The Wire Troll: Dylan Bundy Finally Starting
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy Baseball waiver wire picks.
This week, Stephen Strasburg continued his dominating ways for Washington; David Ortiz may have put his foot in his mouth trying to recruit for the BoSox; and despite his less than awe inspiring hitting this season, Justin Smoak has been given a two-year extension by the Jays.
And now to this week’s Fantasy baseball waiver wire recommendations…
Robbie Ross Jr., RP, Boston Red Sox (ESPN: 0.1 per cent; CBS: unowned): With Junichi Tazawa hitting the DL, Ross moves up in the BoSox bullpen pecking order. After getting shellacked in his first outing in July, Ross has settled down with three straight scoreless appearances, the last two resulting in a win and a hold. His overall ERA is still smarting from that ugly game two weeks ago, but he’s averaging over 10.6 K/9, so if the holds keep coming, he’ll have some value in deep AL-only leagues that track that stat. Damn, the dude can even use his hat to catch home runs (see video below).
Dylan Bundy, RP, Baltimore Orioles (ESPN: 6.6 per cent; CBS: 25 per cent): How long have we been waiting for Bundy to make his first MLB start? Pretty much since Charlie Sheen’s meltdown, we’d guess. Well, we’re finally getting our wish Sunday as Bundy will start — and get a very favourable matchup against the Rays, to boot. Taken fourth overall in 2011, the rookie hurler has a chance to stick in the rotation, at least for a time being. He’s only about 40 innings shy of the innings cap Baltimore has set on its prized prospect, so this is likely going to be a short-term pickup. But if you need pitching help with major upside, Bundy’s your man.
Franklin Gutierrez, OF, Seattle Mariners (ESPN: 1.3 per cent; CBS: 6 per cent): Nelson Cruz is hurting, giving Gutierrez a chance to gain a bit of traction. One thing we know about Gutierrez: the dude can mash the long ball, so if he gets enough PT, he’ll be a tremendous source of power. Check out his HR/FB rates the last three years: 22.7 per cent in 2014; 35.7 per cent last year; and 32.1 per cent this season.
Darin Gorski, SP, New York Mets (ESPN: NA; CBS: unowned): If the Mets need another starter in the second half (and given some of the sudden injury worries in their rotation, that’s looking likely), Gorski has put himself in position for his first look in the bigs. He’s been a relative unknown since the Mets took him in the seventh round in 2009 and at the age of 28, he’s not exactly a prospect. But Gorski has put up a fine ERA (3.65) at Triple-A despite pitching half his games in that bandbox of a ballpark in Las Vegas. At the very least, he deserves watching.
Jordy Mercer, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates (ESPN: 10.3 per cent; CBS: 18 per cent): Mercer is hitting better this year thanks to his lowest strikeout rate ever, and has really picked up the pace in July (.278/.381/.528). He’s a decent option in NL-only leagues or deeper mixed leagues at a position that’s still fairly hard to fill.
Jim Johnson, RP, Atlanta Braves (ESPN: 2.3 per cent; CBS: 5 per cent): Now that Braves’ closer Arodys Vizcaino has landed on the DL, veteran Johnson is first in line to get whatever saves crop up for this lousy team. After his nightmare of a 2014 season, Johnson’s control has been much better the last two seasons, so if you’re seeking some cheap saves, give him a look.
Norichika Aoki, OF, Seattle Mariners (ESPN: 1 per cent; CBS: 5 per cent): At his best, Aoki is a strong hitter with a superb batting eye and some nice speed. Well, he had never struggled to hit for average the way he did this season, prompting a demotion to Triple-A last month. Like the pro he is, Aoki has gone down there and simply hit, batting .300 with a .400 OBP. Best of all, he’s having no issues with southpaws (.316 BA). Aoki will be back soon, and could very well take over as the leadoff man in Seattle down the stretch, so keep an eye on him.
Others to Consider
Howie Kendrick, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers (ESPN: 14.7 per cent; CBS: 28 per cent): The Angels’ 10th rounder way back in 2002 missed some time, but so far has been healthier than he was last year. Kendrick has always been a better second half player, so consider him if you need a flyhawk.
Mickey Moniak, OF, Philadelphia Phillies (ESPN: NA; CBS: NA): The first overall pick in this year’s draft has wasted no time establishing himself as a fine keeper league option, already showing a flair for the dramatic by spanking a pinch-hit three-run dinger for his first pro homer to help win a game for the GCL Phillies. This kid will likely advance quickly next season.
Ender Inciarte, OF, Atlanta Braves (ESPN: 13.5 per cent; CBS: 22 per cent): Last season, we projected Inciarte as a top 70 outfielder down the stretch, and he really delivered, hitting up a storm in August before flashing more extra-base pop in September. Could another big finish be in the offing?
Jorge De La Rosa, SP, Colorado Rockies (ESPN: 7.6 per cent; CBS: 17 per cent): Have you noticed that JDLR is back? He’s rhymed off six straight starts of three earned runs or fewer allowed. De La Rosa’s K rate has dipped a bit this season, but he’s a serviceable Fantasy starter — even when he’s pitching in Coors.
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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