StrategyJuly 22, 2009

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Wednesday’s Wide World of Waivers: Dueling Shortstops

By Tom Huffman

Welcome back to Wednesday’s Wide World of Waivers. Chris made four interesting selections last week — oh wait! Instead of making picks last week, Chris decided to do a review. I’m sure everyone will see this as a valuable and informative article and not a thinly-veiled attempt to hide from making more picks that would surely bring shame on Chris and his family. I know that personally, I have so much confidence in my picks that I wouldn’t want to go four weeks in between making my selections. But that’s me. I did really enjoy last weeks recap and I’m sure Chris takes great comfort in being slightly ahead using his scoring system, but I was under the impression we were putting out new articles for the whole season. I’ve got four new selections that can’t help but be better than last week’s.

As always the cutoffs are 50% Yahoo ownership in mixed leagues and 20% Yahoo ownership in for NL/AL only leagues.

Standard Mixed Leagues

Garrett Jones, 1B/OF, Pit

Owned %17947

July Stats11973.286

Called up on June 30, Garrett Jones has been destroying the baseball. In fact, he just hit his eighth HR of the season while I was typing this and it is only his fifteenth game of the season. Jones has settled into the third spot in the order for the Pirates and is playing 1B, LF, and RF making him a very versatile fantasy player. His run and RBI totals might suffer some from Pittsburgh’s anemic offense, but McCutchen and Sanchez have been doing a good job of getting on base, plus LaRoche is a notorious second half hitter, so perhaps the concern is overstated. Garrett Jones should be a good source of power while putting up decent numbers in Rs, RBIs, and SBs.

Joe Blanton, SP, Phi

Owned %19971

July Stats14.22110.610.82

Like the ERA do you? No, that isn’t a typo. Blanton’s ERA has actually been lower than his WHIP in July. His last two starts were great even if they were against some less than great competition (Pirates and Mets). Going 7.1 innings in both starts, Blanton managed to win both games and lower his ERA by half a point. More importantly, Blanton has only given up one HR in his last two starts. As long as he continues to avoid giving up the long ball, he will keep collecting wins and strikeouts.

NL-Only Leagues

Everth Cabrera, SS, SD

Owned %2113

July Stats8704.177

Let’s not beat around the bush. There is one reason you want to own Cabrera, and that is for his SB totals. Cabrera is only 22, so there will be some inevitable growing pains, but he is now hitting lead-off and has seven SBs while only being caught once. The number that really caught my eye was 73. That is how many SBs Cabrera had while playing in the minors last year. He has wheels and he has opportunity. If you need SBs, make the move for Cabrera

AL-Only Leagues

Erick Aybar, SS, LAA

Owned %4414

July Stats81116.432

Aybar has been bouncing around the Angels lineup lately, hitting either second or ninth. Apparently he doesn’t seem to mind, seeing as he has posted a 1.035 OPS so far in July. Aybar doesn’t get much attention because he doesn’t really excel at any one fantasy category, but he is on pace for around 15 SBs, 65 Rs, 65 RBIs and a .300 average. If he can keep up his current hot streak, he just may exceed those numbers.

Please let us know what you think by posting in the discussion thread. Feedback is always appreciated. Hopefully Chris will be back for next week’s Wednesday’s Wide World of Waivers with four new waiver pickups, but you just never know. But for now, keep watching that waiver wire!

Tom Huffman is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Tom in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of Pogotheostrich.
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