Ohtani's 2024 fantasy value as an exclusive hitter
D.J. Short, Scott Pianowksi ,and Eric Samulski dive into Shohei Ohtani as a first-round pick in their 2024 fantasy baseball mock draft. Does he still pay off that value when removing his pitching stats?
Rotoworld’s 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. Today’s edition features a pitching racking up wins and saves in Los Angeles, a catcher with excellent matchups down the stretch in Minnesota, and a reliever poised to rack up saves in Chicago.
For fantasy managers in leagues with wins as a category, Yarbrough has been a bit of a cheat code since he was traded to the Dodgers at the Trade Deadline. With Los Angeles, the 31-year-old has posted a 2.90 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 31/3 K/BB ratio to go along with four wins in nine games. To put that in some perspective with pitchers who threw more than 30 innings, Yarbrough has the 19th-best ERA and not only did he have four wins put he also provided two saves to go along with it. While he isn’t projected to start many games down the stretch for the Dodgers he can easily piggy-back behind Gavin Stone and Ryan Pepiot, which sets up him up perfectly to pick up those precious dubs. The Dodgers' remaining schedule looks favorable. After they wrap up a series against the Tigers, they face the Giants at home before facing the Rockies and Giants on the road.
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Ryan Jeffers, C, Twins
Available in 97 percent of Yahoo leagues
With the season slowly winding to a close, one of the best things to do is look at matchups over a player’s name value. Ryan Jeffers and the Twins have one of the easiest schedules for the remainder of the season. They go into Cincinnati to start off the week before going back home to face the Angels and Athletics before heading to Colorado to wrap up the season. Jeffers is having an excellent breakout campaign with the Twins, hitting .272/.369/.455 with ten homers and 35 RBI across 302 plate appearances. He is currently splitting time with Christian Vázquez so he will get fewer plate appearances than many other catchers on the waiver wire but the matchups he has for the last few weeks of the season are too juicy to pass up.
Julian Merryweather, RP, Cubs
Available in 70 percent of Yahoo leagues
Adbert Alzolay has been one of the few closers available on the waiver wire during the summer. He has been excellent but sadly was placed on the 15-day injured list with a strained right forearm on September 11th. The day before he was placed on the injured list, Merryweather got his first save of the season and many, including myself thought it was just a vulture save. However, with Alzolay on the injured list, arguably the best Cubs reliever in the second half has the chance to pay off big time for fantasy managers. The 31-year-old right-hander has a 3.09 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 91/30 K/BB ratio over 67 innings (64 appearances). However, his more recent production looks even better. Since the beginning of August, Merryweather has a 1.71 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, and 30/8 K/BB ratio to go along with a save and seven holds. Since Alzolay went down, the Cubs haven’t had too many save chances but that should change as they are in the midst of a heated race with a few teams for the last spot in the playoffs.