2011 MLB Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Gems: American League
Brett Lawrie, 2B Toronto Blue Jays (23 percent owned in Yahoo, 22.7 percent in ESPN)
Current Stat Line: 2/4, 1 RBI
Brett Lawrie has finally arrived! He tore up AAA pitching this season going .353/64/18/61/13. In my opinion, the call-up should have happened much earlier—but it didn’t. Then Lawrie suffered a hand injury on May 31st which kept him out of the game for a while. Now that it is completely healed, expect him to rake for the Blue jays.
Projection (rest of season): .280 AVG / 23 R / 6 HR / 26 RBI / 4 SB
Hideki Matsui, OF Oakland Athletics (32 percent owned in Yahoo, 70.6 percent in ESPN)
Current Stat Line: .268 AVG / 39 R / 10 HR / 54 RBI / 1 SB
I try not to mention players two weeks in a row, but I need to make an exception here. It seems like ESPN has caught on to Matsui but Yahoo leaguers haven’t. In the past six games he has gone .524/4/1/3. In Yahoo, some of the players owned ahead of him are Alex Rios, Jason Kubel, Juan Pierre and Delmon Young.
Projection (rest of season): .279 AVG / 22 R / 6 HR / 23 RBI / 0 SB
Willingham has been a streaky hitter all season, but he had a monster month of July, going .324/.429/.618. His HR/RBI numbers are actually pretty impressive considering he only has registered 314 AB. If you extrapolate his power numbers over 600 AB you get 30/116. He is batting cleanup for the Athletics so the RBI opportunities should continue.
Projection (rest of season): .240 AVG / 21 R / 7 HR / 29 RBI / 2 SB
Rick Porcello, SP Detroit Tigers (21 percent owned in Yahoo, 29.6 percent in ESPN)
Current Stat Line: 11 W / 6 L / 73 K / 4.49 ERA / 1.36 WHIP
Now that August is upon us, it’s time to start looking at matchups for fantasy baseball playoffs. From September fifth through the 25th the Tigers face: @CLE, MIN, @CHI, @OAK, @KC and BAL. They have a pretty good schedule leading up to September fifth, too: @CLE, @BAL, MIN, CLE, @TB, @MIN, KC and CHI. Porcello’s BB/9 of 2.21 and 49.1 percent of groundballs will keep him out of serious trouble going forward.
Projection (rest of season): 4 W / 3 L / 34 K / 3.65 ERA / 1.24 WHIP
I know it’s a bit unorthodox to suggest two starting pitchers from the Tigers on the same waiver wire article, but you can’t argue with the schedule and I actually like Fister more. Fister’s K/9 is only slightly worse at 5.24 and he is a control freak (1.88 BB/9, 64.3 first pitch strike percentage). For what it’s worth, I picked him up in our league.
Projection (rest of season): 4 W / 4 L / 32 K / 3.40 ERA / 1.10 WHIP