StrategySeptember 14, 2011

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Wide World of Waivers: The Murph

By R.J. White

What has gotten into David Murphy (OF, TEX)? On August 25, he was sporting a line of .240/.306/.323. In the last three weeks, he’s hit six homers while raiding his average to .274 and his slugging percentage to .412. He’s locked into the Texas lineup and coming off a 4-for-4, two-HR game on Tuesday, and he’s been the fifth best player in fantasy baseball over the last few weeks. Yet he’s still available in three out of every five Yahoo! leagues. I’d add him over many slumping players in the hopes he can keep this up for a few more weeks.

Rafael Furcal (SS, STL) went on a little homer binge a few weeks ago, hitting HRs in three consecutive games starting on August 31. Now he’s adding speed back into the mix, stealing bases in three of his last five games. He’s in a prime position to produce atop the St. Louis lineup.

Jon Jay (OF, STL) is hitting between Furcal and the meat of the order (read: Albert Pujols), and it’s allowed him to collect multi-hit games in eight of his last 10. He’s hitting .450 in September with a couple HRs, giving him a .310/.357/.448 line on the year. Available in 88% of Yahoo! leagues, he’s more than capable of delivering better stats than a lot of OFs still being relied upon.

You know how hard it is to find quality catchers at this point of the season? That’s why it’s shocking to see Nick Hundley (C, SD) owned in so few leagues. The Padres backstop is hitting .447 in September with three HRs in 38 at-bats. He’s brought his average from .271 to .294 over his last five games alone with 11 hits in 20 at-bats. Five out of every six Yahoo! leagues still call him a free agent, which seems insane.

Need cheap power in deeper leagues? Shelly Duncan (1B/OF, CLE) has five HRs in September while hitting .282 in 39 at-bats. He had just four HRs in 140 at-bats heading into this month, so it remains to be seen if he can keep the hot hitting up. Owners in deep leagues desperate for a power bat likely don’t have a choice but to grab him and hope he can. Speaking of cheap power, Brent Morel (3B, CHW) has two multi-HR games over the last week. That’s a little hard to ignore.

Gerardo Parra (OF, ARI) flashed his fantasy upside on Tuesday, when he managed three hits, three runs, a HR and a SB. He’s hitting .299 with eight HRs and 12 SBs on the season, which is good if not great. Still, he’s just 24 years old, so keep an eye on him heading into next season.

Jason Motte (RP, STL) looks unstoppable as the Cardinals’ closer, with five saves and a win in his last six appearances. Three of those lines were perfect (no hits, no walks), and only one featured the opposition scoring a run. Sorry, Fernando Salas owners, but the gravy train ran out a bit early.

Brandon McCarthy (SP, OAK) doesn’t walk many batters, gets strikeouts, plays in a great home park and has posted great ratios this season. You tell me why he’s still available in 64% of Yahoo! leagues. His schedule sets him up to face the Tigers and Rangers at home before visiting Seattle in his last start. He’s 5-3 with a 2.92 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 11 home starts, and the Mariners provide a good matchup in his one road game.

R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and Razzball and has previously written for FanHouse. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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