Oh fantasy baseball. You’re such a bitch. Jacoby Ellsbury and his league leading 52 stolen bases are going to take a seat for a while. While this is bad news for Red Sox fans, it’s even worse news for fantasy players who are in the midst of a title chase or head to head playoff match-ups. Grey covered this in the lede this morning but it’s worth mentioning here as well given that our focus is steals and Jacoby represents a huge loss in that category for his owners. Luckily, there are still some players who might be available in your league that can help in the steals department. Quick, before anybody else fractures their feet, let’s take a look at who’s out there for some SAGNOF this week:
Billy Hamilton – CHC, @MIL
Welp, he’s here, and he didn’t disappoint last week. Despite not having any at-bats. Hamilton swiped four bags. The steals may be empty, but if you need help in the category, it doesn’t matter. There are only a handful of players in the league who are capable of putting up 4-5 steal weeks, and Hamilton is one of them. Nice thing about the pinch-running role is that you know he’s going every time. Even Yadier Molina looked frazzled by this guy, and that’s saying something.
Jarrod Dyson – @CLE, @DET
Still a great option for steals, and still much more available than fellow speedsters Eric Young, Rajai Davis, and teammate Emilio Bonifacio, Dyson has actually been helpful in the batting average category as well lately. He hit over .300 last week and chipped in another steal against Detroit. He’ll square up against them again later this week.
Leury Garcia – DET, CLE
I mentioned him last week, but cautioned to wait until this week to pick him up. The match-up against the Orioles was one to avoid (he got caught yesterday). This week, however, the match-ups are much friendlier and it seems as though the White Sox are committed to getting him some more playing time down the stretch. This could mean some more stolen base opportunities in the near future.
Angel Pagan – COL, @LAD
Pagan has two steals since returning from his injury and might be worth a shot for the home stretch. The Giants will probably give him some rest here and there, but when he’s in the lineup he’s always a threat for runs and steals. He might be a better bet for daily leagues where you can play the match-ups and avoid the nights when the Giants rest him.
Eduardo Nunez – @BAL, @BOS
There’s a lot to like about Nunez this week from a steals perspective. One is that Derek Jeter appears to be out indefinitely (again) and the other is the great match-up against the Red Sox later this week. Throw in the fact that the Yankees are trying to chase down the last wild card spot, and you’ve got a nice pick up in fantasy leagues. Nunez had one steal last week and currently has nine on the season, but with regular playing time and a little warmth in his bat I could see him chipping in 4-5 steals or so from here out.
Teams highlighted in green are in the top ten for most stolen bases allowed.
Teams highlighted in red are in the top ten for least stolen bases allowed.
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