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From the 30,000 foot view, it’s hard to see imperfections. This applies to corporate jargon (I’m a customer-facing, solution-oriented go-getter), this year’s Lollapalooza lineup, and even Chicago Cubs outfielder Junior Lake. As an aside, I was impressed with how unimpressive this year’s Lolla lineup is. Maybe it’s just me, but this will be only the second year since it’s been in Chicago that I won’t be going (last year was the first). But there’s no use crying over spilled neutral milk hotel. Instead, let’s always look on the bright side of life. The Fantasy Baseball God(s?) have provided us with many late-round and even waiver wire options this year that can bolster our team in OPS and OBP leagues, beginning with Mr. Lake.

Junior Lake produced a .284/.332/.428 line across 254 at bats last year in his first taste of the majors as a 23 year old. I think he’s likely to maintain that slash line with 15 homers and 20 steals over a full season. A .760 OPS isn’t amazing, but it’s certainly helpful if it’s cheap and if it doesn’t hurt you in any other areas. Grey recently told you to buy Lake in standard leagues and I’m chiming in for OPS leagues because, you know, peer pressure works.

Carlos Quentin is a favorite of mine, as evidenced by him being my infatuation pick. Quentin always has a great OPS and nobody wants to own him because he’s not the nicest guy and he consistently gets injured. The first concern should be disregarded in fantasy baseball and the second concern doesn’t matter because he’s productive when healthy and can usually be had for next to nothing. He’s been remarkably consistent over his past two seasons with the Padres, so I’ll confidently project him to approach a .270/.370/.500 line, which is obviously great in OBP leagues as well.

Daniel Nava is a tremendous asset in OBP leagues and the recent news that he might bat leadoff for the Red Sox will further enhance his value. I heavily weigh his numbers from last year since he received regular playing time and believe he will produce a .270/.370/.430 line with a ton of runs scored if he continues to hit atop Boston’s lineup.

Dexter Fowler is another leadoff man worth targeting in OBP leagues. He’s consistently produced an OBP at or above .360, so I don’t see him falling much below that level, even with the move away from Coors Field. Sure, the Astros lineup has no business being mentioned in the same sentence as Boston’s (too late), but that helps by suppressing Fowler’s perceived value. The nice thing about him being on the Astros is that he shouldn’t have a real threat to his playing time, so he may be especially of use in weekly leagues.

Nate Schierholtz and Matt Joyce are both guys to target in daily leagues and use exclusively against right handers. This isn’t anything groundbreaking, but they are still worth mentioning because they are generally undervalued due to their stats against lefties weighing down their overall numbers. Schierholtz is better in OPS leagues due to his high slugging, while Joyce is a better all-around player for OBP leagues.

 

You can find Tom Jacks on Twitter @votetomjacks. He spends far too much time praying for the Cubs, planning his next concert, and wondering if there’s an instrument that could ever rival the theremin (there isn’t).

  1. Lurve Guru says:
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    Did you just make a Neutral Milk Hotel reference successfully?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Lurve Guru: That’s what I was hoping to do. Junior Lake’s name has so many reference possibilities.

      • VinnyCora says:
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        @Tom Jacks: just 1 more reason Razzball is the cat’s pajamas; Neutral Milk Hotel references peppered into your fantasy baseball musings. Carry on.

        • Tom Jacks

          Tom Jacks says:
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          @VinnyCora: Thanks and will do!

  2. Dave says:
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    Yo man—16 team, 6X with ops added. Bourjos, Almonte and Dickensen—which 2 should I keep? They’re bench players so Dickensens lack of playing time ain’t hurting me so far.

    Thanks bud. have a great Saturday.

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Dave: I’d go with Dickerson and Almonte. Bourjos doesn’t contribute much since his ops is mediocre, he’s batting eighth last I checked, and he is splitting time in a crowded outfield.

      • Jonas says:
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        @Tom Jacks: So Dickerson is better than Bourjos 12 team OPS league?

        And if that is the case, what about my primary question of Junior Lake or Dickerson?

        I just added Lake, own Bourjos, and Dickerson is available…thanks.

        • Jonas says:
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          @Jonas: im guessing its Lake, Dickerson, Almonte, Bourjos.

          • Tom Jacks

            Tom Jacks says:
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            @Jonas: Yes, that’s the order, but Lake and Dickerson are really close.

        • Tom Jacks

          Tom Jacks says:
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          @Jonas: I’d drop Bourjos for Dickerson.

  3. BigFatHippo says:
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    and a Rebelution reference….well played sir

  4. Alex says:
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    Hmm, you like fowler over pagan and/or yelich in 6×6 with ops?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Alex: Yeah, I’d go with Fowler in a redraft league and Yelich in a keeper league.

  5. Big League Choo says:
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    In a 12 man H2H OPS league with 11 total hitters(3 starting OFs and 1 util) dropped aoki for gordon so he can platoon my MI spots… heres my roster

    C Castro
    1B Goldy
    2B Rendon
    3B Arenado
    SS Segura
    MI Owings
    CI Hart
    OF Choo
    OF Bautista
    OF Holliday
    Util Avisail
    BN Morneau

    Meeting up with guys from my league tmrw….thinking of trying to trade for a better CI, there are plenty of Util OF out there if i decide to drop avisail. Which undervalued CI would you target? Im thinking this order Belt/Frazier/Middlebrooks/Moustakas.

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Big League Choo: Seems like I good plan. I agree with the CI order.

  6. RandomItalicizedVoice says:
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    Really wish this column was weekly. You listening, Grey?

      • RandomItalicizedVoice says:
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        @Tom Jacks: sweet.

  7. Ron says:
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    12-team Roto 5×5 OBP league..Seager and Bogaerts were just dropped! Should I drop any of these guys listed below to pickup one of them???

    Gyorko, Soriano, Aoki, Villar, R. Zimmerman, B. Miller.

    Thanks!

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Ron: Awesome – I love overreaction by other owners! I’d want Seager first, then Bogaerts. I’d be willing to drop Villar for either one. I’d be fine with dropping Soriano for Seager, but not Bogaerts.

  8. Tom Jacks

    Tom Jacks says:
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    Awesome – I love overreaction by other owners! I’d want Seager first, then Bogaerts. I’d be willing to drop Villar for either one. I’d be fine with dropping Soriano for Seager, but not Bogaerts.

  9. TheNewGuy says:
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    Lake over Crawford/Venable in a 10 team OBP’er?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @TheNewGuy: Not over Venable, but I’d be fine with Lake over Crawford.

  10. SwaggerJackers says:
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    What up Tom Jacks???

    Fowler was my first waiver pickup the day after the draft. As you mentioned, he’s solid for OBP.

    Thoughts on Casey McGehee? Aside from the 10 RBIs everyone is looking at, he also has 5 walks in the early goings so do you think he could be a serviceable player in OBP leagues? Could he be better than Grey’s crush Cody Asche?

    How about Bonerface? Do you think he has any sort of staying power on fantasy rosters or will he be a part time players and one of the most dropped players by next week?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @SwaggerJackers: Hey SwaggerJackers!

      Good stuff on Fowler. I don’t expect much from McGehee, but he could be serviceable in 12+ team leagues.

      I trust Emilio to put up solid numbers and keep regular playing time for at least a couple months until the Super Two passes and the Cubs start calling up guys. Maybe not a .500 OBP like this week, but he’s capable of .340+ going forward. Darwin Barney is one of the guys he replaces, so it’s not like he has great competition either.

  11. chris says:
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    League with both OBP + OPS for categories

    Drop C.Yelich for T.Hunter or M.Joyce?
    (Daily lineups, but most bench spots are being used for pitchers – no GS/IP limit)

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @chris: I’d drop Yelich for Hunter. I’d only prefer Joyce to both if you were able to bench him against lefties. The lack of at bats on a full time basis for Joyce gives the edge to Hunter.

  12. Pappy says:
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    Great title! Going to see Neutral Milk Hotel on Friday night in Oakland.

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Pappy: Thanks and awesome! Let me know how that is – I’ve never seen them yet.

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