Welcome back to “Off The Deep End”, where I will give you fantasy baseball tips on who to pick up in deeper leagues. For people who play standard leagues, drop/add columns are easy for you to find, but for those of you that love deeper leagues, advice can be harder to come by. That is where I can help. All of these players are available in 85% or more of ESPN leagues.
This time around we will do things a little differently. I will only do one position at a time, but I will give you advice on who to drop as well.
Jeff Locke, Pirates: Aside from his meltdown at Coors Field on Saturday, Locke has been brilliant for nearly two months. Prior to Saturday he had a string of eight straight quality starts. Look, even the best pitchers have trouble at Coors Field now and then. I wouldn’t read too much into it. He won’t get you a ton of strikeouts, but he should be able to help your ERA and WHIP.
James Paxton, Mariners: Yes, he is still on the DL, but the worst kept secret in baseball right now is that he will start for Seattle on Saturday. The 25 year old has a 0.83 WHIP and 1.75 ERA in six major league starts with 34 strikeouts in 36 innings. He is worth picking up in deep leagues, as his return will be soon.
Miguel Gonzalez, Orioles: Gonzalez has thrown four straight quality starts, with high powered offenses such as the Yankees, Red Sox, and Angels in that stretch. He isn’t striking out a lot of batters, but six earned runs in 31 innings can still help.
Kevin Gausman, Orioles: Gausman has been consistently inconsistent. He has allowed either one or five runs in every start this season except for his six scoreless against the Rays on June 18th. The only hard part is guessing whether you will get a one or a five run outing……
Chase Anderson, Diamondbacks: Anderson has only allowed more than two earned runs in a start twice all season. He consistently puts up one and two earned run outings, and he has struck out at least five in his last four outings. It’s time to pounce.
Vance Worley, Pirates: Worley threw his first career shutout in his last start, and has a stellar 2.54 ERA with a 1.07 WHIP on the season. It is looking like he has found the form that made him valuable with the Phillies in 2011.
Clay Buchholz, Red Sox: Buchholz had a good stretch for a while, but he is struggling again lately. He has given up 15 runs in his 17 innings since the All Star break. His stock was high after throwing a shutout in Boston’s final game before the break. That magic is gone now.
Phil Hughes, Twins: After a good month of June, Hughes has given up five runs or more in five of his last seven starts, and he was well on his way to the same in his last start before he left with an injury. He may get his mojo back at some point, but you don’t need to torture your ERA waiting for it to happen.
Nathan Eovaldi, Marlins: Eovaldi has given up 18 runs in 16.1 innings since the All Star break. And he has only struck out ten batters in that span.
Dillon Gee, Mets: Gee has given up 16 runs in 16.2 innings since the break. He never struck out a high number to begin with, so he really isn’t worth hanging on to at this point.