As your quest for a fantasy baseball championship continues, gaining that extra edge in any category is paramount to your success. This is why stolen bases are so coveted.
If you can find an advantage in flights, your improvement in the category can create a significant impact on your ranking. Specialized guys are unlikely to even be available through trade, so you have to look in unusual places — like bottom-feeding MLB teams that have no chance of making the playoffs.
Over the past two weeks, the teams with the most stolen base attempts have been the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Neither team will make the playoffs, as they continue to audition players for future seasons, they are taking far more risks in their attempts to win games and play spoilers.
Most fantasy managers stay focused on the best players on competitive teams, so the likelihood of Pirates and Diamondbacks sitting on your waiver wire is high.
The first player you want to hunt down is Jake McCarthy. When the Diamondbacks traded David Peralta, McCarthy was finally able to step in and start catching full-time bats. His .300 batting average over the past two weeks has been a nice bonus, but four stolen bases are what you’re looking for here. He’s only been caught once, and as Arizona looks to see if he can handle a full-time role in the future, it will continue to play him and allow him to run aggressively. If he’s not available, take a look at infielders Josh Rojas and Geraldo Perdomo. Both have been equally aggressive on the bases.
Among the Pirates, you should watch outfielder Greg Allen, as well as infielders Kevin Newman and Josh VanMeter. Neither are world champions, but the Pirates are also extremely aggressive on the bases right now and were tied with the Marlins for the NL lead with 19 interceptions over the past 30 days. If you have the ability to stream hitters throughout the week, you should see a steady increase in the category over the next month.
Keep watching for stolen base totals over the next few weeks and don’t be afraid to add someone on a hot streak and drop the cold ones. Every point counts. If you can make it via stolen bases the rest of the way, you could surprise your league by the end of the year.
Howard Bender is Content Manager at FantasyAlarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and find him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8 p.m. Go to FantasyAlarm.com for all your fantasy baseball advice.