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The Wire Troll: Ryan Yarbrough Providing Depth for Dodgers

April 19, 2024 | By RotoRob | comment on this post

Ryan Yarbrough is helping prop up the decimated Dodger staff. (Ron Chenoy-USA Today Sports)

Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. We’re nearly done April now, with tons of the season still to come. Avail of that waiver wire, peeps!

This week, Ozzie Albies suffered a broken toe (see below for the Fantasy opportunity this presents); Christian Yelich‘s hot start has been put on hold as his back is acting up again; and Ryan Pepiot proved to be a very astute DFS play on Thursday thanks to delivering a strong start despite an upset tummy.

And now, let’s get to this week’s…

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Picks

Ryan Yarbrough, SP/RP, Los Angeles Dodgers (ESPN: 4.1 per cent; CBS: 7 per cent): Yarbrough recovered from a scary injury last season to post superb numbers in July and August before getting hit hard down the stretch. Overall, he was enjoying a better season but wasn’t as sharp after a trade to the Dodgers. However, so far this season Yarbrough has never looked better in a long reliever role and he’s suddenly become a pretty important arm for L.A. given that Walker Buehler won’t be back until next week and now Bobby Miller is out. Yarbrough has been used exclusively as a reliever so far, but he’s been very effective with a 3.20 ERA (2.76 xERA), looking particularly sharp on Tuesday (retiring the final 14 batters he faced after a shaky first frame). Since a rough outing over two weeks ago, he’s only allowed three earned runs over 10 2/3 IP while fanning six against just a single free pass. Yarbrough could bag some wins in this type of role and he’s undefeated so far while earning one save. He’s a reliever with plenty of size to his frame (6’5″, 215) yet is a soft tosser. Still, Yarbrough is starting to gain some traction on the wire, so pay attention if you need pitching help. It doesn’t hurt that he has good taste in music…

Luis Guillorme, 2B/3B, Atlanta Braves (ESPN: 0.1 per cent; CBS: unowned): It’s been close to three years since we last pimped Guillorme as an injury replacement, and it paid off as he hit extremely well in July 2021 before hurting his hammy the following month. He enjoyed a career season as a reserve in 2022, but last year struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness. Now, Guillorme has another chance to offer some value thanks to Albies’ toe woe, and so far, he’s delivering. Guillorme played the hero on Tuesday, spanking a two-run double to give the Braves the cushion they would need to close out the Astros. Before taking an 0-fer on Wednesday, he had hits in back to back games and if he can reverse a three-year trend of a declining walk rate, he could prove to be a useful short-term NL-only option but is unlikely to offer much in the way of power or speed.

Quick Hits

  • Reds starter Hunter Greene continues to be an enigma, alternating meh starts with solid ones. But even a “solid” outing like on Tuesday (just four hits and one earned run allowed with eight Ks) is clouded (he lasted just four innings because his pitch count was already nearly 100 and walked three). Greene’s inability to work deeper into starts has translating into very low win totals (just nine through his first 50 career starts), but he’s on track for his lowest ERA ever, so that’s at least some progress. And he’s also struck out more batters (346) through 50 starts than any starter in Reds’ history. So there’s that, but don’t be surprised if Greene winds up on some waiver wires this week as some owners must be getting frustrated.
  • Speaking of young pitchers, how about San Francisco’s Keaton Winn? He’s looked much better in his last two outings and bagged his first win of the season on Wednesday. Winn’s record is still less than inspiring, but he’s clearly shown improvements this year, so consider this groundball hurler in NL-only formats.
  • Boston sure needed an outing like the one Tanner Houck delivered on Wednesday with his three-hit shutout featuring nine punchouts and zero walks. That’s three out of four starts in which he has not yielded a run as part of his brilliant start, which has resulted in a sweet record and microscopic ERA and WHIP. Houck’s command has been off the charts (K/BB ratio of 14), making him a must add in all formats.
  • Before we completely write off Miguel Sano as a Fantasy asset, consider that he’s gone 5-for-10 with two walks and two strikeouts over the last three games, and there is no one in the game who on average hits the ball harder. In fact, his average exit velocity is 2.1 mph faster than anyone else. We’re not necessarily recommending Sano for anything outside of deep AL-only formats at this time, but just sayin’… the dude can absolute smoke a baseball.
  • Yordan Alvarez snapped a skid on Wednesday with a two-hit performance, including his fifth homer of the season. He’s listed at +550 on FanDuel to lead the majors in homers this year, so will need to pick up the pace to deliver on that. On the plus side, he’s been healthy so far and that’s half the battle considering that since becoming a full-time player in 2021, his games played total has dipped each season, from 144 to 135 to just 114 last year.

RotoRob Tune of the Day

Welsh musician John Cale is best known as a founding member of the legendary Velvet Underground, but he has also enjoyed a long and ongoing solo career. In 1981, he released his seventh solo album, Honi Soit, and among the most powerful tracks from this effort is “Strange Times in Casablanca.”

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