Friday, August 22, 2014

Trendy Waiver Wire Pick Ups: 8/21

Matt Shoemaker:

Currently owned in 39% of leagues. He had himself a VERY dominant Thursday evening against the Red Sox. If your in one of the 61% of leagues where he has yet to be picked up, he's definitely worth going up and grabbing soon.

Last night's game moved his projected ERA from 3.50 to 3.35 (good for 38th), and he's tied for 17th in projected strike outs and sixth in projected walks, throw in a strong Angels team that will lead to more win opportunities, Shoemaker should be on the top of list for upgrade options.

Bud Norris:

Currently owned in 18% of leagues and has given up 3 earned runs or less in his last four starts (and picked up three wins in the process). Even with the recent surge of good play, he's a back end option at best (ranked 65th out of 112 overall).

He has been fortunate in having a lower BABIP than usual this year (.280 versus .307 career) and a HR/FB rate that his better than average (9.3% to 10.6%). While his ERA is at 3.69 currently, I have him projected at 4.07 (81st). Yes, there is some potential for stumbling into wins on a Baltimore team that is running away from the AL East. On the other hand, he's not a major strikeout artist (I have him ranked 58th in this category) or avoiding walks (84th).

Basically, what you got is a back of the rotation pitcher who looks better than he actually is due to a recent hot streak and a season  of relatively good luck.

Carlos Carrasco:

Currently owned in 22% of leagues. He's spent much of the season in the bullpen but has recently been moved to the starting rotation and thrown 12 shutout innings over his last two starts (seven against the Orioles and five against the Yankees).

He's done well against good competition lately and gets a non-contending Astros team tonight. Currently, his ERA is at 3.27 and his FIP & xFIP numbers indicate he is capable of slightly better (currently have him projected at 3.08, good for 23rd). He has some (but not much) outside factor win-potential as the Indians have been kinda-sorta good enough to be on the fringe of contention but haven't passed as a dominating team this year.

While the ERA & Win potential are there, he's not going to be a major source for strikeouts (ranked 60th) and does slightly (but not off the charts better) in the walks category 46th. He's a decent back-end option (better choice than Bud Norris but on the other hand Matt Shoemaker is a better choice than Carrasco).

Justin Turner:

Currently owned in 8% of leagues (which is two times as high as the number of positions he's eligible in, his home run total and stolen base total). He may be hitting .314 and may have hit a decisive home run against the Padres on a slow Thursday night.

My advice, do not get tricked by either of these things to pick him up. Yes, he may be on a nice little hot streak.  He also has a very tough to sustain BABIP (.376 versus .312 career mark). He's closer to a .260 hitter and he's unlikely to make that up with power (even at 4 homers is 8.2% HR/FB ratio is lapping his 4.7% career total) and the last time he stole double digit bases in a season was in 2007 in single-A ball. Out of 327 batters, I have him ranked 247th.

Kennys Vargas:

Currently owned in 12% of leagues. He continues to hit well as he hit another home run in the Twins win over the Indians. He has a .316 batting average but also a .377 BABIP. In the long term, I think he's closer to a .260 hitter but at least some of the early power he is displaying is legit. At this point, I think he's capable of being a 20-25 home run hitter though this may be curtailed by Target Field along with his RBI potential. Even with some blemishes on his future projections, I still have him ranked 128th and he is at least worth a look to see if he can keep his strong hitting/power displaying going for awhile. Not bad for someone still available in 88% of leagues.