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MLB Waiver Wire What To Do's April 19th 2016
Riding the Waiver Wire
If you aren't scouring the waiver wire regularly you aren't doing enough to win your fantasy league. It's as simple as that. Baseball is a long season and many, many players who may not even be on your radar could have an impact for your team this year. If you stick with me we will make that a positive impact. Here's some players who just might be available in your league right now.
Joe Ross, SP, Washington Nationals (63% owned standard ESPN leagues)
As a rookie last year Joe Ross appeared in 16 games (13 starts) for the Nationals and fared rather well with a 5-5 record, 3.64 ERA and 1.1 WHIP. When free agent Jordan Zimmermann left for Detriot in the offseason it opened up a spot for Ross in the rotation. So far so good. Over his first two starts Ross is 2-0 and has allowed just one run in 14 2/3 innings. Sure those starts were against Miami and Philadelphia who aren’t exactly offensive juggernauts but if it were that easy every opposing pitcher would shut those teams out. Ross has the family pedigree as his brother Tyson is also a major league pitcher, and he should get plenty of run support in Washington. He may not be the biggest name in their rotation but he will certainly be valuable.
Wilson Ramos, C, Washington Nationals (53% owned)
There aren’t very many offensive-minded catchers in today’s game. Unless you snagged Buster Posey early odds are your fantasy catcher can be swapped out. That said, is there anyone out there on the waiver wire who is worth the switch? I say yes. Wilson Ramos has had double digit home run totals in each of the last three years and in two of them he played just 78 and 88 games. He’s had injury issues in the past, as shown by those games played, but appears to be healthy and he is hitting well out of the gate. He’s had multiple hits in three of his last six games and is surrounded by offensive talent in Washington. If he can stay healthy he can be an upgrade to nearly any fantasy lineup. I recently added him to replace Devin Mesoraco. Unless you own Posey or maybe Brian McCann, you should make the switch too.
Nick Castellanos, 3B, Detroit Tigers (53% owned)
After two average seasons Detriot’s third baseman was largely an afterthought in fantasy circles. So far in 2016 Castellanos is doing all he can to change that mindset. Through 11 games he is slashing an impressive .357/.349/.571 with two home runs and eight driven in. What’s that you say? There’s a misprint in his slash line? You’d think that since his OBP is lower than his average but that is due to the fact he has not yet drawn a walk this year. While that is somewhat troubling he has never been one to draw a lot of free passes as he took just 39 last year in 595 plate appearances. The walks will come when they come but that’s not his strong suit. He looks like he could be poised for a breakout and he is batting amongst names like Miguel Cabrera, Justin Upton and JD Martinez. Opposing pitchers will have to go after someone in the Detroit lineup and so far Castellanos has been making them pay.
Matt Moore, SP, Tampa Bay Rays (42.5% owned)
In 2013 Matt Moore went 17-4 for the Rays while making the All-Star team and seemed poised to be Tampa’s ace. Then disaster struck. Early on in 2014 Moore was injured and missed the rest of the season due to Tommy John surgery. He came back last year to mixed results and to say he was a question mark coming into this year would be a valid assessment. We can safely remove that question mark now. Through three starts Moore has looked like his former self racking up 21 strikeouts to just three walks in 18 1/3 innings. He has pitched at least five innings each time out and has given up exactly five hits in each of those contests. The Rays offense leaves a little to be desired but this team is will go as their starting pitching goes. If Moore is back to his All-star form that is good for Tampa and good for your fantasy team. Pick him up now as he is a hot commodity after his 10-strikeout performance against the Chicago White Sox his last time out.
Nick Markakis, OF, Atlanta Braves (38% owned)
When Atlanta signed Nick Markakis prior to the 2015 season it raised a few eyebrows. Why would a team looking to rebuild shell out $44 million to a player entering his 30’s? His slow start coming back from offseason neck surgery only made the decision look even worse. That was 2015 Nick Markakis. 2016’s version is a bit different. Out of the gate the veteran outfielder is slashing .333/.423/.533 with 12 RBI over his first dozen games. Atlanta’s roster may be full of names that seem foreign to the casual baseball fan but they will score runs and so far Markakis has had a big part in driving them in. He was never known for his power (he’s had just two 20-homer seasons) but he will get on base and hit for a high average. If he continues knocking in runs that only improves his value. If you are in a league that takes fielding percentage into play he will help out tremendously there as well. He’s made just two errors since the start of the 2013 season. Doesn’t get much better than that.
Have questions about a player I didn’t mention? Feel free to leave comments or questions below and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Want to reach me in a more direct manner? Find me on Twitter @therichwhiteguy.