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Fantasy Baseball: Identifying the Week's Best Waiver Wire Pickup Options

Joey HnathCorrespondent IApril 24, 2011

Fantasy Baseball: Identifying the Week's Best Waiver Wire Pickup Options

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    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 15:  Pitcher Wade Davis #40 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the game at Tropicana Field on April 15, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    With three weeks in the books, the 2011 fantasy baseball season is starting to take shape.

    Surprise players are playing out of their minds, while several stars are off to very slow starts.

    That being said, it’s crucial to keep an eye out on free agency.  Not only is it a great place to find hot players and replacements for your slumping stars, but there are several good pitchers available who are making two starts this week as well.

    Here are 10 players who are good waiver-wire pickup options this week.

10. Ryan Roberts

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    PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 12:  Ryan Roberts #14 of the St. Louis Cardinals bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on April 12, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.   The Diamondbacks defeated the Cardinals 13-8.  (Photo
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Ryan Roberts has caught fire for the Diamondbacks this season.  He is batting .320 with 13 RBI.

    The best thing about Roberts is that he has eligibility at both third base and outfield, which makes him an even better fantasy option.

    Ride Roberts’ for as long as you can, because it won’t last forever.

9. Alex Avila

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    ST. PETERSBURG - JULY 27:  Catcher Alex Avila #13 of the Detroit Tigers fouls off a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on July 27, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Alex Avila is off to a hot start this season, hitting .321 and belting three home runs.

    Though it is highly unlikely he will keep up this pace, Avila will be a good fantasy option for a little while longer.

    If you’re in need of a catcher, consider picking up Avila.

8. Wade Davis

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    ST PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 03:  Pitcher Wade Davis #40 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the game at Tropicana Field on April 3, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Wade Davis has made four good starts in 2011 and has a 2.73 ERA to show for it.

    The big thing Davis has going for him this week is that he will be making two starts, once at the Twins and once at home versus the Angels.

    He’ll perform solidly against both teams, especially since his best start this year came against Minnesota, and he has a career 3.18 ERA against the Angels.

7. Gavin Floyd

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    ST PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 21:  :  Pitcher Gavin Floyd #34 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on April 21, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Gavin Floyd’s 2011 season has been pretty good, minus his one start against the Angels when he gave up six earned runs in six innings.

    He also will be making two starts this week, though they will be coming against the Yankees and the Orioles.

    Though he’s facing two good offenses, Floyd should have two good games this week nonetheless.

    He’s worth picking up this week.

6. Ryan Madson

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    PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 23:  Ryan Madson #46 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the San Francisco Giants in Game Six of the NLCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park on October 23, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Al B
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Both Brad Lidge and Jose Contreras have hit the DL, which makes Ryan Madson the new Phillies closer.

    Madson has saved games for Phillies before, so he should succeed in his newfound role for Philadelphia.

5. Casey Blake

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    DENVER, CO - APRIL 06:  Casey Blake #23 of the Los Angeles Dodgers takes an at bat against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on April 6, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Casey Blake has been on fire as of late, hitting at a .400 clip in the past week with two home runs.

    As a third baseman, he plays a position which is at a premium, especially with Ryan Zimmerman on the DL and Pedro Alvarez slumping.

    If you need help at third, look at Blake.

4. Madison Bumgarner

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    PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 17:  Starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on April 17, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Although Madison Bumgarner has gotten off to a rough start in 2011, his struggles won’t continue the whole season.

    Every second-year player hits some slumps, and one of Bumgarner’s was just at the beginning of the year.

    His start this week is against the Pirates, so hopefully he’ll be able to right the ship in Pittsburgh.

3. Alcides Escobar

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    DETROIT - APRIL 09:  Alcides Escobar #2 of the Kansas City Royals bats during the fifth inning during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on April 9, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Royals defeated the Tigers 3-1.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Get
    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Alcides Escobar is getting dropped in a lot of leagues right now, and quite frankly, he shouldn’t be.

    Kansas City leads the league in stolen bases with 28, and five of those have come from Escobar.

    Though his average is a bit lower than most would like, he will be a good source for steals this season.  Escobar also plays arguably the thinnest position in fantasy baseball, so there aren’t too many better options.

    If Escobar is available in your league, snag him while you can.

2. Darren Oliver

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    ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 01:  Darren Oliver #28 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Boston Red Sox on Opening Day at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on April 1, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    With Neftali Feliz going on the DL, the Rangers now look to Darren Oliver as their ninth inning option.

    Oliver converted his first save opportunity on Saturday, and even though Arthur Rhodes picked up the save on Sunday, Oliver should be the main closer while Feliz is out.

    For at least the next two weeks, it appears Oliver will be the Texas closer, so all Feliz owners should be picking up Oliver.

1. Chris Young

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10:  Chris Young #55 of the New York Mets pitches against the Washington Nationals during their game on April 10, 2011 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Chris Young will be activated from the DL on Tuesday and he will start that night.  He is also slated to start on Sunday as well, so he is another one of those two start pitchers for this week.

    Young has been solid in his first year in New York, posting a 1.46 ERA in his first two starts.

    His first start of the week is against Washington, so snag him immediately.

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