Playoff Pickups

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It's playoff time in the world of fantasy baseball and if your lineup needs a little boost because some of your veterans haven't performed up to par, then you should be scouring the waiver wire.

Fortunately, I've done some of the legwork for you and here are a few names who could help.

We'll begin on the offensive side of the ball.

Ike Davis, 1B, New York Mets (19% owned) - Davis came up to the Mets in mid- April with a lot of fanfare and began his career with a bang. But as scouts and pitchers saw him for a second time, they began to figure him out. Davis began to struggle in July, batting just .214, but still produced some power. Then in August his power all but disappeared. He has apparently made the necessary adjustments because he hitting .385 in September with three home runs.

Danny Espinosa, 2B, Washington (4% owned) - In the seven games since he's been called up to the Nationals, Espinosa has swung a hot bat. In 22 at-bats, he has nine hits, three of them home runs and knocked in 10. In the minors he also showed speed along with power (25 SB, 22 HR) so he appears to have the ability to help you in multiple categories.

J.J. Hardy, SS, Minnesota (10% owned) - Hardy has been hot over the past week, batting .444 with an OPS of 1.167. Although he's been hitting near the bottom of the Twins' lineup, he's still been getting opportunities to drive in runs. If you just lost Jimmy Rollins (day-to-day with a hamstring) and can't afford even a couple of missed days, Hardy might fill the void.

Pat Burrell, OF, San Francisco (11% owned) - The very streaky Burrell appears to be starting one of those hot streaks. He's hit homers in his last two games and for the week is batting .385 with an OPS of 1.633.

Russell Branyan, 1B, Seattle (10% owned) - Branyan has eight homers in the last three weeks including four in the last seven games. He'll never help you in batting average or stolen bases, but if a couple home runs will put you over the top, he's your man.

Now to the pitching staff, where a bunch of youngsters, and one "old guy" are getting the job done.

Rick Porcello, Detroit (39% owned) - After a great rookie year and a disastrous sophomore campaign in which he was sent down to the minors, Porcello appears to have righted the ship. In his last four starts his ERA is 2.48 and his WHIP is a minuscule 0.62. He isn't striking out a lot of hitters (16 in 29 innings), but he's picked up four wins.

Jeremy Guthrie, Baltimore (13% owned) - Guthrie is the oldest of the five recommended pitchers at 31 years. Despite a mediocre won-loss record this season, Guthrie hasn't pitched badly. In his last two starts, both victories, he's got an ERA of 1.17 and a WHIP of 0.78. One more win will tie his career best.

Brett Myers, Houston (65% owned) - Although the Houston Astros have struggled this season, Myers has pitched very well. He's 11-7 with an ERA of 2.91 and a WHIP of 1.21. Over his past four starts, three wins, he's been even better with an ERA of 1.67, a WHIP of 1.15 and 27 strikeouts in 27 innings. It's hard to explain why he isn't owned and started in more leagues, but don't hesitate to put him in your lineup.

Gio Gonzalez, Oakland (59% owned) - Two years ago, when Gonzalez first arrived in the majors, I had him on my roster. He didn't do much for me then and unfortunately I wasn't patient enough to wait for him to mature. Well it appears that he's finally "arrived." He's 14-8 this year with an ERA of 3.16, a WHIP of 1.26 and 153 K's in 179.2 innings. Over the past four games he's 4-0 with a 1.75 ERA and a WHIP of 1.05. He shouldn't be available in 41% of all leagues, but he is and that's a lucky thing for you. Take advantage of the situation and make the pickup.

Chris Narveson, Milwaukee (3% owned) - The 28-year-old lefty has been pretty good in his last two outings, yielding three earned runs and striking out 15 in 13.1 innings against Cincinnati and St. Louis. He's pitching the best he has all season.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at

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