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Points Leagues Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 24


Welcome to the RotoBaller waiver wire column that skews towards points league. Yes, there is positive correlation to standard 5x5 scoring but in our format, specific categories matter less and the accumulation of total stats is the ultimate objective.

After a multi-week hiatus exploring the amazing-but-baseball-free country of Kenya, your author is back and ready to tackle (props to NFL Week 1!) the home stretch of fantasy baseball. By now, the data for 2019 is plentiful; we know what we know. For the remaining weeks left, we’ll try to stay brief and prep our managers to a strong finish.

Our points league waiver wire column will default to standard scoring and try to unearth three players under at least 50% ownership and three players under 25% ownership. For each group, we’ll identify an infielder, outfielder and pitcher. Let’s get hunting!

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Points League Pickups to Consider

Starlin Castro (2B/3B, MIA)

41% Owned

We touted Starlin Castro way back in Week 1 as a serviceable rotational infielder and he’s exceeded expectations. The still-just 29-year-old is slashing a steady .273/.299/.421 with 17 bombs and 128 runs-plus-RBI. Yes, the lack of walks is disturbing, but he’s lowered the strikeouts from 19% to 17%. Despite living in anonymity in Miami, Castro has a shot to set career highs in homers (21) and RBI (78). Over the past two weeks, he’s been a top-15 player, crushing six long balls with a .388 average.

 

Albert Pujols (1B, LAA)

11% Owned

Albert Pujols is on pace for his best season since 2016, currently sitting on 21 homers and 132 R+RBI in only 112 games. Although he’s 10 years removed from the glory years, tio Albert still has his excellent plate awareness with a 0.63 BB/K. Pujols has 10 knocks in his last 27 (.370) with five extra-base hits and makes for a viable flyer in deeper and AL-only formats. Take a ride down memory lane!

 

Corey Dickerson (OF, PHI)

40% Owned

Since returning in June, Corey Dickerson has quietly enjoyed a solid comeback. In just 72 games, he’s nearly matched his totals across 135 games in 2018 with nine homers and 51 RBI. He also has 28 doubles+triples and carries a sturdy .888 OPS. After upgrading offenses from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, Dickerson has 26 RBI in 28 games. Recently slotted at leadoff, Dickerson should ride the tailwinds of a strong offense firmly in playoff contention.

 

Jake Cave (OF, MIN)

6% Owned

Upon earning regular playing time after the All-Star break, Jake Cave is slashing .311/.376/.611 with 14 extra-base hits (six homers), liftings his OPS from .572 to .786. While his strikeout rate is atrocious (33 percent), the power stroke should offset the whiff detraction. His 45 percent hard-hit rate suggests the long balls are durable with upside if he can raise the launch angle just a bit from seven degrees. For our matchup junkies, note the lefty Cave enjoys reverse splits, smacking left-handed pitching to a .888 OPS compared to righties (.750).

 

Jordan Lyles (SP/RP, PIT)

37% Owned

Jordan Lyles has been a stud since joining the Brewers, rocking a 2.56 ERA and 1.06 WHIP, collecting five wins in seven starts. Lyles was buzzy earlier this season after a strong start, but faceplanted between June and July, losing all fantasy momentum. On the Brew Crew, Lyles has re-emphasized his slider and peeled off a mediocre heater, garnering a 13 percent whiff rate on the former pitch. With a solid xwOBA of .313 and a favorable upcoming matchup against the Marlins, Lyles is worth a look in leagues of all sizes.

 

Kolby Allard (SP, TEX)

11% Owned

Touted as the best high school lefty when drafted in 2015, Kolby Allard has shown well in six starts since his call-up. The 22-year-old has posted a 3.78 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 7.8 K/9 over 33 1/3 frames. The scouting report suggests Allard doesn’t own the strikeout prowess fantasy owners crave, but he manages great control over a low-90s fastball with two solid complementary pitches. The downside with Allard is the Rangers schedule. The team faces a murderer’s row against the A’s, Astros, Red Sox and Yankees. If he’s lucky, he’ll draw a start when the playoff-bound teams rest their regulars. Regardless, he’s worth a deep dart throw for teams needing a spot start down the stretch.

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