Into the Deep: Waiver Wire Sleepers for Week 5
Interesting options available in the Deep League Waiver Wire Pickups this week. With the injury bug taking its toll throughout the MLB, look hard at these five players before making a move. All ownership %'s from Yahoo!
Robbie Ross (SP, TEX) - 13% Owned
Ross has made the conversion from reliever to starter and in the process been a pleasant surprise for the Rangers. In his last start, Texas finally extended him past the 100 pitch threshold, which might explain why he has only gone past the seventh once this year. However, he has been solid and consistent with surrendering more than two earned runs in only one of his five starts. Ross might not be a power pitcher, but with 26K in 29 innings he will keep a fantasy owner satisfied.
Recommendation: With all of the recent injuries befalling starting pitchers, I would pick him up for the back end of a staff in 14 team leagues.
Scooter Gennett (2B, MIL) - 9% Owned
As of now, Gennett is nothing to get too excited about fantasy wise. However, he is one to keep an eye on for sure. Mostly because he is part of a solid offense and with a decent April Scooter has positioned himself into the 2nd spot in the lineup. Hitting ahead of Braun and Ramirez will boost his run scoring ability. His .300 average may not be a fluke considering that he hit .324 in over 200 at bats last year. I also think 20-25 stolen bases are a possibility, especially with the 3-4 hitters seeing a lot of off-speed pitches.
Recommendation: Wait and see approach, but a Gennet is has some nice upside with more consistent ABs.
John Niese (SP, NYM) - 13% Owned
Owned in 13% of Yahoo Leagues
Consistency has been Niese’s best attribute early on in the 2014 season. With a Whip of 1.13, Niese has been competitive in all five of his starts. The strikeouts are fairly low and not expected to be a strength, but you can expect quality starts. In his last two starts against top NL opponents (St. Louis/ Atlanta), he has gone 12.2 innings yielding only 10 hits and 2 runs. Early on, Mets pitchers have gotten used to pitching in tight games because of an anemic supporting offense. With the ballpark holding down power hitters, New York’s home games will probably continue to lean in the pitchers favor at least until the weather warms up.
Recommendation: If healthy, Niese represents a solid choice for a backend SP in very very deep leagues and NL only leagues.
James Loney (1B, LAD) - 18% Owned
Player A: 10 runs / 7 RBI/.295
Player B: 10 runs / 15 RBI / .306
Player C: 14 runs / 10 RBI / .287
As you can see by the mystery comparison, not much of a difference between these players in three important statistical categories. Loney has always had a tough time earning respect because he is light on power. Fantasy owners are scared away from first baseman that provides minimal homerun damage. The Rays have benefited from Loney’s steady bat and they seem to like him in the middle of the lineup, and your fantasy team can benefit from him too if you don't need power from your 1B. By the way, Player A = Eric Hosmer, Player B = Loney and Player C = Joey Votto.
Recommendation: Great bench depth, pick him up if you are in need of an extra hitter who excels in BA.
Omar Infante (2B, KC) - 20% Owned
Infante is not going to win you a league title with gaudy stats. That said he is off to an excellent start in 2014. I am not going to become repetitive with the comparisons, but suffice it to say a .280 BA with 17 RBI is solid output for second baseman. The Royals coveted Infante in the offseason and see him as a key piece to their playoff push. That trust has placed him the two hole just in front of the Hosmer, Butler, and Gordon combo. It feels like Kansas City is just warming up meaning Infante could be the benefactor.
Recommendation: Grab him now in deep leagues, he will be popular pick up after his 6 RBI outburst on Sunday.