by Ray Lin
So far it’s been a very prosperous year for second basemen in fantasy. Dee Gordon is challenging for both the batting and stolen base titles (hasn’t been done since Ichiro in 2001), Jason Kipnis is an early Comeback Player of the Year contender and Brian Dozier is showing that his bulldozing breakout campaign was no fluke.
Even with so much quality at the top, second base remains a shallow position in fantasy this year (as it historically has been). Partly to blame are injuries (Dustin Pedroia) and lackluster starts (Robinson Cano, Ian Kinsler), but there have been some intriguing options emerging off the waiver wire.
Let’s take a look at a handful who could help your team moving forward.
Devon Travis, TOR
(Available in 44% of Yahoo leagues, 153 PA, .264/.327/.486, 7 HR, 26 RBI, 25 R, 2 SB)
After a blistering start to the season, where he put up a 1.018 OPS in April, Travis came crashing back down to earth in the subsequent months before landing on the DL with a left shoulder injury. The Jays finally activated him on Friday and immediately put him back into the starting lineup. Read more
by Will Overton
Maybe this is somewhat in my head, but it feels a little bit like strikeouts are harder to come by off the waiver wire now that in years past. In a 12 team league if you sort the free agents by most strikeouts you may be looking at the likes of Trevor May and Travis Wood at the top and that’s not an overly appealing sight. There’s nothing specifically wrong with those guys, but they really aren’t going to get fantasy owners excited.
If you failed to give strikeouts the proper attention on draft day you may be playing catch up right now in that category. If you aren’t checking your category standings regularly, stop reading this and go do that. You need to know where you are in your standings so you can properly address your shortcomings.
If you are in a position where you need strikeouts let me offer some guys who may be able to help you, hopefully without costing you too much in other places: Read more
by Will Overton
There are only a couple of ways in which fantasy owners deem middle relievers and setup men worthy of rostering. One obvious instance is that your league counts holds, in which case you have to be rostering these guys. The other is that you feel like a certain guy is on the verge of winning a closers job and you want to beat your other league members to the punch.
I would argue there is more reasons than this, though. I’m not talking about rostering a team full of non-closer relievers, but there is an advantage to having one or two really good ones. The guys you are looking for have high strikeout rates and low ratios. If you play in a league that uses K/9 as a category these guys can be huge. Even in standard scoring leagues relievers like this can still do more than you think to add strikeouts and even out your ratios so you can roster a starter or two who might be a bit erratic.
Here are some of the guys I think are worthy of targeting to help stabilize your pitching staff: Read more
by Will Overton
The outfield position has taken a pretty good hit from the injury bug in the last couple weeks. Recently added to the DL is Matt Holliday, Jorge Soler, Josh Hamilton, Marlon Byrd and Khris Davis. This is added to the likes of Jacoby Ellsbury, Corey Dickerson and Jayson Werth who were already there.
The outfield position is deep, but with owners having to start five of them in most leagues and stashing at least one or two on the bench, the pool thins out pretty quick (especially in 12 and 14 team leagues and beyond).
Let’s look at a few quality options for outfielders in standard leagues and a few for deep leagues as well:
Standard League Options
Kevin Pillar – Toronto Blue Jays: The fantasy value of Pillar has been a bit like a yo-yo all season. He is currently back on the upswing with a roaring start to the month of June. In his last 10 games he has nine runs scored, 10 RBI, 3 HR and a steal. He only had one home run all season prior to the last 10 games, so the power is no guarantee, but he did hit double digit HR the last two seasons so there is potential. Pillar will hit another low at some point, but if you’re just looking for a short term replacement he’s as hot as they come. Read more
by Will Overton
What does a hot streak mean for fantasy owners? All hot streaks are not created equally and fantasy owners can’t treat them that way. Sometimes hot streaks are the beginning of something bigger and make for a potentially important add for your fantasy baseball team. Other times a hot streak is really just a fluke and fantasy owners can burn a move to grab a guy who you’ll be dropping a couple days later.
You can’t always just add the hottest player on the wire because a wasted move can cost you the guy you should’ve added, or it can lead you to drop someone you should really be holding on to. We are going to look at some of the hottest hitters available across the majority of leagues and discuss whether or not these guys are worth adding or not. Read more
by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Chad Bettis – Starting Pitcher – Colorado Rockies
His last two outings certainly have garnered some attention, even in shallower formats:
- May 24 (vs. SF) – 8.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 7 K
- May 29 (at Phi) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 7 K
Even against “lesser” offensives, that’s an impressive two game stretch. The question is if there is any reason to actually buy into the success and make the move to grab him. The quick answer is yes…
In his first two seasons in the Majors he posted 43 K over 69.1 IP, so it’s easy to be skeptical about the strikeout success. However he posted a 9.31 K/9 in the minors since 2011 and has seen a significant jump in both his SwStr% (9.7%) and O-Swing% (37.7%) early on this season. The difference has been the usage of his curveball, which he’s thrown 21.8% early on and has generated 8 of his 22 strikeouts. Read more