It’s playoff time in fantasy baseball. Some leagues are in the first round of the playoffs, and some leagues are in their championship round. Hopefully, you are still competing in fantasy baseball and are en route to winning your league. If not, you can still pick up some top players for bragging rights. In addition, we all want to prevent our friends from winning, right?
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.
Since it’s September, Major League rules state that the rosters can be expanded to 40 players. This gives the contenders extra arms in the bullpen, an extra catcher, and many guys to pinch hit and pinch run to save the starters’ health for the playoffs. The most enticing thing about expanded rosters, however, is the fact that the teams that are out of the race have the opportunity to bring up some top prospects for a brief stint with the big league club without likely forfeiting their rookie eligibility for next season. This will feature some players who could (and could not) have value to your fantasy team in the playoffs as call-ups. Knowing who to pick up at this point is key, because every roster spot is valuable.
Without further ado, let’s play the waiver wire:
Andrew Heaney, Miami Marlins
Heaney will get his second crack at the Majors this season. Can he regain his form from his first start where he threw six innings of one run baseball? The talent is obvious, as Heaney had a 2.77 ERA in his minor league career with 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings. The Marlins may need to rely on him to fill a rotation spot next year, and he may have September to earn it. In his short stint earlier this summer, Heaney pitched to an excellent line drive rate of just 16.7 percent, and a solid ground ball rate of 47 percent. But he will need to lower his home run to fly ball rate (currently at 20.8) to be successful in the big leagues. If you need help for the last two weeks of fantasy baseball, Heaney has the potential to aid your team, but wait and see if he has found his groove first.
Anthony Ranaudo, Boston Red Sox
Ranaudo is another young pitcher will gets his second chance at the majors. The Red Sox will be looking at the massive right-hander one more time before the season ends with hopes that he ends up in the rotation next season. So far this year, Ranaudo is 3-0 with a 4.50 ERA and a WHIP of 1.39. The Red Sox will need a better set of numbers for the 24-year old to stick in the rotation. Ranaudo has a very good line drive rate this season, but he needs to induce more ground balls as he has a rate of just 31.1 percent. That could get him into trouble in the AL East with the stadiums including Fenway and Yankee Stadium with short porches and 310-foot fences. Ranaudo does have a favorable schedule for the rest of the week, as he takes on the Yankees before facing the Orioles next week, so start him now rather than later.
Leonel Campos, San Diego Padres
Campos is one of the more interesting call-ups this year, because he has numbers on both sides of the spectrum. Campos has struck out 218 batters in 151 innings of work in his minor league career for a whopping 13 strikeouts per nine innings. That’s one of the most dominant numbers we have seen from a minor leaguer, the problem is his ERA and WHIP. Campos has an ERA of 6.34 this season, and a sky-high WHIP of 1.70. Why would you want to add him? Big strikeout guys can figure out their struggles, so he could be the next Ken Giles or Dellin Betances out of the bullpen. But, until he proves he can keep his WHIP down, keep him on your watch list rather than your roster.
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