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Fantasy Baseball Bests, Busts and Waiver Wire: Aug 5

Justin Upton

August is here and that means fantasy playoffs are quickly approaching. Athlon Sports has everything you need to catch up on what took place on the fantasy diamond during the past seven days. Our fantasy junkies bring you last week's top hitters, some starting pitchers who are on a roll, and also identify the waiver wire pick ups and spot starters you need to keep an eye on.

Top 25 fantasy baseball hitters of last week (July 29-Aug 4):

 

Name

Pos.

Team

R

HR

RBI

SB

BA

OPS

1

Justin Upton

OF

ATL

9

3

9

0

.387

1.246

2

Andrew McCutchen

OF

PIT

8

1

7

2

.379

1.027

3

Freddie Freeman

1B

ATL

9

2

8

0

.375

1.038

4

Matt Holliday

OF

STL

9

0

6

2

.406

0.957

5

Jason Heyward

OF

ATL

12

1

7

0

.346

0.969

6

Shane Victorino

OF

BOS

7

2

6

0

.400

1.141

7

Cody Ross*

OF

ARI

3

1

5

2

.500

1.227

8

Brian McCann

C

ATL

3

3

9

0

.300

1.141

9

Robbie Grossman*

OF

HOU

6

1

3

1

.500

1.269

10

Chris Johnson

1B/3B

ATL

4

1

8

0

.433

1.085

11

Kendrys Morales

1B

SEA

3

1

5

0

.577

1.287

12

Michael Saunders*

OF

SEA

3

3

8

0

.304

1.153

13

Mike Trout

OF

LAA

8

1

2

0

.500

1.552

14

Kole Calhoun*

OF

LAA

5

2

3

1

.333

.943

15

Daniel Descalso*

2/3/SS

STL

5

2

4

1

.296

.943

16

A.J. Pierzynski*

C

TEX

2

2

7

1

.308

.846

17

Nelson Cruz

OF

TEX

4

3

5

0

.292

1.037

18

Mark Trumbo

1/3/OF

LAA

6

3

8

0

.138

.642

19

David Freese

3B

STL

6

1

7

0

.320

1.052

20

Mike Moustakas*

3B

KC

3

3

6

0

.292

1.041

21

Ryan Raburn*

2B/OF

CLE

3

2

6

0

.412

1.326

22

Erick Aybar*

SS

LAA

6

0

2

3

.321

.724

23

Jacoby Ellsbury

OF

BOS

5

1

4

2

.290

.787

24

Anthony Rizzo

1B

CHC

4

3

4

0

.310

1.067

25

Dustin Pedroia

2B

BOS

5

2

8

0

.233

.791

* - less than 70% owned in Yahoo! leagues

Weekly Waiver Wire:

Mike Moustakas, 3B, KC (38% owned in Yahoo! Leagues)
Tabbed as a preseason sleeper, Moose has disappointed any and all owners who took a chance on him. He is showing signs of life, however, as he is coming off one of his best weeks (No. 20 in Y!) and has been surging post-All-Star Break. He is hitting .278/.900 since the break with four HRs and nine RBIs in 14 games. Those numbers will play at a fantasy thin position.

Cody Ross, OF, ARI (14%)
Ross is a career .264/.779 hitter in the majors and might be worth taking a risk on after a really hot week. Ross hit 22 HRs and drove in 81 last year and while he hasn't posted those type of numbers this year in the desert, it proves he is capable of it. Should he start every night the rest of the way, Ross could provide some support.

Jonathan Villar, SS, HOU (5%)
This would be simply a speed play with some help in the runs scored department as well. He was called up last week by the Astros and was given the shortstop job full-time. He won't help much in other categories but he will help with his legs. He had 31 SBs in 91 minor leagues this year, 39 swipes in 86 games a year ago and already has six steals in 13 games in the majors. He is a deep reach but could offer big help in a couple of categories.

Devin Mesoraco, C, CIN (7%)
A former big-time prospect for the Reds, Mesoraco is showing signs of life as the full-time backstop. Over the last 14 days, he has clubbed four home runs and driven in 11 while hitting .304/.913 in 46 at-bats. He has upside but hasn't proven it yet so this could be the time to jump on the youngster. 

Xander Bogaerts, SS, BOS (10%)
This isn't a new name for minor league and deep league fans as Bogaerts is one of MLB's top prospects. Why he is mentioned here, however, is that Boston is playing him at third base now on the farm instead of shortstop. This appears to be preparing him for a potential battle with Will Middlebrooks for the big league job. He has hit .282/855 with eight homers and 25 RBIs in 47 games in AAA-Pawtucket this year for Boston. Bogaerts would be my pick over Middlebrooks. Plus, in keeper leagues, he could be a gem.

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Top 20 fantasy Starting Pitchers of last two weeks:

 

Name

Team

IP

W

K

ERA

WHIP

1

Jose Fernandez

MIA

23.0

3

35

1.57

0.70

2

Max Scherzer

DET

21.2

3

18

0.83

0.51

3

Francisco Liriano

PIT

21.2

3

22

0.42

0.83

4

David Price

TB

25.1

2

17

1.07

0.47

5

Yu Darvish

TEX

19.1

2

29

0.47

0.83

6

Tyson Ross*

SD

20.0

2

22

1.35

0.70

7

Mike Minor

ATL

14.0

2

11

0.64

0.43

8

Jered Weaver

LAA

21.0

2

20

1.59

0.79

9

Lance Lynn

STL

21.0

2

24

1.71

0.95

10

Julio Teheran

ATL

18.0

1

23

1.00

0.89

11

Doug Fister

DET

16.0

2

8

0.56

0.69

12

Justin Masterson

CLE

14.1

2

15

0.63

0.98

13

Scott Kazmir*

CLE

19.0

2

17

1.89

0.84

14

Clayton Kershaw

LAD

16.0

1

13

0.56

0.69

15

Mark Buehrle*

TOR

22.0

2

15

2.05

0.82

16

Bruce Chen*

KC

18.0

1

17

2.00

0.67

17

A.J. Burnett

PIT

23.0

1

23

1.17

1.09

18

Wade Miley*

ARI

14.0

2

12

0.64

1.07

19

Dan Haren*

WAS

19.0

2

18

2.84

0.84

20

Madison Bumgarner

SF

15.0

1

18

0.60

1.07

* - less than 70% owned in Yahoo! leagues

Top 5 Spot Starts for the Week (Mon. - Sun.):

1. Gerrit Cole, PIT (Thur.) vs. Miami (56% owned)
The former No. 1 overall pick has 10 career starts in the majors and has never allowed more than three earned runs in any game. He has only won one of his last six starts but should be more than capable of dominating the lowly Marlins offense.

2. Chris Archer, TB (Wed.) at Arizona (68%)
Few players have been as dominant over the last month as Archer has been for the Rays. Since the start of July, he has allowed seven earned runs in six starts (4-1). His latest start was the worst (7.0, 4 ER, 4 K) of the group, but a trip to the desert to take on the Diamondbacks should get him back on track.

3. Randall Delgado, ARI (Fri.) vs. NY Mets (8%)
Over his last three starts, Delgado is 3-0 with 12 K, four earned runs and just 12 hits allowed for the Diamondbacks. He will face the Mets without David Wright in the lineup coming up this weekend. Green light.

4. Jhoulys Chacin, COL (Thur.) vs. NY Mets (37%)
Chacin's last five starts have been extremely useful (2-2). Three times he allowed just one earned run and over his last nine outings he's yielded more than three earned runs just once. He gets the Wright-less Mets on Thursday after 11 Ks and just one walk in his last three.

5. Tony Cingrani, CIN (Sat.) vs. San Diego (56%)
Strikeouts are the name of the game for the young lefty. He has 97 punch outs in 82.2 IP this year, 35 whiffs over his last five starts (2-1) and he will get the Padres this weekend. He will walk some people (12 BB in his last four starts) but if you can survive the hit to the WHIP, he should win games and strike plenty of people out.

Closing Morsels
After more than a few trades involving closers — Jose Veras to Detroit, K-Rod to Baltimore — that means opportunity could arise from where you least expect it... The Pirates Jason Grilli is "making quality progress" and he has vowed to play again in 2013. However, he isn't throwing yet and Mark Melancon is a quality option to close (who likely isn't on your waiver wire)... Boston's Koji Uehara hasn't allowed a run since June 30 and has converted on his last five save chances. However, he has just two saves in his nine appearances... The Angels might be forced to go with a committee approach. Ernesto Frieri has sick strikeout numbers (69 in 46.2 IP) but has been downright atrocious of late. He has allowed a run in four of his last six appearances with a total of 10 ER in 4.1 IP.... Seattle took the closer's job away from Tom Wilhelmsen for the time being. However, there aren't many quality options backing him up: Charlie Furbush, Yoervis Medina, Oliver Perez or Danny Farquhar. My guess is Willy is back in the ninth inning soon enough.... Jim Henderson has been solid since reclaiming the job for the Brewers after K-Rod was traded to the Orioles. He is 5-for-5 in save chances in five appearances without a run allowed and just four base runners in that stretch.

Keep up to date all season long with Athlon Sports' Fantasy Baseball Closer Grid