Waiver Wire: National League

Hunter Pence | HOU | OF – I’m not really a fan of Pence’s skills. His .375 BABIP is much too, although a 19% line drive rate is pretty good. A 5% walk rate, though, is terrible. With an adjustment to a .290 BABIP, his batting average would be just .260, much lower than his current .325 mark. He has also only hit 3 of his homers past 400 feet, but his tendency to hit them into left field has resulted in 6 home runs under 400 feet. Most were were helped out by the Crawford Boxes at Minute Maid Park. You could rely on these, but for me, I’d rather target a guy that actually has good power than rely upon Pence hitting them in that direction at home. He’s batting second, though, so he could score a few runs. The walk rate will limit them a bit, though. The 8 steals so far help his value.
Recommendation – Should be considered in 12 owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in 10, 12, and 14-team NL-only leagues.

Paul Maholm | PIT | SP – The 52% xGB% is nice and the 2.06 K/BB is decent, but Maholm’s modest strikeout rate (5.25 K/9) prevents him from being a very good pitcher. I’ve been hearing some hype around him, about how good he’s been since the All-Star break, but it’s really just luck related. His K/9 is actually down (3.98) and his K/BB is exactly the same. Don’t expect him to do much better than his current 4.20 LIPS ERA or 1.33 DIPS WHIP, and he will hurt you a bit with strikeouts.
Recommendation – Should be considered in 12 owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in 10, 12, and 14-team NL-only leagues.

Pedro Martinez | NYM | SP – I talked a little about Pedro the other day, and I’ll be talking more about him either tomorrow or Monday, when he is scheduled to start for the Mets. For now, just know that he is risky but is worth owning in all leagues. He might not be a strong option for Monday, though.
Recommendation – Should be owned in all leagues.

Mike Pelfrey | NYM | SP – Pitched pretty well tonight, but with Pedro coming back there is no room for Pelfrey in the Mets rotation. Is a decent player in certain keeper leagues, but in redraft leagues he probably won’t have much value down the stretch. With the Mets bullpen struggling, though, there is a chance he could put up some decent numbers in that role in September.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in mixed leagues. Should be owned in deep NL-only leagues.

Dana Eveland | ARZ | SP – I don’t see Eveland holding onto a spot in Arizona’s bullpen, even though he’ll be getting a start tonight. Has never shown great control, and in 20.1 innings at Triple A this year, his K/9 was just 5.31. It is a small sample size, though, and it was 9.35 in 103 innings last year at Triple A. The small sample size is one of the reasons, though, that I don’t have a lot of faith in him keeping the job. Aside from the likely poor major league control, he’s only started 7 games (and relieved in 2) in the minors all year. I’d avoid him if you can.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in all leagues.

Esteban Loaiza | LAD | SP – How did I miss this? Apparently, Loaiza was claimed by the Dodgers. Sorry for listing him in the American League version yesterday. Same deal, though.
Recommendation – Should be owned only in very deep mixed leagues. Should be considered in 12 and owned in 14-team NL-only leagues.

Chase Utley | PHI | 2B – Doubtful he was ever dropped in your league, and if he was, I’m sure he was picked up right away. If he’s somehow available, pick him up. Power probably won’t be very good, though.
Recommendation – Should be owned in all leagues.

Woody Williams | HOU | SP – Poor ground ball rate, poor strikeout rate, pretty good control. Not really a formula for success. Had put up 5 starts without allowing more than two runs before his start on the August 28. 4.51 LIPS ERA, 1.36 DIPS WHIP, 4.88 K/9, below average offense. Not a good choice.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in mixed leagues. Should be owned in 14-team NL-only leagues.

Nate McLouth | PIT | OF – 16 steals and caught just once. Was caught just once in 11 attempts last year. I wish he would steal more. Has also hit 4 home runs past 400 true feet (according to HitTracker) so far this year. 9% walk rate and 17% line drive rates are decent, but his .286 BABIP probably won’t get much higher, and I don’t see his power improving too much. That means his batting average won’t get much better. The walk rate and the leadoff spot will help with runs, so he’s a decent two category guy with occasional home runs.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in mixed leagues. Should be owned in 12 and 14-team NL-only leagues.

Braden Looper | STL | SP – Has been getting a lot of adds in Yahoo! leagues, but Looper’s LIPS ERA matches his 4.66 ERA for the year. He has been better in the second half, though with a 5.61 K/9 and 1.75 BB/9. That equates to a very nice 3.20 K/BB. The walks will increase, but he still could be decent if the strikeouts keep up. They won’t be helping you in the strikeout category, though.
Recommendation – Should be considered in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in 12 and 14-team NL-only leagues.

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