Trolling the Wire Pickup
Pat Burrell, OF, San Francisco Giants
Four days ago, I recommended Russell Branyan as the Trolling the Wire pickup with the primary reason being that power is often in short supply on the waiver wire. You can never have too much because it home runs contribute to four categories: home runs obviously, RBIs, R and batting average. You should want to hoard power every year, but this year it seems especially true as it looks like the Year of the Pitcher and many teams have turned to the running game, too.
There are currently 11 players on pace to top 45 steals this year; only three players accomplished that feat in 2009. And that is just top end speed, there are tons of steals available in smaller bunches from plenty of unexpected sources, many of who are likely on your league’s waiver wire. So power remains the focus. As such, Monday’s trolling the wire pickup is San Francisco Giants outfielder, Pat Burrell.
Burrell is back in the National League where he averaged nearly 30 home runs for eight seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies including 33 just 2 years ago. After laboring for a season plus with the Tampa Bay Rays, Burrell has been reborn in 18 games with the Giants posting a .315/.387/.593 line with 4 HR, 10 RBI and 8 R. He matched his hit total of 17 with the Rays in 30 fewer at-bats.
Burrell should hit mid-teens home runs with 50+ RBIs the rest of the way with a legitimate shot at 20 if he stays healthy and manages not to embarrass himself too much out in leftfield. It’s a rare league that has Burrell owned with a 14% ownership rate in CBS leagues, just 3% in Y! leagues and a whopping 1% in ESPN leagues.
If you’re power deficient or even if you’re doing OK, but can gain points in HR, RBI and R, then see if Burrell can be slid into your lineup.
Articles of the Day
Today we have a double-feature centered around the Tampa Bay Rays. Jonah Keri and Jason Collette put together a pair of excellent pieces on the struggling team highlighting what has gone wrong and what can be done to fix the ills. Keri put together the 10 Things the Rays Should Do to Compete for the World Series including ditching Hank Blalock and looking into a trade for David DeJesus. While Collette outlines 30 reasons the Rays have gone 12-19 including Matt Garza’s cold streak, who I discussed last week as well as the toothpick-like bats the team is wielding with a .397 SLG during the slump. A pair of great people writing a pair of great articles that are worth reading whether you’re a Rays fan or not.
30 for 30: Why the Rays Have Slumped – by Jason Collette
10 Things the Rays Should do to Compete for the World Series – Jonah Keri
Backstop Depth: NYY v. TOR – by Marc Hulet
Who You Face Matters – by Pat Andriola
We Shouldn’t Be Surprised to See the ChiSox in the Race – by Tim Marchman
A Quick (and Effective?!) Way to Evaluate a Team – by Faketeams.com
Is Johan Santana Droppable?? – by Ray Guilfoyle
More on the Strasburg as an All-Star Debate – by Howard Bryant & Jerry Crasnick
Bet of the Day
It’s been awhile since I’ve had a bet of the day, so just to bring you back up to speed: I’m 4-5 with a -$119 balance. My Monday pick was kind of an easy one for me. Of course, I’m about to pick a team that was just swept by the Baltimore Orioles, but I’ll take Stephen Strasburg as an underdog without even blinking. Strasburg and his Washington Nationals are +105 in Atlanta against Tim Hudson and the Braves. I respect both Hudson and the Braves, but Strasburg as an underdog is very appealing.
Record: 4-5, -$119
Spot Starter for Tuesday
Reviewing my weekend spot starters shows some carnage as I doubled up with the Seattle Mariners neither of whom were Cliff Lee or Felix Hernandez. I went with Doug Fister and Jason Vargas and the results were severely underwhelming. The two combined to go nine innings allowing seven runs on 12 hits and two walks, but they only struck out three. Neither squeaked out a win, either.
On Tuesday there are a lot of aces and #2s going so there isn’t much to choose from. I will go with Brandon Morrow at Cleveland. As a Trolling the Wire choice the other day, he is available in a lot of leagues and he has a light hitting opponent to pick on so he’s worth getting in your lineup if you need a start.
Tuesday – Brandon Morrow (CBS-76%, Y!-27%, ESPN-18%)