Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups 8/18/14: Masterson Settling in With St. Louis
With another week gone, we’re that much closer to the fantasy baseball playoffs. If you’re fortunate enough, you’ve already clinched a postseason berth and are now trying to get the top seed. If you’re on the bubble like most, each matchup is crucial. Take a look at our waiver wire pickup suggestions for this week.
Justin Masterson: SP, St. Louis Cardinals (FanDuel Price: $6,100)
It’s taken Masterson a few starts to get his feet underneath him with the Cardinals, but he finally hit his stride August 13 against the Miami Marlins. The right-hander threw seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and striking out three en rout to the victory. I mentioned this trade should eventually increase Masterson’s fantasy value, and he’s worth a shot against the Cincinnati Reds.
This would be a risky move, but could pay dividends. His seven-inning performance against the Marlins was the first time he went that deep into a game since June 19. This could be the confidence boost needed for him to return to All-Star form. He resides on just 43 percent of Yahoo! rosters and that number drops to 26.1 percent in ESPN leagues.
Jason Vargas: SP, Kansas City Royals (FanDuel Price: $6,600)
Despite some scratching their heads when KC inked the southpaw to a four-year deal, Vargas has delivered this season. He’s 9-5 with a 3.27 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 96 strikeouts in 143.1 innings pitched. His last start was one of his most impressive, tossing a complete game shutout against the Oakland Athletics, surrendering just three hits while striking out four.
Minnesota has a collective line of .247/.311/.367 this season against left-handers, so this proves to be a good matchup for the Royals. They’ve been playing some great baseball, leaving the possibility of Vargas getting enough run support a solid possibility. He’s on 35 percent of both Yahoo! and ESPN rosters.
Cliff Pennington: SS, Arizona Diamondbacks (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
Did your team just take a hit with Troy Tulowitzki’s season-ending surgery and weren’t quick enough to scoop up Javier Baez when he made his debut? Pennington is the ultimate waiver wire pickup right now. Didi Gregorius is also on the MLB roster while Chris Owings works his way back from a stint on the disabled list, but Pennington is hot at the plate right now. He’s hitting .350/.458/.600 with a triple and home run over the past week.
If you need some time to figure out what to do at shortstop, he’s a great filler for the time being. He’s currently on a six-game hitting streak and has registered multi-hit games in five of his last 10 appearances. He’s on 3.3 percent of ESPN leagues and only one percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Brock Holt: 3B, Boston Red Sox (FanDuel Price: $2,700)
While Holt hasn’t been tearing the cover off the ball for the Red Sox, he’s been a model of consistency at the top of the order. He’s hitting .289 over his last 10 games, getting a hit in each and scoring 10 runs. He’s only hit five home runs and collected 25 RBI in 373 at-bats, but has hit 22 doubles and five triples in the process. Boston will be home all week against the Angels and Mariners, where he’s hitting .307/.365/.429 in 189 at-bats. He’ll be facing a couple lefties in C.J. Wilson and Garrett Richards, but Holt has posted a .310/.357/.437 against southpaws this season.
His versatility also makes him attractive, having eligibility at first base, third base, shortstop and outfield. He’s owned in 38 percent of Yahoo! leagues and nearly 55 percent in ESPN leagues.
Travis Snider: OF, Pittsburgh Pirates (FanDuel Price: $3,000)
With Andrew McCutchen on the 15-day DL, a spot in the outfield will remain open for the hot-hitting Snider. The 26-year-old is hitting .371 over his last ten games, including three home runs, seven RBI and five runs scored. The Pirates already have a very talented outfield, but Snider’s emergence provides some much-needed depth at the position when the organization needs it most. Also a left-handed hitter, he’s hit southpaws well in limited opportunities this season, posting a .346/.393/.538 in 28 at-bats.
Not many have taken advantage of his hot streak yet, with only nine percent of Yahoo! leagues and 12 percent of ESPN leagues having him on a roster.