So before I get into things, I want to talk a little about the best hitter for the Mets that was called up this weekend. Steven Matz.
OK, I’m kidding, I know he is a starting pitcher and he had a hell of a first start. But I had to give the guy a ton of credit for going 3-3 with four RBI in his major league debut. That is a good day for a hitter, much less a pitcher making his first ever start in the bigs.
Last week I wrote about how consistency is a key for winning your fantasy championship. That if you keep going after that hot commodity, you will wind up getting burnt more times than not and your team will just become a group of hot and cold players. So overall lesson there is to don’t be so quick to drop the consistently good player just because he has gone 0-16 in this last four games.
I realize that is no fun though, so lets get back to the basics of waiver wire pickups. Time to look at the recent hot players who you should pick up right now to give you a boost. Then hope that the player keeps up at least at least serviceable production the rest of the way.
When you pick up those players on hot streaks, you immediately think you just found the winning lottery ticket. But just like a lottery ticket, they usually don’t pay out, or if they do it is not the big jackpot you were hoping for. So when they have cooled off, it is time to go find the next lottery ticket. Below I will go through a few of the guys I think are candidates to be that winning lottery ticket.
Waiver Wire Targets
All players I am suggesting are owned in 30% or less of ESPN leagues. Of course if there are better players available in your league that are owned in more than 30% of leagues, by all means get them first.
Randal Grichuk, OF, St. Louis Cardinals Owned in 29.2% of ESPN Leagues
Grichuk is a tough one for me to want to pick up. The reason has nothing to do with his performance. He is playing very well, even over a time span of a month, batting .273 with five home runs, 17 runs and 12 RBI.
My problem is that he is getting a lot of this playing time due to Matt Holliday being on the DL and I hate picking up players that I know are just rentals. I feel like I will miss out on a more long term solution to the reason why I’m going out and picking up a player in the first place.
That said there is still no timetable for Holliday’s return and Grichuk is playing so well that I think they will have to figure out a way to keep his bat in the lineup, making him worth the pickup for sure.
Rougned Odor, 2B, Texas Rangers 29.5%
You can not look at Odor’s season long numbers when deciding whether or not to pick him up. He had a miserable start to the season and was sent down to get things right.
He got called back up on June 14th and has been nothing short of fantastic with a slash line of .391/.453/.587. He has nine RBI, and four stolen bases and even has contributed two home runs. At a position that lacks a lot of talent, Odor is definitely worth a look.
Brett Anderson, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers 25.0%
Anderson has been pretty good all season, but over the last month he has been fantastic posting a 3-1 record, 2.43 ERA and a 8.10 K/9 in six starts. He also recorded five quality starts in those six starts.
The only concern for him is the amount of walks he allows, which has kept his WHIP a 1.20 over the same amount of time. However over the last two weeks he has improved that to 1.10.
At this point in the season it is tough to find guys on the waiver wire who have those kind of numbers on a consistent basis. Anderson needs to be owned in more leagues now.
Kendall Graveman, SP, Oakland Athletics 20.3%
Graveman was a popular late round target in drafts after he had an amazing spring. Then he came out and fell on his face to the tune of a 8.27 ERA in April and was sent back to the minors.
He got the call back up in late May and has been fantastic since, posting a 2.01 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP to go along a 3-2 record with seven quality starts out of eight. He does not strikeout a lot of batters, but there are plenty of guys who succeed without striking out 8+ per nine and I think he can continue to be one of them. Even if he doesn’t do this the rest of the season, pick him up now and ride the hot streak.
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