In addition to Monday's nine featured Pickups of the Week, Yahoo! Sports fantasy expert Brandon Funston offered a Wednesday update on five hitters on the rise that weren't profiled in Monday's POW. And on Friday, Brad Evans goes through the same drill for pitchers. The same criteria applies - players must be available in more than half of Yahoo! leagues.
Converted reliever could bring heat to Fourth of July festivities
Andrew Cashner (SP) San Diego Padres
The fireballer is must-add material. During his recent stretch out period with Double-A San Antonio, he punched out 23 in just 14.1 innings. Prior to his reinvention, Cashner occasionally struggled with his command as a reliever totaling a 5.72 BB/9. But his strikeout potential, high ground-ball rate and favorable pitching environment all arrow to a potential SP3 return in 12-team mixers. Recalled Thursday, he provided instant results against Houston. Over 6.1 innings, he allowed just two earned while striking out nine. K-needy owners should raise a pint for the Padre.
- Y! %10%
- L14 rank189
Red-hot 'Stro should continue to knock boots for H-Town
Lucas Harrell (SP) Houston Astros
Over the past few days, the former ChiSox product has posted galactic numbers with little fanfare. In home starts against Cleveland and San Diego, he combined for 16 strikeouts in 16 innings while surrendering just one run. The hot streak dropped his ERA from 5.07 to 4.33. Further ERA trimming is in the forecast. He may not possess overpowering stuff, but his sinking fastball coaxes abundant ground-ball outs (56.2 GB%). That matched with his respectable walks yield (3.23 BB/9) proves he's better than advertised. With Pittsburgh and San Diego on the docket in two of his next three appearances, his string of quality starts should continue. Stream away happily in 12-team and deeper leagues.
- Y! %3%
- L14 rank 103
Split-brained lefty may have solved road woes
Tommy Milone (SP) Oakland Athletics
Shallow leaguers, it's time to throw Milone a bone. Swigging on margaritas in too many 12-team pools over the past few weeks, the southpaw enters his next turn on the heels of consecutive masterpieces against the Dodgers and Mariners. In those two turns he allowed just one earned on one walk, 10 hits while striking out seven. No doubt, Milone is a homebody. His home/away ERA contrast (0.99/6.39) is rather stark. But two quality starts in his past four road outings is step in the right direction. His next opponent, Texas, is awfully intimidating, but he is scheduled to face Seattle and Minnesota in back-to-back outings after that. Bench him in Arlington, but anticipate a quick turnaround thereafter.
- Y! %28%
- L14 rank168
Reliever an ideal ERA/WHIP tourniquet in deeper formats
Charlie Furbush (SP) Seattle Mariners
It never ceases to amaze how owners are slow to warm to standout middle relievers. Furbush is the Craig Stammen of the American League, a useful, reliable commodity with a fantastic K rate and nearly impeccable ratios who occasionally vultures a win. His off-the-charts 6.00 K/BB and 1.52 GB/FB are strong indicators his success will continue. Currently the 37th-best pitcher in fantasy according to Baseball Monster, he ranks ahead of coveted starters CC Sabathia, Jordan Zimmermann and Yu Darvish in terms of overall worth. Not only is he an invaluable resource in deep leagues with strict innings demands, he's also quite productive in shallow formats. If your ratios resemble a blue whale, add Furbush.
- Y! %8%
- L14 rank 30
Burton a short-term solution for saves needy
Jared Burton (RP) Minnesota Twins
Burton is the latest high-wire act in the on-going saves circus. With Matt Capps on the DL, he appears to be Ron Gardenhire's arm of choice in the ninth. He's earned the skipper's trust by smoothly converting on the Twins' past two save opportunities. More chances should be in the offing. Unquestionably, he's the most reliable weapon currently in the Minnesota bullpen. His 4.83 K/BB, 1.26 GB/FB and plus fastball are all closer worthy. If he's still wading in the free agent pool, act now.
- Y! %12%
- L14 rank213
"L14 rank" denotes the ranking of the player in the Yahoo! fantasy baseball game for the past 14 days.