Kikuchi, France stepping up in second half
Yusei Kikuchi and J.P. France, two widely available players, boast the two best ERAs in the second half of the MLB season.
Rotoworld's brand-new Pickups of the Day column is designed to help fantasy managers uncover a handful of widely-available targets over the course of the season. It could be a breakout candidate, a prospect stash, an injury replacement, a pitcher with a favorable matchup or week, a player who is due some better luck, or any other number of scenarios. If there's value to be found on the waiver wire, we will find it and bring it your way.
In today’s column, we’re going to look at a fantasy star of yesteryear who is experiencing a resurgence and another terrific streaming option for Wednesday’s slate of MLB action.
PICKUPS OF THE DAY
Available in 70 percent of Yahoo leagues
When we think of under-rostered five-category contributors in fantasy leagues, usually its’ up-and-coming prospects or a young player that has seen a sudden surge in playing time. It’s not usually a 35-year-old journeyman outfielder who had all but been written off by the fantasy community in recent years.
That’s exactly what we have going on here with Tommy Pham though. He’s experiencing a resurgent season – slashing .264/.335/.475 with 13 homers, 51 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 337 plate appearances between the Mets and Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks sent Jake McCarthy down to Triple-A on August 14 – clearing the runway for Pham to see everyday at-bats. He has taken full advantage of the opportunity – hitting .294 with three homers, 13 RBI, 10 runs scored and two stolen bases over the past two weeks.
The blend of power and speed has always been there for Pham – as he’s trending towards the third 20/20 campaign of his career. He’s also locked into a spot in the middle of a very talented Diamondbacks’ lineup – which should continue to lead to ample counting stats. I know that Pham doesn’t jump off the page as someone with high upside that could lead your fantasy squad to greatness over the final six weeks of the season, but he could just be a very valuable cog in that championship wheel.
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Jose Quintana, SP, Mets
Available in 77 percent of Yahoo leagues
I know that I went to this well last week, but I’m going right back there after we’ve only witnessed a four-percent uptick in Quintana’s rostership since his last outing.
José Quintana was expected to bring stability to the Mets’ rotation this season after he was signed to a two-year, $26 million contract over the winter. He wound up suffering a stress fracture in his ribs while pitching for Team Columbia during the World Baseball Classic and didn’t make his Mets’ debut until July 20.
Since returning though, he has actually been terrific. Through his first six starts, the 34-year-old southpaw has compiled a 3.03 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and a 25/14 K/BB ratio across 35 2/3 innings of work. After going five innings his first time out, Quintana has logged at least six innings in each of his next five outings – and has allowed three or fewer runs every time out this season.
He’ll look to extend his quality-start streak to six when he takes on the Braves in Atlanta on Wednesday. Yes, it’s a tough matchup, but Quintana has proven to be matchup-proof this season, and I wouldn’t bet against the left-hander the way that he’s rolling right now. He’ll be an underdog to earn a victory against Charlie Morton, but he should deliver five or six innings of quality ratios with a handful of strikeouts, and that’s nothing to sneeze at these days as a streaming option.