Need for Speed: Stolen Base Options to Stream (8/7-8/12)

Adam Howe sheds light on deep stolen base options based on matchups.

Every stolen base means that much more in this shortened season and odds are it was difficult to prioritize speed in your recent drafts. You either have too much speed or not enough. This series will be focused on the latter. If there’s a category to make up ground in this year, it’ll be stolen bases. The category may be the tightest in every roto league, with just a couple being the difference between the top and bottom of the standings.

Here are a couple of options that may be sitting on your wire that have a good shot at getting you at least one more bag. I’m going for the deep cuts and focusing only on players owned in less than 20% of leagues, per Yahoo. This list will change week to week, but you’ll continue to see a general theme. The picks will be focused not just on the speedsters that are generally undrafted (looking at you, Jarrod Dyson), but mostly on sneaky pickups that can take advantage of their matchups.

One thing to consider here is that these matchups are always subject to change, as most things are nowadays, and most of these suggestions are best served in a league with daily moves. Weekly adds can still be considered in a pretty deep league, but know that this is only focused on the possibility of stealing bases, even at the expense of other categories. So, after that disclaimer, let’s see who’s poised to run over the next few days:

 

Jon Berti, Miami Marlins:

 

The Marlins are back in action, albeit with a few new faces and missing a couple expected ones. One of those missing is Isan Diaz, who opted out of the remainder of the season. With that comes a few players being forced to make adjustments and play both more often and in different positions. One of the beneficiaries is Jon Berti, who wasn’t guaranteed every day playing time despite a strong finish to the 2019 season.  With the ability to play all around the diamond, Berti has already played games in the outfield, at shortstop, and at second base. He should see close to every day playing time, with nothing more than typical rest days due to the rigorous schedule of the shortened season.

While hitting second regularly in the Miami line up, Berti should see plenty of opportunity and had already stolen a base in the Marlins’ first game back after their hiatus. Getting a matchup against Jacob deGrom doesn’t hurt, as he allowed the second most stolen bases in 2019 (only teammate Noah Syndergaard had more). Berti has the speed (97th percentile in sprint speed in 2019), he just needs to get the opportunities. And since he’s still owned in just 13% of Yahoo leagues, odds are you can still grab him.

Austin Hays, Baltimore Orioles: 

 

It’s been assumed/known Hays would be leading off for Baltimore since before the season actually started, and yet he’s still just 6% owned across Yahoo leagues. In the short season, plate appearances are king, providing even more opportunity to get on base and hopefully force the issue to the next base. Hays hasn’t exactly taken full advantage of the opportunities as he’s only reached base 13 times in 47 plate appearances (2 HBP, 3 BB, 6 singles, 2 reached on error) , but he’s still got the speed to move things along when he does make it on base. In those 13 times on base, 11 of them were stolen base opportunities (on first with no runner in front of him). He’s attempted four stolen bases in those opportunities. If Hays can simply put himself in more opportunities he should continue to move himself along and put up more stolen bases.

 

Andres Gimenez and Billy Hamilton, New York Mets: 

 

With Robinson Cano and Amed Rosario missing time in the middle of the Mets’ infield, Gimenez has been given more opportunities to show why he made the opening day roster. He’s stolen at least 28 bases in each of the past two seasons while moving up the ladder in the minors and already ranks in the 95th percentile for sprint speed in the early goings of the 2020 season. He’s two for two on the base paths so far this season and should continue to be given the green light moving forward.

Billy Hamilton was brought to New York to provide outfield depth. He’s started one game thus far and in the one instance he made it on base he did was he does best and stole a base. Assuming he’s given an ounce of playing time for the Mets he’s worth a stream over the weekend if you’re looking for an added stolen base to win the category in your H2H match up.

 

Honorable mentions

 

Eric Sogard vs Trevor Bauer (8/7) and Sonny Gray (8/9)
Delino Deshields vs Dylan Cease (8/2) and Yu Darvish (8/11)

 

Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Michael Packard (@designsbypack on Twitter & IG)

Adam Howe

Adam resides in Indianapolis after spending the better part of a decade in Oakland, CA and growing up in Massachusetts. He spent the 2006 season working with the Dunedin Blue Jays, but stays true to his Red Sox fandom. Follow him on twitter @EightyGrade

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