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The Wire Troll: Robert Gasser Gets to the Bigs

May 10, 2024 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Robert Gasser will make his MLB debut for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Robert Gasser could be an astute waiver wire add. (Joe Camporeale-USA Today Sports)

Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. As we near mid-May, it’s vital to start addressing your team’s weaknesses through the wire.

This week, Mike Trout will have knee surgery that could sideline him for a couple of months; Milwaukee has unveiled a new starter (see more on this below); and Rhys Hoskins is looking like a sweet DFS pick, having homered in back-to-back games.

And now, while you ponder whether Friday will find Matt Chapman breaking a homer drought that dates back to April 16 (he’s +400 to go yard as per FanDuel), let’s get to this week’s…

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Picks

Robert Gasser, SP, Milwaukee Brewers (ESPN: 0.5 per cent; CBS: 9 per cent): Gasser was part of the package the Brewers got in the Josh Hader deal and after some injury issues that delayed the start of his season, he’s finally reader to make his MLB debut on Friday. Gasser was superb at Triple-A last year although his homer rate was a tad high. Regardless, this southpaw is clearly ready for the Show and is a very intriguing pickup given his strikeout potential (12.75 K/9). Normally more of a flyball pitcher, he’s been inducing more groundballs early on this season and brings to the table a nasty slider that tends to sit in the low 80s. This pitch will be Gasser’s bread and butter, but his changeup is a weak offering and shouldn’t be employed as more than a very seldom show-me option. (See the video below for a more in-depth scouting report.)

Ben Lively, SP/RP, Cleveland Guardians (ESPN: 21.1 per cent; CBS: 27 per cent): The last time we discussed Lively, he was an ineffective member of the Phillies rotation, and it took another five years for him to get a chance to start again, at least in the majors (in the interim he did act as an SP in the KBO). And, no, it was not worth the wait, despite improved control. This year, however, Lively looks like a completely different pitcher, notwithstanding a rough outing Thursday. Overall, he’s fared quite well over his first five starts for the Tribe thanks to a sinker that’s never performed better. In fact, other than his slider, Lively is seeing better results will all his offerings, even getting positive value out of his changeup and cutter for the first time in his career. We’re not 100 per cent sold on the sustainability of his results, but you may as well add him while he’s getting it done.

Quick Hits

  • Yankee starter Luis Gil is emerging as an AL ROY candidate thanks to his nice record and boatload of Ks. The challenges he faces are two-fold: firstly, his command is even worse than it was in his first couple of looks in the bigs; and secondly, he’s coming off TJS, so the Yanks are likely going to monitor his inning count as the season progresses. Still, Gil’s been an amazing early-season Fantasy surprise.
  • It’s high time to give a bit of love to D-Back starter Slade Cecconi. He bounced back from a rough outing to hurl 5 1/3 frames of one-run ball on Thursday and has now looked pretty damned good in three of his four starts. Cecconi’s ERA is better this season, and while there’s definitely some luck involved, his WHIP is worth a second look for Fantasy purposes.
  • If he’s available in your league, grab and stash Dodger starter Clayton Kershaw. Currently out with a shoulder woe, he tossed 20 pitches in a bullpen session earlier this week and is tracking to make his season debut after the All-Star break. Okay, so Kershaw wasn’t as dominant last year as he was in 2022, but he’s still an excellent asset, especially given the paucity of pitching Fantasy owners are currently dealing with.
  • Not that he was bad last year, but Seattle SP Logan Gilbert took a slight step back in 2023. However, so far this season, he’s been better than ever. His record is great (even if he finally suffered his first loss on Thursday), he leads the majors in innings pitched and his ERA and WHIP are sparkling. Our only concerns? He’s been somewhat lucky (3.45 FIP) and his control — while still pretty good — has never been worse, and has been extremely worrisome over his last four starts (which included a pair of outings in which he walked a combined eight over 14 2/3 IP). Maybe we’re nitpicking here. Maybe not.

RotoRob Tune of the Day

Nirvana came out Aberdeen, Washington, part of the incredible Seattle scene of the late 1980s. In 1992, they released a compilation album entitled Incesticide, featuring “Stain,” originally released on the 1989 EP Blew.

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