Need for Speed: Stolen Base Options to Stream (8/28-9/5)

Adam Howe sheds light on deep stolen base bets 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:


Sam Haggerty, Seattle Mariners:


The Mariners recalled Haggerty on August 19th, corresponding with Dylan Moore’s placement on the IL the next day. In his first game Haggerty went 1-for-4 and stole two bases, perhaps in an effort to simply mimic the surprise production Moore had been giving most of this season. So far he hasn’t looked back, going 10-for-33 during his eight game hit streak and racking up four steals in the same span. He’s started every game since his recall and sits in the two-hole most games. The Mariners have shown an interest in taking risks on the bases, leading the league in attempted (42) and successful (36) stole bases on the season. On top of that they get a series against the Angels, who have continued to provide opposing teams with opportunities to steal, leading the league in attempted (38) and successful (30) stole bases on the other end.

Haggerty has etched out a regular gig for himself in left field for the Seattle, and could also fill in at multiple infield slots if needed, and should continue to see starts throughout these next few coming games. His should continue to use the team’s apparent green light on the base paths and his excellent speed (94th percentile in sprint speed so far this season) to rack up a couple of steals through his next two series.


Niko Goodrum, Detroit Tigers


I know this is not the first time I’ve had Goodrum on this list, but it bares repeating — especially with his most recent production. Niko isn’t the fastest player on the team (78th percentile in sprint speed on the season), but he continues his smart attack of the bases as he puts himself in opportunities to steal bases. While he’s been batting fifth recently, Goodrum has known to lead off for the Tigers from time to time as well. In the past two weeks he’s seen himself get on base 13 times and from those opportunities he’s successfully stolen five bases. Now, if he could just put himself on base a bit more. He gets some extra chances with a double header against Minnesotta and a favorable matchup against Milwaukee during the week, especially starting against Corbin Burnes, who leads all pitchers this year with seven allowed stolen bases (and on only seven attempts).


José García, Cincinatti Reds:


Cue the rookies. García made his somewhat unexpected debut for the Reds during the doubleheader and immediately showed off his speed. After recording his first major league hit in his first plate appearance, he stole third base off Adrian Houser. In his short time in the minors, García impressed in many areas of his game, including double digit steals in each of his two seasons. He’s slotted stay with the big club, according to manager David Bell. He may not start every game, but when he’s in, he’s an exciting threat and should get his opportunities to steal with his 60-grade speed, especially against Yu Darvish on Saturday.


Honorable mentions


Raimel Tapia vs San Diego and San Francisco – all in Colorado (8/28-9/2)
Kevin Pillar vs Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez (8/28, 8/29)


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 co-hosts the On The Wire podcast with Kevin Hasting, analyzing your weekly FAAB options before your bid deadlines every Sunday.

2 responses to “Need for Speed: Stolen Base Options to Stream (8/28-9/5)”

  1. Larry Vannozzi says:

    Love these picks, Adam! You nailed it last week (your 5 guys combined for 7 SB) and I hope you do the same this week. Haggerty has had a huge impact in his very short time, and now he is going against one of the worst (best?) SB teams (LAA)… sign me up! Love JP Crawford for the same reason. Like the Niko pick, too. Jose Garcia is too new/risky for my tastes right now, but I’ll be watching. Thanks for your research!

    • Adam Howe says:

      Thanks Larry. There may very well be some better picks available in some leagues (like Berti), but I try to stay under the 20% rostered mark and obviously Garcia meets that being as he’s just been called up. He may not start every game, but he’s got the speed and the Reds aren’t afraid to send their runners in the right opportunity, regardless of natural speed (12 different players account for the team’s 15 steals on the season). Darvish has a history of giving up steals, though he’s been better this year thus far – and unfortunately there’s a possibility Garcia doesn’t even start against him due to like handedness, but if he does and he gets on base, expect a SB.

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