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Waiver Wire What To Do's July 20th 2016 Edition
Waiver Wire Pickups
Professional athletes are in great shape. That kind of goes without saying, doesn’t it? Recently I’ve started working out with a trainer and needless to say, I have been getting my ass kicked. My workouts last only an hour and for most of it I am sucking wind and trying not to die. While my workouts are nothing compared to what these guys do on a daily basis it has led me to respect them just a bit more. You didn’t come here to read about my workouts though, so let’s take a look at some of these fine physical specimens who can help out your fantasy squad this week and beyond.
Jonathan Villar, SS, Milwaukee Brewers (79% owned standard ESPN leagues)
Normally I steer clear of anyone with an ownership level this high. The reason I’m mentioning Villar now is that I’m completely shocked his ownership level isn’t higher. He has been fantastic this season putting up a slash line of .299/.380/.421 while leading the league with 33 stolen bases. In a year when speed is down across the board, how the league leader in stolen bases can be available in one out of every five leagues is mind-boggling. Shortstop isn’t the deepest of positions in fantasy and that makes this even more confounding. In fact, he was recently dropped in one of my leagues and I scooped him right up even thought I have Francisco Lindor and Carlos Correa. Don’t worry, I have a middle infield spot so I can play at least two of them every day. Before I get off track I just want you to look at your waiver wire and see if Villar is available. If he is, add him now. Let’s see this ownership rise people. I mean, one out of every five of you that read this will be in a league in which Villar is there for the taking.
Dee Gordon, 2B, Miami Marlins (67% owned)
A year ago Gordon won the National League batting title while amassing the most hits in the league (205) and making his second straight All-Star game. It was also the second year in a row he led the league in stolen bases nabbing 58. This season Gordon was taken in the first few rounds in most drafts and then mad every owner regret it by being popped for PEDs. Gordon was hit with an 80-game suspension and was dropped by quite a few teams. Now Gordon could rejoin the Marlins as soon as next week and he should see his ownership numbers rise closer to 100%. If he is out there on the waiver wire grab him now. If he is out there in a keeper league, even better. Once he is activated most owners will become wise and scoop him up. The door of opportunity to get a top flight player at a premium position is open. Don’t let it slam in your face. Add Gordon now.
Brandon McCarthy, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers (53% owned)
Everyone knows that you can’t talk about the Dodgers’ rotation without mentioning Clayton Kershaw. Everyone also knows that right now Kershaw is on the disabled list and isn’t helping out his team or many fantasy teams across the country. Globe? Maybe people outside the U.S. play fantasy baseball. Although I guess I should change that to continent because I don’t want to forget about our brothers up north in Canada. ANYWAY, with Kershaw hurting and other arms in L.A. tiring they could really use a boost. So far, McCarthy has provided just that. He has made three starts since returning from the DL himself and so far has allowed just three earned runs in 16 innings while striking out 22. McCarthy has shown he can be a frontline starter when healthy and he’s also a fun follow on Twitter It’s probably time to add him to your squad now. I mean, what else could you need to know?
Jim Johnson, RP, Atlanta Braves (8% owned)
Atlanta’s closer Arodys Vizcaino was placed on the disabled list last week with an oblique strain and those tend to be tricky. Odds are he will miss a few weeks. That means someone else in a Braves uniform will be given an opportunity to close, even if those opportunities may be few and far between. Enter Jim Johnson who has previous closing experience. In 2012 and 2013 Johnson led the league in saves with 50 and 51 respectively. In the past few days, however, the results have been a mixed bag. His previous five outings had a save, a loss and a win sandwiched between two blown saves. At least he’s entertaining? If you are desperate for saves Johnson is worth the add but keep in mind that Atlanta has the worst record in baseball and Johnson isn’t a strikeout pitcher racking up just 28 in 33 1/3 innings so far.
Tommy Joseph, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies (7% owned)
I mentioned him a month ago and his ownership level dropped from 18 to seven percent. Tommy Joseph is the future for the Phillies at first base but in case you haven’t noticed, the future is now in Philadelphia. Ryan Howard has long since lost his starting job to the rookie and Joseph has shown some flashes of brilliance. Over his past seven games he has clubbed four home runs but has just six RBI to show for them. While the power is there, the eye is still a work in progress as he has struck out 43 times in just 163 at bats. With time that will change and for now, Joseph is batting in the middle of a young Philadelphia lineup. If you are looking for power on the cheap with upside you can’t do much better than the young Phillies first baseman.
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.