WITH roughly 20% of the MLB season done and dusted now we all have a fair idea of how our lineups are shaking out. Some of you are reading this with joy others are viewing the article just as a distraction from the train wreck that is your fantasy baseball team. Never fear! This week we will be looking at some potential candidates with less than 50% ownership you can add to help you improve in each of the major fantasy stat categories.
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Runs – R
Asdrubal Cabrera, New York Mets SS (41.6%) & Brett Gardener, New York Yankees OF (35.3%)
Gardener has been on fire in the last week with 10 hits from 26 at bats and four home runs, 7 RBI’s and five runs. After a slow start to the season he is fast being snapped up so pounce quickly. 16 runs to date from the Yankees Brett Gardener is nothing to be sneezed at as well, demanding managers to take a look at him.
AFTER Howie Kendrick suffered an oblique injury Aaron Altherr (9.9%) has done plenty to force Phillies manager Pete Mackanin to leave him in the lineup. If he stays put he is a great option for those in desperate need for runs and other stats.
Image from www.nj.com
Home Runs – HR
Scott Schebler, Cincinnati Reds OF (41.1%) & Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers 3B (48.6%)
DESPITE the fact that Schebler hasn’t cleared the fence in the last week he still has eight homers to his names so far this year. His early season power outburst is here to stay. Speaking of here to stay as long as Adrian Beltre remains out expect Joey Gallo to take on third basemen duties for the Rangers. Owners are realising his talents quickly so he won’t available much longer.
Marwin Gonzalez (6.6%) is an option for pick up on sparse waiver wires. Six of his eight homers have come in the last six games, however he hasn’t got a great track record for long bombs. Keep an eye on him though, because if this continues you MUST find a roster spot for him.
Runs Batted In – RBI
Matt Holiday, New York Yankees OF/DH (24.7%) & Yonder Alonso, Oakland A’s 1B (8.6%)
10 RBI’s in his last eight games is pretty impressive from Matt Holiday while Yonder Alonso has seven from the same amount of time. The three players listed above in the home run category also (obviously) are viable RBI pickups should the keep swinging hard.
PHILLIES shortstop Freddy Galvis (13.6%) has 16 RBI’s this year as well and looms an option for deeper leagues.
Stolen Bases – SB
Jarrad Dyson, Seattle Mariners OF (21.0%) & Keon Broxton, Milwaukee Brewers OF (22.3%)
NEITHER Dyson nor Broxton are lighting the world on fire across the board, but both are solid base stealers. Owned in under a quarter of teams so far this season both guys are moving up in ownership and if SB is a position you need help in, they are two of the best.
AN option in bigger leagues Delino DeShields (7.4%) have emerged as the Rangers starting left fielder ‘for now’. If he keeps getting game time he could be a great pick up.
Image from seattletimes.com
Batting Average – AVG
Kevin Pillar, Toronto Blue Jays OF (49.5%) & David Peralta, Arizona Diamondbacks OF (43.9%)
AFTER a career best month Pillar is working his way back into teams across the fantasy world. He is batting at a .300 average which is pretty good for a guy owned in less than half of the teams in the comp. Another guy in that bracket is David Peralta who is currently battling a niggling illness. Once healthy though expect his ownership to rise, especially if he can maintain his .323 average.
ROTATING in and out of teams depending on the dominant hand of the pitcher Lonnie Chisenhall (6.5%) is another possibility batting at nearly .300 when he is in the lineup.
Strikeouts – K
Charlie Morton, Houston Astros (15.6%) & Jerad Eickoff, Philadelphia Phillies (40.1%)
MORTON has thrown 20 K’s in his past two outings, slightly inflating his numbers. His other numbers don’t make him too expensive of an option either. Eickoff however has been inconsistent, but has struck out at least five batters in all bar one of his six games so far.
SIX or more strikeouts in Trevor Cahil’s (12.1%) five games of the year make him fly under the radar as well. Strongly consider.
Wins – W
Antonio Senzatela, Colorado Rockies (48.1%) & Miguel Gonzalez, Chicago White Sox (33.5%)
DESPITE Miguel Gonzalez giving up 14 hits and 6 earned runs in one outing, he still seems like an under appreciated player at the moment who will chalk up more W’s this season. The Rockies veteran bull pen runs pretty deep, which has contributed to their early success and rookie Antonio Senzatela’s 4-1 record has been a nice addition.
A 4-1 record is impressive from Phil Hughes (5.2%) and you would think the Twins pitcher deserves to be owned in more teams. If he can reign in his ERA (5.06) he is a must have.
Image from roxpile.com
Saves – SV
Fernando Rodney, Arizona Diamondbacks (33.3%) & Bud Norris, Los Angeles Angels (40.7%)
THIN ice. Fernando Rodney is on thin ice as Arizona’s closer. His 11.45 ERA is purely disgusting, but he received a vote of confidence from the manager by being plugged back in despite giving up eight runs in 1.2 innings over the past few days. Bud Norris has emerged as the Angels closer with Cam Bedrosian injured and seems poised to hold down the role for the foreseeable future.
THE battle for a permanent closer in Oakland is alive with Santiago Casilla (21.9%) moving closer and closer to the top of the food chain.
Earned Run Average – ERA
Patrick Corbin, Arizona Diamondbacks (36.9%) & Derek Holland, Chicago White Sox (28.1%)
CORBIN continues to lower his ERA on a nightly basis down to 2.29, while still striking out a fair portion of batters. After starting the season in a less than ideal fashion Holland is making his ERA look more impressive by the day.
HAVING only given up one earned run over his first 16 innings pitched this season Pirates pitcher Felipe Rivero (7.8%) boasts one of the best ERA’s in the majors at .056.
Walks/Hits Per Innings Pitched – WHIP
Brandon Maurer, San Diego Padres (43.4%) & Jesse Hahn, Oakland Athletics (23.9%)
IF relief pitcher Brandon Maurer could pitch more innings his 0.67 WHIP would woo fantasy owners to sign him up for a stint on the team. Hahn’s win/loss record doesn’t jump off the page, but he continues to offer good numbers across the board. I expect managers to jump on board and his numbers to keep shooting upwards.
FINALLY Archie Bradley’s (10.4%) WHIP continues to help him garner attention and he seems to have a permanent spot in the rotation now that Shelby Miller undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery.