2011 MLB Fantasy Baseball: American League Waiver Wire Gems

Brian KilpatrickContributor IIAugust 6, 2011

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 05:  Brett Lawrie #13 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits an RBI single in the second inning of his major league debut against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 5, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Brett Lawrie, 2B Toronto Blue Jays (23 percent owned in Yahoo, 22.7 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: 2/4, 1 RBI

Brett Lawrie has finally arrived! He tore up AAA pitching this season going .353/64/18/61/13. In my opinion, the call-up should have happened much earlier—but it didn't. Then Lawrie suffered a hand injury on May 31st which kept him out of the game for a while. Now that it is completely healed, expect him to rake for the Blue jays.

Projection (rest of season): .280 AVG / 23 R / 6 HR / 26 RBI / 4 SB


Hideki Matsui, OF Oakland Athletics (32 percent owned in Yahoo, 70.6 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: .268 AVG / 39 R / 10 HR / 54 RBI / 1 SB

I try not to mention players two weeks in a row, but I need to make an exception here. It seems like ESPN has caught on to Matsui but Yahoo leaguers haven't. In the past six games he has gone .524/4/1/3. In Yahoo, some of the players owned ahead of him are Alex Rios, Jason Kubel, Juan Pierre and Delmon Young.

Projection (rest of season): .279 AVG / 22 R / 6 HR / 23 RBI / 0 SB


Josh Willingham, OF Oakland Athletics (23 percent owned in Yahoo, 39.1 percent in ESPN)

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 29:  Josh Willingham #16 of the Oakland Athletics hits a three-run home run against the Minnesota Twins in the eighth inning at O.co Coliseum on July 29, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Current Stat Line: .245 AVG / 41 R / 16 HR / 61 RBI / 4 SB

Willingham has been a streaky hitter all season, but he had a monster month of July, going .324/.429/.618. His HR/RBI numbers are actually pretty impressive considering he only has registered 314 AB. If you extrapolate his power numbers over 600 AB you get 30/116. He is batting cleanup for the Athletics so the RBI opportunities should continue.

Projection (rest of season): .240 AVG / 21 R / 7 HR / 29 RBI / 2 SB


Rick Porcello, SP Detroit Tigers (21 percent owned in Yahoo, 29.6 percent in ESPN)

Current Stat Line: 11 W / 6 L / 73 K / 4.49 ERA / 1.36 WHIP

Now that August is upon us, it's time to start looking at matchups for fantasy baseball playoffs. From September fifth through the 25th the Tigers face: @CLE, MIN, @CHI, @OAK, @KC and BAL. They have a pretty good schedule leading up to September fifth, too: @CLE, @BAL, MIN, CLE, @TB, @MIN, KC and CHI. Porcello's BB/9 of 2.21 and 49.1 percent of groundballs will keep him out of serious trouble going forward.

Projection (rest of season): 4 W / 3 L / 34 K / 3.65 ERA / 1.24 WHIP


Doug Fister, SP Detroit Tigers (15 percent owned in Yahoo, five percent in ESPN)

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 03: Doug Fister #58 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the first inning during the game against the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park on August 3, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Rangers 5-4. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty I
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Current Stat Line: 4 W / 12 L / 89 K / 3.29 ERA / 1.17 WHIP

I know it's a bit unorthodox to suggest two starting pitchers from the Tigers on the same waiver wire article, but you can't argue with the schedule and I actually like Fister more. Fister's K/9 is only slightly worse at 5.24 and he is a control freak (1.88 BB/9, 64.3 first pitch strike percentage). For what it's worth, I picked him up in our league.

Projection (rest of season): 4 W / 4 L / 32 K / 3.40 ERA / 1.10 WHIP

For other entries in our waiver-wire gems series, click here!

Brian "Killboy" Kilpatrick is a Senior Writer for 4thandHome.com, where this, and other work, can be found. Additionally, he is co-host of The 4th and Home Show on Blog Talk Radio.