Results tagged ‘ Waiver Wire ’

Bloomberg Sports Waiver Report: Niese, Uehara, Norris, Villanueva, Venters

Koji Uehara, RP, OriolesHe may not have any saves so far this season, but Koji Uehara remains the most underrated reliever in baseball. Why? How about a 2.20 ERA and startling 0.80 WHIP? Throughout his career, Uehara boasts 138 K’s to just 23 walks, and the ratio is 35:6 this season. He doesn’t let anyone on base, which minimizes the damage. He won’t help in wiuns or saves, but in ERA, WHIP, and K’s, Uehara is a must add.

Jon Niese, SP, MetsEveryone is talking about Mets rookie Dillon Gee and his splendid 7-0 record, but the better pitcher in my mind is southpaw Jon Niese. Ignore the 5-5 record, Niese has won four of his last five decisions. Over his last five starts Niese has surrendered just five earned runs, cutting his ERA from 5.03 to just 3.51 this season. Niese also gets plenty of K’s, making a solid fantasy pickup.

Bud Norris, SP, AstrosIf in need of a short-term pickup, get to know Astros right-hander Bud Norris. Despite a 4-4 record, Norris is a strikeout artist who averages a K per inning. He also has won his last two starts and on Tuesday has a favorable match-up against the Pirates. Norris is a fine start at home, where his record is 12-8 with a 3.76 ERA.

Carlos Villanueva, SP/RP, Blue JaysA long-time middle reliever for the Brewers, Carlos Villanueva is enjoying a second crack at starting with the Blue Jays. The 27-year old veteran enters the week with a 4-0 record and 3.09 ERA. Most impressively, Villanueva boasts a 0.99 WHIP due to a .196 opposing average. I don’t view this success as long-term, but more a result of the opposition not being familiar with the long-time National Leaguer.

Jonny Venters, RP, BravesWhile I pointed to Koji Uehara as the most underrated reliever in baseball, the best one these days is Braves eighth inning option Jonny Venters. The southpaw dominated last season to the tune of a 1.95 ERA and 93 K’s in 83 innings. He has actually improved this season, allowing just two runs to score in 40.2 innings. He has recently enjoyed some save opportunities with Craig Kimbrell struggling. He is a must-add in deep leagues, though odds are he has already been taken.

Fantasy MLB: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The Good:

Kurt Suzuki, C, A’s: 2 runs, 1 HR, 4 RBI, .278 AVG

Just 27 years old, Suzuki is one of the few young catchers who will get 500 at bats thanks to durability and high placement in the A’s batting lineup.  He regressed a bit last season, perhaps because of injuries, but this season, he’s been somewhere in between.  He has just two homers and 7 RBI, but his average is a decent .256 plus a stolen base.  He’s been better than Jorge Posada, but his upside is limited. 

Luke Scott, OF, Orioles: 5 runs, 3 HR, 6 RBI, .389 AVG

One of the most underrated power bats in the Majors, Luke Scott blasted 27 home runs last season and it would not surprise me if he reaches 30 this season.  He doesn’t get any steals and his career average is average at best at .268, but he is one of the few players who has increased his power output every single season in the Major Leagues.  This is now his 7th season in the Big Leagues. 

Jack Hannahan, 3B, Indians: 4 runs, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 1 SB

This 31-year old journeyman came out of nowhere to blast four home runs through 22 games with 14 runs and 14 RBI.  Warning, he is a career .228 hitter with limited speed.  Enjoy it while it lasts, but I don’t see it lasting all season. 

The Bad:

Nick Swisher, OF, Yankees: .174 AVG, 1 HR, 4 RBI

With a .218 average and just one home run, there is some disappointment with Swisher.  Truth is that you should have seen this coming.  His batting average per ball in play was out of whack last season, so you should expect him to bat around .250 this year, after all, his career average is .251.  The power should bounce back, but this is not a hitter that offers much in fantasy baseball. 

Carlos Pena, 1B, Cubs: 1/11, 1 run

The Cubs took a gamble and it does not seem to be working.  Pena has yet to go deep and his average has fallen to .167, which is actually just 30 points lower than last season.  He’ll get some homers though it may be a race against time… the Cubs will eventually have to push Pena on the bench if he can’t hit above the Mendoza line. 

Jason Bay, OF, Mets: 3 Runs, 0 HR, 0 RBI, .200 AVG

After a nice return to the Mets that led to a six game winning streak, Bay has gone on to have just one hit in his last 17 at bats.  He is striking out a ton and has just 3 RBI in 10 games.  He should find himself a home on the fantasy waiver wire.

Ryan Ludwick Should Be Owned in More Fantasy Leagues

by Eno Sarris //

Every once in a while, injury suppresses a player’s stats at a key point in the season and creates a waiver-wire sleeper. At least, that has to be the reason behind the fact that Ryan Ludwick is only owned in 68% of fantasy leagues right now.

Just look at the Bloomberg Sports Fantasy Tools spider graphs. They sum up how Ludwick looks, sitting out there on the waiver wire with ‘only’ 11 home runs and a passable batting average. Mediocre.
But when Ludwick is in the lineup, he has been very good, a one-man argument for using rate stats over counting stats. His .279/.342/.482 batting line shows a player who can work the count and hit for power. If you pro-rated his current fantasy statistics out to a full year, you’d get 22 home runs and 84 RBI, useful even in mixed leagues, and the rate stats once again pass the sniff test.

Of course, Ludwick does have a perceived inability to hit left-handers, and judging from his career .772 OPS against left-handers, it’s tempting to sit him against all lefties, as his team often does. But he has only accrued 703 plate appearances against left-handers in his career, and righty/lefty splits have been shown to become significant at 2000 plate appearances. So even that flaw is not set in stone.  

We do all remember Ludwick’s 2008 season, when he smashed 37 home runs. Perhaps it’s the fact that he’s not looking like that 2008 version these days that has fantasy owners moving on to younger batters with more perceived upside. It is true that Ludwick is 32, but that also means that his 2172 plate appearances to date are significant. In those PAs, Ludwick has shown an isolated slugging percentage (ISO, or slugging percentage minus batting average) of .219. He’s at .203 this season, right between David Wright and Josh Willingham on the NL leaderboard.

If you’re in one of the 32% of leagues where Ludwick isn’t owned, pick him up immediately.

For more on other fantasy All-Stars, check out Bloomberg Sports’ Fantasy Tools.