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

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

RotoBaller

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

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

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

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

 

 

Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Waiver Wire by MLB Position

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

 

Pedro Strop (RP, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

10 hours ago

Published by: Ryan Nakada - RotoBaller

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

Dale Thayer (RP, SD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

10 hours ago

Published by: Ryan Nakada - RotoBaller

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

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

11 hours ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

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

Kevin Plawecki (C, NYM) - Waiver Wire Analysis

11 hours ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

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

Caleb Joseph (C, BAL) - Waiver Wire Analysis

12 hours ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

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

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

12 hours ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

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

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

12 hours ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

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

Yimi Garcia (RP, LAD) - Waiver Wire Analysis

12 hours ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 11% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: If you are in a league that counts saves, you may want to consider adding Yimi Garcia off the waiver wire if he's still available in your league. He notched the save last night, and has awesome numbers on the year racking up 16 K over 9 2/3 IP, to go along with a sparkling 0.93 ERA and 0.62 WHIP. Those are dominant numbers. Kenley Jansen is still a few weeks away from returning most likely, and Joel Peralta just hit the DL with a shoulder injury. Chris Hatcher could be in the mix as well until Jensen returns, but Garcia's number are much better in the year. It's a low risk flier to take off the waiver wire if you're looking for some saves potential.

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

17 hours ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: With Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Gomez recuperating on the DL, manager Ron Roenicke entrusted his cleanup hitter, Adam Lind, to take charge of the Brewers' offense over the past week. Lind has responded by hitting .348 with a home run, four RBI and two runs scored. Gomez is on track to return to action late next week, and his blend of on-base skills and speed should prove valuable to Lind owners looking to see more of this kind of production going forward. The elephant in the room of course is that Lind has never been able to hit left-handed pitching. Whether or not Roenicke will bench his hottest hitter in favor of a platoon is an open question, but it’s not like the Brewers have much behind him on the depth chart. Regardless, Lind has been productive enough against right-handed pitching so far this season that he’s more than making up for the occasional off day. Ride the streak.

Drew Smyly (SP, TBR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

17 hours ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All leagues OWNED IN: 71% of Yahoo Leagues ANALYSIS: Drew Smyly was one of my sleepers going into 2015, but a shoulder injury has kept him out until this point. He made his first start at Toronto and lasted 4 2/3 innings with two earned runs and five strikeouts. Smyly was strong in his three rehab outings, holding his opponents scoreless over 8.2 innings. Smyly was acquired from Detroit in the David Price blockbuster last year, and was stellar for the Rays in seven starts, compiling a 1.70 ERA, 0.76 WHIP and a 44/11 K/BB ratio over 47.2 innings. Your league opponents may have let Smyly slip through the cracks, considering he’s available in 29% of Yahoo leagues. Don’t be scared off by his first start; the team is going to be wise in getting his pitch count back up to normal. He’s a must add.

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

17 hours ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues / Monitor in All Leagues OWNED IN: 49% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Let's face the facts. Ryan Howard will never be the fantasy star that he once was, or hit 40+ home runs again. But he is the quintessential power hitter, which means he'll do about 80% of his damage in 20% of his games. If you can catch those hot streaks in your lineup, you can boost your team's stats and sneak in a few extra points on your opponents. Do I believe in Ryan Howard as a season-long contributor? Nope. But he has hit three home runs in his last five games played, and that means he's officially on my radar for a near-term power boost. The bottom line is he has the potential to hit home runs, and if he goes on tear (even if that seems unlikely these days), it's a low risk add to make off the waiver wire. If you have an extra roster spot, or an underperforming player on your team, it may be worth picking up Howard and seeing what he does over the next few games. There's nothing like catching lighting in a bottle.

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

17 hours ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Mixed and AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: No team in baseball scored more runs in 2014 than the Angels. This year, the reigning AL West Champions returned strong, with Kole Calhoun, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols at the top of the lineup. Hitting cleanup behind these three, David Freese's run-producing opportunities alone could make him incredibly valuable on the right team. Freese is nothing special-- roughly a .260 hitter with 12-15 HR pop and no speed. He hasn’t shown the ability to be anything more than that this year, but he doesn't need to be, for the purposes of fantasy. When you plug a hitter with that skillset behind Calhoun, Trout and Pujols, you get a counting stat machine. Despite the Angels rather lackluster start to the year, Freese already has 13 RBI, tying him for the 12th spot in all of baseball.

Adeiny Hechavarria (SS, MIA) - Waiver Wire Analysis

18 hours ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 8% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Adeiny Hechavarria might not be the most gifted player on the Marlins, but he certainly makes up for it in a multitude of ways. The 23-year-old is only in his third full season and has demonstrated that he can provide positive stats for fantasy owners in deeper leagues. Nothing about his career .252 BA or his .286 OBP suggests that he is a player who should be a huge part of any successful fantasy team. However in the early part of the season owners are looking for any edge they can get in any category they can scratch a few stats out of, and he has been producing. Hechavarria has all the looks of making huge strides towards his career totals with a quick start in 2015. Through the first handful of games he is already well above his BA and OBP with a .324 BA, .347 OBP. To make things even more appealing he has 13 RBI, 15 Runs and has a SLG% of .471. Hitting out of the 8 spot in a NL lineup is most times a death knell meant for lineup fillers and players who quite frankly have very little relevance on any fantasy roster. However Hechavarria has a unique stat for an 8-hole hitter. The RC/G (runs created per game) is at 2.9 for the season which ranks in the top 80 in all of baseball. What this boils down to is that he is positioning himself as positive run support from a notoriously empty position in the lineup night in and night out. The BB% is a paltry 4.6% but he legs out at least one hit every night and creates opportunities throughout the game for the Marlins. Nothing about him will stand out on the stat sheet. But if you are looking for someone who won't be a detriment to your roster, give Hechavarria a look.

Jimmy Nelson (SP, MIL) - Waiver Wire Analysis

21 hours ago

Published by: Kyle Banas - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 24% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Flying way under the fantasy radar in relation to his strong start to the season is Jimmy Nelson. There’s not much talent jumping into fantasy relevance out of Milwaukee these days but Jimmy Nelson is proving to be an early asset. Merely owned in 24% of leagues, there’s a strong chance you can take out a waiver on him. His aggregate record dating back to last year is an undesirable 3-10 but there are reasons for faith. In 12 starts last year, Nelson logged a 4.93 ERA, drawing parallel comparisons to post-Cy Young CC Sabathia. But what a difference one year makes. Nelson has shown control and poise on the mound this year through his three starts, posting a 1.35 ERA and a 17:4 K:BB ratio. These are uncharacteristic numbers deriving from Milwaukee as the other four starters in the rotation hold a collective ERA of 6.22. Nelson has shown flashes of dominance and could be ready to post a breakout season. It’s unlikely that his breakout season will incorporate a large amount of wins, however. Still an early season statistic, but the Brewers are second to last in runs scored and there isn’t much belief that they can turn that around and offer much run support. Still, registering a sub 3.00 ERA is something that Nelson can control and if you’re in the market for a pitcher that has shown capabilities of that honor, take a waiver on Jimmy Nelson.

Ender Inciarte (OF, ARI) - Waiver Wire Analysis

3 days ago

Published by: Edward Sutelan - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues / NL-only Leagues OWNED IN: 42% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The Dbacks are pretty loaded with outfielders including Mark Trumbo, A.J. Pollock, and Ender Inciarte. The game of Inciarte has been somewhat overshadowed over the past two seasons, with other bats in the lineup making a more visible impact, but Inciarte has fantasy upside and could look to help any fantasy team willing to pick him up. Inciarte’s game mainly relies on a decent batting average that could potentially reach .300 with little power promise, but decent speed numbers. Inciarte is a runner and should be able to rack up 20 stolen bases. He will likely be the leadoff hitter for the Diamondbacks for the majority of the season, which increases the likelihood of him scoring a lot of runs. While he will not rack up gaudy stolen base totals, runs scored totals, or have an exceptionally high batting average -- he is a decent waiver wire pickup for a team in need of some outfield help.

Jose Ramirez (SS, CLE) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 day ago

Published by: Jeff Kahntroff - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Mixed and AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: If you need a middle infielder, Jose Ramirez has favorable match-ups this week.  He should be a decent source of speed, with three steals this year after 10 in 68 games last year and a history of stolen bases in the minors.  He can also hit the occasional home run.  While Ramirez maybe not the best utility hitting option, he is likely available and is a great middle infield option.

Josh Reddick (OF, OAK) - Waiver Wire Analysis

1 day ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 48% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Power hitters generally follow certain rules when it comes to their statistics. The best ones can hide their flaws of high K totals and low BA while replacing it with high HR and RBI totals. Josh Reddick strays from that path for all the right reasons. Even though Reddick's career has been cut short by numerous injuries the potential is still there for the 28-year-old trying to catch his stride. His 2012 campaign was a promising sight in which he hit 32 HR and collected 85 RBI while sporting a .242 BA. Hitters that create power without high K totals are indeed rare in the modern era. Reddick also does not walk much which means he is an all or nothing type of player. The reason why feast and famine players such as Reddick continue to have success is that their feast stages make their famine stages manageable. He was well on his way to being ranked in the top fifty in slugging percentage in 2014 before a nagging knee injury took him out of action. He started the 2015 campaign on the DL with an oblique injury that scared off a ton of fantasy owners. The emphasis on his low K totals should not be ignored and will provide a sneaky grab for fantasy owners looking for power and efficiency. If you can stomach the low BA for now, Reddick should reward your patience with some of his own as he continues to improve his approach. Most fantasy owners will want to see him succeed before they pick him up. Be early to this party and put some egg on your opponents' faces.

Danny Salazar (SP, CLE) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 day ago

Published by: Tom Bellucco - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately in All Leagues OWNED IN: 20% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: After a disappointing 2014 season, Danny Salazar was brushed aside by a lot of fantasy owners at the start of 2015. Part of that was because he started in the minors, but the other part was because he had broken so many hearts last year. Well, if you stayed faithful to the right-handed flamethrower, you lucked out. For those of you that still have a chance, pick up Salazar immediately! We knew Salazar had good stuff coming into last year, but his struggle to limit the big innings turned a lot of people away. He has always had a high BABIP (.343 in 20 games last year), but his high strikeout rate gives him huge upside. It seems like the offseason and short time in the minors this year has improved his strikeout ability even more, as he has an absurd 21 strikeouts in 13 innings so far (11 coming against the Detroit Tigers). Salazar should definitely be owned in all leagues, due to his awesome ability to miss bats. However, you should be aware that he is very prone to huge innings. With relatively high line-drive rates (24.6% for his career), Salazar has to rely on his defense an awful lot when he’s not striking guys out. You should certainly pick-up the young Indians pitcher if he’s still available, but just be aware that he’s going to go through some ups and downs in 2015.

Denard Span (OF, WAS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 day ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Leagues ANALYSIS: Upon returning from a core injury on Sunday, April 19, Denard Span should have immediately been added in all but the shallowest of leagues. In each of his seven seasons in the majors, he has posted an OBP higher than .325, including a .355 mark last year. Leading off for the Nationals, Span should cross the plate at least 90 times, despite missing the first 12 games of the year. Those numbers alone make him a reliable fantasy play, but the likelihood of at least 20 stolen bases does not hurt. He may not have the raw numbers of some other outfielders, but he is a safer play than guys like Steve Pearce or Avisail Garcia. If you find Span available in your league, considering adding him, even as a reserve.

Vance Worley (SP, PIT) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 days ago

Published by: Brady Grove

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues and NL-only leagues OWNED IN: 6% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Although his rec-specs might fool you into thinking he's an old man, Vance Worley is only four years removed from his fantastic 2011 season in which he finished third for NL rookie of the year. In his 2011 season Worley finished with a 3.01 ERA and a 3.32 FIP (Fielder Independent Pitching). FIP isolates a pitcher's sole performance and indicates how well he pitched without the influence of fielders. According to FanGraphs, an average FIP is 3.80, while any number at 3.50 or below is considered an above average figure. Based on Worley's pitching isolated from his fielders, and his increased K/9, Worley is a safe bet to get his ERA down and his chances for wins up. Last season Worley finished with a 2.85 ERA and a 3.44 FIP. To start the 2015 campaign, Worley has a 4.00 ERA and a 3.47 FIP, while producing 7.5 K/9, his highest mark since his highly touted rookie season. In five major league seasons, Worley has finished with an above average FIP three times (2010 - 3.16, 2011 - 3.32, 2014 - 3.44) and a league average FIP once (2012 - 3.85). Worley will produce for a fantasy baseball manager in most pitching categories, and he is a sneaky streaming option that is available in most leagues. Give him a try off the waiver wire in deeper leagues if you're looking to round out your pitching staff. He's a low risk add with upside.

Angel Pagan (OF, SF) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 days ago

Published by: Tom Bellucco - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 28% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Angel Pagan is producing like a borderline fourth or fifth outfielder so far in 2015. His numbers reflect that he may be a serviceable third OF, but there is always risk for injury with Pagan. The upside is certainly there with this guy. Not only does he hit in the three-hole for a pretty solid offense in San Francisco, but he is also a fairly proven .300 hitter. When healthy, Pagan has always hit right around that .300 mark for batting average. Although some may argue a BABIP regression is coming, the Giants outfielder tends to hover right around .330. With that in mind, the .359 BABIP so far in 2015 is not a huge red flag, especially for a hitter with a high ground ball percentage. Although the power has never been there, Pagan will continue to provide plenty of runs and RBIs in that great spot in the Giants’ batting order. He will also provide a steal or two most weeks. Keep in mind, however, that Pagan does have a history of cutting seasons short due to injury. Speaking of injury, Hunter Pence is just a few weeks away from returning and possibly stealing back that third spot in the lineup. So if you need an OF that can produce on a nightly basis, grab Pagan for a short-term filler. But make sure you have a back-up plan in case things go downhill.

Jed Lowrie (SS, HOU) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 days ago

Published by: Edward Sutelan - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Own in 14+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 15% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: There was a time when it looked like Jed Lowrie was going to be one of the best offensive bats at the shortstop position. In 2012 and 2013, he combined for 31 home runs and 117 RBI with an average of .274 during that time span. But he regressed a lot in 2014 and found himself on the DL with a broken finger. Now back with the Houston Astros, Lowrie is hoping to be able to turn his career around, but he could find himself in a bit of trouble because of shortstop depth behind him. If Carlos Correa hits well enough, a late season call up could potentially happen that would send Lowrie to the bench. But for now, Lowrie has the potential to provide some decent home run and RBI totals batting in the middle of that Astros lineup. For fantasy owners however, the potential for injury is there and it is also possible that he won’t be able to hit like he used to. He could be a good waiver wire pickup if fantasy owners don’t have a viable offensive shortstop or middle infield option, but otherwise he may be a risk not worth taking.

Chris Young (OF, NYY) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 days ago

Published by: Joe Hannon - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 18% in Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The one drawback to owning Chris Young right now is that he is not guaranteed to be in the lineup every day. With that said, Young has been making the most of his opportunities and could be in line for more consistent playing time. He has been starting mostly against left-handers; but, if he continues to produce the way he has over the first few weeks he’ll be taking the field more often that not. Young is hitting .276 with 5 R, 3 HR and 8 RBI. All three of his home runs have come in the last ten days. Young has a solid mix of speed and power that can aid fantasy owners looking for outfield help.  

Devon Travis (2B, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 days ago

Published by: Bill Dubiel - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 45% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Devon Travis is the truth. I loved this guy coming into the season after he was named the starting second baseman in Toronto, and my opinion hasn’t changed at all. An injury to Jose Reyes has afforded Travis an opportunity to hit from the top of the explosive Jays lineup, and he hasn’t disappointed. As of right now, Travis is hitting .356 with nine runs scored, 12 RBI, and three homers in the young season. As soon as Reyes returns I imagine Travis will drop in the order, meaning fewer opportunities for runs. However, the power isn’t going anywhere, and I think he’s a talented enough contact hitter to flirt with a .300 batting average. This is a Rookie of the Year candidate, and if he’s available in your league, add him. Now.

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

3 days ago

Published by: John Paul Nocerino - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 13% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Another forgotten player this year is Oakland A’s first baseman Ike Davis. The once highly touted Mets prospect seems poised for a bounce back season in the bay area. After his breakout season in 2012 when Davis hit 32 HR, the lefty slugger has had a disastrous couple of years. Things got so bad in 2014 that the Mets gave up on Davis and shipped him off to the Pirates where he continued to struggle. Davis is one of those frustrating players because the talent and power are easy to see, but he disappears for long periods of time. So far in the early weeks of the 2015 campaign Davis has looked a bit more like his old self, hitting .340 with one HR in the middle of a solid A’s lineup. There is no telling how long this new found success will last, but while it does Davis can be a very useful addition to a fantasy team seeking first base, corner infield or util production. A change of scenery to the American League can sometimes do wonders for a player looking to renew their power stroke. Davis can fall off dramatically at any time, but he should be picked up in deep leagues while he is hitting well.  

Kevin Plawecki (C, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 days ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in two-catcher and NL-only leagues OWNED IN: 5% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Before the season began, many (including yours truly) were touting Travis d'Arnaud as a breakout candidate. TDA was well on his way to making good on that promise, slashing .317/.356/.537 through his first 11 games before having his hand broken by an errant fastball. He'll miss at least a month. Fortunately for the streaking Mets, they have a top prospect to replace him in Kevin Plawecki. Plawecki has only modest pop, but he makes lots of contact and seems to have a solid grasp of the strike zone. In his two full minor league seasons across four levels, he posted a .307/.378/.455 line. If you're among the unfortunate owners of d'Arnaud, Yan Gomes, Jonathan Lucroy, or John Jaso, Plawecki's a solid short-term fix with upside. Those of you in shallow, one-catcher, and/or mixed leagues can afford to adopt a wait and see approach, but deep leaguers should make the add.  

Addison Russell (SS, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 days ago

Published by: Edward Sutelan - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 20% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Though he has not received the attention that Kris Bryant receives in the Cubs system, Addison Russell has quietly hit at every level. He has consistently been counted on at every level to maintain a high batting average and provide a lot of offensive contribution for a shortstop. And while he will have to hit in order to keep his spot on a young, competitive Cubs roster, the potential is there for him to be a mainstay in that lineup. Addison Russell sits just behind Starlin Castro in the shortstop depth chart, but has passed Javier Baez in the second base depth chart for the Cubs. He will likely be up at the Major League roster for the remainder of the season if he proves that he is ready to hit in the majors like he did in the minors. Russell should be owned in every fantasy league because of the offensive upside that he offers for a position that typically is limited in offensive output. Russell currently qualifies as a shortstop and has the potential to offer 15 home runs with a .270 batting average and decent RBI totals in a lineup full of offensive firepower. He is a must own in all leagues.  

Dustin Ackley (OF, SEA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 days ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Target in AL only leagues and Deep leagues OWNED IN: 18% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: So far in 2015 we're seeing more July and August 2014 Dustin Ackley than we're seeing September and October 2014 Dustin Ackley. And that's a good thing. Ackley limped to the finish line last season hitting .149, but in the middle of the summer he put on quite the show. It was then that he connected on seven of his 14 home runs while hitting over .300. In 2015, he's already hit three home runs. One of Ackley's strengths has always been his ability to hit pitches out of the strike zone, often to the opposite field for base hits. Scouts have noted that when he's struggling, it has a lot to do with his hip opening up and not being able to cover pitches away or on the outer half of the plate. This season he's done a solid job of hitting pitches out of the zone, showing a 77% O-contact rate. If he can keep this up, he's a legitimate fantasy contributor and maybe even becomes an add in mixed-leagues, too. He's flashing a little power, should hit for a solid average and finds himself at the top of Mariners order with some regularity. One of the slight downsides to Ackley is that he's in a clear platoon split, but he's not sacrificing too many at-bats since he only sits against left-handed pitchers. He's only 10% owned in ESPN leagues, so give him a look if you need outfield help. If you have a bench spot and can afford a platoon of your own with Ackley, even better.  

Jake Marisnick (OF, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues; Monitor in All Other Leagues  OWNED IN: 9% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Marisnick is already on his third organization, though he turned just 24 a few weeks ago. He was part of that mammoth Blue Jays-Marlins trade that broke the Internet back in 2012. Miami is known for aggressively promoting their top prospects, and Marisnick was atrocious in his first cup of coffee. When he picked up where'd he left off last year, the Marlins shipped him to Houston. He didn't set the world on fire, but he finally looked like a legitimate major-league player. He beat out Robbie Grossman for the starting job in center field this spring and is one of the few Astros hitting in the early going, slashing .361/.415/.556 with a homer and four steals through 13 games. Marisnick's stuck hitting ninth right now but you have to figure he'll move up if he keeps raking, especially if his teammates continue to scuffle. A glance at his minor league performance suggests potential for double-digit homers and 20 - 25 steals. If nothing else, keep an eye on him.  

Miguel Gonzalez (SP, BAL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep (14+ Team) Leagues or AL Only OWNED IN: In 21% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Gonzalez has been sneaky effective for Baltimore, posting a 2.07 ERA since the All-Star break of last season. He was tremendous in his second to last start, setting a career high in strikeouts (10) while limiting the Yankees to one run over seven innings. His most recent start was a bit messier though, as he managed only 5 IP @BOS while allowing nine baserunners and 3 ER. His career 6.48 K/9 ratio indicates his start vs. the Yankees isn't to be expected, but if he can limit runs he’s a good option for deep fantasy leagues. He’s got some tough starts coming up (BOS, CWS) so I can’t endorse grabbing him in shallow leagues, but keep your eye on him. The road will be clearer after that and Gonzalez has the potential to be a shallow mixed-league option.  

Shane Greene (SP, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 57% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: I’ll admit, I was not ready to buy Greene in shallower leagues after his first start vs Minnesota. Unfortunately owners in my leagues did not need his second start at Pittsburgh to make the move. Greene was dominant against the Pirates, pitching eight innings of scoreless baseball with three hits (all singles) and no walks to his name. All with just 81 pitches. The last pitcher to start a season with back-to-back eight inning zero-run ball outings was Felix Hernandez. Pretty good company.  He then followed up those two dominant outings with a solid 7 IP performance vs. the White Sox, with just 1 ER and 9 baserunners allowed. Greene isn’t going to crack the top 30 SP this year but he needs to be owned in all leagues. He isn’t going to strike a ton of batters out but he should pile up plenty of Ws behind that potent Tigers offense. I expect a line around 13 W, 3.40 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 130 Ks from here on out. Grab him if he’s out there.  

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

4 days ago

Published by: Kyle Banas - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 29% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: It’s about time Jose Altuve got a bit of help in the Astros lineup. Eventually George Springer will get going and find his niche once again, which lies in the form of eye-opening power. But until he gets hot, Luis Valbuena is virtually the only guy giving Altuve some support in Houston other than Jake Marisnick. In the midst of Nelson Cruz unleashing his elite power, Valbuena has shown that he can fill the HR column as well. Valbuena’s average doesn’t jump off the chart but he’s leading the team in HR and RBI. The true question is whether his power numbers are sustainable. His previous season high is just 16 but he’s already posted five HR with a 405 ft. no-doubter. On pace to shatter his previous season high, it’s a mystery whether this HR uptick is legitimate or of the "flash in the pan" variety. For now, hitting directly behind the doubles machine of Jose Altuve will open up a ton of RBI opportunities for Valbuena and if he can continue to produce, he could prove very valuable. Fantasy managers in deeper leagues in search of a 2B or 3B may want to ride Valbuena’s hot streak before he gets picked up off the waiver wire.

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

4 days ago

Published by: John Paul Nocerino - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 12% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: If you need a third basemen, or corner infielder, to provide some production in the coming weeks, take a look at the Padre’s Will Middlebrooks. Middlebrooks has been a valuable fantasy player at times throughout his short career but has also had long slumps and missed lots of games due to injury. So far in San Diego Middlebrooks is off to a solid hitting start which has him looking like the player that helped the Red Sox get to the World Series. In 2013 he hit 17 HRs in just 94 games and began to look like a break out star. Middlebrooks fell off in 2014 when he played just 63, hitting .191 with 2 HRs. Sometimes a change of scenery can do wonders for a struggling young player. The Padre’s offense has been infused with talent this year and have gotten off to a red hot start. Middlebrooks is hitting 5th in a stacked lineup behind players like Matt Kemp and Justin Upton. Middlebrooks has taken advantage of this position with 3 HRs, and 11 RBIs in just 54 ABs to begin his season. He is never going to be a .300 hitter but his value is clearly on the way up in this very productive lineup. Middlebrooks can be a useful addition to a team with an injured third basemen like David Wright, or a team looking for extra RBIs. Grab him off the waiver wire, ride the hot streak, and see if he can keep it up all season long.

Nori Aoki (OF, SF) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues OWNED IN: 50% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: It's an odd-numbered year, so of course the Giants are struggling. Most of them, anyway. Aoki's doing quite well for himself in the early going, hitting .344/.408/.438 with four stolen bases. He's only scored seven runs as San Francisco has been held to two runs or fewer in games, but hitting leadoff still means more opportunities than anyone else. If Aoki continues to make the most of those opportunities, the runs will come. He's always been good for a high average, sitting at .288 for his career. And he averaged 22 steals in his first three seasons. If power's what you seek, move along, but Aoki should be an asset in other categories.

Archie Bradley (SP, ARI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

4 days ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Mixed Leagues OWNED IN: Owned In 26% of Fleaflicker! Leagues ANALYSIS: Archie Bradley was a heavily-touted prospect in 2014, with many fantasy pundits labeling him as a can’t-miss player. Fast forward to Spring Training of this year and it was looking like he’d be the odd man out until Arizona dealt Trevor Cahill to Atlanta in a salary dump. All Bradley did was reward their faith by going toe-to-toe with the Cy Young winner (Kershaw) and the World Series MVP (Bumgarner) in back-to-back outings. He limited the Giants to two runs over six innings last time out and carries a 1.42 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, and 10/6 K/BB ratio into his next start vs Texas. He’s not a must own at this point, but if you have room in a mixed-league for an extra pitcher Bradley makes a good add.

Darren O'Day (RP, BAL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 days ago

Published by: Joe Hannon - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Despite not tallying many wins or saves, Darren O’Day is still an excellent fantasy option. He can help lower the ERA and WHIP of any fantasy squad. In seven innings, O’Day has allowed just two hits and one run while striking out seven batters. He has a 1.29 ERA and a minuscule 0.43 WHIP. O’Day has three holds so far in six appearances, and could even pick up a few saves over the course of the long season. Plus, he would probably be next in line for closing duties if Zach Britton were to get injured. Instead of reaching for mediocre starters, fantasy owners may want to consider adding one of the league’s most efficient relief pitchers.

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

5 days ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in NL Only and Deeper Leagues Immediately; Scout in Standard Leagues OWNED IN: 6% in Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: At first glance Alex Guerrero’s numbers are gaudy. A .385/.357/.923 slash line is nothing to sneeze at, unless of course one does not understand how a player’s OBP can be lower than his AVG. His 248 wRC+ and insane .538 ISO most likely place him squarely at the forefront in those categories of waiver wires in every league. Sure, all these numbers are based on only 14 plate appearances in five games, but it’s never too early to anoint anyone the next Babe Ruth, right? On the realistic side, these numbers are clearly unsustainable over an entire season and right now Guerrero has nowhere to start. However, it is only a matter of time before a Dodger starter does fall victim to the injury bug, at which point Guerrero can step right in and contribute immediately. As a fantasy owner, if you do not roster him today, you may be paying for it in June.  

Carlos Martinez (SP, STL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 days ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Target in Deep Mixed Leagues and NL Only Leagues OWNED IN: 28% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Carlos Martinez is flashing some of his high strikeout potential, averaging nine strikeouts per nine innings through his first three starts. This is no fluke, and he is still raw, but has very good stuff. Martinez throws a hard fastball in the mid 90s and has a solid curverball. He's still working on a changeup, and if hes able to throw one effectively - watch out. The right-hander, just 23 years old, was previously working out of the bullpen for the Cardinals, and finally got the call to the rotation this season. This certainly improves his stock, but the one thing that could hold him back is a strict innings limit the Cardinals may/will place on him. There's little doubt this kid has the stuff to be an above-average middle rotation guy as soon as right now, so long as he can locate his pitches. Walks have been an issue for Martinez in the past, as have left-handed batters, but he has been improving with walks recently. One thing to watch for is how lineups adjust to him and vice versa, now that they'll face off three or four times in each contest. If he makes progress vs. lefties, his ceiling is a #2/3 fantasy starting pitcher.  

Shane Greene (SP, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 days ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 68% of Leagues ANALYSIS: I’ll admit, I was not ready to buy Greene in shallower leagues after his first start vs Minnesota. Unfortunately owners in my leagues did not need his last start at Pittsburgh to make the move. Greene was dominant against the Pirates, pitching eight innings of scoreless baseball with three hits (all singles) and no walks to his name. All with just 81 pitches. The last pitcher to start a season with back-to-back eight inning zero-run ball outings was Felix Hernandez. Pretty good company. Greene isn’t going to crack the top 30 SP this year but he needs to be owned in all leagues. He isn’t going to strike a lot of batters out but he should pile up plenty of Ws behind that potent Tigers offense. I expect a line around 13 W, 3.40 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 130 Ks from here on out. Grab him if he’s out there.

Dalton Pompey (OF, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 days ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 26% of Leagues ANALYSIS: Though the numbers came almost entirely in the low minors, a glance at Pompey’s performance reveals a lot to like. The 22 year old has shown impressive plate discipline, the ability to hit for average, and excellent speed. It’s primarily for the latter that many owners took a late-round flier on him, but hitting in what figures to be a high-scoring Toronto lineup should boost his runs scored as well. ZiPS forecasts Pompey for a .638 OPS, but also 10 homers and 27 steals in 574 PA. The steals seem a bit low, given that he swiped 90 bags over the previous two seasons. He’s scuffled a bit so far with a .BA/.OBP/.SLG through games, albeit with two homers and two doubles to his credit.

Roberto Perez (C, CLE) - Waiver Wire Pickups

5 days ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Formats, Most Two-Catcher Leagues OWNED IN: 2% of FleaFlicker, 3% of Yahoo ANALYSIS: With Yan Gomes sidelined for 6-8 weeks, Roberto Perez is now the primary backstop for the Cleveland Indians. Cleveland’s front office is high on Perez after his .305/.405/.517 slash line at Triple-A last season. The one word of caution I would have is that Perez may be a bit of a burden on fantasy managers’ batting average. His career AVG at .260 and is expected to drop now that he’s facing major league pitching. Perez came out of the gates hot, going 2-4 with a two-run blast in his first game this season. Since then he’s gone 0-7 in his past three games, but an adjustment period is to be expected. Perez is not going to win owners their league’s this year, but he does make for a viable 6 week Band-Aid for Yan Gomes owners or others struggling at the position. And his double-digit walk rate in the minors should translate to the highest level to some regard, helping fantasy managers in OBP and walks.

Carlos Rodon (SP/RP, CHW) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 days ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 8% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: It his been well chronicled on both RotoBaller and other sports websites, that Carlos Rodon is considered one of the top MLB starting pitcher prospects and rookies, and has the ability to make an impact in fantasy baseball leagues this year. It was announced earlier today that Rodon will be called up from the minors and join the White Sox on Monday. He won't immediately be in the starting rotation, and will be working out of the bullpen at first. It should just be a matter of time before he gets a crack at the rotation. If all goes according to plan, he will yield quality starts and become a mainstay in the rotation and on fantasy baseball rosters, with upside to be a high-level fantasy contributor for a majority of the MLB season. Rodon should already be owned in all dynasty leagues, keeper formats or those with an N/A slot. Regardless, Rodon is recommended starting pitcher waiver wire pickup and stash in just about all fantasy leagues. His talent is huge, and there is real breakout potential here. This is similar to Alex Wood's situation last year, and he proved to be an elite starting pitcher in the 2nd half after working out of the bullpen initially. Go grab Rodon off the waiver wire, and stash some potential fantasy baseball gold.

Ubaldo Jimenez (SP, BAL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 days ago

Published by: Kyle Banas - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper leagues OWNED IN: 24% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Yes, that Ubaldo Jimenez. Once a Cy Young candidate and one of the most feared pitchers in the game, Jimenez has since turned that reputation into one of the most inconsistent pitchers in the game. He quickly fell off a cliff after his tremendous 2010 campaign but enjoyed a surprising statistical resurgence in 2013. Then following a poor 2014 year, he’s rebounded quite nicely here in 2015. Now with one scoreless seven-inning outing and one three-inning no-hitter on his résumé, Jimenez is looking to regain his once supreme status. For those asking why the no-hitter only went three innings, he was prematurely ejected with no warning after hitting Pablo Sandoval. The two have no prior history. Through the aforementioned starts, Jimenez has looked absolutely in charge. These were no fluky starts as he repeatedly kept batters off the paths. His 10:4 K:BB ratio isn’t quite what owners would feel entirely comfortable with but throwing a three-inning no hitter to arguably the best lineup in baseball patches up any concerns. An ERA of 0.00 and one hit allowed in more than ten innings is enough to kill any doubt for now. I’ve received many fantasy add/drop inquiries lately and when they revolve around pitching, Ubaldo Jimenez has been my recommendation. If one of your guys is being sent to the DL or you’re unhappy with the way a late-round guy is panning out, you may be in the market for a new pitcher. The way Jimenez has been performing, he’s more than a viable option. The run support will often be there in the talented Orioles lineup so the wins column should be plentiful. He’s only owned in 24% of leagues so go search the wire and grab the guy with one of the highest ascending arrows, Ubaldo Jimenez.

Alex Rodriguez (3B, NYY) - Waiver Wire Pickups

6 days ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues OWNED IN: 55% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: There are a few truths that Alex Rodriguez will always be tied to. One of them is that A-Rod fits the term "professional hitter". The 3-time MVP winner is now approaching 40 and amidst all the scandal and controversy, A-Rod is out to prove that he can still hit with or without PEDs. Rodriguez was not even guaranteed at bats upon his return in 2015 with the Yankees retaining the services of Chase Headley and picking up Garrett Jones to DH. The expectations for Rodriguez could not have been any lower this season. A-Rod undoubtedly has a chip on his shoulder and is using it to help him reestablish himself as a power hitter. The BA has dropped from his career .299 to around .270 over the past few years but his RBI and HR totals should be extremely valuable for a player who hits in the middle of the aging Yankees lineup. The 477-foot HR he launched earlier this season against Tampa Bay was still an impressive feat and got people talking about Rodriguez for his play on the field and not his press conferences or court room appearances off the field. Even though the speed game is gone he can still muster good contact while raking in cheap power stats for any fantasy owner looking for help. Rodriguez is creeping his way towards being someone to consider in standard leagues especially where CI and DH slots are needed to be filled. You can comfortably expect with a healthy season and consistent at-bats around 70 RBI and 15 to 20 HR with an OPS in the .700 to .750 range. Make no mistake he is not going to be the stalwart he was once before, but he can still turn some heads with his natural ability. If you don't want to forgive him for his transgressions off the field that is fine. But his on-field production should be taken seriously by fantasy owners.

Brett Anderson (LAD, SP) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Justin Berglund - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stream in Most Leagues ANALYSIS: Owned in only 7% of Fleaflicker leagues, Brett Anderson might not be the best pitcher on waivers, but he does have value pitching at two pitcher-friendly parks this week in San Francisco and San Diego. In 11 innings of work so far this season, Anderson has seven strikeouts and just two walks, picking up a win his last time out against the Mariners. In his two starts so far, Anderson has a 3.27 ERA with a 1.18 WHIP. While those aren’t exactly All-Star caliber numbers, it is a great sign for Anderson. Coming off an injury-plagued 2014 with the Rockies that ended with back surgery, he still had an impressive 2.91 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 29:13 K:BB rate and five quality starts in eight outings. When Anderson is healthy, he shows he is still capable of pitching at a high level, as he did earlier in his career. He is still only 27 years old, and after essentially shutting down the Mariners' offense, minus a Nelson Cruz home run, I have confidence in him this week to continue his productivity.  

Wade Davis (RP, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 27% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: With Greg Holland hitting the DL with a pectoral injury, Wade Davis will assume closing duties. In 2014, Davis posted an 1.00 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP, first and seventh best, respectively, among pitchers with at least 60 IP. He recorded a save in all three times he was called in to close in 2014, and should have no trouble in his new role now. Davis was already a must-own in all leagues deep enough for owners to roster middle relievers, but until Holland returns to action, Davis should not be unowned in any league.

Anthony DeSclafani (SP, CIN) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Don’t let Anthony DeSclafani’s 2014 ERA – one that was north of six runs a game – scare you away from taking a small risk and giving the young righty a slot in your rotation. If he can keep the walks to a minimum and locate his fastball, he has the chance to be a solid to above-average starter for the Reds. There may be a few bumps in the road in the early going, but it’s not often you get a chance to grab a guy off the waiver wire that has the potential DeSclafani possesses. In two starts this season, he has been brilliant, allowing just two earned runs in 13.1 innings of work. If he’s able to develop a third pitch, his value will soar.

Dexter Fowler (OF, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 63% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Dexter Fowler won the game for his new team yesterday, hitting a two-run shot off of LaTroy Hawkinsin the ninth. He hasn’t gotten much of the ample press bestowed on the Cubs over the last couple of months. It’s easy to see why when you consider the bevy of young talent in the Windy City. But Fowler should probably be shown a little more love. He’s a career .270/.366/.420 hitter, with double-digit HR and SB potential and a plum spot leading off in front of Anthony Rizzo, Jorge Soler and (eventually) Kris Bryant. That has value, especially in deeper leagues.

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

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / Monitor in All Leagues OWNED IN: 8% of Fleaflicker Leagues If Brock Holt had an everyday job, he’d be a must add. The combination of speed, batting average, and positional flexibility he offers is hard to find in today’s game. He’s still useful even in his current role, however. As the Red Sox main backup for pretty much every position on the diamond, Holt should find himself in the starting lineup more often than one might think for a utility player. As he’s already done so far this season, I expect him to make the most of his at-bats. If one of the Sox starters go down, be prepared to grab him off the waiver wire right away, or even earlier.

Kendrys Morales (1B/DH, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 43% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Kendrys Morales entered 2015 looking to remind the baseball world of why people used to be so afraid of his bat. So far he’s done so. Morales has been huge for the surging Royals, hitting over .400 with two home runs, nine runs scored, and five RBI. There’s very little chance that he continues to hit for that kind of batting average long term, but Morales is a notable streak hitter so this might just be one of those months. The power is certainly legit enough. If Lind is already off the board in your league, I’d look no further than Morales to plug that 1B spot in your lineup.

Carlos Martinez (SP, STL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Stream in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: The best pitcher many fantasy owners have never heard of, Carlos Martinez should be added to most rosters or at least strongly considered for addition. The Cardinals appear to finally be happy with the progress that Martinez has shown over the last year. The one cause for concern is his rising walk rate. Eventually that may catch up to him.

Carlos Rodon (SP/RP, CHW) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues ANALYSIS: The third overall pick in the 2014 draft, Carlos Rodon is a must add in all leagues and has the potential to be a top-40 SP ROS. It was reported yesterday that Rodon will be called up and pitch out of the bullpen initially, but that won’t last long, considering Hector Noesi‘s poor start and the Sox' determination to win now. Rodon is a huge hit-or-miss prospect. His minor league experience is small, but in three Triple-A starts last year, he produced an outstanding 13 K/9 ratio. He’s going to have electric stuff, but don’t be surprised if he has some hiccups out of the gate. Regardless, you want him on your team considering his potential and his current trade value.  

Jake Marisnick (OF, HOU) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Joe Hannon - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: The Astros have a lot of emerging talent, including outfielder Jake Marisnick, who was acquired from the Marlins last year. He stands 6′ 4″, 220 pounds and is just 24 years old. He has a promising mix of power and speed, and has shown his potential during the opening week of the season. Marisnick is hitting .400 with one run, one homer, five runs batted in and two steals in five games. He should be able to provide some decent power and speed numbers for fantasy owners in deep leagues.

Tony Watson (RP, PIT) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Andrew Cohen - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Current Pirates closer Mark Melancon has a fastball averaging 88.7 mph, after averaging 91.6 mph last year. The drop in velocity is enough to make you keep your eye on Tony Watson, the primary set-up man in Pittsburgh. Watson was dominant out of the Pirates’ bullpen last year, striking out 81 batters in 77 1/3 innings to go along with a 1.63 ERA. He has been effective to start 2015, allowing just one hit and no walks or runs in his last five appearances after a shaky outing on Opening Day. If Melancon’s drop in velocity becomes a problem, Watson would be next in line for saves.

Kevin Kiermaier (OF, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Kevin Kiermaier joined the Rays' in 2014 as a rookie meant to provide depth and defense in the outfield, but found his way into the starting lineup by June. In 2015, his defense will still keep him in the lineup everyday, but his presence at the plate is not a liability by any means. He posted a .263/.315/.450 slash line last year with 10 HR and 5 SB. However, Kiermaier is a surer bet to reach double digit steals than double digit homers in 2015. Given his ability to reach base, Kiermaier has 15 SB potential. He could continue to improve across the board with age and experience, but his current skillset is enough to warrant an add in deep AL-Only Leagues.

Chase Headley (1B/3B, NYY) - Waiver Wire Pickup

1 week ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep / AL-Only Leagues OWNED IN: 40% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: When the New York Yankees traded for Chase Headley in 2014, they saw an immediate solution to the gap left by Alex Rodriguez at 3B. Even with the return of Rodriguez, Headley made clear in his 58 game stint with the team last year that he was there to be a welcome addition on the field and in the clubhouse. During that late season audition he smacked 6 HR and collected 17 RBI which instantly made New York fans clamoring for more going in to 2015. Headley (31) provides a "youthful" presence in the clubhouse filled with Carlos Beltran (37), Mark Teixeira (35), CC Sabathia (34) and the aforementioned Rodriguez (39). Even though the Yankees know they did not acquire the MVP candidate from 2012, Headley can supply owners with modest totals in HR and RBI while hovering around .260 for a BA. Headley also provides some versatility to the table as he can play both corner infield positions making him useful to move around in the lineup and on the diamond. A strong stat to pay attention to for Headley is his above average OPS. His career average sits at .756 which is not poor by any means. He has already chipped in a few HR and a handful of RBI in the early going and should be slowly building up to a nice season when all is said and done. If Headley can play more than 140 games, which he has only accomplished 4 times, then 75 RBI and 20 HR should be well within reach. The K and BB totals should remain low the whole season due to the regular contact he creates against both lefties and righties. If he is sitting there on your waiver wire, don't be afraid to bring him into the fold and use him as more than a plug and play.  

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

1 week ago

Published by: Alex Brock - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Pick Up in 14+ Team Leagues Only OWNED IN: 12% of Yahoo Leagues; 14% Owned in Fleaflicker ANALYSIS: Since finishing fifth in the 2009 RoY voting, Casey McGehee has experienced a gradual decline into mediocrity. Four years after swatting 23 HR with 104 RBI in 2010, McGehee underachieved with a paltry .712 OPS and only 4 HR in his last campaign. Although he hit for a decent .287 AVG, there were few counting stat-related accolades of which to speak. Still, knowing what he's been capable of in the past, McGehee presents a high-upside option heading forward. In the first few games of 2015 with San Francisco (his sixth team in seven years), McGehee is 5 for 21 with 1 HR and a .701 OPS. Of course, this is an incredibly small sample size; but, there are other reasons to like this guy in 2015. First, he usually hits for solid average - that can't be overlooked. His role as a starter is sound, which already makes him more valuable than some of the platoon guys sitting on your bench four days per week. Also, there's reason to believe that there will be an increase in HR power this year. His 2.5% HR/FB (home run to fly ball ratio) in 2014 was horrendous and well below his career average. The odds predict he will enjoy a regression to the mean this year and perhaps resemble his 2009-2010 form. It may be a bit bold to claim McGehee will hit 20 HR this year, but he certainly has an opportunity to compete for a decent RBI count. His 76 RBI in 2014 were his most since 2010. Those numbers came while playing for a subpar team in Miami. Now, united with the defending champion Giants, McGehee will likely have some good opportunities batting in the sixth spot. Behind guys like Angel Pagan, Buster Posey, and a healthy Hunter Pence, the hard-hitting third baseman could better his total from 2014 and enjoy a powerful resurgence in 2015.  

Aaron Harang (SP, PHI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues. OWNED IN: 19% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Not all pitching comes in the form of force or finesse. Aaron Harang packs a little bit of both. During his 14-year baseball odyssey, he has brought the element of stability to every team for which he has played. Harang is the type of pitcher that will eat innings and keep a team in the game most times he toes the rubber. Every staff needs a player who can provide a reliable, no-nonsense approach every five days and Harang provides that year in, year out. He won't wow you in the K category, as he has only thrown over 150 K in a season 3 times. Harang's first start of 2015 was as wow-worthy as any other start in the MLB thus far. His first outing this year brought 8 K against the loaded Red Sox lineup. This will probably not be the norm but is nevertheless impressive. His second start vs. the Mets (6 IP, 1K, 1 ER, 6 baserunners) was more indicative of what we can expect: mixed results. His 7.3 K/9 average is still a stat to keep an eye on when it pertains to his level of production. However, with a career WHIP of 1.35 and ERA over 4, Harang is nowhere near unflappable. This should be in the back of your mind on a game-by-game basis. But Harang has never had the tendency to give up tons of long balls. His career 1.1 HR/9 means he's relatively safe fantasy owners. Most teams have pitchers that are basically streaming options needed to give them positive stats during the season. Harang can provide modest K and low BB totals along with several quality starts. If you can stomach his inflated WHIP and ERA, along with limited win opportunities with a pathetic roster in Philadelphia, he can be a viable option to hold onto.  

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

1 week ago

Published by: Joe Hannon - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: The Athletics were set on platooning Mark Canha with fellow first baseman Ike Davis, with the former only starting against left-handed pitchers. However, Canha is off to a hot start and has found some extra playing time in the outfield, as well. He has at least one hit in all five games he has played in, and has posted a .360 AVG with six runs, one homer and six runs batted in. Canha is still relatively unproven, as he has never played in the majors before this season, but as long as he keeps producing, he will continue to find his way into the lineup.

Jose Iglesias (SS, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Alex Brock - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 27% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: We all knew the kid was a wizard with the glove, but hitting was always the issue. Perhaps not this year. Jose Iglesias is off to a blazing hot start to the 2015, going 10 for 22 with 2 SB and 4 runs for the Detroit Tigers. At this point, you will be lucky to find Iglesias still lingering on the waiver wire in most formats. Things looked very bleak for Iglesias just a few short weeks ago. The young fielding dynamo missed the entirety of 2014 with fractures in both of his shins. In his return this spring, he struggled mightily at the plate, sporting a .091 AVG coming into opening day. Since then, Iglesias is batting .455 and looks as nimble as any other player on the field. If Iglesias can continue to find ways to get on base, his upside will be huge in Detroit's loaded lineup. As of now, manager Brad Ausmus still has the shortstop batting near the bottom of the order. If this level of prominence continues, expect Iglesias to possibly find himself atop the order ahead of a few guys you may already know. At the very least, the man can steal bases and will always wind up somewhere in the prolific Tigers lineup due to his indispensable abilities with the glove. Do not wait on this guy off the waiver wire much longer, or he'll be gone.

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

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Banas - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 27% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Before I begin my player analysis, is it too early to say that the Mets are for real? I know that Mets fans everywhere make that claim following a respectable start to the season and then rescind the claim shortly after the Mets inevitably implode. But from my objective, non-Mets fan viewpoint, these Mets look for real. Sitting at 5-3 with a few losses by small margins and a series win against a tough Nationals team, the Mets finally look poised for a postseason birth. This can be largely attributed to some blossoming youngsters stepping up. One of whom is their 26-year-old catcher Travis d’Arnaud. Entering his third year, Travis d’Arnaud is positioned to have a breakout year. He has the nod as their guy behind the plate and has been overwhelmingly effective in his duties. All he did last year since returning from the minors last June, was lead all MLB catchers in extra-base hits and runs. This year he’s shown his extra-base potential and typical effectiveness. He’s batting .308 with a triple, a double, and seven RBI to his name through just seven games. If you’re not grabbing Buster Posey, catcher can be a throwaway position for most managers, drafting whoever is there in the very late rounds. However, d’Arnaud has proven that he can produce at a high level for fantasy owners, but is still only owned in 27% of leagues. He’s certainly worth a waiver wire pickup if he’s not owned in your league yet.

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

1 week ago

Published by: John Paul Nocerino - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 13% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: A player that most owners have left out so far this season is Angel’s third basemen David Freese. Off to a hot start, Freese looks like he can be ready to prove a lot of people wrong. A few years back Freese was expected to be a top hitter for years to come. After being traded to the Angels and having a dreadful 2014, Freese slipped to the very bottom of many draft boards. Freese experienced a power drought by hitting just 9 HRs in 2013 and 10 HRs in 2014. So far Freese already has 3 HRs through the first week of this season and seems to be regaining the hitting prowess that he displayed in his early years with the Cardinals. Now Freese is never gonna hit for a good average and he will always strike out a ton but his power ability alone may be worth the waiver wire pickup. Another big positive for Freese is that his hitting right in the middle of a very solid Angel’s lineup, which should allow him to get pitches to hit and have plenty of RBI opportunities. If Freese can keep up this pace of HRs, he can be in the running for comeback player of the year. If your team is lacking power, Freese can be a very valuable pick up.

Edinson Volquez (SP, KC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Alex Brock - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 24% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: After ten years of generally dismal pitching, Edinson Volquez seems to be finding some answers in the latter stages of his long career. Two horrific years with the Padres from 2012-13 looked like they might spell the end for Volquez. However, he was miraculously able to bounce back with the Pirates in 2014, posting a handsome 3.04 ERA (a career low) over 192 innings (his most since his lone All-Star season in 2008). By year's end, Volquez was the staff ace for a very strong Pirates team headed into the post season. Naturally, there were plenty of skeptics regarding the veteran's stock moving forward in 2015. Well, Volquez quickly silenced the criticism in his first outing against the Sox by allowing only 1 ER in 8.0 IP with 4 hits, one walk and 5 K. Now that he's found a home on a dominant team in Kansas City that will offer a great deal of run support, Volquez is beginning to look like a much more attractive option heading forward. There's still the very realistic possibility that Volquez will turn back into the pitcher that he has been for the previous 10 years of his career. It's also a possibility that things are finally clicking for the wily veteran and that 2015 could prove to be a career year for the old hand. In standard leagues, one should remain hesitant at the risky, yet tantalizing, acquisition. In deeper leagues, pick him up now before another dominant start attracts widespread attention.

Kevin Kiermaier (OF, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickup

1 week ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues. OWNED IN: 35% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: In any sport there always seems to be those types of players who do all of the little things that go unnoticed. Even though it may not show up on the stat sheet their presence is invaluable to any team. In the case of Kevin Kiermaier, he produces quality numbers in several categories and is still often considered an afterthought. The 24-year-old Kiermaier has not even played a full season at the major league level and has shown that he can be a jack-of-all-trades type of player. He hit at every position in the lineup at least once last season providing flexibility and a different look to the daily strategy for the Tampa Bay Rays. The true value of Kiermaier is getting on base and putting balls in play. He has shown in a short amount of time that he can hit for power, drive in runs, steal a few bases and have solid contact. His high BABIP rating has peaked near .450 but was consistently around the .350 mark. His ability to put balls in play makes the decision to keep him in the Rays' lineup an easy one. This is the true definition of a player that doesn't bring a lot of flash to the party. He will provide modest stats down the line and will be a true threat to breakout sooner than later. Kiermaier should be an everyday player for the Rays and for your fantasy team. You will not be disappointed with a player that has steady production throughout the season. That is how you win fantasy leagues isn't it? Don't make Kiermaier an afterthought--the rest of your league most likely already has.  

Anthony Gose (OF, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Greg Rollins - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 26% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Anthony Gose did not get the start for the Detroit Tigers on opening day. Yet, after only a few games, the centerfielder has earned his spot in the lineup. In his fourth MLB season and his first with the Detroit Tigers, Gose is trying to prove he’s an everyday-player rather than a platoon guy. He’s yet to play more than 90 games in a season. The 24 year-old has a .450 BA through four games, with two doubles, a triple, 1 HR, 1 SB and six runs. Right now he’s proving he can do a little bit (actually, a lot a bit) of everything. Gose doesn’t have enough games under his belt to prove he can be a legit fantasy stud in the league. Fortunately for him, he can profit greatly in a lineup that features Miguel Cabrera, Yoenis Cespedes and J.D. Martinez, among others. Rajai Davis is currently part of a soft platoon with Gose. Davis is off to slow start with one hit after being the opening day starter. This could be Gose’s job to take. He’s worth grabbing off the waiver wire immediately as, at worst, you can ride him out until he cools off. My Projection: 260 PA, 10 HR, 80 Runs, 35 SB  

Derek Norris (C, SD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Target for 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 49% of Yahoo, 23% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: I’ll admit I was not a believer in Derek Norris entering 2015. All it took was one look at his splits (.206 vs RHP) to scare me away. After seeing Norris slotted in the 2-hole for San Diego, I’m ready to change my stance. Yes, his numbers vs RHP still stink (.167 AVG), but when you move past the first tier of catchers one key aspect becomes a significant criterion: playing time. The more playing time, the more fantasy opportunities. Norris had to split PT in Oakland with Steven Vogt, but with Wil Nieves as his backup in San Diego I don’t expect that to be the case. He’s currently on pace to reach 500 ABs, which would shatter his previous high of 442 ABs. Considering he’s been slotted 2nd or 5th each game he’s started, expect for Norris to eclipse his career highs of 10 HR and 55 RBI and finish the year as a top 10 C.  

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

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep and NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: Adam Lind’s bat has been white hot over the first week of the season. He’s batting .450 with four RBI and a home run to boot. This has not escaped the attention of Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, who has slotted Lind into the cleanup spot over the last several games. While the Brewers as a whole have been rather cold on offense thus far, it’s hard not to like the idea of Lind hitting behind Carlos Gomez, Jonathan Lucroy and Ryan Braun. As many fantasy owners are well aware, Lind’s biggest flaw over his career has been his sizable platoon splits. A career .215 hitter against lefties, Lind was often the first to take a seat on the bench when a southpaw took the mound. The good news is that over the short term, the Pirates‘ Jeff Locke is the only lefty of note that the Brewers will be facing. A healthy swath of righties should give Lind plenty of opportunities to provide value for fantasy owners. If he can continue to establish himself as an offensive force in his new manager’s eyes, it’s possible that Lind might even manage to work his way into the lineup as an everyday hitter. After all, the Brewers don’t have much on the depth chart behind him.  

Daniel Norris (SP, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Justin Berglund - RotoBaller

Next week, Daniel Norris pitches against the Rays and Braves, two offensively deficient teams. Entering his first full season in the majors, Norris owns a 5.40 ERA in just 6.2 innings over just five appearances. Spending most of 2014 in the minor leagues, he had a strong 12-2 record with a 2.53 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and a 163/43 K/BB rate. In his first start of 2015 against the Yankees on Thursday, Norris went 5.2 innings, giving up three runs, striking out five and walking just one, earning his first career win. The three runs might be a bit deceiving, as Norris had only given up one run prior to sixth inning home runs to Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. Nonetheless, Norris should have much better outings against the Rays and Braves in the coming week.

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

1 week ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Target in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 15% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: De Aza is off to a great start in 2015, hitting .333 with 7 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, and 1 SB in the early going. De Aza turned it around last year after being trading to Baltimore, producing a .293 AVG with 11 R and 10 RBI in 20 games. Baltimore should remain a top 10 offense in 2015 with Travis Snider doing his best to replicate Nelson Cruz along with a healthy Manny Machado, which makes De Aza a strong player in deeper leagues as a number 4/5 outfielder. One concern is De Aza’s struggles with LHP (.246 career AVG) may result in a platoon with Delmon Young (.301 vs LHP). However, the next best option to leadoff is Everth Cabrera, who’s about to lose his job to J.J. Hardy. De Aza isn’t going to dominate any particular category, but he’s a solid multi-category player who can be an asset to your lineup as long as he’s leading off for Baltimore. Go grab De Aza if you need OF help.

Wade Miley (SP, BOS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 12% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Wade Miley burst onto the scene with the Dbacks  in 2012. He finished second to Bryce Harper in Rookie of the Year voting on the strength of 16 wins and a 3.33 ERA. The following season, Miley weathered significant jumps in both walks and homers, though his ERA barely budged. He wasn't so lucky last season, as the ERA rose nearly a full run. What also went up, however, was his formerly pedestrian strikeout rate. Miley was traded to the Red Sox this winter. It's a measure of how much the landscape has changed in recent years that this doesn't seem like a death sentence for his fantasy value. Park factors shouldn't vary much en route to Boston. The AL East just ain't what it used to be. While Fenway tilts toward hitters, it's not like Chase Field is any kind of fun for the man on the mound. Miley has also posted ground ball rates above 50 percent in each of the last two seasons and will have a much better defense (and offense) behind him. He started off 2015 on the right foot, striking out six and inducing 11 grounders against just three fly balls in 5.1 innings. He'll look to build momentum in his next start against the Nationals at home, and is a solid waiver wire pickup especially in deeper leagues.  

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

1 week ago

Published by: Greg Rollins - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 18% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Marcus Semien, 24, shortstop, is hoping that there’s no place like home. Not only is the Oakland Athletics giving him a chance to play the position he’s played since tee-ball, but he’s getting the chance to do it in his hometown. In two seasons with the Chicago White Sox, Semien was stuck behind Alexei Ramirez. They tried to move him to other positions, but he never really got the chance to be an everyday-player. The A’s acquired Semien and catcher Josh Phegley in the deal for Jeff Samardzija during the six-player offseason trade. In his young career, Semien has only four starts at shortstop. In 2015, he’s already played more games at shortstop. Semien has three multiple-hit games already. He’s scored three runs and driven in six with a .296 BA. All signs point to a breakout season the son of a former NFL star. Productive shortstops are hard to come by in fantasy. There’s no reason not to take a chance on Semien off the waiver wire if he's still available in your league. My Projection: .260 BA, 9 HR, 15 SB, 200 TB, 50 RBI  

Shane Greene (SP, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 18% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Shane Greene was considered an afterthought in a three team trade last season between the Dbacks, Yankees and Tigers. The Yankees got their next everyday SS in Didi Gregorius, the Diamondbacks got the best prospect of the bunch in Robbie Ray and the Tigers got Greene, who was considered a mere possibility to make their Opening Day rotation as the fifth starter. Well, who's an afterthought now? He made quick work of the Twins in his first start of the season, giving up 4 hits and a walk to go with 5 K and 0 ER in 8 IP. The run support should continue and is a definite sign of things to come. Shane Greene sported a career 29-43 record with a pedestrian 4.39 ERA during 6 seasons in the minor leagues before being called up with the Yankees in 2014. What caught the eye of the Tigers when they made the deal to acquire him was his ability to not issue tons of walks. His highest total of BB in one season was 68 in 2011 while playing for the High-A Charleston Riverdogs. Greene will induce a ton of ground ball outs (with much help from SS wizard Jose Iglesias), which should make up for his low K totals. He works his slider to his advantage on almost any count and goes after hitters early. His 3.04 P/PA (pitches per plate appearance) demonstrates his ability to go through batters efficiently and keep his pitch count low. His BABIP rate is still hovering above .300, but he provides a low-risk waiver wire option on a team that is going to provide ample run support throughout the season.

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

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ team leagues OWNED IN: 14% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Miller made quite an impression on fantasy owners as a rookie in 2013. In 76 games, he posted a .265-8-36-41-5 line. The only question heading into last season was whether or not he’d beat out Nick Franklin for the starting job at short. Once he did, he shot up many owners’ draft boards. Unfortunately, he stumbled badly out of the gate with a putrid .602 OPS in the first half, thanks almost entirely to a big spike in his strikeout rate. Though Franklin was shipped to Tampa Bay, Chris Taylor got the lion’s share of the playing time down the stretch. Taylor broke his wrist in spring training, giving Miller a clear opportunity to take back his starting gig. So far, he’s running with it. Through his first six games, Miller has an .800 OPS with a homer, a stolen base, a pair of runs scored, and three RBI. Taylor doesn’t have anywhere near the pedigree or track record that Miller does. As long as Miller avoids another extended slump, he’s an excellent bet to post double digits in both homers and steals.  

Brandon Morrow (SP, SD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Edward Sutelan - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues; Continue Scouting Elsewhere OWNED IN: 10% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The signing of Brandon Morrow by the San Diego Padres did not make as much news as many of their other moves, mainly because he isn’t exactly a headline drawing player. Since 2012, he has yet to throw more than 60 innings as a starter due to continuous arm issues. But Morrow’s profile makes him a promising fantasy waiver wire addition even with the risk of injury. When the Padres’ right-hander has been healthy, he has proven that he can supply quality starts while racking up strikeouts (9.36 K/9 in his career). And in spite of his injury-filled past, he has not lost much velocity on his fastball. So far he has averaged 93.7 mph this season with a 94.0 mph career velocity. This pitch, coupled with his curveball (about 79.0 mph) gives him the potential to be an above average fantasy contributor again (especially in pitcher-friendly Petco Park). Morrow could be headed toward a potential rebound and would bring good strikeout numbers and a decent ERA.  In shallow leagues you can monitor him for a few more starts but in very deep leagues he's worth a flier.  

Archie Bradley (SP, ARI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 20% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Highly touted prospects are often proclaimed as saviors toward their organization. These same prospects are hyped ad nauseum and are often rushed to the big leagues. The Arizona Diamondbacks are hoping that Archie Bradley was worth the wait. Bradley spent 4 seasons refining his craft holding opposing hitters to an impressive .210 BAA over that span. He also compiled a 3.14 ERA with a modest 2:1 K/BB ratio. He finally got his chance to shine in Phoenix pitching opposite one of the best pitchers in baseball, Clayton Kershaw. Not only did Bradley outpitch Kershaw, he opened eyes across the country with his impressive outing. Bradley gave up one hit over six innings striking out six. The high walk total could be a concern if it is not controlled early. He threw 112 pitches in his start versus the Dodgers and only 66 of them went for strikes. For now the Diamondbacks don't seem overly concerned with running Bradley out every fifth day. It is easy to overreact to one great start but Bradley's success came against a top lineup. In a year where the Diamondbacks needed a spark out of their young pitching staff, Bradley has stepped up and lit that flame. Solid but not dominant strikeout totals should be expected from Bradley with low ERA and BAA rates to go along with the occasional blowup when he allows too many walks and HR in the small Chase field. As long as the run support is there and he can limit his walks, Bradley could become the ace that Arizona and your fantasy lineup are always in need of. Strike while the iron is hot and scoop up Bradley.  

Anthony Gose (OF, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues ANALYSIS: Anthony Gose was a second-round pick by the Phillies in the 2008 amateur draft. Like many of the organization’s prospects, he was plucked out of high school with more athleticism than baseball skills. He was traded to Houston in the Roy Oswalt deal, then immediately flipped to Toronto. He shot up prospect lists after breaking out at Double-A in 2011 with a 16 HR, 69 SB season. In parts of three seasons, Gose never really hit enough to earn a full-time job. Now with the Tigers, Gose is the dominant half of a center field platoon. He’s off to a strong start with a 1.250 OPS, a homer and a steal in four games. You can safely shave at least 500 points off that current mark going forward, but Gose could justify a spot on your roster with his speed alone.

Adam Ottavino (RP, COL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

1 week ago

Published by: Dillon Borgida - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 6% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Only 6% owned right now, Ottavino is someone to grab off the waiver wire if you're looking for saves. The Rockies former closer, 42-year-old Latroy Hawkins, looked awful in his three appearances, giving up seven hits and five runs in just 2.2 innings. Rockies fans were calling for his job, and today he was officially removed from the closer role. Adam Ottavino is most likely the next man up, although Rafael Betancourt could be in the mix as well. Ottavino has been dominant in his four appearances, facing 15 batters and striking out seven of them. Thus far he has only allowed one hit, and has been overpowering hitters. It’s tough to pitch at Coors field, but the Rockies offense should give this team a good amount save opportunities. Grab Ottavino off the waiver wire if he's still available in your league.

Wilson Ramos (C, WAS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Most Formats OWNED IN: 58% of Yahoo Leagues, 33% of FleaFlicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Wilson Ramos is hitting seventh in one of the leagues better lineups. Granted, seventh isn’t all that sexy for fantasy value, but if Ramos comes through with the breakout season a lot of people are calling for, he could find himself hitting 5th or 6th quickly. Wilson won’t hurt fantasy manager’s batting average all that much, as he should fall pretty close to his career AVG of .269. Currently he's batting .250 with a HR and 3 RBI, with most of that production coming in the last two games. Ramos hasn’t been all that reliable over his career, finishing with just 664 plate appearances in the last two seasons combined. But that makes his upside more attractive: if he can just stay on the field for the majority of the season, his rate of production from the past few years almost guarantees he will finish the season as a top 10 catcher. In those 664 PA he’s racked up 27 home runs with an impressive home run per fly ball rate of 21.8%. It’s hard to rely on a guy with his injury history as a primary backstop, but he’s more than likely the best backup available on your waiver wire, and he has great upside. Even at conservative projections of 16 HR in just 428 PA with a .269 average, Ramos would likely be a top 10 position guy.

Anthony DeSclafani (SP, CIN) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues / NL-Only Leagues OWNED IN: 4% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: DeScalfani was a sleeper among select fantasy pundits entering 2015 after a strong spring. He did nothing to dissuade them in his debut at Pittsburgh, holding the Pirates to two runs on five hits and one walk with six punchouts. Those are quality numbers versus a stout offense, and most of the damage occurred after returning from a one hour, fourteen minute delay. I came away impressed in particularly with his ability to limit long at-bats; only two batters reached three ball counts.  The Redsare likely to watch his pitch counts early on, but if he can limit prolonging innings he should be a quality streamer for shallow leagues and a backend SP for deep and NL-Only leagues.

Daniel Norris (SP, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 12% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Gotta love the man in the van. Norris blazed through all three levels of Toronto’s minor league system in 2014 to earn a spot in the Blue Jay’s rotation this spring. It was hard to tell Norris is only 21 as he displayed great poise in his first start at New York, going 5 2/3 innings with three earned runs and five strikeouts. Before two solo HRs from A-Rod and Tex in the sixth, Norris was rolling and provided vindication to owners who invested a draft pick on the youngster. Bonus points for being tough enough to not rock sleeves in 34 degree weather. Next up Norris has tasty matchups coming up at home vs Tampa and Atlanta. He’s available in the majority of leagues as of this posting so it’s worthwhile to check your FA list and see if he’s out there.

Odubel Herrera (2B/SS/OF, PHI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 4% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Herrera has a chance to score some runs and steal a few bags, especially when manager Ryne Sandberg slots him at the top of the order. Just 23 years old, Herrera was only the second Phillies player in the last 45 years to make his major league debut as an Opening Day starter. It was quite the underwhelming debut, as he went 0-for-4, but early signs point to Herrera sticking with the big league club. His bat will be tough to project since he’s never actually played above the Double-A level. Plus, he played less than 200 games there over the last two seasons. In other words, he’s sort of a wait-and-see guy at the major league level. That said, he hit .321 last season and makes a lot of contact, with excellent bat speed supporting his high BABIP. He’s worth a flier off the waiver wire as a contributor in runs and stolen bases – and he may just surprise us by hitting for a decent average, too. As a bonus, he could see enough time to qualify at shortstop, where he played for six seasons in the minors before moving to center field. Those in deeper leagues, or with a middle infield slot, can take a look at Herrera as a waiver wire option.

James Paxton (SP, SEA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 26% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: There’s no reason Paxton should be so widely available in ESPN and Fleaflicker leagues. Paxton is definitely what you’d define as an injury risk, but when he’s on the mound he is electric. His fastball sits around 95 mph and results in a heavy amount of grounders, which is key considering the Marinerscommitted the second fewest errors in 2014. Paxton was undeserving of the loss versus the Angels earlier this week, posting five strikeouts while allowing two runs, four hits, and a walk over six innings. Most importantly, he looked to be over the forearm injuries that delayed his start to Spring Training. Based on the current outlook of the Mariners rotation, Paxton’s next three starts will be @ LAD, vs HOU, and vs MIN. Don’t be frightened off by the matchup at LA. Go grab Paxton if he’s on your waiver wire.

Aaron Harang (SP, PHI) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Banas - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Very Deep Leagues OWNED IN: 12% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Someone who might be useful in deeper fantasy leagues this year is Aaron Harang. Harang was beat up most of spring training and has yet to produce an ERA of less than 3.57 in his career. However, throughout his last start against the Red Sox, Harang flashed noteworthy talent posting eight strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings, while surrendering only two hits. Harang doesn’t have any overpowering stuff anymore, and not having a go-to power pitch can frequently lead pitchers into getting smoked by batters. Yet, while he lacks an elite go-to pitch, he often flaunts terrific control. He solidified that claim on Wednesday by perfectly locating his pitches one after another en route to a tremendous outing. I would wait one more start to make sure his last game against the loaded red sox lineup wasn’t just a fluke, but if he thrives again, I’d pounce on him off the waiver wire. Harang could be a valuable waiver wire pickup for certain league formats.

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

2 weeks ago

Published by: Dillon Borgida - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Continue Scouting in 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: ESPN 39.9% owned, Yahoo 38% owned, 61% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Up until last season, Phillips had eight straight years of 17 or more home runs. Owners are certainly hoping that last year's eight home runs were an anomaly, and that he can rebound in 2015. He still was able to muster up 25 doubles but the power just wasn't there like in years past. While he is owned in nearly 40% of leagues across ESPN and Yahoo, I think a lot of this is due to name recognition. I would keep an eye on his early season production and power numbers before adding him off the waiver wire and plugging him into your lineups. Phillips is a proven veteran who is batting behind a ton of talent in the Reds offense. Starting the year batting 7th should take some pressure off of the aging Phillips and allow him to see much better pitches. Phillips is worth monitoring since should have a lot of RBI opportunities, but I wouldn’t jump to add him just yet.

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

2 weeks ago

Published by: Kevin Luchansky - RotoBaller

Jace Peterson, who was acquired by the Braves in the Justin Upton deal, was probably a lock to be the starting second baseman since day one of Spring Training. Not one to leave things to chance, he made sure his performance in the Grapefruit League erased any doubt Fredi Gonzalez may have had by hitting .321 over 68 AB with five doubles and three steals in four attempts. His spring numbers were a nice showing for a kid who hit close to .300 in each of the last three seasons in the minors, but he struggled mightily in 27 games with the Padres last season, hitting .113 without a single extra base hit. Still, the super-athletic 24-year-old should be able to show the type of skills he flashed throughout the minors. His plate discipline and ability to draw walks nearly as often as he strikes out have helped him maintain a high on-base percentage. If he stays at the top of the lineup this season, he’ll have even more value hitting in front of Freddie Freeman.

Jake Lamb (3B, ARI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / All Keeper Leagues OWNED IN: 15% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The Diamondbacks decided to play musical chairs this offseason and during spring training as to who would get the everyday at-bats. Jake Lamb was initially on the outside looking in, but has now emerged as a fantasy-relevant player in a short amount of time. Two factors have played into Lamb's early chance to shine. First, the Yasmani Tomas 3B experiment was a total disaster from the start. Second, the emergence of Nick Ahmed as a defensive SS ready for the big leagues opened many eyes in the new front office. This left Jake Lamb and Aaron Hill alone to fight at the hot corner. With Tomas and Hill out of the picture, fantasy owners can grab a cheap 3B who can also fill that pesky CI slot in some lineups as well. But his value should not be merely as a fill in. Lamb will hit behind Paul Goldschmidt and Mark Trumbo, potentially adding value across the board. Lamb's hot start with 7 RBI in 3 games has made the timeshare with Hill completely one-sided. Now that the team is openly willing to trade Hill, Lamb is sitting pretty to regularly contribute without fear of competition for the time being. Lamb will have to prove that his small sample size sporting a career .233 BA is not a sign of things to come. He seems ready to prove the team wrong that tried to fill the so-called vacancy at 3B. The "No Vacancy" sign will light up before you know it so give Lamb a shot off the waiver wire and don't get left out in the cold.      

Michael Bourn (OF, CLE) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Jake Bogardus - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL Only League OWNED IN: 18% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: 32. That is the most important number when discussing Michael Bourn. 32 years old. Once upon a time (really only three years ago), Bourn was a high OBP leadoff hitter who routinely stole 40+ bases, leading the league in three consecutive years from 2009-2011. Before he turned 30, Bourn provided your fantasy team with a solid average (.272 through age 29 season), got on base enough to help your team in the runs category, and of course almost single-handedly kept you competitive in stolen bases. Pre-30-year-old Michael Bourn is what fantasy owners hope Billy Hamilton becomes. Since signing with the Indians prior to the 2013 season, Bourn has only stolen 33 total bases and has been caught a staggering 18 times. His K% has risen, generally an indicator of declining bat speed, and his BABIP has dropped, another strong indicator of declining real speed. This has ultimately resulted in a lower OBP which not only means less opportunities to steal, but also less opportunities to score runs. Bourn got the Opening Day nod in the leadoff spot for the Indians, going 0-4 with a strikeout, and he should stay there all year baring injury, but the skills that once made him a fantasy asset are gone. Bourn's Steamer projection expects a bit of a speed rebound with 18 SB, but the .253 projected average with no power makes Bourn only ownable in AL Only formats. MY PROJECTION: 450 AB, .250 AVG, 4 HR, 37 RBI, 55 R, 15 SB  

Trevor Bauer (SP, CLE) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWNED IN: 19% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Few players have opened fantasy owners' eyes with one start more than Trevor Bauer. After giving up 0 hits and racking up 11 Ks in his performance over Houston, Bauer's potential finally became reality. One thing Bauer has learned to do in Cleveland is be more selective and focus on quality rather than quantity. Bauer initially brought forth an overwhelming 9-pitch offering that was as impressive as it was inefficient. The ability to throw two different changeups, sliders and curveballs can be a real threat. But it can also derail a pitcher's focus on the task at hand---getting productive outs. He never really got a fair shake in Arizona where he was put in the minors and rushed to the big leagues. He was then quickly traded to Cleveland back in 2013 after posting a 6.06 ERA in 4 starts while giving up 13 runs. Since that time Bauer has been able to not only manage the game better but also control the game to his standards. In 26 starts in 2014, Bauer's posted a .255 BAA, 2.38 K/BB ratio and a 4.18 ERA. Not spectacular, but respectable for a young improving pitcher with upside. While the 5 BB in his start vs Houston may keep some owners away, Bauer has the potential to become a high strikeout pitcher who can stomach a high degree of walks. Cleveland's offense has not come alive yet in the early part of the season but they should be middle of the pack at least. Bauer can keep the team in the game and thus keep those positive fantasy stats rolling in. Pitchers with high K totals are always in demand and many will still sleep on Bauer after one start. Wake the sleeping giant and reap the rewards.  

John Jaso (C / DH, TAM) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Nedimyer - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Roster immediately as DL slot OWNED IN: 5% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Everyone’s favorite platoon catcher was recently placed on the 15-day disabled list after sliding in to second base head first. His injury surely caused most owners or prospective owners to drop him. Rather than outright drop him however, the smartest move is to use a DL spot and keep this catcher eligible stud on the roster. And those owners that are seeing Jaso on the waiver wire, go ahead and snag him up and use a DL spot. Against right-handed pitchers, Jaso owns a career .352 wOBA and adds a way above average 127 wRC+. Typically during a MLB season, right-handed pitchers account for anywhere from 65-75% of all pitchers meaning that Jaso will be an effective punch to the Tampa offense in the great majority of games. Because he will also primarily be used as the team’s DH, Jaso’s catcher value balloons. Add in that he will not be splitting time with Stephen Vogt and Derek Norris, and Jaso will see plenty of plate appearances. He will surely become a solid commodity for any owner especially in 2-catcher leagues.

Jonathan Niese (SP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Jake Bogardus - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper NL-Only Leagues OWNED IN: 8% of Fleaflicker Leagues  ANALYSIS: There will always be a place in Major League Baseball for crafty lefties who can eat innings and keep their teams in games. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for fantasy baseball leagues. The New York Mets' Jonathan Niese is a solid big league starter. He's averaged 170 innings a year for the past five seasons and has won 50 games in that time. He strikes out batters at a pedestrian rate of approximately 7 batters per 9 innings. Jonathan Niese is a good pitcher, but he should not be on your fantasy team's roster for most formats. Niese can be rostered in deep NL-Only leagues, but even then you are running the risk that the Mets won't trade him mid-season as some of their young pitchers move to the majors. Steamer, a baseball projection system, predicts much of the same from Niese this year estimating a 177 inning season resulting in 9 wins, 4.05 ERA, and 128 K. These numbers would be slightly down from last season when he ranked #78 among starting pitchers on the ESPN Player Rater. This type of value can be easily attained by streaming pitchers and playing smart matchups. Niese should be considered as part of this streaming option in weeks in which he is making two starts or has exceptional matchups, but he should not sit on your roster for the entire season except for very deep formats. My Projection: 180 IP, 11 W, 3.90 ERA, 135 K, traded at the deadline

C.J. Wilson (SP, LAA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: John Paul Nocerino - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 32% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: At the start of the fantasy baseball season, owners are always searching for the forgotten guys in the free agent pool. One guy that seems to have been passed over in most drafts is Angels starter C.J. Wilson. Entering his 10th season in the league, Wilson is a veteran and knows how to get people out. He does not excite most owners because he his strikeout numbers can be dull and he always has the possibility of imploding in a given start. Wilson’s season got off to a great start on Tuesday when he shut out the newly improved Mariners over 8 innings. It took him just 96 pitches to cruise to the 8th while allowing just 2 hits and one walk, but only striking out two. Wilson’s numbers will not amaze anyone, but he can still be a very solid fantasy pitcher to add to your rotation in 2015. His career ERA of 3.70 and K/9 of 7.9 are above average especially when you consider he has pitched his entire career in the American League. Look for C.J. Wilson to be a valuable fantasy starter for this season, and a solid waiver wire pickup -- he may not be available in deep leagues for too much longer, especially if he has another good start his next time out.

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

2 weeks ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Target for 12+ Team Leagues / FAAB Bid: $5-8 OWNED IN: 56% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Billy Butler already has a strong ownership level at this point but there’s room for growth. Yes, his numbers have tailed off across the board since his monster 2012 campaign (.313/72/29/107), but there’s still value to be found off the waiver wire for fantasy baseball owners in deeper leagues. Country Breakfast is currently slotted in the cleanup spot in Oakland and will serve as protection for Ben Zobrist. Oakland is going to be sneaky good on offense, with no superstars but a lot of solid contributors. This will result in numerous run-scoring opportunities, and with Butler’s career .312 AVG with RISP this should be a recipe for success. Not to mention Butler may have found his power stroke again after a 5 HR Spring. There’s likely a plethora options in shallow leagues, but anyone in deeper leagues looking for a hitter who won’t kill you in any category (except SB) should give Butler a spin.

Michael Morse (1B/OF, MIA) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 58% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Morse has never really had the supporting cast and talent around him that he does now in Miami. Outfielders Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, and newly acquired Dee Gordon make the Marlins lineup solid. Morse will bring a veteran presence to a young team looking to make an impact and make the playoffs in 2015. Hitting in the middle of a talented lineup could be just the fit for Morse. The ability to play 1B and OF will also help his flexibility for the Marlins and for your fantasy teams. You would think that a journeyman would feel unwanted in the eyes of many. But in a lot of cases, those players play with a chip on their shoulder. Michael Morse is no exception to that rule. Playing for his 5th team in 4 seasons, Morse has seen his fair share of moving expenses trying to find the right fit for his talent. After finding his groove in 2011 with the Washington Nationals (31 HR and 95 RBI), he hasn't been able to put up the same type of production since. The Miami Marlins came calling this offseason and offered the 34-year-old a two year 16 million dollar deal to make him a big part of their offense. The power numbers should be there for Morse if he can stay healthy, and you can expect a solid return on your investment as a waiver wire pickup/stash to see how he start out of the gate. This decision does not need an owner to decipher this code -- go get Morse. He is a low risk add, with decently high upside if things play out.

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

2 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLE MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: ESPN: 15.3% owned, Yahoo: 4% owned, Fleaflicker: 52% owned ANALYSIS: Mike Moustakas probably shouldn’t be on the radar of standard league players. Considering how many of our readers enjoy the thrill of deeper leagues, however, I decided to add him to the list. His value is twofold: lineup position and cheap, cheap power. First, let’s discuss his power. Given a full healthy season, Moustakas looks to be a 20-22 home run hitter. He’s never approached that 160-162 game number though, so he’s more likely someone in the 16-18 home run range. Ned Yost seems committed to Moustakas as his number two hitter in the lineup. Provided he doesn’t hit himself back to the minor leagues, he’s likely to stick in that spot. The extra at-bats it’ll afford him, as well as the boosted Run numbers most number two hitters enjoy, are a nice feather in the cap for Moustakas owners. Considering he’s only 26 years old, there’s still upside for much, much more than we’ve seen from Moustakas through this point in his career. For owners in deep leagues who’re on the hunt for power, even today’s version might be well good enough.

Brett Lawrie (3B/2B, OAK) - Waiver Wire Analysis

2 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLE MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: ESPN: 30.1% owned, Yahoo: 99% owned, Fleaflicker: 26% owned ANALYSIS: Sorry Yahoo owners, Brett Lawrie is an ESPN only play it seems. To be perfect honest, I don’t understand how Lawrie’s ownership numbers can be as low as they are, considering the upside he offers. Health has obviously been the limiting factor for the 3rd baseman throughout this point in his career. He’s only averaged 101 games played per year over the course of the last three seasons. Considering he’s flashed 20/20 potential through those seasons and still retains 2nd base eligibility, it’s tough to explain why the 25 year old Oakland A isn’t worth a bench spot. Lawrie is a must add player in all leagues as far as I’m concerned. At worst, he costs you nothing. At best, he could carry your team on his shoulders. That’s the definition of waiver wire value right there.  

Russell Martin (C, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Matt Lib - RotoBaller

BALLE MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / All Two-Catcher Leagues OWNED IN: Owned in 79% of Yahoo Leagues, Owned in 29% of FleaFlicker Leagues ANALYSIS: One of the leagues models of consistency as a catcher over the pasts eight years has beenRussell Martin. You may have heard that Martin is expected to have a decent regression in his BABIP compared to his impressive .336 last season, and you’d be crazy to argue otherwise. That caused Martin's fantasy stock to drop significantly, and what a lot of people didn’t place a whole lot of stock in was his change in scenery from Pittsburgh to Toronto. While he won’t hit .290 like last season, there were some positive signs to look into that might allow Martin to return solid value in the position. Martin’s walk rate has improved the past three years, rising from 10.9% in 2012 to 11.5% in 2013 to 12.8% last season. With better plate discipline typically leading to higher averages, this growth is substantial even in leagues that do not count walks. A reduction in strikeout rate is also a positive trend for average growth, and Martin managed to lower his K-rate from 21.3% in 2013 to 17% last year, below the league’s 20.4% average. He also has plus speed for a catcher. Martin’s counting stats should be in line for a big upgrade due to the transition to Toronto. He will be batting second, behind Jose Reyes and in front of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, which should lead to Martin scoring 100 or so runs and a healthy RBI total. Moving to Rogers Centre should also help Martin’s power numbers, as should the increased playing time afforded to him by a move to the AL which comes with the chance to DH on his days off from catching. Not to mention PNC park is arguably the worst power park for right-handed hitters, especially when compared to Rogers Centre and it’s 110 RHH homer park factor (4th best in the MLB).

Travis Snider (OF, BAL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLE MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: ESPN: 1 percent owned; Yahoo: 4 percent owned; Fleaflicker: 5% Owned ANALYSIS: A former first-round pick, Travis Snider made it to the majors at the tender age of 20. Once there, however, he battled injuries and a severe platoon split, ultimately punching his ticket out of Toronto. His first go-round with the Pirates yielded a horrendous .215/.281/.333 line. Snider looked dangerously close to washing out of the league. Last season, though, he stayed healthy and turned in the best season of his career. The peripherals all support this improvement: fewer whiffs, more walks, and a surge in batted ball distance. Now he’s in Baltimore and assured a starting job. Also working in his favor: Camden Yards is one of the best parks for left-handed hitters, whereas PNC Park was among the worst. If Snider can avoid the injury bug, he’s got legitimate 25 HR upside.

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

2 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Braver - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / All Two-Catcher Leagues OWNED IN: ESPN: 5.6% owned, Yahoo: 41% owned, Fleaflicker: 21% owned ANALYSIS: The difference in Stephen Vogt’s ownership numbers between ESPN, Yahoo and Fleaflicker leagues is likely due to the fact that he’s already catcher eligible in the latter two. Assuming continued health and playing time, he’ll quickly earn that status in all leagues, adding a nice boost to his value. Even as a pure first baseman though, he’s still an interesting ticket for waiver wire hunters. He batted .358/.388/.532 through the first half of 2014 before an unfortunate foot injury knocked him off pace. Granted, no one expects him to approach that kind of production again this year. When paired with his white hot start to this season, it does make him difficult to pass by though. At worst, Vogt is a soon-to-be catcher eligible streak hitter living the good life right now. People have won fantasy leagues with much less.

Miguel Castro (RP, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately In All Leagues OWNED IN: 2% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Brett Cecil had a late start this Spring due to shoulder inflammation and he found himself throwing 87-88 MPH fastballs en route to blowing Wednesday's save vs. the New York Yankees. He now finds himself out of the 9th inning. Cecil will work on regaining his velocity in lower leverage situations for the Blue Jays. Enter Miguel Castro, the 20-year-old Jays flamethrower who, if everything went according to plan for the Jays this preseason, would be in the minor leagues right now. Instead, Castro is the likely new closer for the Jays. You can see our full MLB closers & saves depth charts updated here. Castro was a revelation for the Blue Jays this Spring and was part of the reason the Jays optioned Steve Delabar to the minors. Castro has high-90s heat, and although he's never appeared above High-A until 2015, he appeared poised well beyond his years in Spring Training games. Hopefully that poise continues because the Blue Jays don't really have many other options left in the bullpen. Marco Estrada and Todd Redmond are long relief guys, and Aaron Loup had a 13% BB rate versus right-handed hitters in 2014. It's very tough to predict how a pitcher as young and raw as Castro will perform in the high pressure situations he'll now face as the Blue Jays new closer. It's possible that Cecil finds his way back to his usual 91-92 MPH range in a week or two and reassumes closing duties. For now, Castro is the guy, and a realistic expectations is a solid number of saves and Ks with a fair amount of blown saves sprinkled in. Bottom line: Castro should be owned in all leagues right now and will be the Jays closer until further notice. In any league that counts saves, he's worth picking up.  

Dexter Fowler (OF, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All 12+ Team Leagues (Worth a $2 FAAB Bid) OWNED IN: 5.9% of ESPN, 36% of Yahoo, 64% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: First things first, how about that Yahoo ownership? Dexter Fowler was brought to the windy city to provide solid defense and bat leadoff, and he’s a great option for owners who have to play 4-5 OF or in deeper leagues. Fowler has yet to eclipse 500 ABs in a season, but 2015 is the year that changes. Fowler doesn’t dominate any particular category, but as long as he's leading off for what should be a solid Cubs offense he's a helpful presence for R, SB, AVG, and OBP. Combined with the fact it’s a contract year for Fowler, and you should expect a solid campaign. The main concern is playing time come May when Kris Bryant is a regular, as I anticipate Arismendy Alcantara to steal some PT. Fowler has a big advantage in the OBP department though, and he still makes a solid add for the time being if you need OF help in deeper leagues. Make the move for Fowler.  

Anthony Gose (OF, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues OWNED IN: 18% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The Detroit Tigers wanted to add a contact hitter with speed as a weapon of choice. They got it in the form of Anthony Gose from the Toronto Blue Jays and he has not disappointed thus far. Giving up highly touted prospect Devon Travis seemed to some as a steep cost for a player who had not accumulated more than 274 PA in one season. But Gose and the Tigers have made that transaction a beneficial one. Gose has become the catalyst for the Tigers offense in the early going showing that he is more than just another wheel in the machine. His .450 BA along with his 5 RBI and 6 runs scored have had an immediate impact. This could translate towards a high-scoring season in the Motor City. Being placed in the leadoff spot often does not produce RBI opportunities. However in Gose's case, 12 of his 20 AB have come with RISP which is an astonishing percentage for the position that he hits from. Hitting in front of the likes of Ian Kinsler, Miguel Cabrera, and Victor Martinez provide ample fantasy stats in several categories such as runs, steals and a high BA to boot. The 7:0 K/BB ratio is a little worrisome for Gose in the early going. But that seems to be the only flaw in his game so don't be too alarmed yet. He has only attempted 2 steals in the first few games but that pace should quicken should the occasion call for it. The Tigers have scored 39 runs in 5 games and although this pace seems unlikely to continue, Gose being atop the Detroit lineup on most days should provide ample appeal to those looking for that early edge.

Cameron Maybin (OF, ATL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: After re-loading the outfield, the Padres helped out Cameron Maybin's fantasy value by shipping him off to Atlanta in the deal that netted AJ Preller and Co. star closer Craig Kimbrel. Maybin came up with the Tigers in 2007 as a potential five-tool player, but didn't get a chance to play everyday until 2011 as a member of the Padres, and never quite broke out the way many expected him to. That said, with a change of scenery, perhaps he can revitalize his career with the Braves. In 2011, his best full season in the majors, a 24-year-old Maybin smacked nine homers and swiped 40 bases while posting a decent .264/.323/.393 slash line. If he can be as aggressive as he was then (47.5% swing percentage, compared to 43.% in 2014), he should be able to put the ball in play more, and consequently get on base more. Given the lack of talent on the Braves' roster, Maybin should get a legitimate shot at everyday at-bats. He will not be a reliable option in most leagues, but for owners in deep NL-Only leagues looking for some speed help, he could potentially be a useful pickup.

Clay Buchholz (SP, BOS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues OWED IN: 42% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: It has never been a question whether or not Clay Buchholz has the talent to be one of the top pitchers in all of baseball. He still might not quite be there, but he should be owned in all fantasy leagues because of his talent and his first start. He absolutely destroyed the Phillies, with a 9:1 K:BB ratio and only 3 hits allowed over 7 dominant innings pitched. He had zero earned runs and over half his batted ball outs were on the ground.  This is reason enough to pick up Buchholz, but we'll delve into things a bit further. Two seasons seem to stick out above all the rest for Buchholz's career. Those two seasons were 2010 (17-7 2.33 ERA) and 2013 (12-1 1.74 ERA). The rest of his career is an abyss of inconsistency in which he went a combined 38-36 with a 4.33 ERA. Things hit a wall for Buchholz as he endured a horrendous 2014 campaign with his highest ERA of his career at 5.34 and his highest WHIP for a full season at 1.39. On the flipside he sported his highest K total in one season with 132 and his lowest BB/9 rating with a 2.9 ratio. Something positive to build on right? Clay Buchholz has demonstrated in the past that he has a filthy array of pitches he uses to get batters out. Using both a 2-seam and 4-seam fastball along with a cut fastball, straight cutter and a changeup, Buchholz challenges the hitter to recognize a wide set of pitches. Having confidence as a pitcher is about as important as anything else that goes on in and around the game. Buchholz had lost that last year with the team struggling for most of the 2014 season. Boston is hoping that the future is now as they start young players such as Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts. They already had an impressive lineup to begin with and the pitching will be counted on to perform at a high level. Getting that confidence back, knowing that the run support will be there, should make life easier for Buchholz and the entire Boston pitching staff Boston is going to be competitive this year and Buchholz is primed to have a bounceback campaign. High K totals, low BB totals with a strong offense behind him makes picking up Buchholz one of the easiest choices you will make in the early stages of your fantasy baseball season.  

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

2 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Bishop - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ team leagues OWNED IN: 17% of Fleaflicker leagues ANALYSIS: Semien was a trendy sleeper last season after posting a .284/.401/.489 line with 19 HR and 24 SB across two levels in 2013. He began the year as the White Sox starting second baseman, but struggled and was demoted in May. When he returned after rosters expanded in September, he posted an .818 OPS. The A's acquired him over the winter in the Jeff Samardzija trade and have handed him the job at shortstop. He's not eligible there yet, but will be by week's end in Yahoo leagues and by month's end in ESPN leagues. Semien showed excellent plate discipline throughout his minor league career and posted a respectable 8.2% walk rate as a rookie. ZiPS projects improvement across the board and a 16/12 season, albeit with a .237 batting average. Assuming you can weather that BA hit, the HR/SB category juice is pretty enticing for a middle infielder. He's widely available across all platforms; the highest ownership level was 25% over on Yahoo. At the very least, positional flexibility makes him worth a bench stash.  

Joakim Soria (RP, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: The Mechanic - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues Immediately OWNED IN: 13% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Joakim Soria is now the closer in Detroit. Run to your league's waiver wire and pick him up immediately. In standard 5x5 leagues that preciously value saves, Soria is worth a pretty penny of your FAAB budget. Joe Nathan was placed on the DL with a flexor strain in his pitching elbow. There is no prognosis for Nathan as of yet, but elbow injuries frequently turn out to be quite serious, so Soria will be shutting the door on the 9th inning for the Tigers for the foreseeable future. You can see our full MLB closers & saves depth charts updated here. In 44.1 IP last year, his first back from Tommy John Surgery, the Mexecutioner, as his mother and friends were known to call him, had a dominant 9.7/1.2 K/BB ratio. Soria throws a five pitch mix which is a deep repertoire for a closer. His fastball, cutter, slider and curve were all above average pitches, so it's evident Soria has the goods to take the job and run with it in Detroit. It woudn't shock us in the slightest to see Soria rack up 20-30 saves in 2015. Pick him up now if you need help in saves or even as a bargaining chip to tuck away for later in the year.

Chris Owings (SS, ARI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep NL-Only Leagues ANALYSIS: The Diamondbacks gave the starting shortstop job to rookie Nick Ahmed, but Chris Owings seems to have locked down second base. As a result, Aaron Hill has been placed on the trade block. Owings has become a reliable hitter, and has the potential for decent power for a middle infielder. In 2013, his last full season in the minors, Owings posted a .330/.359/.482 slash line with 12 HR and 20 SB. He must work on his plate discipline, but overall, if he can maintain everyday AB, the 23-year-old Owings can be a legitimate fantasy option going forward. Still, until he proves that he can consistently produce at the major league level, Owings is nothing more than an NL-Only middle infield option.

Angel Pagan (OF, SF) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Max Petrie - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Target for 10+ Team Leagues ; FAAB Bid: $8 ESPN: 11.6% Owned ; Yahoo: 16% Owned; Fleaflicker: 15% Owned ANALYSIS: The season is underway and it’s time to start scouring the waiver wire for the goodies owners left on the table on draft day. Enter Exhibit A: Angel Pagan. Pagan is an excellent multi-category player.... when healthy. Owners were justified to pass on Pagan considering he hadn’t eclipsed 100 games in either of the past two seasons, but now that the season has started he won't cost you anything. Bruce Bochy has decided to slot Pagan third vs RHP, meaning he’s an early beneficiary of batting ahead of Buster Posey. More ABs = more opportunities for fantasy production. The team has stated they will monitor Pagan closely to limit potential injuries, but he’s a solid multi-category producer when in there. If you used a draft pick on an injured star such as Hunter Pence or Jayson Werth, go grab Pagan and ride him till the wheels fall off.  

Mike Zunino (C, SEA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Ross Williamson - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in all Standard/Deep Leagues/ AL-Only Leagues OWNED IN: 46% Owned in Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: In only his third major league season with the Seattle Mariners, Mike Zunino is starting to come alive as a full fledged contributor to a playoff contender. He showed promising power numbers in 2014, launching 22 HR and collecting 60 RBI. However his BA dipped below the Mendoza Line and he finished with a .199 BA. He even bottomed out with his discipline at the plate having an atrocious 9:1 K/BB ratio. This would show all the signs of a classic bust right? Spring stats often have no bearing on a player's success going into that following seaso, but Zunino's numbers in 2015 might prove to many within the organization that his development is ready to turn the corner. This spring he sported a .352 BA with 7 HR and 14 RBI with a 2:1 K/BB ratio. At only 24 years old, Zunino has a lot of time to refine himself as an all-around catcher defensively but his offense has to be ready to explode for the Mariners sooner rather than later. After being part of the team that barely missed the playoffs in 2014, Zunino has the opportunity to be a missing link with his improved plate discipline. Zunino will have plenty of chances to produce even though he hits 7th in a loaded Mariners lineup. That means with a hot start in April he could see himself move out of the bottom third of the lineup and into a prime position for more HR, RBI and higher SLG % while slowly improving his BA and OBP. For those fantasy owners searching for a replacement for a catcher on the DL such as Matt Wieters, adding Zunino is a no-brainer. Go pick him up now. For those looking for more upside than say a catcher like Miguel Montero or Kurt Suzuki, the same rules apply. Catcher is not a deep position---go strike while the iron is hot and give Zunino a shot.

Nick Markakis (OF, ATL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Greg Rollins - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper / 5 Outfielder Leagues OWNED IN: 33% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Nick Markakis, 31, right fielder, is coming off his worst season in his nine-year career with the Baltimore Orioles. His RBI totals dramatically tailed off over the last three seasons, as well as his extra base totals. Still, Markakis is someone you can claim through waivers to help fill out your fantasy roster. Over nine seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, he had a .290 BA, a ton of hits each season and always found a way to get on base. Now he’s coming home to where he grew up and is expected to be a key piece in the Atlanta Braves lineup after signing a four-year $44-million deal in the offseason. Markakis was cleared to start opening day despite having neck fusion surgery that cost him to miss most of spring training.  After dumping so many players in the offseason, Markakis is expected to hit third in a depleted lineup. Luckily for him, Freddie Freeman will be batting fourth, protecting him, which means Markakis could get plenty of pitches to hit. My Projection: 500 AB, .280 AVG, 14 HR, 60 RBI, 80 R, 10 SB.

Chris Hatcher (RP, LAD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Jake Bogardus - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in All 12+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 5% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Don't pay for saves... ever! Fantasy baseball experts around the world yell this every season and for good reason. Saves are volatile, closers are unpredictable, and managers for whatever reason don't like to give fantasy owners much insight on who they plan to use in the 9th inning. Well, after Opening Day that information is much tougher to hide and one thing that we found out Monday is that the Dodgers look like they will be using Chris Hatcher to finish games while Kenley Jansen is on the DL with a foot injury. You can see our full MLB closers & saves depth charts updated here. Oftentimes, when it comes to closers, opportunity is more important than talent. Opportunity is exactly what Hatcher has right now in LA. Jansen is likely down for the month, the Dodgers are potentially one of the best teams in baseball, and Hatcher is getting the nod from manager Don Mattingly in the ninth inning. Hatcher will lose the job as soon as Jansen is healthy, but who cares. A month worth of save opportunities on one of baseball's best teams is plenty valuable. Hatcher will also provide a high K rate along the way, and his 2.56 FIP from last season indicates he is no slouch. If you missed out on closers in your draft or if you were relying on Jansen, jump on Hatcher before someone else does and ride the save wave for the month. My projection for this month: 12 G, 12 IP, 9 SV, 2.50 ERA, 13 K.

CJ Cron (1B, LAA) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Jake Bogardus - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only Leagues OWNED In: 9% of Fleaflicker Leagues; 12% of Yahoo! Leagues Analysis: Cron, 25 years old, has one tool that stands out. His power is for real and he can hit the ball out of any ballpark. Unfortunately for Cron, and Cron owners, hitting for power is really his only tool. Luckily, Josh Hamilton's early season injury and an undefined Angels lineup is going to allow Cron to show what he can do at the plate early in the season. Cron hit 11 HR in just 242 AB last season and that HR/AB pace (which ranked above guys like Albert Pujols and Adam Jones in 2014) should continue and potentially improve. He's a 20+ HR candidate if he stays a full time player, but his inability to draw a walk (sub .300 OBP last season) and his poor speed on the base paths is going to limit his playing time. The low OBP limits his upside for run scoring and with him hitting 7th in the Opening Day lineup, his RBI upside is also limited despite his power potential. His Steamer projection sees a slight increase in AB for Cron, up to 331, resulting in a .248 AVG with 12 HR and 43 RBI. Cron is a one trick pony, and even though that power can be enticing, there just doesn't seem to be the playing time or the across the board production to justify rostering Cron in anything but the deepest leagues. My Projection: 300 AB, .262 AVG, 12 HR, 38 RBI, 30 R, 1 SB

Norichika Aoki (OF, SF) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Alex Brock - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ team leagues. OWNED IN: 5.4% of ESPN leagues; 12% of Yahoo leagues; 34% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Nori Aoki was perpetually the guy hanging around the top of the waiver wire as a member of the Kansas City Royals in 2014. Occasionally, he would find a home on someone's roster and just as quickly wind up back in the free agent pool. Aoki is a streaky hitter. He started strong last year with a .299 AVG and 14 runs in the month of April. He finished stronger in the month of September, batting .379 with eight extra-base hits and 10 RBI. For the most part, the months between were much less pretty. After three years of American baseball, Aoki is a consistent .287 career hitter who is a valuable bat in any MLB lineup. Yet, aside from a fairly enticing average and a handful of stolen bases, Aoki doesn't have that wow factor that entices fantasy owners. Aoki has been an above-replacement player since entering the league with an average WAR of 2.5 and he tends to exhibit spurts of real productivity. It's an added boost that he will bat first for the San Francisco Giants in 2015. But the lineup behind him is a deflated version of the World Series winner from last year, meaning he might not reap the benefits of your typical leadoff man. Don't buy in on Nori too early. Keep an eye on the signs, watch his PR15 (player rating in previous 15 games) and pick him up when you feel that patented streak coming on.  

Drew Pomeranz (SP, OAK) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Jake Bogardus - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL Only Leagues. OWNED IN: 2.6% of ESPN leagues; 30% of yahoo leagues; 28% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Drew Pomeranz found a new home last season in the spacious Oakland Coliseum and his success soared as a result. Pomeranz has the pedigree of a major league ace. He was drafted 5th overall in the 2010 MLB draft and peaked as a top-30 prospect in the Baseball America rankings before the 2012 season. The peripheral numbers didn't change much from a batted ball perspective, as he gave up approximately the same percentage of ground balls, fly balls, and line drives. However, Pomeranz was able to better his control from past seasons and he certainly benefited from pitching in a bigger ballpark. Pomeranz spent his first three seasons in the big leagues with the Colorado Rockies in Coors Field, the #1 HR hitting ballpark in the Major League. He's since moved to Oakland, a bottom five park for HR, where his HR/FB% has seen a dip of three percentage points. Fly balls that were once leaving the yard in Coors are now being caught by outfielders in the Coliseum. Pomeranz isn't likely to repeat last year's sub-3 ERA, but his 3.77 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) marks an attainable full season ERA and if he can stay healthy (an issue in the past), Pomeranz should get the opportunity to start more than 25 times this season. Pomeranz generally doesn't pitch deep into games, limiting his wins upside on a lackluster Oakland team. On the flip side, he should continue to produce 8+ K/9 making him valuable on a per-inning basis. Pomeranz should be added in AL Only Leagues for the upside alone, and can be streamed or closely monitored in deep mixed leagues. If he can start getting into the seventh inning of games, he will become a much more valuable commodity. My Projection: 27 GS, 160 IP,  10 W, 3.95 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 150 K  

Jeurys Familia (RP, NYM) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add for Saves in All Leagues OWNED IN: 5% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Mets closer Jenrry Mejia had to stop throwing today (Monday, 4/6) while warming up due to elbow tenderness. Uh oh. While nothing is certain yet, apparently he experienced elbow soreness before the game -- and then while warming up before the 9th inning, he had to exit and return to the dugout. Jeurys Familia was dominant in the 8th inning, and some believe he has the best stuff in the Mets bullpen as is. He wasn't available to pitch the 9th again, so the Mets used a combination of Jerry Blevins and Buddy Carlyle. If Mejia was to miss anytime, Familia would take over as the closer. You can see our full MLB closers & saves depth charts updated here. While no further news is available yet, those who need saves and are looking to speculate on a closer can grab Familia off the waiver wire and see how this plays out. More news to come shortly. Update 4/7: Mejia has been sent to the DL with elbow inflammation, and Bobby Parnell is still on the DL. Familia should be added in all leagues that count saves, as there's no telling how long Mejia will be out for right now.

Carl Crawford (OF, LAD) - Waiver Wire Pickups

2 weeks ago

Published by: Jake Bogardus - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in 10+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 61% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Since 2010, there have been 22 instances of a player hitting .300 while swiping at least 23 bags on the base paths; Carl Crawford accomplished this feat last season in just 343 AB. Crawford also added a solid 8 HR, 46 RBI, and 56 R. Prorated to a 500 AB season Crawford's line from his 2014 campaign would look like a .300 AVG with 12 HR, 67 RBI, 82 R, 34 SB. To put it in perspective, only Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Kemp, Mike Trout, and Crawford himself (in 2010) have reached those thresholds in a single season this decade. Crawford is a career .292 hitter and his BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) was only slightly above his career average last season (.335 vs .328) so expect the average to stay in the .290-.300 range. Crawford is projected by many to hit 2nd in a loaded Dodgers lineup, which should be a good position for him to rack up plenty of runs and stolen bases as he tries to set the table for the heart of the lineup. The Dodgers had Crawford attempt 29 steals last season, and with stolen base specialist Dee Gordon traded to Miami in the offseason Crawford may be asked to run even more this year. At this point in Crawford's career, injuries are always something to worry about, but assuming Crawford stays healthy, a 500 AB season as mentioned above isn't out of the question. He won't produce at the same pace as last season, but if he gets the at-bats, he is going to rack up some very valuable numbers. If he's still available on your league's waiver wire, go ahead a pick him up. My Projection: 440 AB, .295 AVG, 10 HR, 55 RBI, 70 R, 25 SB.

Asdrubal Cabrera (2B/SS, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Harris Yudin - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in AL-Only or Deep Mixed Leagues OWNED IN: 40% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Asdrubal Cabrera is not going to be the Asdrubal Cabrera we saw put up 25 and 17 in 2011, but that doesn't mean he can't help your fantasy team. Now a member of the Rays, Cabrera will have 76 games against AL East pitchers, a group that holds just one guy-- fellow Ray Alex Cobb-- who posted a sub-3.30 ERA in 2014. If Spring Training is any indication, Cabrera will get a chance to bat third, likely between rookie Steven Souza and slugger Evan Longoria, giving Cabrera ample RBI and run-scoring opportunities. He managed to hit .294/.371/.478 with 10 HR and 53 RBI in 347 when batting in the three hole over the last three seasons. At just 29 years old, Cabrera could be poised for a bounce-back season in his new home. He should be owned in every AL-Only league, every 12-team mixed league, or any 10-team mixed league that has a MI roster spot.

Alex Guerrero (2B/3B/OF, LAD) - 2015 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

3 weeks ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Waiver Wire Stash In 14+ Team Leagues OWNED IN: 4% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Alex Guerrero is simply not spoken about enough as a fantasy baseball commodity considering he is a 28 year polished hitter with an international signing bonus given only to superstar caliber players. Why is it that a potential middle infield/corner infield/outfield eligible* stud who can hit .329 with 15 bombs and 49 RBI, to go along with a .613 slugging percentage and .979 OPS, not getting regular major league at bats? Well RotoBallers, the reason is that his defense at third base is not quite yet up to the standards that a contending club wants to put up with, and that's where he's projected to end up given the recent trade for 2B Howie Kendrick. (* check your league for his exact eligibility) While it's hard to believe that a creaky and old Juan Uribe is holding down the hot corner in sunny southern California, for now at least this is the harsh and petty reality we must deal with. That being said, it's only a matter of one little injury tweak or a bad 10-14 day offensive slump before the young, studly, and overpaid Alex Guerrero starts having a big league and fantasy league impact. Target this polished young man on your waiver wires and definitely keep him on your watch list because we see a bright future for this very skilled professional hitter much sooner than you think in 2015.

Jason Grilli (RP, ATL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Real Talk Raph - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately In All Leagues OWNED IN: 8% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: It's official, the Braves will be issuing ticket price rebates to their fans after their latest attempt to field a AAA team in the NL East in 2015. What are we referring to you ask? Only the breaking news that Craig Kimbrel has been traded to the San Diego Padres in a blockbuster trade made on the eve of the 2015 MLB season opener. Forget about the rest of the trade details because we now have to deal with Jason Grilli being the speculative new closer for the Atlanta Braves. Since they did not receive a closer back in the deal, we assume that the pecking order from within their current bullpen will go something as follows: Jason Grilli, Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan. You can see our full MLB closers & saves depth charts updated here. This spring, Grilli has looked much like the old man closer Joe Nathan was post Tommy John surgery in 2011 (his first year with the Rangers). The former Pirates closer has the experience and has the spring training peripherals to give his team a chance at ninth inning success, posting a 2.25 ERA and 0.75 WHIP to go along with 11 strikeouts in 8 innings pitched. Net, net, bottom line, we can't guarantee anything, but we have our money on the Jason Grilli horse before the start of this particular race on the eve of the 2015 fantasy baseball season. Jim Johnson was putrid last year, and it would be a big surprise to see the Braves turn to him as their new closer. If Grilli is available on your waiver wire, immediately add him or put in a modest bid with your FAAB.  

Kyle Hendricks (SP, CHC) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Andrew Cohen - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Draft Target in Late Rounds / Waiver Wire Pickup in All Leagues OWNED IN: 23% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Kyle Hendricks will slot into the Cubs fourth starter spot this year after last season's fantastic rookie performance, finishing 7-2 with a 2.46 ERA and 47:15 K:BB ratio in 80 innings. The 25-year-old shouldn't be counted on to strikeout many batters, but he should still be an asset in most other pitching categories making him a great value at his current ADP of 281. Hendricks was never a top prospect in the Cubs system, often getting overlooked because he doesn't throw hard and is more of a control type pitcher. What can't be overlooked is his 2.79 ERA and 1.11 WHIP across 268 innings between Double-A and Triple-A the last two years. It may be difficult for Hendricks to replicate last season's numbers across a full big league season, but his minor league track record suggests he should be in line for a successful sophomore campaign in 2015. If you are willing to sacrifice some strikeout potential, Hendricks is one of the best starting pitchers to target late in drafts. And for those who have already drafted, he is still only 23% owned and should be grabbed off the waiver wire.

Jesse Hahn (SP, OAK) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: Silent Investor - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Draft Target in Later Rounds / Waiver Wire Pickup in All Leagues OWNED IN: 36% of Yahoo Leagues ANALYSIS: Projections for Jesse Hahn are all over the place, and some fantasy leagues are leaving him undrafted altogether. Hahn was traded from the Padres to the Athletics this off-season; normally leaving the friendly confines of San Diego is a big downgrade, but landing in Oakland's pitcher friendly ballpark isn’t the worst spot to be, particularly when you’re getting away from the powerhouse Dodger lineup in the NL West. Last season, Hahn sported a 10.4 K/9 and 2.91 xFIP over the first 40.2 innings of his season. Unfortunately things unraveled in the second half, where he ended up with a 4.44 xFIP and decreased K rate over his final 32.2 innings. Hahn is the exact type of pitcher that you should take a late flier on. If he pitched all season like he did in the first half, he’d be a top 100 pick. But because he didn’t, you have an opportunity to take a chance on him late at a discounted price. Hahn is just 25 years old and skipped AAA last year. Was his second half a product of over-throwing early, or were hitters picking up his stuff easier once there was some more videotape to study? There’s no way to tell until he takes this mound in 2015 (or if I knew the answer, I’d be making a lot more money). Take a low risk/high reward gamble on Hahn this year, and either snag him later in your drafts or add him off the waiver wire. He's still only 36% owned, so Hahn is widely available for the plucking.

Josh Harrison (2B/3B/OF, PIT) - 2015 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

3 weeks ago

Published by: Dillon Borgida - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Draft Target Mid Rounds in All Leagues ANALYSIS: Josh Harrison came out of nowhere in 2014 to set career highs in every single major offensive category and finished second in the National League in batting average at .315. With a full season under his belt, I expect year two as a regular starter to be even better for Harrison owners. Harrison brings an aggressive approach at the plate and on the base paths. He finished with 18 stolen bases but only 22 walks on the season. In 2015, I would hope to see more discipline at the plate so that he can utilize his speed on the base paths even more. If he stays with the ultra aggressive batting approach, the good news for his owners is that he makes contact at a high rate. While he swings at a high 39.2% of pitches outside of the strike zone, he makes contact on those pitches an impressive 71.7% of the time. That’s about 6% higher than the league average. He can get on base in a variety of ways, finishing 2014 with 7 triples, 38 doubles, and 17 infield hits. All in all, I am definitely targeting Harrison in the middle rounds of my drafts as I plan on following his breakout second year as a full time starter.

Alex Rodriguez (3B/1B/DH, NYY) - 2015 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

3 weeks ago

Published by: Kyle Banas - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Draft Target in Late Rounds / Waiver Wire Pickup OWNED IN: 59% of Yahoo Leagues ANALYSIS: While folks everywhere were stoked about Lebron’s return to Cleveland, few were talking about the return of one of the greatest hitters of our era. Fresh off reinstatement due to his PED suspension, Alex Rodriguez is ready to take pitchers deep once again. Regardless of what we think of him, the numbers show that A-Rod is one of the greatest hitters of all time. And though it’s unrealistic to attach enormous expectations to him at 39 years old, he can still be valuable enough for a spot on your roster. Through 19 spring training games, A-Rod hit for a solid .267 average, .377 on base percentage, .489 slugging percentage, with three HR. He’s quietly putting together a very useful spring training, yet is only owned in 59% of leagues. It still remains a question of how his body will hold up following a year away from the game, but his numbers are no joke. If you have an empty spot near the end of your draft, why not take a shot on someone who's been a proven fantasy producer in the past, and will be batting in a run producing spot for the Yankees? Otherwise, monitor his first few games of the season, as he could be worth an early waiver wire pickup.

Edward Mujica (RP, BOS) - 2015 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

3 weeks ago

Published by: Uncle Leo - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Draft Target in Late Rounds / Immediate Waiver Wire Add ANALYSIS: With the recent news that Koji Uehara is still nursing an injury, Edward Mujica will start the year as the fill-in closer for the Red Sox. He may wind up being in that role longer than some would expect, if Uehara can't get over his injury quickly. Let's not forget that Mujica filled in for an injured Uehara last year at the end of the season. The Rex Sox have a strong lineup, and are expected to win a lot of game this year. If Mujica can convert his save opportunities (he nailed down six last year), he has the ability to return sneaky big value in the later rounds of your fantasy drafts, or off the waiver wire. He should be able to rack up saves as long as Uehara is out, and cheap saves are always a great way to dominate your leagues. Currently he is being drafted as the 59th overall relief pitcher on average, so you should be able to get a great return on your draft investment. If your league already drafted, go grab Mujica off the waiver wire if he's still available.

Odubel Herrera (2B/SS/OF, PHI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: George Bissell - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / Draft Target Late OWNED IN: 4% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The Rule 5 pick is slated to open the season as the Phillies everyday center fielder and bat second in their lineup. He’s had a whirlwind offseason, winning the MVP of the Venezuelan Winter League, to now starting in Philadelphia. Herrera has the speed necessary to steal bases, just don’t expect a ton right out of the gate. More importantly, he’s a pretty good hitter for a guy with almost no power. He’s batted .328 with a homer and six stolen bases this spring. With regular playing time, Herrera has the talent to provide a rough facsimile (fewer steals though) of what Dee Gordon did last season in Los Angeles. He’s a must own in deeper leagues, and an intriguing add off the waiver wire if you're hurting at middle infield, as he is both 2B and SS eligible depending on your league provider.  

Michael Pineda (SP, NYY) - 2015 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

3 weeks ago

Published by: Joe Gallina - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Target ~205 Overall ANALYSIS: In between his suspension for the “pine tar incident” and a long DL stint, Michael Pineda did show flashes of brilliance last season. His first-strike and swinging-strike percentages were well above average. Not only did Pineda do a good job of getting ahead of batters, but once batters were behind in the count, they had a tough time getting their bat on the ball. Pineda also had an extremely low 5.4 HR/FB rate last season. The fact that the velocity on his fastball was a couple MPH lower last season compared to what it was in 2011 is a bit concerning, but his pinpoint control made him a very effective pitcher down the stretch in 2014. Yes, Pineda is injury prone and hasn’t thrown more than 84 innings in a season, but given his 2014 performance, he can be a very valuable pick in the 19th or 20th round.

Michael Taylor (OF, WAS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: George Bissell - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / Draft Target Late OWNED IN: 43% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: With veteran Denard Span sidelined for the first month of the season, Taylor will get a chance to show if last season's impressive Double-A campaign, in which he slashed .313/.396/.539 with 22 home runs and 34 stolen bases, carries over into the majors. If Taylor gets hot in April (like he has this spring), he has a chance to remain in the big leagues for the entire season, but if he struggles like he did in late seasons call-up, in which he batted .205, he could be sent down for some additional seasoning in Triple-A. He’s a must-own in deeper formats and an intriguing prospect fantasy owners should be keeping an eye on. Even if he doesn’t hit for a high average, very few prospects in baseball come close to matching his power/speed tools.

Micah Johnson (2B, CWS) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: George Bissell - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / Draft Target Late OWNED IN: 7% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: One of the hottest prospects in baseball, Micah Johnson’s sterling spring training has him positioned to open the season as the White Sox starting second baseman. His .455 batting average was trailing only Mike Trout’s .486 mark as of a few days ago (Trout's not human so it’s okay), and he still sits at a very respectable .339 average over 59 ABs. The blazing speed (84 stolen bases across three levels in 2013) is real, but questions still remain about Johnson’s abilities as a hitter. He also had trouble staying healthy, missing a chunk of time with a hamstring injury last season. The potential for monster stolen base totals is there, but it’s hard not to overlook the risks associated with his overall profile. Considering that it costs virtually nothing to acquire him, and he plays at a thin 2B position, Johnson is a worthy gamble for fantasy owners who crave the fast and the furious types. Especially for owners in deeper leagues, or those who play with a middle infield slot, grab Johnson off the waiver wire or target him in the later rounds of your drafts.

Caleb Joseph (C, BAL) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: George Bissell - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper 2 Catcher Leagues / Draft Target Late OWNED IN: 2% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: The O’s fascinating ability to turn replacement-level waiver wire flotsam into key contributors is unparalleled. In the wake of Matt Wieters setback with his elbow, coming off Tommy John surgery, Joseph could be ticketed for a solid amount of time behind the plate this season in Baltimore. At the very least, he'll be playing often while Wieters is out to start the year. The 29 year old is as good as it gets defensively behind the dish and slugged nine home runs in 275 plate appearance late last season. He’s never going to be an asset in batting average, but most second catchers aren’t. Everyday playing time combined with raw power could make Joseph a steal in leagues that require more than one backstop. If you play in two catcher formats or deeper leagues, and he's still available, grab him off the waiver wire.

Jean Segura (SS, MIL) - 2015 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

3 weeks ago

Published by: Scott McCloy - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Target ~160 Overall ANALYSIS: Jean Segura had a down year in 2014, but he was injured and had gone through a terrible family tragedy. He just never got going like he had in 2013, but that is partially due to a .276 BABIP, down from .326 in 2013. The result was almost 50 fewer hits, and for somebody who rarely walks, he needs to hit his way on so he can steal bases. I expect his BABIP to find a middle ground between his numbers from the last two years, and consequently, his batting average should regain some of the 50 points it lost in 2014. Note that he will likely not lead off, due in part to a fairly weak career OBP of .311, but he can still provide very nice value.

Devon Travis (2B, TOR) - Waiver Wire Pickups

3 weeks ago

Published by: George Bissell - RotoBaller

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues / Draft Target Late OWNED IN: 8% of Fleaflicker Leagues ANALYSIS: Acquired from Detroit in exchange for Anthony Gose this offseason, Travis arrived north of the border as one of the best contact hitters in the minor leagues, hot off the heels of a stellar campaign in which he batted .298/.358/.460 with 10 home runs and 16 steals in 441 plate appearances in Double-A. The Ryan Goins era is likely over in Toronto, with the 24-year-old Travis reportedly the front-runner to man the keystone for the Blue Jays out of spring training. What makes Travis so appealing in deeper formats is that he isn’t going to be a batting average liability and is going to be a factor in one of the best lineups in the game. Fantasy owners looking to upgrade their middle infield spots should be all over Travis in the late rounds or off the waiver wire.

 

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