Fantasy baseball: Potential waiver wire options

Fantasy baseball: Potential waiver wire options
June 22, 2013, 6:30 pm
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Of all the nights that Zack Wheeler had to make his MLB debut, it was on the night that I was in attendance to see the Postal Service at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland. Of course. I was able to watch portions of it on my phone thanks to and made sure to catch it in-full when I got home. OK, I may have watched it a couple of times since then. Hey, there are few things more exciting in this game than young starting pitching. And Wheeler has a fastball you can dream on.

By the way, Ben Gibbard, the frontman for the Postal Service and also Death Cab For Cutie, is a big Mariners fan. He wrote a really cool tribute song to Ichiro after he was traded to the Yankees last July, which you can listen to here. Alright, enough music talk from me this week. Let's scour that waiver wire.

Mixed Leagues

Jordan Lyles SP, Astros (Yahoo: 10 percent owned)
Lyles began the year in the minors after failing to win a rotation spot during spring training, but he's currently in the midst of a potential breakthrough season. The 22-year-old right-hander owns a 3.22 ERA across 10 starts to go along with 46/16 K/BB ratio in 58 2/3 innings. This includes a stingy 1.61 ERA over his last seven starts, during which he has allowed two earned runs or fewer in all of them. With his velocity on the rise and his ground ball rate above 50 percent, everything appears to be coming together for him. Remember, Lyles was pushed to the majors at just 20 years old, so it may have just taken a while for him to adjust to pitching at the highest level. There might not be much win potential with the Astros, but he's worth a flier in most formats, especially with a favorable matchup against the Cubs on tap for this weekend.  

Ben Revere OF, Phillies (Yahoo: 43 percent owned)
Revere got off to a slow start with the Phillies, but he has turned things around quite nicely since the beginning of May, hitting .317 with 12 stolen bases over his last 44 games. This includes a current 10-game hitting streak during which Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has entrusted the 25-year-old center fielder as his leadoff man once again. Sure, the slap-hitting Revere isn't going to provide any power, but he stole 40 bases in 124 games last season and 34 in 117 games in 2011. That speed can be a major difference-maker in all formats.

Junichi Tazawa RP, Red Sox (Yahoo: 15 percent owned)
Andrew Bailey has looked pretty shaky of late, allowing five runs on seven hits (including three home runs) and four walks in four innings over his last four appearances. The Red Sox are saying that he's healthy, but he has shown diminished velocity in recent outings and missed some time earlier this season with biceps soreness. Given his long injury history, the smart play may be to think ahead. Tazawa is the likely alternative if a change is eventually needed at closer, as he got the nod over Koji Uehara when Bailey and Joel Hanrahan were both on the disabled list. The 27-year-old right-hander owns a ridiculous 1.89 ERA and 83/8 K/BB ratio in 76 1/3 innings dating back to the start of last season, so he could prove to be an elite option if he gets an extended opportunity.

Brandon Moss 1B/OF, Athletics (Yahoo: 32 percent owned)
The free-swinging Moss was never a good bet to duplicate his .291 batting average from last season, as he was helped by a .359 BABIP (batting average on balls in play), but fortunately his pop has remained intact. While the 29-year-old is striking out at a ridiculous rate of 30.9 percent, he has connected for 13 home runs through 67 games this season, including four in his last seven. Only eight first base-eligible players have more home runs. Don't look for that batting average to bounce back, as he's right about where he should be, but his thump comes in handy if you need to fill a CI (corner infielder) spot.

Dillon Gee SP, Mets (Yahoo: 14 percent owned)
Even though Gee gave up a walkoff two-run homer to Freddie Freeman in the bottom of the ninth inning on Monday night, it doesn't change the fact that he has turned his season around. After putting his rotation spot in jeopardy with a 6.34 ERA across his first 10 starts, the 27-year-old right-hander has a ridiculous 1.53 ERA and 32/4 K/BB ratio in 29 1/3 innings over his last four outings. While he has been battling elbow tendinitis for most of the season, his velocity has been on the rise since the early part of the season. This could be a sign that he has regained strength following surgery last July to fix an artery in his pitching shoulder. Gee was quietly pitching very well before that surgery, so perhaps he's picking up from where he left off.

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