Working the Waiver Wire 7.31.16
July 31, 2016 | Zach Jacobson
Position eligibility and ownership percentages are for Yahoo leagues.
Jake Barrett, RP (19%): Barrett notched a shaky save against the Dodgers on Saturday, and manager Chip Hale said he would continue earning save opportunities. With a 95 mph fastball and high slider usage, Barrett certainly has the traits managers often favor in a closer. His profile is not dissimilar from Carlos Estevez, who has been successful closing games for the Rockies. Both relievers are power righties who almost exclusively rely on their fastball and slider, and they’re both allowing similar types of contact to opposing batters. Barrett’s peripherals aren’t great and the 2.79 ERA will almost certainly rise, but like Estevez, he should be effective enough to hold the closer role if he takes over.
Robbie Ray, SP (14%): Ray’s 2016 results have been mediocre at best, but his 4.70 ERA belies how well he’s actually pitched. Strikeouts minus walks is the best predictor of a pitcher’s future in-season success, and Ray is currently 12th among qualified starters with a 19% K-BB%. He still has poor command, but he had nearly an identical walk rate in 2015 and was able to manage a 3.52 ERA. Anticipate Ray’s ERA to be closer to the high-3s rest of season, but don’t expect the inordinately high strikeout rate to continue.
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Sean Manaea, SP (9%): Manaea began his Major League career by allowing 16 runs in his first 12 2/3 innings, but has since managed a quality 3.41 ERA and 4.33 K/BB in 11 starts. Most fantasy owners were likely burned by those first three disastrous starts and have failed to look past Manaea’s 4.57 season ERA, which has resulted in his ownership percentage not being reflective of how well he’s actually pitched lately. Manaea’s immense talent has been on display since mid-May, and it’s time to capitalize on the oversight of your leaguemates.
Hyun-soo Kim, OF (4%): Kim is a regular in Working the Waiver Wire. Since I last wrote about him on June 5th, he’s put up a .286/.375/.398 slash line with 2 HR in 112 plate appearances. His counting stats are far from impressive, but his ability to make solid contact will keep the batting average hovering around .300. Kim is an interesting options in deep leagues, and his excellent plate discipline will keep him relevant in shallower leagues that include on-base percentage.
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