If you pay for saves, you might as well where an outlandish hat on your head in public that reads the following:
Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh, but seriously, people. Do not pay for saves. We are only three weeks into the season and have seen too many closing situations become vastly different than the start of the year. However, that is for an entirely different day, as this is a waiver wire piece. So, with that being said, go grab anyone who is pitching in the ninth inning of a close game.
Oh, and some other guys, too.
Note: Ownership percentages are based off Yahoo! leagues.
Eric Young Jr., New York Mets (22%) – Who would’ve thought that it would be Young, not Curtis Granderson, that would serve as the best fantasy outfielder on the Mets. Young is an absolute terror on the basepaths, swiping six bases already, which is the third-most in the National League. Sure, his current average of .186 is nothing to write home about, but he is a career .256 hitter, so expect around .260, which won’t kill you if he steals 45 or 50 bases, something he is certainly capable of doing. If you have a strong core of players who contribute in the batting average department, Young is a high-upside add if you need steals. The bat will come around, too, and assuming his .280 on-base percentage improves, the stolen bases will only increase. That’s scary, considering he is 6-for-6 in stolen base attempts thus far.
Kelly Johnson, New York Yankees (53%) – You want dual eligibility? Look no further than Johnson, who is eligible at first, second, third base and left field in Yahoo! leagues. When Mark Teixiera went to the DL, Johnson slid over toe first, but has been a big part of this offense all year, batting a strong .286 with three home runs and seven RBI thus far. Even when Tex returns, the Yankees are going to utilize him in plenty of ways, and left-handed bats are built for the home-run friendly Yankee Stadium. He’s a solid bat to add to your lineup, especially if you need to replace someone like Ryan Zimmerman or Josh Hamilton.
Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies (63%) – I’ve already proclaimed my love for Howard, especially in Week 3, but he needs to be owned in more than 63 percent of leagues. He’s still a capable 25-30 home run hitter, which is fantasy relevant in itself. And after homering on Sunday afternoon, listen to his Week 3 schedule. Three outings at home in Citizens Bank, last year’s most homer friendly park. Then he hits the road to Colorado to play in the most hitter-friendly park in America. Howard always mashes in Coors Field, hitting three homers in his last 32 at-bats in Colorado. And oh, by the way, all six of his opponents are right-handed, which means the world when you consider that he is a career .295 hitter against rights, compared to just .224 against lefties.
Michael Morse, San Francisco Giants (58%) – It’s early, but Morse is currently the number 36 overall player in fantasy, batting .351 with two homers and 10 RBI. He’s been known to start seasons off on the right track, batting over .310 for his career in months May, June and July. Still, after being injured for the majority of the 2013 season, Morse is healthy and bats in the middle of a dangerous lineup, so runs and RBI opportunity will be ample, at least for the time being, Could he get hurt? Sure, anyone can get hurt. And will he cool off? Of course. These numbers obviously aren’t sustainable. But, knowing that he starts the first few months hot, why not grab him now and ride the hot hand?
Edward Mujica, Boston Red Sox (47%) – Typical closer, Koji Uehara suffered some shoulder soreness and did not close the ninth for Boston on Friday. Instead, it was Mujica, a capable closer, and he did well, tossing a scoreless inning, notching the save. Boston didn’t want to rush Uehara out there if he wasn’t 100 percent, and while it’s more of a precautionary, the Red Sox will continue to troy Mujica out there to finish games until Uehara is back to 100 percent. Last season with the Cardinals, Mujica was strong, saving 37 games, so he certainly has the experience and pedigree to be worthy of a roster add.
Jesse Chavez, Oakland Athletics (16%) – He may be 0-2, but Chavez has pitched very well during his first two outings, striking out 13 batters and sporting a 1.38 ERA. He was robbed of a win in his last start, too, as the A’s blew a two-run lead in the 9th inning. He’s looked terrific and is one of our beloved two-start pitchers for Week 3, getting the Angels, followed by a home outing against the lowly Astros offense that has totaled a whopping seven runs over their last three games.