Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups 7/7/14: Kole Calhoun is on Fire
With a new week upon us, its that time to set your fantasy baseball lineup for yet another matchup. Whether you’re coming off a disappointing loss or a big win that increased your playoff chances, now is not the time to be complacent. Here are our picks for players you should be scanning the waiver wire for.
Jarred Cosart: SP, Houston Astros (FanDuel Price: $6,400)
Cosart has been a force in the surprisingly effective and young Astros rotation. Before posting 2.66 FanDuel points on July 1 against the Seattle Mariners, the right-hander posted double-digit points for five straight starts. He’s currently 8-6 with a 3.93 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and 65 strikeouts in 100.2 innings pitched. After a rough start to the season (1-2, 5.52 ERA in April), Cosart has been consistent for Houston, posting an ERA below 3.00 over the next two months. He’s not a strikeout pitcher, but has the fifth-most wins in the MLB. Even better, he’s hardly owned in Yahoo! (12 percent) and ESPN leagues (five percent).
Charlie Morton: SP, Pittsburgh Pirates (FanDuel Price: $7,400)
Morton hasn’t had the best luck when it comes to wins and losses (5-9 record), but his performance always has the Pirates in the game upon his exit (3.30 ERA and 1.23 WHIP). He’s also been hot of late, posting 14-plus FanDuel points in five of his last six starts. His last two have been fantastic, allowing three runs on nine hits, four walks and 16 strikeouts in 13 innings of work. He takes on the Cardinals in St. Louis Monday and has struggled away from PNC Park.However, one of his most dominant starts of the season came on the road against Tampa Bay on June 25 (7 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB, 11 K). He’s mostly flown under the radar, getting picked up in just 9.6 percent of ESPN leagues and 21 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Tommy La Stella: 2B, Atlanta Braves (FanDuel Price: $2,600)
Never heard of him? Me neither, until recently. Atlanta has finally grown tired of Dan Uggla and have benched him in favor of La Stella. He won’t collect many extra-base hits (7 doubles, 1 triple in 126 at-bats), but he’s consistent for the Braves — something they’ve lacked from second base for quite some time. He’s hitting .294/.379/.365 on the season with 11 runs scored and 14 RBI, coming on strong to start July, posting a .375 batting average through his first 16 at-bats. If you’re looking for some help up the middle, he’s a good short-term option. Only four percent of Yahoo! users have him on a roster, while 6.5 of ESPN users have done the same.
Mike Moustakas: 3B, Kansas City Royals (FanDuel Price: $2,900)
Moustakas has been an overall disappointment for Kansas City, being a top-10 prospect in the MLB as recently as 2011. Another slow start in 2014 landed him in Triple-A temporarily and he’s still only hitting .195/.259/.385 in 221 at-bats this season. He’s picked it up to start the month of July, posting a .357 batting average in his first 14 at-bats. While he didn’t impress much upon his return to the lineup in June (.232 BA in 82 at-bats), he did hit four home runs and three doubles, followed by two more homers to start July. He could be finding his power stroke, and it’s a good time to ride whatever hot streak he’s on before inevitably falling into another slump. Fantasy users in both Yahoo! (16 percent owned) and ESPN (6.2 percent) leagues have lost faith in him, making him easily attainable for you off the waiver wire to take a flyer on him.
Kole Calhoun: OF, Los Angeles Angels (FanDuel Price: $3,700)
The Angels have one of the better offenses in baseball, led by hitters like Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton, Howie Kendrick and a revitalized Albert Pujols. Outfielder Kole Calhoun has taken advantage of the lineup he’s in and is having a great season, hitting .301/.361/.522 with nine homers and 22 RBI. An ankle injury in mid-April limited his playing time and production through the month of May, but has been hot since. He hit .346 in June, including 13 RBI and has posted an impressive .471/.571/.882 line through 17 July at-bats. He’s the most-owned of this group, but is still very attainable. Yahoo! users have him on 60 percent of rosters, while ESPN users have seen the light, owning him on 77.3 percent of rosters (a recent increase of over 30 percent).
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