6 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 13
Every year, it seems as though May is a turning point for Major Leaguers. They've shaken off the early-season rust and can start to show what kind of ballers they actually are.
Now, in late May and early June, it's hard to tell whether or not those improvements are legit. They could just be the result of some small sample size leading us towards destructive roster decisions. Sometimes, however, they actually figure something out and see a shift in their production that is here to stay. That's what we're hoping for with some of the guys on this week's list below.
As a note, I try to keep these recommendations to guys that are owned in one third or fewer of all ESPN leagues. That means we miss out on Steven Matz's juiciness, but he's still worth an add if he's available in your league. Now, let's get it popping.
Roberto Osuna, RP, Toronto Blue Jays
He's 20 years old. He's averaging more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings this year. Now, he's on the verge of becoming the closer for the Toronto Blue Jays. I think I'm in love.
Now, overall, Osuna is due for some regression. He has a crazy high flyball percentage, though only 2.3 percent of those have resulted in dingers. This plops his xFIP at 3.36 for the season, which still isn't bad. It's certainly good enough to lock down a role at the back end of the bullpen.
If you're thinking about save opportunities, don't you worry 'bout a thing. The Blue Jays sit second in numberFire's Power Rankings despite being only five games above .500. The opportunities will come, and if it's Osuna locking them down, you'll want him on your roster.
Kyle Gibson, SP, Minnesota Twins
Oh, hey, this idiot is recommending you add a guy who averages 5.63 strikeouts per nine innings. Good job, good effort, loser.
Just hold your gosh darn horses there, self. Something strange has happened with Kyle Gibson, and it has led to a fairly dramatic difference in his overall effectiveness. Take a peek at this chart, which shows a turning point for Gibson which occurred on May 24th. Just for clarity, "SwStr%" is swinging-strike percentage, and "Contact%" is the percentage of swings on which hitters make contact. You probably knew that, but whatevski.
|First 8 Starts||4.77||3.54||3.17||7.6||83.5|
|Last 7 Starts||3.20||7.92||2.44||9.4||78.5|
Those top numbers are not exactly the prettiest thing in the world. However, the bottom ones demonstrate a radically different pitcher who is more than ownable in most formats. With his high groundball rate and improved strikeout numbers, Gibson should provide you with a solid arm when you're in need.
Brett Anderson, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Speaking of groundball pitchers who don't strike out a bunch of dudes, Brett Anderson is available in over 80 percent of leagues. We should change that.
Throughout his career, whenever he has been healthy, Anderson has been a solid pitcher. This year has been no different. He's holding down a 3.13 ERA with a 3.35 xFIP. That's what happens when you induce ground balls 68.7 percent of the time, which is, by a decent margin, the highest in the league. He's Dallas Keuchel with a few less strikeouts and a less impressive beard.
With Anderson, you know exactly what you're going to get. He hasn't allowed more than four runs in any start, and he has only allowed more than two earned runs in five of his 15 outings. There's always the risk of injury, but until that time, he can be a solid addition to your squad.
Matt Duffy, 2B/3B, San Francisco Giants
Something has clicked with Matt Duffy. Either that or he's playing rope-a-dope with all of us, but he seems like a nice little lass, so I'm choosing the former.
Duffy has been hitting third recently, which is generally something that should grab your attention when it comes to fantasy. He has earned that by straight mashing the ball over the past month since he started snagging every-day reps at third base. This should sum up why he's of interest here.
Matt Duffy, an 18th-round pick, is hitting .315/.369/.577 since he became the Giants' full-time third baseman on 5/22— keithlaw (@keithlaw) June 28, 2015
Whew doggies. He probably won't be able to sustain those numbers, but his position in the batting order coupled with just a 14.4 percent soft-hit rate should lead to enough production to warrant a roster spot.
Randal Grichuk, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
He may strikeout a lot, but when Randal Grichuk makes contact, the ball scoots off his bat. He has a 40.8 percent hard-hit rate this year, helping lead to a .273/.309/.545 slash on the year. All of this for a guy who's available in over 70 percent of leagues.
This really shouldn't be a huge shock here. Grichuk had an isolated slugging mark of .190 or higher each of his final three stops in the minors. In 1,589 plate appearances those three seasons, Grichuk hit 65 tanks and stole 33 bases. That's the makings of a fantasy baseball stud muffin.
The question now becomes whether Grichuk can keep this pace rolling. numberFire's projections slot him for a .246/.297/.415 slash the rest of the season, which would incline you to think not. There's still a possibility that he could keep raking and exceed those projections, though, and that possibility is what is exciting with this guy.
Adam Eaton, OF, Chicago White Sox
Adam Eaton was absolutely brutal the first month of the season, making his ownership just plummet into the tank. As he and the White Sox offense start to pick things up, it may be time to reinvest.
Over the month of June, Eaton has compiled a .290/.371/.484 slash. For a guy at the top of the order, those are great numbers as it should lead to a crazy number of runs. In 43 games since May 13th, Eaton has crossed home plate 29 times. This has put him back in the fantasy discussion.
With this addition, you are relying on a White Sox offense that has been absolutely putrid this year. They rank 29th in the league in wOBA, besting only the Phillies in that category. With Jose Abreu, Adam LaRoche and Melky Cabrera all failing to meet expectations, you'd hope that would eventually change course. With Eaton posting the numbers he currently is, he's only some increased production behind him from being a decent fantasy option for the rest of the season.