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Erasmo Ramirez (SP, TB) - Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLER MOVE: Stream in Deep Mixed and AL-Only Leagues

Ownership: 10% of Yahoo! Leagues

ANALYSIS: Erasmo Ramirez’s 4.96 ERA and 1.22 WHIP aren’t great. However, he has vastly improved since being put back in the Rays' rotation. In his six starts over the last 30 days, he has gone 5-1 with a 2.97 ERA. That certainly justifies him being owned in more than just 10% of Yahoo fantasy leagues. Ramirez had a breakout 2012 campaign, and while he has failed to equal that performance since, he has shown improvements in recent years. His 7.52 K/9 is the best of his career, and his 3.08 BB/9 has improved from last season’s 4.06. What I find most encouraging about Ramirez is his swinging strike rate of 13.3%, which is up from a 10.9% last season, and even from his career high 11.3% in 2012.

Color me surprised that I am writing about how you should start a pitcher against the Nationals. The once high-powered Washington offense has struggled in June, with their .660 OPS this month being 24th in MLB, whereas their .781 OPS in May was the fourth best in the league. He is also opposing Gio Gonzalez, whose 4.66 ERA over the past 40 days should be good for the Rays' offense, which happens to own left-handers. The Indians, who are 12-18 this season at home, have also found trouble in June. They have a .113 ISO, the fourth worst in the AL, while their 99 wRC+ this month is a far cry from their 122 in May.

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