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Roy Halladay is the most picked up fantasy player over the last two days after making an unexpected return to the mound on Sunday and putting up a solid effort. Pitch six innings of two-run ball and all your past sins are absolved. I, for one, am staying as far away from Halladay as possible.
The bitter taste of his 8.65 ERA before his injury, the 17 runs allowed in his two games prior to the injury, the 12 runs allowed in two games to start the season, and his 4.93 ERA in the second-half last season won’t go away with one solid though hardly elite effort. Even as he was getting ready to return in the minors, the veteran surrendered 13 hits and six walks over 12 IP against rookie league and Single-A players.
Stay away from Halladay and pick up these guys instead.
Rex Brothers (55%): With Rafael Betancourt likely out for the season with a torn ligament in his elbow, Brothers figures to be the Rockies’ closer the rest of the way. Brothers has been phenomenal this season after two solid years as a middle. This season he owns 13 saves in 14 opportunities with a 1.46 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 60 K/27 BB and should be owned in every league.
Jose Quintana (24%): Quintana has a solid 3.67 ERA on the season but he’s been significantly better over his last 10 starts. Over that stretch he’s 4-2 with a 3.23 ERA and 63 K/16 BB. He’s stepped his strikeout game up recently as well, striking out 20 over his last 18.2 IP.
Khris Davis (35%): Davis has completely broken out in the second half, now owning a .333/.409/.716 line with eight home runs, seven doubles, 18 RBI, 20 R, and two steals in 40 games. Since cracking the Brewers lineup earlier this month, Davis has been a revelation, posting a .389/.460/.815 line with six home runs, five doubles, 14 RBI, and 16 R over just 17 games (15 GS). He was a career .288 hitter in the minors with as many as 22 home runs in a season but he certainly won’t keep up his .389 BA.
Alex Wood (47%): After an excellent two months out of the pen, Wood has translated very well into the Braves rotation. Over his last five starts, Wood owns a 1.72 ERA, .196 BAA, and 30 K/6 BB over 31.1 IP. There’s no reason to expect him to slow down. For one, Braves pitching prospects are usually great (see Mike Minor, Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy, and Julio Teheran). Second, he rocketed through the minors, posting a vicious 1.73 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 8.9 K/9 over 114.2 IP.
Joe Kelly (21%): Like Wood, Kelly started out in the pen and has been a huge breakout since moving to the rotation. Over his last seven starts, Kelly is 5-0 with a 1.79 ERA, .238 BAA, and 24 K over 40.1 IP. The strikeouts aren’t as impressive as Wood’s but the other numbers certainly are – he’s only allowed more than two runs once over his current tear.
Darin Ruf (21%): Ruf has had his ups-and-downs as he transitions into a full-time big league role but he’s certainly stepped his game up of late. Though he’s only batting .260 over his last 22 games, he’s also put up nine home runs, 15 RBI, and 14 R over that stretch. His averages fluctuated in the minors as well but the kid his 38 HR in 139 games last season and is a bat to be reckoned with.
Brett Oberholtzer (10%): Oberholtzer has been great since replacing Bud Norris in the Astros rotation, going 3-1 in his first four Major League starts while posting an impressive 1.69 ERA, .214 BAA, and 18 K/5 BB. The strikeouts are a bit low but he’s looked great facing Baltimore, Boston, Texas, and the Angels – all top-10 offenses in the month of August. Imagine what he’ll look like facing the rest of the league.
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