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>> Read even MORE of RotoBaller's original 2013 fantasy baseball articles and analysis Fantasy Analysis

>> Read even MORE of RotoBaller's original fantasy baseball advice articles released recently Waiver Wire & Daily Leagues


Streaming Wars: Waiver Wire Targets for May 29

Welcome to Streaming Wars, your one-stop resource for streaming the waiver wire. Use this column to improve upon your neediest categories. Below are your pitcher and hitter streaming targets for Monday, May 29th. Let's get to it.  


  1. Joseph Plays Hero
  2. Today's Weather and Updates
  3. Tomorrow's Picks

1. Joseph Plays Hero

Tommy Joseph is just 21 percent owned in Yahoo leagues. If you choose to ignore his first seven games, he's slashing .280/.341/.536 (.303 BABIP) in 138 plate appearances. He has eight home runs and has recently taken over as the cleanup hitter. On Thursday, Joseph hit a game tying home run before popping a walkoff single in the 11th. On Saturday, Joseph homered in the fourth then walked it off with a single in the ninth. First basemen have broken out all over the league. Joseph's terrible first week has hidden otherwise solid production. It's time to go snag him.

2. Today's Weather and Updates

Cleveland, Chicago, and Pittsburgh are storm risks today. New York (NL) is the only venue at risk tomorrow according to today's forecast.  

3. Tomorrow's Picks - Monday, May 29th

Everybody is playing tomorrow. So much for Meager Mondays. David Price is back!   Pitchers to Use Brad Peacock's return to the rotation last week was a rousing success. He notched eight strikeouts in 4.1 innings while allowing just one hit and a pair of walk. Peacock has thrived this season by making frequent use of his plus slider. A .205 BABIP certainly helps. However, it should be noted that Peacock actually made this change last season. He posted a .190 BABIP in 31.2 innings. We're getting to the point when we might want to view him as somebody who induces soft contact. Peacock has struggled to stay healthy over his career, and a move back to the rotation probably won't help. He may not make it five innings versus the Twins. Daniel Norris struggled early in the season due to a high walk rate. He's trimmed the free passes of late, allowing exactly two walks in each of his last four starts. While he still has other facets of his game to polish, Norris should be start-able versus a weakling Royals offense. Other Targets: Jordan Montgomery, Erasmo Ramirez   Pitchers to Exploit Despite two solid starts, Sam Gaviglio would be an exploit at any venue. Since he's visiting Coors Field, he's in for a disaster. He's opposed by Tyler Chatwood. The Rockies are already owned in your league. Go target Mariners. While I have some faith that Robert Gsellman will solve his woes, it could require a lot of trial and error. The main trick is to figure out how to get his interacting together. The issue isn't in his release point which is tightly clustered and identical to last season. Instead, his two fastballs have performed terribly. Frankly, I'm baffled. Other Targets: Randell Delgado, Trevor Williams, Matt Garza, Robert Gsellman, Jarred Cosart, Jason Hammel, Lisalverto Bonilla, Jeremy Hellickson, Edinson Volquez, Julio Teheran, Ricky Nolasco   Homers on the Wire Ahem, Tommy Joseph. Speaking of breakout first basemen, Justin Smoak is still slightly under 50 percent owned. He continues to make more contact on pitches in the strike zone. Now he has Josh Donaldson back to help provide run production. Trey Mancini doesn't appears to be a platoon hitter. However, he's always in the lineup whenever a lefty is on the bump. Montgomery is quite talented, but he does make a few costly mistakes per start. Mancini could jump on one. He hasn't homered since May 8. Other Targets: Luis Valbuena, Steven Souza, Tim Beckham, Tommy Joseph, Derek Dietrich, Hunter Renfroe, Ryan Schimpf, Jed Lowrie, John Jaso, Josh Harrison, Josh Bell, Max Kepler, Josh Reddick,   Steals on the Wire Adam Frazier's ownership has spiked due to a sudden power surge at SunTrust Park. He bats leadoff the Pirates. Frazier is a terrible base thief, but he's very enthusiastic about trying. He's a high average bat in the mold of DJ LeMahieu. Visiting Coors Field, you'll find Jarrod Dyson and Taylor Motter. Ben Gamel has a touch of speed too. While we think of Coors Field as a power park, the spacious outfield also massively increases the rate of singles. That helps speedsters like Dyson to reach base and take another. Other Targets: Michael Taylor, Jose Reyes   Skill Positions Jett Bandy, assuming he starts, has the best matchup of the freely available catchers. He like pitchers with bad sinkers like Gsellman.  

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Two-Start Pitcher Streamers (Week 9): Head-to-Head Leagues

As a new week is upon us, it's time to get rid of that bench bat or middle reliever you have hanging around. Instead, maximize your roster slots with some pitchers who have two starts this week and are probably still available in your league. Here are the top two-start pitchers to stream for Week 9 of the fantasy baseball season. This can be especially helpful for head-to-head (H2H) leagues, where every start can be that much more valuable. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @TroyKlauder. As always, I will be selecting starting pitchers who are owned in 50% or less of ESPN leagues.  

Under the Radar Two-Start SP Streamers - Week 9

Vince Velasquez, Philadelphia Phillies – owned in 26.8% of ESPN leagues Projected starts: @MIA, vs. SF Coming off of an outstanding start against the Rockies, Phillies starter Vince Velasquez is Week 9's top two-start streamer. In his last outing, Velasquez struck out seven over five innings and only allowed one earned run, while walking just one. This was a huge step in the right direction for the 24-year-old, who has massive potential but has struggled this season. Velasquez offers big strikeout numbers, with a 24.3% K rate, which is a result of his dominant fastball and nasty curveball. VV looks to keep his momentum as he faces the Marlins, a weak lineup that is just 24th in wOBA against right-handers at .305. He will be in Miami's great pitcher's park for that start, as well, so he shouldn't be giving up many long balls. His next start is against the anemic Giants offense, which is dead last in wOBA versus righties at .279. These are two incredibly easy matchups for a very talented pitcher in Velasquez, who should have himself a great week.   Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians – owned in 20.7% of ESPN leagues Projected starts: vs. OAK, @KC Trevor Bauer has pretty much been the American League equivalent of Vince Velasquez this year, and like Velasquez, Bauer has a nice two-start week ahead of him as well. Bauer has an even more impressive 27.3% K rate, and his 3.42 xFIP suggests that he's been super unlucky, so his 6.30 ERA should be on its way down. His first matchup is against the Athletics, who are a middle-of-the-pack team with their .324 wOBA against righties. However, the A's strike out a ton against righties, at 23.3%, putting them at fourth-most in baseball. Bauer can put up some insane strikeout numbers against them, then gets the Royals, whose .294 wOBA against righties ranks them at 28th. A big strikeout game combined with an easy opponent makes Bauer a valuable pickup in Week 9.   Randall Delgado, Arizona Diamondbacks – owned in 0.7% of ESPN leagues Projected starts: @PIT, @MIA Diamondbacks pitcher Randall Delgado made his first start of the year last week against the White Sox, throwing an impressive four-inning game that inspired enough confidence for the DBacks to keep him in the rotation for the time being. While mostly working out of the bullpen, Delgado has posted a solid 3.82 ERA that's supported by his 3.96 FIP and 3.65 xFIP. After his first start, he should be fully stretched out as a starter and ready to go six or seven innings, which he should be able to do with his cushy matchups this week. The Pirates have a .301 wOBA against right-handers while the Marlins are at .305. These teams are 25th and 24th, respectively, and most importantly, Delgado will be on the road for both of these starts, away from the dangerous hitter's park in Arizona. He's got two favorable matchups in two easy ballparks, and he's almost certainly available in your league, so grab Delgado.   Erasmo Ramirez, Tampa Bay Rays – owned in 5.3% of ESPN leagues Projected starts: @TEX, @SEA Once again, we have a reliever-turned-starter making two-starts in Week 9, this time with Erasmo Ramirez. Ramirez has made two starts this season, allowing only four runs, and has a pristine 3.00 ERA in his 36 innings on the season. Erasmo won't blow anybody away with strikeouts, but he's able to limit baserunners with his minuscule 4.4% BB%, resulting in a fantastic 0.89 WHIP. He gets two average lineups in Week 9, with the Rangers and Mariners. They are 15th and 16th, respectively, in wOBA against righties, with nearly identical marks of .323 and .322. Ramirez is a great play for some strong innings to help out your ratios and add on to your counting stats, which could help lead you to a Week 9 victory.   Lisalverto Bonilla, Cincinnati Reds – owned in 0.3% of ESPN leagues Projected starts: @TOR, vs. ATL Reds starter Lisalverto Bonilla is not a viable option in the majority of leagues, but he does carry enough value to warrant a pickup in super deep formats and NL-only leagues in Week 9. Bonilla is a pretty mediocre pitcher, but he does get two matchups that make him worth checking out this week. He faces the Blue Jays, who have a .307 wOBA against righties, putting them at 22nd in the league. The Braves are a bit tougher, but still nothing scary, at .320, ranking them at 17th. If you're desperate for some innings in a deep league, you can do worse than Bonilla.  

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Week 9 Waiver Wire: Deep Points Leagues

Points leagues are a different beast compared to rotisserie leagues, as you are looking for someone who can fill the whole stat sheet, and when you can find some of those guys on the wire, they are golden. Here are a few guys who can contribute in deep points leagues, one at each position to consider for the next week. These are your deep points leagues waiver wire pickups for Week 9. Let's get to it. Note: All ownership percentages are courtesy of Yahoo! Fantasy Sports.  

Points League Deep Waiver Wire Adds - Week 9

C- Wilson Ramos, Tampa Bay Rays- 14% owned Wilson Ramos was nearing the end of a breakout season in Washington before going down in September with a torn ACL. Before the injury he set career highs with 22 home runs and 80 RBI while slashing .307/.354/.496. In the offseason he signed with the Rays, and will be beginning a rehab assignment with them next week. He has been coming along quicker than expected, having already done some work behind the plate. He will also be getting some batting sessions in in the coming days. Due to the amount of time missed he will likely need several rehab games, but when he returns he is capable of putting up solid numbers from the catcher position. If you can afford to, stash him now.   1B- Lucas Duda, New York Mets- 7% owned Lucas Duda returned to the Mets on May 12 after missing nearly a month with a hyperextended left elbow. Since his return he has hit .275/.442/.475, with a walk rate higher than his strikeout rate 21.2% vs. 19.2%). The power took a bit to return, but Duda has been red hot over the past four games. He has multiple hits in three of four games with four extra-base hits (one HR), seven RBI, and four runs scored. He still doesn’t start against lefties, so keep that in mind if you’re looking to fit him into your lineups. Now that he’s back and hitting well, he’s worth an add if you need some cheap power.   2B- Jed Lowrie, Oakland Athletics- 15% owned Jed Lowrie has been on a tear for the A’s over the past week, and for the majority of the season for that matter. On the season he is hitting .310/.376/.500 with six HR and 29 runs scored consistently hitting near the top of the order. Currently he is riding a seven-game hitting streak, slashing .552/.567/.931 with seven XBH, seven runs scored, and seven RBI. Lowrie won’t provide you with any speed and little power, but if you need a middle infield option that can boost your average and run totals Lowrie is the perfect option. Ride him while he’s scorching hot at the plate.   3B- Wilmer Flores, New York Mets- 4% owned Ever since Wilmer Flores returned to the Mets lineup on May 3, he has spent the majority of the time at third base though has made appearances at second and first base also. He has been hot at the plate, hitting .375/.407/.518 since his return with one HR and 11 RBI. His strikeout rate is down to 11.6% this season, and though he’s walking less he is making more contact in and out of the zone this season resulting in his hot start to the season. His positional flexibility makes him an attractive add as it is, but it becomes all that much better while he’s hot at the plate.   SS- Andrelton Simmons, Los Angeles Angels- 10% owned Andrelton Simmons is doing things at the plate this season that we haven’t seen since his breakout sophomore campaign. On the season he is hitting .278/.335/.390 with four HR and four steals. The four HR match his total in 2015 and 2016. His walk and strikeout rates are trending in the right direction this season, and his BABIP of .294 isn’t much higher than his career average. Over the past two weeks Simmons has been especially hot, slashing .386/.410/.561 with a HR, six RBI, and two steals. He is hitting the ball harder than ever before this season, showing these results may be more than just a hot streak for Simmons. He could be in the running for a 15 HR, 15 steal season if he keeps up his improved approach at the plate.   OF- Kevin Kiermaier, Tampa Bay Rays- 17% owned Kevin Kiermaier was on a lot of sleeper lists to begin the season, but fell flat coming out of the gate. He hit only .220/.304/.300 in April with one HR and three RBI. The disappointing start caused his ownership to plummet, though you should get back on the train now before it really gets going. Over the past two weeks he has picked things up, hitting .333/.393/.569 with three HR, eight RBI, and three steals. He was a 20-20 candidate heading into the season, and while that HR total may be out of reach a 15-30 season is still extremely useful in fantasy.   SP- Dinelson Lamet, San Diego Padres- 4% owned Dinelson Lamet made his major league debut for the Padres on Thursday, lasting five innings allowing one run on three hits with two walks and eight strikeouts. He threw 61 of his 91 pitches for strikes, mixing in a fastball, slider, and a changeup. In eight Triple-A starts before his debut he held a 3.23 ERA with an 11.54 K/9 and a 4.62 BB/9. He has consistently held a K/9 over 10 in the minors, though walks have been an issue for him. If you are in a deeper points league he is worth a pickup to see if he can continue the successes of his first start. If not, cut him loose and shoot for the next rising prospect.   RP- Brad Peacock, Houston Astros- 17% owned Brad Peacock has been a reliever for most of the season, but got his chance to start with Dallas Keuchel on the disabled list. Though his outing lasted only 4 1/3 innings as the Astros didn’t want to push him too far, he allowed only one hit with two walks and struck out eight. With Joe Musgrove and Mike Fiers struggling mightily this year, he may push management to give him a shot as a starter long term. For now he will likely shit back to the bullpen with Keuchel returning. Even in a bullpen role, he can be one of those pieces that provides some holds and great ratios.  

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Buy or Sell - Underowned and Overowned Players for Week 9

Rookies are always tricky to evaluate because they can look great one week and then completely fall apart the next. With some big name call-ups sticking around, what can we make of their initial success? More importantly, we need to figure out if these players are best used as keepers or trade bait. Scouting players who may be undervalued and re-assessing players who may be overvalued is a weekly exercise that you should pursue. Fortunately, I have you covered. Here are a few players who are good buy or sell candidates based on their current performance compared to ownership levels. This could mean scooping them off waivers if possible or actively seeking a trade to acquire or discard certain players in order to maximize value. I will include one player at each key position group (Infield, Outfield, Pitcher). Ownership levels are taken from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports.  

Underrated Players - Week 9

Ian Happ (2B/OF, CHC) - 42% owned Happ was thought to only stick around for a couple of days while the Cubs sorted out injuries in their infield, but low and behold he's still here. He owns a slash line of .268/.375/.561 with two home runs and five RBI in 41 at-bats. The 33.3% K% is a bit concerning, but his minor league averages are a full 10 points lower so the strikeouts should reduce with time and experience. He has shown a good eye by walking 14.6% of the time. Happ is in a great situation to drive in and score runs in the Chicago lineup, but the most encouraging thing is that he's been batting fourth or fifth nearly every game. We're not talking about a rookie who is filling a void in the eighth spot for a team lacking better options. Happ has a legit opportunity to stick in the most favorable of positions for fantasy opportunity. He needs to be owned in the majority of mixed leagues by now. Gregory Polanco (OF, PIT) - 80% owned Giving up on a young, budding star two months into the season isn't a wise thing to do. I've seen people selling low and even dropping Polanco in competitive leagues out of sheer frustration. It's downright shocking to think that someone who was a consensus top-20 outfielder worth a fifth or sixth round pick this year isn't even owned in 1/5 of leagues right now. Polanco came off the 10-day DL in the minimum allotted time and then smacked a home run in his first game back on Friday. He's not a 40-HR talent, nor is he necessarily a 20/20 guy, but if he stays healthy the rest of the way, you should be looking at 20+ homers, 80+ RBI and double-digit steals easily. If someone in your league is willing to part ways cheaply, then strike now before he starts heating up. Jose Berrios (SP, MIN) - 80% owned How can a player who was the hottest waiver add of the last two weeks be underrated? Berrios went from a virtually non-existent ownership level (outside of a few deep keeper leagues) to being owned in as many leagues as Gregory Polanco. Three wins in three games and 22 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings will do that. Berrios was a hot name last year around this time too, but it didn't go over nearly as well with an atrocious 8.04 ERA and 5.4 BB/9 over 14 starts. This time it looks like he's figured things out and last year's line in the majors is a major outlier in his profile, as he traditionally walks less than the league average. This might be a good time to swing a deal for Berrios because he gave up three homers in his last start against Baltimore. Other owners might think to sell high before he invariably implodes, but that doesn't seem likely to happen.  

Overrated Players - Week 9

Trevor Story (SS, COL) - 91% owned This might come back to bite me, as it did last preseason when I predicted Trevor Story would be a spring training wonder only... Story came off the DL and homered in his second game back on Thursday, which was a huge relief for his disgruntled owners. The buy-low window on Story is closed now that he's back on the field, but in my opinion he isn't worth buying at all. We know he's going to strike out a ton (32.2% K% with Colorado) but we're perfectly fine with that if he's mashing 30 home runs. The problem is that he's still hitting .190 on the year and must prove he can get up to speed with his averages to compete with the likes of Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, or Corey Seager. If I'm looking for an elite SS that I'd have to pay a pretty penny for in a money league, I'll take any of those three first. Jose Bautista (OF, TOR) - 93% owned Are we finally seeing the return of Joey Bats? Bautista went deep again on Saturday, giving him nine on the season. He's approaching the top-10 HR rank among outfielders, but his average still sits at .237. Bautista may have a good run coming, but when it's all said and done he will probably still finish with disappointing totals. We can't ignore the fact that his strikeout rate has risen the last three season, up to 24.9% this year. If anything, he's actually bound for a dip in his .284 BABIP that's 17 points higher than his career mark, so the AVG could get worse. Finally, his 31.5% hard contact rate is also down, which is never a good sign for a slugger. If you already own him, you probably won't get enough return on value to flip him unless there's still someone out there that believes he will return to the glory days at age 36. Masahiro Tanaka (SP, NYY) - 94% owned I'm giving up. Tanaka should have been one of the safest, most predictable SP picks in 2017 drafts. Some reputable baseball analysts in the national media even made him their preseason Cy Young pick. It took one Opening Day start to squash those dreams, as he lasted just 2 2/3 innings, allowing two home runs against the not-so-vaunted Tampa Bay lineup. It simply hasn't gotten better ever since then. Other than a complete game gem against the Red Sox, Tanaka has been getting pounded. Just in the last two weeks, he gave up six runs to Houston and then eight to his new nemesis Tampa. A 3.87 SIERA suggests Tanaka is pitching far better than his ratios look and his plate discipline stats don't look much different than the last couple of years. The problem that won't go away is the long ball. Tanaka has given up 13 HR this season and he plays in one of the most hitter-friendly parks, just three-hundredths of a point behind Chase Field in ballpark factor for home runs. For a pitcher who doesn't strike out a ton of batters, there may not be enough upside to chase if he is going to keep walking hitters at a higher rate and letting the ball leave the yard. Don't give up on him completely if you already own him, but don't go chasing him in the trade market either.  

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Hitter Streamers (Week 9): Head-to-Head Leagues

Welcome back, RotoBallers! As a reminder, in this piece we're looking for weekly streamers, which means players who are 50% owned or less in Yahoo! leagues and who have seven games in the week. This week the options are aplenty. These players could be hitters worth starting and streaming in Week 9 of the fantasy baseball season. With that said, let’s dive into the stream(ers).  

Bats to Stream and Start in Week 9

David Peralta (OF, ARZ) - 45% owned Peralta was third in last week’s rankings, but this week he ascends to the top slot. Why? Because he faces oh so juicy pitching matchups. And not only is he facing less than stellar pitching, but he gets to face six or seven righty starters. The Diamondbacks have the top wOBA versus righty pitchers in baseball, so Peralta should get a lot of opportunities to produce. And that he will do: he has a .313 career average versus righties with a homer every 29 at bats. Mix in the speed and great lineup, and you have yourself a true five category performer this week. Lucas Duda (1B, NYM) - 7% owned Duda does not hit for average and won’t steal you bases, but he should provide power and run production this week. The Mets face seven righty starters, and Duda is a career .253 hitter with a homer every 18.4 at bats versus righties. The pitching matchups are favorable beyond the mere handedness, which should lead to good run production opportunities. Finally healthy, for now at least, the widely available Duda is a nice option this week. Justin Bour (1B, MIA) - 46% owned Unlike Duda, there is a good chance that Bour isn’t available in your league. And that's for good reason. Bour hit 23 homers in just 129 games in 2015, and he has followed that up with 27 homers in the 135 games since. He has also hit a stomachable .265 over that time frame. If he’s available, it’s only due to his slow start, as he’s hitting a robust .342 with eight homers in May. He is behind Duda due to the pitching matchups, but he should still be streamed with confidence. Max Kepler (OF, MIN) - 27% owned The Twins face seven righty starters this week, and relatively favorable matchups at that. Kepler has 389 career at bats versus righties, in which he has hit .262 with 20 homers and eight steals. Moreover, he has a .270/5/22/21/3 line on the year as a whole. Put the 24 year-old in your lineup with confidence. Devon Travis (2B, TOR) - 40% owned Travis’s young career has been riddled with injuries. However, when he’s healthy, he has one of the most impressive spray charts in baseball. In 204 career games, he has a .289/22/109/100/11 line. When he’s fully healthy, he’s even better than that. This month, he is hitting .351 with a ridiculous 14 doubles. He also has posted two homers and two steals. With Donaldson and Tulowitzki returning to boost the lineup, Travis is a great option this week and beyond. Byron Buxton (OF, MIN) - 26% owned Buxton, baseball’s former number one prospect, has broken a lot of fantasy hearts. However, he’s only 23 years old, so there’s plenty of time for his game to come around. In 549 career at bats, he has 14 homers and 18 steals. The problem has been the strikeouts (34.4%), which have led to a poor batting average (.213). This week, I’m gambling on the favorable pitching matchups leading to a combination of speed and power, with enough contact to post a respectable average. Neil Walker (2B, NYM) - 23% owned In the past, Neil Walker facing seven righties would have put him at the top of the list. However, he has learned how to hit lefties, and his splits have almost reversed themselves. I’m banking on that being partially due to learning how to hit lefties, and partially due to sample size. Nevertheless, the Mets face good pitching lineups this week. Moreover, Walker has a good track record of a serviceable batting average with decent power. In the past two seasons, the power has increased, although this is likely due to an unsustainable HR/FB ratio. Nevertheless, a hitter who always hovers around .270 and who has 27 homers, 90 runs and 89 RBIs in his last 157 games makes for a good streaming option this week.  

Also worth monitoring

Didi Gregorius (SS, NYY) – Didi broke out last year, going .276/20/68/70/7. After an injury suffered during the WBC, he has a .330/3/13/17/3 line in 24 games to start the year. He’d be higher up if he faced better pitching matchups. Domingo Santana (OF, MIL) – A regular on these lists, Santana has a .262/6/23/22/4 line on the year but faces some tough pitchers this week (Kershaw, deGrom). Brandon Drury (2B, 3B, OF, ARZ) – Drury faces at least six righties this week, and has a .284/13/59/55/1 line against them in 489 at bats. Justin Smoak (1B, TOR) – Smoak has trimmed his K-rate to 19%, leading to a .277/10/24/29 line to start the year. Asdrubal Cabrera (SS, NYM) – Cabrera just returned from the DL, so monitor his health. But he hit .280 with 23 homers and five steals last year, and is hitting .254 with three of each this year. He faces plus pitching matchups. Jose Reyes (SS/3B, MIL) – Reyes is hitting .208 due to a BABIP 81 points below his career rate. That will rebound. He has three homers and five steals to start the year, a good track record, and should provide good production this week against favorable matchups. Jed Lowrie (2B, OAK) – Lowrie is a dart throw if the others are taken. I included him as someone who is widely available.  

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Underrated May Bats: The Hit & Run with Joe Pisiapia

In this "Hit and Run" video, industry veteran Joe Pisapia (@JoePisapia17) takes a look at three bats having great months that are underappreciated and may be available in your fantasy league via trade or Waiver Wire. Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel Sirius 210, XM 87) - every Saturday and Sunday between 5-8 PM EST. You can find new weekly podcasts on BlogTalkRadio live or on demand, SoundCloud and on iTunes under RotoBaller Radio podcasts.  

Underappreciated May Bats

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