Ironically, most of this week’s waiver wire pickups all play on relatively poor teams who are either in last place or hovering just above it. All this proves is that it really doesn’t matter where an owner gets his players from as long as they perform. This week all of our pickups are owned in 25% or less in most leagues so for most of you, they should be available…
1. Kyle Banks-1B,OF-Padres- 25% owned- With more playing time now at 1B as Yonder Alonso and Cameron Maybin continue to linger on the DL, the oft-injured Blanks is getting to show his offensive arsenal on a daily basis. Through 43 games in total this season, Blanks has 8 home runs, 22 RNIs, 7 doubles and is batting a respectable .285. The once highly touted 6′ 6″ Blanks whose height brings back shades of Dave Winfield, is someone to consider grabbing at least for the short term while we wait to see what will happen when the Pods are back to full strength.
2. Nick Franklin-2B,SS Mariners- 25% owned- This former 1st round pick of the Mariners was called up last month, and had his major league debut on May 27th. Although just a small sample, Franklin has played in just 16 games and has posted a .300 average over his 50 at bats. He also has stolen a couple of bases and homered twice as he does posses some power as well as speed. Playing two infield positions will be an asset for your team should you find yourself in need of a MI in deeper leagues.
3. Dillon Gee-SP-Mets- 10% owned- Trying his best to stay in the rotation once Mets top prospect Zach Wheeler is called up next week, Gee has turned his season around. Over his last three games, all wins, Gee has posted a 1.29 ERA along with a 19K/3BB ratio while allowing just three earned runs in 21 innings. Clearly the favorite to stay over Jeremy Hefner, Gee has been dealing with flexor tendonitis and if he can manage to control the pain and still pitch as well as he has of late, then he is safe to pick up in most leagues.
4. Jordan Lyles-SP-Astros- 3% owned- We know that it may be difficult for owners out there to pick up an Astro pitcher, but before you scoff at the opportunity, consider this; Lyles struck out 10 Mariners on Wednesday through seven scoreless innings; his career high. In his last six starts, Lyles has given up 8 earned runs. He has a 3-1 record on baseball’s worst team and, unfortunately, pitched one horrific game ( 8 earned runs to the Texas Rangers on May 12th). All his other starts were quality ones. Still not convinced? How about a 41K/16BB ratio. You could do worse in N.L. only and deeper leagues.
“Relief is on the way”
5. Alex Torres-RP-Rays- 1% owned- The Tampa Bay bullpen leaves a lot to be desired. Their closer Fernando Rodney has an ERA hovering just below 5.00 (4.94), Kyle Farnsworth 6.11, Jake McGee 5.76, and Cesar Ramos 4.15. If a team can get to the Rays pen then they have a good shot of knocking them around. Joel Peralta with his 1.72 ERA has been effective but no other reliever save for Alex Torres has been ‘light’s out”. In seven appearances he hasn’t given up a run; earned or unearned, hence his 0.00 ERA. Torres is also sporting a pristine 19K/3BB ratio which is darned near perfect. The 25 year old who was called up on May 15th is just someone to take a flier on and watch. His stuff is too good not to.
6. Joaquin Benoit-RP-Tigers- 23% owned- We think that Benoit, the next in line for closing duties in Detroit behind Jose Valverde, is an excellent pickup in all mixed leagues as he is just 1-2 blown saves away from being handed the gig. Valverde, in just his last six games, has given up 5 home runs, two blown saves, and has watched his ERA soar from 0.75 on May 27th to an inflated 4.15! On the other hand Benoit picked up his third save of the season last Sunday and has 8 Holds, 1 Win, and 3 Saves on this year’s resume. Benoit’s 33K/9BB rate ain’t too bad either. He is currently carrying a 1.04 WHIP; his 2nd lowest in 12 years. Surprisingly available in too many leagues.