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Fantasy Baseball Bests, Busts and Waiver Wire: June 24

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Every Monday, Athlon Sports covers the hottest hitters in fantasy baseball over the past seven days as well as gets you ready for this week's action. Be sure to check back each week as our fantasy junkies analyze the best waiver wire pick ups, top starting pitching spot starts and sift through bullpens from around the league.

Top 25 fantasy baseball hitters of last week (June 17-23):

 

Name

Pos.

Team

R

HR

RBI

SB

BA

OPS

1.

Pedro Alvarez

3B

PIT

5

4

10

0

.414

1.383

2.

Jay Bruce

OF

CIN

6

6

7

0

.276

1.266

3.

Hanley Ramirez

3B/SS

LAD

6

3

7

0

.500

1.542

4.

Chris Davis

1B/OF

BAL

5

4

10

0

.348

1.357

5.

Edwin Encarnacion

1B/3B

TOR

7

3

8

0

.364

1.326

6.

Nelson Cruz

OF

TEX

3

3

11

0

.379

1.124

7.

Raul Ibanez*

OF

SEA

4

4

9

0

.321

1.117

8.

Ryan Howard

1B

PHI

4

3

7

0

.476

1.633

9.

Paul Goldschmidt

1B

ARI

5

4

6

0

.364

1.326

10.

Joe Mauer

C/1B

MIN

8

2

4

0

.407

1.226

11.

Miguel Cabrera

3B

DET

3

2

6

0

.536

1.427

12.

Gregor Blanco*

OF

SF

4

0

4

2

.500

1.160

13.

Maicer Izturis*

2B/3B/SS

TOR

7

2

5

0

.364

1.118

14.

David Wright

3B

NYM

5

3

5

0

.361

1.156

16.

Ben Revere*

OF

PHI

6

0

2

4

.320

.640

15.

Shane Victorino

OF

BOS

4

1

7

2

.333

.968

17.

A.J. Pierzynski*

C

TEX

6

2

7

0

.320

1.050

18.

Ian Kinsler

2B

TEX

6

0

6

1

.407

.859

19.

Jed Lowrie

2B/SS

OAK

6

1

6

0

.407

1.045

20.

Evan Longoria

3B

TB

6

3

5

0

.280

1.067

21.

Nick Franklin*

2B/SS

SEA

4

2

9

1

.241

.773

22.

Anthony Rizzo

1B

CHC

6

2

5

0

.350

1.140

23.

Austin Jackson

OF

DET

7

0

3

0

.522

1.172

24.

Adam Dunn*

1B/OF

CWS

5

2

8

0

.280

.920

25.

David Ortiz

1B

BOS

3

2

6

0

.429

1.181

* - less than 70% owned in Yahoo! leagues

Weekly Waiver Wire:

Nick Franklin, 2B/SS, SEA (35% owned in Yahoo! Leagues)
The elite prospect is delivering for the Mariners and for fantasy owners alike these days and is still just 35-percent owned. His .283/.848 slash line would make him valuable at either middle infield position, but his complete production line makes him a must-add: 10 R, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 3 SB in just 92 at-bats. Go to the waiver wire today.

Jonathan Lucroy, C, MIL (64%)
Lucroy just got finished with one of the best months of his career. He hit .360/1.027 with five home runs and 21 RBIs in 89 at-bats. He may have his slumps from time to time but this guy can hit — as his 40 RBIs attest.

Jason Castro, C, HOU (46%)
If you need a back-stop, this might be the week to snag one off the wire. Castro is a former first-round pick who is finally rounding into form. He clubbed six homers at a .313 clip over the last month. Don't be afraid to punt on bad draft picks (looking at you Miguel Montero).

Eric Hosmer, 1B, KC (60%)
Time to get back on the Royals train. Hosmer is hitting .294 over the last month with 15 runs, 15 RBIs and four stolen bags to go with his two homers. Mike Moustakas might be turning it around and Billy Butler is showing signs of life. Is it time to get back on the Royals bandwagon?

Nate Schierholtz, OF, CHC (16%)
There is no track record or glaring talent that indicates the Cubs outfielder is worth owning. But owners can no longer ignore his production. As of Monday morning this is his tidy roto line in 199 at-bats: 30 R, 10 HR, 29 RBIs, 4 SB, .296/.905. That'll play.

Last Week:

Brandon Crawford, SS, SF: 3/15, 2 R
Zack Cozart, SS, CIN: 6/24, 3 R, HR, 2 RBI
Omar Infante, 2B, DET: 9/27, 2 R, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI, SB
Kelly Johnson, 2B/OF, TB: 2/11, R, HR, RBI
Josh Rutledge, 2B/SS, COL: 4/18, 4 R, 2B

Recommended Articles

Top 20 fantasy Starting Pitchers of last two weeks:

 

Name

Team

IP

W

K

ERA

WHIP

1.

Yovani Gallardo

MIL

21.0

2

15

0.00

0.81

2.

Matt Harvey

NYM

20.0

2

26

1.80

0.75

3.

Madison Bumgarner

SF

14.0

2

18

1.29

0.71

4.

Max Scherzer

DET

20.0

3

22

2.25

1.00

5.

Mike Leake*

CIN

23.0

2

10

1.57

0.70

6.

Cliff Lee

PHI

15.0

2

15

2.40

0.60

7.

Corey Kluber*

CLE

21.2

3

15

1.66

1.15

8.

Matt Cain

SF

19.2

1

21

2.29

0.81

9.

Jeff Locke*

PIT

14.0

1

8

0.00

0.71

10.

Ervin Santana

KC

14.2

1

9

0.61

0.68

11.

Jhoulys Chacin*

COL

20.2

3

8

1.74

1.02

12.

Chris Capuano*

LAD

11.0

1

9

0.00

0.64

13.

Erik Bedard*

HOU

13.1

1

14

0.68

0.90

14.

Josh Collmenter*

ARI

8.0

1

9

0.00

0.38

15.

C.J. Wilson

LAA

14.0

2

7

1.29

0.86

16.

Bartolo Colon

OAK

21.0

3

10

2.14

1.14

17.

Stephen Strasburg

WAS

12.0

1

13

1.50

0.83

18.

Miguel Gonzalez*

BAL

21.2

2

12

2.91

0.83

19.

Esmil Rogers*

TOR

13.2

2

6

1.98

0.80

20.

Gio Gonzalez

WAS

14.0

0

19

1.93

0.79

* - less than 70% owned in Yahoo! leagues

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

1. Jose Fernandez, MIA (Tues.) vs. Minnesota (63% owned)
The star rookie pitcher won't win a ton of games this year due to his team, but he is starting to show people why he was such an elite prospect. He's allowed three earned runs in his last three starts (20.0 IP) with 25 strikeouts and two wins. Look for more against the Twins this week.

2. Eric Stults, SD (Sun.) at Miami (42%)
The Padres starter has a streak of five consecutive starts with two runs allowed or fewer. He also has just three walks over that span with 25 strikeouts. The Marlins lineup will provide little challenge for the developing eighth-year vet.

3. Jeff Locke, PIT (Tues.) at Seattle (74%)
Locke has been lucky this year but he is starting to prove that it's more than just good BABIP numbers. In five of his last seven starts he has allowed nary a run and has allowed just four total earned runs over that span. A trip to Seattle won't hurt his awesome 2.01/1.13 ratios much.

4. Ricky Nolasco, MIA (Fri.) vs. San Diego (22%)
The Marlins starter has always had tantalizing talent and quality strikeout rates. He has allowed one earned run in three of his last seven starts and has only allowed more than three ER once over that span. The Padres don't have a full complement of (no Yonder Alonso, Everth Cabrera or Cameron Maybin) players and could afford some good numbers.

5. Kyle Lohse, MIL (Tues.) vs. Chicago Cubs (49%)
He has posted three straight starts with one earned run (20.0 IP) and got one of his two wins this year. He struck out 14 over that span with just 19 baserunners. Expect another quality start from the Brewers starter.

Closing Morsels:

The Tigers DFAed Jose Valverde after a couple of horrendous outings so Joaquin Benoit becomes the go-to guy in Motown. This is a last-resort option right now until Detroit can find a full-time ninth inning guy. Proceed with caution... Boston's Andrew Bailey gave up four home runs over the last few weeks and while he could certainly regain the closer's job at some point, it appears the Red Sox will use a committee to finish off games for the time being. Koji Uehara gets the first look while Junichi Tazawa and lefty Andrew Miller could also figure into the mix. Add in that order and at your own risk... Rafael Betancourt could be back with the Rockies as soon as Thursday and should slide right back into the ninth inning for Colorado... The Brewers' bullpen situation is still in a state of flux as Jim Henderson and Francisco Rodriguez have seen time as both set-up and closing options. Last year's star closer, John Axford, hasn't figured in the mix. K-ROD might be 1a while Henderson is 1b.

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