Friday, July 22, 2011

Best Fantasy Baseball Pickups

The All Star game has come and gone and now fantasy baseball teams are scrambling to reformat their lineup to strengthen their teams. I find one of the keys to winning fantasy baseball is picking up the "under the radar" players who weren't drafted, but have been putting up solid numbers. I've listed below great pick ups for each position that are on 60% or less of fantasy baseball teams (according to ESPN) along with their season and last 30 day stats. Please note that we're excluding catchers because either you have an okay - good catcher at this point or you're shit out of lck

First Basemen

1. Derrek Lee (34.6% own)
Season: BA: .239 HR: 10 RBI: 34 Runs: 35 SB: 2
Last 30: BA: .232 HR: 6 RBI: 16 Runs: 22 SB: 0
Why? It's tough to imagine Derrek Lee ever being less than 100% in every league, but here we are. Don't let the BA discourage you from picking him up. He's been hitting well as of his last 15 (including 3 home runs in that time) and has had a hit in his last 5 games. 

2. Edwin Encarnacion (53.4% own)

Season: BA: .268 HR: 7 RBI: 24 Runs: 37 SB: 4
Last 30: BA: .300 HR: RBI: 12 Runs: 19 SB: 3
Why? Most of Edwin Encarnacion's numbers have been put up the last 30 days, especially the last 15 when he's been hitting over .430(!). Encarnacion is also eligible for 3B and DH which is highly beneficial considering the lack of 3B who have been putting up good numbers this year. 

Second Basemen

1. Gordon Beckham (54.8% own)
Season: BA: .252 HR: 7 RBI: 30 Runs: 37 SB: 3
Last 30: BA: .316 HR: RBI: Runs: 7 SB: 1
Why? If nothing else, Gordon Beckham should be able to help increase your team's overall BA and has potential to hit for power on occasion. As with 3B, 2B suffers from a lack of good players this year making Gordon Beckham one of the better pick ups over other 2B free agents.

2. Jemile Weeks (32.3% own)
Season: BA: .308 HR: 0 RBI: 11 Runs: 17 SB: 10
Last 30: BA: .281 HR: 0 RBI: 5 Runs: 7 SB: 6
Why? He has been on absolute fire the past few days (including a 2 for 4, 5 for 9, and 2 for 3 games consecutively that included 3 stolen bases). Jemile could be a key pickup if you're looking for an extra boost at .BA and SB.

Third Basemen

1. Alberto Callaspo (23.0% own)
Season: BA: .289 HR: 3 RBI: 33 Runs: 32 SB: 4
Last 30: BA: .314 HR: 0 RBI: 5 Runs: 10 SB: 2
Why? Players that have experienced good seasons in the past are always worth looking at once they heat up and Alberto Callaspo is no exception. He's been dominating in .BA since 7/10 and hitting .406 in his last 15 games. 

2. Danny Valencia (54.7% own)
Season: BA: .232 HR: 11 RBI: 51 Runs: 35 SB: 2
Last 30: BA: .260 HR: RBI: 18 Runs: 12 SB: 0
Why? Not the greatest pickup, but again the 3B position is a little difficult to fill this year with quality players and Danny Valencia might be able to provide with the extra bit of power you need to win for the week. Plus, his .BA has improved over the past few weeks.


1. Jason Bartlett (8.2% own)
Season: BA: .251 HR: 1 RBI: 23 Runs: 40 SB: 21
Last 30: BA: .235 HR: 0 RBI: 4 Runs: 13 SB: 9
Why? Jason Bartlett has been a big bust for fantasy owners, but can still provide a lot of value for Stolen Bases. Considering only 8% own him, chances are he's free in your league. He also has 3 multi-hit games in a row that include 3 stolen bases. Obviously won't be the case for the rest of the season, but there's not reason to suspect that he can't finish the season strong.

2. Alexi Casilla (30.5% own)

Season: BA: .259 HR: 2 RBI: 20 Runs: 49 SB: 13
Last 30: BA: .242 HR: RBI: Runs: 18 SB: 3
Why? Alexi Casilla is eligible for both SS and 2B which already increases his fantasy value over just SS players. Casilla's value primarily lies on providing additional runs for your team although he can easily swipe a couple of bags in any given week. 


1. Cameron Maybin (29.4% own)
Season: BA: .277 HR: 5 RBI: 24 Runs: 46 SB: 19
Last 30: BA: .344 HR: 0 RBI: 8 Runs: 18 SB: 11
Why? One of the better kept secrets in fantasy is Cameron Maybin. He's a solid player when it comes to both .BA and stolen bases and has been fairly solid all season. He's been on a hot streak as of late which is only expected to continue.

2. Nyjer Morgan (26.6% own)
Season: BA: .333 HR: 3 RBI: 22 Runs: 31 SB: 13
Last 30: BA: .329 HR: RBI: 11 Runs: 11 SB: 3
Why? Another solid player all season in terms of .BA. One of the reasons fantasy owners stay clear of him is his lack of anticipated playing time, but with Carlos Gomez's struggles all year and Morgan's dominant .BA he will likely get playing time on an almost every day basis.

3. Alex Presley (27.8% own)
Season: BA: .351 HR: 1 RBI: 9 Runs: 12 SB: 4
Last 30: BA: .351 HR: RBI: Runs: 12 SB: 4
Why? Alex Presley is currently replacing Jose Tabata who is injured, but when Tabata returns it is highly likely that Presley will continue to start. Not a power hitter, but dominant in .BA and has proven he can steal bases well. 

Starting Pitching

1. Cory Luebke (59.3% own)
Season: ERA: 2.57 WHIP: 0.87 K: 69 W-L: 3-3
Last 30: ERA: 1.50 WHIP: 0.67 K: 26 W-L: 2-2
Why? Since taking over starting pitching duties, Cory Luebke has been dominant allowing 4 ER in 4 starts along with a K / BB of 26 / 4. Wow. There's no reason not to pick him up to see how long he can keep this hot streak up.

2. Jonathon Niese (22.7% own)
Season: ERA: 3.76 WHIP: 1.32 K: 105 W-L: 9-8
Last 30: ERA: 3.94 WHIP: 1.25 K: 33 W-L: 3-2
Why? If you're looking to increase your strikeout total, Niese is a solid choice. I prefer him over other high strikeout pitchers with a low % own like say Dempster because he also has a fairly low ERA and a decent win - loss record.

3. Matt Harrison (52.7% own)
Season: ERA: 2.91 WHIP: 1.25 K: 70 W-L: 8-7
Last 30: ERA: 2.36 WHIP: 1.19 K: 22 W-L: 3-1
Why? Matt Harrison has been a solid pitcher all year and continues to improve with his .ERA and WHIP. With the exception of strikeouts, Matt Harrison usually delivers on all major categories when it comes to starting pitching.


1. Javy Guerra (47.1% own)
Season: ERA: 2.18 WHIP: 1.35 K / BB: 15/6 SV: 6
Last 30: ERA: 1.23 WHIP: 1.09 K / BB: 8/2 SV: 4
Why? For now, Javy Guerra seems to be the Dodgers closer and has been performing well in his new role converting all 4 of his last save opportunities. It will be important to watch him to see if he remains a closer for the Dodgers.

2. Jason Isringhausen (35.9%)
Season: ERA: 2.76 WHIP: 1.16 K / BB: 27/15 SV: 1
Last 30: ERA: 1.93 WHIP: 1.29 K / BB: 7/5 SV: 1
Why? I never thought that Jason Isringhausen would A) be still playing baseball at this point B) Be on the Mets C) Part of my best pickup list for fantasy baseball. Here we are though. With K-Rod going to the Brewers. Isringhausen will likely be closing out games for the Mets. 

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