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Head-to-Head Points League Strategy: Waiver Wire Week 8

DETROIT, MI - JUNE 14: Andy Dirks #12 of the Detroit Tigers hits a third inning single that drives in a run while playing the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park on June 14, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JUNE 14: Andy Dirks #12 of the Detroit Tigers hits a third inning single that drives in a run while playing the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park on June 14, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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There's little that makes much sense in the world of MLB baseball right now, if you ask me. Bad teams are good. Supposed good teams are bad. Cat's and dogs living together. Mass hysteria. Guys named Bryan LaHair and Lance Lynn are dominating while guys named Albert Pujols and Dan Haren are most certainly not.

Is it still early? Sure. Kind of. But a quick check at my Family Circus calendar tells me its not as early as it was a week ago or a month ago. It also features a hilarious cartoon of Jeffy spilling juice on the carpet and the dog Barfy licking it up. Ha! So true! Dogs love spilled juice. But, anyways ...

Who would've guessed that the Orioles, Indians, Nationals and Dodgers would be winning their respective divisions? Did anyone expect the Phillies to possibly be "sellers" at the deadline or for the Angels to be last in the AL West? From a personal standpoint, I can't tell you how boring/painful it is to watch the Brewers play right now. Travis Ishikawa and Caesar Izturis in the lineup every day? NEAT! How much did I pay for season tickets? FANTASTIC!

As far as players go, I'm extremely surprised by the poor starts from superstars like Jose Bautista, Justin Upton, Heath Bell, Ryan Zimmerman, Troy Tulowitzki, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and others. I'm also disappointed in what I have seen from Eric Hosmer, Dee Gordon, Matt Moore and Jemile Weeks, all young players I was high on entering the season.

It's not all bad. I'm really enjoying watching the Nationals right now. I've been waiting for the year that team would break out and it seems to be upon us. Bryce Harper has been all that was advertised and a bag of chips. Josh Hamilton has also been a joy to watch thus far this season, and although I don't have him on any teams, I'm really rooting for him to stay healthy just to see what kind of a year he could put up.

What has you scratching your head the most? Or what's been the most pleasant surprise thus far? Let me know below.

Week 8 Waiver Wire Advice after the jump:

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).


Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers – 30%

It’s a sad state of affairs in the Brew City as injuries have ravaged my beloved baseball team. Mat Gamel, Chris Narveson and Alex Gonzalez are all done for the season and now Rickie Weeks is ailing with a sore wrist (perhaps a blessing in disguise for his owners considering he wasn’t hitting a lick). With Weeks out of the lineup, Ron Roenicke has opted to move Jonathan Lucroy to the second spot in the order. In two games in the two-hole, Lucroy has enjoyed moderate success going 3/9 with a 1 R, 1 RBI and one double. If he can hold on to the spot, points via runs should be plenty hitting in front of Ryan Braun. Lucroy is currently outscoring Buster Posey, both Monteros and Alex Avila.

AJ Ellis, LA Dodgers – 12%

Ray alluded to it in yesterday’s Roto Roundup post, but allow me to reiterate, AJ Ellis is straight bonkers this season, assuming "bonkers" means something good to you. As I write this blurb, he is the 8th highest scoring at the position with 3 HR, 10 R and 15 RBI. Ellis has the 4th most doubles at the position and currently owns a redonculous 21/19 K/BB ratio. According to my notes, if I recommend Ellis one more time this season I win a free set of steak knives, so keep an eye out for him next week.

Jesus Flores, Washington Nationals – 1%

It looks as though Wilson Ramos is out for the season with a torn ACL which means Jesus "Not Montero" Flores should see the bulk of the ABs at catcher for the Nationals. Flores is currently batting .231 with no runs, home runs or stolen bases. He also carries a putrid 3/11 K/BB ratio. But, there is a chance his stats improve with regular playing time and he is 2/5 since Ramos left Saturday night’s contest. In a lineup consisting of Ryan Zimmerman, Bryce Harper and Adam LaRoche with Michael Morse soon to return, it’s worth monitoring Flores’ production over the next week or so.

Others to consider:

Ryan Doumit, Minnesota Twins – 25%, John Buck, Miami Marlins – 5%

First base:

John Mayberry, Philadelphia Phillies – 5%

Do they play the theme music to The Andy Griffith show at Citizens Bank when John Mayberry comes up to bat? Probably not. That would be really dumb. I’m not even sure why I brought it up. You know what wouldn’t be dumb … grabbing Mayberry for your team. He has started seven straight games now and has hits in six of them, including a home run. With Ryan Howard and Chase Utley out of the lineup, the Phillies are void of power which could force Charlie Manuel’s hand with putting Mayberry at first base if Juan Pierre’s hot start in left field continues.

Others to consider:

Todd Helton, Colorado Rockies – 20%, Nick Johnson, Baltimore Orioles – 0%, Travis Ishikawa, Milwaukee Brewers – 0%

Second base:

Danny Espinosa, Washington Nationals – 29%

It pains me to recommend someone with 41 strikeouts, but, here we are. Danny Espinosa strikes out more than a guy at a night club wearing Axe body spray, but dude is on fire. He has hits in five straight games and two home runs, two stolen bases, two doubles and only three strike outs in that time. I just asked Siri on my iPhone what that all means, and she said, "Points!" Then she recommended the calamari at Red Lobster, so I’m not sure if she can be trusted. But I would still probably grab Espinosa.

Mark Ellis, LA Dodgers – 9%

At this moment, and I’m fairly certain every time I write this post, Mark Ellis is within the Top 10 scoring second basemen. At this moment, and for far too long, Ellis is owned in fewer than 10% of leagues.

Others to consider:

Marco Scutaro, Colorado Rockies – 14%, Gordon Beckham, Chicago White Sox – 8%, Chris Getz, Kansas City Royals – 2%

Third base:

Wilson Betemit, Baltimore Orioles – 4%

The third basemen well is all dried up my friends. To the bone. Everyone and their mother, Happy Mother’s Day!, recommended Chris Johnson last week so I thought I would change it up, ergo Wilson Betemit. The O’s O has been clicking this season and Betemit has two home runs in the last week and should see increased playing time with the absence of Mark Reynolds. Another reason I’m keen on Betemit is that he isn’t far away from earning outfield and third base eligibility in Yahoo! leagues. A triple threat with a little pop in his bat isn’t bad to have off your bench. Slogan: Betemit: It’s Not Just an Australian Condiment. Take that, Don Draper!*

*By the way, is everyone as happy as I am with the minimal amount of scenes featuring Betty in this season of Mad Men? Yeah. I thought so. "Ugh! Betty! You are so whiny!" That's me when Betty is in a scene.

Others to consider:

Chris Johnson, Houston Astros - 35%, Jack Hannahan, Cleveland Indians – 9%


Alcides Escobar, Kansas City Royals – 28%

Just when I was about to change my team name in the Fake Teams H2H Points League to "A Guy Walks Into Aybar…" I realized Erick Aybar has been AWFUL this season and dropped him and grabbed Alcides Escobar. Escobar has seven hits in his last 13 at bats and only five strikeouts in his last 34. "A Guy Walks into Escobar…" Not sure if it has the same ring to it?

Freddy Galvis, Philadelphia Phillies – 1%

The Phillies don’t know when Chase Utley is coming back. I certainly don’t know when Chase Utley is coming back. I also don’t know why Freddy Galvis looks like a Lilliputian in his Yahoo! profile picture. What I do know is that Galvis is in the lineup every day and has four XBH in his last four games. He also qualifies for second base, so there’s that. Also, while we are on the subject of things I know about Philadelphia, the fans are much nicer than advertised and when it comes to cheesesteaks, it’s Pat’s, hands down. Pat’s all the way. If someone tells you Geno’s, it’s because they had their taste buds surgically removed as a child.

Others to consider:

Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds – 34%, Cliff Pennington, Oakland A’s – 4%, Jamey Carroll, Minnesota Twins – 2%


Andy Dirks, Detroit Tigers – 25%

Considering he has only 70 at bats this season, Andy Dirks has put up impressive numbers in 2012 and currently resides in the two-hole in Detroit’s lineup behind Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder (although, Fielder was my prediction for AL Player to disappoint this year and he isn’t proving me wrong at this point. Matt Moore is proving me wrong for AL ROY, though). Dirks has 15 hits in his last 31 at bats, including two home runs and three doubles and has been just about the hottest player in baseball over the last week not named Hamilton or Beltran.

Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians – 7%

Manny Acta wised up and removed Michael Brantley and Shin-Soo Choo from the top of the order. Shin-Soo Choo didn’t get the message as he is still terribly disappointing; however, Brantley did with nine hits in his last 18 at bats, including two doubles and two RBI.

David DeJesus, Chicago Cubs – 3%

With 72 points, David DeJesus is well within the Top 30 scoring outfielders, making him a starter in most leagues. Theo has already shown Marlon Byrd the door and David DeJesus could be next to make room for Bryan LaHair in the outfield when Anthony Rizzo finally gets the proverbial "call." Not to mention Brett Jackson.

Others to consider:

Jose Tabata, Pittsburgh Pirates – 28%, Mitch Moreland, Texas Rangers – 22%, Brian Bogusevic, Houston Astros – 1%

Starting pitcher:

James McDonald, Pittsburgh Pirates – 25%

I half-heartedly recommended James McDonald last week. Now I am three-quarter-heartedly recommending him after his performance vs. Houston on Friday night. McDonald has seven or more strikeouts in his last four starts and hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in each of his last seven starts, including starts against Colorado, Cincinnati and Arizona where he allowed only one. If you’re looking for wins or Whoppers, you will want to look elsewhere. Otherwise, McDonald is your man. I'm lovin' it!

Felix Doubront, Boston Red Sox – 6%

Everything that James McDonald provides, Felix Doubront does not. Well, other than strikeouts maybe. But, where Doubront has the edge for the foreseeable future is with W-L. It’s like I almost never say, "You don’t have to be great to be a winner in Boston." I also never say "marg" or "za" as alternatives to "margarita" or "pizza." Would a margherita pizza be a "marg-za" … ? Does anyone care? Moving on.

Juan Nicasio, Colorado Rockies – 4%

I’m fairly certain I like Juan Nicasio more than I probably should. I’m not sure why which makes it hard to say much more on the subject. I’ll take his 4% ownership to mean most of you disagree with me. Surprisingly, he is owned in the Fake Teams H2H Points League. Even more surprisingly, not by me.

Others to consider:

Jonathon Niese, New York Mets – 38%, Henderson Alvarez, Toronto Blue Jays – 21%, Derek Lowe, Cleveland Indians – 18%, Wei-Yin Chen, Baltimore Orioles – 9%

Relief pitcher:

Brian Fuentes, Oakland A’s – 36%

Based on his talent, Brian Fuentes should be owned in 0% of leagues. Based on his current role as closer, he should be owned in 100%.

Rafael Dolis, Chicago Cubs – 34%

See Fuentes, Brian above.

Jon Rauch, New York Mets – 13%

The writing is on the subway wall in New York. It says, "For a good time call Theresa. For saves call Jon Rauch." I won’t read the rest since this is a family website.

Others to consider:

Any relief pitcher currently in consideration for save opportunities. Saves = Points!

Questions? Comments? Reviews for The Avengers? Do what you gotta do in the section below.