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It’s week eight in fantasy baseball, which means we are almost halfway through the fantasy baseball season. It seems like yesterday when it was draft season, and it still feels like the beginning of the season with a rather chilly spring so far. Nevertheless, summertime is just around the corner, and fantasy baseball is in full swing. With the MLB draft just two weeks away, some free agents will be signing soon, and some of them could possibly make an impact for the rest of the season.
Whether it is a free agent pool, a budget-budget based system, or weekly waivers, playing the wire is a key element to winning your fantasy baseball leagues.
Each Wednesday, XN Sports will present a few players to pick up, and why you should add them.
Without further ado, let’s play the waiver wire:
Yan Gomes, Cleveland Indians
Gomes makes this column for the second week in a row, and for some reason he is available in just over 70 percent of fantasy leagues. That window is closing though as last week he was available in over 85 percent of leagues. The numbers speak for themselves. Amongst catchers, Gomes is ninth in batting average, second in runs scored, tied for third in home runs, third in total bases, and tied for tenth in runs batted in. There is no reason for the Indians’ catcher to be a free agent, so if you need help behind the plate, be sure to add him.
Kolten Wong, St. Louis Cardinals
Wong was a hot name before the season, being one of the Cardinals’ top prospects and expected to win the starting second base job in St. Louis. But he got off to a slow start and was sent back to the minors to work on some things. Now, Wong has been recalled, and he looks to be the starter for the foreseeable future. Since his recall, Wong is 6-for-15 with three runs scored, three runs batted in, and two stolen bases. Expect him to contribute in every category except for home runs, but that is a luxury at second base anyway. Add him if you need help in the middle infield.
Matt Dominguez, Houston Astros
In the last two weeks, only Miguel Cabrera has more hits at third base than Dominguez. In addition, the Astros third baseman is hitting .321 with three home runs and 10 runs batted in during these last two weeks. He is worth an add if you need some power without sacrificing in the average department as Dominguez is hitting .259 on the season. If your league counts total bases or slugging percentage, Dominguez’ value is even stronger, as he has the fifth-most total bases by a third baseman.
Eric Young Jr., New York Mets
In fantasy baseball, the expression “cheap speed” is mentioned a lot. This means a player who can steal bases and help you in that category (usually only that category) can be had off the waiver wire. Young is that guy, but be careful because his batting average (.221) will hurt your team’s average. But, if you need help in the stolen base department add Young, as he is tied for the lead amongst outfielders with 16 stolen bases. Young has also scored 28 runs this season.
Starting Pitcher/Relief Pitcher
Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros
With any pitcher who has eligibility at both pitching positions, his value is high in the first place. Now, I know what you are thinking. This is the same player who had a 5.15 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP last season. This is also the same player who has a career .282 batting average against. So why add him? Keuchel is a different pitcher this year, and there are many things that can back that up. First and foremost is his ground ball percentage, which is a Major League-leading 67.7 percent. What does that mean? Inducing ground balls is very indicative of a successful pitcher, because when a ball is hit on the ground, there is a very high percentage of that ball ending in an out. However, that is not the only indicator of a good pitcher. Keuchel is not pitching with an abnormally low BABIP or abnormally high line drive percentage (which could indicate good luck), but is actually dominant in most stages of the game. His line drive percentage is an incredible 12.6 percent, as he has given up just 21 line drives this season. Opposing hitters are not hitting the ball well when Keuchel pitches, so add him if you need help on the mound.
Statistics from ESPN.com and Fangraphs.com
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