The Wire Troll: Kyle Muller Kicking Ass
Kyle Muller’s first two starts have gone extremely well. (Curtis Compton)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. With the calendar switching to July, we have now officially reached the halfway point of the season. Keep scouring the wire, peeps.
This week, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. finished atop the All-Star voting board; Trevor Bauer has been placed on seven-day administrative leave while MLB investigates the sexual assault charges against him; and team owner Hal Steinbrenner says Manager Aaron Boone is not responsible for the Yankees’ struggles (which is generally the precursor to getting axed).
And now, let’s get to this week’s…
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Picks
Kyle Muller, SP, Atlanta Braves (ESPN: 6.3 per cent; CBS: 24 per cent): It was nearly three years ago that we last pimped Muller as a Dynasty option and he soared that season, moving up from Class-A to Double-A, looking effective at each level. He racked up plenty of Ks at Double-A in 2019, making the move to Triple-A this season. Last month, he bounced back and forth between Gwinnett and Atlanta, looking extremely strong in his first two MLB starts (two hits and one run allowed with 12 Ks in nine innings). Muller’s role in the rotation now seems more secure with news that Mike Soroka is done for the season after again tearing his Achilles’. Muller will get his third start on Saturday against Miami — an extremely favourable matchup. Okay, so it’s a small sample size so far, but you have to be excited about his 11.7 K/9 rate as the tall lefty’s fastball is proving to be a real weapon. Control is still an issue, but we believe Muller needs to be owned in NL-only leagues and given strong consideration in standard sized mixed leagues. We’re also curious to see his work at the plate as he hit pretty well in the minors and could certainly rake in high school (see video below).
Paul Sewald, RP, Seattle Mariners (ESPN: 2.4 per cent; CBS: 2 per cent): There have been several Mariner relievers that have caught our eye at various times in the first half, and the relatively unknown Sewald is the latest after notching his first save on Thursday. He’s really found himself this year, posting an eye-catching 1.66 ERA through 21 appearances and 21 2/3 IP. Best of all, Sewald’s strikeout rate has soared to an amazing 43 per cent, leading to speculation that he could take over as the Seattle closer should the team move Kendall Graveman at the deadline. Oh, did we mention that Sewald has already racked up five wins after earning just one over four combined seasons with the Mets?
Zach Thompson, SP/RP, Miami Marlins (ESPN: 30.7 per cent; CBS: 47 per cent): When the White Sox originally drafted Thompson in the fifth round in 2014, we thought the pick was a bit of a reach. Well, the righty flamed out as a starter in the minors, shifting to the bullpen midway through 2017, where he found much more success. Now suddenly, the Marlins have turned Thompson back into a starter and all he’s done is put up a 1.50 ERA with 25 Ks (12.5 K/9) through four starts. His walk rate is up in the majors, but he’s yet to serve up a dinger so it hasn’t come back to bite him. Give Thompson a look if you need pitching help.
- It seems that Yermin Mercedes‘ Cinderella story is over. After smacking five homers with a .415 BA in April, he got more PT in May but struggled to make contact. Things got even worse for Mercedes in June as he simply couldn’t hit and now he’s been optioned to Triple-A Charlotte.
- Still with the Pale Hose, Zack Collins enjoyed a big June (.385 OBP) and has been killing it so far in July as well, smacking a go-ahead dinger on Thursday. He’s riding a modest three-game hit streak (5-for-11 with two runs, two doubles, one walk, a homer and seven RBI) and has already this season seen more MLB action than ever, deservedly so as his offense has started to really develop.
- Bauer already has more losses than he did in all of the truncated 2020 season, but he may soon be facing a much bigger setback. Depending on the results of the various investigations being conducted, he could be in line for a much longer suspension. It’s unclear exactly who would take his spot in the Dodger rotation, so keep your eyes peeled and be ready to pounce.
- Lefty Jerry Keel, the Padres’ ninth round pick in 2015, has shown modest improvements at Triple-A this season, but is still allowing way too many baserunners to be considered an option in the bigs. If nothing else, he’s solid organizational depth, winning 10 games despite an ugly ERA at Triple-A in 2019.
- Holy crap is Joey Gallo ever on fire right now. On Thursday, he homered for the fifth straight game, extending his hit streak to six. Gallo hit much better in June as he continues to put his sluggish start in the rear view mirror. He’s now seen his most action since 2018 and has already reached 20 homers for the fourth time in his career.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
Senegalese singer Baaba Maal has been churning out Worldbeat numbers since 1989. In 1998, he released Nomad Soul, which included “Douwayra.”