Although some owners constantly search for eye-popping deals, the smallest moves sometimes have the biggest long-term results. Some star players appear in this week’s 10-pack, but the group this week primarily includes some ideas that will push owners towards under-the-radar acquisitions.
Dee Gordon, 2B/OF, Mariners
Gordon landing on the IL could give owners a rare chance to land a speedster at a reasonable cost. The 31 year old has swiped 12 bases this year, making him one of just eight players to reach double digits in the scarcest of the five standard roto categories. With homers coming in bunches across the Majors and steals becoming increasingly rare, players such as Gordon are much more valuable than most owners realize.
Franmil Reyes, OF, Padres
Reyes has been terrific from a power perspective (15 homers, 27 RBIs) and likely has a little room to grow in the batting average department. His 49.6 percent hard contact rate is elite, and his rates of line drives (22.3 percent) and fly balls (37.2 percent) are solid marks. Sure, he lacks plate discipline (0.25 BB:K ratio), but this masher is a legit candidate to hit 35 homers and could also sport a .280 average.
Eduardo Rodriguez, SP, Red Sox
A pair of recent lackluster starts (11 IP, 11 ER) against the Blue Jays and Rockies should keep Rodriguez on the buy-low list despite his six-inning, one-run outing in Houston last time out. All told, the southpaw owns a depressing 5.04 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP despite limiting hard contact (27.4 percent) and showing plenty of dominance (3.3 K:BB ratio). Most owners won’t take to time to notice that his .345 BABIP and 66.5 percent strand rate are masking solid skills.
Aaron Nola, SP, Phillies
Nola has put together some solid outings of late, but he still hasn’t had an eye-popping start and his overall ratios (4.53 ERA, 1.54 WHIP) remain disappointing. Those who want to buy an ace at a discount need to pounce now, as bad luck (.362 BABIP, 19.6 percent HR/FB rate) have been the biggest factors holding back someone who generally limits hard contact.
Jose Leclerc, RP, Rangers
With Shawn Kelley resuming the closer’s role upon his recent return from the IL, most fantasy owners will continue to view Leclerc as nothing more than a setup man. But the reliever has reversed his April struggles by logging a 1.80 FIP, a 0.75 WHIP and holding hitters to a minuscule 0.86 average this month. Armed with a sizable contract, Leclerc should soon return to ninth-inning duties.
David Dahl, OF, Rockies
Dahl has shown virtually no power this season (four homers) but owners remain optimistic based on his prospect pedigree and lofty .305 average. The batting mark is likely to take a tumble in the coming weeks, as his plate discipline is poor (0.21 BB:K ratio) and his .430 BABIP is an unsustainable mark, even for a Coors Field hitter. And with a lowly 28.2 percent fly ball rate, Dahl isn’t likely to go on a homer binge anytime soon.
Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Tigers
Cabrera is keeping the buy-low window open to a very small degree by posting a helpful .295 average. But the veteran slugger doesn’t do much slugging anymore (two homers, .077 ISO), which makes him unusable as a corner infielder. Additionally, with his foot speed, Cabrera is highly unlikely to maintain his .371 BABIP for too much longer. Mixed-league owners should be willing to trade Cabrera for absolutely any player whom they view as superior to the options on waivers.
Tim Beckham, 3B/SS, Mariners
Beckham’s hot start to the season is masking the fact that he has done virtually nothing in recent weeks. His May stat line (3 HR, 8 RBI, 3 R, 0 SB, .211 BA) shows someone who should be on waivers in every mixed league rather than someone who is owned in 36 percent of Yahoo ones. Beckham owners should be willing to trade him away for the smallest of returns, such as Leclerc or another useful setup man.
Shane Greene, RP, Tigers
Greene has been great this season (1.23 ERA, 0.86 WHIP), but his gaudy save total (16) falsely identifies him as a top-tier closer. After all, he has somehow managed to pick up 16 saves through 19 Detroit victories, which is a pace that simply can’t continue. The Tigers are an also-ran club, and Greene will likely go through a saves drought at some point. Owners who can cash him out for a skilled closer on a better team won’t be disappointed.
Blake Parker, RP, Twins
On the surface, Parker has become a reliable closer for the Twins (1.04 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, eight saves). But a closer look at his advanced stats shows that he has benefited from a .190 BABIP while showing minimal levels of dominance (2.0 K:BB ratio) en route to posting a 3.63 FIP and a 4.42 xFIP. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli has multiple skilled alternatives in his bullpen once Parker’s luck reverses.