RotoBaller writer Chris Lacey highlights a handful of players on most of your waiver wires to keep track of. You can find many of these players and recommendations, along with many more, in our Daily Updated Waiver Wire Pickups List.
STANDARD MIXED-LEAGUE VIABLE PICKUPS
Brandon Belt - Belt is finally hitting up to the level of his former top-prospect status, as the Giants envisioned he would. He has a .276/.352/.836 triple-slash with 15 HR and 50 RBI on the season. The young first baseman has 46 extra-base hits and 106 hits overall, making him a points-league dynamo. Over his last 20 games, he is hitting .329 with a 1.085 OPS that includes 11 RBI and 25 hits. He is hitting .270 with runners in scoring position and has 36 RBI-- it's time for Belt to be nearly universally owned.
Will Venable - Venable is flashing more of his intriguing power/speed combo for the Padres this season, with a .263 average, 39 extra-base hits and 14 stolen bases against just four caught-stealing. Over his last 21 games, he has a .352/.387/1.046 triple-slash with five HR and nine RBI, so he can definitely be an impact player for your playoff run.
Rafael Betancourt - Betancourt is a solid reliever for the Rockies, despite earning his second blown save of the season in Philadelphia on Wednesday night. He has saved 16 games on the season with a 3.54 ERA in 28 innings pitched. The right-handed reliever has struck out 27 batters-- just a hair under 1.0 K/IP-- while walking 11 batters. It seems the closer job is his once again, and owners need not worry about Rex Brothers looming just yet, at least until there's another blown save or two,
Sonny Gray - Gray is starting off his career in spectacular fashion with a 1.44 ERA in 25 innings pitched. He has displayed great control by striking out 27 batters and only walking seven batters. To this point, he has shut down the Astros and Mariners-- by no means powerhouse offenses-- but the way he's done it, with dominant strikeout numbers and great control, bodes very well for his future. He allowed just six hits over his 15 innings pitched in those games, and he is holding right-handed batters to a .128 batting average. He should no longer be on the waiver wire in many leagues, so if he's available, go ahead and invest with confidence.
Alex Wood - Wood is having a good season for Atlanta with a 2.61 ERA and 51.2 innings pitched. He has only allowed one home run while striking out 57 batters, good for an elite 9.9 K/9. He has a WHIP of 1.02 and is limiting teams to a .215 batting average. Over the last 29.2 innings he has struck out 31 batters while only giving up 23 hits. What's more, Wood has allowed three or more earned runs just twice in his last seven starts, while going six innings or more in five of those contests. There are some question marks about innings with the return of Brandon Beachy, but Wood should be skipped no more than once or twice the rest of the way.
Jedd Gyorko - Gyorko is having a solid rookie campaign with 21 doubles and 14 HR on the season to go along with 37 RBI in 342 at-bats. The knock on him is plate discipline-- he needs to develop some patience, as evidenced by his 85 strikeouts against just 22 walks. Over his last 11 games, Gyorko is hitting .289 with a .949 OPS. Deep leaguers in need of middle infield help can do much worse than the San Diego youngster.
Khris Davis - Davis just may be the solution for the Braun-less Brewers. He’s hitting .299 with a 1.010 OPS with six HR and 13 RBI in 67 at-bats. Over his last 12 games, he has 16 hits with 12 RBI and a .327/.393/1.087 triple-slash. Davis has a .308 average in 39 at-bats against right-handed pitching.
Chris Archer - Archer is pitching well with a 2.95 ERA and six wins on the season. He has struck out 62 batters, while walking 30. He is limiting teams to a .214 average, with right-handers just managing a .153 average against him. He has struggled in his last 12 innings with an ERA of 4.50 and giving up three HR, but news is that with the return of Matt Moore to the rotation, Roberto Hernandez will move to the bullpen, so Archer's rotation spot seems secure. He can be a valuable contributor at the back end of a playoff rotation with the right matchups-- look for right-handed heavy lineups and you will do well with Archer.
Darin Ruf - Ruf is a dependable outfielder with a .262 batting average, eight HR and 13 RBI. He has also hit seven doubles since his call up, and over his last 24 games, he has a .247 average and a .864 OPS with 41 total bases. He should be started exclusively against right-handers, as he's paradoxically hit .313 against RHP while struggling to to a .147 average against lefties. Considering those splits, it may make more sense to look for a more consistent option, but if you play in a deep daily-lineup league, Ruf can be helpful with the right matchups.
Scott Feldman - Feldman is nice addition to the Orioles rotation with a 3.94 ERA in 139.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 14 home runs on the season with a 1.18 WHIP. With the news that the Orioles may go to a six-man rotation in September, Feldman's value falls off a bit, though.
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