Alex Avila (C/1B, DET) - Waiver Wire Pickups

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OWNED IN: 43% of Yahoo Leagues

ANALYSIS: Detroit Tigers first baseman/catcher Alex Avila has garnered even more fantasy value with his increase in playing time with James McCann out. Avila has excelled at the catcher position with a .910 OPS over the last 14 days and has a 1.029 OPS this season, including seven home runs in 99 at-bats. He only has a .114 batting average over the last seven days, striking out nine times, but does have a home run and two walks. Avila is a complete non-factor against left-handed pitchers, hitting 1-for-10 in LvL matchups, but has 15 extra-base hits in 92 at-bats against right-handed pitchers. He is also 21-for-47 at home this season, making him a nearly must-play for games at Comerica Field, where he has a .552 OBP.

Five matchups at home make Avila a nice pitckup for the week and the drop in K% from 37% to 31% is good as well. He is walking at a 18% clip, which is similar to the previous two seasons, but his .313 batting average would be the highest of his career and second time with a batting average over .275 (.295 in 2011). It is wise to pick up Avila now,  since JD Martinez has been boosting the whole Detroit lineup, making Avila a strong option at catcher.

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