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Fantasy Baseball Bests, Busts and Waiver Wire: July 24

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Stay tuned each week to Athlon Sports for a 2012 Fantasy Baseball Weekend Waiver Wire every Monday and a Weekend Rundown every Thursday. We took a week off due to All-Star festivities, but we are back and better than ever.

Top 25 fantasy baseball hitters of last week (7/16-7/24):

 

Name

Team

Pos.

R

HR

RBI

SB

BA

OPS

1.

Jason Kubel

ARI

OF

8

6

11

0

.346

1.508

2.

Ryan Zimmerman

WAS

3B

8

4

10

0

.406

1.301

3.

Mike Trout

LAA

OF

10

3

5

1

.448

1.397

4.

Buster Posey

SF

C/1B

5

2

13

0

.517

1.378

5.

David Wright

NYM

3B

5

4

8

1

.379

1.303

6.

Melky Cabrera

SF

OF

11

2

4

0

.448

1.322

7.

Brandon Phillips

CIN

2B

6

2

8

2

.357

1.010

8.

Miguel Cabrera

DET

1B/3B

7

3

5

1

.381

1.292

9.

Albert Pujols

LAA

1B

6

3

7

0

.370

1.211

10.

Carlos Gonzalez

COL

OF

4

3

7

2

.292

1.081

11.

Carlos Gomez*

MIL

OF

4

1

3

5

.286

.944

12.

Cody Ross*

BOS

OF

5

3

9

0

.320

1.106

13.

Michael Morse

WAS

1B/OF

7

2

7

0

.324

.910

14.

Ryan Doumit*

MIN

C/OF

5

3

7

0

.320

1.066

15.

Yoenis Cespedes

OAK

OF

4

2

3

1

.455

1.293

16.

Aaron Hill

ARI

2B

7

1

4

1

.345

.923

17.

Adrian Gonzalez

BOS

1B/OF

4

2

8

0

.357

.928

18.

Danny Espinosa*

WAS

2B/SS

5

1

5

1

.375

.960

19.

Jesus Montero*

SEA

C

4

1

9

0

.385

1.029

20.

Matt Kemp

LAD

OF

5

2

6

0

.357

1.043

21.

Carlos Beltran

STL

OF

5

2

6

1

.273

.897

22.

Brandon Crawford*

SF

SS

4

2

9

0

.304

.969

23.

Lorenzo Cain*

KC

OF

3

2

9

0

.348

.972

24.

Ryan Howard

PHI

1B

3

3

7

0

.333

1.357

25.

Chris Young

ARI

OF

4

1

5

2

.333

1.151

* - less than 70% owned in Yahoo! leagues

Strange But True

Watching Ichiro take at-bats in a Yankee uniform  — against his old team at that — was one of the more surreal sights I've seen on a baseball diamond in years. While he is a huge intangibles pick-up for the Yankees, one has to believe that he will turn his fantasy season around too now that he is within the Pinstripers line-up. He played right field and batted eighth in his Yankee debut Monday night. He wen 1-for-4 with a stolen base. He will shift to left when Nick Swisher returns. One can only expect his production to go up hitting in front of Russell Martin, Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson. Without the pressure of having to carry an offense, Ichiro is all but certain to boost his career-low .261 batting average with plenty of runs and stolen bases. He might be worth trading for if you are in need of those two categories.

The Waiver Wire

The Reds' Todd Frazier has delivered a tasty .882 OPS all season and is getting playing time for Joey Votto at the moment. He has the versatile 1B/3B/OF eligbility and was my pick-up of the week on a team that needs help at 3B and in the power column. The Nats' Danny Espinosa added SS to his title as he fills in for Ian Desmond. His roto line is always enticing with the big hit always coming in the BA category. Yet, he is on fire over his last eight games getting 14 hits in 31 ABs. He is the top add in most leagues currently. Looking for some more pop? Cody Ross has 16 bombs in 238 at-bats and has eight homers since returning from the DL. The .892 OPS plays in any format. Looking for a sneaky call-up? Danny Hultzen has been solid for Triple-A Tacoma and could be in a Mariner uniform soon, while Travis Snider will get the call for Toronto now that Ben Francisco is in Houston. He is a career .308 minor league hitter with a career .910 OPS. The Angels should be calling-up prized prospect Jean Segura as well after his .294/.346/.404 season in Double-A Arkansas. He will provide speed in place of Erick Aybar.

Top 20 fantasy Starting Pitchers of last two weeks:

 

Name

Team

IP

W

K

ERA

WHIP

1.

Doug Fister*

DET

15.0

2

18

1.20

0.47

2.

Jordan Zimmerman

WAS

18.0

2

16

0.50

0.72

3.

Felix Hernandez

SEA

17.0

2

15

0.53

0.71

4.

Justin Verlander

DET

16.0

2

14

1.13

0.69

5.

Hiroki Kuroda

NYY

21.1

2

20

2.53

0.80

6.

Ben Sheets*

ATL

12.0

2

11

0.00

0.92

7.

David Price

TB

14.1

2

15

1.26

0.98

8.

Madison Bumgarner

SF

14.0

1

13

1.93

0.50

9.

Tim Lincecum

SF

15.1

1

17

1.20

0.87

10.

Jeff Samardzji*

CHC

13.0

1

14

0.69

0.85

11.

Paul Maholm*

CHC

15.0

2

9

1.20

0.87

12.

Lance Lynn

STL

13.0

1

15

0.69

1.00

13.

Johnny Cueto

CIN

13.0

2

12

0.69

1.31

14.

Barry Zito*

SF

14.0

1

11

1.93

0.71

15.

Clayton Kershaw

LAD

14.0

1

13

1.29

1.00

16.

Carlos Villanueva*

TOR

12.1

2

13

2.19

1.14

17.

Wade Miley

ARI

12.2

2

15

2.84

1.11

18.

Matt Garza

CHC

10.0

1

10

0.00

1.00

19.

Ryan Vogelsong

SF

13.0

1

13

1.38

1.00

20.

Erik Bedard*

PIT

13.2

1

15

1.32

1.17

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* - less than 70% owned in Yahoo! leagues

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

1. Ivan Nova, NYY: Seattle (Wed.)
Posted eight quality starts in nine trips to the bump and has 36 K and 13 ER over his last six starts.

2. Michael Fiers, MIL: Washington (Sat.)
Has allowed 3 ER in last five starts with 34 Ks. Shut down the Reds and Cards in last two.

3. Jarrod Parker, OAK: at Baltimore (Fri.)
Just tossed 8.0 with one run against Yankees. Won four of last five starts.

4. Jonathon Niese, NYM: at Arizona (Fri.)
Posted 5 quality starts in last six with three wins and 11:0 K:BB rate over last two.

5. Ben Sheets, ATL: Philadelphia (Fri.)
Has yet to allow a run in two starts with only seven hits and 11 K in 12.0 innings.

Keep a close eye on the Mets-Diamondbacks Thursday affair as top pitching prospect Matt Harvey will make his major league debut. He has posted 268 Ks in 245.2 career minor league innings.

Top 20 fantasy Relief Pitchers of last month:

 

Name

Team

IP

W

SV

K

HLD

ERA

WHIP

1.

Huston Street

SD

12.1

1

7

18

0

0.00

0.41

2.

Aroldis Chapman

CIN

11.1

0

9

27

0

1.59

0.62

3.

Rafael Soriano

NYY

12.2

0

11

17

0

1.42

0.95

4.

Craig Kimbrel

ATL

11.0

0

7

20

0

1.64

0.36

5.

Ryan Cook*

OAK

10.2

2

6

11

0

1.69

0.66

6.

Kenley Jansen

LAD

13.1

0

7

18

0

0.68

0.83

7.

Fernando Rodney

TB

11.0

0

7

12

0

0.00

0.64

8.

Joel Hanrahan

PIT

10.1

1

9

8

0

1.74

1.16

9.

Jason Motte

STL

8.1

1

7

10

0

1.08

0.96

10.

Casey Janssen

TOR

10.0

0

6

14

0

1.80

0.80

11.

Tom Wilhelmsen

SEA

12.2

0

5

12

0

0.71

1.03

12.

Kyle Kendrick*

PHI

19.2

2

0

16

0

2.29

0.97

13.

Brad Lincoln*

PIT

13.0

0

1

15

3

0.69

0.62

14.

JJ Putz

ARI

9.0

0

5

8

0

0.00

0.89

15.

Dale Thayer*

SD

12.1

2

0

10

3

0.73

0.89

16.

Sergio Romo*

SF

8.2

1

2

7

4

0.00

0.58

17.

Sean Doolittle*

OAK

12.1

0

1

15

2

0.00

0.73

18.

Jerry Blevins*

OAK

9.1

2

0

9

4

1.93

0.64

19.

Octavio Dotel*

DET

11.0

2

0

16

1

2.45

1.00

20.

Steve Cishek*

MIA

10.2

0

2

11

5

0.00

0.75

* - less than 70% owned in Yahoo! leagues

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

- by Braden Gall

Follow @bradengall