by Will Overton
Fantasy teams have been getting boosts from young pitchers quite a bit over the last month or so. If you have missed out on the likes of Rafael Iglesias or Luis Severino have no fear, there are still plenty of options for young pitching out on the wire.
This is the time of the year for young pitching to shine. Teams who have fallen out of the race want to see what they have for the future and if they have arms ready for the big leagues. Teams in the race are also looking to some of their more promising arms to see if they can help them make the final push towards the playoffs.
If you’re fantasy team’s pitching staff needs a boost you may be better off looking at one of these young options rather than cycling back through the mediocre veterans who always seem available.
Kevin Gausman – Baltimore Orioles: This isn’t a new name, and chances are you may have owned him at some point this season as he has probably been owned and dropped by a few teams. This is the point where you really want to own him though. The upside is undeniable, but his inconsistency has held him back. Gausman has now turned in five quality starts in his last six outings and this is the version fantasy owners have been looking for. He’s bringing good control and solid strikeout potential with a 22/3 K:BB ratio over his last 20 innings of work and is the one guy on this list that should be owned in all formats in any circumstance. Read more
by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Digging deep for a waiver option to help you down the stretch? Here are a few names to consider:
Darnell Sweeney – Second Baseman/Ourfielder – Philadelphia Phillies
Acquired as part of the trade that sent Chase Utley to Los Angeles, Sweeney appears ready to get a chance to win the second base job for the remainder of the season. He’s not a completely foreign option, as we had ranked him as the #9 second base prospect in the game prior to the season saying:
“Similar to Ryan Brett, as he doesn’t offer one standout number but hit .288 with 14 HR and 16 SB. He improved his strikeout rate in moving up a level (24.5% to 20.0%), as well as his walk rate (7.2% to 13.1%). Throw in tremendous extra base numbers in both 2013 (34 doubles, 16 triples, 11 HR) and 2014 (34 doubles, 5 triples, 14 HR) as well as the fact that he’s a switch hitter, and there’s an awful lot to like.”
While he took a small step backwards in both strikeouts (22.2%) and walks (8.0%) upon reaching Triple-A this season, neither are crippling marks. The bigger concerns may be the drop in power (9 HR) despite playing in the PCL, as well as being caught far too often trying to steal (he was caught 13 times in 45 attempts). Read more
by Will Overton
We have roughly six weeks left in the season, which means you as a fantasy owner either have six more weeks to either hang on to your lead or catch the person in the lead. We’re not really in play it safe mode anymore, it’s time to make your move.
This is the time of the year where you want to ride a hot streak more than ever. In April it can be foolish to drop a possible long term option who is struggling to add someone who has been hitting the ball well for a week, but will likely fade. With six weeks left in the season that guy who is hot and can put up big numbers on your squad, even if it’s just for a week or two, has a lot more value. Also don’t be afraid to cut bait on your hot player when he goes cold and move on to the next.
That said, here are some players owned in 20% of leagues or less who are riding a hot streak and can help your fantasy team right now:
Austin Jackson – OF, Seattle Mariners: After picking up two hits in five straight games at the end of last week Jackson is now 11 for his last 26. He has also scored three runs, hit one homer, drove in four runs and stolen two bases in these last six games. I’d like this hot streak even more if he was still hitting leadoff, but even hitting sixth there is good potential for RBI while being low enough in the order to get the green light. Jackson can be streaky, but he’s been hitting the ball pretty well since the all-star break and could stretch this run out a few more weeks. Read more
by Will Overton
Fantasy baseball owners often have the tendency to identify bad teams and just ignore them. Often these teams have the majority, or all, of their regulars sitting on the waiver wire. At times, though, there can be hidden value that has been written off for the wrong reason.
We are going to be looking at one of these teams today and that’s the Atlanta Braves. Of all the Braves the most highly owned hitter, not counting the injured Freddie Freeman, is Cameron Maybin who is still available in 33% of leagues. Outisde of that there’s no one else owned in more than a quarter of leagues.
There isn’t a lot of value, but there are four players I want to highlight that could have value in certain league formats. So let’s take a look at what value is left in Atlanta:
A.J. Pierzynski – C: This is someone who has had value all season, but has basically been ignored. I think that stigma of being a washed up 38-year old has stuck, despite the fact that his numbers say quite the opposite. Pierzynski is hitting .297 for the year and .314 in the month of August thus far. His counting numbers aren’t off the charts, but he does have 5 R and 7 RBI over his last 10 games. Like I have said, the Braves lineup is not good but Pierzynski still hits cleanup in it which does matter (it’ll be even more appealing when Freeman makes his return). Catcher is weak and Pierzynski is a borderline top 10-12 option. Read more
by Will Overton
A lot of attention gets paid to home runs and stolen bases in fantasy baseball when it comes to scouring the waiver wire. Those come off as more “specialist” kinds of categories, but the run scoring/producing categories should not go unattended. Remember, all categories are worth the same!
While most players who score runs or drive in runs also do other things, there are certainly specialists in these categories. A couple of key factors when looking for a guy who can either score runs or drive them in are his placement in the batting order and the talent of the rest of the offense on his team.
Here are some guys who can help your offense in each of these two often overlooked categories:
Tyler Saladino – 3B/SS, Chicago White Sox: The White Sox offense isn’t ideal for run scorers, but they have been producing more recently and Saladino is in a nice spot hitting number two. In that spot he is right in front of Jose Abreu and Melky Cabrera, who are both solid hitters, even if the guys behind them aren’t that great. Saladino hasn’t been getting on base at as great of a clip as you’d like, but he still has six runs in his last eight games and nine runs in his last 10 games. So unless he gets moved down in the order he should keep scoring. Read more
by Will Overton
We still have a little over 24 hours left to go before the MLB trade deadline, and certainly there is going to be a whole lot more moves still made, at least based on all the rumors that are swirling right now. That said, there have already been a lot of trades, made which gives us plenty to analyze.
Our esteemed Professor has been breaking down trades extremely well, but we are going to keep the reaction train rolling here, by looking at some of these earlier moves from a waiver point of view. I am going to highlight a few guys who I think has seen a spike in value as a result of a recent trade, whether they were the one traded, or someone left behind who assumes a new spot.
Here are some of the guys I am targeting on the wire:
Kelly Johnson – 2B, New York Mets: Kelly Johnson made his New York Mets debut with a bang earlier this week, hitting a home run in his first game with the team. Johnson wasn’t getting as consistent of playing time in Atlanta as he really should have given the state of that team. He seems to be settling in nicely as the Mets second baseman though, and with his positional flexibility they should be able to find somewhere for him most days. He has two of the things I love in a free agent pickup, first he can play multiple positions, like almost all of them. The second thing is he has power, with 10 HR in 194 AB. If Johnson is going to play regularly in New York he’s got a shot at being a really nice fantasy piece the rest of the season. Read more