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Fantasy Baseball Category Analysis: Adam Duvall, Tarik Skubal, Dylan Moore

Jul 2, 2021

Who is ready for more offense?! With the league cracking down on sticky substances and the weather reaching record temperatures in some parts of the country, we’re seeing some really high-scoring affairs. And while your hitters may finally be producing, some of our most trustworthy pitchers are getting hammered. That said, don’t go dropping any top-40 pitchers just yet — give them some time to adjust and contemplate sitting them in tougher matchups.

That said, with half of the season in our rear-view, it’s okay to move on from those underachieving veterans and mid-round selections you’ve been holding out hope for. Those players are hurting you more than they are helping, and you can find more than a handful of productive alternatives on the waiver wire. It’s a case-by-case basis of whom to move on from, but for the majority of fantasy managers in the lower half of the standings, it’s now or never.

There is no need to panic, though, as there is still plenty of time to make up ground in the rankings. In fact, for some categories, it just takes a couple of hot streaks to find yourself back atop the standings (shout-out to those Kyle Schwarber owners). For those in need, if other managers aren’t keen on trading away any pieces that can help, it’s time to turn your attention to the waiver wire, where there are some quality options flying under the radar.

Continuing with my weekly column, I’ve sorted through the undervalued (rostered in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues) and have emerged with 12 topflight free agents who can help your inefficacious roster right now! The players spotlighted will contribute in more ways than one, with their heaviest impact coming in the statistical heading under which they are listed.

With the All-Star break right around the corner, here are this week’s categorized, undervalued additions. Add them now before they are gone!

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Runs

Josh Rojas (2B/SS/OF – ARI): 46%
While the Diamondbacks stink, Josh Rojas doesn’t. Over the last week batting out of the leadoff spot, Rojas scored five times (up to 41 on the season) and produced 10 hits in 27 at-bats, good for a .370 average. He just crushed his tenth home run of the season and has now reached base in nine straight. He hits, walks, has some pop, steals a few bags, and bats leadoff. If you need help filling that tough MI position, Rojas and is your guy.

Luis Urias (2B/3B/SS – MIL): 27%
I also have to mention my guy, Luis Urias. He does a little bit of everything, and with the Brewers’ offense clicking, Urias has scored eight runs over the last seven games. He is up to 38 on the season to go along with 39 RBIs. Batting leadoff for the red-hot Brew Crew will only lead to more scores. Add Urias, who qualifies at multiple positions and has 19 hits in his last 13 games.

Stolen Bases

Dylan Moore (2B/3B/SS/OF – SEA): 44%
Dylan Moore is killing my average! Oh boo-hoo! Who cares? With what he does on the base paths, it doesn’t matter. In roto leagues, steals are practically worth a pair of homers, and no one steals at a higher rate than Moore. No one. Moore has attempted 15 stolen bases and has succeeded 13 times in just 172 at-bats. Dating back to the beginning of last year, Moore has stolen 25 bags on 32 attempts in just over 300 at-bats. He might be leading the MLB in steals if he hadn’t missed a few weeks with an injury.

He also hits for power, evident by his 18 doubles and 15 home runs (seven this season) over those 309 at-bats. With Moore’s potential to crush 20 homers (over a full season) and steal 30 bags, putting up with an average of around .200 is worth it. Oh, and did I mention he is six for his last 22 (.272 BA), with a homer, four runs, four RBIs, and three steals? Plus, he qualifies at practically every position. Hurry up and add him now!

Batting Average

Austin Hays (OF – BAL): 10%
Who needs to improve their batting average? Only everyone. Well, look no further than Austin Hays. Hays is as streaky as they come, and when he gets hot, he can boost your totals across the board. The young outfielder has registered a hit in each of his last eight games, earning 12 hits over 28 at-bats (.429 BA) with five runs, two homers, and eight RBIs.

In a similar streak, last season Hayes finished the year producing 28 hits over 81 AB’s, good for a .346 average. He also scored 17 times in those 21 games while facing some of the best pitchers the league has to offer.

Injuries have been Hays’ bugaboo over his brief career, but if the former prospect can finally stay healthy, perhaps he can keep the hot streak going into the dog days of summer. Add Hays now in deeper leagues and ride the wave.

RBI

Avisail Garcia (OF – MIL): 43%
While others have been quick to drop the slugging right fielder, I’m looking to pick him up in as many leagues as possible. The Brewers’ offense is finally starting to take off, and that means more RBI opportunities for their cleanup hitter.

Garcia went through a short cold spell in mid-June, but that came after a hot streak that saw him produce 16 RBIs and seven home runs in 17 games. He is currently riding another hot streak, with eight RBI over his last eight games.

Garcia will occasionally sit to allow Tyrone Taylor or Lorenzo Cain (when he returns) to earn playing time, but make no mistake, Garcia is their regular number four-hitter. He is up to 46 RBIs for the season and has a chance to reach 95 before the season’s end. Add Garcia where available.

Home Runs

Adam Duvall (OF – MIA): 50%
Why does no one want Duvall? The guy just hits home run after home run. Well, some fantasy managers do, judging by his uptick in rostership, but he remains vastly undervalued. Duvall has crushed 18 long balls and driven in 56 runs just this season. If you combine those numbers with last year’s shortened season, he has registered 34 home runs and 89 RBIs in just over 440 at-bats.

It wasn’t that long ago that Duvall made the All-Star team for the Reds and was mashing over 30 home runs and driving in 100 per season. In an era where a considerable amount of players are hitting below .240, Duvall’s low average won’t kill you because of his other numbers. He even has five steals this year to help make up for it. Pick up Duvall now and start him in all road games, where his OPS is 182 points higher.

ERA

Tarik Skubal (SP – DET): 48%
Am I allowed to put Skubal on this list again? Why are managers not taking advantage of the young stud’s output? Are they still worried about his early-season woes coming back to haunt him? Since making the necessary adjustments in early May, Skubal has produced an eye-popping 76 strikeouts over 55.2 innings with a 3.23 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. In his latest start, the Tigers’ lefty held the Astros’ high-powered offense to just one run on one hit, with three walks, and nine K’s over seven innings.

Skubal has given up three earned runs or less in nine of his last ten starts and has allowed two runs or less in six of his last eight. There is no reason not to roster him, especially with so many other well-known arms struggling.

Strikeouts

Kyle Muller (SP – ATL): 18%
Kyle Muller has nasty stuff. Prospects Report grades his fastball at a 70, with his slider and curveball scoring an impressive 55/60. He struggles with command, but over 10 major league innings, Muller has looked like the real deal. After shutting down the Reds with five shutout innings and nine strikeouts, the 6-foot-7, 250-pound lefty earned another start and will take on the Marlins at home. You want him on your roster for that outing and any subsequent plus-matchups after that. Add the hulking Muller now before the rest of the fantasy community catches on.

WHIP

Luis Patino (SP/RP – TB): 16%
Patino is expected to be promoted to start Friday’s game against the Blue Jays. While that may be a bit of a risky start (and you likely won’t read this article in time to add him), if Patino sticks in the Rays’ rotation, he should be a difference-maker in the second half. The young phenom has been carving up hitters in Triple-A, allowing only one run over his last 19 innings. He also struck out 28 in that span. Over 15 innings earlier in the season, Patino tossed 15 MLB innings leading to a 1.07 WHIP and 19 strikeouts. Add him now so you don’t miss out.

Wins

Cole Irvin (SP/RP – OAK): 30%
Irvin has been a bit inconsistent, but what he lacks in stuff, he makes up for in efficiency. Irvin usually pitches deep into games and limits free passes, keeping his pitch count down. Lasting late into games and pitching for a contender has allowed Irvin to garner a healthy number of wins. He is up to six at the moment and looked fantastic his last time out.

He’ll take on Boston at home for his next start, and while that may look like a matchup to avoid on paper, the opposing projected pitcher is the struggling Garrett Richards. If you’re desperate for wins, roll the dice on Irvin in that matchup, or else wait until he takes on Texas again.

Saves

Daniel Bard (RP – COL): 47%
With so many clubs moving to a committee approach, Bard offers the security of an everyday closer. That said, he hasn’t been great with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. He does strike out his fair share of batters, though (11.61 K/9), and he is currently your best bet for saves.

Amir Garrett (RP – CIN): 43%
The Reds have suffered a multitude of injuries to their bullpen, so for their latest save opportunity, they turned to everyone’s favorite hot-head, Amir Garrett. He is rostered in less than 50 percent of leagues, but he has been all over the map this season and may end up hurting you more than helping. That seems to be the trade-off, however, when fantasy managers are desperate enough for saves.

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Austin Lowell is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Austin, check out his archive.

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