Check the Wire – 2nd Half

Whether you’re killing it, and own a comfortable lead on 1st (won’t mention any names *insert sly grin*), or at the bottom of the standings – we all have to hit the waiver wire from time to time.

But, the problem with the fantasy baseball waiver wire is it can be overwhelming, or at least too time consuming to consistently monitor. With regular stats, advanced stats, and so many varying positions, it can be a major challenge to figure out which guys fit your team and the statistical categories you’re lacking/excelling in…

I’ve done the sifting for you, and what you’ll find below are what I consider to be the top, widely available players by position. Now, this won’t help if you need to target a specific statistical category, but we’ll get into that next week.

*Ownership average factors ownership percentage in ESPN, & Yahoo! leagues*

Starting Pitcher

Jhoulys Chacin (SD)

Ownership (Avg.): 23.5% 

He plays for the Padres.

That’s been about the only blemish to Chacin’s name since the end of May.

Despite pitching for a team with only 41 wins and one the league’s worst offenses, he’s managed to pick up 9 wins (20 starts) which puts him in the Top-20 for wins on the season.

This man deserves some applause.

So how has he done it? Great question. Well, over his last 10 starts, he’s been one of the best pitchers in the bigs – 2.97 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 53 Ks, and 5 Ws. Oh, and at home? He’s owns a cool 5-2 record to go with a sparkling 1.94 ERA and 0.99 WHIP… ON THE SEASON!

Now that you know, do yourself a favor, and go check the wire.

 

Mike Clevinger (CLE)

Ownership (Avg.): 56.5%

I keep trying to convince myself that his performance this year is a fluke, then every 5th day he’s out somewhere dominating a mound.

It’s time to accept the realness.

For perspective’s sake, let’s play a little game of “Name that Pitcher!” *cues up corny ’70’s game show music*

Pitcher A: 2.97 ERA, 1.05 WHIP

Pitcher B: 2.73 ERA, 1.12 WHIP

If you guessed Zach Greinke (A), and Mike Clevinger (B) you’re taking home today’s grand prize of absolutely nothing! True, we’re looking at a much smaller sample size for Clevinger (he began the year in AAA), but in his 12 starts for the Tribe, he has 6 Ws, 73 Ks, and those Greinke-ish numbers above.

Others deserving consideration (but I’m too lazy to write about): Mike Foltynewicz (ATL), Alex Cobb (TB), Seth Lugo (NYM)

 

Catcher

Francisco Cervelli (PIT)

Ownership (Avg.): 9%

It’s last call, and you’ve struck out all night… Enter Francisco Cervelli.

He’s not a sexy option (and lacks power), but will get the job done. He’s hit safely in 8 of the Pirates last 9 games (.271 BA on the season), and has 8 RBI in 11 July starts. The Pirates are one of the hottest teams in baseball, and though hitting at the bottom of the order, Cervelli should continue to have ample opportunity to knock in runs.

Others deserving consideration: Mike Zunino (SEA), Welington Castillo (BAL), Austin Hedges (SD)

 

First Base

Danny Valencia (SEA)

Ownership (Avg.): 19%

If you’re old enough to remember the ’90s, then surely you remember those “Magic Eye” books. If not, these books were filled with these psychedelic, kaleidoscope looking pictures and if you focused on it a certain way (or lied like me) a 3D image of a bird or some random image would pop out…

While Valencia’s numbers won’t jump off the page at you, if you look just right he’s a decent average hitter, scores a decent amount of runs, and is a Top-20 RBI guy. What I like most about him though, he’s listed at 1B, 3B, and OF (ESPN). He offers some nice lineup flexibility.

Others deserving consideration: Yonder Alonso (OAK), Yuli Gurriel (HOU), Josh Bell (PIT)

 

Second Base

Whit Merrifield (KC)

Ownership (Avg.): 39.5%

.367/.424/.633 – Merrifield came back from the all star break lit. He’s hit safely in all 7 games, and 4 of those were multi-hit performances.

He’s not going to singlehandedly mend any statistical deficiencies on your roster, but offers consistent balance across the board.

Others deserving consideration: Chris Taylor (LAD)

 

Third Base

Nicholas Castellanos (DET)

Ownership (Avg.): 36% 

Can’t think of a better time to discuss Castellanos than the heels of an 0-5 night at the plate *shrug* it happens. Let’s put that aside for a moment, and look at the big picture. Sometimes a small setback is what’s needed to sit down, and be humble.

Who knew you’d get a valuable life lesson from a fantasy article?

Moving on. After a pedestrian start to the season, Castellanos has been heating up. Now, guessing which night the Tigers offense will explode is not something I’d recommend trying, but even with the inconsistencies, he’s on pace for a career year in HR, R, RBI, and is batting .307/.361/.601 with 10 HR, and 29 RBI since June 1.

Others deserving consideration: Chris Taylor (LAD), Danny Valencia (SEA) – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

 

Shortstop

Paul DeJong (STL)

Ownership (Avg.): 48%

While riding the hot hand can leave you burned and in a drunken stupor, wondering how much plasma your body can stand to lose so that you can raise money to pay the mortgage. It can also lead to temporary euphoria.

Pick up DeJong, and experience the euphoria.

He’s played in 43 games since being called up, and has hit 10 HR to go with 22 RBI and a .280/.296/.548 slash line. Regression is surely in the future for the 24 yr old, but until that day comes, take advantage and hope you don’t wind up in that drunken stupor.

Others deserving consideration: Freddy Galvis (PHI), Orlando Arcia (MIL), Jose Reyes (NYM)

 

Outfield

Tommy Pham

Ownership (Avg.): 50%

What’s really good Pham? 50% ownership?! REALLY?! Are you not entertained?! Is this not why you are here?! What’s really going on?

Look, on the season he’s arguably a Top-10 outfielder – batting .309, with 47 R, 13 HR, 40 RBI, and 13 SB. He’s got 5 multi-hit performances in 8 games since the break (21 on the season), and his name is Tommy Pham.

I just can’t comprehend the blatant lack of ownership.

 

Gerardo Parra (COL)

Ownership (Avg.): 29%

I’m not sure what this cat did while on the DL, but in his 9 games since returning, he’s been nothing short of otherworldly. E.T., Guardians of the Galaxy, no way he’s human otherworldly.

Oh, and his home games are played at Coors; a hitter’s dream.

So what exactly does Guardians of the Galaxy otherworldly convert to statistically? Well, he’s slashing .556/.537/.833, has at least one RBI in 8 of the 9 games, and plated for 24 runs for the Rockies (12 RBI/12 R).

Will this continue? Hell no. But, did I mention, his home games are played at Coors?

Others deserving consideration: Jason Heyward (CHC), Ian Happ (CHC), Lonnie Chisenhall (CLE)*

 

Good luck in the 2nd half, and as always, be sure to subscribe and check me out on Twitter: @maxingyourodds to stay up to date with the latest content, free picks, and fantasy advice!

 

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