It’s hard to believe that we are just about half way through the 2013 fantasy baseball season. In fact, those of you in head-to-head leagues likely have less than half a season to make up ground in the standing. As the dust settles on some of our early season breakouts and busts, it’s time to really determine what kind of team you have. The sample of numbers driving overall season statistics is large enough now to bury recent performance. And now, my friends, it is time to start ignoring those season totals and really target players streaking in the right way. When heading to your waiver wire this week, ignore the names and look at the production. Jumping on a month-long hot-streak in late-June can really help you make some headway in the standing, just be ready to cut bait when the wheels inevitably fall off. We do have faith in a couple of the options below to provide productive numbers the rest of the way, but more often than not, you are looking at a temporary fill-in while the bats are hot.
Brewer’s third baseman Juan Francisco is a perfect example of that. He’s not a good baseball player, and will probably struggle to hit .220 the rest of the way. That said, home runs in three straight games (and four in his past 10) will get you picked up and plugged right into my lineups in most every format. He’ll be back on waivers in a couple of weeks, but if you are staring at Chase Headley’s abysmal .180 average over the past 30 days, what have you got to lose?
Before we jump into our look around the diamond at the top talents on the wire, I’d like to invite you all to join me in a FREE daily contest running today over at draftsteet.com. This freeroll pick ‘em takes about 5 minutes to enter and is absolutely free and pays out $300 in cash. Sign up here to pick your team and try to beat Bretsky!
As always, check out last week’s Waiver Wire Friday for a couple of more names to target, but we’ll do our best to highlight some players available in >60% of Yahoo standard leagues and for those of you in deeper games, we’ll throw out a name available in more than 85% of those formats. It’s going to be a rapid fire edition of Waiver Wire Friday so try and keep up!
Working the Wire
Ryan Doumit (MIN) 39% owned: His ownership has dipped just below the 40% mark to get a mention here and really, its perplexing why he’s been dropped in so many leagues of late. A steady .269/.329/.443 career bat playing at the catcher position is worth a look. Particularly one who has put up a solid .816 OPS in the month of June with a nice 8:11 walk-to-strikeout ratio.
John Jaso (OAK) 5% owned: Jaso is soon going to earn a permanent spot in our Waiver Wire Friday writeup. His platoon situation leaves him widely available, but the production is difficult to ignore. He’ll sit versus most lefties, but that hasn’t stopped the A’s patient backstop from racking up a tasty .349/.463/.488 slash line over his last 13 games.
Kyle Blanks (SD) 28% owned: Has Blanks finally figured things out? He’s cut back his strikeout rate significantly and is working the power stroke with eight homers and 31 RBI in just 175 at-bats.
Chris Carter (HOU) 23% owned: In his last 10 games, Carter has knocked a pair of dingers, scored nine runs and driven in five. All with a nice .361 batting average.
Logan Morrison (MIA) 8% owned: LoMo has been swinging a hot stick since returning from the DL following offseason knee surgery. He’s shown 20-homer power in the past and is working a .302/.348/.488 slash line in 12 games this year with eight extra base hits in his first 43 at-bats.
Mike Moustakas (KC) 35% owned: It appears that the addition of George Brett has really made an early impact on the Royals young hitters. Like teammate Eric Hosmer, Moose-Tacos has picked his game up of late. He’s raised his batting average by 27 points in just 10 days with five multi-hit efforts in his past seven starts. The power has yet to show up, but signs of a turnaround are evident.
Nolan Arenado (COL) 24% owned: Written off by many after is average dipped to .221 through his first 35 big-league games, Arenado has turned things around in a hurry. A four-hit effort on June 5, begun a solid stretch for the Rockies rookie in which he’s popped three homers, two triples and six doubles while batting .326 over his last 86 at-bats. Did we mention he plays half his games at Coors Field?
Juan Francisco (MIL) 5% owned: The power has always been there and as mentioned in the open, he’s certainly seeing the ball well right now. Of course, three strikeouts accompanied his long ball in Thursday’s game, but power needy teams can likely get a quick jolt from this hot bat.
Jose Iglesias (BOS) 27% owned: The demotion of a scuffling Will Middlebrooks clears a pathway for regular at-bats for Iglesias. His mediocre minor league track record leaves us with little confidence that he can keep this up. Still, why not invest a pickup the .417 average he’s put up over his first 36 games this year and see where it takes you.
Logan Forsythe (SD) 3% owned: We’ve always been a fan of Forsythe who gives you a little taste of everything. He put up a useful .273-45-6-26-8 line last season in just 90 games and since returning from injury has been on a similarly useful pace this season.
Brandon Moss (OAK) 35% owned: You know what you are getting with Moss, lots of pop and little batting average. Despite the fact that he hi .291 in 90 games last season, it’s hard to ignore the .359 BABIP that came with it. The power has been there again in 2013 but the average predictably has slipped… that is unless you consider the past 13 games in which a red-hot Moss is batting .296 to go along with five homers, 10 runs and 10 RBI.
Jason Kubel (ARI) 24% owned: We know what the veteran Kubel is capable of and while he often has trouble staying on the field, its time to invest. Batting .317/.403/.413 for the month of June, Kubel is actually one name on this list that we expect to hang on to over the second half.
Oswaldo Arcia (MIN) 4% owned: Since headlining last week’s Waiver Wire Friday, has made us look quite smart with three multi-hit efforts a home run and six RBI in his past six games. If we pace out his year-to-date production to a full 162 game schedule (because who doesn’t like to skew small sample sizes!) we are looking at a player on pace for a solid 22 homer, 83 RBI season.
Delmon Young (PHI) 2% owned: As a Phillies fan, I hate Delmon Young. His defense is awful, he swings at the first pitch 98% of the time and frankly, he looks a bit like a turtle to me. Oddly, I’ve found myself cheering Young’s clutch bat with frequency over the past couple of weeks and after Thursday’s four-hit effort, Delmon is batting a cool .302 in June. he’ drawn just two walks against 15 Ks in those 20 games, but that shouldn’t stop you from riding this rare productive streak!
Corey Kluber (CLE) 30% owned: We’ll break the mold a bit here as Kluber was absolutely blasted by the Orioles yesterday, allowing six earned runs on 11 hits in just 4.2 innings pitched. Still, he collected four strikeouts with just one walk and has an excellent 73:14 K-to-BB ratio for the season. Expect a bounce-back performance next week against the light-hitting Royals.
Dillon Gee (NYM) 17% owned: Gee takes the mound this evening against a weak Nats offense whom he’s posted a 2.70 ERA against and 5-1 record in eight career starts. he was excellent in four starts prior to last week’s hiccup against Philadelphia and we are rolling him out there again today.
Jordan Lyles (HOU) 14% owend: Perception of awfulness leaves just about every Houston Astros player owned in far fewer leagues than their performance warrants. Like both of the options above, Lyles got roughed up a bit in his last start, but prior to that, he railed off seven straight turns with 2 or fewer earned runs allowed. He’s posted a solid 36:11 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his past 49.2 innings and has a 2.36 ERA over that span.
Dallas Keuchel (HOU) 2% owned: Keuchel suffers from the Houston stigma as well, but with five straight quality starts (with a relief appearance thrown in there), Dallas has been solid over the past month. He’s posted an ERA under 3.00 in the month of June while striking out 32 batters in 34.0 innings pitched with just five walks. There’s upside here in deeper leagues.