Waiver Wire: American League

This week AL-version will be a little smaller, mostly because a lot of the guys from last week are still available in most leagues and are still good options.

Mike Piazza | OAK | C – I said last week that Piazza was on target to come off the DL in the middle of the month, but now it looks like he might not be back before the All-Star break. When he does return, he should be owned in all leagues.
Recommendation – Should be owned in all leagues.

Sammy Sosa | TEX | OF – Slammin’ Sammy is owned in just 38% of ESPN leagues, but he’s still got a lot of power left in his bat. His Walk rate is down to 7.6% and his Contact rate has never been very good (73% this year), so his BA isn’t likely to come up much. He hits in the heart of a good lineup, though, and probably should be hitting more Home Runs. 35 isn’t unlikely. RBIs should be plentiful, and a fair number of Runs should come too.
Recommendation – Should be owned in 12 and 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all but the shallowest AL-only leagues.

Dustin McGowan | TOR | SP – Once a top prospect of the Jays, McGowan hasn’t become the elite pitcher they once thought he would be. His 2007 numbers are respectable though, giving him a little bit of value. With a 7.35 K/9 and 3.67 BB/9, his K/BB sits at exactly 2.00. His 46.5% Ground ball rate helps too.
Recommendation – Should be owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be considered in 10 and owned in 12 and 14-team AL-only leagues.

Jeremy Guthrie | BAL | SP – Another one-time top prospect, Guthrie is putting up decent numbers for the O’s. Since being converted to a full-time starter on May 8, Guthrie has posted a 5.40 K/9 and 1.23 BB/9, combining for a sparkling 4.38 K/BB. Combined with his good 48.4% Ground ball rate, Guthrie makes a solid play in many leagues. His K rate is below average and won’t help you in that category, but he should be a solid contributor in the other 3. I bet the Indians wish they’d stuck with him just a little bit longer.
Recommendation – Should be considered in 12 and owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in 10, 12, and 14-team AL-only leagues.

J.D. Drew | BOS | OF – The Sox have him batting lead-off now, and with his walk rate and quality of batters behind him he should score a boatload of runs. Expect around a .285 BA and a near-.400 OBP. He hasn’t hit many HRs this year, but don’t blame the Monster. He doesn’t hit many long balls to that part of the field. All of his so far have gone to center and right, and all have carried over 400 true feet. He should be hitting more, so expect a power spike to come soon. Drew should put up a 20-25 HR rate from here on out. Even batting leadoff, on the Red Sox Drew should still be able to get some RBIs. He has value in most leagues.
Recommendation – Should be considered in deep 8 and owned in 10, 12, and 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all AL-only leagues.

Dan Johnson | OAK | 1B – Struggling mightily and owned in less than 4% of ESPN leagues, Johnson is just getting unlucky. His numbers all look great and a .290 BA trend should start any day now. He also has the power to hit 25-30 HRs, so watch out for that. He should contribute with RBIs and Runs too given his good lineup, good power, and great on-base skills.
Recommendation – Should be owned in deep 10, 12, and 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all AL-only leagues.

Jose Lopez | SEA | 2B – There are a lot of equally solid options, especially in mixed leagues, but Lopez is still a decent player. Doesn’t walk a lot and his BA might drop to around .275, but batting second for Seattle (EDIT: Not sure why I thought he normally bats second; batting at the bottom of the order might not create as many opportunities) should create some decent Run opportunities, even if his walk totals are low. He won’t get very many RBIs. He hasn’t hit any HRs past 400 true feet, so a dozen HRs might be the most you should expect out of him.
Recommendation – Should be owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be considered in 10 and owned in 12 and 14-team AL-only leagues.

Coco Crisp | BOS | OF – Not a whole lot of power, and his 14% Line Drive rate doesn’t bode well for his BA, Crisp is a guy to approach with caution. Batting for Boston he should get more RBIs and Runs than a normal bottom-third of the lineup hitter, and an occasional start in the 1 or 2 hole might help a little. A lot of his value comes from his speed as he is on pace to steal 31 bases. His BA will depend a lot upon his LD percentage given his only mediocre walk rate, and his BA could end up anywhere between .260 and .295. Don’t expect much power out of Crisp.
Recommendation – Should be owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be considered in 10 and owned in 12 and 14-team AL-only leagues.

Joe Kennedy | OAK | SP – Don’t let the 3.50 ERA fool you. His 0.97 K/BB is terrible, and he doesn’t even have the K rate to help you. Kennedy ownership should be reserved for the deepest of deep leagues.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in all but the deepest of leagues.

Gil Meche | KC | SP – Given his career 40% Ground ball rate, it is bound to drop from it’s 52% level this year. His control seems to be improved, and if it stays that way Meche would deserve better than his 30% ESPN ownership. A 6.75 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, and 42% Ground ball rate is pretty good, even if he is on the Royals.
Recommendation – Should be considered in deep 10 and owned in 12 and 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all but shallow AL-only leagues.

Brian Bannister | KC | SP – I can’t give the same praise to Meche’s teammate. His 2.00 K/BB isn’t terrible, but his 4.53 K/9 will hurt you. His 40% Ground ball rate doesn’t help make up for the low K rate. When his .267 BABIP and 2.5% HR/FB (!) get corrected, he’ll be in for a decline.
Recommendation – Should be only be owned in very, very deep mixed leagues. Should be owned in 14-team AL-only leagues.

Mike Mussina | NYY | SP – Mussina has quietly posted two solid games in a row. 4 Ks in 6 IP and 7 Ks in 7.2 IP without a walk in either. His control is still great, and if his K rate comes back Mussina would again become a good option. Watch carefully, but be skeptical.
Recommendation – Should be watched in all leagues. Should be owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in 12 and 14-team AL-only leagues.

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