Week 8 Waiver Wire

Bolsinger

An interesting Week 8 waiver wire is headlined by a couple of even more interesting young pitchers who have impressed in the recent weeks. On the hitting side of the article, the stand out for me has been Nori Aoki, who has earned himself a full time role in the San Francisco outfield with superb on base hitting.

Hitters

Nick Hundley, C, COL: Considering Hundley was seen as the defensive option in Colorado, so far he has put up solid fantasy numbers for people that gambled on the ‘Colorado boost’. On the season Hundley has five home runs with 17 runs scored and 16 driven in whilst batting 0.317 on the season. Hundley appears to be under no threat to lose his job to Rosario, and has every opportunity to finish the season in the top 10-15 range at catcher.

Yasmani Grandal, C/1B, LAD: Before his concussion Grandal was a very productive fantasy catcher, and his stint on the DL may have seen him dropped in your league. If he has been then I would jump on him as he should be back over this weekend. And I expect him to slot back in as the main catcher with added pinch hitting opportunities on his off days.

Caleb Joseph, C, BAL: For many people Joseph has been an injury fill in, but by hitting at 0.267 with four homers, 16 runs and 18 RBI, and the odd pinch hitting opportunity, he’s proven to be an adequate fill in. However, I don’t expect Joseph to be in the top 15 catchers this year, and chances are you will be dropping him if he is your Lucroy cover. In deeper leagues he is definitely a guy to hold onto with Wieters looking unlikely to come back in as a catcher.

Brandon Belt, 1B, SF: There were concerns earlier in the season that Belt was slumping towards a platoon, but a couple of good weeks have seen him take a strong grasp on the San Francisco first base situation. He will still occasionally be moved to allow Posey a break from catching, but while Belt is hitting nearly 0.300 and is on 20+ homer pace he will keep a strong grip on the position.

Ryan Howard, 1B, PHI: Howard is currently on a 40 homer pace in 2015. And while I expect he falls short of that, I do think 30 is a real possibility. The big question is whether he can keep hitting in the 0.250+ range as he has been. If he can then he will be pushing to be a top 15 first baseman in a year many felt he was done.

Logan Forsythe, 1B/2B, TB: Forsythe’s stat line is intriguing because he currently has five homers and three steals, but when you look closer you will see that two of those steals came on the same day. However, whilst Loney is out the first base job is all Forsythe’s. He is in an intriguing option more for the middle infield eligibility in roto leagues than anything and he may just pip Steve Pearce to my top second base eligible pick up this week.

Alex Gurrero, 2B/OF, LAD: The Juan Uribe trade has sprung Guerrero into real fantasy relevance as suddenly there is some daylight to playing time. With Justin Turner a huge regression candidate that should cool of Guerrero has the chance to make the job his. The hitting part of his game is there as shown by the fact he has nine homers already this year in just 87 AB’s. Currently a third of his hits are leaving the park and he has 21 RBI to go with 15 runs at a 0.310 batting average. Naturally, the hits to homers ratios should slow but Guerrero could easily be pressing to be a top 5-10 second baseman if he gets that playing time.

DJ LeMahieu, 2B, COL: LeMahieu peaked fantasy owners interest with a hot streak, but as we near the 50 game mark he is sporting a 0.338 batting average with two homers and four steals. There is real possibility this isn’t just a hot start and that LeMahieu may actually be a real solid middle infield option that you should be looking to make room for. He won’t offer any extreme in power or speed but the potential to be a high average middle infielder with decent counting stats is there.

Matt Duffy, 2B/3B, SF: Since being named the starting third baseman for San Fran Duffy has excelled and has shot his season line to three homers, one steal, nine runs and 22 RBI at a 0.301 average. It looks like San Fran are set to give him an extended run and that is a really exciting possibility in a decent San Francisco line-up. If nothing else, Duffy could be an RBI machine at second if you need help.

Trevor Plouffe, 3B, MIN: As the Minnesota line-up has settled down over the last few weeks Plouffe has found himself batting clean-up, giving him plenty of opportunities to drive in runs. On the season he already has 26 RBI to go with seven homers and 21 runs scored. There is no reason he shouldn’t be able to continue putting up good numbers and the threat of him losing his job to hot prospect Miguel Sano seems to still be a fair way away. Plouffe is someone I would be looking to own in 12 team roto leagues where you need a corner infielder and utility player.

Yasmany Tomas, 3B/OF, ARI: Since being called up, Tomas been solid, if not spectacular. He only has one homer and two steals on the season, but has scored 10 runs and driven in 17 whilst batting a fantastic 0.345. The thing that stops him from being a must-own third baseman is that his high average is driven by a very high BABIP. Additionally, the power that was supposed to be his big bonus is not showing itself.

Freddy Galvis, SS, PHI: Galvis has been a pleasant surprise this season, considering he is a defensive option at shortstop. Batting over 0.300 with 21 runs scored and five steals is as much as we could of asked for from him. There isn’t much power to be found here and batting second he is not going to get huge RBI opportunities. If he was doing this for a team that wasn’t the Phillies then he may be close to a top 10 shortstop, but unfortunately, in the Phillies offense, he’s mostly relevant in 14 team and deep roto leagues.

Nori Aoki, OF, SF: Aoki has been on fire this year, and San Francisco are reaping the benefits. He is currently batting an incredible 0.322 with a stunning 11 steals leading to 21 runs scored and he has still managed an impressive 15 RBI. Aoki saw an initial drop in playing time when Pence returned, but he has been so good I don’t see how the Giants can afford not to find a way to get him in the line-up. He should be owned in all five outfielder leagues.

Cameron Maybin, OF, ATL: Since being traded Maybin has earned himself an everyday slot in Atlanta and is on pace to be a potential 20/20 player, whilst batting at around a 0.260-0.270 average. Batting second in the Atlanta line-up should be a good opportunity for him to score plenty of runs and keep stealing the odd base. Maybin is an intriguing option in five outfielder leagues now that he has a full time job.

Billy Burns, OF, OAK: In the last 10 days Burns has been on fire atop the Oakland order. He has hit two home runs, scored five runs and stole four bases whilst hitting 11 for 40. The slight downside with Burns is he only has three RBI on the season and this little power surge is unlikely to continue. Burns is someone you should look at if you need help in runs, steals and average in five outfielder leagues.

Starting Pitchers

Mike Bolsinger, LAD: Bolsinger is a guy that people are now buying into because he has now had four fantastic starts, where he has given up just two runs and six walks across 25.1 innings with 22 strikeouts. His start against St. Louis was less impressive but he still did not get hammered even if he took the loss. Bolsinger has a fantastic curveball and he is going to keep using it and what that means is we will continue to get fantastic outings like the ones we have seen so far but it also means we could see him get hammered if he is not quite on it. However, for the chance he can give you starts like the ones he has so far he is worth owning in all 12 team roto leagues or deeper.

Tanner Roark, WSH: Roark finally got to start against Chicago earlier this week after pitching out of the bullpen to start the season. He will continue to get the chance until Fister returns but don’t expect his starts to be much longer than 5 or 6 innings given that he is not fully stretched out. What Roark will offer is the chance for a decent ERA and WHIP and should be able to provide wins with the way Washington’s offence is playing. The strikeouts are something that you shouldn’t expect to come in high volume but for a spot starter Roark should be solid.

Mike Foltynewicz, HOU: Foltynewicz is another intriguing pitching option because he can strike people out for fun but he also has the tendency to get knocked around a bit. He has struck out 30 batters in 29.2 innings but has also given up 14 runs and walked 16. The upside is that in his last two starts he has walked just two batters whilst striking out 14. If that pattern continues then he will become more and more relevant for fantasy but right now he is a 14 team only guy and a streaming option in any smaller leagues.

Jesse Hahn, OAK: Hahn bounced back from five bad starts with a shutout performance against Detroit. In the previous five games he had given up 18 runs in 27.2 innings so it was nice to see that he isn’t completely falling off the map after a decent start to the year. The fact he only struck out five Tigers in those nine innings is part of what stops him from being relevant in shallower fantasy leagues because right now the reward is not high enough for the risk of the bad starts in anything lower than 14 team leagues.

Relief Pitchers

Shawn Tolleson, TEX: Tolleson now has five saves in just over a week since taking over as the Texas closer. In that time he has struck out six batters over five innings and given up just two hits and one walk. With Feliz on the DL Tolleson has a real chance of keeping the job long term and if he can keep striking out a batter per innings he could end the season a top 15 option at closer.

Brad Ziegler, ARI: The job now appears to be Ziegler’s in Arizona but so far in three opportunities he has converted just two and blew a save and took the loss in the other. On the season he has a 14 K’s with a 1.25 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. There is short term job safety here but its hard to know how long he can keep the job.

Shaun Doolittle, OAK: Doolittle has just returned from the DL and initially will not slot into the closers role. However, he was so good last year that he should get it at some point and when he does I expect him to be a fairly good option. Oakland’s miserable defence and general struggles may not give him enough opportunities to be an elite closer and right now he should only be stashed in really deep roto leagues.

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