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First Base / Third Base Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds: Week 7


Hunting for values on the waiver wire is one of the most fun, and most challenging, parts of any fantasy season. This can be especially true at the infield corners, an area where the stars are readily scooped up and finding a low cost alternative can be often difficult.

Here at RotoBaller, we're always looking for ways to help our readers succeed in all aspects of the game.

With that in mind, each week I'll be bringing you my recommendations for which waiver wire 1st and 3rd basemen should be on your radar as you peruse the waiver wire. Let's get started.

 

Top 1st Base Pickup

Brandon Belt (1B, SF)

ESPN: 25.9% owned; Yahoo: 52% owned

We're at the point where we need to start talking about Brandon Belt. Many fantasy owners were turned off by his putrid numbers in March and April in which Belt only hit .235 with no power. Don't let these figures distract you from what he's done since May 1st, however. Since then Belt has been fantastic, hitting .368 with two home runs, eight RBI, and 11 Runs scored. What should excite you most of all is that his power is finally beginning to show up. Those two home runs he's hit so far have both come within the last week and for a hitter as prone to hot and cold spells as Belt, very well might be the sign of more to come.

There are caveats to these numbers of course. Belt's BABIP is absurdly high right now and eventually that number is going to come down. When it does his batting average will start to look much more pedestrian. This may not matter as much for short term players who're looking to plug Belt into their lineups while his bat is hot. The Giants have one of the best schedules in baseball over the next two weeks, featuring appearances at Coors Field and Miller Park, venues which should certainly maximize Belt. Against those pitching staffs, he's about as close to a must play as you'll find on the waiver wire right now.

 

Other 1B Notables

Ryan Howard (1B, PHI)

ESPN: 17.9% owned; 14% owned

There's no denying the hit you'll take in batting average by rostering Ryan Howard. His short term power upside might just be high enough to justify that risk, however. For all his faults, Howard is up to seven home runs on the season, proving that there's still some pop left in his swing. No matter what you think about the strength of the Phillies' lineup, there's value to a player who can hit the long ball while batting cleanup. The Phillies play against the Rockies seven times over the next two weeks. Four of these games will be played at Coors Field against a pitching staff which has allowed the fifth most runs in baseball so far this season. There are times when taking a calculated risk is worth it. Especially in a deep league, this might be one of those times.

 

Top 3rd Base Pickup

Yunel Escobar (3B/SS, WAS)

ESPN: 41.8% owned; Yahoo: 25% owned

Yunel Escobar has been an absolute shot in the arm for the Nationals so far this season. He's hitting .328 from the number two hole in a lineup that's scored the 4th most runs in baseball. Recently he's been even more impressive. Escobar is hitting .355 during the month of May and has already scored 12 runs and driven in eight more thanks to the strength of his supporting cast. He owns the fifth highest Run scored total of all active 3rd baseman so far this season. He has the highest batting average and the fifth highest OBP. Coming off a week in which he hit .400, now's a great time to buy low on this red hot hitter and ride him as long as the streak lasts.

 

Other 3B Notables

Freddy Galvis (3B/SS, PHI)

ESPN: 18.3% owned; Yahoo: 17% owned

Rockies fans are going to get mad at me at this rate, but the Coors Field effect is hard to ignore. Galvis might not qualify at 3rd base in all formats, but Yahoo owners are going to want to give this player a long hard look this week. Galvis is hitting .347 on the season and .333 during the month of May. Most encouraging of all is his .413 on base percentage, a figure which should translate into a healthy Run scored total for the Phillies number two hitter for as long as he's able to maintain it. Along with Howard, Galvis will be making his way to Coors Field next week, which is about as close to heaven as you can get for a locked in hitter. If I'm high on Howard right now, it's almost a given that I love the upside of the runner he'll be most likely trying to drive in.

The biggest drawback to Galvis is that he doesn't offer much in terms of power, but if he keeps stealing bases here and there you might be able to forgive this flaw. He makes a lot of sense for an owner looking to plug a gap in 3rd or SS left by an injured star (I see you over there Jose Reyes). Galvis is also a great find for someone just trying to make inroads in batting average or Runs scored. If you fall in either category, give him a look. He's almost certainly available and based on what he's done up to this point, he really shouldn't be.

 

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