Adam Plutko is looking sharp since returning to the Tribe rotation. (didthetribewinlastnight.com)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. We’re in the middle of June now, with over two-fifths of the season in the books. Now is the time to make your moves, starting with the wire.
This week, Shohei Ohtani made history as the first Japanese-born player to hit for the cycle; it’s not beyond possibility that Ben Zobrist could return to the Cubs from the restricted list this season after he deals with his personal issues; and Wilson Ramos struck out swinging shortly after his wife surprised him in the on-deck circle with news that she was pregnant.
And now, let’s get to this week’s Fantasy baseball waiver wire picks of the week…
Adam Plutko, SP, Cleveland Indians (ESPN: 0.9 per cent; CBS: 8 per cent): With Carlos Carrasco out, Plutko is getting another shot in the Indian rotation, and he sure looked sharp last week, beating the Yankees with six innings of three-hit, two-run ball (four Ks, zero walks) — a start that caught Manager Terry Francona‘s eye (see video below). If you’re trolling for pitching among the free agent pool, Plutko is definitely worth a look in AL-only leagues. After getting roughed up in his first taste of the bigs in 2016, he looked better last year and has slightly improved on those numbers so far in 2019. Better yet, Plutko had a favourable matchup against the Tigers Friday, and earned another win with a quality outing. The righty was a big star at UCLA, leading the school to the 2013 National Championship while earning Most Outstanding Player at the College World Series, so the pedigree is there.
Amir Garrett, RP, Cincinnati Reds (ESPN: 3.3 per cent; CBS: 11 per cent): If you’re seeking a reliever in a holds league that could be a closer in the waiting, look no further than Garrett, red hot this month (six scoreless outings) to lower his ERA to 1.55. He made nice progress in his transition to relief last year, but this season he’s taken his game to a whole new level. Garrett’s slider has become as untouchable a pitch as exists in the bigs, making this California-born lefty one of the top non-closing options in the bigs. And don’t think for a moment that closer Raisel Igelsias couldn’t be dealt at the deadline to really boost Garrett’s value.
Cristian Pache, OF, Atlanta Braves (ESPN: 0.6 per cent; CBS: 11 per cent): For those keeper league owners that are already out of it this year, but looking towards the future, it’s time to consider picking up Pache. With another two hits Friday, he’s now hit safely in seven straight as he dominates in his first full season of Double-A — at age 20. Finally enjoying his long awaited breakout, the Dominican has managed to stay healthy while continuing to flash a fine hit tool (hit career BA in the minors is over .285). Pache will be forcing his way to Atlanta by this time next year, if not sooner.
Joe Biagini, RP, Toronto Blue Jays (ESPN: 2.8 per cent; CBS: 9 per cent): With closer Ken Giles out, Biagini should be picked up in all standard sized leagues. Although Biagini hasn’t exactly been at his best lately (.300 BAA in June), he’s recovered nicely after hitting rock bottom as the Jays’ long man/spot starter last year. This season, Biagini is producing positive value for the first time since his rookie effort, and it seems like now that his future is clearly not in the rotation, he’s settled down and become a much more viable Fantasy option.
Jackie Bradley Jr., OF, Boston Red Sox (ESPN: 35.3 per cent; CBS: 25 per cent): JBJ is red hot right now, having hit safely in five straight games, including three multi-hit efforts. He’s doubled and homered in back-to-back games, driving in five, and has scored four runs over the last three. Bradley is slugging .615 this month, and while his general overall offensive regression has continued this season, he’s worth grabbing while he’s raking. A compensation round pick in 2011, he’s never been the same hitter since that breakout campaign in 2016, but at least his walk rate has bounced back this year.
Cam Bedrosian, RP, Los Angeles Angels (ESPN: 0.6 per cent; CBS: 2 per cent): Bedrosian has been solid in the Angel pen, hurling seven straight scoreless outings to lower his ERA to 2.51. With news that Cody Allen has been cut, Bedrosian now has a chance to move into a more important setup role, and given that he earned the save on Thursday, perhaps even more. Bedrosian has held opponents to a .125 BAA in June, and while he showed improvement last year, this season he’s been even better, control issues notwithstanding. If he can rein in those walks, he could easily work his way back into the mix for saves.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
In 1985, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and 10cc guitarist Rick Fenn teamed up for a one-off collaboration called Profiles. It was Mason’s second solo effort, but the debut for Fenn. From this album came “And the Address,” one of several tracks the pair co-wrote. This tune features the sax work of Mel Collins, who also had a long association with Roger Waters.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy baseball pickup of the week is.