Head-to-Head Points League Strategy: Waiver Wire Week 12

DENVER, CO - JUNE 12: Brandon Moss #37 of the Oakland Athletics watches his two run home run off of starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie #15 of the Colorado Rockies to give the A's a 5-4 lead in the third inning during Interleague Play at Coors Field on June 12, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

I remember thinking when I first heard that Ryan Braun had tested positive for an illegal substance that his 2011 MVP would probably/unfortunately be his first and last (actually, being a Brewers fan, my first thought was, "S#$*!!!"). Based on this article from Buster Olney on ESPN.com, it appears he might feel the same way.

You have to be an ESPN Insider to read the article, but the gist of it is that the BBWAA frowns pretty heavily on anyone who has been proven to have used PEDs or who has even been suspected of using PEDs. Olney cites players like Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro who haven't been voted into the HOF yet based on their history with PEDs and even points to Jeff Bagwell as a player that hasn't entered the HOF because he has merely been suspected of PEDs, but there is no proof of him using them. The MLB runs the HOF but lets the writers vote on its inductees, but as for the MVP, well ... that award belongs entirely to the BBWAA.

Braun is putting up even better numbers in 2012 than he was at this point in 2011, but I don't think it matters. I think the BBWAA will use every excuse possible over his career to ensure he never receives another MVP. Take last year for example, were Braun to have failed the test prior to 2011 I imagine the BBWAA would've voted for Matt Kemp citing his best overall stats as the reason for him being MVP. This year, I think it will be just the opposite where the BBWAA will cite the success of the Cincinnati Reds when they choose Joey Votto over Ryan Braun.

IMO, in order for Ryan Braun to ever win another MVP, he will need to have far and away the best stats in the NL and the Brewers will need to win the NL Central. Unfortunately for Braun, Milwaukee is trending in the wrong direction.

It's a sad truth, but in baseball you are guilty until proven innocent. Or in the case of Ryan Braun, you are guilty even after proven innocent ... at least most likely in the minds of the BBWAA.

Week 12 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:

Will Myers, Kansas City Royals – 3%

It’s prospect season! Well, it should be. Truth is, no one with much pedigree has been called to the BIGs since April 28th when Bryce Harper and Mike Trout arrived. I think most ‘perts assumed Trevor Bauer and Anthony Rizzo would’ve been up by now. Who knows, maybe Will Myers will beat them both. Or he could be a September callup. Or he could not be called up at all. If your name isn’t Dayton Moore, your guess is as good as mine, but, if you have the roster space, his potential is worth the stash and with C eligibility for this season, it’s downright must-ownable (not a word).

Travis d’Arnaud, Toronto Blue Jays – 1%

Travis has been d’Awesome in AAA this season with a .335 BA and 48 RBI and 41 R in 251 AB. He has also brought the lumber as his 15 HR in 2012 are more than any catcher has hit in the BIGs. Problem from a points perspective is dude strikes out a wee bit too much with 49 already and only 11 BB, but, once Toronto decides they are out of the AL East race, I would expect them to give d’Arnaud some time down the stretch.

Others to consider:

Ryan Doumit, Minnesota Twins – 27%, Wilin Rosario, Colorado Rockies – 17%, Ryan Hanigan, Cincinnati Reds – 4%

First base:


Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants – 20%

Since receiving more playing time from The Big Headed One, Brandon Belt has 8 hits in his last seven games with 3 HR, 4 R and 7 RBI in that time. I’ll admit, I wasn’t big on Belt as early as a week ago, but, a player with dual eligibility and a little power hitting after Melky Cabrera, Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval certainly has the potential to provide some points via RBI.

Steve Pearce, Baltimore Orioles – 1%

After starting in seven of the Orioles last eight games, Steve Pearce has now scored 26 points in only 34 AB. That’s close to a point an AB which means he is on FIRE. Right now, pretty much the only players averaging a point per AB in 2012 are CarGo, Braun, Ortiz, Hamilton, Votto, Kemp and Wright. Am I crazy to think Pearce could join those names at the end of the season? YES. But it wouldn’t be crazy to own him right now as he is playing and he is hitting and the Orioles have a pretty stocked lineup. Bonus, he qualifies at 3B and OF as well. Sweet!

Brandon Moss, Oakland A’s – 17%

So, you know how Pearce is averaging almost a point per AB? Well, Brandon Moss is averaging more than that with 43 points in 36 AB. However, I feel like he is less likely to sustain his success than Pearce as I feel a large part of his breakout can be attributed to three games in Coors Field over the last week vs. a TERRIBLE Rockies pitching staff. O.co won’t do his power any favors and his K-rate is sure to catch up to him, but if you want to take a shot on a guy with 6 HR in only 36 AB, I won’t be mad atcha.

Others to consider:

Wilson Betemit, Baltimore Orioles – 4%, John Mayberry, Philadelphia Phillies – 4%

Second base:

Brian Roberts, Baltimore Orioles – 16%

Since returning from the DL, Brian Roberts has had 7 hits in his first 22 ABs with 4 RBI. Surprisingly, he has only scored 1 R hitting leadoff for the Orioles, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say he finishes the season with more than that. Then again, he could break a limb in the on-deck circle before his first AB in the Mets series and never play baseball again. Either seems equally possible with Roberts. Own at your own risk.

Marco Scutaro/Darwin Barney/Jamey Carroll – 31%/8%/1%

I’m just as tired of recommending them as you are of reading about them, but it just wouldn’t feel right to ignore three players within or close to the Top 12 in scoring at the position. Both Scutaro and Carroll qualify at multiple positions.

Others to consider:

Gordon Beckham, Chicago White Sox – 19%, Elliott Johnson, Tampa Bay Rays – 8%, Johnny Giavotella, Kansas City Royals – 1%

Third base:

Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates – 13%

To this point Pedro Alvarez has proven to be a terrible MLB player. That being said, he goes on some of the hottest streaks imaginable throughout the season and he just finished hitting 4 HR in his last two games over the weekend. I would absolutely own him for my 3B or UTL spot the next three to six days with the intent of dropping him the minute he posts his next 0-4 game.

Elian Herrera, LA Dodgers – 2%

I’m about to drop some expert knowledge on you. I like this guy. That’s really all I can say. I like that he has been in the Dodgers lineup nearly every day batting either leadoff or second and I like that he qualifies at 2B, 3B and OF. Herrera has 18 BB to 27 K in 105 ABs and is batting .305 in that time with 4 SB. If he continues to hit and get on base, I think there is a good chance he could retain his spot in the lineup even after Matt Kemp returns and then his value should/could skyrocket.

Others to consider:


Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves – 33%, Will Middlebrooks, Boston Red Sox – 33%, Chris Johnson, Houston Astros – 25%,

Shortstop:

Erick Aybar, LAA Angels – 33%

"A horse walks up to Aybar and asks, "Why the long face?" And Aybar says, "I’ve been terrible this year." Then the horse mentions how Erick Aybar has 12 hits in his last 10 games and could be finally heating up. I don’t know. It’s something like that. I always forget the punch line of jokes.

Marco Scutaro, Colorado Rockies – 31%

It might be a little lazy to recommend the same guy twice in one post. I get that. But, Marco Scutaro is the eighth highest scoring shortstop. Eighth! Unless you play in a Yankees-Only League or you served the dude a Gin Fizz and he stiffed you on the tip … I just don’t get it. To this point Scutaro has outscored the likes of Jimmy Rollins, JJ Hardy, Dee Gordon and Alexei Ramirez.

Everth Cabrera, San Diego Padres – 6%

PETCO: Where Power Goes to Die. But, speed plays there. Oh, yes. Speed plays there and Everth Cabrera has speed by the bushel. Speed bushels. Cabrera has 9 SB in only 96 ABs and hasn’t been caught once, which is significant since most leagues enforce a -1 or -2 point penalty for CS. Don’t expect much in the way of, well … anything else from Cabrera, but, yeah … the speed. Don’t forget about the speed.

Others to consider:

Elliott Johnson, Tampa Bay Rays – 8%, Ryan Theriot, San Francisco Giants – 6%, Cliff Pennington, Oakland A’s – 4%

Outfield:

Colby Rasmus, Toronto Blue Jays – 49%

So, I was thinking that if Colby’s name started with a "K" instead of a "C" I would say something really creative like, "You can’t spell Kolby without K" to start this blurb. But his name starts with a "C" so, I can’t do that. I guess that’s kind of a long, round-about way of saying that Colby Rasmus still strikes out a lot even though he is ridiculously hot right now. I’m sorry. I can’t give you those 4 seconds of your life back.

Juan Pierre, Philadelphia Phillies – 15%

Batting second for the Phillies ain’t what it used to be, but it ain’t chopped liver either. By the way, is non-chopped liver that far superior to chopped liver? I guess you don’t hear much about fully intact liver. Or at least it doesn’t have its own idiom. Maybe it’s a delicacy? I don’t know. Juan Pierre bats second for the Phillies and is in the lineup most days and has 14 SB with only 2 CS. Even better, he has only 12 K to 11 BB. Time will tell where he will hit in the lineup once Chase Utley and Ryan Howard return, but right now I would be all about Mr. Pierre if I needed OF help.

Quintin Berry, Detroit Tigers – 5%

When I hear Quintin Berry’s name I think of Chuck Berry. Then I think of the scene at the end of Back to the Future. Then I think about how they don’t make good movies like Back to the Future anymore. I just saw Prometheus over the weekend. Wow! That was not as good as Back to the Future. That is for sure. The time to own Berry was probably a week ago, but he just went 5/5 on Sunday and could find himself more ABs. If he finds himself more ABs, he is a great source of potential runs and SBs. PS: Don’t see Prometheus.

Scott Podsednik, Boston Red Sox – 3%

Uh oh! Scotty Pods left Sunday night’s game a bit early with a wonky groin. You’ll probably want to look into that more before you do the whole "Add him to your team" thing that this post is kind of all about. If his groin is all systems go, then proceed. Podsednik is batting .387 in 62 ABs and is mostly batting leadoff for the Sawx the nights he is in the lineup. Thus far he has 6 SB and I would expect 20+ if he can continue to find the ABs.

Others to consider:

Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians – 31%, Denard Span, Minnesota Twins – 19%, David DeJesus, Chicago Cubs – 5%

Starting pitcher:

Danny Hultzen, Seattle Mariners - 3%

Without a question, Danny Hultzen has been the best pitcher in AA this season and could skip AAA altogether if the Mariners feel he is ready. Everyone assumed Trevor Bauer would be the first touted pitcher in the BIGs, but at this point I wouldn't be surprised to see Hultzen first.

Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta Braves - 11%

Jair Jurjjens was so bad to start the season that the Braves were forced to send him to AAA where he has been only slightly less bad. But, for whatever reason, the team has decided to call him up in place of Brandon Beachy instead of giving Kris Medlen a shot in the rotation or promoting uber prospect Julio Teheran. I don't know why teams do what they do. There is no way I would start Jurrjens vs. the Sawx this weekend, but I might make a speculative grab and see how he does. I mean, the dude had a 2.96 ERA and pitched in the All-Star Game last year.

Justin Grimm, Texas Rangers - 0%

IMO, the only thing Grimm about Justin is his home ballpark. Otherwise, you can feel pretty confident he is going to get 5-6 runs scored for him so he doesn't need to be perfect to get a W. Also, the Rangers play the Mariners and A's like 70 times or so. Grimm looked good in his debut with 6 IP, 3 ER and a 7/0 KBB. And of course earned a W. It's not known just how long he will be in the BIGs with Roy Oswalt looming, but I'd take advantage of it for the time being.

Roy Oswalt, Texas Rangers - 31%

Sounds like Roy Oswalt will be up within the next week or two. In case you didn't catch the Grimm blurb, I like Rangers pitchers in points leagues quite a bit. Even pitchers that haven't pitched in a year.

Others to consider:

Aaron Harang, LA Dodgers - 26%, Joe Saunders, Arizona Diamondbacks - 19%, Dillon Gee, New York Mets - 11%, Bronson Arroyo, Cincinnati Reds - 8%

Relief pitcher:

Carlos Marmol, Chicago Cubs - 47%

Here we go again. Owning Carlos Marmol is not for the faint of heart and I can assure you he won't be on any of my teams, but, for the time being, he is the closer for the Cubs and Saves = Points!

Ryan Cook, Oakland A's - 44%

Per usual, immediately after it was announced there would be a closer committee in Oakland, Ryan Cook has gone on to collect all the saves in Oakland. I might still keep an eye on Grant Balfour, otherwise I think Brian Fuentes is pretty dropable at this point.

Glen Perkins, Minnesota Twins - 3%

Matt Capps isn't 100% at the moment, meaning Glenn Perkins could find himself some save opportunities over the next few days and even more if Capps hit the DL. The only problem is Minnesota actually needs to be winning in the 9th for any of what I just wrote to matter at all.

Others to consider:

Any RP currently in consideration for Saves. Saves = Points ... Yo!

Questions? Comments? Reviews of Prometheus? Hit me up down below.

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