Monday, August 25, 2014

Waiver Wire Pick Ups: 8/25

Eric O'Flaherty/Luke Gregerson:

With Sean Doolittle expected to miss some time due to injury, there are some possible saves available from the Oakland A's. The only catch to this is it is unclear which of these two players they will be distributed to. However, this has not deterred fantasy owners from picking both of these players up and making both of these by far the most picked up players in Fantasy today.

Since neither of these players have any full-time closing experience, it may help to look at what they've done so far in their careers to try to troubleshoot who is the better choice and who has the best chance. Since O'Flaherty hasn't pitched much in the majors this year (13 1/3 innings), i'm going to shift my focus towards their career numbers.


Strikeout Potential:

This goes to Gregerson who has the K/9 edge at 8.89 to 6.95, to further pile on he also has walked less batters per 9 (2.64 to 3.08). While their career ERA's are very similar (2.78 Gregerson, 2.79 O'Flaherty), the FIP, xFIP stats indicate that the gap between these two pitchers is larger and in favor of Gregerson.

That being said, it appears much more likely that O'Flaherty is going to get placed into the designated ninth-inning role and at least temporarily hold much more value. Since, the A's are one of the best teams in the league, he should have plenty of opportunities to pile up some saves in the short term.

Kennys Vargas:

Currently owned in 28% of leagues. He has continued to mash since getting called up to the bigs and his continued uptick in value was aided by a 6-RBI performance in Saturday's double-header versus the Tigers.

Oddly, enough his ranking dropped a few spots (128th to 131st) over the weekend. Currently, his BABIP is sitting at .424. While he is worth a closer look and it appears even playing at Target Field hasn't hampered his power too much at the same time expectations do need to be tempered as he's not going to hit .337. With a small sample size of data, his projected average is still fluctuating between the .240-.260 range. Besides that, another red flag that may rear its head at some point is that he has drawn fewer walks (3.9%) while in the majors than he had been drawing at AA this year (10.6%).

Tsuyoshi Wada:

Currently owned in 20% of leagues. Playing for a Cubs team that has been out of contention for several years, his strong performance has flown very under the radar. He has given up 2 earned runs or less in his last six starts and has shown to be a solid source for strikeouts (8.08 per 9 innings).

His ERA is better than expected (2.56) as he's gotten fortunate on the BABIP side of things (.258) but even with that factored in his projected ERA is still a solid 3.41. I think Wada is a solid back-end rotation option as long as expectations are tempered regarding his earned run average.

Dustin Ackley:

Currently owned in 43% of leagues. He had a strong weekend hitting one homer and driving in 5 runs in the Mariners sweep over the Red Sox. This has helped him in my rankings as he's gone from 180th to 135th.

He's projected average (.258) is very close to his actual total (.256) and appears to be on track to break into double figures for both home runs and stolen bases. While he doesn't hold much value with his outfield eligibility, he could be a decent upgrade at second base.

Research for this article done on fangraphs.com and Yahoo! Fantasy