Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Trendy Waiver Wire Pick Ups:

Roberto Hernandez:

Currently owned in 11% of leagues. He's had a couple of solid starts since being acquired by the Dodgers. Both of those things are nice and okay but there's still not enough there to increase his value (still second to last among starting pitchers in my listings). He may stumble across some more wins playing on a contending team but he still strikes out less then 6 per 9 innings, walks too many batters and has a projected ERA of 4.33, this is one where your well advised to go the other way.

James Paxton:

Currently owned in 38% of leagues. He has pitched very strong in his first three starts this year and two of those have been against contending teams (Detroit & Baltimore). The one minor red flag is that he has gotten lucky on BABIP (.237) but even his FIP, xFIP numbers indicate strong future returns. While his strikeout numbers are modest so far (7.53 per 9), he still projects to have a very strong ERA 2.96.

Paxton's strong start has helped Seattle's push to get to their first playoff spot since 2001 and he's just as capable of doing the same for fantasy owners. Currently, I have him ranked 20th among starting pitchers (not bad for someone available in 62% of leagues.

Michael Pineda:

Currently owned in 48% of leagues. While his value is strongly tied to whether he can stay healthy and not get caught binging on pine tar for his glove (both of which are very big IFs), there is some high reward to go with high risk. While his 1.82 ERA is aided by a .254 BABIP & a 2.5% HR/FB rate, even factoring in a combo of actual ERA, FIP & xFIP, his ERA still projects to be very strong (2.87).

If this holds up, he is capable of helping the Yankees in the scramble for the last wild card spot and do the same for fantasy owners (current rank is 18th). He carries much more risk but could help you win.

Mike Fiers:

Currently owned in 48% of leagues and coming off a VERY strong performance, yeah it was against the Cubs but 14 K's over 6 innings is impressive. While his other start against the Dodgers didn't get the same headlines, he still stepped up just as huge in that start as well.

The question is, what to expect of Fiers going forward? His ability to strike out batters didn't exactly come out of nowhere (he struck out 9.52 per 9 in 2012) and his ability to dominate over at least a couple month stretch isn't new (he pitched very strongly for a couple months in 2012). Both his FIP & xFIP are below 3 this year and if he ever stretched this out over a full season (sub 3 ERA, 200+ K's plus a good chance of getting wins playing on a strong offensive team like Milwaukee) and he could be scary good.

Wei-Yin Chen:

Currently owned in 41% of leagues. He has given up one run or less in 3 of his last four starts. Historically, i've had him projeted as a middle of the pack pitcher.

While his recent performance has given him a modest bump in my rankings (54th to 47th), his ceiling his relatively limited. While he seems likely to stumble into wins playing for a first place Baltimore team, his ERA projects to be almost 4 (3.92) and he's not going to give you too much of an advantage on strikeouts (less than 7 per 9 innings).

All numbers referenced researched on fangraphs.com

All references to league ownership found on Yahoo! Fantasy