Fantasy Baseball, Week 20: Winners, Losers, and Waiver-Wire Wonders

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Fantasy Baseball, Week 20: Winners, Losers, and Waiver-Wire Wonders
(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

By Derek of The Sportmeisters

Another week of baseball in the books means another winners, losers, and waiver-wire wonders blog from the fantasy guru. Keep in mind, the stats I show are the players stats for the week, not on the season. Let’s go!

 

Winners

OF – Jayson Werth – Philadelphia Phillies – .440 BA, 11 H, 7 R, 3 Doubles, 5 HR, 9 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K

Werth hit five home runs last week, raising his season total to 29. He also has a .269 average with 79 RBI’s and 13 stolen bases. He has been a complete fantasy player this year and should be started at all times for his consistency in all categories.

 

2B – Brian Roberts – Baltimore Orioles – .379 BA, 11 H, 8 R, 2 Doubles, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 5 BB, 5 K, 3 SB

Roberts had a good week with the long ball, going deep four times. He also had three stolen bases, raising his season total to 27. He is hitting .294 with 14 home runs and 60 RBI’s and has been every bit the elite fantasy second baseman that we thought he would be. Keep starting him with full confidence.

 

1B – Adam LaRoche – Atlanta Braves – .462 BA, 12 H, 8 R, 1 Double, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K

It looks like the trade back to Atlanta was just what LaRoche needed to get back on track. He has hit .406 since being acquired by Atlanta on Aug. 1 and has seven home runs and 16 RBI. He had four of those home runs last week and drove in nine. You have to start him right now, as he is a second-half player and is clearly hot right now.

 

DH – David Ortiz – Boston Red Sox – .400 BA, 8 H, 8 R, 3 Doubles, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 4 BB, 2 K

This is the Big Papi we have been waiting for all year. Ortiz hit three home runs and drove in 10 last week, but is still only hitting .227 on the year and is splitting time with Victor Martinez, Mike Lowell, Jason Varitek, and Kevin Youkilis.

Ortiz looks to be the odd man out, as Youkilis and Lowell have been hot and Martinez has started 10 games at first for Boston with Youkilis at third and Lowell at DH. Watch out for his playing time and only start him if you need the power.

 

OF – Hideki Matsui – New York Yankees – .261 BA, 6 H, 4 R, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K

Godzilla wasn’t bad last week, but he wasn’t great either. He hit just .261, but hammered four home runs and drove in 10. He now has 23 home runs and 68 RBI’s on the year and should be started while he’s hot.'

 

SP – Chris Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals – 15 IP, 2 W, 14 K, 4 BB, 8 HA, 2 ER

Carpenter was lights-out again last week, winning both starts. He struck out 14 and only allowed two runs in 15 innings. He should be started at all times and may win his second Cy Young award this year.

 

SP – Ubaldo Jimenez – Colorado Rockies – 16 IP, 2 W, 14 K, 3 BB, 13 HA, 4 ER

Jimenez has been on a hot streak recently, winning five of his last seven, going eight innings in four of those games. Last week, he went 16 innings and struck out 14, only walking three.

He is now 12-9 on the year with a 3.36 ERA and should be started in all formats while he’s hot.

 

SP – CC Sabathia – New York Yankees – 14.7 IP, 2 W, 15 K, 1 BB, 13 HA, 5 ER

This is the Ace that the Yankees were looking for when they signed Sabathia to that monster contact this off-season. He won both games last week and has won six of his last seven starts to raise his record to 15-7 on the year.

He also has an ERA of 3.59 with 148 strikeouts. He has been exactly what fantasy owners thought he would be and should be started at all times.

 

SP – Brett Tomko – Oakland Athletics – 11 IP, 2 W, 9 K, 3 BB, 8 HA, 1 ER

The Yankees' loss looks to be the Athletics gain. The Yankees designated Tomko for assignment on July 21 and he then signed with Oakland.

He has not disappointed, winning both starts last week and allowing just one run in 11 innings. Keep an eye on him to see how he pitches his next start, if all goes well, he may be a nice waiver-wire wonder for your team’s playoff run.

 

SP – Cliff Lee – Philadelphia Phillies – 9 IP, 1 W, 1 CG, 11 K, 0 BB, 2 HA, 0 ER

Lee has been nearly unhittable since joining the Phillies, going 5-0 with a 0.68 ERA. He has benefited from more run support, but he hasn’t really needed it since the most runs he hasn’t allowed more than one run in any of his five starts.

Continue to start him in all formats and look for him to wind up as a possible Cy Young candidate.

SP – Jered Weaver – Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim – 9 IP, 1 W, 1 CG, 3 K, 1 BB, 7 HA, 0 ER

Weaver hasn’t been as good in the second half as he was in the first, but was pretty good on Wednesday. He threw a seven-hit shutout and raised his record to 13-4.

Weaver has been an ace all year and there is no reason to bench him now, even with his second half woes.

 

RP – Rafael Soriano – Atlanta Braves – 4 IP, 3 SV, 4 K, 1 BB, 2 HA, 0 ER

Soriano has rebounded from his poor week that he had in week 19 to save three games and not allow a run in four innings last week.

He has been dominant, with the exception of week 19, and should be started at all times as he has clearly taken the closer’s role away from Mike Gonzalez.

 

Losers

OF – Josh Willingham – Washington Nationals – .105 BA, 2 H, 0 R, 1 Double, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 SB

Willingham had been producing nicely for the Nationals until this past week. He hit a bit of a slump and had just two hits in 19 at-bats and failed to drive in a run.

He is still hitting .292 with 19 home runs and 50 RBI on the year, so don’t drop him based on one bad week, but stash him on the bench until he starts hitting again.

 

SS – Miguel Tejada – Houston Astros – .240 BA, 6 H, 3 R, 2 Doubles, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 SB

Tejada is on this list due to the beginning of the week. He was in a bit of a funk, but looks to be out of it after getting four hits in his last nine at-bats.

He only drove in one run all week and has 69 on the season. Keep starting him and he will reward you, as he is a top-tier shortstop.

 

2B – Robinson Cano – New York Yankees – .192 BA, 5 H, 3 R, 2 Doubles, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 6 K, 0 SB

Another guy who had a slow start to the week, but ended it hot. Cano started the week 0-for-12, but then finished 5-for-14.

He is hitting .314 with 19 home runs and 62 RBI on the year and plays in a monster lineup. Keep starting him.

 

3B – Brandon Inge – Detroit Tigers – .087 BA, 2 H, 1 R, 0 Doubles, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 9 K, 0 SB

His knee injury has clearly affected his play as he is now hitting just .165 since the All Start break with just three home runs.

He has the power to be effective for your team, but watch his injury closely and stash him on the bench until Detroit makes a decision on what to do with him.

 

SP – Francisco Liriano – Minnesota Twins – 2 IP, 1 L, 1 K, 2 BB, 7 HA, 7 ER

Not only did he lose his 12th game of the season on Monday, he was then placed back on the DL with a dead arm on Tuesday. He had pitched well in his previous start, but has not been the same guy this year.

He will be out until at least mid-September and he hasn’t been good enough to stash away for a return, but don’t drop him yet and wait to see how he pitches at the end of the year before deciding on him for next year.

 

SP – Derek Lowe – Atlanta Braves – 8.7 IP, 1 L, 3 K, 1 BB, 20 HA, 11 ER

Lowe was awful in his start against the Mets on Tuesday, allowing eight runs and 11 hits in just three and two thirds innings. However, he was a bit better on Sunday against the Marlins, only allowing three runs and nine hits in five innings.

He had won four of his previous five starts before these two and should remain in your starting lineup, as he should bounce back while his team is in the hunt for the wild card.

 

RP – Kevin Gregg – Chicago Cubs – 1.7 IP, 1 L, 0 K, 2 BB, 2 HA, 4 ER

It looks like Gregg has blown his last save chance for the Cubs this year as Carlos Marmol replaced him on Tuesday.

He allowed four runs in less than two innings last week and Manager Lou Pinella finally made the switch. He has a 4.40 ERA on the season and no longer has any fantasy value. Feel free to drop him.

 

Waiver-Wire Wonders

SP – J.A. Happ – Philadelphia Phillies – 7 IP, 1 W, 1 K, 2 BB, 8 HA, 1 ER

No wonder the Phillies sent Jamie Moyer to the bullpen instead of Happ. Happ pitched well again last week and is now 10-2 on the year with a 2.59 ERA.

This is three weeks in a row that he is on my Waiver Wire list and apparently you people are listening as he is owned in 79 percent of Yahoo leagues (up from 77 percent last week), 90 percent of CBS Sports leagues, and 63.9 percent of ESPN leagues (up 5.8 percent from last week).

He should be owned and started in all formats. as he has won five of his last 10 starts.

 

SP – John Smoltz – St. Louis Cardinals – 5 IP, 1 W, 9 K, 0 BB, 3 HA, 0 ER

After Smoltz was let go by the Red Sox, it seemed like his career may be over, but not so fast. The Cardinals signed him and he pitched great in his first start.

He was terrible with Boston, going 2-5 with an 8.32 ERA, but he knows the NL much better and it appears he may be starting to come around.

If you need pitching, he should be available, as he is only owned in 32 percent of Yahoo leagues, 57 percent of CBS Sports leagues, and 14 percent of ESPN leagues.

 

RP – Carlos Marmol – Chicago Cubs – 2.7 IP, 1 SV, 3 K, 0 BB, 1 HA, 0 ER

The Cubs finally got tired of Kevin Gregg and named Marmol the closer on Tuesday. He was supposed to take the job early this season, but it looks like it’s better late then never.

Marmol may not be available, as he was drafted in most leagues with the thought that he was the Cubs closer.

However, he is only owned in 77 percent of Yahoo leagues, 68 percent of CBS Sports leagues, and 61.4 percent of ESPN leagues, so if he is available in your league, grab him and you could get some late season saves.

 

OF – Chris Coghlan – Florida Marlins – .292 BA, 7 H, 2 R, 1 Triple, 1 RBI, 4 BB, 5 K

Three weeks in a row! It looks like Coghlan is rewarding the Marlins (and fantasy owners) for allowing him to keep his starting job. Especially after getting 36 hits in his 93 August At-Bats and driving in 14 runs.

He set a Marlins record three weeks ago with eight straight multi-hit games and has now raised his season average to .289. He won’t hit you many home runs, but will get on base (as his .452 August OBP shows) and steal a few bases too.

He is going fast, now being owned in 24 percent of Yahoo leagues (up from 21 percent last week), 56 percent of CBS Sports leagues (up from 53 percent last week), and 17.4 percent of ESPN leagues (up from 10 percent last week), so go ahead and grab him while you can.

 

RP – Mike MacDougal – Washington Nationals – 2 IP, 1 K, 0 BB, 2 HA, 0 ER

Can you say Waiver-Wire Wonder? MacDougal has been surprisingly good for the Nationals. He has saved 13 on the year and has not allowed a run so far in August.

He has been on this list for three weeks now and yet he is only owned in 36 percent of Yahoo leagues (up from 31 percent last week), 34 percent of CBS Sports leagues (up from 32 percent last week), and 19 percent of ESPN leagues (up from 14.4 percent last week).

He has lowered his ERA from 4.55 to 3.23 this month and if you need saves, he could be a nice sleeper for the end of the year.

By the way, for all you Johan Santana owners, he is going to have elbow surgery and will be out for the rest of the year.

However, don’t drop him if you are in a keeper league. Stash him away on the DL or the bench and save him for next year. That’s all for now, sports fans. Any questions or concerns, email me at Derek@Sportmeisters.com.

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