This week, bonus analysis from the RotoExperts team to combine with the waiver tips from insideinjuries.com
Yuli Gurriel 1B, HOU
Owned in 49% of CBS Sports Leagues
After a rough start to the season that included a suspension, a broken hand and a very slow start once he returned, Gurriel has caught fire at the plate for the Astros. He’s raised his slash line to .289/.313/.687 after the poor start and is back to hitting in the middle of a loaded Astros lineup. He is fully recovered from the hand injury he suffered early in the season, as he is a low injury risk according to Inside Injuries, and it shows at the plate. If he’s still hanging out on the waiver wire in your league, jump on him now and scoop him up.
RotoExperts Xtra Insights: Gurriel isn’t going to help you in OBP formats and his .320 BABIP calls for some minor BA regression. In some more highly competitive leagues he may already be gone, but he is a viable CI pickup if you can get him. Gurriel needs to start hitting the ball on the ground less and he is chasing more pitches outside the zone this year, but you may not have to spend a lot to get him and the power may return soon if the injuries were indeed causing an altered approach. It may take only a few bucks, below eight FAAB dollars to get him.
Dustin Fowler OF, OAK
Owned in 32% of CBS Sports Leagues
Fowler has started to turn it on for Oakland lately, even if his batting average is still underwhelming. The A’s youngster who came over in the Sonny Gray trade is fully healthy after last season’s nasty knee injury and is hitting leadoff for the A’s every day. He posted two three-hit games last weekend, and his average should continue to rise as his low BABIP regresses positively. Fowler’s speed should help with that and set him up for plenty of stolen base opportunities. He’s one of the more intriguing, high upside young outfield options that remains available in most leagues, so scoop him up if you still can.
RotoExperts Xtra Insights: You have to take the shot on Fowler because of the power/speed potential, it’s just too appealing to ignore. So far, he does have better walk and strikeout rates than he often had in the minors, so it looks like there may be some tough times ahead when opposing pitchers find more holes in his game. But there are peaks and valleys for any young hitter, so grab Fowler while you can for potentially good counting numbers when he is playing well. Be a bit aggressive if you have to and don’t hesitate to spend more than 15 percent of your budget on him.
Scott Schebler OF, CIN
Owned in 38% of CBS Sports Leagues
The Reds’ outfield situation has been muddled all season, but Schebler has become the one constant with how he’s torn up right-handed pitching. His .801 OPS is solid, and he leads Cincinnati outfielders in slugging percentage and wRC+. The crowded outfield is still somewhat of a problem, but Schebler’s performance lately has made it less and less of one, as he’s homered in 3 out of his last 5. If one of the other Cincinnati outfielders goes down, Schebler will be in line for even more at-bats. He’s a solid add in deeper leagues right now while he’s swinging a hot power bat.
RotoExperts Xtra Insights: Schebler is striking out less than he did last season, and he has been an asset in OBP formats, which has been a nice surprise. His ISO is down from last year and he may not hit 30 homers, but he has eight so far and will certainly push for 25. Spend up to 10 percent of your FAAB budget and you may be able to land him.
Wilmer Difo 2B/3B/SS, WAS
Owned in 8% of CBS Sports Leagues
Difo has gotten the chance to play a lot for the Nationals this season with the injuries to Daniel Murphy and Howie Kendrick clearing a hole at 2nd base in the Nation’s Capital. Murphy has been on a rehab assignment and is rumored to return soon, but reports have started to leak out of Washington that the veteran is still having some serious trouble with his surgically repaired knee. Murphy remains a High Injury Risk according to Inside Injuries after undergoing micro-fracture surgery this off season, and if he isn’t right, don’t expect the Nationals to rush him back. If Murphy has longer to go in his rehab than most thought, Difo will continue to get at-bats. He hasn’t been spectacular this season, but as an everyday part of a lineup that is continuing to get healthier (save for Murphy), Difo can provide some value across the box score and do so with great positional versatility, making him a worthy pickup in deep leagues.
RotoExperts Xtra Insights: Difo is more of a guy to look for in leagues larger than 12 teams, and he has not hit well so far in June. His .285 BABIP signals he should get the BA up a bit, so when he starts showing signs of hitting again you can consider him as a plug-in. It won’t take more than a buck or two to get him.
Jaime Barria SP, LAA
Owned in 35% of CBS Sports Leagues
The Angels have been sending Barria up to the Majors and back down to the minors to manipulate their roster and use his options to their favor, but make no mistakes about it, he’s a part of their rotation, especially with injuries to Matt Shoemaker and Alex Meyer, neither of whom are expected back soon. Barria has stepped up big time, going 5-1 in 7 starts with a 2.48 ERA and posting a 10/3 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The control has been solid, and the strikeouts have really come around of late. The mechanics of his call-ups and send downs may be a little tricky to maneuver in Fantasy (or, it could work in your favor), but Barria is a legit option as a starter.
RotoExperts Xtra Insights: Barria could be back in the Angels’ rotation as soon as next week, but when you are setting weekly lineups he can often be an uncertainty. Yet it may not take more than three dollars to nab him in any mixed league, and the results have been worth more than that for sure. He has a .248 BABIP, 87.6 percent strand rate and a 4.33 xFIP, so he is not a must-start when he gets a turn, but if the matchup is good you still have to stream Barria.
Scott Schebler Featured Image: (AP Photo/Jim Mone)