As your quest for a fantasy baseball championship continues, gaining an extra edge in any category is paramount to your success. That is why stolen bases are so coveted.
If you can find an edge in steals, your improvement in the category can create a significant impact on your standings. The specialty guys are unlikely to even be available via trade, so you need to look in some unusual places — like bottom-feeding MLB teams that have zero chance at 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 is going to the postseason, so as they continue to audition players for future seasons, they are taking a lot more chances in their attempts to win games and play spoilers.
Most fantasy managers stay focused on top players on competitive teams, so the likelihood of Pirates and Diamondbacks sitting on your waiver wire is strong.
The first player you want to hunt down is Jake McCarthy. When the Diamondbacks traded away David Peralta, McCarthy was finally able to step in and start grabbing full-time at-bats. His .300 batting average over the past two weeks has been a nice bonus, but the four stolen bases are what you are looking for here. He has been caught just 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 aggressively run. If he is unavailable, then take a look at infielders Josh Rojas and Geraldo Perdomo. Both have been equally aggressive on the bases.
From the Pirates, you should be looking at outfielder Greg Allen, as well as infielders Kevin Newman and Josh VanMeter. None are worldbeaters by any means, but the Pirates are also being wildly aggressive on the bases right now and were tied with the Marlins for the NL lead with 19 steals in the past 30 days. If you have the ability to stream hitters throughout the week, you should see a steady boost in the category over the next month.
Continue to monitor stolen base totals over the next few weeks, and don’t be afraid to add someone on a hot streak and drop those who are cold. Every point counts. If you can do it through stolen bases the rest of the way, you could surprise your league by the end of the year.
Howard Bender is the head of content at FantasyAlarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch 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.