Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: What more does Nick Pivetta need to do?
Ownership stats show that many Fantasy players have been slow to warm up to Nick Pivetta, but a dominant outing Wednesday should finally change that.
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OK, this is the last time we're doing this.
I told youto "buy in before someone else in your league does," but fortunately for you, nobody really did -- Pivetta's ownership climbed from just 56 percent last week to 70 percent this week.
Good. That means there's still a chance for some of you to find him. Pivetta needs to be owned in all leagues. That was true after he struck out seven in five scoreless innings against the Giants last week, and it's even more true after his dominant showing against the Orioles on Wednesday. He limited Baltimore to just one run on a solo homer, while allowing two hits and one walk and striking out 11 in seven innings.
The outing lowered Pivetta's ERA to 3.72 on the season, and the underlying numbers are even better. He has a 3.10 FIP, and his 28.2 percent strikeout rate ranks 19th in the majors to boot. He reworked his curveball last season, and it has become a weapon for him -- he racked up six swinging strikes with it Wednesday -- giving him two breaking balls he can throw for whiffs. Plus, he's thrown at least four changeups in three of his last five starts, as he continues to refine that pitch.
Pivetta showed flashes of greatness last season, but they were too few and far between to matter much for Fantasy. However, he has had just one blow up so far in 2018, a one-inning outing against the Nationals two weeks ago that accounted for nearly one-third of his runs on the season to date. Pivetta is for real, and he needs to be owned in all formats. It's obvious now.
It's been a rough start to the season for Gattis, and his ownership has dipped to reflect that. However, things have changed for him lately. Gattis has hit safely in seven of his last eight games, raising his season-long OPS from .542 at the beginning of the stretch to .648 after Tuesday's game. And it isn't just some bloopers falling in, because four of his eight hits in that stretch have been for extra bases, including three of his four homers for the season. Playing time isn't a concern for Gattis, and we know when he's right he is one of the more dangerous bats at the position. He needs to be owned, given how few good catchers there are.
The tough thing with a player like Brandon Nimmo is, his best format for Fantasy is also the one where you might need him least. Because so much of his game is predicated on his improved eye at the plate, he's a more valuable asset in H2H points leagues, which typically have just three outfield spots to go with one utility spot. However, if you play in a deeper points league — or any on-base percentage league — Nimmo's .443 OBP is a big asset. With Yoenis Cespedes on the DL, he's going to get a chance to play every day, and should be a good source of runs and OBP, with the occasional homer to boot.
Looking for some upside? Jimmy Nelson is widely available, and was one of the very best pitchers in baseball last season. He probably won't pitch in an MLB game until July, but we're starting to see some good signs as he recovers from shoulder surgery. Nelson has progressed his rehab program to throwing from 150 feet, but needs clearance to move on to throwing off a mound. There's a chance he could receive that clearance when he visits his surgeon Thursday, and that would be a big step in his recovery. There is, of course, no guarantee that happens — injuries are tricky, and shoulder ones especially so — but he is well ahead of schedule, so even a slight delay in his rehab isn't the worst thing in the world. We're all looking for impact moves to make, and Nelson is one add you could make right now that could pay big dividends in the second half.
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