The Wire Troll: Taking a Flier on Tyler Gilbert
Tyler Gilbert’s no-hitter was a revelation. (Joe Camporeale, USA Today Sports)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. As we enter the waning days of August and find ourselves passing the season’s three-quarters mark, your chances of making a move in your leagues are dwindling. Take advantage of the wire!
This week, Giannis Antetokounmpo bought a slice of the Milwaukee Brewers; The A’s are proceeding with new ballpark plans in both Oakland and Las Vegas; and the Field of Dreams game will go again next year, with the Reds and Cubs squaring off.
And now, let’s get to this week’s…
Fantasy baseball waiver wire picks
Tyler Gilbert, RP/SP, Arizona Diamondbacks (ESPN: 26 per cent; CBS: 36 per cent): Gilbert burst onto the Fantasy radar last Saturday when he hurled a no-hitter at the Padres in his first career start (see video below). Start No. 2 on didn’t go as swimmingly, but you can forgive anyone from getting beat up in Coors Field, so he remains an intriguing add for the stretch run. Gilbert first drew our attention way back in early March 2015 when he was pitching for USC. And so far in his brief time in the bigs, he’s done a good job suppressing runs, and even in Friday’s loss, it wasn’t an awful outing, but again, Coors Field can often humble even the top aces. The 27-year-old Gilbert’s go-to pitch is a cutter, and he mixes in a fastball, sinker and curve.
Eric Lauer, SP, Milwaukee Brewers (ESPN: 37 per cent; CBS: 27 per cent): This lefty has owned the Pirates, but how will he fare Saturday against the Nats, who are actually playing well now? Well, with a career mark of 0-1, 2.89 against Washington, Lauer has done quite well, and really, he’s been on a very fine roll since late-June, yielding two or fewer runs in each of his last seven starts. For the first time in his career, he doesn’t have a losing record, and while he’s become a decent DFS target in recent weeks, we now believe he deserves attention in redraft leagues.
Keegan Thompson, SP/RP, Chicago Cubs (ESPN: 2.9 per cent; CBS: 3 per cent): In wrapping up our trio of NL pitchers to target, we shift our attention to Thompson, who two years ago was a top 15 prospect in the Cub system. He’ll get a spot start Saturday against KC, and he’s intriguing as he’s authored a solid rookie season to date, posting a winning mark while proving tough to hit. Thompson’s command hasn’t exactly been spectacular, so that could hold him back from having a future in the rotation, but he’s an arm to watch.
- Last month, we talked about Cubs minor league outfielder Michael Hermosillo as a potential late-season addition. Well, he’s finally up with the Cubs, and given that they continue to trot out retread Jason Heyward, you have to think the kid could get PT down the stretch. Hermosillo homered in his first career start on Wednesday, and he hit very well with nice power at Triple-A, so continue to monitor him.
- The Royals put on quite the power display on Friday, led by catcher Salvador Perez‘s pair of long balls. It was a welcome sight for his owners as he’d been a bit quiet for a week or so after a red-hot start to August. Perez continues to be a workhorse catcher and is putting together his most productive season yet.
- Sunday will mark 60 years since Roger Maris hit his 50th homer as part of a record-breaking season. It was the first time in history that anyone had reached this milestone in August.
- In early-June we identified Atlanta pitching prospect Bryce Elder as a player to watch. Earlier this week, he was promoted to Triple-A and wound up pitching well enough to earn the win in his debut on Friday. He’s absolutely torn through the minors in his first professional season, winning an impressive 10 games at three stops. Sleeper alert.
- The Orioles have lost 16 straight, the franchise’s second longest skid since moving to B-More, so obviously there’s not a lot to get excited about in Charm City right now. If you’re seeking a bright spot, don’t look at starter Keegan Akin. Although he’s been slightly better over his last two outings, he’s endured a third straight month with an ERA north of 7.00. Despite making 11 starts and seven relief outings, Akin is still seeking his first win of the year.
- The Phillies earned a much-needed win Friday thanks to a two-run dinger by Bryce Harper. Even with that big blast, things have not gone well for him lately as it’s been two and a half weeks since his last multi-hit effort. The extra-base pop has definitely been there as part of a feast or famine August, but Harper has been piling up the runs this season while recording his best OPS since coming to Philly.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
In 1980, the anti-nuclear power documentary No Nukes was released, featuring a star-studded soundtrack. Among the tracks was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performing “Cry to Me,” written by Bert Berns, who also penned classics like “Twist and Shout,” and “Piece of My Heart.”