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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Framber Valdez and Nick Pivetta lead Week 11

Heath discusses the latest waiver wire run in Fake Teams and Friends.

Baltimore Orioles v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

This year, we initiated the first ever Fake Teams and Friends fantasy baseball league. It is TGFBI-styled, except the second catcher is a second UTIL spot. Each week I’ll use our adds as a launching point for a study of available deep league free agents. As our waivers run on Saturday, this should give you a bit of a head start heading into Sunday’s waiver wire runs. Unfortunately, yours truly didn’t finish this effort before the home renovation repairs had to begin. So it’s coming out a bit late. But if you’re in a 15-team league, this post is for you!

In FT and Friends, our top four spots are unchanged, for I believe the first time all season:

Punk is Dead: 116 points
Bases Loaded: 112 points
Brian Entrekin: 107.5 points
Zack’s Okay Team: 93 points

The fifth through eighth spots continue to be a battle, as Joe’s All-Sleeper team (86) is fifth and yours truly and Natty are tied with 85.5 points. The Last of Us (Felsen Raster) is making a push over the last couple of weeks, up to 82.5 points.

Here are the adds for Week 11:

$7 Framber Valdez (Hou - P) to Brian Entrekin
$7 Nick Pivetta (Phi - P) to Joe’s All-Sleeper Team
$3 Garrett Cooper (Mia - OF) to Brian Entrekin
$3 Julio Urias (LAD - P) to Joe’s All-Sleeper Team
$3 Delino DeShields (Tex - OF) to No Cigar
$3 Colin Moran (Pit - 3B) to No Cigar
$2 Kevin Cron (Ari - 1B, 3B) to Brian Entrekin
$2 Luis Rengifo (LAA - 2B, SS) to Joe’s All-Sleeper Team
$1 Dominic Smith (NYM - 1B, OF) to Brian Entrekin
$1 Peter Lambert (Col - P) to Ghoji
$1 Brandon Workman (Bos - P) to No Cigar

Framber (awesome name) replaces the outmatched Corbin Martin in the Astros rotation. He struck out seven over seven innings against the Orioles in his first start in the rotation, with the only blemish a solo homer to Renato Nunez in the sixth. Valdez has trimmed his walk rate to something not ghastly, down to 9.4% this year (compared to 15.6% a year ago). His 20.3% strikeout rate is pretty average, but he is generating ground balls 59.1% of the time. He also won’t need to pitch too far into games to garner a win, based on the strength of Houston’s offense (when healthy) and the dominance of the bullpen (3.36 ERA, second in MLB). Valdez’s ownership rate has shot up 30% on Yahoo in the last day for good reason. Valdez gets an attractive matchup against Toronto at home in his next turn. The Blue Jays are 16th in strikeout rate (23.5%) and 22nd in walk rate (7.8%) against lefties. They also haven’t shown power in this split, with a .145 ISO that ranks 24th in the MLB.

Nick Pivetta is back where he belongs, on Joe’s sleeper team. Maybe there’s still time for a breakout here, as Pivetta has lowered his ERA to 4.93 since his recall. He was at 8.35 three starts ago. Anyway, in his most recent turn he fired a complete game against the Reds, scattering six hits and striking out six (and allowing a single run in the first inning). He has a road tilt against Atlanta in his next turn, and if he can make it through that one mostly unscathed he’ll have a lot more of my attention.

Aside from those two, I think Entrekin acquitted himself well with Cooper, Cron, and Smith. That’s a solid corps of youth and potential for a grand total of six bucks.

Somehow I missed the Urias news. I had to google “Julio Urias game log” just to be sure. And yep, he’s pitching in the big leagues again. Joe’s gonna have to explain that one! From what I can gather Urias is not a threat to poach saves, so this must be a ratio play (and/or an upside play for Joe). Me, I’m not interested.

Delino DeShields has a new leash on life with the Joey Gallo injury, and there’s even chatter that maybe Gallo moves back to a corner outfield slot if Delino can keep hitting. It’s a short leash, but it’s a leash. It’s a strained oblique that’s keeping him down, and I just happened to strain one of those. DeShields is going to have a couple of weeks at least, in my opinion. Unfortunately there’s a billion moving pieces in Texas, so we’ll see how many at-bats he gets.

Back to Entrekin again—Kevin Cron homered on Friday and Saturday, but he was benefiting from being in an AL park (where he and Christian Walker could both start). The true test will come on Monday, when the D’Backs travel to Philly. Who will get the nod, Walker or Cron?!? I say it’s back to Walker. Ugh.

Peter Lambert dominated the Cubs in his MLB debut, hurling seven innings and allowing a single run. He walked one and had nine strikeouts, a Rockies record for an MLB debut. Shouts to Ghoji for being out in front on that one—Lambert wasn’t even on my radar. The scouting report tells me Lambert can hit 96 on his heater and that he has four pitches to choose from. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I know much about him, because I don’t. We’ll beg Zack, Ghoji, or Joe to chime in if necessary.

All I gotta say about Brandon Workman is that I drafted Matt Barnes in TGFBI and I AM TIRED OF EVERYONE BUT BARNES GETTING SAVES FOR BOSTON. Okay, on the real—Workman is generally a middle relief guy and I’m not going crazy for him anywhere. I am going crazy that Barnes isn’t getting a crack at the gig, especially now that Kimbrel isn’t a threat to sign there.

And here are the guys we added for nothing:

Orlando Arcia (Mil - SS) to Hackensack Bulls
Adeiny Hechavarria (NYM - 2B, SS) to Brian Entrekin
Teoscar Hernandez (Tor - OF) to Heath Capps
Jordan Luplow (Cle - OF) to Heath Capps
Jason Vargas (NYM - P) to The Last of Us
Mike Leake (Sea - P) to The Last of Us
Merrill Kelly (Ari - P) to Hackensack Bulls
Danny Santana (Tex - 1B, 2B, OF) to Hackensack Bulls

Basically I’m just going to talk about myself—I need Teoscar or Luplow to give me some quality time in the wake of losing Andrew McCutchen. I’m more excited about Teoscar, who should get a pretty long leash while holding down center field for Toronto. He’s always been able to barrel the ball—now lets see if he can be consistent enough to stick.

In summation, Bubba was really happy about his moves. Go tell him how he did on Twitter:

I didn’t need Framber anyway, Bubba. But I do need just about everything else...