It’s been a pretty odd season for both Nate McLouth and Justin Smoak, but they have both made themselves roto relevant during the season’s final few weeks. They have hit four and five home runs respectively, and could provide a nice boost to your lineup if you need a player for the season’s final six games.
McLouth will face four righties out of six pitchers, so his optimal use will be in daily leagues where you can bench him on days lefties are starting. His speed and power potential make him an intruiging pick up if you need a fill in at outfield or utility for whatever reason. He has done an impressive job of rebounding his season after that horrid start in Pittsburgh, and has found himself in the heart of a decent lineup so his run scoring has been rather high since he joined the Orioles, with 33 runs scored in just over 200 plate appearances. He has always been a rather streaky player, but he seems to have the confidence back that made him useful for a few seasons, so speculating on him right now seems like a decent idea for a team in need.
Smoak has managed to hit 19 home runs despite hitting in the vast Safeco Field and spending 20 games in the minor leagues. We all know about Smoak’s issues at the plate, which mainly reside in an low ability to get on base, but if you can sacrifice the average for power then he seems like a solid add at this point. He is certainly not a great hitter, or even a good one, but over small stretch he could be helpful in your power department if you are in need of a bat. Hitting homers in Oakland and Seattle is certainly not easy, but Smoak’s bat’s value is nearly etirely held in his ability to hit it out of the park. He realizes this and has been hot this month, so if he is still available you could do worse.
Neither are worthwhile at all in keeper leagues, while Smoak does have at least some value in dynasty leagues. Desperate times cause for desperate measures, which means grabbing guys like Smoak and McLouth off the waiver wire.
Ben has been at RotoGraphs since 2012 and focuses most of his fantasy baseball attention toward dynasty and keeper leagues.