Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Kelvin Herrera trade, and trusting the process with Nick Pivetta
The Kelvin Herrera trade might spell only bad news for Fantasy players, while a few free agents deserve more of your respect.
We talk about it a lot, but opportunity is arguably the most important thing when it comes to Fantasy success. After all, you can only get Fantasy points if you're in the game.
Trades are one of the more obvious ways for Fantasy value to be created, but Monday's move that sent Royals' closer Kelvin Herrera to the Nationals might be the rare exception. It's not clear how it will shake out on either side, but there's a chance nobody walks away from this happy if the Nationals give both Herrera and Sean Doolittle opportunities in the ninth. Both can be dominant Fantasy closers, but their values would take a significant hit if they shared the role.
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Of course, the alternative is, one of them takes the job and runs with it, leaving the other in a situation where they don't have very much Fantasy appeal at all. For now, hold both, but keep a close eye on how the Nats opt to use Doolittle and Herrera in the coming days.
As for the Royals, well … They had one good reliever. Now, they probably have none. With the exception of Herrera, only one reliever has an ERA under 3.00 for the Royals this season, and he – Brad Keller – is currently pitching in the rotation. Kevin McCarthy has a 3.46 ERA since the start of 2017, and could be the first in line for an opportunity, but with just 19 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings this season, he's hard to get excited about.
That's probably all anyone needs to know about here. Brandon Maurer has some closing experience, and the Royals may give him a shot, but he has a 7.10 ERA since the start of 2017, so it's hard to get excited about that prospect. If he gets named the closer, I'll pick him up in deeper leagues, but not a moment before then.
Let's get to some players you might actually want to add.
Trust the process. Philadelphia sports fans know it well, and they should have known not the give up on Nick Pivetta. Sure, the overall numbers were a bit mediocre after a dreadful stretch that saw him tagged for 13 runs in 14 innings to open June, but we know ERA isn't all that matters when judging pitchers. In fact, by those metrics we generally believe are the better predictor of future performance – choose one of FIP, xFIP, SIERA, or DRA – he's been pitching more like a top-25 starter. Skeptical? You shouldn't be. At least, not so much that you should be avoiding owning him. There's too much upside here, as he proved once again with 13 strikeouts in 7 1/3 sterling innings.
In a lot of ways, it's been a pretty typical Adrian Beltre season. Sure, he's missed some time with injury, something we pretty much expect to be the norm for the now-39-year-old. However, when he's healthy, Beltre plays regularly – he's started 12 of the Rangers' last 15 games since coming off the DL – and has continued to produce, hitting .326 overall for the season. Since coming off the DL, he has 10 RBI in 12 starts, so he hasn't been slowed much by the injury. Is he the superstar he once was? No. But Beltre is still hitting the ball well and producing, and it just feels wrong to see him out there on the wire in a quarter of CBS Fantasy leagues. Remedy that, please.
Speaking of players who have been around for a while who you may have forgotten … it's been a rough couple of seasons for Kevin Kiermaier, who hasn't played more than 105 games since 2015. However, when he's been on the field, the results have bene more than solid; Kiermaier's 162-game pace since the start of 2016 has seen him post 89 runs, 21 homers, 58 RBI, and 29 steals to go with his .256 average. That's not a superstar, but it's a solid all-around contributor, and one who needs to be owned in category leagues and any others with five starting outfielder spots. He's probably available in your league. Go look now.
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