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Stock Watch: The Last Chance or the Bitter End?

Can you believe it’s the last Stock Watch of the year? Me Neither. And yet, here we are, at another end-of-the-season frenetic pennant race. And at the end of the season, all the old rules are gone.

You might have noticed things getting a little weird on your waiver wire. If you didn’t, check out my post from yesterday. See, I told you things have gotten weird. 

Things like this move I made this morning: I dropped the perfectly good Charlie Blackmon for the perfectly terrible Emilio Bonifacio. Yeah. Why? Because Blackmon has only four games left (instead of five), one in San Diego and three in Los Angeles against the Dodgers and I need steals. Injured and disappointing players are finally getting tossed back into the free agent pool, giving you the possibility of seeing Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez on the wire, along with Joey Votto and Jacoby Elsbury. Don't get excited. That’s just a sample from my leagues; where it really gets strange is in just how much our waiver wires will begin to differ in the final days of the season, especially after ace pitchers throw their last regular season games. (I predict some Clayton Kershaw and Chris Sale drops in the near future, among others.)

So there’s a lot to sort out. Especially when you remember to check in on any starter you pick up and see who he’s facing and in what park. Case in point: Derek Holland (39% owned in Yahoo! leagues) is pretty widely available. He’s got a 1.31 ERA in 34.1 IP on the season and a history of talented pitching.  A good pickup. But his last start will be in Texas against an Oakland A’s squad that isn’t as bad as their “historic” collapse—and that seems to be un-collapsing. Not so good. I’m still on the fence with Holland, but I’m inclined to let him go at this point. 

Let’s check out some high-potential hitters the usual way, and then check out some starters, with extra emphasis on who they’re playing and where. 

Shallow Leagues (30-50% Owned)

Adam Eaton (47%) continues to play well, does a little of everything.

Javier Baez (45%) does everything but batting average…at which he is very, very bad. But the Cubs are committed to him.

Steve Pearce (44%) is on such fire that I can’t not recommend him. Maybe only 44% of leagues are still going on?

Nori Aoki (41%) is hitting over .380 over the last month. Sustainable? Obviously not. A good predictor of his talent? Certainly, no. Worth using? Yeah. Also, didn’t his name used to be longer?

Chase Headley (39%) has been a pretty good, quiet producer for New York. Especially in runs scored.

Kennys Vargas (39%) might be the best source of power on the waiver wire. Well, him and Pearce.

Jed Lowrie (39%) has had a rough year, but some games in Texas could be just what he needs.

Dioner Navarro (34%) is still playing at home, and the Blue Jays are scoring tons of runs.

Domonic Brown (33%) is back from his hand injury, and he’d finally been hitting before. He’s got to be desperate to earn next year’s playing time, so take a chance if you’re desperate too.

You know I want you to pick up Kolten Wong (32%).

Medium Leagues (20-30% Owned)

Adam Lind (30%) has been pretty much on fire lately, batting over .340 in the past month.

Adam Dunn (30%) will be playing in Texas. How is that a combination to leave on the waiver wire. Pick him up!

A.J. Pollock (29%) offers good speed…and actual hitting ability. Not common at this stage of the game, not at all.

Lorenzo Cain (29%) offers even more speed…and he’s been hitting well too. Definitely useful as the season winds down.

James Loney (27%). Batting average. You already know.

Jordy Mercer (26%) has had a nicely productive little month. Remember, he’s a shortstop—it doesn’t take much.

Luis Valbuena (23%) defied my prediction and kept hitting. Thanks a lot, Luis.

Avisail Garcia (22%) is making the most of his mostly-missed season.

Justin Turner (20%) has got to get an award for most valuable part-timer or something.

Deep Leagues (Under 20% Owned)

Chris Coghlan (18%) is batting .320 in the last month.

Oswaldo Arcia (15%) is a relatively promising power source.

Wilmer Flores (14%) is making me want to hit up a Mets game before the season ends. Because he’s hitting so well, just so that’s actually clear.

Jake Marisnick (13%) has offered a little bit of everything this month.

Tyler Flowers (10%) has been on this list so much that I’m inclined to think he’s actually good. Maybe I'll draft him next year.

Arismendy Alcantara (10%) is yet another all-power, sub-Mendoza young Cub. I guess it’s just the two of them, but it seems like a lot.

Speaking of power, Dayan Viciedo (8%) can’t hit for average either, but he’s smacked five homers this month.

Daniel Nava (5%) has been playing well enough to use lately.

Jarrod Dyson (5%) has not, but he’s your guy if you lost two points in steals in the last two days—like me! 

Jose Ramirez (5%) is a lot better, just because he plays short. Also a speed source.

Rougned Odor (4%) not only has the coolest name in baseball, but he’s playing at home and on a nice hot streak.

Welington Castillo (3%) is contributing across the board for deep leaguers in need of a catcher.

Freddy Galvis (3%) has been a pretty hot hitter since returning to the Majors last month. And he plays pretty much every position.

Some Pitchers to Go For

Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to pitch against Boston this week, so if someone gave up on him, scoop him up. Or just don’t forget to take him out of that DL slot.

Mike Fiers gets the Cubs on the last day of the season, so that’s pretty nice.

Jake Peavy should enjoy facing the Padres, even though the game will be in San Francisco.

C.J. Wilson just got rocked for a 54.00 ERA, but his final start will be against the deflated Mariners, in Seattle. Good chance of a bounceback.

I’m picking up Bartolo Colon right now for his final start: at home against the Astros. Who could ask for more? I’m picking up Jon Niese too, for the exact same reason. You know what, I’m just gonna give in and become a Mets fan.

Aaron Harang recommends himself by facing the Phillies.

Tsuyoshi Wada gets to face Milwaukee, which seems like a pretty good opportunity, given their play. It looked like a terrible matchup when I first looked at the schedule over a month ago, but hey, things change.

I kept thinking Cory Rasmus was the knockoff Colby Rasmus or something. Turns out he pitches for the Angels, is off to a really strong start, and gets to face the Mariners.

Two guys for today: Yusmeiro Petit (against the Padres) and Edinson Volquez (against the Braves). Good enough pitchers, fantastic matchups. And then you can drop ‘em, because their regular seasons will be done.

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