Another week, another dollar (or pound, I guess).
Let’s dive in.
Waiver Wire Adds
C.J. Cron 1B Col
I’ve touched on Cron before, but I think it’s time for a deeper dive. He is still 54% owned per ESPN so he’s widely available. One of the added benefits Cron gets is playing in Colorado. Coors Field as a whole this year hasn’t been playing to the typical Coors tune of years past, but recently the runs have been piling up in Coors and with the summer months ahead, I assume Coors will go back to the extremely high offensive environment we’re used to.
Cron has been sneakily putting together some really good numbers this year, posting a .271 average, .861 OPS, .374 wOBA, and .375 xWOBA. Both the wOBA and expected wOBA are well above league average.
He has been notably better at home than on the road with a .993 OPS at home versus a .688 OPS on the road, which is to be expected being a Rockie. But I think you can use this to your advantage so long as you play in any league deeper than a 10-12 team points league. My advice is to add Cron and start him any week where the Rockies have 4+ home games. MLB teams platoon hitters, so why can’t you do the same with your fantasy team?
P.S. Week 13 is a gold mine for Cron, with SEVEN home games this week.
Jonathan India – this is the third week in a row of talking about India, add him.
Brandon Belt – widely available and extremely viable as a corner infielder, wOBA god in one of the best performing lineups this year.
Franmil Reyes – coming off the IL hopefully in the next week and was on an absolute tear prior to getting injured posting a .815 OPS, .372 wOBA, and 47.4% hard-hit rate.
Tarik Skubal Det
Skubal has had a bit of a bumpy road in 2021, getting knocked around a couple of times pretty hard in April. But if you consider the fact that one, he’s young with a really high prospect pedigree, and two, over the last 30 days he’s starting to look really good, Skubal becomes a really interesting add.
Over the last 30 days, which includes five starts, Skubal has a 2.93 ERA with a 3.78 SIERA, as well as a 28.8% called strike plus whiff rate and a 13.7% swinging-strike rate. To put the last two into perspective, his CSW% is exactly the league average, but the league average SwStr% is 11.8%. His SwStr% of 13.7% is the 15th highest in the league over this time frame. His SIERA is also a touch below average which is notable as hitting has really overtaken offense over the last month or so, so the fact Skubal has been able to put up these numbers while hitting has been so hot across the league is another promising piece of the story.
Skubal has also never really been a high spin rate guy, so the hot topic of the MLB eliminating pitchers’ ability to use sticky substances doesn’t seem to pose much of a risk to him. His spin rate on his four-seam fastball has remained fairly consistent, at about 2100-2200 RPM across the whole year, only dropping about 65 RPM in his most recent start which came after the MLB officially started enforcing this rule. Usually, any change under 100 RPM is considered not material.
I’ve recently added Skubal in a 10 team keeper league and if you need pitching help I’d give Skubal a nice look for this week.
Yusei Kikuchi – 31.5% CSW% is near-elite. Still less than 80% owned.
Adam Wainwright – an oldie but goodie, he just keeps getting it done. Season-long 3.88 SIERA and a 3.52 SIERA over his last 30 days, not too shabby.
Getting two starts in one matchup week from a pitcher can be a big advantage, especially in points leagues. Here’s who is currently lined up to get two turns next week, skipping the must-start guys.
Robbie Ray (vs Sea, vs TB)
Danny Duffy (at Bos, vs Min)
Dylan Cease (vs Min, at Det)
Jameson Taillon (vs LAA, vs NYM)
German Marquez (vs Pit, vs StL)
Dylan Bundy (at NYY, vs Bal)
Nick Pivetta (vs KC, at Oak)
Wade Miley (vs Phi, vs ChC)
James Kaprielian (vs Tex, vs Bos)
Spencer Howard (vs Mia, vs SD)
Vince Velasquez (at Cin**, vs SD)
Bailey Ober (at ChW, at KC)
Caleb Smith (at StL, vs SF**)
Chris Flexen (at Tor**, vs Tex)
Brad Keller (at Bos, vs Min)
Tony Santillan (vs SD, vs ChC)
**start against a top-five wOBA team
If you need to speculate on saves, keep an eye on the Phillies bullpen. Neris has been shaky recently so keep an eye on Jose Alvarado, Archie Bradley, or Sam Coonrod.
It might be time to move on from these guys for a higher upside waiver wire add.
Solak is still over 70% owned, but frankly I’m just not sure he’s good. He’s struggling hard and I’d look elsewhere.
He was summoned to the bullpen where he proceeded to get drilled, so now he’s in AAA.
Buy and Sell
Buy low hitters
Buy low pitchers
Sell high hitters
Sell high pitchers
Photo by Rob Tringali
Fantasy expert, Adam Gruttadaro, is a guest contributor for Bat Flips and Nerds. Check out his website for more fantasy tips and follow him on Twitter.
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