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Kolten Wong has received the Grey seal of approval from the BUY column, but I’d like to take a minute to talk about his wheels, considering he’s owned in less than 20 percent of ESPN leagues. He’s hitting higher in the batting order for the Cardinals now, and has stolen three bases in the past week. He’s also hot, riding a six-game hit streak entering today. Wong stole 26 and 23 bases in the last two years respectively, so 20 steals is a safe bet, especially if he can gain some more at-bats from hitting towards the top of the lineup. Last year at Triple-A Memphis, Wong stole 20 bags and was only caught once. He’ll draw the Brewers and Nationals this week. Both have been stingy in allowing stolen bases so far this season, so Wong might not have an easy go of it. Over the Wong haul, though, I like him for 20 steals the rest of the way. Here’s some of this week’s steals plays…

Middle Infield

D.J. LeMahieu – (@SD, PHI)

The Padres have already given up 11 steals on the young season, and LeMahieu gets a four-game set against them this week. Today’s pitcher, Robbie Erlin, gave up a swipe every nine innings last year according to the SB Rates vs. SP tool.

Mike Aviles – (@DET, TOR)

Aviles is 6-for-12 over his last three games and he gets two favorable matchups for steals this week against the Blue Jays and Tigers, who are first and second respectively in stolen bases allowed this season.

Alcides Escobar – (@HOU, MIN)

Escobar makes his second appearance in this post thanks to a nice match-up against Houston. The Astros have allowed 11 steals already this year and the Royals continue to be aggressive (although not very successful) on the basepaths.  Thursday’s starter, Scott Feldman, gave up a steal every 6.5 innings last year. The Twins have been a lot harder to run against, however, with only two steals allowed.

Outfield

Eric Young  - (@ARI, ATL)

EY2 is an obvious choice, especially since he’s getting everyday playing time with Chris Young on the shelf. He’s still owned in just 20% of ESPN leagues, however. The match-up against Atlanta is a good one. The Braves are tied with the Blue Jays for the most stolen bases allowed this season (13). Young already has six steals and hasn’t been caught.

Rajai Davis  - (CLE, LAA)

Is this thing on? Davis is only owned in 15% of ESPN leagues despite getting starts in eight of the Tigers’ first eleven games. He’s recorded at least one hit in seven of them and has collected five steals already. The only bug in the soup is he’ll face all righties on the schedule this week, although he’s batting .292 with a homer against them so far this year.

Nyjer Morgan – (@DET, TOR)

Ditto on the match-ups from the Aviles blurb above, but I don’t know how much playing time Morgan is going to get with Bourn back in action this week. That being said, Bourn is no spring chicken and recovering from a hamstring injury, so he may receive a day off here and there. He may also end up hurt again. Deep leaguers and AL-only players may want to keep an eye on Morgan if he stays on after Bourn is activated. He has stolen three bags this season.

Before I leave you, I thought you’d get a kick out of this Tweet, since steals is kind of our thing…

Mike’s on Twitter @643ball

 

  1. MB says:
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    Good stuff. I got seager, bench him for semien if I need speed?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! I’d stick with Seager.

  2. Nico says:
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    Nice column. Dee Gordon was still sitting on the wire this morning after last night… I’m hurting for steals, so he’s going in my lineup this week. I want Billy Butler to sit on my bench and think about his season thusfar. I’m assuming Dee isn’t on here bc he’s over 50% owned, correct?

      • Nico says:
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        @Mike: It’s amazing that Gordon was draftable a month-ish ago until playing time became a question mark. I’m assuming he was still around in my league because we have a 20 transaction limit. Steals are a struggle for me right now though since Alexei Ramirez is crushing life and Jean Segura is taking a seat on my bench (both got their steals on my bench actually…).

        This is some good info for daily leagues too. Fill your lineup and pop in a cheap, high-steal-potential option.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Yup, thanks man. As the season wears on, we’ll get even more data on which pitchers/teams make easy targets to run against for daily leagues.

          • goodfold2 says:
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            @Mike: what size league are you even in that segura is a bench player?

  3. uncdrew says:
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    There’s a Sixteen Candles joke in there somewhere with Kolton Wong and Junior Lake. I’ll leave it to you and Gray.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      haha, I’ll look into that one.

  4. Rondell Sheppard says:
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    Bourn or Morse the rest of the way (or until Hamilton recovers) in an OBP league?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Bourn

  5. gareth says:
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    Curse you Wong. Every time I hear your name and think of the all time classic “sum ting wong” from the news report of the asaina airlines crash.
    https://m.youtube.com/results?q=sum%20ting%20wong&sm=1

    That clip never gets old.

    Some may decry “rasicm!” But thats not what’s funny about it. Its that these newsreaders really will blindingly read anything – even something obviously suspect.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Wow. I hadn’t seen that. That’s crazy.

  6. MattDamonFace says:
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    Hey Mike+,

    I’m still holding onto Villar in my MI spot. I was wondering if you thought I should drop him for Wong? I’m already light on steals, with my only real source of double digit steals coming from Segura, and maybe Upton if he stops hitting all those damn HRs.

    Thanks Mike+. You’re the best+

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks. I’d hold Villar for the stolen bases.

  7. Jake the snake says:
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    Hey mike, what move would you make for the waiver? Or stand pat.
    Here’s what I’m considering (h2h ESPN weekly lock league) drop either Andrelton Simmons , Christian Yelich or Nolan arenado for either dee Gordon, Justin smoak, Grady Sizemore, kole Calhoun, Eric young jr & Dustin ackley. It would be for my fourth OF slot or utility.

    Should I be worried about pedroia’s injury?

    Here’s who I’m rolling with this week , let me know if you would change it

    C- Carlos Santana

    1b- goldschmidnt

    2b- pedroia

    3b- David wright

    SS- Alexi Ramirez

    IF- Eric Hosmer (thinking maybe benching)

    OF- Harper

    OF- Matt Holliday

    OF- pence

    OF- prado (or if I add another of)

    DH- Dunn

    Utility- Dee Gordon if I add him him not, then yelich

    Bench- Salvador Perez, Andrelton Simmons, yelich, arenado

    SP- Strasberg

    SP- tanaka

    SP- Gerrit cole

    RP- Papelbon

    RP- Alex wood

    Bench- Madison Bumgarner & zach wheeler

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Pick up Dee, and I’d drop Yelich for now. If Pedroia goes on the shelf, you can slide Dee into his spot and pick Yelich back up or one of those other guys.

      • Jake the snake says:
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        @Jake the snake: @Mike:

        Pick one of these two; Carlos Santana vs Salvador Perez for this week

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          ‘Tron likes Sal Perez, but only by 6 cents. Kind of a toss-up, so I’ll say Santana based on my personal preference.

    • MattDamonFace says:
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      @Jake the snake: Is that a 6 team league? Offense is stacked and pitching is pretty good considering the stacked offense. That’s all I had to say. Can’t help you with your actual question. GFY MattDamonFace. Wait, that’s me.

      • Jake the snake says:
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        @MattDamonFace:

        Lol I know , it’s not a big league or a tiny it’s a 10 teamer, I wanted to do a 12 but last sec two backed out

  8. Andre says:
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    Open roster spot with Latos on the shelf. Who should I pick up ROS? Tyson Ross, Mike Leake, Ian Kennedy, James Paxton, Jason Hammel, Robbie Erlin, or Willy Peralta?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I like Ross, Peralta, and Kennedy in that order.

  9. gareth says:
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    Hey Mike,

    My only ss in the rcl is Villar so I have to play him every day. On a scale of one to 10, how much do you like him as a SAGNOF starting ss, when comparing him to guys like everth and Elvis?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I like him the least of the three players, but he’s got 30+ steals in him, and he’ll throw in a handful of homers to boot. I’d be okay with him as my starting shortstop if I was strong at the other two middle infield slots. I’m assuming you drafted him pretty late.

      • gareth says:
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        @Mike: yeah. He was a late flyer. My other infielders are gyorko and kipnis.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          yup, he’s solid, especially paired with a power guy like Gyorko

  10. Ghost Face Miller says:
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    Mike, you think Aviles is a better pick up than David Murphy? Lake?

    I’m looking for point production while Ryan Zimmerman is on the DL.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d rather go with Lake

  11. allen says:
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    Hey mike….jed lowrie makes me yawn and i could use more speed. Would u drop lowrie for wong…( would move brad miller to SS, wong to 2B) 12 team league h2h.

    • allen says:
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      @allen: lineup already has crazy power…bautista, bruce, longo, trout, choo, rizzo….makes sense to get some more speed i think

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        yeah I could see making that swap

  12. Phil says:
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    Should I drop A. Hill and pick up LeMahieu or Aviles?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      No. I’d hold.

  13. Jacks says:
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    I believe Rajai has 2 lefties this week … CJ Wilson and Santiago

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      My bad. Thanks!

  14. Joe G says:
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    Mike starling Castro or aaron hil?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Castro

  15. Fear the beard says:
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    Who do you like this week- 12 tm h2h weekly locks, this is for the IF spot; Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez, or Andrelton Simmons, thanks!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Simmons

  16. Alex says:
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    Having seen both Rios and Jose Bautista, if you needed speed and had Ortiz, Belt, A Gordon, J Up, Pagan and Yelich for 3OF, 2UT spots, would you feel okay trading Joey Bats for Rios?

    6×6 w/OPS

    Thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      No

      • Matt says:
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        @Grey: Okay thanks, how about Ortiz for Shin-Soo Choo OR Bautista for Ells?

        Gracias

  17. Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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    Mike: Wonder how long Revere is going to be out (day to day). I was hoping for a 3 way SB race of epic proportion in the NL this.

    Hamilton is a mini bust too. Was hoping he was on the race team.

    I’m being selfish here as I own both Revere and Gordon.

    Do you think 80+ SB is the expected target this year for the leader?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Not sure, but it’s frustrating when these guys have the day-to-days where you get zero stats and can’t DL.

      I still think Hamilton can get there, but I’m not regretting not owning him, either.

      Owning both Revere and Gordon should give you 80 between them, and I bet you got em a lot cheaper than Billy.

  18. MattTruss223 says:
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    Hey Mike, love your columns, always great reads for us scrounging for SBs. Currently dead last in SBs in one of my leagues. Traded Sergio Romo and Dee Gordon for Anthony Rizzo early on and Dee was my only SAGNOF threat. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but kinda kicking myself now. Hopefully w/some sound SAGNOF I can recover and enjoy Rizzo’s power this summer though.

    I drafted Aoki on this squad too, but the guy’s not moving on the basepaths. You have any insight into his lack of SBs so far? Still too early to panic? I was pretty excited to nab him this year since I’m pretty sure the Royals like to run. Was hoping for a return to his 2012 30 SBs or more. Is that realistic you think? Thanks man, trying to talk myself out of overpaying for EYJ or something crazy like that.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks for the kind words!

      I think Aoki is a 25 steal guy, but I guess 30 is possible given the Royals like to run. Too early to panic on him for sure.

      Right, don’t overpay fro EY2, but he’ll give you the 40 steals you might have gotten from Dee, so if you can land him cheap, great.

      • MattTruss223 says:
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        @Mike: Awesome, thanks Mike.

  19. Ted says:
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    Hey mike, I know it’s early in fantasy season, I always like to add the “next” big players for that season; last season this time last year, nobody drafted Matt Harvey & he was available so I scooped him up he was a great pickup until being shut down/injured , but I was deep enough i managed. Somewhere by June or July I added Puig ( he was another great add) I needed him too because my OF was injured or not performing with Matt kemp & Stanton was injured at times too. Also picked up Dom brown before he got hot. I didn’t add him but I remember last season segura was a hot add.

    That being said, who would you recommend to keep an eye on; not necessarily for now but in general, would any of these you would like into as the season moves on: Addison Russell, Archie Bradley, Oscar taveras, Byron buxton, Jackie Bradley jr, Gregory polanco, george springer.

    How do you view those? Would you add any to watch out for if I missed any?

    Thanks have a great Tuesday

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Hey Ted. I think Archie Bradley, Javier Baez, Gregory Polanco, and George Springer have the best chance to be that guy this year.

      Scott does a great series here at Razzball where does prospect power rankings for fantasy purposes…http://razzball.com/2014-prospect-power-rankings-week-1/

      • Ted says:
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        @Mike:

        Thanks mike, I’ll also check out the link you posted

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Anytime

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