Fantasy Baseball: Waiver Wire Wednesday
With the All Star Break looming and the second half of the season awaiting, these are important times in the Fantasy Baseball world. These next couple moves could prime your team for a championship run, or send them reeling into a Brazil Vs. Germany-type tailspin. Luckily for you, you’ve come to the right place in order to avoid that the second, disastrous fate for your fantasy baseball squad. Let’s start with the hitters, shall we?
Dayan Viciedo OF (CHI) – The White Sox slugger is starting to surge as of late, particularly in the power department. He’s owned in merely 42% of leagues at the moment, but that should start to pick up considerably if he continues to display this type of power. He has an impressive run at the plate over the past two weeks. Covering 46 at-bats, he has smashed 5 HR and has driven in 11 RBI. He’s maintained a .282 average during the same span, while boasting a .970 OPS. He could be a piece targeted in potential trade talks from contending teams needing quality OF help, so you’ll want to monitor that, but barring a move placing him in a platoon situation he should continue to see regular ABs and see his power numbers benefit.
Chris Carter 1B/OF (HOU) – No player embodies the “Home-Run-or-Bust” mentality more than Carter, but his recent stretch has Jose Bautista wondering if he should’ve added him to the AL roster for the upcoming Home Run Derby. Here’s a look at his work over the past 7 days. The average numbers are sure to drop, as he’s hitting .350 over that stretch, but he’s also crushing one homer every 5 at-bats. If you’re doing the math, that’s 4 HR and 7 RBI is his previous 20 AB. He’s also carrying a staggering .409 OBP and slugging at a nice, even .1000%. He’s owned in only 25% of standard leagues, so if you can afford to take a little bit of hit in the AVG category, go ahead and take shot on him and we’ll ride the lightning together.
David Freese 3B (LAA) – I’m sure St. Louis Cardinal fans are shaking their while reading this name right now, but despite their frustration with him as a player, there’s no denying the guy has the talent. Owned in 20% of standard leagues and plagued by the injury bug, if he’s able to stay on the field, his last 7 days are an example of what owners could glean from snatching him up now. Given it’s only a 15 AB sample size, this has to be approached with a but of caution, but over that period he has clocked 2 HR and has 6 RBI, while hitting .533 and slugging at 1.067. There’s plenty to be concerned about with this decision, but if he can become a mainstay in that deadly Angels’ lineup, the production could remain at a reasonably steadfast pace.
Jeremy Hellickson SP (TB) – “Oh yeah… I remember that guy.” If a thought similar to this ran through your head, you won’t be alone. The once highly touted prospect in the Rays’ organization has fallen on some really rough times. Last season, marked as his breakout year beforehand, he finished with 12-10 record and 5.17 ERA. Not exactly what Tampa was looking for from him. He recently made his first start in return from an elbow injury and gave up only one run against the Royals in 4 1/3 innings. His ownership is on the rise since, but still only remains at 21%. His first start was nothing special, as he was on a strict pitch limit, but it was somewhat encouraging. The Rays, as a team, have really been playing god baseball lately and he could be joining the rotation just in time to benefit. It’s certainly a risk, but it’s the kind that’s low enough with a potentially high reward.
Santiago Casilla RP (SF) – Bruce Bochy announced Sergio Romo had been removed from the closer’s role, and then said he was still in line for saves, but then proclaimed Casilla was now the team’s 9th inning guy on Monday. As confusing as that sounds, it appears it his job now to lose thanks to Romo’s complete inconsistency all season long. He has thrived as a setup man, sporting a sparkling 1.08 ERA and 0.84 WHIP in 33 1/3 innings. I’m not convinced this situation is entirely resolved by this move, but he’s worth rolling the dice on for the time being. Owned in only 40% of leagues, saves are always a valuable category to try and collect this late in the year. I’m concerned the added pressure from setup to closer duties will affect his performance negatively, but this remains to be seen.
Chris Young SP (SEA) – I think this guy appears somewhere, at some point, almost every season in every single person’s fantasy baseball blog as a “player to watch”. I guess it’s my turn now. The Mariners are actually playing quality baseball in a jam-packed AL West. Chris Young has certainly played an integral in this latest run out in Seattle. His last three starts he has pitched 19 innings, struck 18 batters, walked only 3 and claims a 2.36 and 0.79 WHIP. He is 2-1 in those starts and then there’s the Safeco Field advantage to factor into the equation. It’s always played as a pitcher’s park and that certainly suits his sinker ball style. If you have a guy at the end of your pitching bench worth dropping, Young is a guy who has the ability to add a boost to your staff throughout the second half of the season.