Credit: Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Sports
Greetings to the all the fantasy baseball folk, I’m back with another edition of the Fantasy Baseball Waiver wire! Unless you’re contending near the top of the standings in your fantasy baseball league, chances are that you’ve already begun to forget about the baseball season and are gearing up for a fantasy football draft deciding which quarterback is going to have the big breakout (I personally think Ryan Tannehill is going to be a fantasy gold). But if you’re still paying attention to your fantasy baseball team, there may be some players available on the waiver wire for you to snag to aid you in your run for the championship.
Last week’s recommendations didn’t go over so hot, but that’s largely a byproduct of the fact that I’ve already recommended a lot of the best waiver wire options in the past few weeks and I am trying to avoid any repeat mentions so I am scraping the bottom of the barrel here. However, in the recommendations below, I will have a couple of repeat mentions, but they are players who have yet to debut in the Majors. So first, let’s review last week’s recommendations (check out last week’s full article here) and we’ll give a new set of 6 hitters and 6 pitchers who could be useful to your fantasy squad.
***NOTE: To qualify as a waiver wire recommendation, a player must be owned in less than 50% of Yahoo and ESPN leagues and less than 60% of CBS leagues (players typically have higher ownership levels on CBS). Continue reading
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Brett Cecil began the year as the closer for the Blue Jays, but then was replaced by 20-year old righty Miguel Castro very early into the season because Cecil was struggling with velocity issues. Castro held down the gig for two weeks converting 4 of 6 save opportunities, but then he began to struggle and eventually was sent to the Minors to allow Cecil to reclaim the job in late April as his velocity began to climb back up. However, though he was the closer, Cecil amazingly saw only one save opportunity in the month of May. But over the last couple of weeks, the Jays have been finding themselves in more situations where they have had a 3 run lead or less in the 9th inning and Cecil has managed to collect 3 saves since June 12.
But in Cecil’s last three outings, he has given up 8 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks in only 2.1 IP, and he got charged with one blown save and two losses in those games. Cecil just isn’t pitching well right now and he definitely is not an ideal closer as a left-handed pitcher who has allowed a .273 AVG and .352 wOBA to right-handed hitters in his career.
I said in Sunday’s notes that Cecil would probably not be given the next save opportunity, and on Monday with the Jays up 3 runs, Cecil was nowhere to be found. Perhaps he was just being given the night off after having thrown a total of 65 pitches in the last 3 days, but I think at the very least Cecil is being downgraded to a closer by committee situation. I suggested that 20-year old fireballer Roberto Osuna would be the guy to see the next save opportunity for the Jays and indeed it was Osuna on Monday who came in to put out a fire, and he got the 6-out save with an amazing 5 strikeouts.
Osuna now owns a 2.12 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 40 K/10 BB in 34 IP. He certainly has the stuff to succeed as a 9th inning man and he is worthy of a pickup in all formats for now and he can run away with the job. Watching him get the 6-out save on Monday was pretty amazing, as the Rays hitters didn’t know what to do with the heat that he throws, continually swinging through the fastball. But as I’ve mentioned previously, beware of the Jays trading for a proven closer, which would push Osuna back to a setup role and render Cecil useless.
Let’s take a look at the rest of Monday! Continue reading
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With Delino DeShields landing on the DL with a hamstring injury, the Rangers had to recall someone to take his roster spot and the guy they called upon was 21-year old Rougned Odor. If the name sounds familiar, then you may be confusing him with the 17-year old Rougned Odor that the Rangers signed to a contract this past off-season. It sounds completely whacky only because it is. These two individuals both of the same name, Rougned Odor, are actually brothers. It is an extremely odd situation and even crazier that they are both within the same organization. I really hope that some day they form a double play combination up the middle for the Rangers — that would be amusement at its finest (it doesn’t take much to amuse me).
Anyway, for real this time. If the name Rougned Odor sounds familiar, it is because he came onto the scene last year and made a little noise as a 20-year old middle infielder with a .259 AVG, 9 HR, 48 RBI, 39 R, and 4 SB in 114 games with the Rangers. And then he was expected to build on that performance this season in what was supposed to be his first full year in the Majors. Odor began the season as the team’s starting second baseman, but with a triple slash of .144/.252/.233 after 29 games played, the Rangers got a huge whiff of Odor and it was not very pleasant on the olfactory senses. So they sent him back to AAA to figure things out.
At AAA, Odor was a whole new hitter as he compiled a line of .352/.426/.639 with 5 HR, 19 RBI, 26 R, and 3 SB in 30 games. And in addition, he even bumped up his walk rate to 9.7% and his strikeout rate was exceptional at 8.1%. Though a small sample size, that type of strikeout rate was much better than his career 15.0% rate in the Minors, and light years ahead of the 24.3% rate that he had in his 29 game stint with the Rangers earlier this year. So he clearly took being demoted seriously and really worked on improving upon some things that needed attention, which is now needing our attention.
Odor presumably will take over as the Rangers starting second baseman from this point forward, and it will be his job to lose once again, but with the adjustments he seemingly has made, I don’t think that he will be losing the job this time around. Odor was slotted 6th in the order on Monday and he responded by going 3 for 3 with 2 RBI to keep his hot hitting going. Odor is definitely a talented hitter with the capability to post a 15 HR/30 SB type of year over the course of a full season in the future. And given that he is slotted at a shallow second base position, the type of production that he is capable of is a valuable commodity. I definitely recommend him as a pickup in all formats.
Now let’s check out the rest of Monday’s games. Continue reading