by Will Overton
Less than two months to go and it’s time to pull out all the stops for a chance to win your fantasy baseball league. We preach playing it safe and not overreacting for the first half of the season, but there comes a point in the season where when you’re behind and trying to make up ground you start taking bigger risks and push your chips all in.
One such way to go all in is take a chance on the hot hands. I’ve said it before, but the closer we get to the end of the season the more true this becomes. Working a roster stream can blow up in your face, so be warned, but this can pay off with a little extra time spent and a little bit of luck.
Here are some of the hotter players around the league who are on the waiver wires right now:
Carlos Gomez – OF, Milwaukee Brewers: Since July 23rd of this season Gomez has been playing nearly every day and has been absolutely rolling. Since that time Gomez has been hitting .328 with 16 R, 5 HR, 12 RBI and 6 SB. Gomez has been hitting in the second spot in the lineup and is absolutely excelling in that spot. People have been claiming for a while now that Gomez had power potential, but it’s coming through now and considering he’s just 26 still and is 6’4 and 210, it’s not a given that the power will go away either. But the increase in power isn’t taking away from his speed which is another big perk. Gomez is worth a spot in all leagues.
Stephen Drew – SS, Arizona Diamondbacks: When you miss as much time with an injury as Drew did it takes a little time to get your swing back, Drew seems to be getting his back. This week Drew is 7 – 19 in five games and has 2 HR’s, hitting one in back to back games earlier this week. Drew has a history of not living up to expectations, but even if he is just what he has been the last couple of years Drew can be useful in any format. Drew has moderate power and was starting to develop some speed as well. Looking for middle infield help can be tough sometimes, but Drew is a viable option.
Andy Dirks – OF, Detroit Tigers: Not a beat has been missed by Andy Dirks since coming off the DL last week and just like before he went on the DL he’s being overlooked. Dirks is 9 – 18 since coming off the DL with 4 R and 6 RBI. And almost more importantly he has settled right back into the two spot in the lineup between Austin Jackson and Miguel Cabrera. The Tigers outfield is a bit crowded, but Dirks is hitting nearly .350 this season including before he went on the DL and he has earned the right to be an every day player. Dirks has some power and he’s going to score a lot of runs and knock in several as well.
Eric Chavez – 3B, New York Yankees: Alex Rodriguez going to the DL has done wonders for the career of Eric Chavez who has looked like his old self these last ten days. In the last eight games Chavez is 14 – 30 with 9 R, 4 HR’s and 9 RBI. He will end up sitting out a game or two against lefties, but I think owners will be able to get around that. And with no timetable still set for A-Rod’s return it’s safe to grab Chavez and ride this out thinking fondly of his MVP run of long, long ago.
Justin Maxwell – OF, Houston Astros: Someone on the Astros has to hit the ball and right now it’s Justin Maxwell. At 28 Maxwell is a bit more seasoned than most prospects and the upside is somewhat limited, but he’s rolling right now and you might as well make the most of it. Maxwell is 9 for his last 23 with a couple of HR’s and a couple SB’s in that stretch. Maxwell has more power than most realize, hitting a HR once every 16.8 AB’s this season, and with regular playing time he should have quite a few more in him still.
Eric Young Jr. – 2B/OF, Colorado Rockies: I have personally been waiting and waiting for Young to come through on his potential, and at 27 he’s running out of time, but he’s making a good go of it right now with some extra playing time. Young is 8 for his last 14 and also 14 for his last 29. He also has 10 runs in those 29 AB’s and while he only has one steal in that time, he has top level speed and steals won’t be hard to come by. The Rockies are going nowhere and as long as Young is hitting he’s going to keep playing and he’ll likely keep hitting leadoff where he’ll score plenty of runs with guys like Josh Rutledge and Carlos Gonzalez hitting behind him. Because playing time may fluctuate Young is a risky add, but he’s got the potential for a nice reward as well.
What hot hitters are hanging out on your waiver wire just begging for someone to add them? Any of these guys on your wire, what do you think of them? Give us your thoughts and opinions.
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