Ramon Laureano, OF, OAK
Laureano is on an incredible hot streak right now. He has gone from waiver wire fodder to a must-own in every league format in only a matter of weeks.
In the last month, he is batting .316 with eight home runs and four stolen bases. For reference, MVP candidate and fantasy beast Christian Yelich has eight home runs and seven stolen bases over the same time period.
Four weeks ago, I was already buying all the shares of Laureano. Speed and power plays in any league format. When you add in average, you have the full package. Laureano’s season line of 19 home runs, 12 stolen bases, 63 runs, 52 , and a .283 batting average has him in the second tier of outfielders. The glaring question is can he keep this going?
Laureano has a Batting Average of Balls in Play (BABIP) of .333. With a Hard% of 39.7%, his BABIP is quite sustainable. It also helps matters that Laureano is one of the fastest runners of the league, clocking in at 55th out of 320 baserunners in average time from home to first base.
Strikeouts have been an issue for Laureano. His season-long K% is 26.2% but that number is trending downward. Laureano had a K% of 28.1% through June but has shown marked improved with a K% of only 16% in the month of July.
Laureano is in the midst of a breakout performance and I see no reason not to keep buying. His ownership numbers are still low: 82% in CBS leagues, 68% in Yahoo leagues, 52% in ESPN leagues. Grab him now if you’re lucky to enough to have him on waivers in your league
Tyler Beede, SP, SFG
After a disastrous start to the season, Beede looks to have figured things out and tossed eight scoreless innings against the Mets on Friday, lowering his ERA to 4.70.
The ERA is a bit high, but you will be acquiring him based for what Beede does going forward, not what he already has done. Including the gem from Friday, Beede has an ERA of 1.66 in July. This coming after posting a ghastly ERA of 6.45 through May and June.
Beede’s combination of strikeout stuff (8.3 K/9) and ability to induce ground balls (45.3% Ground Ball%) while pitching in cavernous Oracle Park should have him on your radar. Oracle is the lowest-scoring park in the league so any borderline Giants pitcher is worth a look.
Now is the time to gamble on high-upside young arms. Beede is an excellent buy right now. Grab him before his season-long numbers make it too easy for everyone else to pick him up as well.
Adam Wainwright, SP, STL
Wainwright is having a surprisingly solid season to date, considering he hardly pitched at all last year and 2017 was a dreadful season.
The 37-year-old has 4.50 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 98 innings. These numbers are quite average. The only reason is owned is because of his name and what did several years ago.
Wainwright has a Hard% of 41.4%. Hitters are mashing the ball against him and he is lucky to have a BABIP of .300. That number is likely to climb.
He certainly doesn’t have any trade value but he appears in this space because if you have him on your squad you should drop him immediately. There is no upside with Wainwright and it’s quite likely he will be ineffective and/or injured going forward. Dump him now and use his spot to stream pitchers against weak-hitting teams in pitchers’ parks.