2014 Fantasy Baseball

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Working the Waiver Wire 6.26

posted by Justin Klein

 

Bats

Adam Eaton is an on base machine that leads off for the White Sox and when he gets on base he tends to score quite a bit because of the powerful bats behind him in the lineup. Getting on base and scoring runs for one of the best offenses in the league make Eaton an elite run scorer in the fake game. His ability to get on base has helped him to post a .739 OPS thus far despite hitting only 1 HR to this point. Aiding in the lack of long balls is the fact that Eaton has posted 10 doubles and 6 triples already this season. Currently riding a 12 game hit streak, Eaton has seen his average rise to .284 in the process. While he only has 7 SB thus far, to be fair, he has dealt with leg injuries and even missed some time already. If healthy, Eaton can not only be an elite run scorer in the fake game, but also chip in with some SB, a solid OPS and maybe even a decent to solid batting average. If your team needs runs and some speed, but you can’t afford to punt OPS on a rabbit, Eaton is likely just the type of player you need. He’s available in 53% of Yahoo leagues and has plenty of category juice for your fake team’s summer enjoyment.

Brad Miller has apparently awoken from his zombie like state; putting up an 8/3/6 R/HR/RBI line over the past 2 weeks. That goes well with a .349 AVG and .989 OPS. Several fantasy mavens went gaga for Miller in the preseason (including myself) and we’re beginning to see why. This is a player I thought would go 15/12 before the season, and although he could still reach those numbers, he’ll have to start running more often because he only has 3 SB thus far. That said getting on base more often will no doubt aid his SB efforts, and hitting towards the bottom of the lineup may give him ample chances to run as well. While his BABIP is ridiculously low, Miller hasn’t helped himself with a terrible ISO and career worst K%. Part of the reason I loved Miller is because he had tremendous plate discipline and could hit for power from a MI position. While the power is still there (for a SS anyway) the plate discipline has waned. It will be interesting to see if he improves in that regard over the rest of the season, or if he continues to regress. Steamer projects Miller to hit 8 more HRs and steal 6 more SBs ROS. That would put him at 15/9 for the season and would be fairly respectable after the awful slump he was mired in for more than 2 months. After his recent surge it appears to not only be possible, but probable given health, especially on the HR front. He may even surpass the 27 HR+SB if he exceeds expectations with the long ball. If you need some pop in the MI Miller is available in 66% of Yahoo leagues. For those of you in deep leagues it may be time to buy low on Miller in the hopes that his stock continues to rise.

Josh Harrison continues to do it all for the Pirates and is more than willing to fill that same role with your fake team. Not only does he help in every fantasy category, but he’s also eligible at 2B, 3B and OF. Over the past 2 weeks Harrison has posted a 5/1/8/4 R/HR/RBI/SB line, as well as a .348 AVG and .823 OPS. A super-sub to begin the season Harrison has been playing every day for almost a month now. Despite all of this he is only owned in 35% of Yahoo leagues. Almost 2/3 of you can plug him into your lineup’s tomorrow! While Harrison might cool off at some point he is currently on fire and is an extremely valuable bench player in 10 and 12 team leagues and a versatile starter in 15 team leagues and greater. If you need a Swiss army knife off of the bench this is probably the player for you. Only 26 years old, Harrison is finally getting the playing time to showcase all of his skills, and I’m impressed. Are you?

Wilson Ramos is being activated by the Nationals off of the DL today, and he’s been raking in his rehab appearances. In truth he has raked everywhere whenever he’s been healthy. He’s never posted an OPS under .700 in his career and I don’t expect that trend to end this season (he’s currently at a .683 OPS in only 24 games played). If your catcher has been underperforming, or if you’re like me and neglected picking a catcher in 12 team leagues and are just streaming one, you should take a flier on Ramos. If Ramos is healthy for the rest of the season I fully expect him to be a top 12 catcher, and he has the potential to be much better than that. Although he has struggled to maintain his health and log a full season at the MLB level, picking him up off of the waiver wire is plenty cheap enough to make up for the risk. If you need a catcher Ramos is available in 63% of Yahoo leagues, though I expect that number to start going up today now that he’s been activated.

 

Arms

Taijuan Walker will likely get the start next Monday for the Mariners. He’s the most talented pitching prospect in the game, and should be picked up in leagues of every size. Somehow he’s available in 62% of Yahoo leagues despite his ridiculous upside. I expect his ownership rates to double in the next few days, so go pick him up now. Its okay I’ll wait. Did you get him? Good. He’s going to be a solid SP2/3 and will likely not have any innings limits to worry about because he’s missed so much time with injuries this season. If you weren’t able to snag Walker off of waivers you might think about trading a hot player for him now before he is activated.

Jesse Hahn has been awesome in his last 3 turns, and because of it I’ve mentioned him in the last waiver wire article I did and in the SP Streamer articles. I feel like a broken record over here, but Hahn is still available in 80% of Yahoo leagues, so I guess I’ll keep singing his praises in the hopes that some of you fake gamers start hearing me. Hahn has been a K machine and has kept his walks low, resulting in a juicy K/BB ratio of 27/8. While Hahn isn’t going to hit triple digits with the radar gun he has shown superb command and a devastating curveball. While there will likely be some regression from his current ERA at a miniscule 2.38, Hahn’s FIP is at only 3.02 and his xFIP splits the difference at 2.68. Hahn’s LOB% is a bit high, but so is his HR/FB%. Simply put Hahn has been a little lucky, but not that lucky that he’ll come crashing back to earth and be terrible; Especially with Uncle Charlie in his back pocket. If you are in a 12 team league or greater you could do far worse than Hahn, and if you play in a dynasty or keeper league Hahn is only 24 years old and is under team control of the Padres for several years. So even if his peripherals go up he’s a young SP with a high K rate that pitches half of his games at Petco Park. There’s a lot to like there for us fake gamers. Go pick him up.

Drew Smyly has been on fire over the past 4 starts as he has posted a QS in all 4 turns, as well as an 18/5 K/BB ratio. Having only allowed 4 runs in the past 25 innings Drew has lowered his ERA to an impressive 3.19. He’ll look to keep it going this Sunday on the road against the Astros where he’ll be a great streaming option. Available in 74% of Yahoo leagues he’s probably out there if you need a SP for this weekend and possibly beyond.

Justin Klein

fake baseball lover/wizard/degenerate/champion. if i'm not playing poker or disc golfing i'm probably watching baseball and sweating fantasy sports. i try to share my fake sports knowledge here with you.

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