by Evan Marx
A quick look at last week's Fantasy Baseball top performing and least owned players on the waiver wire. Starlin Castro is a hitting machine. Pedro Alvarez back to back double dingers. Fausto Carmona bringing it back to 2007. Can they really keep it up for another week? Check out who's a Must or a Bust.
Jack Cust (6% owned)
8 R / 4 HR / 10 RBI / .444
Jersey Boy Cust was the number one batter for this last week. The one thing he does extremely well is hit home runs and has six homers in the past nine games. Not bad numbers recently considering he only has eight home runs all season. Cust will see increased at-bats with this kind of production and we know he has the ability to hit 30+ dingers in a season. The best part is Jack is batting 60 points above his career average. Good cheap pick-up right now!
Pedro Alvarez (25% owned)
8 R / 4 HR / 8 RBI / .346
The Pirates only saving grace this season is to jump ahead of Houston for second to last place. Still though, they have somehow found a way to score a lot of runs recently, even without Andrew McCutchen. Rookie, Pedro Alvarez, has clearly pushed Andy LaRoche aside and in the past ten games has bumped his average from .214 to .252. The big-boy (6'3" 223 lbs) has shown his power this week going yard twice in back to back games. "El Toro" should be on every owners watch list, since he will have all the playing time he needs to adjust to the Bigs.
Luke Scott (19% owned)
5 R / 4 HR / 8 RBI / .458
Since returning from the DL, Scott has been on FIRE! Had he not missed the two weeks, we could be looking at 20-22 homers instead of 16. I'd look for a very strong second half, seeing as how Scott is one pace to score more runs, homers and RBIs than in years past. Plus he's batting .292, way above his dismal .268 career average. Scott is a little shy of the minimum plate appearances but would be tied for sixth in the league for slugging (.567) and tied for 11th in OPS (.924).
Chris Denorfia (1% owned)
6 R / 3 HR / 5 RBI / .429
Taking advantage of an injured Will Venable, Denorfia is trying to prove he deserves to be a starter in an already crowed San Diego outfield. In just 131 ABs, he has 20 Runs and 20 RBIs. The good news is that although the OF is crowed, none of them are doing anything spectacular, leaving Denorfia a fighting chance.
Starlin Castro (23% owned)
5 R / 1 HR / 6 RBI / 2 SB / .481
With Aramis Ramirez back to form, the Cubs have been putting up some big numbers. Castro has been as solid as you could wish for from a rookie and has bumped his average up 34 points since July 1st. In the past ten games he has seven multi-hit games. The home run swing has yet to come (only three in 234 AB) but as he trains more, the muscle will develop. Great keeper option!
Jose Tabata (5% owned)
8 R / 1 HR / 6 RBI / 2 SB / .355
WIth Andrew McCutchen missing the past six games and possibly a handful more, Tabata has stepped in and performed quite well. Another Pirate Rookie looking to make his mark - so keep an eye as to how much the Pirates can play him once McCutchen returns.
Jim Edmonds (1% owned)
5 R / 3 HR / 7 RBI / .500
One of the best Center Fielders since the early '90s is most likely in his final season. At 40, Edmonds has said he is playing harder than ever knowing this is the final stretch. As much as I love the veteran, he is only a possible pickup in a very deep NL only league.
Delwyn Young (1% owned)
7 R / 2 HR / 7 RBI / .412
Delwyn has managed to get a small amount of playing time considering he is blocked by Neil Walker at 2B and Pedro Alvarez at 3B. Good week but don't expect a lot here.
Gaby Sanchez (32% owned)
4 R / 2 HR / 7 RBI / 1 SB / .400
Sanchez continues to be a pleasant surprise and is still barely owned in leagues. He has certainly locked up first base for the season and possibly the near future. Marlins prospect Logan Morrison will have to wait a while longer unless Florida can find a way to play them both. Sanchez should end with at least 90/20/90.
Chris Johnson (2% owned)
5 R / 2 HR / 6 RBI / .455
Johnson looks like he is taking over third in Houston and if the playing time continues so will the homers. Minor League showed us he can hit for power, so just a matter of time…
John Axford (57% owned)
4.2 IP / 1 W / 3 SV / 5 K / 1.93 ERA / 1.07 WHIP
Dethroning the all-time saves leader is quite an accomplishment, although it was more of Trevor Hoffman dethroning himself. Hoffman has pitched much better since his early season woes but Axford has proven to the staff that he can be the Brewers closer of the future. Three saves this week plus a win ain't bad.
Jeff Francis (6% owned)
7 IP / 1 W / 7 K / 0.00 ERA / 0.43 WHIP
Colorado's shutout win over Florida was Francis' best game in an otherwise mediocre season thus far. Low Ks (38), High ERA (4.63), with batters hitting .289 against him doesn't sound too appetizing. He's actually given up as many runs as strikeouts.
Fausto Carmona (30% owned)
5 IP / 1 W / 7 K / 0.00 ERA / 0.40 WHIP
Remember when Fausto was really, really good in 2007? I doubt Fausto even remembers, but after two dismal years, he is actually putting together a pretty decent 2010. Three straight wins (and 6-2 in last eight) on a horrible team that can barely score is impressive.
Vin Mazzaro (7% owned)
13.2 IP / 2 W / 10 K / 1.98 ERA / 1.02 WHIP
The pride of Hackensack, New Jersey is off to quite an impressive start. Since being named a starter on June 8th, Vinny really has only had one bad game, but only gave up four runs. In the past five games, he's pitched 41 innings and only given up nine runs. Mazzaro is definitely outperforming his seven percentage ownership.
Barry Enright (5% owned)
8 IP / 1 W / 8 K / 1.12 ERA / 0.75 WHIP
In his fourth career game, Enright pitched an absolute gem against the Mets, going eight strong, striking out eight and only surrendering one run. His first three games weren't half bad either although two were for losses. His minor league stats were never anything to write home to Ma about, but they weren't bad either. Owners may be able to get a few more solid starts from him before batters figure him completely out.
Mark Buehrle (55% owned)
9 IP / 1 W / 2 K / 1.00 ERA / 0.44 WHIP
Buehrle is pretty much right on par for his career averages. You can count on him for a sub four ERA and 13-15 wins a season. In Mark's last eight, he is 6-2 and lowered his ERA a whole point! This last game against Oakland was his first CG of the season and the 26th of his career.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (43% owned)
6.2 IP / 1 W / 6 K / 1.35 ERA / 0.60 WHIP
We are still far far away from Dice-K of two years ago, but significant strides have been made this year. In the past two game Daisuke has whiffed 11 and only given up three runs. Another strong start and Matsuzaka will be off the waivers wire in the blink of an eye.
Hong-Chih Kuo (16% owned)
4 IP / 1 SV / 4 K / 0.00 ERA / 0.25 WHIP
Kuo has been pure magic for the Dodgers this year. His numbers are just plain sick like Luke Gregerson, J.J. Putz and Evan Meek. Listen to this line and you tell me if you should pick him up – 32 IP / 40 K / 0.84 ERA / 0.74 WHIP / .119 BAA. So not a lot of Wins or Saves, but he will help even out ERA & WHIP for sure.
Randy Wells (48% owned)
7 IP / 1 W / 7 K / 0.00 ERA / 1.14 WHIP
In the past five games, Wells has only surrendered five runs and zero is his last two. He's also dropped his ERA from 5.21 to 4.07 in that span. Unfortunately as many gems Wells has pitched he also has as many bombs. Hopefully we will see a continued success for the remainder of the season.
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