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…
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.
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…
The Tigers have more steals tonight than they did in August of last year.
— anthony fenech (@anthonyfenech) April 10, 2014
Mike’s on Twitter @643ball