Waiver Wire: American League

Just three weeks left in the season. The September call-ups have arrived, and we’re winding down the season. If your team is still in it but you’re looking for some help, consider some of these guys. The Waiver Wire columns probably won’t be very big for the next few weeks as we’ve really covered most of the guys worth owning already. If you have a question about a specific guy or think I’ve missed someone, though, feel free to let me know.

Matt Stairs | TOR | 1B/OF – How does a man with a .309 batting average and 19 home runs go unowned in all but 1.9% of fantasy leagues? The .320 BABIP will likely drop a little, but it could still stay around .300 due to his 10% walk rate and 18.4% line drive rate. With an adjustment to a .295 BABIP, his batting average would drop to just .290: still very usable. Of his 19 home runs, nine have gone for over 400 true feet, according to HitTracker, and three fell just short (over 395 feet). He’s getting semi-regular at-bats and the power is there, so he could be a decent option for you.
Recommendation – Should be strongly considered in 12 and owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be considered in 8 and owned in 10, 12, and 14-team AL-only leagues.

Clay Buchholz | BOS | RP – Probably won’t get any more starts this year for Boston, even if he deserves some. As a reliever he will still help the Red Sox a bit, but not very many fantasy teams.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in mixed leagues. Should be strongly considered in 14-team AL-only leagues.

Jacoby Ellsbury | BOS | OF – The 2 big league home runs so far are misleading; he only had 2 in 359 Triple A at-bats this year. He makes contact at a good rate though, knows how to draw a walk, and hit a decent amount of line drives in Triple A. Could manage a .275 batting average and a pretty good number of runs with his walk rate and Boston’s lineup. He also has good speed, so expect a few stolen bases, too. Just don’t bank on power numbers. When Manny Ramirez comes back, he could lose some playing time.
Recommendation – Should be owned in 14-team mixed leagues, for now. Should be considered in 10 and owned in 12 and 14-team AL-only leagues, for now.

Andrew Sonnanstine | TB | SP – After some sub-par starts following the hot start to his big league career, Sonnanstine has bounced back and now put up four excellent games in a row. Here are the lines, in the format of IP/K/BB: 5/5/0, 5/7/2, 8/5/0, 6/6/0. You all know how much I liked him earlier in the year, so he might be worth a pickup if he can keep up these kind of peripherals. Be careful though: the Devil Rays defense is awful and will hurt his numbers considerably.
Recommendation – Should be considered in 12 and owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be strongly considered in 10 and owned in 12 and 14-team AL-only leagues.

Gary Sheffield | DET | OF – Doesn’t need to be said, but if Sheff was dropped in your league, pick him up. When he plays, he’s great.
Recommendation – Should be owned in all leagues.

Garret Anderson | LAA | OF – Anderson has quietly had a very nice second half after missing time in the first. His 87% contact, 9% walk, and 20% line drives rates are quite good, as is his 16% HR/FB. All but 3 of his 14 home runs HitTracker has data on have come in the second half, although just four have gone for over 400 feet. That means his HR/FB might come down a bit, but with a 11% HR/FB and .305 BABIP his second half batting average would still be a very solid .295. That, combined with batting cleanup, a good surrounding offense, and plenty of playing time, Anderson should also help out with RBIs and a little bit with runs.
Recommendation – Should be owned in 12 and 14-team mixed leagues. Should be strongly considered in 8 and owned in 10, 12, and 14-team AL-only leagues.

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