Fantasy Baseball 2013: The Waiver Wire; Edition Seven
It’s a new week of Fantasy Baseball madness, which means owners must rush to the waiver wire, looking for the top players to add more depth to their roster. Even if you are in first place in your league by a landslide, you should always try to continue adding the best players to your team, because the baseball season is a long one and injuries are happening every single day. So, the following players are some recommended guys that are worth a look and are widely available.
Note: Ownership percentages are based off Yahoo! leagues.
James Loney, Tampa Bay Rays (27%): Loney continued his red hot hitting on Sunday, going 2-4 with a home run. It was only his third home run of the season, but he still has an awesome 20 RBI and is batting a ridiculous .376. He may only have those three homers, but his impressive .404 BABIP shows that he is putting the ball in play a lot. His 11 doubles supports that fully. Loney’s crazy high average is large in part of his plate discipline, only striking out 12 times compared to his 10 walks. Loney is currently swinging at 29.1% of pitches outside of the strike zone, his lowest in two seasons. Outside of Evan Longoria, the Rays lineup hasn’t been hitting the ball to their fullest potential, and you have to believe that will change sooner or later, ultimately boosting Loney’s fantasy value. He’s definitely worth a look while he’s hot.
Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh Pirates (18%): Liriano made his long-awaited season debut this weekend, and it was an impressive one. The 29-year old struck out nine batters, walked two and surrendered one run off six hits, en route to his first victory of the season against the Mets. I personally miss the days where Liriano threw harder than anyone in baseball back in Minnesota, so I am advising owners to at least give him a chance. His fastball clocked in around 94 mph on Saturday and Liriano has a big time strikeout potential, posting a 201-strikeout campaign back in 2010. Pitching in the National League may make him a bit more appealing fantasy owners. If you are dealing with banged up or struggling pitchers, Liriano had the track record and the stuff to be worth a shot.
Jhonny Peralta, Detroit Tigers (48%): I honestly think Peralta has been the most overlooked player in all of fantasy baseball this season. I mean, seriously. The guy is batting .315 with three home runs, 17 RBI and 18 runs. With all of the injuries to the shortstop position, Peralta currently ranks as the number five fantasy shortstop in Yahoo! points leagues. This position is one of, if not the shallowest in all of baseball, and Peralta needs to be owned, especially since he is producing big time in a strong lineup. After a poor 2012 campaign in which he batted just .239, Peralta seems to be seeing (and taking) more pitches, becoming a more patient guy at the plate. The first pitch thrown at him has been taken for a strike 68.3% of the time, his highest of his entire career. It seems to be paying dividends for his numbers this season, and fantasy owners need to take notice.
Scott Kazmir, Cleveland Indians (24%): After being absent from Major League Baseball last season, Kazmir has resurrected his career in Cleveland here in 2013. Coming off of an awesome 10-strikeout performance, Kazmir now has two wins on the season, to go along with 25 strikeouts and an ERA of 4.87. Since his debut on April 20, Kazmir has been pitching extremely well, but he has surrendered at least one home run in every game, so he’ll have to work on that. Still, with what appears to be a legitimate run-scoring offense behind him, Kazmir is definitely worth a look in fantasy leagues. The control is also there, having only walked six batters through four starts.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.