Head-to-Head Points League Strategy: Waiver Wire Week 9

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 17: Starter Felipe Paulino #59 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on June 17, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

I try to be diligent in responding to comments in these posts each week but for whatever reason I totes dropped the ball, ala Yancy Thigpen, and missed the comments from last week's post.

There were some good questions as well as a comment in defense of Betty from Mad Men in that she is supposed to be whiny and we are supposed to not like her. That's possible, but I know that I did LOVE that she wasn't in a single scene in this week's episode. More Don and Joan please. It was also nice to see the return of Paul Kinsey, albeit brief and somewhat odd.

As far as fantasy baseball related commentary, someone asked which newly anointed closers were most likely to keep the job for the remainder of the season. Because I didn't get to answer the question last week, I thought I'd give a run down of each team and who I think will get the majority of the saves for the remainder of the season:

AL East

Baltimore Orioles: Jim Johnson - Boston Red Sox: Alfredo Aceves - New York Yankees: Rafael Soriano - Tampa Bay Rays: Fernando Rodney - Toronto Blue Jays: Casey Janssen

I think the Yankees will leave Robertson in the 8th inning where he is comfortable. Rodney is safe considering there is no timetable for Farnsworth's return and he isn't exactly dominant when he is healthy. Toronto is probably the most up in the air but I guess I'm just not feeling Santos against the stiff competition in the AL East and considering his recent injuries.

AL Central

Chicago White Sox: Addison Reed, Cleveland Indians: Chris Perez, Detroit Tigers: Jose Valverde, Kansas City Royals: Jonathan Broxton, Minnesota Twins: Matt Capps

Reed should've been the closer from the get in Chi-Town. Perez has been excellent and Valverde has a huge leash. Broxton has been much better than expected while Holland has scuffled. Nothing is happening in Minnesota.

AL West

LAA Angels: Ernesto Frieri - Oakland A's: Ryan Cook - Seattle Mariners: Brandon League - Texas Rangers: Joe Nathan

Frieri is the best pitcher in the Angels bullpen, although I'm still not sure why Walden lost the job. I wish I owned Cook in all my leagues that count holds and soon will wish I own him in all leagues period. League has a long leash and is fine at least until the deadline. Nathan has been a pleasant surprise.

NL East

Atlanta Braves: Craig Kimbrel - Miami Marlins: Heath Bell - New York Mets: Bobby Parnell - Philadelphia Phillies: Jonathon Papelbon - Washington Nationals: Drew Storen

Bell will keep getting chances thanks to his contract which will lead to more saves than anyone else on the team. Parnell has looked better than Rauch or Francisco as of late and the Mets soon will have little to player for and will give him a shot. The Nationals bullpen is a mess and by the time it is figured out Storen should be back and racking up saves in the second half.

NL Central

Chicago Cubs: Carlos Marmol - Cincinnati Reds: Aroldis Chapman - Houston Astros: Brett Meyers - Milwaukee Brewers: John Axford - Pittsburgh Pirates: Joel Hanrahan - St. Louis Cardinals: Jason Motte

Dolis in Chicago just doesn't look like a closer to me and Marmol is probably untradeable at this point. The Chapman era begins in CIN. Meyers might get traded, but really how many save opportunities will there be in Houston after the deadline? Motte is the safest bet, but a deadline acquisition wouldn't shock me. Huston Street, perhaps?

NL West

Arizona Diamondbacks: JJ Putz - Colorado Rockies: Rafael Betancourt - Los Angeles Dodgers: Kanley Jansen - San Diego Padres: Dale Thayer - San Francisco Giants: Santiago Casilla

Jansen should've been the closer to begin with. Street's recovery will take longer than anticipated as it always does and when he gets back he will be traded. Casilla has been solid but I wouldn't be shocked if a deadline acquisition is made if SF is still in the race.

Week 9 Waiver Wire Advice Below:

All players in this post and pre/proceeding waiver wire posts are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo! leagues (I’ll do my best to call out some players owned in less than 10-20% of leagues as well, for you deep leaguers out there in Fake Teams land).

Catcher:

Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers – 49%

Last week Jonathan Lucroy was hitting in the two-hole in the lineup and now he is batting in the cleanup spot thanks to his ridiculous .552 BA with RISP and now has Brewers fans saying, "Fielder who?" No. No one has said that. Lucroy’s success has him currently ranked as the fifth highest scoring catcher behind Carlos Ruiz, Yadier Molina, Joe Mauer and AJ Pierzynski. Three of those players went undrafted in most leagues which only reinforces the three fantasy rules regarding catchers: 1) Don’t feed them after midnight. 2) Don’t get them wet. 3) Don’t draft them early.

AJ Ellis, Los Angeles Dodgers – 24%

I’ve programmed my computer to auto-fill an AJ Ellis blurb into each one of these posts going forward which leaves me more time to watch Swamp People on the History Channel. "Chooot ‘em, Clint!"

Others to consider:


Ryan Doumit, Minnesota Twins – 25%, John Buck, Miami Marlins – 5%, Rod Barajas, Pittsburgh Pirates – 3%

First base:

Ike Davis, New York Mets – 43%

Like Dry Land in Waterworld, the Sophomore Slump is not a myth. It chewed up and spit out Jason Heyward last year and now it’s doing it to Ike Davis in 2012. But, let’s not forget that entering the season everyone and their mother was high on Davis and some proclaimed him as the second best first basemen in the NL with the departure of Pujols and Fielder. If you have the bench space or are scuffling and need a miracle, I would grab Davis. There’s a lot of year left to turn things around.

Matt Adams, St. Louis Cardinals – 16%

Color me wrong about Lance Berkman. I thought he could repeat or at least come close to his 2011 production. But that ain’t gonna happen now that he is out for the next 6-8 weeks. What is gonna happen is Matt Adams is gonna see a lot of at bats in the middle of the best offense in the NL for the next couple of weeks, minimum. He was off to a nice start in the PCL hitting .300 and 9 HR and his Dunn-esque frame suggests there are plenty more long balls to come. By the way, "ain’t" and "gonna" aren’t words.

Others to consider:

Todd Helton, Colorado Rockies – 16%, Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals – 10%

Second base:

Darwin Barney, Chicago Cubs – 6%

I’m at a little bit of a loss here what with not being able to recommend Mark Ellis due to him being on the DL for the foreseeable future. So, umm … Darwin Barney? He has been one of the more consistent producers in the Cubs lineup to this point. Problem is he doesn’t really produce much with only one home run and one stolen base this season. However, he keeps his strikeouts in check and sees everyday at bats. Considering there are no significant second base injuries to speak of, you’re probably best sticking with whoever you’ve got for the time being. Ian Kinsler? Yeah. I’d stick with him.

Others to consider:

Marco Scutaro, Colorado Rockies – 14%, Jamey Carroll, Minnesota Twins – 3%, Freddy Galvis, Philadelphia Phillies – 7%

Third base:

Jed Lowrie, Houston Astros – 44%

There’s a new sheriff in Houston and he is laying down the Lowrie, Jed style. Wow! That was lame and barely makes sense. What’s not lame is Lowrie’s season to this point (great segue). He has seven home runs and 18 R and 18 RBI while posting a solid 16/23 KBB rate. Considering he is eligible at both the hot corner and shortstop, I’d say he should be owned in all leagues if for nothing more than INF depth.

Jamey Carroll, Minnesota Twins – 3%

Well, well, well, well, well. Look who just earned third base eligibility. Now Jamey Carroll can not hit home runs or XBH at three different positions. That being said, he is still within the Top 20 in scoring at third base, shortstop and second base and, like Lawrie, is good for INF depth in daily leagues.

Others to consider:

Chris Johnson, Houston Astros – 33%, Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals – 10%

Shortstop:

Tyler Greene, St. Louis Cardinals – 3%

In his last five starts, Tyler Greene has eight hits with one home run, one stolen base and three doubles. He also has four runs scored and 1 RBI and is now batting a respectable .253. He will need to improve his 7/23 KBB mark in order to improve his point total, but there are few if any players with as much upside eligible at second base, shortstop and outfield, especially in a lineup as excellent as the Cardinals’. Rafael Furcal is way overdue for an injury meaning Greene’s playing time should see a significant spike any day now.

Others to consider:

Robert Andino, Baltimore Orioles – 27%, Sean Rodriguez, Tampa Bay Rays – 16%

Outfield:

Gregor Blanco, San Francisco Giants – 8%

Who? Exactly. Right now Gregor Blanco is leading off for the Giants and seeing everyday at bats in the outfield. He doesn’t offer much in the way of power or XBH, but he has shown patience at the plate with a 18/19 KBB and has the ability to reach 20-25 SB if he continues to see this much playing time.

Tony Campana, Chicago Cubs – 14%

Tony Campana came to the MLB to do two things, steal some bases and drink some beer, and he’s all out of beer. Right now he is 12/14 in attempts and batting .306. If he continues to get on base, the points via SB should continue for the foreseeable future. I’m not sure why he doesn’t just go buy some more beer though? There are plenty of Old Style vendors at Wrigley Field.

Mike Baxter, New York Mets – 0%

Small sample size and whatnot, but right now Mike Baxter is on a roll. In 41 at bats he has 8 RBI, 9 R and is batting .390 with 2 SB. He hasn’t knocked one out of the park yet, but he does have 8 XBH. Not to mention his convenience store-esque 7/11 KBB.

Others to consider:

Denard Span, Minnesota Twins – 18%, Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians – 8%, David DeJesus, Chicago Cubs – 7%

Starting pitcher:


RA Dickey, New York Mets – 42%

You can’t spell "quality start" without Dickey. RA has reached 6+ IP and 3 ER or less in 7 of his 8 GS this season with a 40/16 KBB. Acronyms! He also has an impressive 5-1 record to this point.

Tommy Milone, Oakland A’s – 17%

There have been a couple of hiccups along the way, but all in all, Tommy Milone’s 2012 season has been impressive to this point. He has a solid 1.09 WHIP and 32/14 KBB with a jaw-dropping 6-3 record considering the anemic offense the A’s trot out each night. I’d watch out for starts vs. Texas or New York, but otherwise, it’s all systems go for Milone going forward.

Jake Arrieta, Baltimore Orioles – 12%

His ERA isn’t pretty and his record is nothing to write home about, but a 1.21 WHIP in the AL East and 51/13 KBB are enough to merit a little attention toward Jake Arrieta. I have to assume if he keeps the base runners to a minimum and the Ks to a maximum that the Ws are on their way what with the impressive start from Baltimore’s offense.

Felipe Paulino, Kansas City Royals – 7%

I love Felipe Paulino and am very disappointed to only own him on one team. The dude has sliced and diced his way through the Yankees lineup twice already this season. It’s all gravy from here unless you’re scared to start him vs. the Twins in which case you probably shouldn’t be playing Fantasy Baseball.

Others to consider:

Derek Lowe, Cleveland Indians – 32%, Wade Miley, Arizona Diamondbacks – 27%, Scott Diamond, Minnesota Twins – 16%, Jeanmar Gomez, Cleveland Indians – 3%

Relief pitcher:

Addison Reed, Chicago White Sox – 44%

It took a little longer than expected with a random pitstop at Hector Santiago, but Addison Reed is now the closer in Chi-Town. He should be owned in all leagues and is a perfect 4/4 in save opportunities thus far.

Ernesto Frieri, LAA Angels – 22%

It’s still unclear exactly who the closer is for the Angels or why Jordan Walden was even demoted in the first place, but I’d put my $$$ on Ernesto Frieri getting some chances soon as his stats are nuts-o to start the year: 1.47 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 32/9 KBB.

Others to consider:

Any relief pitcher currently in consideration for save opportunities.

How’s it goin? What’s up? What’s the haps? Got a fantasy baseball comment or question? Awesome! Hit me up down below.

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