Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball waiver wire recommendations. August is nearly done now, so it’s time to get serious. World serious.
Last week, the Indians jolted the Jays with an inside the park, walk-off home run; Cincy reliever Michael Lorenzen lost his dad yet somehow managed to maintain his composure enough to hit a three-run dinger for his first career jack; and the two Ryans — Howard and Zimmerman — have been cleared of any wrongdoing by MLB in the wake of the Al-Jareeza PED allegations.
Without further ado, here are this week’s picks…
Chad Green, SP, New York Yankees (ESPN: 8.3 per cent; CBS: 26 per cent): Green is capable of commanding all four of his pitches and that allowed the former Tiger farmhand to simply dominate at Triple-A this year. Recently moved back into the rotation, he struggled in his first outing, but sure looked phenomenal against a tough Jays’ squad on Monday (see video below). Green’s command will stead him well, and now that Nathan Eovaldi is out and Luis Severino continues to implode, Green should get plenty of rotation time down the stretch.
Mark Laird, OF, Philadelphia Phillies (ESPN: NA; CBS: NA): At this stage of the season, if you’re a keeper league owner that’s out it, you’re scouring the minors for possible options. Drafted by the Phillies in the ninth round out of college last year, Laird hit well in his pro debut in 2015, but injuries limited his action this season. However, he tore through Low-A and continues to rake at High-A, piling up plenty of runs at both stops. Laird is not young, so will need to move fast, but is worth tracking.
Heath Hembree, RP, Boston Red Sox (ESPN: 0.2 per cent: CBS: unowned): Hembree’s been up and down to the farm this year, but he’s been a bit of a unsung hero for Boston. Developed in the San Francisco system, he’s experienced a massive jump in K/9 this season, and while his bottom line numbers have been aided by some luck, his BABIP is actually on the high side. In a very deep AL-only league, Hembree could be a useful bullpen piece.
Julio Urias, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers (ESPN: 12.6 per cent; CBS: 50 per cent): Urias sure has shot his way through the Dodgers’ system, arriving in the bigs as a teenager. After dominating Triple-A, he’s had more issues with home runs in the bigs, but has a chance to right the ship Sunday. If Urias hopes to stick in the rotation, this is a key start, so watch it closely and be ready to pounce.
Raisel Iglesias, RP, Cincinnati Reds (ESPN: 34.1 per cent; CBS: 41 per cent): This Cuban, signed by the Reds in 2014 for seven years and $27 million, has struggled to find a role as a big leaguer. However, Cincy has opted to try him as the closer and so far Iglesias is getting the job done. His walk rate is up this season, but so is his strikeout rate. Need saves over the final few weeks? Pick up Iglesias while you can.
Jesse Winker, OF, Cincinnati Reds (ESPN: NA; CBS: 12 per cent): Winker, slotted No. 35 in our Top 75 Prospects this year, will soon be ready to make his MLB debut as evidenced by his work at Triple-A. He missed a bit of time earlier this season, but is rolling now with an 11-game hitting streak, raising his BA to .300. We love Winker’s strike zone judgement, but are concerned with his lack of power and speed this year. Still, he’s been productive enough this season to earn a promotion when rosters expand, and the Reds will have plenty of reason to give him lots of at-bats down the stretch.
Corey Dickerson, OF, Tampa Bay Rays (ESPN: 26.1 per cent; CBS: 50 per cent): Traded to Tampa Bay for Jake McGee last offseason, Dickerson has shaken off a cool spell, hitting safely in five straight games with three doubles and two homers. Dickerson is right in his power prime, so even though he no longer benefits from Coors Field, there may be upside here. If you need a bit of pop, give him a look.
Others to Consider
Dansby Swanson, SS, Atlanta Braves (ESPN: 20.9 per cent; CBS: 43 per cent): The Swanson era began last week in Atlanta as the top prospect recorded a pair of hits twice in his first three big league games.
Martin Perez, SP, Texas Rangers (ESPN: 12.5 per cent; CBS: 38 per cent): This southpaw has finally stayed healthy this year and has shaken off a tough July with a solid showing so far in August.
Daniel Johnson, OF, Washington Nationals (ESPN: NA; CBS: NA): Another keeper league only option, Johnson’s pro career got off to a slow start after he was taken in the fifth round of the most recent draft, but he’s rolling now, batting .324 over the last 10 games at Low-A.
Ryan Zimmerman, 1B, Washington Nationals (ESPN: 14 per cent; CBS: 44 per cent): As mentioned in our intro, Zimmerman’s name was cleared and he came off the DL Saturday, going 3-for-4 with a homer, two runs and two RBI.
Kendall Graveman, SP, Oakland Athletics (ESPN: 13.8 per cent; CBS: 32 per cent): Yes, he’s very inconsistent, but on Friday you got a sense of what Graveman can do when he’s on his game.
Alex Gordon, OF, Kansas City Royals (ESPN: 26.1 per cent; CBS: 49 per cent): Gordon has seemed lost this year, but with five homers in the last five games, he needs to find himself on your Fantasy team.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy baseball waiver wire pick of the week is.
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