see with a closer, but he limits the free passes and has only allowed 2 HR all year which means he won't blow many leads in spectacular fashion. Bottom line, Putnam is the new closer on the South side, and if you need a closer he makes for a great pickup right now.

Wade Miley (SP, ARI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 months ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Wade Miley is only owned in slightly more than a 1/4 of Yahoo! leagues, and at this point I'm convinced it's because he's got a really junky sounding name, because there's really no other explanation. Miley's fastball velocity has been increasing each month, and he has a lot of room for ERA regression because of his very nice 8.4 K/9 and 49% GB rate.  Realistically, Miley's 4+ ERA should be in the mid-3 range, perhaps about 3.4 or 3.5. Scoop up Miley know and enjoy his under the radar 4-category performances for the rest of the season. He's a great 2nd half buy for those of you still hoping Eovaldi and Keuchel find their former season glory.

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

5 months ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Scooter Gennett is still only owned in 40% of Yahoo! leagues, which is pretty shocking considering his last 30 days and 68 ABs: 15 R, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 1 SB, .309 BA. He's the 6th rated 2B over that time frame, he's batting at the top of a potent Brewers lineup, and he's hitting, hitting, and hitting some more whenever he plays.  If you extrapolated Gennett's stat line across a full season, it would look like this: 550 AB, .305 BA, 85 Runs, 14 HR, 65 RBI, and 8 SB, which would easily be top 10 at the shallow 2B position. While it's doubtful he could achieve that level of production without improving vs. LHP (currently hitting .118 in 34 ABs), he is a must start in all games with a right handed starter. Don't sleep on Gennett any longer, scoop him up now off the waiver wire!

Chris Johnson (3B, ATL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Chris Johnson was scorching hot going into the all-star break, hitting 3 HR with 7 RBIs in the two games before the mid-summer classic.  He's continued his hot hitting with 4 hits, a HR and 3 RBIs after the break and he deserves consideration in all leagues with corner infield spots.  It's highly unlikely the power binge continues, but Johnson can maintain a .300 BA with plenty of RBIs over then next month or more. He's only 39% owned in Yahoo! leagues so if you need general BA / RBI / R production, he's worth a look.

Joaquin Benoit (RP, SD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately ANALYSIS: By now you've surely heard the most recent closer carousel news. Huston Street has been sent 90 minutes north and is closing for the Los Angeles Angels, and Joaquin Benoit has inherited the Padres 9th inning duties.  Benoit proved last year he can handle the closing reigns, racking up 24 saves for the contending Detroit Tigers; he's consistently put up more than 9 K/9 and respectable BB/9 numbers. If you need a reliable closer who pitches in a ton of close games, Benoit is a no brainer addition to your fantasy baseball team.

Jeff Locke (SP, PIT) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues ANALYSIS: If the rebounding Jeff Locke is still available in your league, you better Locke him up.  His biggest problem last year was his inability to go deep into games due to high pitch counts as a result of walking a ton of batters.  It appears his stint in the first half at Triple-A has done wonders for him as Locke is back with a vengeance.  Other than lowering the free passes to an extremely respectable (and somewhat unsustainable) 2.8% BB rate, Locke is going deeper into games, is forcing hitters to swing and miss at a very nice 10% whiff rate, and is inducing swings on nearly a third of his pitches outside the strike zone.  Hitters will adjust and let those pitches go for balls, bringing up Locke's walk rate, and Locke’s .266 BABIP hints that he’s been a bit lucky, but it’s not unreasonable to project his end of the year ERA to stabilize around 3.25.  That’s good enough for most fantasy owners and he should be owned in most leagues going forward.

Matt Garza (SP, MIL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues ANALYSIS: Matt Garza has been a model of consistency since he came up to the big leagues in 2006 with the Twins. In the eight of his nine seasons in which he has thrown at least 80 innings, Garza has posted an ERA between 3.30 and 4.00. His biggest issue throughout his career has been staying healthy. When he stays healthy, as he has this far in 2014, he is usually incredibly reliable. Additionally, he has had trouble picking up wins, even with above-average numbers. This year, with the NL Central-leading Brewers, he has only managed six wins in 19 games started, despite a 3.69 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Garza has always been a solid strikeout pitcher, and has been improving his command consistently throughout his career, posting a career-high 3.24 K/BB ratio in 2013. Chances are, Garza will pick up some more wins with an offense like Milwaukee's in the second half. That would make him an extremely appealing fantasy option. The way he pitched to close out the first half: 16 innings of five-hit, two-run baseball, including a complete game shutout in Cincinnati where he struck out nine Reds, has really improved his draft stock. He is beginnings to be owned in a lot more leagues, and deservedly so. Garza should be owned in the majority of mixed leagues at this point..

Sam Fuld (OF, MIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep / AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: "The Legendary Sam Fuld" is amazing. Amazing because he robs people consistently of homers. Unfortunately, defense doesn't matter for fantasy purposes. On the season Sam Fuld is hitting for a .269 AVG, with 2 HRS, 20 runs scored,17 RBIs, and 11 steals. Not very useful for fantasy purposes besides the steals, which would play in the deepest of leagues. However, when you take a look at what Fuld has done in the month of July so far it's pretty impressive. His July numbers look like this .450 AVG, 1 HR,  7 runs scored,6 RBIs, and 4 steals. So as you can see, most of the damage Fuld has done has come during this hot streak he has been riding. Fuld typically doesn't offer much besides 20+ steal potential, but enjoy the blistering hot ride while it lasts. You could certainly do worse in AL-only formats than praying that the All-Star break doesn't cool "Super Sam" off too much.

Chris Young (SP, SEA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: What to make of Chris Young?  With an 8-6 record and a 3.15 ERA it would appear that Young is on his way to a remarkable season.  In all likelihood if he does continue to win games and stymie hitters the way he has, then his year truly will be remarkable.  It’s more probable that his high LOB (82.7%) and BB (8.5%) rates will eventually catch up with him.  His owners should also look to bench himwhen the Mariners are on the road as Young pitches better in the spacious Safeco Field.  He’s giving up more ER, HR, BB and H when Seattle is the away team.  It would be best to use Young in a streaming capacity as opposed to starting him regularly, but he's a viable streamer for his home starts.

Chris Carter (1B / OF / DH, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper / AL-Only Leagues (if looking for power) ANALYSIS: Chris Carter broke out with the A's in 2012, belting 16 home runs in just over 200 at-bats as a 25-year old, and was on some fantasy baseball sleepers lists after that. Despite hitting only .239, he found ways to get on-base, and posted a .350 OBP as a rookie. He was traded to the Astros in 2013, and his power numbers remained the same, but he struggled mightily to reach the basepaths, finishing the year with a mere .320 OBP. That number has dropped even more in 2014, and his OBP currently sits at .281 at the All-Star break. But Carter is still on pace for well over 30 home runs, with 19 at the moment. Otherwise, his numbers are not all that impressive. He has only driven in 40 runs for the lowly Astros, and may end up striking out over 200 times for the second straight year. In a deep head-to-head, mixed, or AL-Only league, Carter may be valuable given his pure power. He gets hot in bunches, and goes on HR binges, as evidenced by his 6 HR over the last 14 days. But he doesn't help in too many other ways. Carter is worth owning in deeper leagues if you are desperate for power help, or looking to catch a hot streak. However, in a league where batting average or on-base percentage is weighed more heavily, he is better left untouched, as he can be seriously detrimental to your success in those particular categories.

Edinson Volquez (SP, PIT) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Edinson Volquez is having the best year of his career since 2008 with the Reds, putting up a 3.65 ERA. His strikeout rate is down at 5.92 K/9 but so are his walks at a 3.00 BB/9. Overall that 2:1 K:BB is not very impressive. However, his batting average against is way below his career norms and his XFIP and FIP are both above 4.00 suggesting that some regression is coming. Still, it's hard to ignore what Volquez has done lately. Heading in to the All-Star Break, Volquez has strung together four starts where has an 0.90 ERA, 5.40 K/9,and 2.70 BB/9. The only problem is that the underlying numbers suggest that even for those games he was incredibly lucky and should have had an higher ERA. I believe in Volquez to a degree. One need look no further than Francisco Liriano to see why I still believe in Volquez. The Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage seems to have a knack for taking guys like Burnett, Liriano, and now Volquez and helping them turn their careers back around. It's more my confidence in him then Volquez that leads me to retaining a slight belief in Volquez. Maybe with Searage's help, Volquez can keep getting lucky all year and help your fantasy team. Just don't go dropping someone actually reliable for him.

Joe Kelly (SP, STL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Last year in 15 games started for the Cardinals, Joe Kelly went 10-5 with a 2.69 ERA, and 1.35 WHIP. Very useful numbers in Fantasy Baseball for the back-end of your rotation. This year started well enough for Kelly, who allowed only 1 run in his first three starts. Unfortunately, he then hit the DL with a hamstring issue and his first start back from the DL was not pretty with only 3 innings pitched and 6 runs allowed. In a very limited sample size that all has led to a 3.44 ERA and 1.53 WHIP, with most of those stats being inflated due to the one bad start after coming off the DL, and lack of sample size to absorb that start. The Cardinals organization seems to know how to develop young pitchers, and Kelly could be one of them. He is not a huge strikeout potential guy, but if you need help in ERA/WHIP he's worth a look. Right now Kelly is only 18 % owned in Yahoo leagues. That number seems like it should be higher to me.

B.J. Upton (OF, ATL) - Waiver Wire Analysis

5 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting / Ignore in Most Leagues ANALYSIS: B.J. Upton has been a complete and utter disappointment to both the Braves and to fantasy baseball owners over the past two years. In his 2014 campaign, Upton has managed just a .215 batting average with seven home runs and 26 RBI in 349 at-bats - and for the third straight year, he has failed to get on-base more than 30% of the time. His HR/FB ratio is at a mere 7.8% this year, down from 16.7% in 2012, his last year with the Rays. This is probably due in large part to Turner Field being a pitcher's haven, but it is a concern when deciding whether or not to include B.J. Upton on your fantasy roster. The move to Atlanta hasn't affected brother Justin power-wise, but B.J. just doesn't seem to quite have the pop anymore to put many balls out. When combined with his significant decline in speed, and his uncanny tendency to strike out more than two and a half times per walk drawn, that lack of power proves that Upton simply no longer has fantasy appeal. His 0-for-5 performance in a game where the Braves mustered 10 runs on 11 hits against the Cubs on Sunday should be the final straw for fantasy owners to cut ties with the former 30-30 threat. Upton should be left alone in all but the deepest of NL-Only leagues, where any bit of production is desperately needed.

Jimmy Nelson (SP, MIL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting ANALYSIS: Jimmy Nelson was supposed to be the next big pitching call-up this year. Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell Jimmy Nelson that. In his most recent start following his call-up, Nelson was hammered for 6 runs in 4 1/2 innings of work.  It's hard to know if that's indicative of what Nelson can do, because a lot of rookies struggle in their first start. Before he was brought to the big show, Nelson was pitching to a 1.46 ERA, 9.90 K/9, 2.59 BB/9, and a minuscule 0.24 HR/9 which is what earned him the call-up in the first place. Nelson has some major strikeout potential, and he'll benefit from being in the NL, but he could be up and down between the minors and majors this year. I'd be more interested in Nelson in future years than I am this year. While I love the potential, he's not quite all together yet. He's worth a stash in dynasty leagues, but otherwise I think he's someone to keep monitoring at the moment.

Chris Coghlan (OF, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Scott McCloy - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Chris Coghlan has found a new home in a Chicago Cubs uniform. The 2009 NL Rookie of the Year has found a rebirth on the north side of Chicago.  Over the last 30 days, Coghlan has been one of the top hitters in all of baseball.  In those 30 days, Coghlan ranks 9th in AVG (.341), 4th in Runs (21), 5th in SLG% (.612) and 27th in RBI (13).   All these numbers have been accumulated since he was handed an everyday starting spot in the Cubs outfield.  Is it a revival?  Who knows, maybe Coghlan found his 2009 stroke or maybe he is just really hot right now.  His BABIP over the last 30 days is .379 putting him 19th over that span.  He is not just a platoon OF anymore, as a left handed hitter; he is actually hitting .367 vs lefties which is 3rd best in baseball with at least 30 lefty vs lefty at bats.  Unless the Cubs move Kris Bryant up to play OF, which is highly unlikely, Coghlan will get his chances for the foreseeable future.  Coghlan is still only 29 and he has more HR, R and SB this year already than the last two years combined.  If you’re in a deep league or riddled with injuries, give Coghlan a chance while he remains a top option.

Kole Calhoun (OF, LAA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Scott McCloy - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Kole Calhoun had a scorching June, hitting .346 and has kept it up through the All-Star break hitting .333 in July.  On the season, Calhoun sits at .295 mainly because of a slow start and the fact that he had a ligament sprain in his ankle that put him on the DL for over a month.   Calhoun has excelled hitting in front of Mike Trout for the heavy hitting Angels.  When Calhoun bats leadoff, he hits .335 while he only hits .179 in any other spot in the lineup.  With Trout, Pujols and Hamilton hitting behind him, he is seeing more fastballs and he likes fastballs as all 10 of his Home Runs have been on fastballs.  In the last 30 days, Calhoun has scored more runs than anybody in baseball with 29 and his .340 AVG over that span is top 15.  He has also hit 6 of his 10 HR in the last 30 days, again top 15 in all of baseball of over that span.  If he is somehow available in your league, grab him now and if he is already owned, work a package to get him in a trade.

Ben Revere (OF - PHI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Sniper - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues ANALYSIS: Got steals? If not, Ben Revere can help that category as well as anyone. Revere missed the second half of 2013 with a broken foot, having two screws inserted. While he has not hit the DL this year, he missed 10 full games and other starts with a stomach virus, knee injury and his same injured foot. Despite these hindrances, Revere has 26 stolen bases, has scored 41 runs and is batting .292 – all stats that can help your team in basically any type of league. Implications for some specific leagues are that Revere has no idea how to take a walk and is powerless.  He has a meager ten walks during 2014 and hit his first home run ever in May in his 1,466th career at bat. He should probably be avoided in leagues where you need home runs badly and where OBP or BBs is a statistic.  Revere’s ankle may be an issue during the second half but he should be owned in just about every other league just for his wheels.

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

5 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting ANALYSIS: For the first half of the season, the Yankees have had little to no production at second base between Yangervis Solarte, Brian Roberts and Brendan Ryan. The second half may be different, however, as Robert Refsnyder has been absolutely raking in the minors, with 12 home runs, 46 RBI and a .333/.403/.547 triple slash line in 342 at-bats between Double- and Triple-A. He has also added on eight stolen bases and has scored 58 runs. As we come out of the All-Star break, monitor what the Yankees do with Refsnyder. His call-up seems imminent, and could happen within a week or two of the second half. When he does get the call, he would immediately be worthy of an add in most AL-Only leagues, given the lack of depth at his position. He would also likely play some outfield, giving him added versatility. In mixed leagues, though, you may want to give Refsnyder some time to prove that he has what it takes to remain in the big leagues before adding him to your roster. If he begins to produce at a high level, then he will become a viable fantasy option in most leagues.

Arismendy Alcantara (2B, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in NL-Only / Deeper Leagues / Keeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Arismendy Alcantara was called up to make a two-game major league debut for the Cubs on Wednesday, with Darwin Barney out on paternity leave. Well, those two days are up, and Alcantara isn't going anywhere just yet. The sixth highest-ranked hitter the Cubs have in their farm system made a statement in his second game on Thursday, posting four hits in five bats, two of which were for extra bases. He also scored two runs and knocked in three more, now making his way onto our waiver wire pickups list. The speedy middle infielder has developed some power in the minors, putting up 15 home runs to go along with 31 stolen bases in Double-A in 2013. He is continuing that pace in Triple-A this year, with 10 home runs and 21 stolen bases to date. He is an above-average fielder who can play multiple positions, and can be a very valuable piece of Chicago's lineup going forward. It is unknown how long he will be in the majors, or how much he will produce right away if he does remain with the club, but he may be worth a flier in a deeper and NL-Only leagues given his success in the minors. Definitely stash the 22-year-old in a keeper league, if possible.

Lorenzo Cain (OF, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Lorenzo Cain is one of my favorite sleepers in all of baseball. At 28, he is really coming into his own, getting on base 36% of the time so far in 2014. Still, he is only owned in 22% of Yahoo! leagues. An above-average outfielder, Cain has almost non-existent power, but he does have a knack for getting on-base and he possesses solid speed, a combination he doesn't seem to take advantage of quite often enough. His career-high of only 14 stolen bases, despite haven swiped 34 bags in one year in the minors, is not very impressive. He is, however, on pace for a new career high this year, as he already has accumulated 12 before the All-Star break. Manager Ned Yost seems to have a ton of faith in Cain, and the young outfielder has cemented himself in the leadoff spot as of late as a result. His .809 OPS currently puts him sixth among leadoff hitters in the major leagues. In a deep league or in AL-Only leagues, Cain is a solid add, as he gets on-base and will not hurt you in any category, but he doesn't produce quite enough to be a viable option in the average mixed league.

Stephen Vogt (C / OF / 1B, OAK) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / All AL-Only & 2-Catcher Leagues ANALYSIS: Billy Beane's swiss army knife Stephen Vogt has been quietly tearing the cover off the ball the past few weeks, making him the most recent addition to our waiver wire sleepers list. We'll get into the stats shortly, but here's the most important thing to note: he is catcher eligible, and is getting every day ABs. That automatically give you an advantage in fantasy baseball leagues as all catchers get days off, but Vogt is getting full-time ABs. He has been playing catcher, outfield and first base for Oakland, and they love his bat in the lineup. Now the stats. Over the past 7 days, Vogt has a .458 AVG with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 4 Runs. Over the last 14 days, a .419 AVG with 5 RBI, 5 Runs, 1 HR and 1 SB. And over the last 30 days, a .382 AVG with 13 RBI, 10 Runs, 3 HR and 1 SB. Oh, and all of these stats don't include today's game where he went 2-for-5 with 3 RBI. If you play in an AL-Only or 2-Catcher league, he must be owned. If you play in a deeper league, and aren't happy with your catcher, add him now off the waiver wire. And if you just lost Molina, Vogt is the guy I'd be targeting if he's still available. Currently only owned in 15% of Yahoo leagues, he's still widely available. Grab him now before it's too late.  

Brandon McCarthy (NYY, SP) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only Leagues / Continue Scouting in Shallower Leagues ANALYSIS: Brandon McCarthy is now officially on the Yankees, and made his first start for them yesterday. With his 4.80 ERA on the MLB season, I can see why many fantasy owners don't see much to get excited about. I mean, he's heading to the fearsome AL East right? That can't possibly help his case. Except, maybe it can. First of all, the 4.80 ERA is deceiving because while it appears ugly on the surface the underlying numbers actually make it look much better. McCarthy's FIP is 3.73 and xFIP is 2.94. His strikeout rate is up from last years 5.07 to 7.43 and he is walking less batters. So far, most of the underlying metrics have suggested that McCarthy has been an example of an incredibly unlucky pitcher. Secondly, while it is scary for any pitcher to go to the AL East in a usual year, let's be honest and call a spade a spade: The AL East isn't as good as normal this year and McCarthy should at least get some more run support from the Yankees than he did the Diamondbacks. I love this deal for the Yankees because they only gave up Vidal Nuno and also got some money back. McCarthy should help the Yankees rotation this season, and if you're in a deep league such as the AL-Only format I believe he can be added to your list of waiver wire sleepers and potentially help your fantasy teams as well. If you believe at all in sabermetrics, now may be the time to make your move.

Matt Joyce (OF, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only Leagues / Deeper Mixed Leagues ANALYSIS: To me, Matt Joyce is one of those guys who is always towards the top of the free agents list in average-sized mixed leagues. Maybe he gets picked up as a result of an injury, but he isn't likely to maintain control of a roster spot. He is a solid player, who will contribute a little bit in every category, but not one of our must-have waiver wire sleepers. You pretty much know that, by season's end, he will give you 15-20 home runs, single-digit stolen bases and an OBP around .340. His power numbers might be down a bit so far this year, with only seven home runs and 36 RBI in 250 at-bats, but given his consistency, he is likely to pick up the pace a bit. If you have a deep enough league, perhaps with five outfield slots, that gives you the ability to platoon Joyce (much like the Rays do), then he is definitely worth a pickup / stash. The same goes for AL-Only leagues. Otherwise, someone who only faces righties will not give you enough production throughout the course of the year to keep on your roster long-term. But again, he could still be a worthy option as a short-term injury replacement.

Marcell Ozuna (OF, MIA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Sniper - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues ANALYSIS: Tuesday night was a great indication of how important Marcell Ozuna’s breakout season has been to the Florida Marlins. Ozuna belted a two-run homer off Addison Reed in the top of the ninth inning to help bring home a 2-1 Marlins victory. He has now produced a stat line of  45 R, 90 H, 15 HR, 51 RBI, 2 SB and a .279 AVG in 323 AB, which have some calling him “Stanton-lite”. With all of his production generating a 3.1 WAR, we are willing to overlook a high strike-out percentage of 27.1% and low base on balls percentage of 6.9%, unless these statistics are directly applicable to your league. Ozuna is still owned in only 61% of yahoo leagues, which is way too low, and can therefore be considered one of those post-hype sleepers until his ownership numbers increase. Except in cases where your outfield is stacked to the hilt, Ozuna should be owned in all but the shallowest of leagues.

Justin Ruggiano (OF, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Scott McCloy - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues  ANALYSIS: Justin Ruggiano has been on fire as of late, since June 25th through July 7th, Ruggiano is hitting .463 (19/41) with 6 doubles,  2 HR and 9 RBI.  This streak has raised his season average to .295.  Ruggiano has showed his power before when he was with the Marlins, having hit 18 HR last year and 13 the year before.  The Cubs have been platooning outfielders this year between Ruggiano, Ryan Sweeney, Chris Coghlan, Junior Lake, Nate Schierholtz and even Emilio Bonifacio.  This isn’t a stellar group of outfielders for a major league team by any means but manager Rickey Renteria has shown that he will play the hot hand.  That hot hand has been Ruggiano and even if he drops off a little bit, he is the best right handed outfielder the Cubs have now.  Ruggiano is actually hitting righties better this year than lefties, .304 vs .256 so the platooning thing wasn’t working anyways.  Ride out his hot streak and if you’re in a deep league, he could help you after the hot streak ends.

Dillon Gee (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE:  Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: The New York Mets are welcoming Dillon Gee back to the rotation on tonight (July 9th) and if he can pick up where he left off before his disabled list stint fantasy owners must get him while they can. Gee owns a 3-1 record while maintaining a 2.73 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP which is partially thanks to his home ballpark where his start tonight just happens to be. His strikeouts do not wow you, nor will they ever. That being said Gee does not walk many batters and generally he keeps the ball in the yard. The Mets have been giving their starting pitching run support very recently so Gee is coming back at the right time. His next two starts are coming against the Braves and the Padres, both of whom struggle against right-handed pitchers. Strike before the iron is hot! Going forward I like Gee a lot if healthy, for all deep leagues. He'll get a solid ERA and WHIP even if he doesn't put up the best strikeout totals.

Jake McGee (RP, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE:  Add in Most Leagues ANALYSIS: The Tampa Bay Ray's bullpen has been manned by a number of relievers, but none have been as successful as Jake McGee. McGee seems to have been the closer in waiting for a couple of seasons, and now he's getting more of an opportunity, with 3 saves in the past 5 days. McGee is a lefty that has some heat on his fastball so to nobody's surprise he averages over a strikeout an inning which is huge for late inning relievers. McGee should run away with the closer job, if Joe Maddon just gives him the chance. Pitching to a 3-0 record, an ERA of 1.57, a WHIP of 0.85, and has 47 Ks in 40 innings, he has dynamic stuff which will get him more saves if the Rays start to win some more games. Although McGee had a very rough outing Tuesday, giving up 2 ER en route to the save, going forward I would pick up McGee in any league that you are rewarded for saves, ERA, and WHIP. He should eventually cement himself as the closer barring an unforeseen endorsement of Grant Balfour by Maddon.  If you need saves, add McGee, though you can probably wait until the picture clears itself up a bit more in shallow leagues.

Dayan Viciedo (OF, CWS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues / All Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Dayan Viciedo is on another one of his hot streaks and HR binges, making his way back onto our fantasy baseball waiver wire sleepers list. After a long cold stretch, Viciedo has gotten white hot recently. Over the past 7 days, he is hitting to the tune of a .360 AVG to go along with 3 HR, 7 RBI and 4 Runs. Over the last 14 days, he's racked up a .298 AVG with 5 HR, 11 RBI and 8 Runs (a 10 game span). Needless to say, he's mashing right now. Viciedo has always had the power upside, but like many power hitters he does most of his damage in bunches, and then goes on cold spells. Well he's in the midst of one of his power binges now, and is only 11% owned in Yahoo leagues. So if you're looking to add some pop to your team, go grab him now off the waiver wire. If you are in a deeper league, or play in an AL-Only format, this is a no brainer. Ride the wave while he's hot, and hope that the streak continues well into the 2nd half of the fantasy season.

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

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Since 2008, Adam LaRoche has 25 or more homers in every year except 2011 - and he was hurt that year. So what is LaRoche doing being owned in only 66 % of Yahoo-leagues? That is just craziness, and he could even be labeled right now as one of those post-hype sleepers who isn't getting nearly enough love in the fantasy baseball community. I know he comes with the stigma of striking out a ton, but even that is not the case this year. LaRoche is striking out 18.4% of the time compared to his career rate of 22.0%. His walk rate is also up to 15.6% as compared to a career norm of 10.2%. Clearly this is LaRoche 2.0, who is a bit more of a patient hitter than in years past. His .395 OBP, 12 HR, 45 RBI and 39 Runs are showing that the results are there as well. But LaRoche 2.0 does come with some downside as well. His ISO on the year is down 20 points from his career rates, and his BABIP is way above career norms which suggest some regression in his AVG may be coming. However, even if his AVG does regress a bit, LaRoche is still a very valuable commodity in any league for his power numbers alone. Home runs are more of a rare commodity this year than they have been in years past, and with his average not killing you this year now is the time to pick up LaRoche before other owners wise up to the fact that he's having a career year. If he's still somehow available in your league, find a way to add him asap.

Jake Odorizzi (SP, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only Leagues / Deeper Mixed Leagues ANALYSIS: One of the more highly-regarded prospects in all of baseball just a few years back, the Rays have trusted Jake Odorizzi unconditionally since acquiring him from the Royals for James Shields. The young righty got off to a questionable start in 2014, allowing three runs or more in five of his first six starts, including a seven-run thrashing at the bats of his former teammates in Kansas City. Still, Manager Joe Maddon kept him in the rotation, and it has been paying dividends. So he is now appearing on our list of waiver wire sleepers. Odorizzi has thrown five quality starts in his last six outings, one of which being a seven-inning, one-hit shutout against Houston on June 21, striking out ten Astros in the process. He has really developed his four-pitch repertoire, utilizing a fastball, changeup, slider and curveball. At only 22% ownership in Yahoo leagues, it is time for fantasy owners to take notice of what the Rays' youngest hurler has been doing as of late. He has become a must-add in AL-Only leagues, and a legitimate starting pitching option in deeper mixed leagues as well.

Jose Quintana (CWS, SP) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12-team or Deeper Leagues / Continue Scouting in Shallow Leagues ANALYSIS: I loved Jose Quintana as one  of my pre-season sleepers, somewhat based on the fact that the Sox offered him an extension. I figured their development people must have seen something and thus he'd be a good investment. Unfortunately, he was a little inconsistent to start the season and ultimately got himself dropped from my fantasy team. Lately though Quintana has been very solid, minus two back to back bad starts in the middle of June. Dating back to the 19th of April, Quintana has only given up more than 3 runs in two out of his fourteen starts, along with a K/9 rate of 7.91. Most recently, Quintana is coming off a gem of a start where he pitched 7.2 innings, struck out ten, walked one, and only gave up four hits. This is why it surprises me that he is only 39 % owned in Yahoo leagues. This is a pitcher who is most likely better than the back end of your rotation, unless you're in a fairly shallow league. If he's still available in your fantasy league, pick him up off the waiver wire before more people catch on that he's more consistent than his initial impression this season led us to believe.

Austin Jackson (OF, DET) - Waiver Wire Analysis

5 months ago

Published by: Displaced Tigers Fan

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting / Stash in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Austin Jackson has had a disappointing first half in 2014, hitting just .244 with only 3 HR thus far. Coming off two seasons in which he hit .300 and .272, many fantasy owners had him on their list of pre-season sleepers, and expected him to produce nicely at the bottom of the Tigers' lineup this year. However, even with the disappointing first half, there is reason to believe that he could be poised for a stronger second half. Jackson has been slotted into the 5, 6, or 7 slot in the lineup 65 times this year. But in the last five games, manager Brad Ausmus has opted to bat Jackson leadoff  four times and 9th only once. In those five games, Jackson has racked up seven hits -- two for extra bases -- and has scored three runs. If the Tigers continue to use Jackson this way, he could heat up in a hurry and provide nice fantasy value going forward. Let's not forget, this is a player who has produced over the past few year, and bats in a potent Detroit lineup. His ownership is down to 61% in Yahoo leagues, so he still may be available if you have room to stash him on your fantasy roster.

DJ LeMahieu (2B / 3B, COL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in NL-Only / Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: DJ LeMahieu is a speedy middle infielder / corner infielder who plays for the Colorado Rockies. LeMahieu hasn't gotten all that much attention in fantasy leagues so far, and that's probably for good reason. He really hasn't been a plus producer so far this year. However for those of you in deeper leagues, where middle infield is thin and third base is even thinner, he may be worth a look. His 3 homers so far this year are a career high, over parts of four MLB seasons, which tells you all you need to know about his pop. However, playing his home games at Coors Field may allow him to benefit from one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the league, making him a recent addition to our sleepers list. What LeMahieu does do well is swipe bags. Last year he had 18 stolen bases in 404 ABs, and every year in the minors he was always at least over double digits in steals. Another thing I like about LeMahieu is that he his walk rate of 7.7% this year is up from 3.3% last year, and he is not striking out a ton. In fantasy, I like players who are patient at the plate (a sign of longer-term ability to succeed), and players who are able to play multiple positions. At the very least he's worth a look as a bench piece for those of you in NL-Only formats, or deeper leagues, if not as your starter at second base or third base. He's only 14% owned in Yahoo leagues, so he should be readily available for your teams.

Adam Lind (1B / DH, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Sniper - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only / Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Edwin Encarnacion is headed to the DL with his strained quadriceps, and his estimated two-to-four week absence may be key to any playoff hopes that the Jays have. Adam Lind, Munenori Kawasaki and Juan Francisco will all be important in filling the holes left by both Brett Lawrie and Encarnacion. While Lind has his limitations both defensively and on the base paths, it is clear that he rakes against RHP. His overall line of 30 R, 57 H, 4 HR, 27 RBI, .328 AVG includes a paltry 2 for 28 vs LHP, however. As Lind should be in line for increased playing time, especially against LHP, he needs to change that line for the better, and his been added to our list of sleepers for fantasy baseball with anticipation of the increased ABs. Over his career, Lind does have 21 HRs and a .214 average, lending us to believe that he may not actually be this bad vs LHP.  Due to his likely increase in playing time, with approximately 75% of at bats usually coming vs RHP, consideration of an add in deeper leagues and a possible injury replacement for Votto or Encarnacion in standard leagues is suggested. He is still only owned in 35% of Yahoo leagues, and may be able to help your fantasy teams.

Jhonny Peralta (SS, STL) - Waiver Wire Analysis

5 months ago

Published by: Displaced Tigers Fan

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Jhonny Peralta made the move from the enormous Comerica Park in Detroit, to the much more hitter-friendly Busch Stadium this season after signing with the Cardinals. As a result, his power numbers are better than they've been in recent seasons, and with his recent hot streak he is once again appearing on our waiver wire sleepers list. His career best in HR is 24, but he has already hit 13 this season and driven in 39 RBI. Even though his AVG is down a bit (.241), he still ranks as the 13th best SS in Yahoo! Leagues, but is somehow owned in only 56% of them. He's also been playing well recently: he has eight hits in his last ten games -- five of them for extra bases -- with two HR and six RBI. Peralta is a guy you can start immediately to add some pop to your lineup at the SS position.

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

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only / Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: David Freese is probably most remembered for being the World Series hero for the Cardinals in 2011. However, after his trade to the Angels, he hasn't quite been the same player for most of this year. Contrary to his last name though, Freese has been heating up at the dish lately with 2 homers in his past 4 games, making him the most recent addition to our waiver wire sleepers list. Over his last 7 games, he's also batting .533 with 6 RBI and 3 Runs, to go along with the 2 bombs. Unfortunately, he did come up with a bruised shin on July 5th, but the injury doesn't seem too serious as he's back in the lineup tonight. Since 2011, Freese has been someone who has offered some pop and generally has been an RBI producer, reaching double digits in home runs every year except 2013 when he had 9. He is still offering that same sort of power with his 4 homers before the All-Star break, but as previously mentioned most of those have come in recent days. The worrying thing about Mr. Freese (not to be confused with the Batman villain) this year is that strikeout numbers are up by almost 6% and his ISO is down. The rest of his numbers are more or less in line with his career, suggesting that Freese may have become too aggressive to try to hit more home runs. Still, third base isn't exactly bursting at the seams with its depth this year and you could do much worse than taking a look at a former World Series MVP, especially while he's hot. Freese is worth an add in AL-Only formats, or deeper leagues, and is worth a watch in shallower leagues to see if he can keep up recent trends after coming back from his shin injury.

Dellin Betances (RP, NYY) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues, All Keeper Leagues ANALYSIS: The Yankees' "Killer Bs" never amounted to anything as a starting pitching duo, but while Manny Banuelos has seen elbow trouble ruin his career, Dellin Betances has really come into his own as a set-up man. Standing at an intimidating 6' 8", Betances has always a dominant power pitcher. He can dial his fastball up to 99 mph, and throws in a devastating curveball every now and then to keep hitters guessing. This lethal combination led to 723 strikeouts in 641.1 innings pitched over eight years in the minors, and is continuing to be effective in the majors. Roughly halfway through the 2014 season, Betances has an impressive 1.47 ERA and 0.76 WHIP to go along with an astonishing 78 strikeouts in 49 innings pitched. He is rapidly emerging as one of the best relief pitchers in the game, giving him a place here on our waiver wire sleepers list. If you are in a deep AL-Only league where middle relievers have value, Betances is an absolute must-add. Even in some mixed leagues, if you already have a closer and are looking to add strikeouts (and lower your ERA / WHIP), Betances is the way to go. Also worth noting is his value in keeper leagues, as he very well might be a closer next year with such dominating numbers.

Mike Leake (SP, CIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake is quietly enjoying a very solid season in the shadow of Johnny Cueto. The win/loss record is not quite as impressive, currently at six wins and six losses, but there a plenty of reasons to be excited about the progress Leake has made over the previous seasons which is why he is the most recent addition to our list of waiver wire sleepers. The stat the excites me most is that Leake's strikeouts are up significantly from last season, while the walks and ERA are still as low as last season. Leake is sporting a 3.41 ERA, 88 Ks in 114 IP (7 Ks per 9 innings) which is up a lot from last season, and a WHIP of 1.14 which is another area of improvement. The increased swings and misses are a great sign for longer term success. Going forward I love Mike Leake, especially since two of his past three starts have been 8 inning gems (including 12 Ks against SF on June 26th). If you are not holding a staff full of aces, then Leake may warrant a spot on your fantasy teams, at least while he is pitching so well.  

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

5 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: The Tiger's rookie Nick Castellanos had a very rough start to the season, batting in the neighborhood of .220 for the first two months of the season. In fact, all non-keeper leagues where I owned him in I gave up on him because of the lack of every aspect of his game. He has since picked it up and improved his batting average to .270 as June finished up. During the month of June Castellanos piled up 34 hits and 10 RBIs which is more hits than he scratched out in April and May combined. While the power we were expecting has yet to come to fruition, as long as the hits are coming the homers will eventually follow, as will the Runs and RBIs. Going forward I have to recommend owning Castellanos if he doesn't cost you too much. He hits in a very good lineup which will give him RBI opportunities other waiver wire pickups won't. His month of June was so promising that I am willing to keep him on my team now barring a 0-40 slump. Keep in mind Castellanos currently holds third base and outfield eligibility in most leagues which is just an added bonus.

Andre Ethier (OF, LAD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Andre Ethier has been a major first half player for the past eight seasons who totally drops off at the All-Star break. That has not been the case this season, as he has been awful so far and has only just started to make some gains in the end of June and beginning of July. Ethier was part of a crowded outfield where the Dodgers manager Don Mattingly showed too much confidence in him to the detriment of younger ballplayers (Van Slyke, Joc Pederson), but I honestly think a change of scenery is much needed here. Based on his history which is well documented I know Ethier is capable of a 2-3 week stretch where he can carry his team and your team. He may just be starting to do that now - he has 10 hits over his last 23 ABs during 6 starts, with a HR, 7 RBIs and 4 Runs.  If he continues playing like he isn't in a coma, I would advise you to pick up Ethier in the near future if you need BA and RBIs production. There have been a few signs of life and this may be the start of a hot streak.

Logan Forsythe (2B / 3B / SS / OF, TB) – Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only leagues / Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS:  Left for dead just a few weeks ago, Logan Forsythe has been resurrected by the mad scientist Joe Maddon.  Well, kind of.  Since June 22, the Rays’ second baseman (with multi-position eligibility in certain leagues) has had seven multi-hit games including two three-hit games.  During this stretch, both of his 2 HR on the season were hit, 6 of his 11 RBI have been driven in, and 7 of his 18 R have been scored.  It might be an understatement to say that Logan Forsythe is en fuego… at least for Logan Forsythe standards.  If you’re in an AL only league, or a deeper league that starts two second basemen (or middle infielders), think about adding him immediately.  Just don’t expect his numbers to continue at this peace.  He’s never hit above .273 in the major leagues and his OPS has never eclipsed .733.  He’s at .253 and .647 right now, respectively.  His line drive (22.3%) and HR/FB (4.3) rates are the lowest they’ve ever been, and his contact rate is right around his career average.  This all translates to him finishing in the vicinity of a .260 BA, 5 HR, 25 RBI season.  Adding his hot bat now makes sense, but he’s not a long term solution.

Marcus Stroman (SP / RP, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Sniper - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Marcus Stroman pitched spectacularly getting a no decision Friday vs Tommy Milone and the Athletics.  The Blue Jays lost 1-0 in 12 innings, but it wasn't an fault of Stroman's. In his seventh start of his young career the 23 year old Duke product went seven shutout innings allowing three hits three walks while striking out seven. A glance at his overall stats may be deceptive due to some bad early games in relief, but he now is 3-2 as a starting pitcher and has six quality starts in his seven starts. His line as a starter is impressive 2.09 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 39 K in 43.1 IP, making him the most recent addition to our waiver wire sleepers for starting pitchers. This highly talented rookie, and former top MLB prospects (1st round / 22nd pick of the 2012 amateur draft) is meeting every expectation that the Jays could have imagined, and then some. A potential concern is if the Jays fall out of the playoff race, as an innings limit could come into play. But as of this writing, that doesn’t appear to be a a factor. We could care less if Stroman is only 5’9” / 185 because this young man can simply pitch. Go add him to your team now before it's too late, as he's still only owned in 22% of Yahoo leagues.

Brad Boxberger (RP, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting ANALYSIS: Brad Boxberger has been one of the Rays' more dominant relief pitchers in 2014. He's having a breakout season, pitching to a 2.87 ERA with a.93 WHIP and an impressive 48:12 K:BB ratio in just 31.1 IP. His filthy strikeout stuff is well suited to the closer role, but Boxberger, with just 1 career save coming into this year, didn't have an outside shot with veterans like Jake McGee and Grant Balfour ahead of him on the depth charts. He was an afterthought as a potential closer, until Wednesday night when manager Joe Maddon inserted him into the 9th inning, even with Balfour and McGee available and ready to pitch.  Balfour has nearly gotten back on track, and McGee has been dominant this year, and even closed out 2 games himself within the past week, so the fact that Maddon inserted Boxberger to slam the door tells us two things: 1) this really is a true closer-by-committee, and 2) none of these guys are worth owning for fantasy purposes just yet unless you play in a 14 team league where vulture saves are at a premium. Bottom line, add Boxberger only in the deepest leagues and only if you're absolutely desperate for saves, and only if McGee and Balfour are already snagged in your league.

Clay Buchholz (SP, BOS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Clay Buchholz looked like his old self in his latest start Tuesday, giving up one earned run on five hits in 6.1 innings pitched. This coming a week after a dazzling debut after being activated from the disabled list, where he allowed three runs in the second inning, but settled in nicely and pitched into the eighth inning. Overall, he allowed four runs total on seven hits through 7.1 innings. We all know what Buchholz is capable of, considering his 1.71 ERA in 2013 led the major leagues before he took a three-month trip to the DL in early June. He returned in September, and continued his brilliance, surrendering just five earned runs in 24 innings pitched. He finished the year with a 1.74 ERA and a remarkable .199/.270/.277 triple slash line for opposing hitters. When 2014 rolled around, however, it slowly became abundantly clear that the 29-year-old was not himself, getting rocked consistently and walking batters at an insane rate, including an eight-walk outing right before being placed back on the DL. After a month, Buchholz has returned to impress in his first two outings, not having walked a batter in either one. Everything points to Buchholz trending up over the remainder of the season, assuming he stays healthy. If you have been stashing the righty on your DL spot or bench, now is the time to activate him. If he is unowned in your league, which is still the case in 61% of Yahoo! leagues, add him immediately.

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

5 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting, Add Only in AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Logan Morrison showed a ton of promise as a 23-year-old in 2011, but has not quite lived up to the hype since, with 23 of his 46 career home runs coming in that 2011 campaign with the Marlins. The .242/.305/.411 triple slash line he is currently sporting in his first year with the Mariners is even lower than his career average in all three categories, which is not a good sign. Although is is hitting a little better over the past 2 weeks, with a .326 AVG, 3 HR, 12 RBI and 8 Runs, it's tough to trust him as a consistent option. He does little from a fantasy standpoint on a regular basis, and seeing as he is an average first baseman, he is likely to see even less at-bats once Justin Smoak returns from his quad injury. He has still some power, but at a deep position, there are likely much better options. Leave Morrison alone for now until he shows more consistency, except for maybe deep AL-Only leagues that call for a corner infield spot.

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

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting ANALYSIS: Brad Miller has been hitting better in the month of June than he had to start the season, but that only means his average now sits slightly above the Mendoza line at .207. This would be a tolerable average to some if he hit for more power, stole more bases, or contributed in any kind of significant way. He has offered some pop in the low double digits in his minor league career and has that this year, but a lot of other players will offer you that as well. The bad news also only keeps on coming for Brad Miller, as his peripherals are not pretty either. His strikeout rate is up 5 percent from his career norms, and he is striking out nearly 25 % of the time. When you strike out that often, it doesn't lead to many good results and is only acceptable if you offer some more pop. I hate to be so low on someone, so I will say that Miller did hit for average in the minors. However, I feel the Mariners have rushed him. He needs more seasoning in the minors to work on his mechanics. Ride him while he is somewhat hot if you really need him, but otherwise ignore him for now until he shows more consistency.

Kevin Kiermaier (OF, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: NBA_NateMiller - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only Leagues / Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Despite seeing regular time in the lineup for the cellar dwelling Rays, Kevin Kiermaier is flying a bit under the radar while hammering his way through the last month, and is the most recent addition to our sleepers list. The rookie slugger has stepped up in a big way while injuries have plagued the Tampa Bay outfield, posting an impressive .303/.347/.578 slash line with 6 homers, 11 RBI and 12 runs scored across 119 plate appearances since May 31. Drafted in the 31st round of the 2010 amateur draft, Kiermaier, according to MLB.com, worked his way into a spot among the organization’s 10 best prospects heading into the 2014 campaign. Only owned in five percent of Yahoo! leagues at the time of this writing, the time to make a move is now for those in search of potential across-the-board production in AL-Only and deeper mixed formats.  

Zach Putnam (RP, CWS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues (that value saves) ANALYSIS: With the news that Ronald Belisario was officially removed from the closer's role, Zach Putnam becomes the most recent addition to our list of saves sleepers to target off the waiver wire. While it hasn't been officially stated that Putnam is the new team closer, he looks like the favorite and is our pick for the job. He's been pitching well all season, racking up a 2.20 ERA and 1.07 WHIP to go along with 27 K in 32 2/3 IP. The 12 BB are a little high, but he's been keeping them down recently which is a good sign. He also picked up the save on Saturday, and grabbed a win yesterday pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings with 2 Ks. He clearly has the trust of his manager, given that he was the only relieve to come in yesterday in a close game with the Angels. Putnam is still only owned in 7% of Yahoo leagues, so if you're looking to add a potential closer and beef up your chances for saves, grab him now before it may be too late.

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

5 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 2-Catcher Leagues ANALYSIS: Travis d'Arnaud of the New York Mets had an abysmal season up until June when the team decided to demote him to AAA Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, he got some of his swagger back and began raking. Granted, Las Vegas is a hitter's league, but when your hitting becomes an issue that is as much mental as it is physical - so any kind of success is great. Since returning to the big leagues on June 24th, d'Arnaud has recorded at least a hit in his first 7 games, including a homer in his first game back and a couple of doubles too. The power he was billed to have a few years back was expected to get lost in Citi Field, but if he can develop a decent stroke to keep getting some doubles, he could turn into a productive catcher in two-catcher leagues. Going forward, I need to see more of d'Arnaud to make him a catcher I'd roll with everyday, but he is a solid injury replacement or a 2nd catcher until he develops a little more.

Marlon Byrd (OF, PHI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues ANALYSIS: Marlon Byrd had one of the best seasons among outfielders who don't get much recognition last year when he hit 24 home runs, 88 RBIs, and scored 75 times all while batting .291. This year he is on the dreadful 2014 version of the Phillies but he's doing his best to show he is still a capable hitter by hitting 16 home runs, 49 RBIs, and scoring 42 runs while batting a decent .267. The Phillies also shouldn't be deterring factor, as Byrd had the numbers he did last year primarily with the Mets, in a worse lineup and much bigger ballpark.  The one thing that scares me about Byrd right now is that his strikeout rate is nearly 10% higher than his career rate. That may serve to explain his .268 AVG this year, although for his career he has never been much of a high .AVG hitter. At 36 and 37 respectively, these years can not be called sudden breakouts for Byrd but as long as he continues to hit for power he should be owned in most leagues and all deeper formats. He could eclipse 30 HRs this season, and that plays anywhere.With all the people I hear talking about how their team needs more power, especially in a year that power is down across the league, Byrd is worth a long hard look and it's pretty crazy he's only owned in 61% of leagues.

Omar Infante (2B, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Considering how many questions per week I seem to get about the 2nd base position, I'm surprised Omar Infante's ownership tag currently sits at 19% in Yahoo! I realize that 2nd base is deeper than a lot expected this year, but Infante does have 7 RBIs, 5 runs and 7 hits, including a grand slam, over his last 6 games. What else does he have to do to get your attention as a deep league middle infielder?  Here is why you should be paying attention to Infante: despite his leg injury making him miss a month he was having the season of his career last year hitting 10 HRS, 51 RBIs, and a .318 AVG for the season. He was a sought after commodity at 2nd base during the off season suggesting that many teams liked his ability to play, not just the Royals. To date he is only hitting for a .251 AVG, but he has 5 HRs, and 41 RBIs in about half the at-bats he had last season. Also good news for those of you worried about the average: his K-rate is down, his walks are up, and his BABIP is well below norms suggesting that the average may in fact find it's way up. At 33, Infante is no spring chicken but any 2nd baseman who is currently on pace for 70+ RBIs and due to get more hits is worth a look in deep leagues at the least. Let's get that ownership rate up owners!

Collin McHugh (SP, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Only Add in Very Very Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Up until his recent 3 HR, 5 ER mini-blowup vs. the Mariners, Collin McHugh was enjoying a very nice 2014 campaign, with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP.  He had been rather unimpressive in his first two partial seasons. In fact, he was terrible: 8.94 ERA, 1.80 WHIP in 47.1 innings. For someone who hasn't struck out more than a batter per inning since 2011 playing in Double-A, it is odd to see McHugh fanning opposing hitters to the tune of a 10.23 K/9 ratio. It's not crazy that a pitcher could develop a new arsenal of pitches and find sudden success at 27, but it doesn't happen often. And I'm not buying it. The thing that scares me the most with McHugh is that, after shutting down the Mariners in his first start on April 22, the M's roughed him up in the following two meetings, including the the recent start with 3 HR allowed. This shows that teams are very capable of figuring him out. If you are desperate for some immediate strikeouts in a very deep leagues or AL-Only leagues, he may be worth a pick-up for the time being, but do not expect him to be a long-term solution. Feel free to ignore in 99% of mixed leagues.

Santiago Casilla (RP, SF) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: With the recent news that the struggling Sergio Romo has been removed from the closer's role, Santiago Casilla becomes an immediate addition to our waiver wire sleepers list for saves. Bruce Bochy stated that Casilla and Jeremy Affeldt would form a committee, but we prefer Casilla is the better option for saves as long as Romo remains out of the closer's role. Casilla has great numbers this year, with a 1.14 ERA and 0.86 WHIP to go along with 21 K in 31 1/3 innings. Casilla is also righty, which should provide more opportunities to close out games, and it doesn't hurt his chances that Affeldt had a poor outing on Sunday giving up 3 hits and 2 ER in just 1/3 IP. Grab Casilla asap if he's still available in your league, as he's still only owned in 30% of Yahoo leagues.

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

5 months ago

Published by: Sniper - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Ryan Howard is a 6’4” 250 pound behemoth and blasted an average of 52 HR and 143 RBI from 2006-2009. Due to knee issues and his advancing age at 34, those days are far behind him. A year ago, Howard underwent surgery to repair a tear of the left meniscus in his left knee and does appear to be reasonably healthy, which makes you wonder how he's only owned in 69% of Yahoo! leagues. Howard’s production this year carries the negatives of an average below .250 and striking out as much as any player, but his current pace projects to approximately 30 HR and 100 RBI which are not easy to find off the waiver wire.  While he's been pretty cold recently (0 HR, 1 RBI over his past 7 games), these types of power numbers can be useful in any format, so if Howard is unowned in a league with a deep bench, he deserves consideration to be on your roster and hit some home runs for your team.

Roenis Elias (SP, SEA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Roenis Elias continued his inconsistent June campaign Saturday, allowing five earned runs on six hits over six innings in a 5-0 loss to the Indians. He has three quality starts in six games started this month, leaving fantasy owners quite confused. Despite being a surprise pick for Seattle's rotation, the 25-year-old rookie has been solid to date, posting a 3.96 ERA and 1.19 WHIP over 104.2 innings pitched. With a 3.61 ERA over his minor league career and 290 strikeouts in 326.2 innings, there are things to like about Elias, mainly his filthy, versatile curveball. When pairing that with his mid-90s fastball, his overall stuff is above-average. That said, he is still a bit wild, and can struggle to keep balls in the zone. You don't know if he will come out with a gem or struggle any given start, so it's tough to know how to play Elias. It could be the case that major league hitters are beginning to figure him out, which could be devastating for a moderately-regarded pitcher without a history of minor league dominance. But given his relative effectiveness thus far, Elias is worthy of a roster spot in an AL-Only league where he will give you innings or the deepest of mixed leagues. However, when you take into account his overall inconsistency, especially as of late, there are likely much better options in any mixed league. I would have advised to sell high in early June, but if you do still own the Cuban lefty now, you may want to dangle him and see what you can get so he doesn't give you any more headaches with his occasional blowup.

Lucas Duda (1B / OF, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Right off the bat (no pun intended) I'll say Lucas Duda intrigues me. He has moderate power and can hit the ball as hard as any major leaguer, which we have known for a while. Duda has proven to be serviceable and for actual Met fans he has been pretty clutch too. On the year his numbers are solid, .252 BA, .348 OBP, and a .473 SLG. He has 12 homers and 42 RBIs in just 246 ABs, which puts him on pace for 30/100 with a full season of at bats.  The catch is Duda can't hit, and often sits against LHP. He mashes righties with the best of them, which makes him suitable for leagues where you can adjust your lineup daily, or weekly leagues when the matchups are right.With the depth there is at first base this season, I can't think of any reason to own Duda if you need to start him every day. Because of his platoon splits, there is little overall consistency to his hitting, but he had a very solid June and if you have a deep bench he's a great righty-masher to stash there.

Yan Gomes (C, CLE) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Two Catcher Leagues ANALYSIS: Last year Yan Gomes was so good with the bat that the Indians felt comfortable moving Carlos Santana from behind the plate this year to make room for Gomes. Unfortunately, so far this year Gomes has responded by hitting .267/.311/.421 which is no better than OK for a backstop. He does already have 9 home runs as compared to last years 11 but he is only 60 at-bats away from reaching last year's total. Gomes didn't do much in his minor league history besides occasionally hit for average as well as hit for some power, and nothing about the underlying numbers suggest a major turnaround is coming.  However, he's been swinging a hot stick recently, with 2 HR, 7 RBI and 6 Runs over his past 6 games, so he's worth adding in the short term. It's also clear the Indians management thought they saw something in Gomes. I'm not willing to bet my expertise against a professional MLB staff, so it's possible there are things about Gomes that can't be seen in the numbers. He does also offer some pop as previously stated, which is always nice for those of you looking for catchers in deep leagues. For the long term, I'd stay away from him in shallow leagues unless your format uses two catchers, or in very deep (16-team) leagues, and even then there might be better options.  

Steve Pearce (1B / OF, BAL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Steve Pearce has already hit a career-high nine home runs-- before the all-star break. At age 31, it is unlikely that this is a sign of things to come for the eight-year veteran, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't ride the wave while he's hot. He hit a cool Jose Abreuesque .361/.432/.667 for the month of June. He has also added 5 HR and 13 RBIs this month, all coming in his last 11 games. Now, given his lack of production in the past, it's likely he won't keep this up for the whole year. Still, short-term, if he keeps producing, why not? Plus, with Nelson Cruz cemented in the DH spot, Pearce has found himself slowly becoming the Orioles' everyday left fielder. Pearce will likely never be a viable mixed league option, but he is a definite sleeper option in AL-Only and very deep mixed leagues for a team looking for some extra power.

Drew Stubbs (OF, COL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Both Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer pulled their usual shenanigans of hitting the disabled list for an extended amount of time. Enter Corey Dickerson and Drew Stubbs. You have already  heard enough about the superstar that Dickerson is becoming. However, based on an ownership tag of 9% in Yahoo Leagues, I don't think enough of you have considered Stubbs.  This year Drew Stubbs is killing the ball off left handed pitching to the tune of a .366 AVG. Unfortunately, against right handed pitching which he faces more he only has a .259 AVG. This all translates to a very serviceable .301 AVG on the year, with 6 HRs, 9 SBs,  and 32 Runs. The average can be expected to dip because his BABIP is about .70 points higher than his career norms, although some of the increase may be explained by the Coors Field effect. The power and the speed on the other hand should definitely stick. Mr. Stubbs had 3 seasons in a row from 2010-2012 over 10 HRs and over 30 SBs. A player who contributes in both the home run categories as well as steals is very rare, hence why many 20-20 guys tend to go in the upper rounds of the draft. Stubbs probably won't get enough playing time to reach 20-20 when both Gonzalez and Cuddyer come back, but you could do much worse than a guy who can reach double digits in both home runs and steals for your 4th outfielder.

Mike Zunino (C, SEA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: The Mariner's decided in spring training to give catcher Mike Zunino a chance to play and show why he was the top catching prospect in the minors last season. He has been just okay so far in 2014. Zunino has shown power and has looked eerily similar to his backup John Buck with a low batting average (.230) and solid power (12 HR).   While his 12 HRs in just 259 plate appearances is very solid for a young backstop, his 33% K-rate and paltry 4% BB rate will make it hard for him to bat above .230. Zunino's lack of consistency had been holding him back, but the month of June has been very promising for his owners and those considering him. This past month he accumulated 19 H, 5 HR, and 10 RBI which makes him more enticing than other options and rosterable in a 14-team mixed league or any 2-catcher league. Going forward I would take a flier on Zunino based on the past few weeks and hope for him becoming a fantasy starter by season's end. If you are choosing between Zunino and d'Arnaud I am choosing Zunino every day and twice on Sunday.

Chris Young (OF, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting ANALYSIS: Chris Young had been having an abysmal season before the past week in which he hit 3 HRs and 6 RBIs. The only person surprised with Chris Young's numbers was Sandy Alderson who felt the need to give him 7.5 million dollars. Everybody else realizes that this is the real Chris Young, the same one we have seen since his days in Arizona. Rumors were swirling that Young may be released and all of a sudden he bashes 3 homeruns this week. It felt good to see these homers finally come and just in time because Juan Lagares came of the disabled list on Thursday and is ready to take Young's spot in the Mets outfield. As a Mets fan, I don't trust Young and while I am willing to ride out this hot streak with him I know the next hot streak is probably six weeks away. Young is merely a guy to start while he is hot. He is what he always has been, a .200 hitter who can pop 20 homers.

Tim Lincecum (SP, SF) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Tim Lincecum is not the great ace pitcher he was a few seasons ago so right out of the gates I caution you to not buy too much into the no-hitter he threw this week. It was against the Padres, who are pitiful, and before the no-hitter he had allowed 17 earned runs in his previous 22 IP, which is pretty gross. All that being said he is a guy you can use as a matchup play and this week he gets STL home and SD again in Petco - both solid matchups. This season he is better than last season - he is pitching to an ERA in the mid fours, punching out nearly a batter an inning, and has two anemic offenses in his divisions that should help his numbers. With the good you get the bad, and the bad is he walks more batters than anyone would like, gives up homeruns, and doesn't seem to have the toughness to gut out starts when he gets off to a bad inning or two. The verdict is to pick him up if you are able to take a flier on him and hope he builds on the no-hitter, but do not be afraid to cut ties instantly if he throws up a bad start. Matchup plays will be the best bet here.

Tanner Roark (SP, WAS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Scott McCloy - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Tanner Roark is 7-5 with a 2.98 ERA and 1.15 WHIP for the Nationals, so if he is still on your waiver wire (somehow) go get him.  Oh you want more reasons to get him? How about the fact that Roark pounds the strike zone and limits his free passes?  He is top ten in MLB throwing first pitch strikes 65.4% of the time and since becoming a major league pitcher, he has walked only 5.9% of the batters he has faced which is top 25 in baseball.  Except for his most recent start at Wrigley, Roark hasn’t allowed more than 3 earned runs since May 3rd, a streak that covered 9 starts and included a game win streak and an 11 strikeout performance.  10 of his 16 starts this year have been quality starts.  Not that bad for somebody that was released by his college and got drafted off of a semi-pro team where he had an ERA over 20?  Roark is on one the best pitching staffs in baseball and a team that is making their playoff push, so he should get some favorable matchups while Strasburg and Zimmerman take on the other teams best starters.   Look for him to continue to have success in 2014.

Jarrod Dyson (OF, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Jarrod Dyson is an outfielder with the Kansas City Royals who was on the left handed side of a platoon with Justin Maxwell. However, Dyson has taken over most of the at-bats with his play so far this year resulting in a .303 AVG and 12 stolen bases. Dyson has always had wheels stealing just under 40 bases multiple times in his minor league career and 34 last season for the Royals. His .356 BABIP is well above his career average of .319, and his walk rate is actually down from career norms as well. That suggests that Dyson has been getting pretty lucky to date but he shouldn't regress as hard as some expect due to the amount of speed he posses.  The speed alone makes him a valuable asset and as long as he keeps hitting he should remain on the better side of the platoon he finds himself in. For those in deep leagues he is most likely better than your fourth outfielder. For those in AL only leagues, he may even be better than your third outfielder. For those in shallow leagues, if you're desperate for speed there are worse guys to add to your watch list. Jarrod Dyson is doing all he can to blaze his trail past 2 % ownership. Let's try to help him out!

Kevin Gausman (SP, BAL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Nearing the midway mark of the 2014 MLB season, many fantasy owners are trying to fill the voids left by injured and underperforming players. If you are part of this group pay attention!  Kevin Gausman came into the this season as a top-flight pitching prospect for the Orioles, who seem to be always be looking for pitching to put them over the hump. He did not perform great in AAA this season, pitching to an ERA in the mid threes, but he did manage to strikeout a batter an inning.  Since being called up to "The Show" he has been solid if unspectacular.  He has three wins and an ERA in the mid-threes, but also has a highly underwhelming 17:11 K:BB ratio. Gausman has enormous potential though, and aside from his last clunker of an outing (5 ER, 4 BB to TB), he looked pretty sharp in his 3 starts prior to that one.  The Orioles are contenders and Gausman is someone who can boost the O's and your fantasy team if he gets a healthy dose of starts the rest of the season. If you need to take a chance on a starter for a few weeks and KG is available I'd grab him. The upside is very good for all categories, just be prepared for the occasional blowup here and there.

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

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues, Continue Scouting in Shallow Leagues ANALYSIS: Did you know you can count the number of shortstops that have 20 or more home runs in 2012 and 2013 on only two fingers? No it's not Troy Tulowitzki (though he'd probably make the third finger if he wasn't hurt in 2012). The honor belongs to Ian Desmond and J.J. Hardy. Unfortunately, this has been a down year for Hardy power wise. He doesn't even rank among the top 20 shortstops in most league. In fact besides hit for average, Hardy has not done much in the way of hitting for counting stats. Contrary to what you may think though, I'm going to recommend Hardy to those of you in deeper leagues, and add him to our list of waiver wire sleepers. Hardy hit his first home run of the year against the Yankees this past Saturday (unfortunately while I was at the game), and I don't doubt that in the 2nd half the homers will come in bunches. You can expect some regression with the .295 average as his BABIP suggest he is getting a little lucky on balls in play, but I'd expect the average to come back down anyway as he will probably sacrifice getting some hits for some more pop. Barring an injury sapping his power, I can't see any reason that Hardy shouldn't get at least to 10 homers by the end of the season.  And considering he had 30 in 2011, 22 in 2012, and 25 last year I'd be a little bit surprised if he didn't end up with more than that. With the power upside he's worth a look in most deep leagues, and at least a watch in shallow leagues.

Mookie Betts (SS, BOS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Can't you just hear the Fenway faithful chanting for Mookie Betts now? "MOOOOOOOKIEEEEEE, MOOOOOOOKIEEEEEE" And who can blame them? Betts was the 51st ranked prospect coming into this season according to MLB.com and has been one of the hottest hitters in the minors all season, adding him to our list of waiver wire sleepers. Starting off 2014 in AA, he posted a .355 AVG with a .366 BABIP, drove in 6 HR, and stole 22 bases, all within his first 54 games at that level. Then, after being promoted to Pawtuket's AAA squad, Mookie showed the same sort of ability. His average did drop, and his K% was up in his time in AAA, but again, it was the first time he'd seen that level of competition and his numbers were still impressive. The Sox may be rushing things a bit here with Mookie, but their biggest issue this year has been getting hits, and that's all Betts has been doing. He will get plenty of playing time in Boston, with the mostly inept offensive play of Jackie Bradley Jr. and the recently acquired Stephen Drew. He's a utility guy who has the talent to be plugged in almost anywhere defensively, with the contact and speed of a top of the order guy. All of this makes Mookie a respectable waiver wire add in most 10+ team leagues and all AL-Only Leagues. There will more than likely be some struggles in the beginning, as he's only had 359 career at-bats at any level above high A, but if your team can roll with the possible SS hit until he puts it together, or you have room on your bench, fantasy managers could do much worse than taking a chance on Mookie Betts. SIDE NOTE: Mookie was apparently destined for this, as both of his parents played baseball/softball for a good portion of their lives, and supposedly gave Markus (Mookie) Lynn Betts the initals "MLB" intentionally.

Adam Eaton (OF, CHW) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only Leagues, Deep Mixed Leagues ANALYSIS: Adam Eaton was a highly-regarded prospect with the Diamondbacks before being shipped to Chicago in a three-team deal in December. He has been praised for his scrappy, relentless playing style, at the plate, in the field and on the base-paths. In his last full season in the minors, in 2012, he hit .375/.456/.523 with 44 stolen bases and 130 runs scored. He has, for good reason, been in the majors for most of the time since, and is now once again part of our sleepers list to consider off the waiver wire. This season, after a 5-for-44 slump in late May and early June, Eaton has really locked in as a hitter in the leadoff hole. In his last 70 at-bats, he has posted 26 hits and drawn 10 walks, which equates to a .371/.450/.557 triple slash line. While he may not be running like many thought he would, with only seven stolen bases on the year, that number, along with his number of runs scored, should increase exponentially as he continues to get on base. He has really become an impact player at the top of the lineup for the South Siders. Spanky, as he is often called, is not the most productive fantasy player in baseball, but he is a reliable outfield option to provide you with hits, stolen bases and runs in AL-Only leagues and deep mixed leagues.

Corey Hart (1B / OF, SEA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues (when activated) ANALYSIS: After a hot start, knocking out four home runs and posting a .234/.337/.453 slash line in April, Corey Hart fell into a slump in May, with only one home run and a .172/.243/.234 slash line before landing on the disabled list. Hart is a proven power hitter who hits lefties and righties relatively equally, so there is no concern that he may become a platoon player once activated. Additionally, despite playing in a strong pitcher's park, the veteran righty has similar stat lines at home and on the road. Twice a 30 HR-hitter in the last three years in Milwaukee, it is safe to assume Hart will pick up the pace in the second half of the season. In that case, he would be deserving of an add in deeper mixed leagues and all AL-only leagues upon activation. Hart began his rehab assignment Saturday, June 21 and is expected to return within a couple of weeks.

Seth Smith (OF, SD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Seth Smith deserves an award nearly halfway into the season: he's the only Padre batter with a heart beat. Smith is having a solid season which is not very shocking, as he was a decent player in Oakland, where many players seem to flourish but don't get much hype. In a lineup where the majority of the batters are batting below .250 Smith is batting .285 with an OBP of .391 which is very good. Considering half his ABs come in Petco park, you have to consider Smith' season quite good, but in the fantasy spectrum eight homeruns and 24 RBIs are not something you MUST have. I like Smith if you are in a deeper league and you can adjust your lineup daily ,as Smith owns RHP (.295 / .391 / .525) but doesn't even play against LHP. He will go on hot stretches facing righties where you should plug him into your lineup as you see fit, but with the depth in the outfield most fantasy owners will not need to rely on Seth Smith.

Brandon Workman (SP, BOS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Sniper - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting / Streamer in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Brandon Workman's six-game suspension for throwing at Evan Longoria late in May ended Tuesday. With Clay Buchholz also returning to the rotation from the DL this past week, the Sox rotation is now overcrowded. Felix Doubront has apparently been demoted to the bullpen for the time being. Rubby De La Rosa may be headed to AAA but that has not happened yet. John Farrell has spoken highly of both Workman and De La Rosa apparently wanting to give both their chances in the rotation. So with six clear rotation candidates, the Red Sox rotation is in flux. Workman started against the Bronx Bombers on Friday and pitched a respectable 7 innings, surrendering 4 ER on 7 hits in a 6-0 loss. The 6’ 4” Texan was inserted into the Sox rotation on May 25th and has excelled in 6 starts. His season line of 41.1 IP, 33 K, 3.27 ERA, 1.06 WHIP has been stellar, with 7 IP in Friday’s start being his deepest start of the year. It should become clear over the next week or two whether Workman will continue to be in the Sox rotation. If so, he should be pursued in AL only and deeper leagues and would be a great streamer in any league.

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

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Since the release of Raul Ibanez, C.J. Cron has been lighting it up by going 9 for 21 with 5 home runs and 7 RBIs, including a pair of dingers last night. Cron has big time power as evidenced by his minor league numbers in which he reached 27 homers in 2012 and double digits every other year. The fact that he is hitting .294 on the season is a pleasant surprise, especially since his K rate is up from his career minor league norms. The one negative thing I have to say about Cron at the moment is that his walk rate is way down, but that could easily be attributed to rookie jitters or the fact that he is so consistently putting the ball in play. His .323 OBP on the season is acceptable, but I could see it going up as he gets better about pitch selection. The only reason I'm not currently suggesting Cron in shallow leagues is because first base is such a deep position. However, with mentors like Albert Pujols and Mike Trout to help him work on his swing mechanics C.J. could be the real deal in no time. He's worth an immediate add in deeper leagues if you need a power bat, and he is someone to continue scouting in shallow leagues. At 16 % owned, Cron's brawn deserves more attention.  

Derek Norris (C, OAK) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Displaced Tigers Fan

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues ANALYSIS: The catcher position is one that is relatively thin when it comes to offensive production. In many cases, Derek Norris is probably an upgrade over your current catcher. He's slashing .302/.405/.509 in 59 games so far this season with 8 HR and 35 RBI, a more-than-respectable state line from behind the dish. Like most catchers, he won't do anything for you on the basepaths, but that doesn't mean he can't score: Norris has crossed home 25 times in a potent Oakland offense. Some might balk at the fact that Norris occasionally sits in favor of John Jaso, but his stat line should quell any fears you have about picking him up.

Wilson Ramos (C, WAS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues ANALYSIS: Wilson Ramos is just coming off of the disabled list and should be on your radar if you have a need behind the plate. In his first game back yesterday he went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. In his 4 game rehab assignment prior to returning Ramos went 7-for-16 (.438) with 2 HR and a whopping 9 RBIs. Ramos provides a solid BA, a low OBP, and a solid slugging percentage for a catcher. Ramos' best feature is that he has the power to put the ball in the bleachers. He had 16 HRs last season in just 287 ABs. He does not strike out at a high rate either and with his ability to put the bat on the ball and drive it far, he has the chance to have a few very productive months in the second half, especially considering the high powered Nationals offense he plays in. I would pick up Ramos if you don't have a guy that you can trust at catcher and at least trot him out there if he gets hot - he has the potential to easily be a top 10 catcher for the 2nd half.

Joe Smith (RP, LAA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Since he came up in 2007, Smith has been a very reliable middle relief option for every team he has played on. In each of his final three seasons in Cleveland before signing with the Angels in 2014, he had a sub-3.00 ERA with 60+ IP. This year, he has a 10.02 K/9 ratio and a 4.50 K/BB ratio, both of which are far and away the best of his career. He has impressed in his six save opportunities, converting on all of them without surrendering a single run in the process. He has the talent, and with Ernesto Frieri struggling he now has a very nice opportunity. After being explicitly removed from the closer role by Mike Scioscia, Frieri was put into the 9th inning Thursday night in a non-save situation and promptly got shellacked, giving up 3 ER and leaving incumbent closer Joe Smith to mop up his mess and lock down the save. Still, chances are decent that Ernesto Frieri re-captures his job as closer at some point, thus sending Smith back into a set-up role, but right now there's no risks in picking him up, just make sure not to drop anybody valuable, since Smith is likely just a one or two month solution. If you're desperate for saves, he could be worth a pickup in all leagues, but don't rely on him for the long-term.

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

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Scooter Gennett now has a .316 AVG, .349 OBP, and .160 ISO in 450 at-bats in the majors between 2013-2014 making him a viable option for those in deep leagues or NL-Only. He offers both speed and pop having reached 9 HRS in almost every minor league season he played as well as double digits in steals most seasons. The numbers to me that really stand out are the fact that his BB % percentage is above career norms, and his K-rate is decently below his career norms. It suggests a player that is getting more comfortable at the Major League level with improved plate discipline. When he does play, he is often batting leading off for the NL Central first place Brewers which should lead to a good amount of run scoring opportunities. The only knock on Gennett is that he doesn't hit lefties well and has been riding the pine vs. them frequently. Still, now is the time to get him because Gennett is coming off one of his best games to date in which he went 2-5, scored 2 runs, hit a grand slam, and totaled 5 RBIs (note: he followed that up with a pinch hit 2-run HR on Thursday night). With Kolten Wong on the shelf,those who missed out on the likes of Josh Harrison will definitely want to pick up Scooter Gennett as long as he remains hot. If that sounds like you, you better scoot to pick him up!

Drew Smyly (SP, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Displaced Tigers Fan

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: In his first year in the rotation, Drew Smyly is performing quite nicely. Even though he's the Tigers' fifth starter, Smyly's numbers indicate that he's actually the third best man in the rotation behind Sanchez and Scherzer. His 3.19 ERA and 1.26 WHIP are more than respectable, and he has a nice strikeout rate of 7.6/9 IP. Smyly has only tallied four wins thus far, probably because he hasn't been that efficient: on average, he goes 5.5 IP for each game started. But as we approach the second half of the season, Smyly should be fully acclimated to his starting role and should begin going deeper in games. He's been on a very nice roll of late, with a 17:5 K:BB ratio and only 4 ER llowed over his last 25 IP, so Smyly can be a legitimate contributor in ERA, WHIP, and K categories.  Keep a close eye on him and if he has a nice start vs. Houston consider snatching him up in all leagues.

Jedd Gyorko (2B / 3B, SD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting ANALYSIS: Jedd Gyorko had a solid rookie campaign in 2013 in which he belted 23 HR in 486 AB. He was a favorite sleeper coming into this year, however in 204 AB he has mustered only 5 HR, 33 H and 12 BB, good enough for an abysmal .162/.212/.270 slash line before landing on the disabled list with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Gyorko was one of the most-highly regarded hitting prospects in the 2010 MLB Draft, and had always hit in the minors, with 62 HR and a remarkable .321/.386/.530 slash line in three years before making the jump to the big leagues, including 30 HR and a .311 AVG in 2012. I definitely think he will bounce back by next year and be a key piece for San Diego going forward, but a sophomore slump seems to be in the works here. Unless you have an open DL slot, go ahead and leave Gyorko in free agency until he is healthy and producing at a much higher level.

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

5 months ago

Published by: Sniper - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep / AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS:  With approximately a week left before we’re at the season’s half way point, Wei-Yin Chen has won 7 games for the Baltimore Orioles. He's only allowed 9 ER in his last 5 starts while putting up a 23:4 K:BB ratio so he's on something of a roll. Overall, Chen is an average starting pitcher but is also but very reliable. After 2 years on this side of the Pacific, it is quite clear that the Taiwanese native can reliably generate an ERA below 4.00, a WHIP of between 1.25 and 1.30 and a K/9 of around 7.0. Chen doesn’t hit much more than 90 MPH but has exceptional control with his BB/9 rate of 1.42, which helps offset a low K rate. Due to his consistency he's solid for AL-only leagues or deep leagues, but while he's on a roll you can give him a look as a stream option in any league depending on match-ups.

Matt Shoemaker (SP, LAA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12 Team Leagues or Deeper ANALYSIS: Matt Shoemaker has a K/9 rate of 9.18. Why is that important? Because if he qualified by innings pitched, that would place him as the 8th best K/9 rate in the American League behind Jon Lester and ahead of his teammate Garret Richards. That is very good company to keep. The rest of his stats aren't so bad either. In 50 IP, he has a 3.42 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and only a .249 batting average against. For those of you who like to chase wins, he has a 5-1 record and has the Angels powerful offense to help him pick up some more wins. The real question is do the underlying stats support Shoemakers season to date?  The answer is complicated because he only reached a K/9 rate of over 9 once in the minors but including his one start last year has pitched to a 9.16 K/9 for his young career. In fact, almost all his underlying statistics have shown that he has improved results in the majors as compared to his minor league career. This could be attributed to the league not having figured him out yet, but I tend to believe in the Angels' ability to develop their young pitchers (like the previously mentioned Garret Richards). Scoop him up while he is still only 11 % owned.

Jeremy Guthrie (SP, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Jeremy Guthrie is on a little run right now, having only given up more than two runs once in his past 7 starts. He also had back-to-back 9 strikeout games which is fairly impressive in itself. I'd be a tad more impressed with Guthrie if he wasn't giving up a decent amount of hits and walks per start. That usually spells trouble for a starting pitcher. Even more troubling is the fact that his batting average against, WHIP, and BABIP are all below career norms and his K/9 rate doesn't support coming even close to striking out 9 batters a game. Regression is most likely coming unfortunately. However, Guthrie is still worth an add while he is on this run for those of you in deep leagues. It's not easy to find pitchers like Guthrie in 12 teamers+ or AL-only who have been on a tear of 2 runs or less in 6 of their past 7 starts. For those in such leagues, add him as a flier. For those of you in shallower leagues, you have better options.

Carlos Martinez (SP, STL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep / NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Carlos Martinez has incredible stuff-- some of the best among young pitchers in all of baseball, even drawing comparisons to Pedro Martinez. Like Pedro, the Cardinals' prospect is extremely undersized for a pitcher. Despite that, Martinez throws even harder than the future Hall-of-Famer who shares his last name. He can dial it up to triple digits, and then fool opposing hitters with a nasty changeup. He needs to further develop a third pitch, likely his curveball, but the repertoire is coming along. He also needs to fix his command a bit, as he has 10 four-pitch walks this year, and struggles to record outs with a full count, allowing a .700 OBP in such situations. Martinez hasn't really shown whether or not he can succeed as a big league starter yet. After posting a stellar 2.49 ERA in the minors in 2013, he has an impressive 3.00 ERA in two starts in the majors in 2014. Still, given how small the sample size is and his lack of dominance as a reliever this year, I would suggest waiting a bit before jumping on him in mixed leagues. The 22-year-old flame-thrower is likely only in the rotation temporarily, anyway, and could find his way back to the bullpen, or even Triple-A, once Wacha and Garcia return from the DL. Martinez is only really worth an add in NL-Only leagues or the deepest mixed leagues if you're looking for some wins and strikeouts for the short-term. Keep tabs on the young righty, though, as his ceiling is very high.

Kole Calhoun (OF, LAA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Sniper - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS:  Kole Calhoun is in a CF platoon with Collin Cowgill; that’s the bad news. The good news is that Calhoun does play against most right handed starters so he’s starting around 3/4 of the time and often enters games in the late innings if he doesn’t start. After missing more than a month with a sprained right ankle, he was activated a little more than a month ago. In the past 30 days, he has hit .312 with 16 R, 3 HR, 8 RBI, and is in the best run scoring position in the majors batting in front of Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. As Calhoun has not stolen a base since the return and has decent SB potential, it might indicate he has been less than 100%. During the second half of the season, Calhoun should generate nice stats across the board, but should be a great source of runs and AVG. He can be considered a potential 4th or 5th outfielder in any format.

Chase Whitley (SP, NYY) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep / AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: The Yankees were supposed to roll out a rotation other teams were envious of  with CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Masahiro Tanaka, Ivan Nova, and Michael Pineda. However, as many of you know their rotation didn't live up to expectations due mostly to injuries. Enter Chase Whitley. In the 7 starts before his recent blowup at Toronto, Chase Whitley had 3 wins, a 2.56 ERA, and a 1.03 WHIP adding him to our running list of sleepers. Then came a big blip on the radar against a team that mashes right-handed pitchers. Consider it a blip / outlier for now.  Whitley doesn't strike out a ton as evidenced by his 28 Ks in 42 IP, however his K/9 rate is at the lowest of his career. Some of that could be explained by the transition to the major leagues from the minors , but with his improved slider I'd actually expect more Ks to come.  Whitley's  run of going 3-0 in 7 starts was reminding many Yankees fans of Aaron Small who pitched to a 10-0 record in 2005. However, Whitley has had much better results and stuff than Small. The thing they have in common is they both salvaged what they could of their respective Yankees seasons, and Whitley could do what he can for your fantasy season as well. At only 14% owned, Whitley is doing all he can to make himself noticed in deep leagues.  

James Jones (OF, SEA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep and AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: James Jones was traded to the Oakland Raiders this offseason and will be catching passes (maybe) from Matt Schau.... Wrong sport? Oh, sorry... James Jones is actually the rookie full-time center fielder for the Mariners and has hit well after getting the call due to inept play from a platoon of Seattle outfielders including demoted rookie Abraham Almonte. A career .282 hitter in six minor league seasons, Jones has shown the ability to draw walks, and wreak havoc on the base paths, averaging 28 steals the past three seasons. Jones is already at twelve SB in 182 PA, and more impressively he's only been caught stealing once.  The Mariners seem content keeping him in the leadoff spot in most games (batting second on a few occasions) which will only increase his potential value. The walks and OBP will come with time and better plate discipline, but he can immediately help in runs and steals for any fantasy managers desperate in those categories in very deep and AL-Only leagues.

Dexter Fowler (OF, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS:  Dexter Fowler is capable of double digit totals in both home runs and steals as he did with the Colorado Rockies in both 2013 and 2012. However, in the beginning of the season Fowler struggled a bit to adjust to his new home with the Astros and that led a lot of fantasy managers dropping him outright. That now seem like a mistake given his recent exploits. His 43 runs scored has him tied for 28th in the MLB to go along with 6 steals, 6 home runs, and 24 RBIs.  His BABIP is actually below his career numbers by a few points, and with his speed he should be able to make up the difference quickly leading to an even higher AVG.  The Astros lineup has been getting better all season, and Fowler's speed and power will allow him to continue scoring runs at a high rate. He's most likely better than your third outfielder and if not then he is definitely better than your 4th outfielder. Make the add while his ownership rate is only at 53 % and reap the benefits all season long.

Josh Harrison (2B / 3B / OF, PIT) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Josh Harrison was only supposed to play for the Pirates as long as Neil Walker was hurt. However, considering that Harrison has played to a .306/.347/.478 triple slash one has to imagine they'll try to find room for him in their lineup even when Walker returns. Harrison won't offer you much pop. His 5 home runs are a career record for him both in the minors and majors. However, he's reached at least 15 stolen bases in every season he has played (combined minors and majors numbers) and seems to score a decent amount of runs every year. He has hit for average before, but I'd be worried about some regression since his BABIP and K rate are higher than they have ever been in his career by a sizable margin. Still, I'm cautiously optimistic about Harrison. As many of you know, I love players who can play multiple positions because they offer you roster flexibility. If you were formerly a Kolten Wong owner before the injury, Harrison would be among my short list of players I'd recommend to pick up as a replacement. Make the move as needed managers.

Henderson Alvarez (SP, MIA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: The fact that Henderson Alvarez is unowned in 64% of Yahoo! leagues is beyond me. In just 15 starts this year, Alvarez has three complete game shutouts, not allowing a single walk in any of them. After opening the season 0-2, he has pitched his way to a 4-1 record since, with the surprising Marlins winning nine of the last 10 games in which he has started. Over his last six outings, he has allowed just three ER over 39.2 IP, dropping from a 3.62 ERA to a marvelous 2.39 ERA over that span. While he may lose a bit of fantasy appeal due to his lack of strikeouts, his low walks total makes up for that. He has given up a free base only four times in his last 45.2 IP. Additionally, his 0.76 K/IP ratio throughout June is a huge improvement from his K/IP ratios of 0.59 and 0.61 in May and April, respectively. The bottom-line is: opposing batters simply aren't putting runs on the board against him. Unless that begins to change, there is no reason not to have Alvarez in one of your starting pitcher slots every fifth day. If he's still available in your league, grab him now.

Jesse Hahn (SP, SD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep / NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: OK so Padres pitchers aren't the most sexy pickups, we get it, but Jesse Hahn has put together two dominant outings back to back. Granted the first was against the Amazins, in which anybody who starts against them lately looks like a Cy-Young candidate, but they were also just his second and third major league starts. Hahn has the opportunity to stick around in the rotation if he continues this success, (Robbie Erlin nursing a sore elbow and Tim Stauffer returning to the bullpen) giving the former high school teammate of Matt Harvey some viability as a waiver wire pickup. Currently boasting a 2.16 ERA with a 1.14 WHIP, his low BABIP, and high LOB% and GB%  suggest he may be getting a bit lucky, but his track record in the minors has been pretty impressive. He currently only uses two pitches (fastball/curveball) more than 90% of the time, so you'd like to see him add something to his repertoire, but he'd been working on his slider and curve during the off-season. Fantasy managers in 12+ team leagues could do worse than taking a flier on Hahn (5% Ownership Yahoo) as a streamer, and he needs to be owned in all NL-Only leagues until performance dictates otherwise.

Bartolo Colon (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Bartolo Colon is one of everyone's favorite players to watch bat because of how ridiculous his swings are. Today, however, we are going to talk about his pitching. Colon has 6 consecutive starts of allowing two runs or less dating back to his May 17th start against the Nationals, with the most recent one being an 8 IP gem @STL.  His 7.23 K/9 is the highest it has been since he was with the Yankees in 2011, and he's only walked 13 batters in 92.2 innings pitched. Colon will occasionally get hit hard, but somehow at age 41 he's finding ways to get major league hitters out, and none of his underlying metrics indicate he's getting unusually lucky.  Colon is worth an add if you need ERA / WHIP help and as a match-up guy, if not only to give yourself more incentive to watch his at-bats as well.

Charlie Morton (SP, PIT) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Tired of inconsistency in your starting pitchers? You might want to take a look (or second look) at Charlie Morton. Before his recent blowup at Wrigley (6 IP, 8 H, 2 BB, 6 ER, 2 HR, 6K), he was sporting a 3.09 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and a 6.9 K/9 in 87.1 IP, and had only given up more than 2 ER in two of his fourteen starts this season. Don't let the four wins deter you, as Morton ran into some tough luck to start the season going 0-4 in his first five starts.  Even with the poor start vs. the Cubs, his ERA and WHIP are still a respectable 3.47 and 1.26. The Pirates are playing better as of late too, which will help Morton's heavy ground ball tilt, and signs aren't pointing towards regression either, as he put up similar numbers last season and has always had nice upside. If anything, Morton's 70.5% strand rate suggest his ERA might be in-line for a tiny bit of improvement. All of this makes him a viable pickup for fantasy managers in deep 12+ team leagues and all NL-Only leagues.

Kyle Gibson (SP, MIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Need to bolster your rotation a bit? Kyle Gibson just delivered the best performance of his young career (1 H, 0 ER, 7 IP, 8 K) in a tough-luck loss against the Red Sox. He's now gone seven innings with 0 ER in each of his last three outings giving up nine hits in total, and it looks like the former first rounder might be starting to put the pieces together. Gibson's not going to be your strikeout guy, but his current 4.99 K/9 should improve based on minor league numbers, and he has 16 Ks over his last 21 IP. He's got a nasty slider (that link is from his rookie debut mind you), leans on his two-seamer more than his four-seam fastball, but improving his changeup to add to his arsenal may be what is helping him take that next step. His low BABIP suggests he may be a getting a bit lucky, but he still remains a solid pickup for most 12+ team deep leagues and all AL-Only Leagues of course. He's also worth a look in shallower leagues as a streamer where managers are struggling with their starters.

Jake Arrieta (SP, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 months ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately ANALYSIS:  As you’re reading this right now, someone else in your league is signing Arrieta to a fantasy contract for the rest of the season and unfortunately you’ve missed the boat.  If by some miracle he is still available, pick him up now, immediately if not sooner!  Arrieta is on pace to set career marks in ERA, K, BB/9 innings, WHIP, well you get the picture.  His 26.7% K rate places him 12th among all pitchers with at least 50 IP, sandwiched between Johnny Cueto and Madison Bumgarner, two of the league’s elites.  So what’s different this year compared to mediocre years in Baltimore?  Arrieta started experimenting with a cutter last year and nearly perfected it in the off-season.  His cutter is among the most valuable pitches of any starter in the Big Leagues as he is locating it in the lower portion of the zone and forces a ton of ground balls, a small amount of fly balls and an ever smaller amount of home runs.  However, Orioles fans will insist it’s because he grew a beard and nothing else.  Pick him up now!

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

6 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper / AL-Only Leagues (Especially Corner Infield Slots) ANALYSIS: Nick Castellanos has some big shoes to fill this year, seeing as the last guy to man the hot corner in Detroit won two consecutive AL MVP awards. The young righty will not be taking home such honors this year, but he has shown signs of being a quality MLB third baseman and one of our fantasy baseball post-hype sleepers. He has struck out 52 times already, but that is not unusual for a young player who likely came up before he was truly ready, as most young players do in today's game. He also is not seeing a ton of pitches, as his 3.69 P/PA quotient ranks just 124th in baseball among qualifiers. Still, with his proven ability to hit any pitch to any part of the field in the minors, his overall plate discipline should improve, and his numbers with it. Castellanos has been raking in Comerica Park, putting up a .317 AVG over 126 AB, but has struggled on the road, as he drops to a lowly .198 AVG away from home. Given the fact that the 3B position is loaded with talent on its own and guys like Miguel Cabrera, Edwin Encarnacion and Carlos Santana also qualify, Castellanos is only really deserving of an add in deeper leagues that call for a CI player at this point. Continue to monitor his progress, though, as that could change as he further adjusts to major league pitching.  

Eric Young Jr. (OF, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Sniper - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Any Leagues for SB ANALYSIS: Eric Young Jr. returned Monday from a right hamstring strain and was immediately inserted into the Mets' line-up in the 9th slot. He subsequently moved up to the lead off slot on Wednesday. With Juan Lagares (out since June 2) apparently headed for a minor league rehab assignment and Chris Young slumping and making Mets' $7.25 million signing look quite bad so far, Young Jr. should get full time action for the time being. Experienced fantasy managers know what to expect from Young, Jr., a .254 lifetime batter with top 10 SB potential and a very good source of runs. Both categories will be enhanced if he remains as the Mets' lead-off hitter. Young Jr., owned in only 20% of yahoo leagues is clearly an add in deeper and NL only leagues and can be grabbed in any league for steals.

J.D. Martinez (OF, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper / AL-Only Leagues, Continue Scouting in Shallow Leagues ANALYSIS: RotoBaller's Uncle Leo spoke about J.D. Martinez earlier today, but we love potential sleepers so let's keep it rolling. Martinez has been on hit streak now since June 9th, and has homered in three of his past four games. He and Victor Martinez have essentially been putting on the Martinez Bros show (not actual brothers or relations that I'm aware of) in Detroit while the rest of the team has struggled recently. J.D. definitely has some pop, as he has hit 19 HRs in a single season (between the majors and the minors) before. His current pace of HRs would go well beyond that total if he can keep it up. His .247 ISO is about 100 points above his career norms, but during his time with the Tigers Triple A affiliate earlier this year he did have a .538 ISO, suggesting the potential that something has really clicked. His .369 BABIP is a bit luckier than his typical .313 BABIP, so we can reasonably expect him not to hit at a .299/.333/.546 clip for the rest of the season. But even with some regression, I really like J.D. Martinez as a cheap source of power. When Torii Hunter comes back, I expect Rajai Davis to be the one who ends up sitting more not Martinez. Overall, I like J.D. Martinez as a cheap source of power in a line-up that should give him plenty of RBI opportunities. At 3 % owned, J.D. Martinez is currently relatively unheard of. Let's try to change that.

Mark Melancon (RP, PIT) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately ANALYSIS: Racking up saves is 50% opportunity and 50% talent. Mark Melancon has always had the talent, and he's about to get his 2nd 2014 opportunity. After racking up 10 saves while Grilli landed on the DL, Melancon had been relegated to setup duties. All he did over his last 10 outings was throw 9.1 IP with an 11:1 K:BB ratio and 1 run allowed.  His 1.89 ERA, .78 WHIP and 1 HR allowed in 33.1 IP are as dominant as any closer out there.  So we know he's got the talent.  As for the opportunity, he has it now: Grilli allowed runs in 3 of his last 4 appearances, including 2 HR over his last two outings that have led to a loss and a blown save. More importantly, after showing some resurgent strikeout ability upon his return from the DL, Grilli hadn't K'd a single batter in his last 6 appearances. He can't put hitters away, and a closer who can't put hitters away isn't really a closer at all. In the words of the great Hawk Harrelson, "HE GONE!". Melancon will be closing games for the Bucs and is an immediate waiver wire pickup in all leagues.

Alex Wood (SP, ATL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Sniper - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues. ANALYSIS: Alex Wood will be back in the Atlanta Braves rotation shortly.  Teammate Gavin Floyd left Thursday's start versus the Nationals in the 7th inning with swelling in his right elbow.  It was later reported as a broken tip of his right ulna. Floyd's exact status is not known as of this writing but at a minimum, a significant DL stint is expected.  We saw Alex Wood pitch quite well early this season and has a 3.26 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 140 K (138 IP) line in his 2 seasons in the majors. Has been stretched out at Triple-A Gwinnett and pitched well in two starts with a 1.04 ERA in 8.2 IP. With his time in Atlanta's bullpen and Triple-A Gwinnett, it appears that he won't have an innings restriction for the season.  Wood can be an above-average source of Ks and put up great ratios as well.  Go now and add him in all league format.

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

6 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: If I were to ask any of you who the number 12 ranked player in all of the Major Leagues currently was for on-base percentage do you think you'd give me the correct answer? Unless you answered Luis Valbuena, you'd be wrong, not surprisingly. The 28 year old has been an up and down major leaguer,  having spent time with the Mariners, Indians, and now with the Cubs. Valbeuna is obviously due for some regression as evidenced by his .373 BABIP being well above his career norm of .273. However, Valbuena offers some pop having hit double digits in the HR category twice in his career, and is well on pace to set career highs in both Runs and RBIs. He is worth a look for those of you in NL-Only leagues and deeper leagues as long as he rides this hot streak.

Billy Butler (1B / DH, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Billy Butler was a mid-round pick for many fantasy managers this season, and for good reason after his stat line last year. He was a five-category player in 2013 (fifth category being walks - not steals) that gave owners some power (15 HR) to go along with his .289 AVG, and nearly 80 BB/RBI. The beginning of this season left owners with something to be desired, but he's come on strong as of late with six multi-hit games in his last eight. He has also raised his average from .249 on June 8 to .272 after Thursday's game. His past six seasons of production, along with his improving metrics the past month, only forecast further improvement. Butler remains owned in most leagues as he sits at 65% in Yahoo, but he may have been dropped in your league by an impatient or frustrated owner. It seems like everyone is starting to find their groove on the Royals, so Butler can be a good contributor for your team. Unfortunately however, there are a number of 1B-eligible players that are probably available in standard leagues that can match, if not beat, his production. If he's the best option on your waiver wire, Butler is worth holding onto or grabbing in deep leagues.

Drew Stubbs (OF, COL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in NL-Only and Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Stubbs is the definition of a streaming hitter.  When the Rockies play on the road, it is best to completely stay away from adding him or starting him for his owners.  However, a quick check of Colorado’s schedule for the week and if they're in Denver he could be the x-factor for a win in head-to-head competition or an extra lead in those rotisserie and points leagues.  At home, Stubbs is hitting more line drives, less ground balls and he is absolutely destroying the fast ball to every direction of the field which should prevent teams from putting any shift(s) on him.  Unfortunately, he is just going to take up roster space when the Rockies are on a road trip- .176 BA, .519 OPS, 37.2% K rate, 3.1% BB rate away splits- so owners in shallow leagues should probably stay away from adding him altogether.  And there’s always the big question about Stubbs’ fantasy owners when Colorado’s loaded outfield gets healthy.  There’s probably not a baseball expert out there that would bet on Stubbs keeping his starter job when (if) Cuddyer and CarGo come back.

Kolten Wong (2B, STL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in NL-Only Leagues; Continue Scouting in All Other Leagues ANALYSIS: Wong is mostly a contact hitter, but can connect for some power on occasion. Still, his biggest fantasy contribution will be his speed. He gets on base a lot and is aggressive on the basepaths, so his stolen base numbers should always be up there. He currently has nine SB in 151 AB. At only 23, he has yet to find his swing in the major leagues, but he is improving. After mustering only 15 hits in 68 AB in April, he bounced back in May to the tune of a .418 OBP in 48 AB. Although he has regressed in June, managing just four hits in 32 AB without drawing a single walk, he has shown signs of promise for the future. As for now, he doesn't quite get enough at-bats against lefties to be of much enticement for fantasy owners. Wong still has a ton of potential, but until he can consistently hit left-handed pitching, he may better off left in free agency, except in deep, NL-Only leagues for teams in need of additional stolen bases.

J.D. Martinez (OF, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues, AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: J.D. Martinez has been absolutely mashing recently, making him the most recent addition to RotoBaller's list of potential sleepers for your fantasy baseball teams. Looking to catch lightning in a bottle off the waiver wire for your outfield production? Well this may just be your guy. So who is J.D. Martinez? Once a promising prospect for the Houston Astros, Martinez is now tearing it up for the Tigers. The biggest downside right now is that he's not currently slated to be an every day player long-term in Detroit, but with his home run yesterday, he now has a bomb in 3 of the last 4 games. He's also on a 9 game hitting streak, and coming into yesterday was batting .292/.370/.917 (1.287 OPS). After yesterday's game, he now has 6 HR, 22 RBI, 12 Runs and 2 SB in 100 ABs. If he keeps hitting like this, Detroit will have to find a way to keep his bat in the lineup. Prior to getting called up, Martinez was tearing up the minors with a .308/.366/.846 (1.212 OPS) stat line with 10 HR and 22 RBI in just 65 ABs, so it's not like this is coming out of nowhere. Grab him off the waiver wire if you can, and hope that this hot streak can continue. Martinez is only 4% owned in Yahoo leagues, so he's still widely available. And stay tuned for even more analysis on J.D. Martinez by RotoBaller's Rek, coming soon...

Danny Duffy (SP, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only and Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Danny Duffy's name has come up a lot in the fantasy community lately. And why not? His name is a lot of fun to say! But what's really grabbed the attention of fantasy managers is the fact that he is currently sitting on 2.83 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 42 Ks in 54 innings pitched. Duffy did show brief promise in 2013 when he pitched to a 1.85 ERA, and had 22 Ks in 24 IP and he seems to be building upon that this year. However, it's reasonable to expect Duffy's ERA and WHIP both to go up as his Batting Average Against, WHIP, and BABIP are well below career norms. I personally wouldn't be starting Duffy against the Tigers in his next start, but they will serve as a good test of whether he has truly turned a corner or not. If he can tame the Tigers, I'd suggest picking him up in deep leagues at the very least.

Mike Moustakas (3B, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues & AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: After a promising 2012 season with 20 HR and 73 RBI, Mike Moustakas, or "Moose" as many like to call him, has disappointed Royals fans and fantasy managers alike this season. That may soon change though, as he's on a nice tear and could catch fire with how blazing hot the Royals currently are. Since coming back into the majors on June 1st, Moose has raised his average from a  lowly .148, to a still lowly .171 AVG, but it will take some more time to recover his stats from such a horrid start to the season. He's gotten a hit in 13 of his 18 games since rejoining the Royals, with 9 RBI in that time and 3 HR in his last eight games. Moustakas is currently only owned in 16% of  Yahoo leagues, so if you are stuck at third base, need some power upside, and can tolerate the BA drag, Moose may be worth a flier. He's also a viable option in all 14+ team leagues, and should be owned across the board in AL-Only leagues.

Taijuan Walker (SP, SEA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Keeper Leagues and Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Taijuan Walker is the fifth-ranked prospect in all of baseball according to MLB.com. That alone should be enough to stash him in deep leagues and keeper leagues. He is a big, dominant righty with an overpowering, high-90s fastball and a nasty, low-90s cutter. He desperately needs to develop a capable changeup in order to keep hitters guessing, but he is definitely on the right track. Walker finally seems to be healthy, and although he was sent down upon his removal from the DL, he could find his way back up within a few weeks. In 2013, Walker put up a stellar 2.93 ERA with 160 K in 141.1 IP, but also allowed 57 BB. His overall command needs to improve, but that is not uncommon for a former position player. The soon-to-be 22-year-old strikeout machine is very much on the right track. Even if he gets the call soon, owners might want to keep him on the bench for a few starts to gauge how ready and healthy he is. Regardless, Walker is not a guy you want another owner to snatch up, especially in a keeper league. It's all but certain that he will be a frontline major league starter, it's just a question of when he will get to that point.

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

6 months ago

Published by: Sniper - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL only and Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: More than most MLB players, Brock Holt, 26 years old, is likely elated just to be playing in the major leagues. His “dirt-dog” mentality and hustle are evident throughout his game. It wasn’t the plan but his 21 R, 1 HR, 15 RBI, 5 SB, .338 AVG fantasy slash-line for the year has led the Red Sox to do everything possible to keep him in the line-up, and he is presently leading off on a daily basis. Holt doesn’t have much power to speak of but showed some speed and a .307 BA in his time in the minors. His multiple position eligibility in yahoo and batting in a slot ahead of Victorino (anticipated back shortly), Pedroia and Ortiz make him an add in all deep leagues and AL only leagues, and even as a short-term injury replacement in standard 12 team leagues.

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

6 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add In AL Only Leagues and Very Deep Mixed Leagues ANALYSIS: Owned in a whopping 21% of Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues, Alejandro De Aza is probably a tad bit undervalued considering he is just 2 seasons removed from a .281 / 9 /50 /81 /26 season. That's right kids, and how about if we told you that he sneakily powered up for 17 bombs and 62 RBI last season while still maintaining a .264 batting average (almost profiles like Carlos Gomez's come up seasons, except that De Aza is no spring chicken at 30 years young). Ultimately, he has the playing time opportunity (due to the number of injuries and days off needed in the Sox outfield), and has been getting pretty regular plate appearances (vital if you want to roster a hitter). Since this is fantasy baseball and all that matters is "what have you done for me lately", let us also highlight his .382 / 1 / 6 /5 / 2 slash line from the past 14 days; not too shabby for a guy available on so many waiver wires across the North American continent (yes Canada, we see and recognize you too!). If you are in need of a fantasy shakeup, and can use a player that can easily fill up the offensive stat sheet on any night, then give your boy Alejandro a go and see if you can strike lightning in a bottle.

Robinson Chirinos (C, TEX) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 2 Catcher Leagues, Continue Scouting in 1 Catcher Leagues ANALYSIS: Although he doesn't play every day, Ranger's catcher Robinson Chirinos has been hitting very well recently making him an addition to RotoBaller's waiver wire pickups and sleepers list. In two-catcher formats, Chirinos should be owned pretty much across the board at this point. Over the last 14 days, he's put up a .310 average with 3 home runs, 4 Runs, and 8 RBIs. And over the last 7 days, he is the 50th ranked player overall in Yahoo for all of fantasy baseball. Not too shabby. The Texas offense has been better of late, and he can be a solid contributor if you're looking to beef up that catcher production. He is also CI eligible in some formats, adding a bit more value. He may not tear the cover off the ball all year, but he's hot right now and can provide sneaky value for your catcher slot.

Junior Lake (OF, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper/ NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Junior Lake’s career started out with a bang last July but has cooled considerably like a Junior Mint.  The 24-year-old outfielder has a lot of potential but can’t seem to put together a string of solid at bats to sustain production over the course of an entire season.  From the eye test it appears Lake is completely capable of gaining access to the exclusive 30-30 club, but he won’t be on the list to get in for a couple years at the earliest.  As far as this season goes, among all players with the minimum qualifying plate appearances, Lake has the 10th highest swing rate outside the strike zone with the lowest contact rate on pitches outside-the-zone.  That’s a great recipe to cook up a ton of ugly strikeouts.  Of course when he does make contact, the ball tends to travel pretty far and he is hitting a good amount of fly balls which will translate to homeruns in Wrigley.  During July and August, he could go on a nice home run tear.  If it’s homeruns and speed you need and nothing else, feel free to grab him.  Everyone else should stay away this season.

Jason Vargas (SP, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues ANALYSIS: If you’re in the market for a pitcher, look no further than Jason Vargas.  He’s already won 6 games with a 3.30 ERA.  He’ll continue to be a threat to record wins as Kansas City is now playing like the division winning threat most analysts expected in the preseason.  His K rate isn’t going to blow anyone away, but he actually is getting players to swing and miss at a higher rate than the league average.  Expect his strikeout numbers now (67 K in 92.2 IP) to go up as a result.  He’s giving up a rather high rate of homeruns- even at pitcher friendly Kauffman Stadium surprisingly- which is a minor cause for concern.  All in all, Vargas has been too good this year, and will continue to pitch too well, for you to pass up in all but the shallowest leagues.  He may be one of the top 5 best starting pitcher available off the waiver wire for the rest of the season in most leagues.

Chase Headley (3B, SD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Zach - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting ANALYSIS: One of fantasy baseball’s pioneers, Ron Shandler of BaseballHQ, has a mantra “Once you display a skill, you own it”. While I generally agree with that statement, it is about the only reason I can think of as to why Chase Headley remains owned in plenty of leagues, hovering around 36-37% in both ESPN and Yahoo. He was a true five-category player in 2012 and the kind of player that won you a championship. However in 190+ games since 2012, he has essentially been a zero-tool player that may offer you a little power and may offer you some speed. Unfortunately at this point in the season, it is safe to say that there are a number of 3B-eligible players available in standard leagues that can at the very least give you the same production if not beat it. Headley is worth holding onto in very deep leagues and NL-only leagues but thats about it.

Jake McGee (RP, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS:  Jake McGee is the de facto closer for the Rays.  He was favored to get the gig after Balfour's demotion, and while some may have forgotten because it took a week for the Rays to offer McGee a save opportunity, he is now a waiver wire option that should be added immediately. He has been dominant this year, racking up a 1.44 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 36 K in 31.1 IP heading into Tuesday night. On Sunday, he recorded his first save of the season in the Rays' win over the Astros, taking care of Jesús Guzmán and José Altuve before striking out Jon Singleton. Then on Monday, Maddon brought Mcgee into the game in the eighth with the game tied after Balfour let up yet another run. McGee finished out the inning with runners on second and third with one out, and ended up notching his third win of the season with the help of the offense. McGee is only owned in 23% of Yahoo leagues, so he may still be available in your league. It remains to be seen whether it's McGee or Juan Carlos Oviedo in Joe Maddon's master plan for the rest of this season, but McGee remains a solid option for fantasy managers in the short term.

Andrew Heaney (SP, MIA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately in Keeper Leagues and Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Andrew Heaney is the top prospect in Miami's organization, and for good reason. The 23-year-old has flown through the minor leagues and is set to make his major league debut Thursday, June 19, just two years after being selected ninth overall by the Marlins Marlins. This is as a result of his dominant 2.47 ERA in 76.2 IP between Double-A and Triple-A so far in 2014. He has also racked up an incredible 5.26 K/BB ratio. Heaney is a shutdown lefty who has already developed a legitimate, three-pitch repertoire. He has a plus fastball that tops out around 95 MPH, a lethal slider, and a deceptive changeup - and he mixes them up very well. With Fernandez out for the season, Heaney could slide right into the front end of that rotation. It's hard to say whether or not his first stint in the majors will be permanent, but he certainly has the tools to remain with the Marlins for good. Fantasy owners should jump on the opportunity to snatch up the best lefty pitching prospect in baseball, especially in keeper leagues.

Ryan Vogelsong (SP, SF) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues, NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: At 36 years old, Ryan Vogelsong may not have many years left. As for right now, though, he is still pretty effective, both as a real life pitcher and a fantasy option. Despite getting off to a rough start, Vogelsong had found himself sitting at a respectable 3.39 ERA after going into Cincinnati on June 5 and recording a regular season career-high nine K. Those in deeper leagues looking for starting pitcher sleepers to bolster their strikeouts off the waiver wire could do worse. He has struggled a bit in his two most recent outings, but with six QS in his last 10 GS, there is a lot to like about what Vogelsong can bring to the table. Given his abysmal 5.73 ERA in 2013 and his inconsistency so far this year, it's difficult to know what to expect from Vogelsong going forward, especially when you consider he was out of baseball from 2007-2010. Still, 26% owned in Yahoo! leagues is far too low for someone with 43 K and only 10 BB in his last 43.1 IP. He has value in deeper leagues and NL-Only leagues due to, at the very least, his strikeout total and ability to pick up wins on a terrific San Francisco squad.

Tommy La Stella (2B, ATL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / NL-Only, Continue Scouting in Shallow Leagues ANALYSIS: Recent prospects call-up Tommy La Stella is another guy who is getting a lot of traction in the fantasy baseball sleepers community lately, and for good reason. In only 56 at-bats, La Stella has gotten his knocks to the tune of a .411 AVG, 6 runs, and 6 RBIs. His .451 BABIP suggests that some regression is coming, however he has always hit for a high AVG in the minors and should continue to do so in the majors. Manager Fredi Gonzalez may be getting frustrated with B.J. Upton in the two hole, and could soon consider moving La Stella and his high OBP up in the order, hopefully leading to more runs scored. La Stella is a guy to pick up if your team needs help off the waiver wire in AVG, OBP, or Runs, especially from the thin second base or middle infield positions. If that sounds like you, you know what to do.

Danny Santana (SS / 2B / OF, MIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Rek - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / AL-Only, Continue Scouting in Shallow Leagues ANALYSIS: Danny Santana has burst onto the scene with a .340 average, 12 runs scored, 15 RBIs, and 5 steals (without being caught for those of you in NSB leagues) in only 107 at-bats to date, adding him to our list of recent waiver wire sleepers. However, with that being said, his .427 BABIP suggests that he has been incredibly lucky so far, especially since he has never hit above .300 in the minor leagues. Santana does have speed though, having reached double digits steals in 5 of his 7 seasons in the minors, which can help explain a slightly elevated BABIP. Take a look at your 5th outfielder, your backup shortstop, or your backup 2nd baseman - and imagine if one player could replace all of them, freeing up space on your roster. Santana is that guy, and he is currently the guy that Ben Zobrist owners thought they drafted. Make the move managers!  

Neil Ramirez (RP, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues (that value saves) ANALYSIS: Neil Ramirez is the latest Cubs reliever to rack up some saves, immediately making him a viable waiver wire pickup and another in the list of saves sleepers for fantasy baseball. This afternoon Ramirez nailed down the save for the Cubs, his second in 3 days as he also picked up the save on Friday night. It seems like Hector Rondon may have been removed from the role, although he has pretty solid numbers this year and is nursing a sore elbow, so it may just be a temporary thing. Either way, if you're looking for some saves go grab Ramirez now - just in case this change sticks. Ramirez is only owned in 7% of Yahoo leagues, so he's widely available. Ramirez has also been filthy this year, with numbers even better than Rondon, so he may be a long term option for saves in Chicago. He's racked up a 1.13 ERA, 0.81 WHIP and a whopping 26 K in 16 IP heading into today, so it'll be interesting to see how this plays out once Rondon is back on the mound. For now, go get on it!

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

6 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add In Deep NL Only Leagues, Ignore In All Mixed League Formats ANALYSIS: Consider the following analysis as more of a waiver wire deterrent than an recommendation, but let's see if we can help someone out with the Padres great Yonder Alonso. First of all, this guy has never lived up to the tiny bit of hype the Padres tried to force on him, but that aside, he has slightly picked up the pace over the past 7 days batting .250 with 2 HR, 3RBI and 2 runs. Like I said, nothing to jump up for joy about, or leave your blind date to run back to the computer for, but if you play in a 10+ team NL-Only league, Mr. Alonso can be of marginal assistance at the 1B or CI slot. Even if you just are using him as a stopgap for an injured veteran (like when Votto was out for a stretch recently), his everyday at bats have some value still in the game we call fantasy baseball. At a whopping 6% ownership rate in Yahoo leagues, Alonso is more readily available on your waiver wire than the drunk, not-so-cute, flirtatious chick at the local bar (circa 2AM), so just make sure you don't have any better options before you commit to him (even if it's only a one time thing).

Michael Bourn (OF, CLE) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add In 12+ Team Mixed Leagues, Must Own in AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: At a very marginal 47% owned in Yahoo fantasy leagues, the casual fantasy baseball fan / player has missed out on some potentially valuable counting stats that the once must-own Indians outfielder has been providing of late. In the last 30 days, Michael Bourn (the above average speedster) has picked up his game just a tad slashing .282 BA, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 4 SB, 18 R. At that pace, he can be at least useful as a fifth outfielder, or rotational platoon play when you are needing a boost of runs and steals in your lineup. Just be a bit careful about catching this former Astros and Braves great on one of his patented torrid streaks, where he can rack up a dozen steals in a month's time span (even drunk and with his eyes closed); his last 7 days have been putrid (.206 BA, 4 R, 1 SB). Even at that, this would be the time to invest if you need a waiver wire rabbit with upside, so don't hesitate to at least bank on his guaranteed playing time (if healthy), and the proven track recored to steal a bundle of bags the rest of the way.

Chase Anderson (SP, ARI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only Leagues, Deeper Mixed Leagues ANALYSIS: Anderson was never an incredibly highly-regarded pitching prospect, but has finally found his way to the majors after being drafted by the D'backs in the ninth round of the 2009 draft. He had a rough go at Triple-A in 2013, posting a 5.73 ERA in 88 IP, but had been dominating in Double-A so far in 2014, posting a 0.69 ERA and a 8.00 K/BB ratio in 39 IP. He was given a shot at the big leagues as a result of Mike Bolsinger's struggles and eventual demotion. Save one start against LAD, only the second of his career, Anderson has been relatively effective and consistent, earning a 2.23 ERA in his other five outings. The most important thing to note when scouting Anderson is that, for the most part, he has been going deeper into games with each start. He had a minor setback in his most recent outing, against the Dodgers once again, as he surrendered a season-high four walks. Still, the Diamondbacks seem to be trusting him more and more as he garners more professional experience. His 5-0 record does have a little bit to do with luck, considering his MLB-leading 31% line drive percentage has only yielded 30 hits in 33.2 IP, but Anderson is definitely worthy of a fantasy play in deeper leagues or in AL-only leagues, as long as he continues to get outs and go deeper into games.

Jacob deGrom (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Jacob deGrom is killing the ball to the tune of a .455 AVG, emerging himself as one of the best hitters in the Mets' lineup. Unfortunately, in fantasy baseball, those stats don't count for a pitcher. The 25-year-old righty has been an effective pitcher, as well, contrary to the impression created by his 0-3 record. deGrom has been relatively consistent since making his major league debut May 15, with four QS in six GS. Only in his most recent start vs. MIL did he surrender more than five hits, and he has gone at least five innings in every outing to date. In the pitcher's haven that is Citi Field, he owns a 2.49 ERA, but has a less-than-impressive 5.56 ERA in two starts away from home. He definitely needs to improve his command, as his 2.00 K/BB ratio is insufficient, to say the least, but he has shown potential. deGrom is worthy of an add in deep leagues where owners can afford to start him only at home, at least until he shows improvement on the road. Be wary for now, though, as he faces two tough road tests in St. Louis and Miami in the coming week.

Ruben Tejada (SS, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting ANALYSIS: Generally speaking, players who lack power, the ability to consistently get on base and everyday at-bats are not enticing fantasy options. Ruben Tejada is no exception. Especially when you consider that, despite once being praised for his base-running abilities, he has never swiped more than five bags in a single season in the big leagues. Tejada currently has two HR in 158 AB, which is significantly better than the two balls off his bat that managed to clear the fence in his first 1,116 AB, but don't take tat as a sign of things to come. At only 24 years old, he could improve as an overall player, but even then, he would likely bring next to nothing to the table from a fantasy standpoint except in deep NL-only leagues. With a robust 26% line drive rate and a much improved batting eye, he should certainly see his BA rise soon.  He also doesn't possess the level of defensive excellence that can allow a shortstop to maintain his job despite struggles at the plate. Tejada is owned in only 1% of Yahoo! leagues for a reason, so don't bother looking to add him, even as a backup middle infielder. There are sure to be plenty of superior alternatives.

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

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Lind is a righty killer. He's slashing .367/.439/.587 vs. them in 109 AB.  He barely plays vs. LHP (2 hits in 17 AB), but it was the same thing last year (.309/.385/.539 vs. RHP, compared to .208/.240/.333 vs. LHP). You get the idea: Lind is gold in deep leagues where you can set your lineup every day and bench him vs. lefties. In weekly leagues, he should be owned as a matchup play for any weeks he has more than 5 RHP matchups.  Now you might look at the 3 HR he has in 2014 and raise your eyebrow, but Lind also has 13 doubles this year (again, in just 109 AB) vs. RHP.  He is walking at almost a 1:1 rate vs RHP, and he is actually putting the ball in the air at a higher rate than he did last year, which means the homers are coming soon.  He's also in the heart of a potent Toronto lineup batting behind Bautista and Encarnacion. Net net bottom line, hold onto Lind, or pick him up if you play in a deep league. While the average will certainly come down, it's only a matter of time before he starts seeing more balls leave the yard and feasting on RHP.

Drew Smyly (SP, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep and AL-Only Leagues   ANALYSIS: Smyly has struggled a bit since his move into Detroit's starting rotation, sporting a 4.37 ERA over his nine starts. He showed signs of promise in his most recent start against a talented, albeit struggling, Boston offense, but needs to display some consistency before becoming a reliable fantasy option. The young lefty had a spectacular 2013 campaign in relief, with a 2.48 DIPS (Defense-independent ERA) that put him ninth among relief pitchers with at least 60 IP. This year, opposing hitters are posting a mere .223 AVG in his first 30 pitches of a game. However, once Smyly goes beyond that point, he has surrendered 28 hits in 96 at-bats, good enough for a .296 AVG. So, we know what Smyly is capable of, it's just a question of whether or not he can sustain his dominance beyond a few innings. Take Joe Nathan's inexcusably poor start to the season and Bruce Rondon being out for the year, pair them with the fact that Robbie Ray may be ready to make the jump to the majors, and Smyly may be finding his way to the very back end of that bullpen. Right now that is just speculation though, as the Tigers would like nothing more than for this highly talented lefty to stick in the rotation.  If Smyly remains in the rotation, owners in mixed leagues should continue to monitor his progress and potentially stash him on the bench if he puts up a great next start vs. CHW. Alternatively, if Nathan continues to struggle and the soon-to-be 25-year-old is called upon to close games, Smyly will become an immediate add in most leagues as a closer.

Hector Rondon (RP, CHI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Mixed Leagues, Must Own in NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: What's with the lack of fantasy baseball love for Hector Rondon? You would think that the assigned closer for the Chicago Cubs, with very good pitching ratios thus far in 2014, should be more than 47% owned in Yahoo leagues right? Well, let us officially tell you the answer to that is yes. In 25.2 innings of work under his belt, Mr. Rondon is sporting a cool 2.45 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 1 win, 7 saves and 29 juicy strikeouts. The 9th inning job was open for discussion during the month of April, but not since he's sank his teeth in towards the beginning of May. His last save came on June 4th (and he was then on paternity leave until the 10th), so even though the Cubs are not winning every night, there are still plenty of opportunities for the hard throwing closer to get his saves for your squad. Ultimately, if you are in some need of a cheap boost in the saves category, and don't feel like overpaying in a trade for a top end closer, take a shot on Hector The Saves Collector and snag a sleeper off your league's waiver wire.

Lonnie Chisenhall (3B, CLE) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add In 10+ Team Mixed Leagues, Must Own in AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Well, I hate to add to The Chiz parade that has ensued in the past 24 hours, but it's about time the Cleveland Indians get rewarded for sticking with a former first round pick of their's (29th overall pick in the 2008 draft). Now that he is sitting at a pretty solid 69% owned in Yahoo leagues (updated at 1:00 AM ET), right this second would be the right time for anyone playing in a deeper mixed format, who is need of a 3B/CI replacement, to cut bait on someone clunky (Adam Dunn for example) and join the Lonnie Chisenhall bandwagon. Let's peel back a layer or two and see if this recommendation holds any water. The first sign of a fantasy stud is full time at bats and this young man has certainly earned that. He even started against the left handed Jason Vargas tonight (and raked in 2 more hits), a previously unthinkable move by Tito Francona given Chisenhall's horrific track record against south paws. Even though his current .420 BABIP is certainly unsustainable, it's fair to say he has made huge strides with his game this season. The second big sign is that he is has a superb wOBA of .451 and barreling up the ball nicely, putting up a career best 29.4% line drive rate. Given the fact that his HR/FB% is right in line with his career best numbers of 2012 (13%), it is not a ridiculously unsustainable rate for a guy that has proven he can do it before, even with a previously lower batting average and line drive rate. Net net, bottom line, it's easy to deduce that The Chiz has turned himself into a very high-end big leaguer, and with the playing time and pedigree to back up his strides, he will surely hold fantasy value moving forward in 2014 as long as he stays healthy.

Eugenio Suarez (SS, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues, All AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Eugenio Suarez was called up a few days ago and has done nothing but hit, making him the most recent addition to our waiver wire pickups and sleepers list. As Scott Slezak pointed out in his great MLB prospects update for June call-ups piece a few days back, the Tigers are looking to beef up their shortstop production. While Suarez isn't necessarily projected as a power bat or fantasy savior, one can't help but notice his production so far. In the 4 games that he's played, Suarez has already produced a .364/.417/.909 slash line (1.326 OPS) with 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 Runs and a 1 K vs. 1 BB ratio. Clearly this is a very small sample size but we're talking about a thin shortstop position, and a rookie call-up who was producing in the minors and is now hitting in a good Detroit lineup. Prior to getting called up, Suarez was hitting .288/.360/.510 (.870 OPS) in the minors to go along with 8 HR, 36 RBI, 32 Runs, 9 SB and 18 doubles in 198 ABs. Not too shabby at all. It'll be interesting to see how he performs over the next few days and weeks at the major league level - but if you play in a deeper leagues, just lost someone like Neil Walker to the DL, or are looking for some shortstop/middle infield help, then Suarez may be a decent option to consider off the waiver. Hopefully he can keep the good times rolling, and fantasy owners can catch some lightning in a bottle.

Nick Markakis (OF, BAL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add In AL Only Leagues and Deeper Mixed Leagues ANALYSIS: At only 57% owned in Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues, the Orioles most undervalued outfielder Nick Markakis lurks while having himself a career renaissance year thus far in 2014. Much of his success stems from the fact that he is batting leadoff, with some all-star power hitters protecting him in the lineup, and limiting the pitches he's going to see to a plethora of fastballs. That being the case, you still have to be a skilled and polished professional hitter to bat a smooth .309 with 5 HR, 24 RBI and 27 runs in the first 256 at bats of the season. Since the former 7th overall pick out of Glen Cove, NY (2003 draft) has a very long track record of being able to perform to the standards of the big show, we really like his chances to sustain the current career best pace he is on. Couple that with the fact that he's playing for a new contract after this season and we have ourselves a bonafide fantasy waiver wire stud. Just for the record, even though I have personally owned Markakis in a 10 team mixed league for the better part of this season (because I was fortunate to snag him early enough as a replacement for Bryce Harper), it does not necessarily mean he is the perfect fit for every 10 team 5x5 roto format (or head to head league). With that being said, who doesn't like a .300 batting average leadoff hitter, who plays for a super potent offense, and half his games in a known band box? Ultimately the choice is yours, but if it were our choice, you would be rostering the former Greek National team fireballer as one of your 5 outfielders for any mixed league over 10 teams, and certainly every single AL Only league known to mankind. Rush, rush get Markakis; before it's way too late.    

Marcus Stroman (SP, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add In AL Only Leagues and Deeper Mixed Leagues ANALYSIS: Coming straight out of Medford, NY, the diminutive rookie flame thrower had scouts, and Blue Jays fans alike, all worked up about his upcoming major league debut. Well, in his first shot at the big show (as a reliever) between May 4th-14th, the 5-9 righty did nothing impressive surrendering 10 ER in just 6.1 innings pitched, thereby earning him his immediate demotion for a couple of weeks. Fast forward to his rebirth as a major league starter upon being recalled on May 31st (the role he is best suited for based on his professional track record) and young Marcus has been absolutely lights out, living up to the ridiculous hype following his domination of the minor leagues. In his last 2 appearances (both as a starter), Stroman has pitched 12 innings, while striking out 13 batters and only surrendering 2 runs and 2 free passes in the process. It's no wonder he is now 3-0 as a big leaguer and keeping his rotation spot for the foreseeable future, so if you can forget about the Blue Jays horrendous misuse of the 2012 draft's 22nd overall pick, then you will most likely get yourself a valuable strikeout artist with a chance to compile another 8-10 wins this year. Be sure to temper your expectations though, as he is NOT the second coming of Jose Fernandez, but if Toronto keeps putting the offensive smack down on the majority of their opponents, then this pedigree star should keep proving he belongs in the big show instead of dismantling hopeless minor league hitters.

Jake McGee / Juan Carlos Oviedo (RP, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Grant Balfour is out as the closer in TB, for now. He says his fastball has been improving, and if that's the case we will not be surprised to see Balfour reclaim the closer gig in a matter of weeks.  Joe Maddon is intensely loyal to his players - could ya tell by the long leash Balfour was given? Unfortunately, Balfour just used the leash to hang himself. He was awful, walking almost as many hitters as he struck out.  Enter Jake McGee and Leo Nunez, errrr Juan Carlos Oviedo.  McGee is a dominant left hander with an elite K-rate and microscopic WHIP.  Oviedo  has also been filthy this year, with an solid K-rate as well.  We wouldn't put it past Maddon to implement a true committe here, using Nunez if there are a couple lefties up and Oviedo if there are a couple righties up.  What that means for you is that if you play in a shallow league you should leave both these guys for the waiver wire, for now. Watch the matchups carefully, and if you see McGee close out a game with a couple righties coming up in the 9th, you should snatch him up immediately!

Gregory Polanco (OF, PIT) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add In All Leagues ANALYSIS: Some experts will try to tell you that the 22 year old Gregory Polanco should have already been called up because the Pirates have needed him so desperately, but despite his tearing up of the minor leagues thus far in 2014, Pittsburgh's outfield situation has been crowded by young, and once-promising, part time players like Travis Snider, Josh Harrison and Jose Tabata. Additionally, Mr. Polanco may be the only minor league stud in recent memory not in a rush to take his arbitration buyout contract and get to the big show a bit quicker. He and his very shrewd agents have decided to gamble on his once in a decade talent level, and bide their time killing Triple A pitching to the tune of a .350 BA with 7 HR, 45 RBI, and 15 steals as the icing on the fantasy baseball cake! It's clearly obvious that the Bucs can use this young rising star in the majors immediately, and if the reporting of reliable baseball insiders in correct, we should see young Gregory taking big league hacks by the middle of June (if not by week's end!). The moral of the story is this; it makes no sense that with all of the national hype that has ensued by Polanco's imminent arrival, he would only be owned in 51% of Yahoo leagues. Therefore, it would be very prudent for all fantasy baseball managers in mixed leagues over 10 teams, and NL Only formats, to run to their waiver wire and attempt snag up this future all-star before its too late!

Marcell Ozuna (OF, MIA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add In All Leagues ANALYSIS: If you haven't already taken notice, then please fix your face and start thinking about who you are dropping for the Miami Marlins young stud outfielder, Marcell Ozuna. Most of the time when we think of power bats in the Marlins outfield, the words Mike and Stanton often come together rather quickly, however with 11 round-trippers thus far in just 2 short months, the 23 year old Dominican has started to put his own stamp on the league, and fantasy rosters alike. When you couple this legit power surge with his .274 BA, 39 RBI and 29 runs scored, you have yourself a bonafide stud #5 outfielder for deeper mixed leagues, and a must-own option for NL Only leagues. Oh, and just in case you might have thought this little hot start to 2014 is a fluke, please note that he went yard 20+ times for three consecutive years in the minor leagues between 2010-2012. The bottom line is that he really needs to be owned in more than 51% of Yahoo leagues, so if you are reading this and need outfield help, I suggest you run like the wind (or just open the app on your phone) to your league's waiver wire and make a move to help you win.

Chad Qualls (RP, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS:  Qualls is quietly putting together quite the dominant campaign in 2014, and it's going overlooked by 64% of owners in Yahoo! leagues.  Here are the basic facts: Houston has finally settled on Qualls as their closer after a merry-go-round month of April. On the season, Qualls has an elite 22:3 K:BB ratio in 19.2 IP. Since May 11th, Qualls has 5 saves, 8 K, 0 BB, and ONE hit allowed in 8.2 IP.  You read that right - he's allowed just a single baserunner in his past 8.2 IP.  What more do you want from a closer?  More saves? Qualls is pacing for 30-35 over a full season, and with Springer and Singleton in the Stros' lineup on the regular now, it wouldn't surprise me to see Qualls start racking up saves more consistently going forward. He is a great option if you're in need of saves and he's just sitting there on the waiver wire.

Jenrry Mejia (RP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Don't let the last two innings scare you - while Mejia gave up 3 ER, he still locked down a save and didn't blow a save in the other appearance. Since taking over the closer role, all Mejia has done is, well....get nasty.  He's thrown 12.1 IP, with a 13:5 K:BB ratio and only 3 ER while racking up 5 saves. He is pitching lights out and in the Mets division, they'll be in enough close games to give Mejia plenty of save chances. Mejia has a ton of job security and is putting his talent to work. If you need saves, and Mejia is on your waiver wire, and you still own a guy like Grant Balfour, make the switch immediately and enjoy Mejia's Kupside and saves.

Jonathan Singleton (1B, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Jon Singleton has arrived, and he already has a HR in just 12 plate appearances in the majors.  Houston will give him every chance to succeed and will bat him in the 5th or 6th spots in the lineup, giving him ample opportunities to drive in runs.  Singleton has enormous power, as evidenced by his .544 SLG in Triple-A over 239 PAs.Though Singleton cut down on his minor league K% in a big way this year, he still has swing and miss tendencies that should worry any potential investor / owner.  Singleton profiles as a .250 hitter, with a .260 upside at best. The power should get you 15 HR and maybe 55 RBI if you're luck rest of the season, but the average and utter lack of speed make him a Ryan Howard type of player. Unless you play in keeper leagues, Singleton probably won't be a huge difference maker rest of season, but he's still worth owning in deep leagues as a cheap power source.

Bartolo Colon (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues, All NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Bartolo Colon, the ageless wonder, has been on a tear recently making him an intriguing waiver wire pickup in many leagues, especially if you're looking for some starting pitching help. Colon came into the year on many sleepers lists, but was quickly forgotten about after getting off to a rough start. Well he is only owned in 28% of Yahoo leagues, and has been on fire recently. Over his last 3 games, he's give up at most 2 runs in any start, while going at least 7 IP and getting 3 Wins. Over the past 14 days, he's the #63 overall ranked player in Yahoo, putting up a pristine 1.96 ERA and 1.04 WHIP with 17 K in 18 1/3 IP. He pitches in a good pitchers park, doesn't walk batters, puts up solid Ks, and can get hot in stretches. He faces off against the Giants on Saturday, pitching in a pitcher-friendly AT&T park. The Giants have been hitting well for the most part, but he's worth a flier off the waiver wire to see if he can keep the hot streak going.

Juan Francisco (1B / 3B, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues ANALYSIS: There’s no surprise with what you’re going to get from Juan Francisco.  The dude has raw power but will strike a lot and is sub-par with the glove.  Fortunately for the Jays - and his fantasy owners alike - Francisco has shown more patience at the plate and the result is paying off.  Since his insertion into the regular lineup in mid-April, the Blue Jays have been amongst the highest scoring offenses in the majors.  Francisco is on pace to set career highs in R, HR, RBI, OBP and WAR.  Nearly 43% of all his batted balls are going for fly balls and of those fly balls, nearly 30% are going for home runs.  If he can further cut his strikeout rate, it’s not unreasonable to think Francisco could be a 30-35 HR guy.  He’s a great option to add off the waiver wire, however those of you in points leagues need to be wary as he’s still striking out a lot and committing his fair share of errors.

Oswaldo Arcia (OF, MIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting / Add in AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: The good news is that Arcia is striking out less than he did in nearly 100 games with Minnesota last year.  The bad news is that it’s not enough to overcome his extremely poor ability to get on base.  He’s swinging at nearly 45% of all pitches seen outside the zone and is only making contact with 79% of the pitches he’s swinging at in the strike zone.  Neither of those numbers suggest any type of success at the plate.  At only 23 years old, it’s still likely that Arcia could have a productive career and should be considered in prospect keeper leagues.  For 2014, unless his power starts showing, you’ll need to stay away from him and his projected high strike out rate except for AL-Only leagues.

Khris Davis (OF, MIL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Davis has cooled off over the past 5 games, only going 4-for-16 with 3 Runs, 0 HR and RBI.  Prior to that, he had been on a pretty nice tear, going 11-for-20 with 3 HR, 6 RBI and a whopping 9 runs. Considering Davis is primarily batting in the 6th spot in the lineup, the run scoring is both impressive and entirely unsustainable.  The silver lining is that he has an ultra impressive 5:3 BB:K ratio over the past 10 games, and considering he only had 3 BB to go with 47 punchouts before that, it's quite the change in approach.  Davis was flailing at the plate, and now he is making solid contact and crushing the ball.  His splits are ridiculous (.788 SLG vs LHP / .377 SLG vs. RHP), so he's mostly a depth guy who you should spot start.  But overall, he's playing like the guy we projected on drafted day, so it's a good time to own Davis.  Keep a close eye on the BB/K ratio going forward, as it seems to be a big indicator of success for him.

Jorge De La Rosa (SP, COL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues, All NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Jorge De La Rosa is pitching very well recently, making him a very intriguing waiver wire pickup, and one of those starting pitcher sleepers that people aren't paying enough attention to. Currently he is only owned in 39% of Yahoo leagues, but holds a 3.66 ERA and 1.17 WHIP on the year with 48 K in 59 IP. He has only given up more than 3 ER once in any of his 10 appearances this year. Over his last 8 appearances he gave up 3 ER once - and either 0, 1, or 2 ER every other time. Pretty consistent stuff. Over the last 30 days, he has a pristine 1.23 ERA with 0.77 WHIP, making him the 44th overall ranked player in Yahoo over that time. And since the beginning of last year, he has a 13-1 record pitching in Colorado with a 2.77 ERA. You get the picture. If he's still available in your league, you may want to consider him tonight against an Arizona Diamondbacks lineup that will be missing Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock (recently injured). He also has a career 2.57 ERA and 1.24 WHIP against Arizona over 101 2/3 innings pitched. Feel free to grab De La Rosa off the waiver wire and see if he can continue his streak of borderline dominance.

Michael Saunders (OF, SEA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Saunders has a 4 game hit streak going with 2 HR and 8 RBI during that span. On the season he has only 4 HR and 2 SB in 136 AB, which is not on pace with preseason hopes for him to be a potential 20-20 guy like he nearly was in 2012.  That said, Saunders is still a worthwhile pickup in deep leagues as long as he's swinging a hot stick. He is slugging .456 on the year which is fine for a 5th OF. Saunders is playing almost every single day, and he is mashing right handed pitching (.470 SLG vs. RHP, /417 SLG vs LHP), so as long as you can adjust your lineup daily, he's a productive 5th OF in deep leagues when the matchups are right.

Conor Gillaspie (1B / 3B, CWS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Joe Hannon - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues for a Batting Average boost ANALYSIS: Simply put, Conor Gillaspie can rake. There have been only four games this season in which he did not have at least one base hit. Conor doesn't have enough plate appearances to quality for the batting title, but his .351 average is higher than any qualifying hitter in the American League. He has yet to homer this year but his high average and .400 OBP will create plenty of chances for him to improve upon his 17 R and 18 RBI. Gillaspie will continue to man the hot corner and bat high up in the Sox offense , and he should benefit further from Jose Abreu's return to the lineup.  Fantasy owners in deep leagues looking to raise their batting average at the third base position should cash in on Gillaspie's productive play.

Mark Reynolds (1B / 3B, MIL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues (if you're power starved) ANALYSIS: Mark Reynolds is one of the easiest pro ballplayers to predict the statistics for going into a season. If he is alotted 450-500 at-bats he has a chance to strikeout the most times in one season (a record he currently owns with 223). On the flip side he can hit you 25-35 homeruns over said at-bats. You take the good with the bad.  As expected, this season Mark Reynolds has 12 HR (on pace for 36) and 57 Ks which attributes to that ugly .217 average. So when you see him sitting on the waiver wire you need to weigh the value to your team. If you need HR and can take a hit in the AVG category, he is your man, if not don't waste your time.  Keep an eye on the playing time situation as well, because the return of Aramis Ramirez might cut into Reynold's playing time a little bit.

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

6 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Trevor Plouffe is like a quad-A fantasy player. Good enough for all deep leagues, but not quite good enough for shallow leagues. While the batting average does not impress, he will pop a few homeruns for you and as the #3 hitter in a better-than-expected Twins lineup, he'll have plenty of RBI and R opportunities. He probably will not hit 30 homesruns at any point in the near future, but few waiver wire options will. He is very streaky and when he gets hot he can hit 5 homeruns in a week and drive in double digit runs that week.  This season Plouffe has okay numbers. The average is on par with the rest of his career at .244, the power isn't there yet with only 5 HR, but he has 33 RBIs, which is a very nice number. He also has 19 doubles this season which means the power is there and with some good luck some of them will turn to homeruns. If you need lightning in a bottle I think adding Plouffe is a good gamble for deeper leagues.

Lorenzo Cain (OF, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Lorenzo Cain has underachieved for the past few seasons, even in 2012 when he got off to a good start but got hurt. Injuries have always seemed to bite him just as he was getting rolling.  In 2014 he is off to a great start, batting .339 with 18 RBI, 12 Runs, 2 HR and 6 SB through just 118 AB.  He is in a solid lineup which is finally coming around, which should lead to a good amount of RBI and runs scored, but so far he is mostly batting 7th and 8th in the lineup, which is puzzling consider how many struggling bats riddle the KC lineup.  If he can continue his hot hitting ways, with his solid set of skills he could be an impact player in many leagues. He is a lot like Johnny Damon 14-20 HR, 20 SB, and a .300 AVG, if everything clicks.   If he stays healthy (I can't stress this disclaimer enough) I expect .295, 10 HR, 55 RBI, and 20 SB.

Phil Hughes (SP, MIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Filth Hughes is back!  Well, with the exception of one solid season in New York, he was barely ever "here" to begin with. Instead of saying he's back, we'll just say he has finally, after long last, arrived and found himself.  Hughes, a flyball pitcher who never had hope of surviving in homer haven Yankee Stadium, now finds himself the beneficiary of huge Target Field in Minnesota.  Over his last six starts, Hughes is 5-0, with a 1.6 ERA, 30/1 K/BB ratio, with an amazing .331 Slugging % against.  He is putting up Cliff Lee like numbers in the K/BB columns. What's the key to Hughes' success? He's challenging hitters and pounding the zone, something he was afraid to do in New York for fear of giving up homers.  Because he's throwing a lot more strikes, he's also inducing a lot more swings at bad pitches outside of the zone which lead to weak contact and flyball outs.  Hughes BABIP is .328 which should drop 10-15 points and help him cut his hit-rate a little bit as well.  All in all, Hughes is looking like an elite control pitcher who's able to challenge hitters and benefit from his fly ball tendencies in a huge ball park.  He's in the type of ball park he should have been his whole career.  Miscast no more, Hughes is worthy of a pickup in all leagues.

Oscar Taveras (OF, STL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately in All Leagues ANALYSIS: The moment we've been waiting for has finally arrived.  Prospectors waiting for the arrival of Oscar Taveras since his incredible 2012 minor league campaign had to suffer through an injury plagued 2013 and an overcrowded outfield in April-May of 2014.  There's finally a spot for Taveras and he'll make his debut today, Saturday May 31st, 2014.  Taveras is one of the rare prospects that absolutely needs to be owned, in all leagues.  Unlike George Springer, another uber-talented prospect, Taveras is a much more complete hitter who can consistently put the bat on the ball and can be counted on to bat near .300.   Unlike Springer, Taveras has little to no speed on the bases.  So this begs the question: what is he actually gonna do in the majors?  No one really knows, but here's what you can expect. You can expect him to bat in the top 5 slots of the lineup in an effort to jump start a struggling offense.  You can expect him to strikeout less than 15% of the time (which is incredible for a rookie) and consistently put the ball in play with solid contact. You can reasonably expect an upside of .300-15-60 the rest of the season, which is rosterable in the shallowest leagues starting.....right now!

Jaime Garcia (SP, STL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues, NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Jaime Garcia has pitched very well since coming off the DL, and is someone that should be considered off the waiver wire in most fantasy baseball leagues (except for shallow formats). It seems like this guy is always one of those post-hype sleepers, but now that he's back and playing on a solid St. Louis team the upside is there again. In his first 2 starts, Garcia holds a 4.12 ERA and 0.81 WHIP, with a sizzling 19 K vs. 0 BB in 19 2/3 innings pitched. The strikeout to walk ratio is very promising, and facing NL lineups only makes him a more valuable option off the waiver wire. If you're looking for some starting pitching, Garcia is only 21% owned in Yahoo leagues and is scheduled to face Kansas City next. Feel free to take a flier off the wire, and see how this plays out. Maybe you can catch a viable long-term starter on the cheap for your fantasy baseball team.

Josh Willingham (OF / DH, MIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues, All AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Josh Willingham has now hit home runs in  back to back games, so he immediately becomes a speculative waiver wire pickup, especially if your team is looking for power sleepers to help beef up your HR and RBI stats. Injured for most of the year, Willingham has been off of a lot of people's radars this MLB season, and is currently only owned in 7% of Yahoo leagues. That number is way too low. He's only been active for 5 games since coming off the DL, but in that small sample size he already has a 3-game hitting streak, 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 Runs, to go along with a 3 vs. 4 K:BB ratio. Very promising stuff. Let's not forget that this guy mashed 35 bombs and 110 RBIs in 2012, 29 bombs in 2011, etc. If you're looking for some pop, feel free to take a flier on Willingham, and hope that you can catch some lighting in a bottle for your fantasy baseball teams. Like most sluggers, when he gets hot he hits HRs in bunches, so now may be the best time to strike and grab him off the waiver wire.

Denard Span (OF, WAS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues, NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Denard Span has generally  been an undervalued fantasy baseball commodity over the past few MLB seasons. He has never been a guy who you can build your fantasy team around, nor will he ever be, but he can provide valuable help in stretches off the waiver wire with hits, runs, and stolen bases. This season Span is batting .260, has 50 hits, has 27 runs, and 6 stolen bases. The numbers do not jump out and wow you, and he's no longer on most people's list of sleepers, but he can be a viable injury replacement for your team or a guy that you can slot in for a slumping hitter when he's hot. If you need home runs and RBIs, look elsewhere. But if power numbers are not a priority, he may be able to help your fantasy team, especially in deeper leagues. Keep an eye on his game logs, as he can get hot in stretches and produce in bunches.

Drew Stubbs (OF, COL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues, NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Drew Stubbs has been a very frustrating player over the past four seasons, and has tormented me more than once after drafting him or grabbing him off the waiver wire. He has such great talent, and has been on many people's list of sleepers, because in any season seeing him hit 25 home runs or steal 25 bases would not be strange. He strikes out a ton and doesn't take walks. Much like Mark Reynolds he can lead the league in strikeouts any season given the number at bats. This season Stubbs has gotten off to a very good start batting .330, with three home runs, and six stolen bases. He hasn't proven to be the kind of player who can sustain long hot crazy streaks, so I find it tough to rationalize picking him up on many formats. At the end of the season, you may look at his numbers and wonder why he was a free agent, but once he is on your team you will realize quickly why he lives on the wire. If he were playing every day this would be a different story, but based on all these factors you should only add him in the deepest of leagues for now.

Sean Doolittle (RP, OAK) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately ANALYSIS: Sean Doolittle is a relief pitcher that for the past few years I expected to take the closer role in Oakland and run away with it. He has the filthy stuff it takes to be the dominant late inning reliever he has shown flashes of, but sometimes seemed to throw a stinker in there when he gets his shot. This season once again a shot is available with Jim Johnson being shaky at best. If there's a team that is not afraid to admit they made a mistake, it's the A's, who have readily discarded Johnson as their closer and installed Doolittle as the incumbent.  Doolittle is striking out guys at an incredible clip (33 Ks in 24 innings). He has an average ERA for an eight inning man at 3.00, but his perhipherals say it should be better.  His WHIP is phenomenal at 0.79, which in my opinion is the most important stat for a late inning reliever.  Doolittle has a huge 55% fly ball rate, which might lead to the occasional home run, but if he can stay away from giving those up he can be a top closer in the American League. If you need a total package closer, and who doesn't, then he is a must add.

Derek Jeter (NYY, SS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Only in Very Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Derek Jeter was once a player who provided his owners with a good average, 200+ hits, double digit homers, double digit steals, and good on base percentage.  Jeter has been one of the leagues best players for 15 years and has well earned his place in Cooperstown, but that does not help you win a fantasy baseball championship this season.  This season Derek Jeter will probably play 120-130 games and currently has a .269 AVG, 1 HR, 10 RBIs, and 1 SB. So there are really many better options.  At 35% owned, it's clear Jeter is benefiting from name value because he is not putting up numbers even close to justifying that ownership %. I don't see any reason to own Jeter unless it is a fill in spot for a few days. While he may get hot for a week I think that is just about the upside to his value.

Ubaldo Jimenez (SP, BAL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS:  In 2013 Jimenez recorded 13 wins, 194 Ks, and a 3.30 ERA for the Cleveland Indians. He was a stud all year and especially in the second half.  Coming into this season there was hope for Jimenez which makes me wonder why he wasn't owned in more leagues, but it seems the mistrust was deserved. This season he has compiled a 2-6 record, a near 5.00 ERA, and less than a 2:1 strikeout to walk ratio. In short, he has stunk. Being the optimist that I am though, Jimenez had strung together a five starts from Easter to Mother's day where he gave up a total of eight earned runs over those five starts, so there is some hope for him.  In Thursday's start vs. Houston, he was filthy, striking out 8 over 6 IP and allowing only 1 run.  I don't think he is done and have recently seen evidence that he still has something in the tank so I'd take a chance for a start or two if the matchups are high quality.

Josh Beckett (SP, LAD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Josh Beckett has been a hot name in fantasy baseball since he burst onto the scene in 2003. His major issue has always been his inability to stay healthy, but while he has been healthy in 2014, owners are still waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Until that happens, consider these facts: Beckett has regained form fully this season, pitching to a 3-1 record, 2.43 ERA, and striking out just under a batter an inning. I haven't even mentioned the no hitter Beckett has just thrown in the past week (well, I just did).  We are at the point right now where he is a must add if he is available. His ballpark is pitcher friendly, his offense is nailz, he looks healthy, and has everything working right now. I wouldn't try trading for him right now on his hot streak, but if he is on the wire...GET HIM NOW!

Zach Britton (RP, BAL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues (if you need saves) ANALYSIS: Zach Britton is in his first season as a reliever and has started off dominating the opposition in such a fashion that he has grown into the Baltimore closer job. In the past he was an underwhelming starting pitcher who lacked the ability to pitch through the lineup more than once, so the move to the bullpen made perfect sense.  Britton has impressed us all greatly so far during this young season. His record stands at 3-0, 3 SVs, a 0.94 ERA, and a 0.91 WHIP while  amassing a 18:9 K:BB ratio in 28.2 IP.  Britton is atypical for a closer, in that he doesn't have overpowering stuff and instead relies on an elite ground ball rate to get his outs.  At 79.7%, Britton has the best ground ball rate in the major leagues.  He won't blow many games in dramatic 3-run homer closer style, and he'll give up his fair share of hits, but Britton should be pretty reliable in closing out games for the O's.  He probably will not be able to sustain his high level of hurling all season, but if you are in need of saves, he's a fine addition to your fake baseball squad.

Jake DeGrom (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues; Continue Scouting in Most ANALYSIS: Jake DeGrom has completely caught me by surprise so far. DeGrom was one of the Mets young hurlers to get a shot in the rotation when Gee went down with an injury and Mejia got bounced into the bullpen, and he has been a pleasant surprise in 2014. While he has yet to record his first win of the season, he does own a 1.83 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP which shows he's been pretty effective. Or, maybe just a little lucky.  His 14:10 K:BB rate is downright bad. His control should improve, and he pitches in a great pitchers park that has helped him so far against formidable offensive teams. I have seen enough good things from Degrom to use him while he is hot and even more so in good matchups, but be careful because he could get blown up in dangerous starts.

Dayan Viciedo (OF, CWS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Joe Hannon - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: After hitting .348 in April, Dayan Viciedo's batting average has come down to earth in May. The man known as Tank is now slashing .283 on the season with 27 R, 5 HR & 20 RBI. The 25 year-old outfielder has tremendous power but has always been known as a streaky hitter. With Avisail Garcia out for the year, Viciedo is cemented in the heart of the White Sox order and will gain some added protection when fellow Cuban Jose Abreu returns to the lineup next week. His 40 strikeouts are a concern, but Tank certainly has plenty of upside. After a three-run homer on Memorial Day, Dayan could be primed for another hot streak. Owners looking for an outfielder to provide power numbers in deeper leagues should add Viciedo off of the waiver wire if he is available.

Rafael Montero (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Analysis

6 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting, Add in NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Rafael Montero has been a favorite prospect of mine since he showed us a sub 3.00 ERA last season while racking up 150 strikeouts in the minor leagues. Montero has plenty of upside for fantasy baseball, and is one in a list of potential rookie sleepers for this season, especially because he plays in a pitcher's ballpark like Citi Field. It took Dillon Gee getting injured to give Montero a chance to start, and he has not been great so far, but has shown me enough to warrant watching him closely on the waiver wire. Montero has yet to record a victory this season, has a near 5.00 ERA, and has given up more than a HR per start, but there is also some good. Montero has 17 strikeouts in 16 innings, including 10 in his last start alone. Along with the strikeouts, he pitches in Citi Field for theoretically half of his starts. I am willing to let him adjust to major league hitting in my keeper leagues, but in seasonal leagues I only recommend using Montero as a potential streamer in good matchups. He will get hot in my opinion, hopefully sooner rather than later. But for now just keep an eye on him in standard leagues.

Drew Pomeranz (SP, OAK) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Drew Pomeranz was a very highly regarded prospect going into the 2012 season, some had him on their list of fantasy baseball sleepers, but he let down in 2012 and 2013 in Colorado. So with that in mind I wrote Pomeranz off for 2013, as did most owners. But he found his way into the Oakland pitching staff, and has now earned his spot in the rotation making him a viable waiver wire pickup. Pomeranz has been helped greatly by going from pitching at Coors Field to the Oakland Colessium, which made a big difference right off the bat. The biggest thing that he has gained in my opinion is that he has confidence right now that I haven't seen him exhibit before. He has four wins, 30 strikeouts, and a 1.38 ERA in 32 innings this season, which has owners ready to take a chance if they haven't already. I think he can be the next pitcher to give the Athletics a 15 win season and would sign him in all leagues if he's still available (currently 52% owned in Yahoo leagues). At worst you can hold him for a few weeks and then sell high.

Roenis Elias (SP, SEA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Scott McCloy - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues, AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Roenis Elias, the rookie left handed starting pitcher out of Cuba, has done a respectable job in his first 11 starts making him a waiver wire option to consider.  His 7.89 K/9 is 4th amongst all rookie pitchers with at least 10 starts, adding him to the list of this year's rookie sleepers for fantasy baseball.  Elias relies on off speed, especially his changeup which he throws 19.7% of the time, 18th most in MLB.  He has had control issues this year but has allowed only 1 walk in 3 out his last 4 starts.  He is not going to overpower hitters but does have a 9.0 SwStr% (percentage of strikes that were swung at and missed), which is 5th among all rookie starters and 43rd in all of MLB. Elias is the #3 starter in Seattle, so he is going to keep getting the ball every 5th day. Get him in leagues of 12 teams or more, or AL-Only formats if he's still available.  

Gordon Beckham (2B, CWS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Joe Hannon - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Formats ANALYSIS: Gordon Beckham seems to have found his form with the White Sox this season. The sure-handed second baseman is one of this year's post-hype sleepers, and has hit safely in 19 of his last 21 games and in each of the last eight, making him a waiver wire pickup to consider. Beckham's average now sits at .296 and he has 18 R 4 HR 11 RBI & 1 SB in 31 games played. Fantasy owners can count on Gordon batting second and being in the lineup just about everyday. The Sox have been among the top offensive teams this season and Beckham will continue to have plenty of chances to score with Jose Abreu returning from the disabled list in the near future. Beckham has the ability to drive in runs and hit the ball out of the park, but it is his batting average and runs scored that make him a valuable fantasy second baseman.

Bronson Arroyo (SP, ARI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in NL only and deeper leagues ANALYSIS: Much like the rest of his career, Arroyo continues to puzzle fantasy owners with his hot and cold streaks.  This season, the velocity on his fastball is down a bit, his changeup has gotten quicker and he's been relying on his sinker a lot more.  His strikeouts are down and his walks are up but he's on pace to induce the most ground balls of his career due to that sinker.  That would've been a plus in Cincinnati last year with one of the best defensive units, but now that he dons a D-Backs (please Arizona, find a different nickname) jersey that could pose problems as Arizona's defensive range is among the bottom third in the league.  Of course giving up singles on the ground is better than giving up home runs in the air.  At the end of the day, most owners should stay away from Arroyo due to his low K/BB rate, Arizona's poor defensive range and the decrease in velocity.  He's an okay spot starter in deeper leagues against lineups heavy with right handed hitters.

Brian Roberts (2B, NYY) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting ANALYSIS: Not only is Brian Roberts an injury liability- he has yet to play more than 77 games in a season since 2009- but he has been mediocre at best this season with 2 HR, 11 RBI, 20 R, a .241 AVG and .311 OBP.  Including his 2-for-5 "breakout" performance in last night's win against the Cardinals, B-Rob owns a .190 AVG, 1 HR and 2 RBI over the last week.  It's possible that his last 7 days will continue over the rest of the season as his plate discipline is among the worst of his career.  His swing rate at all pitches is the highest it's ever been, but he has chased the most balls outside the strike zone in his career so far this season.  Unfortunately this hasn't resulted in success as he has his lowest contact percentage he's ever had so you can expect him to strike out a lot more for the rest of the season.  Even in deeper leagues and/or AL only leagues, there's better options at second base for your team.

Chris Owings (SS, ARI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in NL-Only Leagues, Continue Scouting In Deep Mixed Leagues ANALYSIS: Coming into 2014, it was unclear whether Didi Gregorius was still going to be the starting shortstop for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was flawed against left handed pitching and not overwhelming with the bat in general. In came charging was Chris Owings, a top hitting pedigree prospect, who raked in spring training and stole the job cleanly winning the hearts of MLB management and fantasy owners alike. Although he's held his own during his rookie campaign, and can be considered off the waiver wire for certain league formats, there have also been some long dry spells which have rendered him waiver wire fodder for now. While you can do way worse than his .266/3 HR/16 R/8 RBI/6 SB slash line, he should primarily only be targeted for action in NL-Only formats and much deeper mixed leagues (14+ teams). Continue scouting this young stud in case he breaks out during the summer heatwave in Arizona and emerges as one of those post-hype sleepers for fantasy baseball.  

Alex Avila (C, DET) - Waiver Wire Analysis

6 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Two-Catcher Leagues, AL-Only Leagues (if you're desperate) ANALYSIS: Let's be very honest here for a second - Alex Avila hasn't done squat to warrant him a good fantasy baseball reputation, or a waiver wire pickup, since his one outlier season in 2011 when he hit .295 with 19 HR and 82 runs batted in. That one year, he was one of the best (if not the best) sleepers and fantasy catchers doing it. Since then, he has been one of the worst! With that being said, he plays everyday at a valuable position, for a contending team, and although he is by far not the most glamorous option available on deeper mixed leagues waiver wires (where he should be 1000% ignored), he should have a roster spot for anyone playing in a 2 catcher league, or an AL-Only format where position scarcity and playing sometimes time prevail over glamorous counting stats.

Kolten Wong (2B, STL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Wong has 4 SB and 5 Runs and is 10 for his last 27 since he's been recalled.  He is hitting like the Cardinals expected him to when they handed him the 2B gig out of the gate in 2014.  Wong is setting the table in the Cardinals lineup and as long as he keeps hitting, he will put himself in a great position to continue to score runs and steal bases. With the Cardinals offense struggling as a whole, Wong has a very secure spot in the two-hole in the lineup unless he goes into a major skid, which we see as pretty unlikely.  Wong has 30 SB speed over a full season, and if the Cards offense gets rolling, he could be good for a .280 BA with 60 Runs and 15-20 SB the rest of the way, and if that projection holds true he'll be more than deep league worthy in no time.

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

6 months ago

Published by: RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues, AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Rougned Odor is a name to be monitoring on the waiver wire for deeper leagues. The recent news of Jurickson Profar's injury setback could be opening up long term playing time and value for Odor this season, and hitting in Texas never hurts. So far in 40 at bats since being called up, Odor has racked up a stat line of .300/.317/.500, giving him a very solid .817 OPS, especially at the thin second base and middle infield positions. A few days ago the talented rookie went 4-for-5 with 2 triples and 5 RBIs, so we see what he's capable of. Here's what RotoBaller Bret Thurman said about Odor being a second base sleeper in the preseason, discussing his 2014 season outlook and fantasy baseball potential. If you're looking to beef up your 2B or MI slot, consider grabbing Odor off the waiver wire.

Garret Jones (OF / 1B, MIA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Jones has been scorching over the past couple weeks and is 8 for his last 19 with 2 HR and 6 RBI.  He has been steadily producing even after many of his detractors have said he'll fade away.  He plays in a better than expected lineup in Miami, and as long as Jones is facing right handed pitchers at home, he is a very startable option.  If you play in a league with 5-6 bench slots and can stash him and play the matchups, Jones is a worthwhile bat to own.  He will produce consistently in those favorable matchups.

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

6 months ago

Published by: RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Mitch Moreland immediately becomes a waiver wire pickup in deeper leagues, especially if you just lost Prince Fielder for the year. Fantasy baseball hitting sleepers don't grow on trees anymore the way they used to, so owners in AL-Only leagues should definitely be taking note if Moreland is still available in their leagues. Currently he's only owned in 5% of Yahoo leagues, but was actually batting 3rd in the Texas lineup as of yesterday and is doing so again today. Let's not forget he racked up 23 HR last year in 462 AB, so the upside is there to help your fantasy baseball team. If you're looking for some corner infield help, or have some extra bench room, grab Moreland off the waiver wire and see how this pans out over the next few days as he gets full-time ABs.

Wade Miley (SP, ARI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting ANALYSIS:  These are Miley's ER splits this season: 3, 4, 2, 5, 1, 3, 7, 3, 2 and 4.  He hasn't pitched past the seventh inning and he has yet to let less than four baserunners via walks and/or hits per outing.  He's tied for second with 10 HR allowed and hitters have the most RBI against him with 36.  If there is some good from Miley this year, it's that he's a drastically different pitcher on the road.  His 7.14 ERA at home falls to a 3.00 ERA on the road,  but he is still displaying a loss of control with a 3.00 BB/9 innings rate when away from Chase Field.  The best case scenario for Miley is for fantasy owners to stream him on the road when presented a favorable matchup, but even that involves a great deal of risk considering his lack of control and probable drops in WHIP and ERA to fantasy teams.  Your best bet is to continue scouting the waiver wire as Miley has definitely regressed from the last two seasons.

Eric Young (OF, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues for Speed ANALYSIS: Eric Young is once again getting consistent at bats in the Mets lineup, so if you got the need for speed, you should pay close attention to what EYJ is doing.  Young's steals come in spurts, so while he only has 1 over his past 8 games, he has 3 in the 2 games before that.  Young is most definitely not an every day player, even in 12 team 5 OF leagues.  He's a guy you want to keep on your bench and slot in when he's facing right handed pitchers because he can't hit lefties and he barely starts against them.   If Young plays every day from here on out, he would rack up 30-35 SB. Don't expect totals that high, but you'll be rewarded if you deploy him strategically.

John Jaso (C, OAK) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Two-Catcher Leagues ANALYSIS: Look at John Jaso's stats and you understand why the Oakland A's have a rampaging offense.  He has a .276-.369-.457 triple slash line, as a backup catcher and part time DH.  What other backup catcher in the MLB has stats even close to 4 HR, 12 RBI, 16 Runs with a crazy good OBP.  If you play in an OBP league, Jaso is a borderline add in deep leagues, but he's best reserved for 2-catcher formats. He gets a large amount of ABs (split between DH and Catcher) for your 2nd catcher slot, and he is batting at or near the top of the A's lineup each game. Jaso isn't flashy but he gets on base, will score runs, and will even give you the occasional home run.

Seth Smith (OF, SD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Zach - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Seth Smith is a pretty interesting player to me in the sense that while several of the other Padres players have drastically underperformed (three full-time players hitting under .200!) and failed to meet expectations, Seth Smith has outperformed his expectations by a wide margin. In particular he has crushed the ball during the month of May, leading all players with an insane .439/.529/.842 slash line for the month. He obviously won’t keep these numbers going, but he has previously hit at least .280 with 15 HR in a season twice, which shows he is capable of being a roster-worthy for short periods at a time in deep leagues. Even though his speed hasn’t been apparent, he does have three triples (he has had nine in a full season as well) this month and has stolen ten bases in a season, so he may be able to give you an occasional steal as well. Seth Smith is quietly the hottest hitter in the game right now and is worth an add on that alone, but don’t be surprised if he can have nice value over the long haul as well in very deep formats.

Josh Beckett (SP, LAD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 months ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Only in Deep Leauges ANALYSIS: It appeared that Josh Beckett was on his way back after having two good starts in which he gave up 1 ER in 13 IP, but then he got rocked by the Mets in New York even though he was awarded the W.  It appears the old Beckett has not fully returned.  The velocity on his fastball has not improved from his injury plagued 2013 season. He's displaying a lack of control as evidenced by his highest BB rate in a decade and although he's doing a good job of stranding runners (84.8% LOB rate), he's never left more than 78% of runners on base and that was in his rookie year of 2001.  You can expect more runners to score on him as the season continues.  If you need W and K help in a deep league, Beckett is a good pickup.  Everyone else should continue to scout.

Ronald Belisario (RP, CWS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues (that value saves) ANALYSIS: After picking up the save last night, the White Sox officially announced today that Ronald Belisario will act as their closer and should be grabbed off the waiver wire for all leagues that value saves. He becomes yet another one in the recent string of saves sleepers for fantasy baseball owners, and could provide some nice long-term value with the news of Matt Lindstrom's ankle surgery. Belisario has solid numbers this year, with a 4.15 ERA and 1.00 WHIP to along with 19 K vs. 5 BB in 26 IP. Last night he actually gave up 1 ER, but in his previous 7 appearances he had a 0.00 ERA and 8 K vs. 1 BB over 9 1/3 IP. If you lost Lindstrom, or are looking to beef up on saves, grab Belisario asap as he's still only owned in 14% of Yahoo leagues.

Carl Crawford (OF, LAD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Zach - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Carl Crawford enjoyed a nice semi-resurgence in 2013 hitting for average with some speed and runs. After a slow start in April, Crawford is now 15-for-his-last-36, raising his BA from .245 to .280, and he is hitting .396 with all three of his home runs in May and is looking like a solid fantasy outfielder. There are a few concerns which limit his total productivity. He hardly walks at all and, since April 25th Crawford has hit sixth or lower in the lineup all but three times. Despite his decent speed this limits how effective he can be at scoring runs - he is currently on pace for just ~65 runs scored.  Batting lower in the lineup will also limit how much he can steal basis, so despite Crawford’s good rep for speed, his runs and steals are limited. There's also his injury history. A best case scenario probably gives Crawford 25 SB this year with 15-20 being a more realistic number. Even without top speed right now, he is hitting very well in May and could certainly be a great option as your 4th or 5th fantasy OFer in most leagues.

Junior Lake (OF, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add In Deeper Mixed Leagues & NL Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Please don't get your hopes of fantasy baseball glory all wrapped up in Junior Lake. Often described as a guy with a better baseball name than actual baseball tools, this former platoon outfielder has managed to take respectable advantage of the playing time the rebuilding Cubs are offering him. Theo Epstein is most likely either showcasing him for potential trade or just seeing if he has anything viable in the young Dominican. The bottom line is this: he's put up almost the exact same counting stats in 122 plate appearance as he did in 2013 in 254 plate appearances. Either this is linear development at the major league level, or just a small sample size fluke. Regardless of the season-long results, Mr. Lake is raking enough at the current moment to be viable in very deep mixed leagues that use 5 outfielders, and should be universally owned in NL Only leagues as well while he is receiving everyday at bats.  

Yangervis Solarte (2B / 3B / SS, NYY) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately ANALYSIS: Solarete just keeps on hitting, and keeps playing full-time, and not enough fantasy baseball owners are paying close enough attention. Look, this isn't the sexiest or best known option ever invented off the waiver wire (i.e the year I snagged Jose Bautista off the waiver wire in late April and never looked back!), but after over 150 plate appearances thus far, Yangervis Solarte has made Joe Girardi proud by ripping a solid .313 BA / 19 R / 5 HR / 24 RBI slash line. Owned in a way too low 74% of Yahoo leagues, we think it's just about time for people to recognize the real deal when they see it, and pounce all over Robinson Cano's potential future replacement before it's too late. Add this 26 year old, switch-hitting Venezuelan, to your mix and enjoy the flexibility and production that he brings to your roster.

Sean Doolittle (RP, OAK) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Jim Johnson has lost his closers job in Oakland, maybe even permanently, and Sean Doolittle looks like the waiver wire pickup. Currently only owned in 31% of Yahoo leagues, he can be considered another one in the list of recent sleepers for leagues that count saves. Even though he's a lefty, Doolittle has been dominant since he came up to the bigs. 28 K vs. 0 BB this year in 21 IP with a 0.80 WHIP. Last year, a 0.95 WHIP in 69 IP. In 2012, a 1.08 WHIP and 60 K in 47 2/3 IP. His stuff is nasty. It certainly seems like Oakland has lost all confidence in Johnson. Even though he has a $10 million contract, lots of players get platooned in Oakland and they really have no appetite for underperformers. Pitching in the 6th inning on Sunday, Johnson gave up 3 BB and was lucky to escape with just 1 ER. His ERA now sits at 7.00 with a 2.05 WHIP, and a putrid 16:13 K:BB ratio. Ouch. The A's just scooped up Jeff Francis off the waiver wire. Maybe they plan on using him as a situational lefty, so Doolittle can focus on dominating the 9th inning? Luke Gregerson had his chance to step in as the closer, but he wasn't able to run away with the job. And recent game usage shows that Doolittle is the most trusted reliever in Oakland right now, so they may have already decided to turn to him as their closer for the long haul.

A.J. Pollock (OF, ARI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Zach - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Indians outfielder Michael Brantley is one of those sleepers who caught the fantasy world's attention this year with an uptick in power. If you missed out on him, you can still the get the player that is essentially the 2012-2013 version of Brantley off the waiver wire. That of course is A.J. Pollock, who is only 22% owned in Yahoo leagues, and who has the ability to hit for average with some speed and some power. He has yet to show the speed that he exhibited in the minors when he stole 36 bases in 2011, but 20+ steals this year is very possible. Last year twelve players finished with a .280 batting average and 12+ HR and 20+ SB. The worst of that group was the very underrated Daniel Murphy (who has been great this year). A.J. Pollock should join that group this year or come very close. He isn't a must own in fantasy leagues, but if you are looking to add some speed without sacrificing average and adding some power upside, Pollock makes a great addition to your team.

Jenrry Mejia (RP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Jenrry Mejia picked up his first career save today, and should be added off the waiver wire in most leagues that count saves, becoming yet another in the recent list of saves sleepers for fantasy baseball. When Kyle Farnsworth was recently removed from the role and released, there was speculation that Jeurys Familia could see some save chances. Then manager Terry Collins said that Daisuke Matsuzaka or even the previously removed Jose Valverde could be in the mix, depending on the day and game situation. But today we saw who Collins really prefers to run with the job. Mejia has the talent to be a solid closer, but has had arm issues in the past so the Mets will be careful with him and may not use him in back to back games. This could potentially open up save opportunities for others, and is the only thing that prevents Mejia from being a must add off the waiver wire in fantasy leagues. He can certainly help though, and has a chance to make an impact for fantasy owners, especially only being 19% owned in Yahoo leagues right now.

Bryan Shaw (RP, CLE) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues (that value saves) ANALYSIS: Bryan Shaw, and not Cody Allen, may just be the new closer for the Indians, making him a waiver wire pickup to consider for leagues that value saves, and adding him to the list of recent saves sleepers. John Axford was removed from the role last week after struggling over his past few starts, and it was Shaw who picked up the first Cleveland save chance on Monday of last week while Allen was used as the setup man. Shaw has been awesome this year racking up a 1.37 ERA and 0.86 WHIP with 17 K over 19 2/3 IP, so he certainly has the stuff to run with the job. Allen could be given a shot at some point as well, and Axford could fix his issues to regain the role, but it's telling that Allen was used as a setup man for Shaw. Right now, I'm putting my money on Shaw getting being the closer in town, at least until he falters. Update (after 5/18 game): Shaw's usage tonight in the 7th inning was questionable. The closer situation in Cleveland may still be fluid, and Cody Allen could be in the mix. It will be very interesting to see who gets the next save opportunity, stay tuned.

Zach Britton (RP, BAL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Zach Britton looks to be the new closer for the Orioles, making him an immediate waiver wire pickup and adding to the list of sleepers for leagues that value saves.  He picked up Baltimore's most recent save on Thursday evening with a scoreless inning, and has been filthy all season with a 0.80 ERA and 0.85 WHIP with 15 K in 22 2/3 IP. Tommy Hunter on the other hand has been struggling all season, with a 6.60 ERA and 1.86 WHIP in 15 IP, including giving up 4 ER against Detroit on Tuesday of last week and racking up 3 blown saves on the young season. Darren O'Day setup for Britton on Thursday, and although he's been great he doesn't appear to be a realistic closer option for the Orioles. He may get saves chances at some point if Britton struggles, and Hunter could in theory regain his form and be given another chance, but for now Britton is the man in Baltimore until he proves different.

Mike Olt (3B, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Zach - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues if You're Power Starved  ANALYSIS: Mike Olt is similar to Juan Francisco in that he has crushed minor league pitching (28 HR and an OPS over .880 in back-to-back years) to go along with high strikeout rates that have been cause for concern. Olt has less of a sample-size at the major league level, but so far it hasn’t been great. He is hitting for power with 8 HR (a pace that would result in 33 HR) but otherwise his numbers make him look like a worse version of Adam Dunn with more strikeouts, fewer walks and a worse batting average. Its worth noting he hit below .200 in the minors last year so there is no real reason to expect his average to go above .220 in the majors. If you don’t mind watching your batting average plummet, Olt will certainly get you home runs. Other than that Olt is not an ideal pickup and your best bet would be to find an owner who assumes the average will get considerably better. If you are extremely power starved, Olt is a decent deep league pickup when he has good matchups.

Gordon Beckham (2B, CWS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Joe Hannon - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues & AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: After spending the first month of the season on the disabled list, Gordon Beckham has returned to his role of starting second basemen for the Chicago White Sox. Beckham is hitting .378 with 6 R, 3 HR & 6 RBI over his past 9 games. Manager Robin Ventura has been batting Gordon in the leadoff spot with Adam Eaton on the shelf and Beckham will likely hit second when Eaton returns. Make no mistake, Beckham has a strong hold on his position, but the White Sox have a handful of young infielders waiting in the wings. Players like Marcus Semien and Leury Garcia have certainly showed potential this season, and Micah Johnson has been promoted to Triple-A Charlotte after tearing it up in Double-A Birmingham. The youth movement could ultimately be a good motivator for Beckham, who has been producing as of late. He is a solid add in fantasy leagues due to the lack of depth at second base and his ability to drive in runs.

Alcides Escobar (SS, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Zach - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues or Shallow Leagues for SB ANALYSIS: Alcides Escobar was a pretty promising fantasy SS going into the 2013 season. He had recorded career highs in just about every category in 2012 (he fell one run short of all categories), but in 2013 he took a step back in every way and posted a terrible .259 OBP. So far in 2014 it looks like we are getting the ‘12 version of Escobar. Best of all it looks sustainable. Guys with great speed tend to have better BABIPs so while Escobar’s .319 is above his career average it is within his expected range. So an average of .280-.290 is more than fair. He already has 11 steals, and I would put 30 as the bare minimum with a very good shot at 40+. He is currently hitting in the bottom third of the order which limits his runs, putting a ceiling on his value. At the top of the order he could be a 100 run player. Right now his current pace puts him around 70. For a guy you can potentially pick off the waiver wire, .285, 70+ R and 30+ SB is great value in all leagues.

George Springer (OF, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Zach - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: When George Springer was first called up he was added in tons of leagues...and then subsequently dropped after a brutal start with an average dipping into the .170's. Of late Springer is hitting more like we expected him to. In particular, in nine games since May 6th he is hitting .306 with five of his seven XBH hits on the season including all three of his HR. I’ve always been a believer that Springer would finish the season with good numbers. He is still striking out a ton (17 in those last 9 games) so I suspect there are still rough patches to come. With the strikeout rate, the average he has posted during the 9 game span will not last, but a .270 BA is reasonable. Even with some cold streaks, Springer has a ton of power potential and good speed that I would rather be aggressive and add him now because the upside is too much to resist.

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

7 months ago

Published by: Bret Thurman - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Left handed hitting second baseman Rougned Odor is certainly no Hall of Famer, but there have been more than a few Wally Pipp and Lou Gherig comparisons drawn between him and the injured Jurickson Profar. Although it's anticipated that Profar should come off the DL in mid or late June, he may or may not get his starting position back after a rather disappointing end to 2013 and a slow start to 2014. Odor's hitting numbers have been rather unimpressive throughout his brief minor league stint, but he did hit his first home run on Monday night and is 4-for-19 after his callup. He was signed at just 17 and just recently turned 20, so until one considers how much younger he is than the players around him it's tough to appreciate that he's been rather successful for his age. He has gap power and doesn't strike out much so he should put up a good average. Defensively, Odor has improved his footwork and is a very quick and aggressive player. Some scouts say he compares to Michael Young and Jose Vidro. Rougned has a very nice upside and is definitely worth a look in deep leagues if you need 2B / MI help.

Dallas Keuchel (SP, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately (If not sooner!) ANALYSIS: Ladies and Gentlemen, Houston has a starting pitcher worthy of owning in all leagues. You read that right. It's been a long time since Houston had a rosterable starting pitcher, so it's ok if this shocks you a little bit. Let it sink in for a minute.  Now here this: Dallas Keuchel has a 47:11 K:BB ratio, which is in the top 10% of all SP.  Keuchel just threw a complete game shutout vs. the Texas Rangers, a team that has crushed LHP in 2014 (up until Tuesday night, anyway). Keuchel has a ridiculous jaw-droppingly elite ground ball rate of 65%, which means his great home run rate of .68 for every 9 IP is quite sustainable.  Keuchel is only giving up 13.7% of batted balls as line drives, meaning very few hitters are making solid contact. He is inducing a ton of swinging strikes and his solid 7.98 K/9 rate has room for growth.  Batter are swinging at a lot of pitches outside the zone and making very poor contact. In short, Keuchel has all the skills you'd look for in a potential ace.  He will have his hiccups, and wins will be tough to come by, but this guy has the makings of being a top 10 waiver wire pickup for all of 2014. Act now!

Phil Hughes (SP, MIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: We had a hunch that moving from homer haven Yankee Stadium to homer graveyard Target Field would really help Phil Hughes. He is a heavy fly ball pitcher, and Target field is where fly balls go to die. Not only has Hughes slashed his HR/FB rate from ~12% over the past two years to 6.9% in 2014, he's also become an elite control artist, allowing only 1.31 BB/9.  His strikeouts (7K/9IP) won't kill you either. It seems Hughes' confidence has been given a huge boost by getting out of the New York spotlight and pitching for the Twins, as he is pounding the strike zone relentlessly, not falling behind hitters, and making them swing at bad pitches outside of the zone. Once his .328 BABIP comes down, and it will about 20-30 points, Hughes ERA and WHIP will come down as well, and he will look like the solid back end of the fantasy rotation starter that he is, rather than waiver wire fodder.  If you play in a deep league, add Hughes before a few solid starts alert your fellow league members to this underrated fantasy asset.

Danny Duffy (SP, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Zach - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Danny Duffy was a well-regarded prospect in the not too distant past. Tommy John surgery and some struggles since have put him well off the radar. Now, following a successful stint as a reliever in the first month of 2014, Duffy has been promoted to the rotation and made two promising starts. Duffy has allowed just two runs in 10 innings of work as a starter and his average fastball is also being clocked at over 94 MPH. Couple that with just four hits allowed so far and Duffy is a great speculative add in deeper leagues. He has exhibited poor control in those two starts with seven walks which keeps me from recommending him in shallower leagues right away, but he is definitely one to keep an eye on. At the very least, Danny Duffy is back on the radar.

Juan Francisco (1B / 3B, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Zach - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Juan Francisco has always tantalized fantasy owners by putting up big numbers at AAA (.901 career OPS) and then failing to deliver at the Major League level (.731 OPS heading into the year). Last year he did hit 18 HR but it came at the price of a .227 batting average. This year in a small sample size Francisco looks like a much improved player. It might be more than just an isolated hot streak as well. Francisco already has ten walks, which is one less than he had in 93 games in 2012 and is good for the highest walk rate of his career by far. Much like teammate Adam Lind, Francisco has extreme R/L splits. Even this year he has an OPS of just .345 vs lefties. Even if Francisco slows down a bit the power could be very real. Playing time is an issue but Francisco has started at 1B, 3B and DH this year. It looks like the Jays will find ways to get him in the lineup as long as he continues to hit. Francisco has a decent shot at 20+ HR this year with an average that won’t kill you vs righties. With 3B eligibility that makes him a solid add in most leagues where you can adjust your lineup daily.

Jason Hammel (SP, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Justin Berglund - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Jason Hammel has had a nice start to his 2014, going 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 37 Ks in 47.2 innings. Considering he’s on the Cubs in the bottom of the ever competitive NL Central, it’s an immediate handicap in terms of fantasy relevance. However, considering Hammel has recorded a quality start in each outing this year, along with decent run support considering who he plays for (4+ runs in half his GS) Hammel has made a great case to being a nice waiver wire find this season. He is currently owned in 64% of Yahoo leagues, making him a mixed league option already, and I would recommend also adding him in thinner leagues, based on him being the 10th ranked SP this season screams “add me.” His HR/FB% of 10.8% (at Wrigley) and BB% at 5.6% are very solid, and knowing he has never been this hot before, I have every intention of holding onto him in my 12 team league until he starts to come down to earth.

Michael Saunders (OF, SEA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Zach - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting ANALYSIS: In 2012 Michael Saunders hit 19 HR and stole 21 bases making him at the very least, roster-worthy. Last year his numbers declined across the board and he was not relevant in just about any league. Saunders does not have extreme R/L splits either, meaning he has been relatively mediocre no matter who he faces. This year his numbers so far have been worse than last year as he has a slash line of .220/.286/.317.  He had a mini hot streak about a week ago when he was inserted into the top of the Mariners lineup, but he's 1 for his last 20 and hasn't started the past two games due to a knee injury. Even if he improves, the numbers aren’t exactly enticing. A best case scenario for Saunders would appear to be 12 HR and 12 SB to go along with a subpar batting average. In the deepest leagues, that might make him a bench OF. Anywhere else you can safely avoid Saunders for the time being and just watch him from afar.

Tyler Lyons (SP, STL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Zach - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues ANALYSIS: The Cardinals seem to churn out good pitchers at an alarmingly high rate. Tyler Lyons appears to be another example. Lyons made 8 starts in the majors last year and while the ERA was a not-so-pretty 4.75, his peripheral numbers were much better as his 3.73 FIP indicates. This year so far his numbers are better all around. Lyons is striking out a batter per inning along with better control than he showed last year. He is also allowing fewer hits which has resulted in a 3.43 ERA to go along with a 3.33 FIP telling us that the numbers so far do not lie. Lyons has been an effective pitcher no matter how you look at it and so long as he remains in the rotation he is a good pickup for any team. Therein lies the problem unfortunately. Lyons remains in the rotation while Joe Kelly and Jaime Garcia remain on the DL. With four more established pitchers in front of him its easy to see that Lyons time is limited. If you are in need of pitching, add him for now but be prepared to make a change when he is pulled out of the rotation.

Wilmer Flores (3B, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Zach - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues, NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: One thing worth noting about Wilmer Flores: he is currently listed at 3B because that is where he played last year. But he will gain position eligibility for SS pretty quick, and maybe gain eligibility at 2B too. Flores has hit .300 or better in the minors each year, from 2012 to his early sample in 2014, making him one of those sleepers to consider off the waiver wire especially as a shortstop/middle infielder. Obviously, David Wright is the third basemen for the Mets. But so far Flores has played three games, one at 2B and two at SS. He can also hit for some power as well, knocking 18 and 16 HR the past two years. At the major league level, I would expect him to hit for a decent average, hopefully in the .280 - .290 range, along with 10-12 HR this season if he continues to see full time ABs going forward. In a standard league, he could certainly be worth owning for a team without a top player at 3B or SS, or as a sneaky MI option once he gets eligibility. In deeper leagues, he can be a positive contributor on most teams, and is worth a flier off the waiver wire.

Adam Lind (1B / DH, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Zach - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues, AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Adam Lind has had good years, where he was a hot add off the waiver wire, and he's had bad years where he's been dropped to the waiver wire. At his worst in 2010, he hit just .237 with an OPS .712. There was still some power as he hit 23 HR. Even then, a savvy fantasy owner could have started him vs righties as he hit .275 with 21 HR vs RHP. This year unsurprisingly that trend is continuing. In 15 games on the season Lind is hitting .306 with both of his HR vs righties. Lind is interesting because his lefty/righty splits are so extreme. If you are not the type of player that will pay attention to that sort of thing, you may end up hurting yourself. But if you are willing to take note of that, and are only starting him versus righties, then you are essentially getting a player with upside to be a top 10 1B when he's in the lineup (you'll have to minus a bit of playing time and stats of course). Lind is someone that should be considered in all leagues, and needs to be owned in any deeper format. Consensus: Embrace the beard.

Brayan Pena (C, CIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues and Two Catcher Leagues ANALYSIS: Brayan who? He's the guy filling in for Devin Mesoraco while he's on the DL. Pena has batted .313 (10-for-32) over the last two weeks with 3 HR and 6 RBI. With Jay Bruce and Mesoraco out and Brandon Phillips still floundering, as long as Pena is hitting he will get plenty of chances for RBI in the Reds lineup.  If you're in need of a fill-in catcher for Rosario or Mesoraco, or you're tired of rostering underachieving junk in two-catcher leagues, give Pena a look.

Omar Infante (2B, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Displaced Tigers Fan

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues (when he returns) ANALYSIS: It can sometimes be hard to find offensive production at the 2B position. Let's face it: the position just isn't very deep. For that reason, Infante's .267/.325/.391 is enticing. Infante also has 2 HR and 19 RBI already this season, which makes him a better-than-average option up the middle, and he's seeing the ball very well as evidenced by his 10:11 BB:K ratio. History tells us that Infante will hit in the upper .200 to lower .300 range while collecting 50+ RBI along the way, so he's a nice fit on most teams. At the same time, the 2B position being what it is, there are probably several players that can do what Infante does. If you're looking for an upgrade or a platoon man, Infante is a good choice. Just don't blow up your roster to grab him.

Marlon Byrd (OF, PHI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Zach - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Marlon Byrd is one of those players that seems to go largely unnoticed in fantasy because, with the exception of 2013, he has never been an exciting player. Additonally he is now 36 years old. On the other hand Byrd is coming off a career year where he set new bests in WAR, HR and RBI. Now with the Phillies, Byrd has continued at close to the same pace as last year. Its always hard to project a guy Byrd's age to continue with his production but because he has been a very solid player for over a calendar year now, he is worth adding in many leagues. One undervalued aspect of Byrd is that the Phillies are not a great offensive team and as a result Byrd is hitting in the heart of the lineup. This has resulted in 22 RBI so far, a pace that easily breaks his previous high. Byrd isn't flashy but he is absolutely worth an add in all 12-team or deeper leagues if you need decent HR and solid RBI.

Juan Uribe (3B, LAD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add In Most Leagues ANALYSIS: Uribe has somewhat cooled since his hot start to the year, but that shouldn't deter you from adding him off the wavier wire as your second option at third base, or starting him at the UTIL position.  Uribe is one of those sleepers that people are hesitant to pickup, yet he leads all third basemen with a .325 AVG and has also slugged 4 HR and driven in 16 RBI.  At the very least, Uribe can be valuable trade bait if you need help in other areas.  He'll be most valuable on your roster as a spot starter in the lineup when the Dodgers face a right handed pitcher.  With a .358 AVG, 4 HR and 12 RBI against righties, he's a great offensive option off your bench.  Points league owners beware: Uribe doesn't walk a lot and he's still displaying a lack of patience at the plate so he's primed to still strike out a ton.

Collin McHugh (SP, HOU) - Waiver Wire Analysis

7 months ago

Published by: Zach - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scout; Strictly a Streamer ANALYSIS: Collin McHugh surprised the fantasy world with a fantastic first two starts for the Astros this year. McHugh racked up 19 strikeouts with just three walks in 15.1 innings with just one run allowed in that span.  To fairly project McHugh we have to look at the larger body of work. McHugh has never been a top prospect and while he had good numbers in the minors they were not spectacular. That tells me that he will more than likely be nothing beyond an average pitcher. In his most recent start McHugh faced the recently awakened Mariners offense, giving up 5 ER on 8 hits in 4.1 IP with a 4:1 K:BB ratio. As teams see more of McHugh those numbers will be closer to what he really is. At best he is a stream option against bad teams. He might not even be worth using then as the Astros anemic offense will give him very little chance of securing the W.

Henderson Alvarez (SP, MIA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in NL Only leagues ANALYSIS: Will the real Henderson Alvarez please stand up?  One start he's giving up 3 HR to Atlanta then the next start he's pitching a complete game shutout.  There's nothing fantasy baseball owners loathe more than inconsistent starting pitchers, so it's best to stay away from Alvarez.  His 2.6 K/BB rate is pedestrian at best and he's giving up a not-so-good-for-early-season 1 HR for every 9.6 flyballs.  Nearly one-quarter of all batted balls against Alvarez have gone for line drives.  I'm guessing that you don't need a Sabermetrician to explain to you that line drives are not ideal.  His numbers right now are on pace not with 2013 Alvarez, but with 2012 Toronto Blue Jays Alvarez who went 9-14 with a 4.85 ERA.

Garrett Jones (1B / OF, MIA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Zach - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Garrett Jones is not a flashy exciting player with a lot of potential. We've seen the best that Jones can be in 2012 when he hit .274 with 27 HR and 86 RBI. Or perhaps in 2009 when he hit 21 HR in just 82 games. Either way, Garrett Jones 2014 Miami Marlins 1B is not going to put up those numbers. What he can be is a cheap source of power in deep leagues. The batting average almost certainly won't get better. I have him pegged for about .250. But as as long as he continues to get playing time I see him hitting 20+ home runs. Outside of the power, nothing is above average for Jones. He won't walk much and he won't steal bases. Jones is not a very attractive option but if you find yourself starved for power in a deeper league you could probably do worse.

Rick Porcello (SP, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Displaced Tigers Fan

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: For the last few years, Tigers fans have been waiting for a breakout season from Rick Porcello. It looks like this might be the year. Porcello, a ground-ball pitcher, is off to a 4-1 start for Detroit with a 3.66 ERA. After a strong outing against Kansas City, Porcello's WHIP is 1.00 and he has 22 Ks so far. Strikeouts will not be real high for Porcello. however, with a solid defense behind him, a great ground ball profile, and a powerful offense in Detroit, Porcello is sure to help your fantasy team in terms of ERA and wins. Porcello is a great fit for most teams, but if you're in a smaller league, you may be able to find similar production with mores K elsewhere.  At the very least, stream him for his start again Houston this week.

Rajai Davis (OF, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Displaced Tigers Fan

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Davis is off to a scorching start for Detroit this year. In years past, Davis' value has come strictly on the basepaths. While he is still a speed demon (11 steals in 13 attempts), he has been far from a one-trick pony up to this point. His slash line of .337/.391/.446 is making him a player that can add add value in multiple categories. His OBP alone makes him a worthwhile pickup since he typically hits in front of Ian Kinsler, Miguel Cabrera, and Victor Martinez -- three guys who can drive Davis in with regularity. If Davis is available in your league, grab him now and hold him until he slows down.

Travis Wood (SP, CHC) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately ANALYSIS: Here are the only two things you need to know about Travis Wood. 1) He is a dominant pitcher. 2) He's somehow only owned in 50% of leagues. Go pick him up, immediately! Then come back and read this.....ok, now that Wood's ownership % is up a tick, here's why he's so dominant, and here's why you shouldn't think of "selling high" on him. Wood has increased the % of pitches he's throwing for first strike and the % of pitches he's throwing in the zone, meaning he's getting ahead of hitters and challenging them. And challenged they are - hitters are swinging at more of Wood's pitches outside the zone, and making less contact. He's challenging them and they're flailing at bad pitches.  Wood has also managed to improve his ground ball rate a lot, and anytime a pitcher is giving up less fly balls in the friendly confines of Wrigley, it's a good thing. Lastly, Wood's 5.29 K:BB ratio is borderline elite, and it means all the improvements we just highlighted are being validate by more strikeouts and less walks.  In short, Travis Wood is nailz. Go pick him up immediately, if not sooner!

Nathan Eovaldi (SP, MIA) - Waiver Wire Analysis

7 months ago

Published by: Zach - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Yordano Ventura made waves in the preseason with his blazing fastball and after a quick start he is owned in almost every league out there. Are you upset that you missed out on him? Well lucky for you the second hardest throwing SP in the league has better control, an above average strikeout rate and sports a 3.17 ERA in 24 starts from 2013-14. Even better, Nathan Eovaldi is shockingly available in 58% of Yahoo! Leagues. It baffles me that Eovaldi has flown so under the radar. His fastball averages 96.0 MPH and he is 6th among qualified pitchers in BB%.  Eovaldi gets ahead of hitters (8th in First Strike %), pounds the strike zone (2nd in Zone %), and puts hitters away (34th in K%, 10th in ground ball %).  That combination of skills is elite and is hard to come by. The biggest drawback for Eovaldi is that wins will be tough on the Marlins, but they are a better team than given credit for. As long as you can handle the occasional frustration of a great performance without a win, Eovaldi is a must own in all leagues.

Tyler Skaggs (SP, LAA) - Waiver Wire Analysis

7 months ago

Published by: Zach - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Going into last year, Tyler Skaggs was a Top 20 prospect in all of baseball. Unfortunately Skaggs struggled at AAA and then looked subpar in a brief stint in the majors. In the offseason he was traded to the Angels in the 3-team trade centered around Mark Trumbo. With a new team, something appears to have clicked for Skaggs who is off to a great start early on in 2014. Its not just in the stats either. Skaggs fastball velocity is up from 89.2 MPH in his 7 starts last year to 92.0 MPH this year. The strange part of that adjustment is that it has come with improved control but so far also a great reduction in strikeouts. Skaggs had an 8.38 K/9 with the Diamondbacks last year and was better in the minors. This year with an improved fastball he is down to 5.66 K/9. He is pitching more to contact this year, which isn't such a bad idea with one of MLB's best defenses behind him, and he is getting more groundballs which should limit HR. If thats the cost of better performance, so be it. I'm not totally sold on his ability to continue to be above average with that K rate, but he is absolutely worth an add in deeper leagues.

Aaron Loup (RP, TOR) - Waiver Wire Analysis

7 months ago

Published by: RotoBaller

Update (5/3 - after today's game): Loup came in the 7th inning of today's game, and had a disastrous outing giving up 3 ER. Certainly a different tune than what the Blue Jays had said coming into today. The bullpen situation is ugly here, most likely yielding towards a committee going forward until Janssen is back, with Steve Delabar and Brett Cecil as potential candidates for saves. Stay tuned for further updates. BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues (that count saves) ANALYSIS:  Aaron Loup has been named the new Toronto closer, making him one of those saves sleepers to be grabbed off the waiver wire in any league that values closers. Sergio Santos blew another save last night, his third of the year, and the Blue Jays have seen enough. Loup will get a chance to nail down some saves until Casey Janssen is ready to return from the DL, and has a decent chance to succeed. Over 13 1/3 innings this year, Loup has a 3.37 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, and 9 K. He does also have 8 BB, so it'll be interesting to see if that comes back to hurt him. For now, he's an immediate waiver wire pickup in leagues that count saves.

Blue Jays Bullpen (RP, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting ANALYSIS: Sergio Santos took the BS, L last night after giving up 3 runs on 2 HR to Pedro Alvarez (tying the game) and Starling Marte (winning the game).  Santos has now allowed 6 ER in his last 2 outings, and has a 10.61 ERA on the year. His magnificent 16.39 K/9 is brought back down to earth by his equally ugly 8.68 BB/9 and ridiculous 2.89 HR/9 rate.  In the land where small sample sizes rule, Closer Land, Santos is nearly dead. There is not a clear alternative to take the reigns in the Toronto bullpen, and it's quite possible they'll go with a committee until Casey Janssen returns healthy in a few weeks. The three names you should be on the lookout for are Steve Delabar, Brett Cecil, and Aaron Loup. Delabar and Loup have nearly as many BBs as they do Ks, and Cecil, who's been the most dominant by far, is a lefty. None of them are ideal closer candidates.  If Janssen has more setbacks, the smart money is on Santos getting a breather and then getting another crack at the closer gig in a few weeks - he has held it down before and has the skills to do so again.  

Welington Castillo (C, CHC) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Two Catcher Leagues ANALYSIS: Only 5% owned in Yahoo! leagues, Castillo will be available in a handful of 2 catcher leagues. He is benefitting from a little BABIP luck, but he's shown in the past that he can hover around .340 which means a .270 BA is attainable.  He has been racking up the hits recently, with 15 over his last 10 games, raising his BA from .234 to .300. Castillo also has 4 HR and 6 2B over 80 AB so it's not out of reach for him to finish with ~16 HR and ~25 2B over 400 total AB.  Those would be very respectable numbers from your 2nd catcher slot. If you're waiting for Posey, Mauer, Rosario or McCann to heat up, Castillo can be a nice fill in while he's hot.

Carlos Ruiz (C, PHI) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Two Catcher Leagues and Deep Standard Leagues ANALYSIS: Ruiz is only 31% owned in Yahoo! leagues which means he's plenty available even in ~10 team 2 catcher leagues.  Ruiz has racked up 13 hits in his last 8 games, with an impressive 7:2 BB:K ratio, 7 RBI, 4 2B, and 9 runs.  He's on fire! His .419 OBP is off the charts and his elite batting eye should help him bat for a very high BA (for catchers at least).  It was only 2 years ago that Ruiz batted .325 with 16 HR and 68 RBI in just 372 AB. He has huge upside as a 2nd catcher, and is serviceable in 1-catcher leagues for those of you still hurting from the loss of Wilson Ramos.

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

7 months ago

Published by: Zach - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Trevor Plouffe first caught the fantasy world's attention when he hit 24 HR in less than a full season in 2012. That kind of power is pretty useful for an infielder even if it does come at the cost of a lower batting average. This year Plouffe is performing well again but for completely different reasons. He has hit just one home run but has a .278 batting average and a .383 OBP due to a walk rate that is more than double what he posted in 2013. Its easy to say the walk rate will decrease, but the Twins as a whole have the highest walk rate in the majors this year at 12.5%. That is considerably higher than last year and appears to be a conscious effort on behalf of the Twins. Plouffe is also mashing doubles, a good sign that his power is still there. Plouffe's increase in walks looks somewhat real and the power will come back. That makes him a great add in any league and even a buy-low candidate if you can get him pretty cheap.

Tanner Roark (SP, WAS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Scott McCloy - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues Ownership: Yahoo - 30%,  ESPN - 7.6% ANALYSIS: Tanner Roark, a second year player for the Washington Nationals, is off to a great start in 2014 and is one of those SP sleepers to consider off the waiver wire in deeper formats.  He is 2-0 with a 2.76 ERA and 1.16 WHIP.  He is coming off his first complete game shutout of his career, allowing only 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 8 against the Padres.   He is the 4th starter in a great rotation (moving to 5th when Fister returns from DL), with a good offense behind him.  This is not coming out of nowhere, as Roark finished 7-1 with a 1.51 ERA and .91 WHIP in 2013.  He does not have overpowering stuff but locates his fastball and keeps hitters off balance with his off speed.  By commanding his pitches in the zone, Roark can dictate the game.  Again, he is at the back end of a great rotation, so anything that he can give the Nationals is an added bonus.  Look for Roark to continue to have success in 2014.

Dallas Keuchel (SP, HOU) - Waiver Wire Analysis

7 months ago

Published by: Zach - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues, AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Some might see the name Dallas Keuchel and immediately disregard him as a waiver wire option because of his lowly team and past performance. In a 12-team or deeper league this would be a mistake. Despite some rather ugly numbers on the surface last year, Keuchel made some big improvements in his peripheral numbers. He increased his K/9, decreased his BB/9 and saw a decrease in his HR/9 rate. All three of those stats have continued to improve this year. His bad numbers last year came in large part due to the worst BABIP for any pitcher with a minimum of 150 innings (likely in part because of the bad Astros team around him). He isn't elite and he won't get a lot of wins, but Dallas Keuchel is showing all the signs of a pitcher making big improvements and at the very least he is worth streaming against lesser offenses.

Matt Joyce (OF / DH, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Scott McCloy - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues Ownership: Yahoo - 28%, ESPN - 51% ANALYSIS: Matt Joyce is a veteran outfielder for the Tampa Bay Rays that is off to a hot start in 2014, and should be considered off the waiver wire.  Joyce plays the corner OF spots as well as DH, all in a platoon situation.  Joyce is a left handed hitting sleeper and he is killing righties to a tune of .328 AVG.  His overall OBP of .438 has him 5th in all of baseball and 3rd in the American League.  His BB/K ratio is 1.07 (16 BB / 15 K) which was helped by a recent 5 walk performance, a new Rays record.  Joyce is seeing the ball really well this year, seeing 4.28 pitchers per plate appearance, a career high.  Joyce has 2 HR and 15 RBI, which is just as many RBI as Miguel Cabrera and his teammate Evan Longoria.  There may be a little regression, but plug him in against righties right now and ride him while he is hot.

Aaron Harang (SP, ATL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Justin Berglund - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS:  After starting the season owned in 4% of leagues, Aaron Harang is now taken in 79% and is barely considered a ‘Waiver Wire player’ at this point. His last start may have been his best, going 6 innings, giving up only 1 run while striking out 11. It’s amazing looking at the great start he has gotten off to considering he is in his 13th season and was barely given a spot on this rotation. With him getting 3 wins and not allowing more than 1 earned run all season, I might not be in the majority saying his nice start might won't be lasting too much longer. I personally saw Harang pitch in person at Citi Field when he threw a no-hitter through 7 innings versus the Mets, and I was honestly flabbergasted at his stuff, or that said his lack of stuff. I looked into some of his extended numbers, and they aren’t pretty. Despite the 0.85 ERA, his FIP is at 2.23, and his xFIP is at 3.75. He also has a LOB% of 89.3%,  a BB/9 of 3.69, and a ridiculous 0% HR/FB rate, which means guys are getting on, they just aren’t scoring. What this means is while he is off to an amazing early 2014, it might be hard for this streak to continue.  So while the “Add in All Leagues” advice is one you should follow, you should try and sell high on Harang and if you can't, be ready to cut bait at a moments notice.

Drew Hutchinson (SP, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Shawn Caswell - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in deeper leagues ANALYSIS: Hutchinson is pitching admirably early on for the Blue Jays. He's boasting an above average K rate of 11.4% with 33 punch-outs over 26 IP and just nine free passes issued. Hutchinson has struck out nine in both of his last two outings and is gaining steam for the Jays. He's got an average fastball topping out at around 91 mph, but he possesses the ability to keep hitters off balance. These factors plus his slightly unlucky .368 BABIP could mean sneaky fantasy value. His secondary offerings, the changeup and slider are average pitches and his whiff rate on the fastball could very well revert back to league average which makes him only viable in deeper leagues for now. Keep an eye on his progress and if you need help in deeper leagues I would not hesitate to add him to your roster.

Marcell Ozuna (OF, MIA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Joe Gallina - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Although his offense has cooled off a bit and he hit for a lowly .217 BA last week, Marcell Ozuna is still batting over .300 for the season and remains on pace to score more than 80 runs and drive in over 70 runs. At just 23 years of age Ozuna is the latest Marlin in their everyday lineup to have been promoted from within their minor league system. With three consecutive minor league seasons with 20 or more homeruns on his resume, as well as his ability to steal a few bases, Ozuna has the potential to be in that lineup for a long time. Although he lacks discipline at the plate, hitting in front of Giancarlo Stanton should ensure that Ozuna will see some good pitches to hit. You may have to put up with some of Ozuna’s streakiness, but with recent injuries to widely owned outfielders like Mark Trumbo and Bryce Harper, a player with Ozuna’s talent will definitely be a hot commodity off of your league’s waiver wire.

Wily Peralta (SP, MIL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Peralta's ownership was steadily rising for a few weeks and it now sits at 44%.   His most recent start, arguably his worst of the year, still saw him go 7 IP with a 6:1 K:BB ratio, while allowing 8 hits and 3 ER.  Still a quality start.  If that was Peralta's worst start of the year, it should give you a pretty good idea of how good the young hurler has been. With a 55% ground ball rate, a 3.57 K:BB ratio, and a fastball that regularly sits at 95 MPH, it's no wonder Peralta is seeing some major success this year. He was the Brewers top pitching prospect for a couple of years, and he's finally putting things together. It might only take one or two more solid starts to make Peralta an "add immediately" recommendation on this waiver wire pickups list, so watch his next outings carefully.

Erick Aybar (SS, LAA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Aybar is putting up a respectable year and has gotten a hot recently.  His totals on the year (16 R, 11 RBI, 1 HR, 1 SB, .261 BA) have added up quite quickly over the past week (8 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 SB, .480).   Over this time Aybar's average has risen nearly 90 points.  Significantly, Aybar, who was batting 9th for much of the season's first 3 weeks, has been moved up and around the order recently, racking up 12 AB each in the 5, 6, and 7 holes.  As Aybar has produced, he's been rewarded with a higher lineup position, which has helped him produce even more.  Aybar makes for a good pickup in deep leagues if you have a struggling shortstop or middle infield like Chris Owings.

Garrett Richards (SP, LAA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Aaron Schooler - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Although near the bottom of the salary scale, Richards has the best stuff and potential on the Angels staff, and Richards is just starting to realize some of this immense potential.  He possesses a fastball that can hit upper 90’s with good movement and backs it up with a knee buckling 12-6 curve that disappears into the dirt.  Richards possesses a great ground ball rate and is finally striking hitters away at the rate we thought he'd be able to for a while.  Richards will not remain a secret for long after dueling Tanaka and the Yankees on Sunday.  It was clear that he was giving the Bronx Bombers all they could handle and then some.  The only blemish for Richards on the young season has been walks, but that should not be enough to scare fantasy owners away and his walks should come under control soon enough.

Collin McHugh (SP, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: For those of you who missed it, Collin McHugh tore up the As and Mariners last week, making him a waiver wire sleeper to consider in just about all formats. The good: in his first 2 starts this year he's pitched 15 1/3 innings, has 19 Ks vs 3 BBs, has only given up 5 total hits and 1 earned run, leaving him with a sparkling 0.59 ERA and 0.52 WHIP with 2 wins. Not too shabby. The bad: he pitches for the worst team in baseball, has a crazy low .161 BABIP, and an 89% strand rate, all setting him up for some regression. He gets the Mariners again in his next start, so if you're looking for a SP off the waiver wire, consider adding McHugh. Just don't expect him to keep up this level of dominance long term.

Matt Dominguez (3B, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Matt Dominguez is one of those low risk / high reward waiver wire sleepers for you to consider if you're looking for some cheap power. Over the last 7 days, the young Houston 3B slugger has put up a respectable .292 BA to go along with 2 HR, 5 RBIs and 5 Runs. Let's not forget that last year, in his sophomore season, Dominguez banged out 21 HR and 25 doubles with 77 RBIs in 543 ABs. If you have room to stash him on your roster, he is only 8% owned in Yahoo leagues and can go on a HR binge and hit them in bunches. Just be ready to drop him if he starts to cool off quickly.

Danny Espinosa (2B / SS, WAS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add In Deeper Leagues and NL Only Leagues ANALYSIS: The good news is if you currently own Danny Espinosa in any fantasy baseball format, then you are reaping the benefit of the .321 BA, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 Runs and 1 Steal he has earned for you in the past 7 calendar days. While he was a forgotten about entity heading into 2014 due to the emergence of Anthony Rendon, and the veteran presence of Ryan Zimmerman, he has seen his stock value balloon recently since Zimmerman has been on the DL with a thumb injury. Since that will most likely keep him sidelined for at least another 2-3 weeks, you may want to consider giving this young switch hitting utility infielder a look to see if he can provide some fluke counting stats, in the absence of the Nationals' full time slugger.

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

7 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues and NL Only Leagues ANALYSIS: It’s probably a good time to start paying attention to the fact that Rickie Weeks no longer starts at second base for the Brewers. In fact, since last third of the 2013 season, Scooter Gennett has done a very respectable job taking over his new job in Milwaukee. He did so by hitting .324 with a .834 OPS in 213 AB (69 games) last season, and by capitalizing on the playing time he’s gotten (unlike the senior of the two beleaguered Weeks) thus far in 2014: raking for a .313 batting average, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 6 Runs and even 3 Steals for good measure. If it wasn’t for the fact that he still loses most at bats to left handed pitching, then he would be a must add in all leagues. If you need some upside help at MI or even an injury stop gap at 2B, then Scooter is your guy for sure.

Jackie Bradley Jr. (CF, BOS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Justin Berglund - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add In Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: After Jackie Bradley Jr. initially lost the Center Field position battle to Grady Sizemore, the young Boston prospect has since been recalled, survived the activation of Shane Victorino from the DL, and has now been made the everyday CF. Owned in only 5% of Yahoo leagues, Bradley is hurt a bit by batting 9th most days, but when he does get on base, the top of the order has driven him in 10 times. That, along with 9 RBI and 3 SB with a .712 OPS makes him a decent waiver option. He’s still remembered amongst Boston fans for his killer 2013 spring training which lead to him making the Opening Day roster, followed by underwhelming in the big leagues and being demoted back to the minors. After being called up again in September, he ended the year with a .189 AVG with 18 R, 3 HR, 10 RBI and 2 SB in 95 AB. Now filling the shoes left by Jacoby Ellsbury, JBJ shouldn’t be anybody’s every day OF option, but can still be a nice addition to a team’s bench.

Marcus Semien (3B / 2B, CWS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Joe Hannon - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: The White Sox have certainly had their share of injured infielders this year. With Jeff Keppinger, Gordon Beckham, and Conor Gillaspie all spending time on the disabled list this season, Marcus Semien has been the beneficiary of plenty of playing time. For a player who would most likely be in Triple-A Charlotte if the team were completely healthy, Semien has now played in 24 of the White Sox 25 games. He has batted in the two-spot for most of the season and has shown flashes of both power and speed. Of Marcus's 23 hits this season, 8 have gone for extra bases. His stat line has upside, but also some glaring deficiencies - .219 AVG 14 R 3 HR 13 RBI 2 SB. His low batting average and 33 strikeouts are clearly not appealing, while his 14 R and 13 RBI are both impressive. Finding a middle infielder with some pop is a fantasy luxury. In that regard, Marcus Semien definitely has fantasy value. His power, speed, and versatility make him worth owning in deeper leagues. It remains to be seen if Semien will continue to crack the lineup when Conor Gillaspie returns from the disabled list sometime next month. Owners looking for infield help could certainly benefit from Semien's play for the near future, but be ready to find a replacement as the season wears on.

Jason Vargas (SP, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues; Head-to-Head Leagues (2 Starts in Week 5) ANALYSIS: Jason Vargas has been pitching great to start the MLB season, and should be added off the waiver wire if you need pitching depth. He's one of the two-start pitchers next week, facing Toronto and then Detroit, both at home. Not the easiest matchups in the world, but Vargas already shut down Detroit in week 1 holding them to 1 ER with 6 Ks over 7 IP. For the season, Vargas has a very solid 1.54 ERA and 1.00 WHIP, with 18 Ks over 35 IP. He pitches deep into games, and has thrown at least 6 IP in all 5 of his starts. Stash him at the very least off the waiver wire, if he's still available in your fantasy baseball league, as he's currently only 38% owned in Yahoo leagues and is on a nice hot streak.

Jonathon Niese (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Jon Niese has been pitching well since coming off the DL, and should be added off the waiver wire in deeper leagues where fantasy owners are looking for some SP sleepers depth.  Over 25 2/3 IP, Niese has racked up a very solid 2.45 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 19 Ks.  Not too shabby. He also hasn't allowed more than 3 ER in any of his 4 starts. His next start comes against the Phillies, in Philadelphia, which isn't the greatest matchup. But he did just shut down a potent Cardinals offense his last time out, so Niese can be stashed off the waiver wire at the very least. Pitching in the NL should provide many favorable matchups for fantasy owners going forward.

Mark Melancon (RP, PIT) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Jason Grilli has be struggling this year, and hit the DL today after blowing a couple of saves. If you're looking for closers off the waiver wire, Mark Melancon may still be available in your league as he will be filling in as the Pirates closer and can be added to the list of short-term saves sleepers for fantasy baseball.  Melancon has been pitching extremely well this year, and was also excellent last year as both a setup man and as the closer when Grilli was injured. For now, he will just be a short term option and a fill-in, but if he is pitching very well or if Grilli's injury is worse than expected, he could have significant fantasy value the rest of the season. If you need saves, and Melancon is still available in your league, grab him off the waiver wire asap.

Joe Smith (RP, LAA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Mike Scioscia named Joe Smith the new Angels closer earlier today, making him an immediate waiver wire pickup and one of those short-term sleepers for leagues that value closers and saves. Ernesto Frieri has been removed from the role, after a few disastrous outings and blown saves. He may get the role back eventually, but Smith has been pitching well and should be added off the waiver wire immediately if he's still available in your fantasy league. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, and if Smith can thrive in the closers role and run with it. But the Angels probably prefer Frieri to get the job back, so don't drop him yet unless you have no other options for snagging Smith.

Drew Smyly (SP, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Drew Smyly is owned in only 34% of Yahoo! Leagues. If you play in the other 66%, consider yourself lucky.  What you have here ladies and gents is a bonafide breakout candidate.  If you want to look at other RP turned SP and know what to expect, the absolute upside is Chris Sale in 2012.  Sale is more of a power pitcher, so expecting that level of production would be a little greedy. Let's look at the facts. Smyly is a high pedigree prospect, having been taken in the 2nd round by the Tigers in 2010.  He has been a dominant pitcher in the majors and has never had a K/9 less than 8.5 at any level.   He throws a mature mix of pitches including a fastball and a slider and cutter that he throws equally. Workload and stamina may limit him to around 150-170 IP, but considering he's free off your waiver wire, there's no reason not to give this guy a shot.   A reasonable expectation would be 160 IP, 145 K, 12 W, 3.5 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP with upside for a better WHIP if he keeps the BB in check.

Alfredo Simon (SP, CIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add only in Very Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Simon has been quite impressive filling in for the injured Mat Latos and there's really no reason you shouldn't keep running him out there until the wheels fall off.  Wait...the wheels are going to fall off?  Yes, oh yes they will.  Simon is currently sporting a 1.30 ERA through 27.2 IP. That ERA is ridiculous, but unfortunately in this case it's just an indication of a huge amount of luck.  Simon is sporting a .185 BABIP and a 91% strand rate which are both significantly better than league average, and with his average skill set (1.89 K:BB ratio) those numbers will regress to the mean in a hard ugly way.  The one thing supporting's Simon's success is his fantastic 13.4% line drive rate, and 51.2% ground ball rate. These are repeatable skills, but Simon is simply not a good enough pitcher to maintain the elite line drive rate.    To sum it all up: there are a lot of indicators that you should be selling Simon now, asap, immediately if not sooner! Don't expect his success to continue for very long.

Mike Moustakas (3B, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: How is Mike Moustakas only owned in 25% of Yahoo leagues? We understand that he got off to a very slow start this year, but he is one of those post-hype sleepers that should be added off the waiver wire now. Today he went yard again, hitting his second HR in that last 2 games. He also now has 4 HRs in the last 8 games. Let's not forget that Moustakas was a highly touted prospect, with lots of talent, who also had a great spring. If you have room on your roster, are carrying dead weight, just lost Trumbo to his injury, are looking for some power, or any other excuse needed - grab Moustakas off the waiver wire if you still can, and see if this is a sign of much bigger things to come from the young 3B.

Martin Perez (SP, TEX) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Bret Thurman - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Mixed Leagues, AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: The Texas Rangers' number-two starter Martin Perez should avoid the dreaded sophomore slump this year, and should also be added off the waiver wire. He added a cut-fastball in the offseason, which both demonstrates his commitment to the game and also is the main reason he's  3-0 in four starts with a 1.86 ERA. It gets better. Perez has given up zero homeruns after surrendering 15 a year ago, and he has reduced his WHIP from 1.39 to just 1.03. His strikeout rate is actually down a little, but that can be seen as good news because it means he's become more of a battler with better control. Instead of wasting pitches, arm strength, and risking walks, he seems to be exchanging some Ks for efficiency and more outs. The 23-year-old could probably be the ace on another staff, and he's under team control until 2019. Unlike teammate Yu Darvish, the team also seems to be scoring runs for him. So start him whether you're in a wins league or an ERA league, because Perez should be a useful fantasy commodity off the waiver wire if he's still available in your leagues.

Kevin Kouzmanoff (3B, TEX) - Waiver Wire Analysis

7 months ago

Published by: Bret Thurman - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues, AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Kevin Kouzmanoff got his chance at third base when starter Adrian Beltre went on the DL, and he has made the most of the opportunity: 2 HR, 10 RBIs, 8 Runs and a .361 BA in only 13 games. This makes him an interesting waiver wire name to consider. MLB even named him the AL's Player of the Week last week. But the fact is, Kouz will most likely not be an everyday player soon. He's already had to leave one game early due to tightness in his lower back. And once Beltre comes back, although there is some talk that the team may give him a try at second base, Kouz will most likely head to the bench as a utility infielder and part-time DH. But if you're looking for a short term option off the waiver wire, or he's in the lineup coming off a couple of days rest, consider grabbing him off the waiver wire and riding the hot wave.

Justin Morneau (1B, COL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Scott McCloy - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Justin Morneau is off to a torrid start in 2014, hitting .344 as of 4/22.  Calling him a waiver wire pickup is a bit of a stretch, given his current ownership numbers, but regardless if he's still available on your league waiver wire add him asap. Unlike most Rockie hitters, Morneau is doing this both at Coors Field (.354 Avg) as well as away (.324).  With 4 HR and 15 RBI already, shades of Morneau’s great years in Minnesota seem somewhat plausible.  Don’t expect him to hit 30 HR and drive in 100, but 20 and 80 is definitely reachable with upside for more. He is currently owned in only 81.2 and 65 percent of ESPN and Yahoo leagues respectively.  For a 1B with some power and a great average, those ownership numbers are too low.  He is currently 4th among all 1B in average and 6th in RBI. Get him now if he is still available, and help out your team BA while taking all the peripheral numbers as bonuses.

Conor Gillaspie (3B, CWS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

7 months ago

Published by: Joe Hannon - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: After an up-and-down 2013 season, Conor Gillaspie is showing consistency in his second year with the White Sox. The 26 year-old infielder has at least one hit in 16 out of  17 games played this season. Though he has yet to hit a home run or steal a base, Gillaspie has been barreling up the baseball well enough (insane 31% line drive rate) for Robin Ventura to slot him in the upper-third of the order each game. The White Sox offense has shown surprising potency over the first month of the season and Gillaspie has had a big part in that success, as evidenced by his .302 AVG 8 R 12 RBI stat line. Conor seems to have a steady hold on the third base job and will likely continue seeing the majority of the at-bats there, regardless of the eventual return of infielders Gordon Beckham and Jeff Keppinger. Fantasy owners looking for help at the hot corner should cash in on Gillaspie's productive play.

Corey Dickerson (OF, COL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in NL Only Leagues; Scout in Mixed Leagues ANALYSIS: With Michael Cuddyer hitting the DL, Corey Dickerson will has a very good path to see steady playing time in the Colorado Rockies lineup.  He took that opportunity and ran with it on Monday night, going 3-for-4 with a HR, 2B, 2 RBI and even a stolen base. It's the type of game that is sure to get him additional starts.  Watch the Rockies lineup and box score carefully the next couple days - if you see Dickerson getting playing time and hitting, scoop him up quick. He is the type of player with plus speed and plus power who can really make an impact in the short term until Cuddyer's return.

Wily Peralta (SP, MIL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Wily Peralta is still only owned in 36% of Yahoo leagues, which is just way too low. He's one of those waiver wire sleepers that not enough people are adding, maybe because they are afraid of his control issues from last year. But this is not last year, and he's been absolutely great so far. He's always had the talent, and today he pitched another great game picking up the win against San Diego with 6 K and only 2 ER over 6 1/3 IP. Almost more importantly, Peralta only had 1 BB. He now owns a very solid 2.19 ERA with 19 K vs. 6 BB over 24 2/3 IP. He plays on a Brewers team that looks very strong, and gets the light hitting Cubs his next time out. Grab Peralta off the waiver wire now until he proves differently, he could make a big fantasy impact this year.

Jenrry Mejia (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Jenrry Mejia pitched another solid game today for the Mets, and definitely still fits into the "sleepers" category as fantasy managers aren't giving him enough love off the waiver wire. Pitching against a tough Cardinals offense, Mejia impressed with 7 Ks over 6 1/3 IP to pickup the win, allowing 7 base runners and 0 earned runs. Mejia now owns a very solid 1.99 ERA with 25 K over 22 2/3 IP to start the year. As long as he can stay healthy, he should continue to produce for the Mets and fantasy owners. Still only owned in 15% of Yahoo leagues, Mejia should be targeted off the waiver wire and started his next time out against the Marlins. Don't sleep on him just because he pitches for a bad MLB team.

Tom Koehler (SP, MIA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Legues, Add in NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Tom Koehler pitched very well today, racking up 8 K over 6 1/3 IP and allowing 7 base runners and 2 ER. He is one of those waiver wire sleepers that not many people are talking about yet, because he is young and unproven, and plays on a Miami team that doesn't get much fantasy love. Here are the facts though: he hasn't allowed more than 2 ER in any of his 4 starts this year, in 2 of his 4 games he's had at least 6 Ks, and he's pitched at least 6 IP in all 4 of his starts. He'll get the Mets his next time out, and is worth a spot start at the very least off the waiver wire. Add him in deeper leagues if you need the pitching help, and monitor him in all leagues to see if the solid pitching continues.

Michael Brantley (OF, CLE) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues Immediately ANALYSIS: Given that Michael Brantley is already 68% owned in Yahoo leagues, its a bit of a stretch to call him a waiver wire pickup. But he's still one of those non-brand name under the radar sleepers that should be owned in all leagues, and still isn't. If Brantley is still available in your league, pick him up immediately. Last year he batted .284 with 10 HR, 17 SB, 73 RBI and 66 Runs - not to shabby for a 5th outfielder type. Today he hit his 4th homer in the last 7 games, to go along with 2 SBs. On the year he now has 4 HR, 18 RBI, 10 Runs and 2 SB while batting around .300 - stats of a #3 or #2 outfielder if he keeps it up. Brantley needs to be owned and started in every league format.

Tyler Lyons (SP, STL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Tyler Lyons pitched well today against the Mets, filling in for an injured Joe Kelly. In 6 IP, he racked up 7 K with only 2 ER, but also had 4 BB. Lyons was pitching well in the minors before getting called up, and St. Louis always finds a way of producing high-quality arms. If you are looking for some pitching depth off the waiver wire, Lyons is a decent guy to take a chance on given his high amount of Ks, and that he plays on a great Cardinals team that can get wins. Just remember that Joe Kelly should get his rotation spot back within a couple weeks, at which point Lyons would probably lose a spot in the rotation unless someone else on the team was injured/ineffective. 

Mark Reynolds (1B / 3B, MIL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues; Add for Cheap Power ANALYSIS: Mark Reynolds is one of those post-hype sleepers on the waiver wire, a forgotten player who used to hit tons of HRs for fantasy owners in previous years, and is now heating up on a new MLB team. He still has massive power, to go along with tons of Ks and a low BA, but owners in need of some cheap power could do worse. Yesterday Reynolds homered for the 2nd straight game, and now has 5 HR and 2 SB on the year. A full time player again this year with the Brewers, Reynolds should have plenty of chances to produce hitting behind Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez and others. He is also eligible at 1B and 3B, adding some more fantasy value, and is only 13% owned in Yahoo leagues. Grab him off the waiver wire if you have room in deeper leagues, just in case he stays hot and goes on a power binge.  

Kyle Farnsworth (RP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Earlier today the Mets announced that Jose Valverde is being removed from the closers role, after a few brutal outings, and Kyle Farnsworth will be replacing him. This makes Farnsworth a waiver wire pickup, and one of those sleepers who can provide sneaky saves for your team. The Mets aren't as horrible (yet) as many thought they would be, so Farnsworth should get his chances for saves as long as he doesn't falter. Including today's scoreless inning, Farnsworth now owns a 1.08 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 6 K in 8 1/3 IP. If you were a Valverde owner, or are just looking for saves, add Farnsworth off the waiver wire.

Jesse Chavez (SP, OAK) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Jesse Chavez has become a starting pitcher revelation for both the Oakland As and fantasy baseball owners, as one of those relatively unknown sleepers to emerge off the waiver wire.  Injuries to both Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin left the door open for Chavez, who has done nothing but impress over his first 4 starts this year. In 26 IP, including today's latest gem, Chavez now owns a superb 1.38 ERA and 0.92 WHIP to go along with 28 K vs. only 5 BB. Pitching on a great As team, and in a great pitchers park, should only add more fantasy value for Chavez. Still only owned in 62% of Yahoo leagues, if Chavez is still available on your waiver wire add him immediately.

Pedro Strop (RP, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Jon Steller - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Pedro Strop will very likely be the new closer for the Cubs, at some point, after the demotion of Jose Veras. For now however, he seems to be splitting time with Hector Rondon. Both Rondon and Strop have a save each, since the removal of Veras, although Rondon's save has come more recently. If you have roster space you may want to store Strop, only if you are in desperate need of saves. Then again, there should be plenty of more valuable closers on the waiver wire who play for winning teams within the next month after the next 5 closers go down.

Hector Rondon (RP, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Jon Steller - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Cubs manager Rick Renteria has stated that he will use a committee of Pedro Strop, Blake Parker, and Hector Rondon to close after the removal of Jose Veras. Although Rondon is pitching the best of the bunch, you get the feeling that Strop is next in line. Since Veras’ demotion, Rondon has been used as the closer once and in the sixth inning once.  Only if you are in the deepest of leagues should you take a flier on Rondon until it becomes clear that either Strop or Rondon is the clear frontrunner for the closer role.

Kelly Johnson (1B / 2B / 3B / OF, NYY) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Displaced Tigers Fan

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues. ANALYSIS: Kelly Johnson is a jack of all trades for the Yankees this season and has position eligibility at 1B, 2B, 3B, and OF in Yahoo! Leagues. Johnson's early productivity makes him worthy of a roster spot in most (if not all) leagues. Through 47 AB for the Bombers he's hit 3 HR and driven in 7 RBI with an OPS of .805. Recent years suggest his numbers could taper off, but he will play half his games in Yankee Stadium this season, where lefty-swingers like Johnson often find the seats. Looking at Johnson as a .250 guy with 20 HR and 60+ RBI who can slot in at nearly any position, it's hard to make the argument against grabbing him in most 12+ team leagues.

Dayan Viciedo (OF, CWS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: NBA_NateMiller - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: A slash of .293/.348/.390 is top-notch. However, based on his past couple of seasons, the BA and OBP are not sustainable for Viciedo. If you are part of the 2 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy managers that already own the 25-year-old outfielder, go ahead and enjoy the average boost that he has unexpectedly supplied so far. The legitimate reason to own Viciedo, now that Avisail Garcia (shoulder surgery) is done for 2014, is his low-risk, high-reward power potential in AL-only and deeper-mixed format. Unlike many other low-end boppers, the Cuban-born slugger will not place your ratios at too much risk (career .266 AVG, .309 OBP) just to provide a boost to your homer frequency. For a bat that can just simply be picked up off the scrap heap in most leagues, Viciedo’s 2012-13 combined marks of 24.3 AB/HR and .176 ISO are certainly solid.

Devin Mesoraco (C - CIN) - Waiver Wire Analysis

8 months ago

Published by: Greg Shaw - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE:  Add in Two-Catcher Leagues and 14+ Team Leagues ANALYSIS:  To this point in his career, Devin Mesoraco’s major league service has consisted of sharing catching duties, most recently in 2013, with Ryan Hanigan.  Now that Hanigan is with Tampa Bay, the bulk of the catching duties fall to him.  His major league numbers don’t jump off the page (.232 career batting average with 19 home runs), but keep in mind that Mesoraco was drafted as a first round pick by the Reds back in 2007 and in 2012 he was the #16 rated prospect according to Baseball America - he's also only only 25 years old.  He has the pedigree of a number one catcher and since returning from an oblique injury he has been raking like one – 3 home runs with a .500 batting average in 6 games.  I think it’s fair to expect a .250 batting average and 15 home runs over the balance of the season as his floor.  I’ve personally added Mesoraco as my number one catcher to replace Wilson Ramos in my 12-team league.  Right now he’s still only 20% owned and that number will climb.

Mark Reynolds (1B / 3B, MIL) - Waiver Wire Analysis

8 months ago

Published by: Displaced Tigers Fan

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting; Consider Adding in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Mark Reynolds is off to a decent start in the HR category as he already has three long balls through fourteen games. The days of Reynolds' 40+ (or even 30+) homers are likely in the past, and Reynolds is notorious for his high strikeout rate and low average. Starting Reynolds may give you a power boost, but may also hurt your team average. Still, Reynolds is one of those interesting sleepers off the waiver wire to stash on your bench because of his multiple-position eligibility (3B and 1B in Yahoo! Leagues). If your league is deep enough, and you make your lineup changes daily, consider adding Reynolds off the waiver wire to fill in at 3B or 1B when your starter has the day off. He may just run into one.

Jason Kubel (OF, MIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Jon Steller - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Jason Kubel is mashing right now. If you are in need of a fourth outfielder with third outfielder potential pickup Kubel NOW, as he is one of those sleepers that will be gone soon if he hasn’t been picked up in your league already. He has plus power, and even though he was nothing short of dismal last year he has had many seasons around 20 HR and 80-90 RBI throughout his career. One thing is certain however, he won’t continue hitting .385. His BABIP right now is an incredible .519, almost .200 points higher than his career average.  Still, he’s a veteran that is now batting fifth and often even cleanup for Minnesota, right behind Chris Colabello, Joe Mauer and Trevor Plouffe all of who are getting on base at extremely high rates. If he stays healthy he should put up numbers similar to his career averages. Pick him up off the waiver wire and hide the wave.

Corey Hart (1B, SEA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Justin Berglund - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Mixed Leagues ANALYSIS: After missing the entire 2013 season due to recovering from knee surgery, Corey Hart is back with a new team in the Seattle Mariners, as well as a new lease on life. Through the first couple weeks, his .231 BA isn’t too promising, but he does boast 4 HRs with 6 RBI in just 39 plate appearances. Considering he hadn’t played in the majors since 2012, I feel confident in chalking up the slow start as shaking off the cobwebs. His 3 year numbers going back to 2010 (to skip last season) are solid - his 29 HR, 82 RBI, 2 seasons with 91 Runs, and 6 Steals isn’t too shabby. Now the steals might be harder to get with the knee issues, but the point is Hart can be a great player. Hart is the everyday DH for Seattle, and could reasonably end up being eligible for both 1B and OF positions in fantasy terms. He is on a Mariners team on the upswing, and hitting 4th behind Robinson Cano will give him plenty of RBI chances. Only 30% owned in Yahoo leagues, I would take a chance on him off the waiver wire.

Kelly Johnson (1B / 2B / 3B / OF, NYY) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Kelly Johnson has become the swiss army knife for the New York Yankees, and is one of those multi-position sleepers since he's eligible at 1B, 2B, 3B and OF in most fantasy baseball leagues. That alone provides value, and in real life the Yankees are fortunate to have him with recent injuries to Mark Teixeira, Brian Roberts and Francisco Cervelli. Johnson is off to a solid start in 2014, with 3 HR and 7 RBI over the first 2 weeks of the season. Hitting in the hitter-friendly Yankee stadium should only help with his HR totals, as he bats lefty and there is the short porch effect in the Bronx. Solid power from a thin 2B position can be a valuable asset for fantasy, and owners that are looking for a 3B fill-in due to injury could do much worse off the waiver wire. Let's not forget that Johnson has belted at least 16 HR in the last 4 seasons where he's had at least 350 ABs. Feel free to grab him off the waiver wire, as he should be getting regular ABs for the foreseeable future.  

Joe Kelly (SP, STL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Joe Kelly is emerging as one of those post-hype sleepers, and a legitimate fantasy baseball starting pitcher who seems to be getting better with each start (and more consistent as well). He is still only owned in 29% of Yahoo leagues, which is just too low. Here are a few things to consider: he has the talent, he has a great arm (one of the best fastball velocities in the majors), is pitching well to start 2014, pitched well in 2013, and is on a great St. Louis team that gets tons of wins and produces starting pitcher studs often. After his last gem on Friday against the Cubs, where he gave up zero ER over 6 IP, Kelley is now sporting a solid 0.79 ERA and 1.41 WHIP over 11 1/3 IP. Don't forget that last year he had a 2.69 ERA over 124 IP, to go along with 10 wins. He may not get you elite Ks, but the talent and upside is definitely there. If you are looking for some starting pitcher help, or have an extra roster spot, grab Kelly off the waiver wire and ride him until he proves differently.

Tyson Ross (SP, SD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: If you are in a deeper league, or are struggling with your starting pitching and are looking for some pitching help, Tyson Ross is an option to consider off the waiver wire. After allowing only 1 ER over 7 IP with 7 K vs. 1 BB versus a potent Detroit lineup, Ross now owns a respectable season stat line of 3.12 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, and 16 K over 17 1/3 IP. Don't forget that he pitches in a pitcher-friendly ballpark, and last year put up a very solid stat line of 3.17 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 119 K over 125 IP. He won't get you many wins playing for San Diego, but can be a serviceable SP for fantasy leagues. If you need the pitching help, feel free to grab him off the waiver wire.

Cody Ross (OF, ARZ) - Waiver Wire Analysis

8 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting, Add in NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Cody Ross is a nice guy to monitor in fantasy leagues right now because a lot of people have forgotten that he even exists, due to his early stint on the disabled list. But once he rejoins the Diamondbacks, he will have instant value because his starting outfield spot is waiting. Joining Goldy, Montero, and Trumbo will bring immediate value to Ross, as he should be able to rack up some Runs and RBIs. He does a little of everything for your fantasy team, adding upside for 20+ HR, 30 doubles, and a .270-.280 BA. If your outfield is stacked, then let him go. But if you have somebody that you are taking a risk on, like an underachieving rookie, I'd grab Ross off the waiver wire as insurance or stash him on the DL now if you have the room to.

Will Venable (OF, SD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper League, All NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Will Venable is a very underrated fantasy baseball contributor, and at this point is one of our sleepers for waiver wire pickups in deeper leagues. He can be a solid contributor while one of your starters is hurt or not playing, and can be a nice OF in deeper leagues with more than 3 OF slots. He provides a decent average, has notable power hitting 22 HR in 2013, and has good speed swiping 22 bags in 2013. He plays in San Diego, so his power numbers probably will max out around 25 HR, which is still plenty to contribute especially when you combine it with 20+ steal upside. These type of 20/20 guys just don't grow on trees. While Venable will not win your league for you, and is off to a slow start, he can definitely be your fourth or fifth outfielder and a reliable source of moderate home run and stolen base numbers. Currently only 35% owned, I just don't understand why he isn't owned in more than 50% of leagues. If he is still available in your deeper league, take a chance off the waiver wire and pick him up before he heats up and gets snagged up.

Kolten Wong (2B, STL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Kolten Wong is a fine looking second baseman that the Cardinals have been eager to bring up to the big club, but have resisted because he just wasn't ready last year. To be perfectly honest, I'm still not sure that he is ready to be an everyday fantasy second baseman, and in redraft leagues I would let someone else assume that risk. But he had a scorching hot spring, and has had a decent start to the regular season with a stat line of .257, 2 RBI, 2 Runs and 2 SB. Wong has demonstrated very good plate discipline during this brief season amassing a .350 OBP and has even stolen a couple of bases. Wong's upside appears to be similar to Daniel Murphy of the Mets, but the batting average is probably at least a year away. He is someone to consider off the waiver wire, but personally I would only take him in deep leagues as a MI or in NL-Only formats.  

Marcus Semien (2B / 3B, CWS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting ANALYSIS: Marcus Semien is a name we are starting to hear a little more regularly due to him getting his share of at bats coming firmly entrenched in the 2-hole in the White Sox lineup. His glove is solid, which will keep him in the field even during his struggles, but his bat is about average, as evidenced by his .227 BA through his first 10 GP.  He has 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 SB, and 6 Runs that have come largely from playing in front of Jose Abreu's monster bat.  He deserves some more time to adjust to the big leagues, and the White Sox will stay patient as they're firmly committed to a rebuild.  His upside this season is a .255 BA, 85 runs, 10 HR and 15 SB, which is ok for a middle infielder in very deep leagues. He is by no means somebody you should run and grab, but he's worth monitoring if he gets hot.

Garrett Richards (SP, LAA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Garrett Richards is somebody I have picked up in two leagues already based on his spring training and his first two start's numbers. He had a very mediocre 2013 season, but it was in no way bad enough to discourage me from looking his way this season.  Richards has an elite GB% and throws a incredibly hard fastball, which is a recipe for weak contact and Kupside.  He is not a classic "strikeout" pitcher, but you should expect his K-rate to rise this year and on the Angels he has the ability to win 15+ games. His 2-0 record with a 9.75 K/9 is highly encouraging, while his 6 BB/9 is worrying and will have to come down in order for him to sustain success. Do not go out and grab him expecting him to produce like C.J. Wilson, but there will be matchups this season and some two start weeks where he is a smart start. Ride the wave while he is hot, but if he gets lit up a few starts in a row, it's ok to cut bait.

Scott Feldman (SP, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ AL-only leagues ANALYSIS: With 10 seasons and over 900 innings pitched at the major league level, we have a pretty good idea what to expect from Scott Feldman going forward. He's a guy who's ERA will sit somewhere between 4.00 when he's good and 5.00 when he struggles, to go along with an uninspiring strikeout rate (K/9 = 6.7 over the last 3 seasons), and an even more unimpressive WHIP. He has his uses as a back of the rotation starter in a deep AL only league, but in mixed formats he's almost exclusively a poor man's streaming option. I'd start him against a bottom 10 offense if I needed an arm, but that's about the extent of the trust I'm willing to place in Scott Feldman.

Mike Leake (SP, CIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Scott McCloy - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Mike Leake shut down the defending NL Champion St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night, pitching 8 shutout innings allowing 4 H, 1 BB and striking out 3.  Currently 4th in the Reds rotation, Leake has been a successful pitcher since his arrival to the big leagues straight from college.  Leake has a career 43-30 record and an ERA under 4 at 3.95.  If you’re looking for a flame throwing strikeout pitcher, Leake is not your guy but if you want a reliable starter that has a very good offense behind him, then Leake is decent number 8 or 9 SP on a deep league team.  He will have his ups and downs, and likely finish with an ERA slightly north of 4, but any pitcher that can give you 8 shutout innings against the Cardinals has the potential to rack up solid IP - Leake should at least pass the 200 IP mark this year if nothing else.

Eric Young Jr. (OF, NYM) - Waiver Wire Analysis

8 months ago

Published by: Displaced Tigers Fan

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Young was off to a slow start at the plate, slashing a measly .154/.233/.192 through his first 30 plate appearances before Thursday night.  At Turner Field, Young went 4-for-5 with 4 Runs score and 3 SB - for a player like him this is the equivalent of a 3 HR game.  Since Young's only significant value comes in the stolen base category, his inability to get on base early could be a problem for fantasy owners unless Thursday's game is an indication of things to come. Numbers from recent years suggest that Young can steal upwards of 40 bases if he can get on base at anything resembling a consistent rate. For that reason alone, he's worth considering in rotisserie leagues, but only if the league is deep. I would hesitate to add Young in any head-to-head leagues. Starting Young may score you some stolen bases, but your other offensive numbers might suffer in the mean time.

Luke Gregerson (RP, OAK) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: The Athletics announced yesterday that Jim Johnson has been removed from the closers role, as his early season struggles have caused concern.  At this point Oakland is saying they will use a closer by committee to replace him, but we are here chasing saves so let's take a look at the candidates. Luke Gregerson has been an elite setup man for years, owning a career stat line of 2.86 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 356 K in 352 IP. Based on his experience, being a righty, and his strong start to the season - Gregerson seems to have a strong chance at getting the first crack at save opportunities. Sean Doolittle has been great himself this year and over his career, but is a lefty, which normally means he won't assume the full-time closer's role. Ryan Cook is pitching in the 8th inning as we speak, with the Athletics up by 5 runs, so it certainly looks like Oakland is trying to ease him back into the mix as he was just activated from the DL on Monday. It would be surprising to see Cook used as the closer in the short term, but he may be the best long term fit if Johnson doesn't get the role back. For now, Gregerson is a solid flier in fantasy leagues and can be added off the waiver wire for those looking for saves.

Kyle Lohse (SP, MIL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Justin Berglund - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS:  After his killer 2012 campaign with the Cardinals that saw him put up career numbers, Lohse followed it up in 2013 with solid numbers: 11 Wins with 5.7 K/9, 3.35 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.  Now at 35, Lohse has not shown any signs of slowing down (with the exception of his most recent walk-plagued start @PHI), and while he's far from an elite fantasy option, he deserves to be owned in more than 44% of Yahoo leagues. With a decent back end bullpen and a solid lineup up top (Gomez, Segura, Braun, Ramirez, Lucroy, and Davis) Lohse could definitely end up being a nice waiver wire pitcher who racks up IP with a low WHIP, solid ERA, and 12-14 wins. If he’s available in your league, I’d keep track of his next start or two and make a move before somebody else scoops him up if he looks good.

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

8 months ago

Published by: Aaron Schooler - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting ANALYSIS: A spark plug of a player, Gennett is well on his way to being a fan favorite in Milwaukee.   The Brewers are anxious to see if he can keep putting it together over a full season and hold down the 2B job.  So far the results have been favorable, off to a fast start this year (6-for-20, 3 RBI), coming after a solid rookie campaign (.324-6-21 in only 213 AB). However, until Gennett proves that he can hit lefties better (.154 in 2013), he'll likely platoon at 2B with Reeky Weeks.  Until he has the full time role, and until he can pick up the stolen bases a little better, he won't be a big fantasy threat.   In very deep leagues he could be a viable bench option, but you should just continue scouting him for now.

Charlie Morton (SP, PIT) - Waiver Wire Analysis

8 months ago

Published by: Scott McCloy - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting; 2-Start Stream this Week ANALYSIS: Charlie Morton (6% ownership) had a no decision in his 2014 debut against the Chicago Cubs.  He pitched 6 innings, allowing 4 hits and striking out 6. Coming off a solid 2013 where he used a change in his arm slot to much success, Morton looks to build upon this with a more prominent role in the Pirates rotation. He has the Cubs again this week, this time at Wrigley, and the Brewers who he has dominated the last three years (2-0, 2.25 ERA) at home. Look for Morton to continue getting the strikeouts and limiting base runners en route to two quality starts this week.  In weekly leagues, add him for his two starts this week, otherwise monitor his progress on the waiver wire for now.

Félix Doubront (SP, BOS) - Waiver Wire Analysis

8 months ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting; Add in AL-Only leagues ANALYSIS: Félix Doubront can be a useful pitcher in the right format. With a superb offense and an above average defense behind him, he is one of those sleepers that can pick up some wins for you. And he's shown the potential to be an above average strikeout producer, posting K/9s of 9.3 and 7.7 in the last two seasons. That said, he doesn't provide nearly enough strikeouts to make up for the damage he could do to your ERA & WHIPE rate stats in a fantasy league. Last season he posted a WHIP of 1.429 and an ERA of 4.32 in 162 major league innings - and playing in the most competitive division in baseball and in a very unfriendly park for pitchers, I don't see those numbers improving a lot this season. This relegates him to streamer status in a standard mixed league, but in AL only formats the strikeout potential does make him an interesting back of the rotation starter.

Jonathan Broxton (RP, CIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Jonathan Broxton was not a name I even expected to mention this MLB season. But with the early injury to incumbent closer Chapman, and the floundering of Hoover, Broxton will take over the closer duties once he is activated from the DL tomorrow. Broxton throws hard and gets a lot of strikeouts, but has a knack for giving up homeruns also. He reminds me of Kyle Farnworth, reliably unreliable. If you need a closer I would grab him off the waiver wire over such stragglers and closers like Hoover, Hawkins and Strop. Broxton is on a quality team and should get the save chances to get us some points, but he as well isn't a sure shot. If you haven't yet gotten the picture I am painting, there is value here, but proceed with caution.

Shawn Kelley (RP, NYY) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately in All Leagues ANALYSIS: The Yankees places their closer David Robertson on the DL today, and Shawn Kelley got the save against the Orioles. If Kelley is available in your league, he should be picked up off the waiver wire immediately. He looks to be the fill-in closer for the Yankees and will get the save opportunities while Robertson is injured. On a high powered team like the Yankees, Kelley can find his way into some saves for fantasy owners - especially if Robertson is out for an extended period of time. Grab him now, and stay on top of closers, saves and holds updates all season long with RotoBaller's relief pitcher depth charts: http://www.rotoballer.com/mlb-saves-closers-depth-charts/    

Nate Eovaldi (SP, MIA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Eovaldi is a sneaky pickup for owners who like to stream starting pitchers, but even though he is a Marlin, he does in fact hold value. Two starts into the 2014 Eovaldi has struck out 14 batters over 13 innings which is a huge improvement from his 2013 numbers. Eovaldi has a ton of talent, and while his fastball is his go-to pitch, his curveball is showing signs of plus stuff early on as well.  Eovaldi is pounding the strike zone and inducing a lot of swings and misses in the early going.  While I rarely advocate having a Miami Marlin on your team besides the obvious ones, Eovaldi may be worth your roster spot for spot right now and definitely for the right matchups and two start weeks. Just try to keep your expectations realistic.

Cody Asche (3B, PHI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Aaron Schooler - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting; Add in NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Asche is off to a nice start for the Phillies, batting .250 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 4 Runs over 4 games.  After three solid minor league seasons at the plate, the 23 year old has established himself as the starter at third base.  Proceed with caution because new manager Ryne Sandberg may spell Asche against tough lefties and other unfavorable matchups for the youngster.  On the plus side, being a lefty in Philly’s small ballpark could net him 15-20 long balls.  His track record in the minor leagues suggests that he could post a decent average (.287 BA) with some speed for a corner infielder, but there is also some swing and miss making him susceptible to slumps. My recommendation is to continue to monitor for now, but in NL-Only leagues Asche is a solid addition to your squad.

Erick Aybar (SS, ANA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Aaron Schooler - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Aybar’s value would be higher if he were batting at the top of the lineup instead of near the bottom.  It would give him extra at bats and more opportunities to score runs behind a powerful offense.  Mike Scioscia has decided on Kole Calhoun as the leadoff man because of his ability to get on base at a better rate than Aybar (career OBP .317). However, we all know that the ideal spot for Mike Trout is 3rd in the lineup, so I wouldn't be shocked to see Aybar inserted 1st or 2nd in order to move Trout to the 3-hole.  Also, it's possible that being buried in a deep lineup may take the pressure off as Aybar has put up .318 avg/.418 OBP in spring. He's batting just 4-for-18, but he has 4 Runs and 2 RBI in 5 games.  With fantasy owners looking for depth at the SS position, Aybar can optimistically provide around 20 SB, 50 RBI, and .280 average.

Michael Morse (1B / OF, SF) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Just because he disappeared off the face of the fantasy baseball earth last year, Michael Morse is still a guy that has a .281 career batting average and hit .303 with 31 HR, 95 RBI and 53 Runs three years ago. Currently owned in 19% of Yahoo leagues, Morse is eligible at both first base and outfield, and offers considerable upside for a low risk. Today he hit his first home run of the season, and is now batting .286 with at least 1 RBI in four straight games. If you play in deeper leagues, or have a roster spot to take a flier on, consider grabbing this 1B/OF off the fantasy baseball waiver wire.

Dustin Ackley (2B / OF, SEA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: After having a great spring, where he hit .381, 2 HR, 16 RBI and 11 Runs in 68 ABs, Dustin Ackley is now off to a hot start to the 2014 MLB season. Today he hit a HR with 2 RBI and 1 Run, and is now hitting a healthy .313/.389/.500 with 1 HR, 1 SB, 5 Runs and 2 RBIs on the young season. Whenever a former top prospect starts hitting, and is eligible at the thin 2B position, we should take notice. Currently only owned in 34% of Yahoo leagues, Ackley should be available on many fantasy baseball waiver wires still. Unless you have a stud second baseman (and MI for deeper leagues), consider picking up Ackley off the waiver wire to see how this hot streak plays out.

Jarred Cosart (SP, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Jarred Cosart is a real-deal kind of sleeper talent that is simply festering on an MLB team that barely gets any media, or fantasy baseball, attention. Heading into the 2014 campaign, the Astros former #1 pitching prospect showed some nice ability in his first cup of coffee in 2013, posting a 1.95 ERA and  1.35 WHIP over his first 60 innings pitched. Although he only struck out 33 batters in that span, the eyeball test tells us that this extremely hard bullet thrower is a naturally talented beast. He almost reminds us of a right handed, slightly more unpolished, Tony Cingrani. With a fastball that touches the high 90s, and the confidence of the Astros management behind him, this young buck may bud into a bonafide starting pitcher for H-Town’s finest. He pitched very well in his first start of the season at home against the Yankees, and he’s definitely worth a flier pickup off the waiver wire if you drafted a little short on starting pitching or are looking to add an arm to your fantasy baseball team.

Casey McGehee (3B, MIA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Justin Berglund - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: I’ll start off by saying Casey McGehee will not be any threat to the front-end Third Basemen, this will just be about his ability to play for your fantasy team as opposed to the average 3B. Let’s call it fantasy WAR. The 31 Year Old McGahee has had a nice start to his 2014, batting .438 with 10 RBI in 5 games. McGahee has at times shown brilliance playing from the hot corner, and actually has decent career numbers: Averaging 18 HR, 85 RBI with a .258 BA and a .733 OPS. This does not include his 2013 campaign he spent in Japan playing for the Rakuten Golden Eagles (Masahiro Tanaka’s old team), where he hit .289 with 29 HR and 90 RBI and won the MVP awart. The point is McGahee is a better player than his Opening Day rank of 1085 (drafted in only 2% of leagues), is a forgotten man in many fantasy circles, and has talent and upside. He has now crawled up to 12%, and that number will only continue to grow from there. If you have a shaky, unproven, or injury prone 3B - or if you have a player you can drop, an injury, or an extra roster spot - McGahee could definitely stop the bleeding at the position and even be a worthy UTIL or Plug-And-Play option throughout the year. If he's still available in your league, strongly consider adding him off the waiver wire now just in case he continues his torrid start to the season.

Javier Baez (SS, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues Analysis: Let me begin with stating this: Baez will be fantasy gold, it's just a matter of when. He has a ton of power, solid plate discipline, and plays a premium position. The Cubs have already spoke to Castro about moving from shortstop to open up a spot for Baez, and Baez is playing at 2B in Triple-A, so it's evident he is coming this season. Using a valuable roster spot on a guy who is playing in the minors is a tough sell to a lot of fantasy ballers, but to those skeptics I simply ask if you could pick up a potential top 5 shortstop right now, would you?  The key point here is you don't want to miss out on this stud who, if he is called up June 1st, will bat close to .280 BA with 15-20 HR, and 60+ RBI  the rest of the way.  Baez has more power for a SS than any shortstop prospect since A-Rod.

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

8 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting ANALYSIS: Now that the season is underway, we know which players have made the opening day rosters and Jonathan Schoop is among those surprises. Schoop is primarily a second baseman, but can play third base as well. The one main thing to be aware of with Schoop is that he will most likely be demoted once Machado comes off the DL unless he is hitting the cover off of the ball. Schoop can be fantasy relevant if he gets consistently playing time - he had 14 HR in the minors last season and playing in Camden Yards that number should increase. He will hit for an average in the .280 range and provide solid power for a second baseman.  Schoop is off to a slow start with just 1 hit in 7 AB, but he can potentially make an impact in very deep leagues. In NL-only leagues, he should be owned.

Miguel Montero (C, ARI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Scott McCloy - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Miguel Montero is currently owned in only about 50% of all leagues.  This is alarming low, given the fact that he hits in the middle of a powerful Diamondbacks lineup, and the hot start he's gotten off to. He has started 5 of the first 6 games, hitting in the 5th spot 3 times and in the 6th spot twice - and is either preceding or following newcomer Mark Trumbo.  This bodes well for Montero to score runs, as well as drive in runs, from your catcher spot.  Montero is coming off a disappointing 2013 season - but in the previous two seasons he hit over .280, had over 15 HR, and drove in over 80 runs.  He has 1 HR already this year and is hitting .429 early on.  Montero also does well in OBP leagues with a .346 career average.  If he can bounce back to 2011 and 2012 numbers, he will be very valuable in fantasy leagues. If he's still available in your league, and you have a weak or fringe catcher, pick him up off the waiver wire immediately.

Marlon Byrd (OF, PHI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Scott McCloy - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Journeyman outfielder Marlon Byrd is coming off his best season since 2007.  Playing for the Mets and Pirates last year, Byrd managed to hit 24 HR and drive in 88 runs.  He is off to a hot 2014 with 5 hits in his first 13 AB’s (.385 AVG) including a HR.  Coach Ryne Sandberg has moved him around the lineup the first three games hitting 1 game each in the 4, 5 and 6th slot.  The Phillies lineup is an aging one, but the talent is there and can produce runs in bunches like the 14 they scored Opening Day in Texas.  Byrd should expect to see plenty of AB’s as the starting RF.   If you’re in need for some additional pop in your lineup, grab Byrd (owned in only 49% of Yahoo! leagues) if he is still available in your deep league.

Chris Owings (SS, ARZ) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Chris Owings is the most popular option for owners who left the draft without a quality bat at shortstop. The main reason he went largely undrafted was because he was in a position battle with Didi Gregarious, but he came out on top and has the bat to stay in the majors. Owings is not a power hitting prospect, but do not take his ability at the plate lightly because this guy can hit all day. In AAA last season he hit for a .330 AVG, 12 HR, and swiped 20 bases. He has possible 20/20 potential - which at shortstop you will sign for everyday, and twice on Sunday. Owings will begin the season batting at the bottom of  the order, but he has the ability to find his way to the top of the order. Pick him up off the waiver wire immediately if he's still available in your league, and enjoy.

Martin Perez (SP, TEX) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Martin Perez showed his stuff in his season debut vs. the Phillies on Tuesday night, going 5 2/3 IP, with a pristine 7:0 K:BB ratio, while only allowing 2 ER.  That's about as solid a debut as you can hope for from this young but erratic lefty down in Texas. He was solid during  the 2013 season when he racked up 10 wins, a sub-4.00 ERA, and 85 Ks. He is not a huge strikeout pitcher so if that is what you are looking for he is not the one, but he will give you a solid ERA and a good amount of wins backed by the potent Texas offense. Perez  is owned in less than 20% of Yahoo! leagues which is incredible to me because he seems to be past the pitching woes he faced early on in his career. You likely have the luxury of letting Perez fly under the radar for another start if you must, but if you are short on quality arms you should jump sooner than later.

Erasmo Ramirez (SP, SEA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately ANALYSIS: Add immediately you say? Yes, if not sooner! Orgasmo Ramirez was orgasmic last night, going 7 strong with a nasty 6:0 K:BB ratio, while allowing just 6 hits and 2 ER.  This was a significant start for Ramirez, against a stacked Angels' lineup including the best baseball player in the world, ya know, Mike Trout.  Orgasmo had a dominant Spring, putting up a ridiculous 3-0, 1.14 ERA, .85 WHIP, 20:2 K:BB in 23.2 IP.   After a spring like that, we can take this first start as a sign that he is the real deal.  He has the talent and the opportunity and he is putting it together at the right time.  This could be a huge breakout year for Ramirez, so add him now if you can.

Dan Uggla (2B, ATL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Scott McCloy - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: If you’re looking for some cheap power, or are horrified by your current 2B/MI slot, look no further than Dan Uggla.  Coming off a horrific year in 2013, where he hit a whopping .179, he still managed to hit 22 HR out of the 2B position.  Uggla had laser eye surgery last August to help him with his eyesight and hopefully help him raise his average above the Mendoza line.  It might have worked, as he has hit .269 with 4 HR and 14 RBI this spring.  Uggla is always a candidate for strikeouts and a low batting average, but he has walked 12 times this spring and has a .403 OBP.  This could be a factor of his newfound eyesight.  Again, if you are in need of power and you didn’t grab one of the top second basemen, feel free take a chance on Uggla and help your power stats out.  Uggla is currently owned in 7% of leagues, making him widely available on the waiver wire.

Emilio Bonifacio - (2B/OF, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Joe Hannon - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: The lone bright spot for the Chicago Cubs offense on opening day was Emilio Bonifacio. The leadoff hitter went 4 for 5 with a stolen base. In 2011, Bonifacio hit .296 with 78 R, 5 HR, 36 RBI, and 40 SB - all career highs. Those numbers have all decreased over the past couple seasons, most notably his batting average. However, at 28 years-old, Emilio is still in his prime. Bonifacio is an intriguing fantasy option due to his versatility. He has played six different positions at the major league level and is currently eligible for 2B and OF spots for fantasy teams. He is also a switch hitter, which could help keep him atop the order regardless of who is pitching. One game is not a large enough sample size to make any rash decisions, but Bonifacio is clearly off to a good start. The Cubs are not exactly stacked with hitters, so Emilio! (I had to throw at least one 'A Night at the Roxbury' reference in there, right?) could very well turn out to be a valuable source of runs and stolen bases.  Though he certainly won't put the ball out of the park much, look for him to steal 25-35 bags. NL-only owners in search of stolen bases may want to grab Bonifacio off the waiver wire, but standard leagues owners should just continue scouting him for now and see how he plays over the first week.

Anthony Rendon (2B, WAS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues (Add Immediately in All Leagues for 2B help) ANALYSIS: 2013 Statistics: 394 PA, .265/.329/.396, 7 HR, 35 RBI, 40 Runs, 1SB At only 45% ownership, chances are that the National's second baseman Anthony Rendon is still available in your fantasy league. A popular sleeper among second basemen coming into 2014, Rendon's most obvious contribution to fantasy is his batting average. Consistently hitting above .300 in the minor leagues, Rendon batted .265 in his rookie debut last season - impressive work for a player who's still only 23 years old. While he lacks any real speed, he has some power to go with the average - enough that at least 10 home runs should be within his grasp this year. Speaking of which, Rendon had a nice day at the plate today while going 2-for-5 with 4 RBI and a long ball on opening day. When you factor in his RBI and Run potential, due to the formidable lineup he's batting in, Rendon's name is an attractive one. If you're looking for help at 2B or MI, or have extra bench space to stash someone, pickup Rendon off the waiver wire while you still can - even in standard leagues.

Francisco Rodriguez (RP, MIL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Francisco Rodriguez, and not projected closer Jim Henderson, got the save today for the Milwaukee Brewers. This comes as a bit of a surprise, as K-Rod was expected to operate as the setup man for the Brewers in 2014. But saves are saves, so if you have room on your team go grab K-Rod off the waiver wire immediately. Manager Ron Roenicke confirmed after the game that K-Rod will serve as the team's closer for now. Still no word on exactly what is going on in Milwaukee, or if Henderson is hurt, but K-Rod certainly needs to be owned right now until this plays out as he is only 8% owned in Yahoo leagues right now. Go grab him asap off the waiver wire if your league counts saves!

Jenrry Mejia (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Aaron Schooler - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting in Standard Leagues, Add in Deeper or NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: The good news is Jenrry Mejia won the fifth starters job for the Mets with a strong spring.  In cactus league play, he posted a 2.70 ERA in his four starts and averaged nearly a strikeout per inning.  Last year, in limited appearances, Mejia also posted a fantastic stat line of 2.30 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 27 K in 27 1/3 IP. However there are also health questions entering the season, as Mejia has dealt with a few injuries in his young career.  Hopefully he can shake it off and resume his solid work in 2014.  In the last two spring outings, Mejia struck out nine and gave up only two earned in 9 innings pitched. If he is unable to go at any point, Daisuke Matsuzaka is prepared to take the role in the rotation. In standard leagues, Mejia is worth monitoring on the waiver wire as an intriguing talent for fantasy. If you are in a deeper league, or NL only league, Mejia should be owned or added off the waiver wire as he is currently only owned in 4% of Yahoo leagues and presents significant upside if he can stay healthy.

Matt Lindstrom (RP, CWS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately in All Leagues ANALYSIS: The big closer news today is that White Sox manager Robin Ventura has decided to go with Matt Lindstrom as the team's closer over Nate Jones. If you play in a league that counts saves, and Lindstrom is still available, stop what you're doing now and go pick him up off the waiver wire. Given that he's currently only 11% owned in Yahoo leagues, there's a good chance he's still available in yours. Lindstrom racked up 38 saves between the 2009-2010 seasons, so he has experience in the role. And last year, he put up a pretty solid stat line of 3.12 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 46 K in 60 2/3 IP for the White Sox. Go grab him now off waivers if you can, or get that FAAB bid lined up.

Sergio Santos (RP, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately in All Leagues ANALYSIS: With the news released today that closer Casey Janssen will start the season on the DL, Toronto's GM Billy Anthopoulos confirmed that Sergio Santos will fill-in as the team's closer until Janssen returns. Steve Delabar may get some looks as well, but keep in mind that Santos was a former closer and racked up 30 save for the White Sox in 2011. Last year Santos put up a stellar stat line of 1.75 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 28 Ks in 25 2/3 IP.  If he's available in your league, and your format counts saves, pickup Santos off the waiver wire immediately or get some FAAB money ready to bid on him.

Mike Olt (3B, CHC) - Waiver Wire Analysis

8 months ago

Published by: Scott McCloy - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Mike Olt has earned a spot on the Opening Day roster for the Chicago Cubs.  It remains to be seen if he platoons with Luis Valbuena or he is the everyday starter.  Either way, Olt seems to have found his stroke after concussion symptoms that hindered his eye sight.  Olt hit  .273 with 5 HR and 12 RBI in 55 spring training at bats helping him earn the spot on the Cubs roster.  The former #22 ranked prospect by Baseball American is looking to finally stick in the big leagues and he may have found that opportunity in a Cubs uniform.  Olt’s last full season which was 2012 was a powerful one as he hit .288 with 28 HR and 82 RBI in Double-A. Grab him now off the waiver wire before he ends up costing you too much, especially if you’re in need of power.  He can easily get you 20-25 HR this year out of the 3B position.

Jonathan Villar (SS, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues (or if need SB) ANALYSIS:  2013 Statistics: 241 PA, .243/.321/.319, 1 HR, 26 Runs, 8 RBI, 18 SB If you're hunting for a source of cheap speed, I highly suggest you turn your attention to the Houston Astros' shortstop Jonathan Villar (16% owned). He'll hurt you in batting average, as something in the .235 area is the most likely scenario for him. That said, he stole 18 bases in only 241 plate appearances last year, and I expect him to continue running at every opportunity in 2014. He can see Carlos Correa closing in on his position in the near future, and if he wants to solidify a place with the team (or any other team), he needs to prove his value this year. His best asset to do that with is his legs. Villar is a potential 35-40 steal guy this year if he can play his way to 500 plate appearances. If he is still available in your league, and you are looking for some cheap steals, add him off the waiver wire.

Josmil Pinto (C, MIN) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting, Add in 2 Catcher Leagues ANALYSIS: Pinto put up .342-4-12 in just 76 AB last year. Small sample size blah blah blah.  The point is he has big time potential. We're not expecting him to go .342-20-80 over 500 AB. Far from it.  But we do expect that he'll be ingrained as the starting catcher getting 75% of the ABs sooner rather than later.  Kurt Suzuki is a veteran insurance policy the Twins signed to spell their young blossoming catcher. In a system with Buxton and Sano, Pinto bean is overlooked.  Keep your eye on him.  In two catcher leagues with 12 teams, he should be owned.  He's a very good bet to out produce someone like D'Arnaud in a big way in 2014.

Joe Kelly (SP, STL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Scott McCloy - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stash in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: The St. Louis Cardinals are like any other well-oiled factory - they turn out great product after great product.  The Cardinals’ product just happens to be MLB pitchers.  Joe Kelly won the 5th spot in the rotation over flame thrower Carlos Martinez.  He won this not because he was the better pitcher in Spring Training, but because the Cardinals need Martinez in the 8th inning role, and Kelly showed he could pitch well as an MLB starter last year.  With that being said, any starter that gets the ball every fifth day with that St. Louis lineup behind him can produce for your fantasy team.  So if you’re in a deep league of 14 teams or more, Kelly is somebody that I would watch out for. If he starts out season doing well, scoop him up off the waiver wire, or if you have room you can stash him now.

Dan Straily (SP, OAK) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Greg Shaw - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues.   ANALYSIS:  The part of Dan Straily’s game that keeps me coming back to him is his strikeout potential, which has been demonstrated time and again in AAA.  Over his minor league career, Straily has thrown 551.1 innings with a whopping 591 strikeouts. Impressed yet?  Over partial seasons in AAA in 2012 and 2013, he pitched 97.4 innings and struck out a staggering 115 batters.  His K/9 rate in his minor league career is 9.7, compared to a 2.8 BB/9.  This pedigree, along with the good fortune that he will make a chunk of his starts at pitcher-friendly O.co Coliseum, secures value for Straily as a number four/five starter on your fantasy team.  What we’ve seen from Straily in the majors so far hasn’t been all that impressive, admittedly.  At only 25 years old though, and getting his first shot at a full MLB season, I believe that the strikeouts will come in bunches and the K/BB ratio will improve.  If he puts together a couple of good starts to begin the season, you’ll miss your chance, so if you have room and he's available in your league pick him up off the waiver wire. Right now he's still only 31% owned.

Cody Allen (RP, CLE) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues or Holds Leagues ANALYSIS: The Cleveland reliever Cody Allen is coming off of a very productive 2013 season, in which he boasted a sub 2.50 ERA and an impressive 11 strikeouts per nine innings. Those numbers have future closer written all over them, but for the time being he will be waiting in the wings until John Axford falters. Allen reminds me of David Robertson in New York, as he can produce many swings and misses while also is able to get out of jams. Assuming Allen remains in a setup role this season, I still see him being fantasy relevant and worth a waiver wire pickup - especially if you are desperate for a relief pitcher, are in a deep league, are in a league that counts holds, or just need to bolster your team's ERA and strikeouts. He should provide 2014 stats around 2.95 ERA, 5 W, 9 SV, 80 K, and a 1.25 WHIP.

Rick Porcello (SP, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

8 months ago

Published by: NBA_NateMiller - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All AL-Only & Most 12-Team Mixed Leagues ANALYSIS: It may be surprising to many, especially to those that view Rick Porcello as a prime prospect that never fully delivered on the potential shown during his 2009 rookie season, that the Tigers’ right-hander has reached double-digit wins while turning in north of 160 innings in each of the past five years. Overall, the 2007 first-round draft choice has totaled 61 wins over 149 big league starts. However, those victories have come in spite of very lackluster marks in ERA (4.51) and WHIP (1.39). An important aspect to keep in mind regarding Porcello, his entire MLB resume to this point has come before the age of 25. He made significant strides in 2013, posting career-bests in K/9, K/BB and WHIP in spite of the fact that his end-of-season stats were heavily skewed by three putrid performances. Taking away two efforts versus the Angels and another against the Red Sox, Porcello’s 2013 campaign displays results more in line with the typical No. 4 or 5 fantasy hurler. Across those other 26 starts from last summer, he put up a 13-5 record supported by a 3.37 ERA and 133 strikeouts in 162.2 innings; numbers that certainly play very well in most formats. If you are in an AL-Only league, or deeper mixed league, feel free to pickup Porcello off the waiver wire as he is only 36% owned currently.

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

8 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Mitch Moreland of the Texas Rangers had a bit of a breakout season in 2013, and showed off some of the power the Rangers have been waiting for.  He slugged 23 home runs in 462 at bats while driving in 60 runs. If he can stay healthy he could be looking at a true breakout season in 2014 as the Ranger's full-time designated hitter in a stacked lineup. First base is pretty deep this season, as it is most seasons, so Moreland will not be the first name you are seeking. But he is only owned in 5% of leagues right now, and should be considered off the waiver wire - especially in deeper leagues. If you're in a more shallow league or don't have room for him on your roster now, but see him have a quick start in April and May, snatch him up off the waiver wire. He is battling a strained oblique right now, but if he overcomes it I'd expect him to put up around a .250 BA, 25 HR, 70 R, and 70 RBI stat line this season.

Melky Cabrera (OF, TOR) - Waiver Wire Analysis

8 months ago

Published by: Michael Connors - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stash in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: Melky Cabrera is not one of the names that automatically jumps out at you when you are drafting, but somehow he always finds his way on to some fantasy team in your league. Why? It is because he is an undervalued source of a little of everything. He has had his issues since the All-Star break of 2012 when he earned a 50 game ban for PED use, but the Melk Man is only 29, he claims to be in the best shape of his life. He is playing in a solid lineup, and is in a contract year so expect a little boost in all categories. I wouldn't be shocked to see his numbers hovering around .290 BA, 150 H, 15 HR, 75 RBI, and 15 SB by the end of the year. There will be much worse options this season off the waiver wire, and for my money I bet the Melk Man delivers for your fantasy teams - especially if you're in a deeper league or AL-Only format!

George Springer (OF, HOU) - Waiver Wire Analysis

8 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stash In Deep Leagues, Add in AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Many of us experts thought last season's minor league Mr. 37/45 was a sure bet to start the year with the Astros big boy squad, but according to the latest reports, he and his agent are disgruntled at the prospects of Houston doing the opposite and delaying his free agency clock by starting his 2014 season on the AAA rodeo. To add to the problem, the extraordinarily toolsy player has batted an anemic .162 thus far in the spring campaign and showed lackluster plate discipline by striking out over 160 times last year. Even with all that being said, this man is a stud through and through. The bottom line is this: don't draft Springer as one of your top 5 outfielders on draft day and expect all things to be in line for a 30/30 sleeper season. As it is, we think he may need a full year at the big league level to develop some more plate discipline with his raw power and speed to reach his potential. Springer should be viewed as a must own candidate in ALL keeper league formats, AL-Only leagues, and should be viewed as a solid waiver wire stash or late round flier in deeper mixed leagues.

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

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: The Reds bullpen is a mess right now, and there is no locked in closer slated to start the season. With Aroldis Chapman's recent injury, there is an opening for someone to step up and grab the closer's role. Jonathan Broxton and Sean Marshall are also dealing with their own injuries, so J.J. Hoover may get the first crack at the job. Hoover owns a pristine career stat line with a 2.63 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 98 Ks in 96 2/3 IP. Manager Bryan Price isn't naming a closer yet, so Hoover is no guarantee for saves, but if you're in a deeper league and are looking for more saves upside feel free to take a flier off the waiver wire and see how the situation plays out.

Dee Gordon (SS / 2B, LAD) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues ANALYSIS: By now we all know what Dee Gordon brings to the table in fantasy leagues. He's a speed demon, and can rack up SBs in bunches for your team. The problem is he hasn't been able to get on base much the past 2 years when given at bats. It looks like he's in line for the starting 2B gig this season, and is only owned in 19% of Yahoo leagues. He already has 9 SBs this spring, and hasn't been caught yet. So if you're in a deeper league, are looking for more steals upside, or have a MI slot that you aren't happy with - feel free to take a flier with Gordon off the waiver wire.

Joakim Soria (RP, TEX) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2016 years ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately ANALYSIS: Normally we wouldn't add a player to the waiver wire pickups list if they're already 65% owned - but with the recent news that Soria has officially been named the Texas closer over Neftali Feliz, this is a reminder that he needs to be owned in all leagues. If your draft has already taken place, and Soria is still a free agent, add him to your team asap. Playing for the high-powered Rangers should yield plenty of save opportunities, and let's not forget he was an elite closer from 2008 - 2010 before injuries hit.  

Nick Castellanos (3B / OF, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickup

9 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Highly-touted prospect and rookie Nick Castellanos is off to a scorching start in spring training, batting .400/.488/.689 over 45 at bats to go along with 2 HRs, 16 RBIs, 9 R and 2 SB.  Not too shabby.  Of course this is only spring training, but Castellanos is a big time prospect with lots of fantasy potential for 2014. He also plays in a potent lineup, and is at a 3B position that is thinner than usual. If you are in a deeper fantasy league, have a CI slot, or aren't thrilled with the 3B you drafted -- you can pickup Castellanos off the waiver wire and see what happens in the first few games. If he starts off well, he will be a hot grab immediately.

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

2016 years ago

Published by:

BALLER MOVE:  Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: The former first-round draft pick is entering his age-28 season, coming off an underwhelming performance in 2013.  Don't let his lack of production last year fool you, though-- here's a guy at a really thin position who will not hurt you in any category, and as a member of a fairly potent Pirates lineup, he has a chance to substantially improve on last year's numbers.  With double-digit HR power and a solid .265+ BA projection, he's the kind of player that you can roster at MI and forget about. Walker isn't a sexy pickup-- he doesn't have the upside of a Jedd Gyorko or an Aaron Hill, but he doesn't come with the risk either.  Add him with the confidence that you know what you're going to get, because players like that aren't so easy to find on the waiver wire.

Ivan Nova (SP, NYY) - Waiver Wire Pickups

9 months ago

Published by: David Paul - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Ivan Nova, the Yankees # 4 starter, is available in more than 50% of mixed league formats and really should not be.  He hits 93 mph consistently on his fastball and drops down to 80 mph on his curve which is enough to keep most hitters off balance.  But the most promising improvement in 2013 was that his groundball to flyball ratio shot up considerably.  In 2012 he had a pedestrian 1.40:1 GB/FB ratio and in 2013 that jumped to 2.05:1 GB/FB ratio.  In plain terms this means he’s getting nearly twice as many groundballs as flyballs, which seriously limits damage in the power laden AL East.  This is even more important since Yankee Stadium has a short RF porch and is a paradise for lefty power bats.  You have a decent chance of getting 11-13 wins and a 3.80 ERA from Nova in 2014, which is well worth a later round draft pick.

Adam Dunn (DH / 1B, CWS) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2016 years ago

Published by:

BALLER MOVE: Stash in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Long-time darling of BA punters the world over, Adam Dunn's 270 ADP shows his power is not the draw it was just a few years ago. He can still hit the ball a long, long way when he makes contact, but that's happening less and less as the years pile on his 34-year-old body. With a miserable .230 BA ceiling and declining plate discipline, Dunn has become an off-day or injury replacement player. He should be owned in deeper leagues, but if you plan to start hium every day, you could be in trouble.

Michael Pineda (SP, NYY) - Waiver Wire Pickups

9 months ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add In Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: For those of you who lived through the 2011 fantasy baseball season, you'd remember Michael Pineda busting onto the scene behind King Felix in Seattle's rotation. Some might have even remembered him putting up a better strikeout rate than Felix Hernandez, as he struck out 9.11 batters per 9 innings (8.55 for The King), good for 7th in the major leagues in 2011. Then came the big trade to the Yankees for Jesus Montero, and the subsequent shoulder injury that derailed his bright career trajectory. Now 2 years removed from that injury, the 6 foot 7 Dominican right hander is having a very nice spring training for the Yankees who are in desperate need of another quality arm. This guy is often forgotten about until the very late rounds of mixed league drafts, and sometimes even goes undrafted, so we recommend you run to your waiver wire to check his availability. Permission to download immediately if not sooner granted!

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

2016 years ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting ANALYSIS: David Freese is coming off what was basically a lost season for the St. Louis Cardinals, and he will get a new opportunity in 2014 with the offense-riched Angels. It's not exactly clear where in the order he will bat, probably in the 6 to 8 range, but even in that lineup slot he will have ample opportunities oi drive in runs. Freese is currently owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues, and while he is by no means a must own, he is someone to keep an eye on early on. Third base is thinner than many fantasy owners may realize, and a couple of injuries could vault Freese into the top 15 territory for 3B this year.

Alcides Escobar (SS, KC) - Waiver Wire Analysis

9 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stash in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Escobar is coming off a disappointing 2013 season, where he put up a .234/.259/.300 line and a lowly .559 OPS. Escobar will never get you any power production, or win you any leagues on his own, but he has stolen 22, 35 and 26 bases the past three seasons.  If you play in a league with a MI slot, or are looking for some cheap speed, Escobar can be a decent pickup and stash off the waiver wire. He is only 1 year removed from a .293 AVG and .721 OPS with 35 SB, and plays at a thin shortstop position, so if he gets off to a hot start he will be a fast pickup off the waiver wire.

Chad Qualls (RP, HOU) - Waiver Wire Analysis

9 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting ANALYSIS: We know a few things: the Astros don't have a very good team this year, the Astros won't win many games this year, and the Astros don't have a slam dunk closer lined up.  What we don't know, is who will actually be getting the saves opportunities here in 2014.  Chances are either Jesse Crain or Chad Qualls will get the first crack at the job, and it's tough to imagine any MLB team coming into the season with a true closer by committee situation. It's just too early for that. Qualls put up a quality 2.61 ERA last year, with a 1.22 WHIP, and also accumulated 36 saves between 2009 and 2010. Any closer can get us saves, so it's always a good idea to scout or even stash potential closers in deeper leagues and wait to see how things play out.

Yordano Ventura (SP, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

9 months ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: It's never too early to hit the waiver wire in fantasy baseball.  If your league has already drafted, and players are available to be picked up on waivers, it's show time. With the recent news that Yordano Ventura has won the 5th starter spot for the Kansas City Royals, he immediately becomes an intriguing and potentially viable option in fantasy baseball leagues for the 2014 season. Although it's "just spring training", Ventura threw a gem on Monday night against the Rangers with 6 Ks and no walks in 6 shutout innings. If he can keeps his walks in check, then he can thrive this year while hitting triple digits on the radar gun. In 15.1 innings last year, Ventura has 11 Ks vs. 6 BBs. And in the minors last year he accumulated a fantastic 155 Ks in 134.2 innings pitched, but also yielded a concerning 53 BBs - so control will be an important factor in his success this year. I wouldn't go dropping a proven player just yet, especially with Ventura pitching against AL hitters, but if you are in a deeper league or aren't happy with an SP that you drafted then pickup Ventura off the waiver wire and see what his intriguing upside can offer you.

Will Middlebrooks (3B, BOS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 year ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Middlebrooks has been hitting much better since being recalled from the minors. And now he seems to really be heating up. Last night he went 3-for-5 with a home run, 4 RBIs and 2 Runs. Today he's back at it, already 2-for-2 with a home run, 1 RBI, and 2 Runs. If he's still sitting on your waiver wire, and you're looking for some hitting help, add Middlebrooks to your fantasy squad. He could provide a nice boost for teams in the home stretch of their title runs.

 

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NFL Waiver Wire Pickups & Rankings