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After a disappointing first half Norichika Aoki has really turned it on, resulting in a +46% spike in ownership which made him this week’s most added player. Most fantasy owners invested in the Royals’ outfielder expecting a high average, lots of runs scored, and a steals total somewhere in the twenties. But prior to the All-Star break, Aoki was hitting a ho-hum .260 with seven steals (four caught stealing) and only 36 runs in 306 plate appearances. On top of that he suffered a groin injury and was promptly released by many frustrated fantasy teams. The 32-year-old right-fielder’s recent play has made some of those same teams turn around and pick him right back up though. In his last eight games he has recorded eight runs scored, six runs batted in, and five steals. Regaining his role at the top of the lineup for the first-place Royals, Aoki should continue to see good counting stats moving forward. In leagues as shallow as ten teams Aoki is a worthwhile add during his current hot streak. Here are this week’s other big adds and drops in 2014 fantasy baseball…

 

Collin McHugh – 42% owned (+24%)
One of this year’s bigger surprises, McHugh has won each of his last two starts and has not allowed more than one earned run in each of his last four. The Astros’ righty now sports a 9.79 K/9 and a 3.09 BB/9 in 114 innings pitched. His FIP of 3.37 shows there is some legitimacy in his 3.00 ERA as well. While the Astros are still a work in progress, their offense isn’t the easy out it used to be and pitchers like McHugh and Keuchel have boosted the starting rotation. McHugh cracked JB’s top 50 this week and shouldn’t be subjected to any kind of strict innings limit going forward since he pitched around 150 innings last year. All in all, he’s a safe bet to grab off the wire if you’re in need of an arm. He’s still available in the majority of ESPN leagues. TREASURE.

 

Manny Machado – 86% owned (-14%)
The injury to Machado’s knee looked pretty nasty when it first happened, but he could return shortly after a normal 15-day disabled list stint. That means he might be back in the Orioles’ lineup heading into September. The timing for this injury couldn’t have been worse. After spending most of the first half on the disabled list from his other knee injury, Machado struggled early on and it culminated in a suspension after a run-in with the Athletics. Since then it’s been a different story for the 22-year-old. He hit .333/.356/.565 in July and followed that up with a .378/.429/.511 line in eleven August games. Sure, he may not get right back to the hot hitting when he first returns from the disabled list, but Machado is certainly a player worth picking up if you have an available DL slot. TREASURE.
  1. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Great writeup! Would you slot Machado over DeGrom in your DL spot? I’d be using Manny as a UTL on return…

    Thanks!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! Yup I would.

  2. Five-On-One says:
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    Hey Mike – What are your thoughts on Wil Myers? He is coming back Wed (or shortly thereafter). Do we listen to Kevin over at ESPN and ‘get him active’ or do we wait and see if his performance is better than it was earlier this year. I have guys like Reddick, Betts, Holt active right now. Is he (or Arcia or Garcia – both available on the waiver wire) an improvement over any of them? Thanks.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      If I owned him, I’d activate right away, yes. Hard to say what he’ll produce, but he hit a couple bombs in rehab. Hand/wrist injuries obviously tricky on hitters. For a short term power add, I’d go with Myers and either Arcia/Garcia over Betts and Holt, yes. I prefer Garcia all around and Arcia for strictly power if that’s what you need.

      • Five-On-One says:
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        @Mike: Thanks for the quick response. Unfortunately, I omitted a key detail. I need to keep either Betts or Holt active in my MI slot. So, out of Myers, Arcia and Garcia, which two should be active? I am assuming from your answer that Reddick should be active in front of those three. And, unless you advise against it, I would be dropping Headley to acquire (G)Arcia. Thanks again.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          No worries. I would take Myers and Arcia then for the power.

          • Five-On-One says:
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            @Mike: And who sits from Betts and Holt? Sorry to be a pest.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              You’re not a pest. They are pretty similar in my mind. I’d play Betts.

  3. Jason Morgan says:
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    Would you drop Anibal Sanchez to pick up Carlos Carrasco? Sounds like Sanchez will be back in time for our league’s playoffs, but Carrasco has RP/SP dual eligibility. And someone else will likely claim Sanchez once he is dropped.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d roll the dice on Carrasco.

  4. papasmurf says:
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    McWho (or McHuge) is a very strong add down the stretch. The off time he had should keep him fresh for the stretch drive. He’s showing what he can do without the blister problem.

    He really should have 4 wins in a row. The 2NDs: 1 was no run support, the other was a bullpen blowup after he left with a 4 run lead after 7 IP.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Agreed

  5. fausto says:
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    Betts over Span, J.D.Martinez or Romo? My OF is loaded Gomez, Brantley, Kemp, Span, Springer (dl). Martinez. I only throw RP(w. davis has sp elig) and max out hitters, its working better than I thought…I added romo for saves but I guess casillia is still the guy Betts has SS elig id like to get sb from MI rather than OF/util.
    Could also drop howie kendrick… Thoughts appreciated.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      If Romo’s not getting you saves, I’d take Betts over him for some speed at SS.

  6. Sick McNasty says:
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    Yooooo Mikey! I look forward to your keeper rankings! You know about when you’re gonna roll em out? Thanks for all the advice man!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks Sick! I wasn’t planning on ranking keepers, but good news is a weekly keeper post is in the works starting this September.

      Rankings are fun, but for keeper leagues there are a lot of variables with types of leagues, keeper costs etc. It’s actually easier if I just go case by case and say I like Player X over Player Y based on Z keeper format. I hope that makes sense.

  7. Micah says:
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    I’m in a 12 team 12-category keeper league where each team keeps 12 players. I’m planning on keeping 6 pitchers out of the following: Doug Fister, Hisashi Iwakuma, Max Scherzer, Matt Latos, Greg Holland, Aroldis Chapman, Jeff Samardzija, Matt Cain and Rick Porcello. Who are the 6?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Iwakuma, Scherzer, Shark, Holland, Chapman, Fister would be my picks

  8. ryu kidding me says:
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    Hey Mike,

    Great write up. Would you keep Cueto next year for a 8th round pick?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! Nice handle.

      8th round is good value for Cueto but I typically don’t keep pitchers not named Clayton or Felix to be totally honest. It depends on how many guys you are allowed to protect. 5 or less, I’d say no. If you’re keeping around 10-12 players, sure thing.

  9. Clint says:
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    I’m glad Aoki’s back to what I expected when I drafted him but if it weren’t for Dee Gordon’s titanic effort (thanks again Razzball), Nori’s late effort would have had me fighting for 2nd to last place in my 12 team roto instead of trying to hang onto 1st place. Where ya’ been, boy?!

    And thanks to Tehol’s elder gods for keeping Machado in the game for September because I thought I was dunzo after that one too.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Agreed. It would have taken the patience of Job to hold Aoki for the entire season, but kudos to anyone who did.

      Yeah, the Manny injury looked like a season ender when it first happened. Hopefullly he can get back to form quickly.

  10. tony says:
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    chisenhall or longo?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Longo

  11. Andre says:
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    Mike,

    Great write up as always! Waiver wire question….Would you drop Marlon Byrd for any of these guys as a bench player/matchup play/injury replacement for ROS and playoffs?

    Yellich, McGehee, Revere, K. Davis, or JD Martinez?

    Thanks!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks!

      Depends on needs. I like Yelich the most overall, but Revere for biggest steals numbers.

  12. Micah says:
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    Here’s a tougher one: Must keep 6: Buster Posey, Albert Pujols, Dustin Pedroia, Alexei Ramirez, Kennys Vargas, Josh Donaldson, Michael Brantley, Melky Cabrera, Alex Rios, Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Hamilton. I appreciate it!!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Brantley, Cespedes, Posey, Donaldson, Pujols, Melky

      anytime!

  13. Franco says:
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    Hey man, great write up as always! Would you add Avisail Garcia or would you stand pat with these guys? Rios, Gillaspie, Reddick, Eaton, Vargas

    • Franco says:
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      Also this is a standard points league

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thank you!

      Garcia over Eaton

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        Looks like Rios will miss a day or three with his bad thumb as well, FWIW

  14. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Unrelated playoff question for you, Mike – am I crazy for looking at Eovaldi’s start v. Tex (in MIA) tomorrow as a relatively safe streamer? He was mi amor earlier in the season and I’m looking to sneak in another SP tomorrow. It’s between Eovaldi, Nelson, House, and Peavy…

    Thanks!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Not crazy at all. I tried to stream him in my home league and got beaten to the punch. I like the matchup.

  15. Nightpandas says:
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    Miley,

    Need 11 keepers for my 15 team toto (7×7 with Obp, Slg, k for bats and QS, K and K/9 for pitchers. Pretty sure on the first 8:

    C
    1 Rizzo
    2 Dozier
    3
    Ss Tulo
    LF Braun
    Cf Jones
    Rf Bruce
    U
    Sp: Darvish, Scherzer

    Last three between: Correa, Eaton, D Santana, Stroman, Keuchel, Shoemaker

    WW options: Gallo, Chisenhall, (R Castillo if he comes up), Meyer, Stephenson, Giles

    Thanks for your help!

    • Nightpandas says:
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      @Nightpandas: Rodon, Vargas and Burns out there too

      • Nightpandas says:
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        @Nightpandas: sorry just noticed the “Mike” autocorrect….that’s funny

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      ha no problem

      Santana, Stroman, and between Giles and Rodon for the last spot, depending on what you need more.

  16. Steve Stevenson says:
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    My weirdo weekly H2H has a Tue.-Mon. week. I’m in a dogfight for playoff seeding and looking to pick up two-starters early for next week.

    So, dropping Peavy, Nelson and C. Anderson, and adding which 3 of the following? W, L and QS count:

    Gio – @Phi (Hamels), @LAD (Hernandez)
    Keuchel – vOAk (Shark), v Tex (tbd)
    Duffy – vMin (Nolasco), v Cle (House)
    Paxton – vTex (tbd), @Oak (Lester)
    Shoemaker – vMia (Eovaldi), vOak (Shark)
    Cole – vSTL (Lynn), @STL (Miller)

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d go with Keuchel, Shoe, and Gio

  17. I have Matt Adams at 1B. Recently dropped Cargo for Chris Carter. Should I drop Adams, move Carter to 1B, then pick-up one from; Jay Bruce, Kole Calhoun, Álex Ríos, Heyward, Joe Mauer or Yelich? Thinking I should drop Adams for Bruce. Is Carter a better bet @ 1B than Adams? Thanks!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d take Carter at first, sure. Bruce is fine. You can afford to ride the hot hand with that many solid options available to you.

    • @madden_curser: I could go w/Mauer @ 1B & go with Carter, Bruce, Calhoun, Rios, Heywad or Yelch in the utility spot.

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        Carter at first seems better

        • @Mike: I have Grégory Polanco too. Is he the odd man out with Snider swinging the bat well, is Polanco the one to sit with Andrew McCutchen back in the lineup? Should I move him too?

          • @madden_curser: I pick-up Bruce for Adams. Move Carter to 1st. Would you move Polanco for Kole Calhoun, Álex Ríos, Heyward, or Yelich?

              • Mike

                Mike says:
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                anytime. let’s go with Heyward

  18. Chris says:
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    Well…..that was a powerful turd Liriano had for me tonight. Seems like every time I start to trust him again …he gets me. I’ve got Mike Fiers, DeGrom and Smyly sitting on waivers. Should I drop Liriano for one of these? Playoffs are next week and I can’t afford one of these again. I also have Stroman who has been dropped at an alarming rate in ESPN leagues. Should he be switched for one of these? Thanks.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      ouch, yeah that was a brutl start. I think the concern with Stroman is more him wearing down and possibly bumping into an innings cap.

      You could roll the dice on Fiers.

  19. Joeg414 says:
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    Please pick two ros :Betts ,D.Peralta , Lind or Phillips ? 6×6 daily Roto

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Lind, Peralta

  20. Andre says:
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    Mike. One more question for you….Wada or Hellickson ROS? Stats are W, ERA, Ks, Saves, WHIP, and QS.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Wada. I’m not a big Hellboy fan

  21. Mike says:
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    Danny Santana, JJ Hardy or Jhonny Peralta rest of season?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Santana

  22. Frank White says:
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    Hey Mike… It’s slim pickings in the streaming area this week but tomorrow Kershaw got pushed back and Haren’s gonna pitch vs Niese in (LA).. Who would you rather have?? I can probly pick both up.. The thing is, I gotta win every week so I know Grey said drop Lackey for an extra streaming spot but he pitches twice next week but I gotta win this week before I get to next week so I guess cross that bridge when it comes right, or No?? Goin crazy!! LOL

    • Frank White says:
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      Or I can grab Haren or Niese for tomorrow and then drop Lackey for Shelby Miller vs Buchanan @ (PHI) on Saturday.. Better?

      • Frank White says:
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        Or drop Cole over Lackey??

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Stream Haren, then drop lackey to steam

  23. Frank White says:
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    Sup Mike… I absolutely have to win this week and the next 2 to keep up in the playoff race, so I’m up by 78 points as of today and he’s got Iwakuma & Colon going and I have Fiers, Chase Anderson & Hutchison.. I just picked Hutch up BUT THE qUEStion is.. Do I keep Hutch in my lineup or should I not chance the negative points and drop him right now for Shoemaker so I have him twice for next week?? I got a tough schedule. Thanks bud!!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Go with Shoe

      • Frank White says:
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        What if I can do both and grab Shoe exactly when lineups lock and switches to tomorrow?? U still don’t trust Hutch or is it more about Shoe??

        • Frank White says:
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          a lot of people try to pick people up at that exact time though so its a risk but just wondering if you don’t like Hutch at all.. Lol

          • Frank White says:
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            Oh and Thanks for your help buddy!!

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              Hutch’s start ranks lower than both of Shoe’s. I would just take Shoe and forget Hutch

              • Frank White says:
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                Yeah but Hutch plays today so I would be losing a pitcher today to grab one for next week. That’s why I was wondering if I should drop him before he pitches in case he gets me negative points.. still drop him??

                • Frank White says:
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                  And sorry if I’m annoying or misunderstanding you..

                  • Mike

                    Mike says:
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                    Yes, I would drop Hutch. I think there is a better chance it hurts you than helps you. I would grab Shoe instead.

                    • Frank White says:
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                      Your the Best Mike!! Thnx again

                    • Mike

                      Mike says:
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                      No Problem

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