Waiver Wire: April 22nd

Here are four players with low ownership rates that could give your team a little boost…

Jaime Garcia | SP | Cardinals (25% owned)

St. Louis has allowed the second fewest runs in the league thanks in large part to their fifth starter, who through two starts has held opponents to just five hits and five walks in 13 innings. Of course, Garcia won’t be able to maintain his .158 BABIP all season, and his 6.92 K/9 isn’t eye-popping, but he has some favorable matchups coming up. You still have time to grab him for tomorrow’s start at the Giants, and after that he takes on the Braves (.310 team wOBA) at home. There’s always the potential for some Dave Duncan magic as well.

Doug Fister | SP | Mariners (10%)

Fister has stepped right in for the injured Cliff Lee and has pitched about as well as Seattle could have hoped. Like Garcia, he’s enjoying the benefits of an absurdly low BABIP (.212), though his might be slightly more sustainable because he’s playing in front of he mother of all defenses. At some point it’ll all come crashing down for Fister, who’s posted a 1.42 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP through his first three starts, but there’s isn’t a damn thing wrong with enjoying the hot start while it lasts. His next start comes at the White Sox this weekend.

Jeff Keppinger | 2B, 3B, SS | Astros (5%)

I know, I know. The Astros’ offense is terrible, but Keppinger is the only guy in the lineup pulling his weight. He’s been playing every day at mostly second base, but fantasy owners will enjoy the multi-position eligibility he acquired last season. Don’t expect him to help your counting stats at all, because apparently no one else in Houston feels like getting on base or driving a run in, but his .317 AVG (.333 BABIP) will help almost every fantasy team.

Mike Lowell | 3B | Red Sox (21%)

As the David Ortiz Era comes to a painful end, Lowell has found his name in the starting lineup in three of the last seven games. He even pinch hit for Big Papi on Tuesday night. Lowell has hit well in his limited action (.375, 1 HR, SSS obviously), and he could be in line for even more starts since the Sox are scheduled to face four lefthanded starters in their next seven games. It might be a little too late to pick him up for tonight’s matchup against C.J. Wilson, though. Fourteen of Boston’s next 20 games are at home, and Lowell has a .386 career wOBA at Fenway.

Ownership rates are based on Yahoo! leagues.

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Mike writes about the Yankees at River Ave. Blues and baseball in general at CBS Sports.

10 Responses to “Waiver Wire: April 22nd”

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  1. Chris J says:

    I like the article, but have to disagree with your “enjoy it while it lasts” take on Fister. What, exactly, is lasting? His luck?

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    • Mike Axisa says:

      Precisely. A BABIP that low with his strikeout rate (4.26 K/9) is going to be tough to sustain. At some point, it’ll correct itself.

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      • Chris J says:

        Mike, you wouldn’t say that since I flipped a coin and it landed heads 5 times in a row to bet on heads for the next flip or two to “enjoy it while it lasts.”

        I’d always rather wager on luck neutral probabilities than trying to “ride it.”

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      • R M says:

        Yeah, I was going to say that as well. That logic doesn’t really make sense.

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      • Ed says:

        You guys are trolling. Fister is not only getting the benefit of luck courtesy of the low BABIP, his stuff is just as likely to be sharper. His control may be spot on or whatever. The point is, given his track record, it is not likely to last.

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  2. Yuzzah says:

    Yeah but unlike coin-flipping we don’t know with 100% certainty that this is all luck with Fister. Mike’s numbers suggest that it isn’t a wise move to be on him in a long-term sense. But maybe in the short-term he is doing something well that isn’t reflected in these numbers. Maybe he can sustain this a little longer with the team’s current defensive alignment. Maybe there are ballpark effects that will still be around to help him for a little while. I haven’t done any research here so don’t really know if any of that is possible or just garbage speculation, but I do know that Fister’s good performance is not 100% luck.

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  3. Jason says:

    I certainly don’t consider facing Lincecum, the Braves, and Phillies as favorable matchups coming up…

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    • shibboleth says:

      Tough audience today.

      Its more that he’s facing a mediocre Giants lineup. So his odds of a win go down with Lincecum on the mound, but that doesn’t affect his peripherals. Wins are as fickle as saves. Braves are aight… Phillies not so much.

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      • Jason says:

        Wins might be fickle, but there are certainly ways to try and predict them, like avoiding starting your non-aces vs. guys like Lincecum, because there’s a good chance you are wasting the innings and just hoping for a solid ERA/WHIP/K. People take the whole – wins don’t matter thing – too far when it comes to fantasy, because they DO matter, they are 25% of a pitcher’s value and there ARE ways to maximize your chances to get them in the exact same way that there are ways to maximize how many Ks you end up with. When a guy can pitch deep into games in front of a top5 offense he’s likely to win quite a few games, and when you are facing a perennial CY candidate like Timmy you aren’t. Opposing starters earned 7 wins vs. Lincecum in 2009 – Ubaldo/Wolf/Jurrjens/Zambrano/CYoung are guys you’d never think of benching vs. SFG, and Pedro had flashed good stuff in August while he was building up arm strength for the Phillies, so that was an obvious start as well. That leaves Doug Davis as the only time I would have been mildy surprised by a W vs. Lincecum last year, and disappointment in most other scenarios, barring a fantastic peripherals game.

        I understand that Garcia probably carries a TON of value in deeper leagues, but I just had to respond to this notion that wins are unpredictable. If you’re in a 10 or 12 team mixed league with a 1250 innings limit, you don’t want to be using Garcia over these next 3 starts, regardless of how they turn out. Stashing him on your bench makes sense, but I’d like to see quite a bit more from him before being willing to run him out there in a shallow league vs. good MLB teams.

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  4. SF 55 for life says:

    keppinger is interesting, he kills lefties. Is he worth a roster spot as a player who you only put in against lefties?

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