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Fantasy Baseball: Waiver Wire Wednesday – Why is Russell Martin Available?

Josh Collacchi looks at the players fantasy baseball owners should consider on the waiver wire as the playoffs race toward us.

Russell Martin





Today is the last Wednesday during the regular season for most fantasy baseball leagues. Some leagues even lock their rosters after the regular season is over. Imagine that! Nevertheless, this could be the last Wednesday that you add players to your team, which makes it the most important day for the rest of the season. There are a few players still available that can help you for the playoffs, so be sure to keep an eye on the waiver wire.

Remember, with other teams in your league on the brink, they could be desperate. Take advantage of the cliché  “desperate times call for desperate measures.” If a team needs to stream starting pitchers to win this last week, they could drop some valuable pieces in place of these pitchers. Do not be afraid to use a waiver claim.

Whether it is a free agent pool, a budget-based system, or weekly waivers, playing the wire is a key element to winning your fantasy baseball leagues.

Without further ado, let’s play the waiver wire:

Catcher

Russell Martin, Pittsburgh Pirates

Martin should be available in your league, as he is only on around 20 percent of rosters across the industry. Luckily for you, he should not be available, meaning his value is vastly under-appreciated. In the last month, Martin is hitting .321, which is only behind Joe Mauer and Yan Gomes amongst catchers. In that same stretch, Martin has scored the fifth-most runs (11), the third-most runs batted in (17) and remains one of the only catchers who is a threat to steal bases as he has three this year and stole nine bags last year. Martin should keep up his current pace, considering his line drive rate is above his career average, yet his BABIP is right at his career average. The hits will continue to come, as will the runs scored and runs batted in.

Second Base/Shortstop

Cliff Pennington, Arizona Diamondbacks

Keep an eye on Pennington’s playing time, because when he is in the lineup he performs well. In his last 34 at-bats, he is hitting .353 with a home run, two stolen bases and ten runs scored. Pennington’s only issue has been playing time, but if he begins to see the field on a regular basis he can be a good add for the playoffs. The Diamondbacks’ lineup is a tad underrated, so if he gets on base as often as he has been, Pennington is a threat to score a lot of runs in addition to stealing bases. He’s available in over 95 percent of leagues, so if you want to take a wait and see approach, it’s not ill-advised.

Outfield

Oswaldo Arcia, Minnesota Twins

Arcia has been tearing the cover off the ball of late, which makes it a perfect time to add the power-surged outfielder. In the last seven games, Arcia has five home runs, seven runs scored, and 10 runs batted in. He has seven hits in that span, so he is very reliant on the home run, but considering he is hitting .269 in his last 30 games (over 30 points above his season average) that indicates that he is seeing the ball well. In addition, Arcia’s line drive percentage is 22.8 this season, and 19.4 percent of his fly balls result in home runs. Pair that with a BABIP of just .292 and it indicates progression for Arcia as well. The progression has already started with this home run binge, so do not miss the rest of it.

Take a look at XN Sports fantasy baseball coverage as a whole here.

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