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Digging Deeper: Week 8 NL Waiver Wire Targets


Welcome back to our Week 8 edition of Digging Deeper, our weekly column where we will focus on deep league waiver wire options. My counterpart Tom Bellucco will be handling the American League while I focus on the National League.

For those that have played in limited size leagues, you are well aware that at-bats and innings are the precious commodities. You are not going to find a top-100 player on the wire at any point this season. In fact, top-150 is a stretch. And as the year goes on, the options are going to get uglier and uglier.

Players in shallow standard formats who are here because they love fantasy baseball (thanks for reading!) will find some of these players apprehensive. But at the end of the day at-bats and innings are key, and that's where our attention will be.

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Digging Deeper: Week 8 Pickups - NL

As we creep upon Memorial Day, teams will begin to pivot on pitchers performing poorly (say that three times fast) and look within their system or the free agent market for replacements. That, plus impeding trade season, will open some innings for you to invest in.

Joe Ross (SP, WAS) - 42% owned in Y! Leagues

Ross burned investors (including myself) with his rough start to 2017, but we're ready to let bygones be bygones after Tuesday's performance. In his first start since April 30, Ross pitched eight innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts and no walks versus the Mariners. It was a much-needed performance to solidify his place in the rotation. Ross still needs to develop a third pitch to complement his sinker/slider combo, but the Nationals lineup will give Ross room for error. He's a must-add in deep leagues and NL formats.

Jarred Cosart (SP, SD) - 1% owned in Y! Leagues

The Padres are trying their luck with another Jarred (no offense, Jered Weaver) in the rotation and it's worked out so far. In his first start Cosart limited the Brewers to one run over five innings in a no-decision. He struck out three and walked one. Cosart was, to be frank, bad in 2016. He had a 38/39 K/BB in 57 innings to go along with a 6.00 ERA. He did impress the Padres in his only outing at Triple-A, striking out four in four innings. Cosart is a below-average pitcher, but he does see two starts in Week 9. Feel free to add if you're in need of innings.

Dinelson Lamet (SP, SD) - 0% owned in Y! Leagues

Nothing better than fresh blood. Lamet, 24, is making his MLB debut on Thursday in New York after impressing at Triple-A. He is the No. 10 Padres prospect according to MLB.com and looks the part of a starting pitcher. Listed at 6'4 and 187, he is closer to 200 and has an easy delivery with a fastball around 95 mph.

Notice the impressive strikeout numbers. In 39 innings he had a 50/20 K/BB before the call-up and should be given every opportunity to succeed in a rebuilding season for San Diego. He's worth an add in deeper and NL-leagues.

Gregor Blanco (OF, ARI) - 10% owned in Y! Leagues

The Diamondbacks season hasn't gone as planned. Shelby Miller is out for the year, AJ Pollock is hurt, and Zack Greinke is good again. With Pollock's injury and the looming possibility of a trade, there is an opening in the Diamondbacks outfield. The two current candidates are Blanco and Raymond Fuentes, who alternated hitting leadoff on Monday and Tuesday. Blanco was 2-for-4 with two singles. Blanco is a career .258 hitter and any fantasy upside has been his speed, but if he gets to leadoff in Arizona there's value here. Ahead of David Peralta, Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb, he should see plenty of run-scoring opportunities. If you need help in a 5OF format, give Blanco or Fuentes a chance.

Eric Sogard (2B/3B, MIL) - 3% owned in Y! Leagues

Week 7's 'insane line that will not be repeated' belongs to Sogard, who went bananas for the Brew Crew. Sogard hit .500 (11-for-22) with 11 runs, two home runs, seven RBI, and two steals. If you had the foresight to roster Sogard in weekly formats, you have a job at Rotoballer. Going forward we know he won't repeat that, but Sogard did earn playing time for a Brewers time likely to rebuild come July. Jonathan Villar is a likely candidate to be moved, creating further playing time for Sogard. He's an add if you need at-bats, just temper expectations.

Rio Ruiz (3B, ATL) - 0% owned in Y! Leagues

Ruiz tends to get lost among the plethora of Braves prospects, but he deserves your attention. He has taken Adonis Garcia's (Achilles) spot at third base, but Garcia is expected back this weekend. However, word from Atlanta is Emilio Bonafacio or Danny Santana is on the chopping block, not Ruiz (who can also play first base). Ruiz is slashing .250/.400/.500 in 22 plate appearances including a home run versus reigning Cy Young winner Max Scherzer. Look for Ruiz to see playing time 2-3 games per week, which is enough to be useful in deeper and NL-Only formats.

 

Previously Discussed Players

Tim Adleman (SP, CIN)

Aaron Altherr (OF, PHI)

Christian Arroyo (SS/3B, SFG)

Jacob Barnes (RP, MIL)

Cody Bellinger (1B/OF, LAD)

Joaquin Benoit (RP, PHI)

Ty Blach (SP, SFG)

Archie Bradley (SP/RP, ARI)

Jorge De La Rosa (SP/RP, ARI)

Wilmer Flores (1B/2B/3B, NYM)

Adam Frazier (2B/3B/SS/OF, PIT)

Amir Garrett (SP, CIN)

Zack Godley (SP, ARI)

Austin Hedges (C, SD)

Gorkys Hernandez (OF, SFG)

Kike Hernandez (SS/OF, LAD)

John Jaso (1B/OF, PIT)

Corey Kneubel (RP, MIL)

Michael Lorenzen (SP/RP, CIN)

Jose Martinez (1B/OF , STL)

Tommy Pham (OF, STL)

Felipe Rivero (RP, PIT)

Miguel Rojas (2B/SS, MIA)

Antonio Senzatela (SP, COL)

Cory Spangenberg (2B/3B/OF, SD)

Ross Stripling (SP, LAD)

Michael Taylor (OF, WAS)

Alex Wood (SP, LA)

 

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