Red Sox hit streak brings waiver thread additions
Fantasy baseball analyst Scott Pianowski points to Thursday’s headlines. For his breakdown of the intriguing Chicago Cubs rookie Christopher Morel, Click here.
I don’t think the 2022 Red Sox are going anywhere, not with this messy pitching staff. But it’s fun to see the offense finally appear. Boston is on an 8-2 streak over the past 11 days, all driven by offense. The Red Sox have 71 runs on this stretch.
You know who the big kids are in this range. Raphael Devers, JD Martinezand Xander Bogaerts have been great all year, and Trevor’s Story is on a monstrous tear (eight home runs, three interceptions in his last 10 games). These guys will dent the monster with regularity.
Perhaps there is room for deeper options to join the fantasy fun. Alex Verdugo ripped four hits Thursday and is a .333/.371/.455 batting over the past week. I always thought he could be a .285-20-85 type player. Christian Vazquez didn’t show much power, but a .279 average at receiver is a plus, and that lineup should provide racing buoyancy.
And although Enrique Hernandez doesn’t have the skills of a typical first batter, he’s still parked in the #1 slot more often than not. And despite a low average of .200 and an OBP of .268, Hernandez has been a producer of runs – 24 scored, 20 driven. If he stays healthy, I still expect 100 races here.
Verdugo, Hernandez, and Vazquez have all been added 500 or more times in Yahoo leagues Friday morning as I put this piece together. Location, location, location.
The case of Johnny Cueto
I don’t know where the Johnny Cueto the story moves on, but it’s good to see it again.
The White Sox need Cueto, to be fair. Dallas Keuchel can’t miss anyone’s bat these days. Lance Lynn is on the injured list. Vince Velazquez has an ERA above 5, pushing him out of rotation last week.
Cueto has worked six innings in his two starts and is yet to allow a run. He dodged eight baserunners against the Yankees but was more effective against Kansas City. It’s four walks, 12 strikeouts.
Cueto’s fastball is actually up from last year, although his swing strike rate is at an all-time low. When he has to work in the zone, the batters make contact. But there’s also something to be said for trickery, and Cueto has upped his chasing pace in those two starts.
Perhaps the 36-year-old Cueto belongs in the conditional streamer stack at the moment. The Cubs are a neutral draw on Saturday. Next come the Rays and Dodgers, matchups that have you worried. The mixed shallow and medium crew can watch Cueto from the sidelines, but I’ll keep an open mind in my deeper pools.
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Christian Walker and David Peralta strike in Arizona
I don’t spend a lot of time auditing Arizona programming. The Diamondbacks are one of those teams that were basically knocked out of the playoffs on Opening Day. Arizona is 19th in runs, 29th in average, 20th in OPS. Other than Daulton Varsho – the glorious catcher-eligible producer who isn’t burdened with daily catching – there’s not much gold here.
But maybe I undersold a few guys. christian walker and David Peralta are modern hitters, catch-and-rake guys, hitters who will hit a ton but still produce respectably. Although Walker is only batting .204 and Peralta is at .226, we need to see the big picture. They both have a bunch of steps and noticeable power, which is why Walker’s OPS+ sits at 119 (100 is the league average) and Peralta registers at 117.
Walker has 12 homers and has batted cleanup all year. Peralta doesn’t do much against southpaws, but if you can fly him against the right-handed world, we’re looking at a .250/.323/.518 hitter, a plus for anyone.
Walker is registered in about a third of the Yahoo leagues. Peralta charges a modest eight percent. Eight of Arizona’s next nine opponents are right-handed, for what it’s worth.