Fantasy Baseball 2014: Waiver Wire Options; Edition Seven
It never, ever ends.
Whether it’s injuries or closing situations going awry, fantasy baseball owners always have to be on their toes. I mean, that stupid Tommy John continues to ruin the lives of fantasy owners everywhere, having already taken down over 30 pitchers with the infamous elbow injury, and now Jose Fernandez has gone under the knife, sidelining him for the rest of the season.
The waiver wire is your best friend.
Note: Ownership percentages are based off Yahoo! leagues.
George Springer, Houston Astros (51%)- For as exciting as fantasy owners were when Springer was called up to the majors, they sure wasted no time dropping the guy after struggling. I mean, a young kid who is seeing his first stint in the majors struggling? No, that can’t be possible. Remember, even Mike Trout (to an extent) struggled when immediately being called up, and Springer is starting to get it going, batting .281 with three homers, nine RBI and eight runs during the month of May. He’s a legitimate 20/20 threat, even after this slow start. The strikeouts are something you are just going to have to get used to, seeing as that was his only issue in the minors, and he is currently striking out 36 percent of the time. But he isn’t necessarily chasing, swinging at less than 30 percent of pitches landing outside the strike zone. If you dropped him, now is definitely the time to scoop him back up.
Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros (29%)- Staying in Houston, Keuchel has been stellar for the Astros this season, sporting a 4-2 record, 3.04 ERA and striking out 47 batters thus far. He’s been eating innings, going at least six in all but one start this year. Keuchel doesn’t exactly have earth-shattering stuff, but he’s been keeping the ball on the ground a lot, sporting a ground ball percentage of 65.1, which leads all pitchers in the majors right now. If you induce that many ground balls, you can walk into fantasy relevant numbers, and that is exactly what Kuechel has been doing. A two-start option for Week 8, Keuchel may be more than a short-term add.
Devin Mesoraco, Cincinnati Reds (61%)- After missing three weeks with an injury. Mesoraco hasn’t missed a beat, now hitting safely in every game since returning from the DL, including a four-hit performance against the Phillies on Sunday. No longer buried in former skipper Dusty Baker’s doughouse, Mesoraco is raking on the young season, batting over .400 with four homers and 17 RBI in 54 at-bats this year. Batting in home run friendly Great American ballpark will be good for Mesoraco, who will be one of the rare 20-home run catchers in fantasy, barring injury. A top-10 finish is very, very possible, and those types of players shouldn’t be on the waiver wire.
Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles (28%)- It’s time for your daily segment where we speculate on saves in the MLB. The Orioles, one of the many teams without a set-in-stone closer, have watched Tommy Hunter struggled heavily this year, so the team went with Britton for the save opportunity during Thursday’s game. The young lefty picked up his first career save, and it was worth nothing that the Orioles left him in there to face to right-handed hitters, perhaps showing some confidence in the 26-year old. If you are looking for a speculative add that could pay off, Britton is worth a look, but the team hasn’t announced him the official closer. Or anyone, for that matter. Thanks, Baltimore. Britton can throw a decent fastball of 93 mph, while possessing a very effective sinker, allowing a dismal .159 average in 69 at-bats with it. He’s worth a look.