Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: A new side of Joe Musgrove shows more upside.
Joe Musgrove showed in his season debut that he might have more upside than he gets credit for. Chris Towers shows why in the latest round-up of the waiver wire.
Joe Musgrove PIT – SP – 59 owned 40%
We haven’t seen a ton of Joe Joe Musgrove in the majors, but we have seen him in his first 49 appearances (25 starts) wasn’t something. Fantasy players were terribly excited for Musgrove. His ERA was 1.26 and had a 28.9% strikeout rate. He looks more like the back end of the starting rotation in his first 25 starts. Armed with a low 90s fastball, he was your prototypical back-end starter. He is capable of throwing plenty of strikes and hopefully eat up lots of innings, but not expecting more than that.
What he did on Friday came to a surprise. Making his first start of the season after overcoming shoulder issues. Musgrove was averaging 95.7 mph with his fastball. That’s the 11th highest average fastball velocity Musgrove ever managed in a major league appearance. He hasn’t thrown more than 26 pitches in any of the 10 higher than that. The last time we saw Musgrove started in a major league game was July 15, 2017. He averaged 92.8 mph with his fastball.
It did not lead to a bunch of swinging strikes – seven on 67 pitches, but Musgrave was dominant despite that. He needs just those 67 to get through seven innings against the Cardinals. Musgrove is always going to live in the strike zone. He’ll work quickly if he can get strikeouts and limit hard contact. We saw a class of discipline on Friday.
Throwing a bunch of strikes isn’t always a good thing if you’re too hittable. In the past, that was Musgrove’s problem. However, if Friday represents the new normal for him as far as stuff goes, that might not be a problem anymore. Musgrove was already a must-own pitcher before Friday in all leagues. I never owned Joe Musgrove in my fantasies. That does not mean I won’t own him later on this season.
Kyle Crick PIT – RP – 30 1% owned
It’s not yet clear whether Felipe Vazquez’s forearm injury is a big deal, but fantasy players need to be more proactive. Maybe it’s nothing, Vazquez told reports he wasn’t concerned Monday and he’ll be back after a few days off. This explains why he’s blown three straight saves. if you want to take precautions this is the time to do it. It’s not clear who will step up to be the ninth inning role if Vazquez has to miss some time. Looks like Kyle Crick is going to take that role. Crick has recently shared eighth-inning duties with Michael Feliz. Crick has been the more effective pitcher to date averaging 1.76 ERA, to Feliz’s 5.32 ERA mark. Edgar Santana may get a shot, but he more of a seventh-inning guy. When I pick a pitcher, I usually pick a starter because they usually play the majority of the game.
Ross Stripling LAD – RP 68 41% owned
We may have another good one on our hands with Ross Stripling. He made four starts in a row and struck out at least one batter per inning. In fact, he just got more dominant as he went on a 10 strikeout performance on Friday against San Diego. Who knows whether he can keep that up. You must be impressed with what Stripling has done lately. He’s a must-own pitcher in the points league. I might pick him in the future, especially if he has a performance like he did against San Diego.
Jesus Aguilar MIL – 1B 24 66% owned
Since the start of 2017, Jesus Aguilar has come to the plate 453 times, about three-quarters of a full season and all he’s done is hit. He is hitting .281/.347/.525 in that span, with 24 homers, 22 doubles, and 78 RBI. His success this season isn’t just some small-sample-size flukiness. Aguilar is for real, and he’s pretty much an everyday player at this point starting 20 of Milwaukee’s 23 games in the month of May so far. He went 5 for 8 with 2 homers, 7 RBI and 4 runs scored between Saturday and Sunday. He’s giving you case to pick him on your fantasy team as the first basemen or he can be your utility player if you have someone else at 1B.
Daniel Mengden OAK – SP – 33 54% owned
Miles Mikolas has gotten a lot of the praise for his start of the season. He’s been great at avoiding walks and inducing weak contact. He was all the way to 96% ownership in the CBS Fantasy leagues. Daniel Mengden has been doing similar thing out in Oakland to less fanfare, which means that Fantasy players still can take advantage.
Mengden put together the best outing of his career this weekend against Arizona. He allowed just 2 hits in a full game shutout. he allowed two or fewer runs in his last seven out of his eight starts. He has a 2.96 ERA in 18 starts dating back to 2017. He sounds like a great pickup in my future fantasies.
Justin Bour MIA – 1B – 41
Look past the .236 batting average if you can. Bour got off to a real miserable start this season, going 6 for 37 in his first 10 games with no homers. Then went into the yard twice on April 10 and has been the top 12 first baseman in the Roto league ever since. He went deep against a lefty for the first time Sunday. If Boujr is finding his way against left-handed pitching like he did last season, that’ll be a good pickup for first base or utility player. He has already been that good since his slow start. If he’s out there, you can probably use Bour in the infield or a utility player if you’re playing the single game fantasy which FanDuel has.
These are players that you can use in your lineup. I usually try to pick ball players that are going to start. About 2 hours before the games, I would try to see who starts or who is not starting. I always check the RotoGrind to see who is playing. RotoGrind is usually about 90% right. I usually have to change at 1 or 2 players because they are not starting. Another strategy is, always try to pick ballplayers from the last game. If not check to see if any late fantasies are available. They are usually available after 12 PM.