“Joe Talkin’ To Me?!” NL Takeover: Using The Wire To “Finish” The Competition
In this week’s installment of “Joe Talkin’ To Me”, I am throwing another curveball at you. No, it is not quite as nasty as Noah Syndergaard’s 75 MPH “hook from hell”. It is simply a geographical and philosophical-baseball difference, as I ditch the West for coast-to-coast coverage and ditch the AL and it’s DH, for the NL and Bartolo Colon grabbing a bat every fifth day. Staying true to my AL West roots, there will be a couple of name drops in this week’s article before I go cold turkey next week.
“WINNING” is here. Last week I gave strategical advice for doling out fatalities Mortal Kombat style on your league mates. If you have not checked it out, I guess you play fantasy sports for the camaraderie.
For those who are serious about winning, you won’t get trade advice this week. I gave you trade strategies last week and if you have not made a move yet, you probably can’t or won’t.
What I am offering up this week are potential waiver-wire adds (players you can actually acquire) that can help your fantasy team in a specialized, acute fashion. Your team is what it is at this point, but improving vastly in one or two areas might put you over the top. For example: You play in a rotisserie league and half of the league is bunched up, battling for 5 points in HR. Being on the bottom or the top of that group could separate 3rd place from 1st place. The question is: Who will be this season’s Kevin Mass down the stretch that I can plug in and give me the needed boost to capture those 5 points and the championship trophy? (Who could forget Mass’ 21 HR in 79 games as a rookie and being the quickest to 10 HR in MLB history doing it in 72 AB.)
Here are some players you can pick up to round out your roster and make your team the complete package, and a true title threat. These players are free agents in a lot of leagues, but could be cheap trade targets if owned in yours.
Nori Aoki, OF, SF – Fresh off the DL, Aoki Son was having a career year hitting atop the Giants lineup. The career .291 hitter was hitting a career best .314 before going down with a fractured fibula in early July. He has never hit lower than .285 in his four MLB seasons making him the perfect guy to get for free if he was dropped when he got hurt in your league.
Home Run Heroes
Luis Valbuena, 3B, Hou – Ryan Howard, 1B, PHI – Marlon Byrd, OF, CIN – I can group these guys together rather easily. They all have power and are on pace for 25-28 HR. They all also will destroy your team in BA and OBP. But wait! If you read my article last week on strategy, you will know that at this point in the season the damage in ratios can be minimal. On the other hand, if any of these guys gets hot with the long-ball, he can carry you for a couple of weeks. If any of these stooges are rostered, I promise they will be easy trade acquisitions.
Delino DeShields, Jr, OF/2B, TEX – He has 16 SB and has not been a full-time/healthy player for the whole season. He now has a full-time gig, and is hitting in front of the the suddenly potent bat of Rougned Odor and the perennially dangerous Prince Fielder. DeShields should get on base plenty and be given the green light to commit baseball larceny.
Scoring On The Run
Nori Aoki, OF, SF – If you need R, grab the guy sitting atop the lineup for one of the NL’s best teams, hitting in front of one of the NL’s best hitters (Buster Posey). He will score a bunch.
Delino DeShields, Jr., OF/2B, TEX – As mentioned above, he is now playing every day, has a great lineup behind him, and gets on base at a .362 clip. He will score a bunch.
Mike Leake, SP, CIN – With 13 QS in 20 times toeing the rubber, he is a fine candidate to grab for free that give you some QS down the stretch. With only 8 W to his stat sheet, his QS will get overlooked. His career low .246 BAA suggests he could give you more than QS. He is on lot of waiver wires or possibly an easy get in a trade.
Mike Fiers, SP, MIL – He has 116 K in 112 IP. As I stressed last week, it is hard to make major advancements in ERA and WHIP at this point in the season in rotisserie. So, shrug off the 3.94 ERA and 1.38 WHIP and grab the only SP out there that you are going to pick up with over 9 K/9. The possibility exists for a real life trade, putting him on a contender and in line for some wins as well.
Collin McHugh, SP, HOU – He is tied for 3rd in MLB with 11 W. Playing for a potent offensive Houston squad that will not go away, he should have several more under his belt before all is said and done. Add him off the wire or get him on the cheap from an owner that over estimates the impact of his ugly 4.25 WHIP.
Edward Mujica, RP, OAK – Nothing special here, but he is now the likely man up for saves in Oakland after closer Tyler Clippard was stolen by the New York Mets via trade. Grab him if no one has yet. Free saves on the waiver wire are gold.
Ken Giles, RP, PHI – If you need saves, grab Giles and wait for the trading deadline to pass on Friday. If Philly finds a taker for Jonathan Papelbon, you just scored yourself a dominant closer with 54 K in 43 IP and a 1.85 WHIP. If Papelbon stays, drop Giles.
***After writing this early Tuesday, the trade went down sending Papelbon to Washington. Giles only waited a few ours to record his first save as the newly minted closer.
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Major League Fantasy Sports Show: Join Ej Garr and Corey D Roberts on Sunday August 2nd from 7-9pm EST for this week’s episode of Major League Fantasy SportsRadio sponsored by the Sports Palooza Radio Network. Call in at 646-915-8596. This week’s discussion will be all about the MLB trade deadline deals, and how they will affect your fantasy teams.