Fantasy Baseball Waiver Advice: May 22
Dan Malin is here to look around the Fantasy Baseball waiver wire to point out some intriguing players to grab off waivers!
I’m going to do my absolute best to never talk about the Braves bullpen ever again. First it was A.J. Minter or Aroldys Vizcaino (depending how you look at it). Then it looked like Luke Jackson , and now they’ve traded for Anthony Swarzak , but Sean Newcomb got the save on May 20th. I don’t know how this happened. And you know what? Craig Kimbrel is still out there as well and he could be signed later on this summer. I feel like the myself (and the Braves) have failed you, but it was no secret their bullpen was in rough shape heading into the season. It’s been difficult to put a finger on their pulse. For now, I’ll operate under the assumption it’s a committee because I really like to think the Braves don’t abandon Jackson entirely yet, but he has blown two consecutive save opportunities. But Sean Newcomb is worth picking up. Walks were a massive Achilles heel for him as a start and he’s yet to allow a free pass in 8.1 innings of work out of the bullpen.
10 Team Leagues
Austin Riley 3B ATL; FAAB Bid: 12-15% - Riley was mentioned not too long ago and sure enough his ownership has spiked to nearly 70% on Yahoo and around 53% on ESPN. So he’s still available in some shallow leagues. While I’ve poorly judged the bullpen for Atlanta, I think I’ve done pretty solid at the other positions! In a small sample size of seven games Riley is slashing .385/.407/.769 and while the power numbers will regress he’s still producing with three home runs, five runs scored, and six RBI. He’s struck out eight times and walked just once so you’d like to see that ratio improve just a bit. He looks to be the everyday third baseman for Atlanta and I wouldn’t expect him to appear in this article anymore this year based on his ownership trends.
Franmil Reyes OF SD; FAAB Bid: 12-18% - Consider this your bi-monthly reminder to add Franmil Reyes . I’m still confused why he isn’t owned in more leagues. He’s only 52% owned on ESPN and roughly 67% owned on Yahoo and he’s tied for the fifth-most home runs with 15. Only Christian Yelich , Cody Bellinger , George Springer , and Pete Alonso have hit more. He does take a hit in points leagues based on his strikeout and walk rates, but in a head-to-head categories league or a rotisserie league where counting stats matter, Reyes is a valuable asset with his power.
Brandon Woodruff SP, RP MIL; FAAB Bid: 5-8% - A lot of appeal with Woodruff stems from the fact he’s SP/RP eligible… And let’s not overlook the fact he’s been on a tear lately. Over his last five starts (30 innings of work) he has 33 strikeouts, eight walks, and he’s allowed just two home runs, but both of those came in his last start on Sunday against the Braves. His fastball sits at 95-97mph and it’s easily his best pitch, but don’t discount his slider as well. He’s generating a lot of swinging strikes and in shallow leagues is a great source of strikeouts for your rotisserie or categories leagues. He gets a home start next week against Philadelphia and then a road start against the Pirates so he’s definitely in play next week.
Daniel Vogelbach 1B SEA; FAAB Bid: 6-8% - Vogelbach was featured in the waiver wire column back in early April when he and the Mariners got off to a hot start. Sadly, he (and the Mariners) cooled off for a bit. But Vogelbach has caught fire again lately. Since May 13th he has five home runs and 11 RBI. He’s still hitting in the heart of the order so hopefully you stayed faithful to him because he’s rewarded you handsomely with power over the last nine days. 30 home runs are still on the table for Vogelbach and he’s almost halfway there. What could keep him from reaching that number is the fact he’ll usually sit against left-handed pitchers. He’s a career .109 hitter against southpaws so when Seattle is slated to face a lefty, you can probably bench him.
12 Team Leagues
Keston Hiura 2B MIL; FAAB Bid: 6-8% - Hiura entered the 2019 season as arguably Milwaukee’s top prospect and it’s shown with what he’s done in a small sample size since he was called up. Heading into Wednesday’s afternoon game against the Reds, Hiura has four multi-hit games in seven starts with a home run. He then added his second home run on Wednesday. Milwaukee has placed him fifth, sixth, and seventh in the lineup so far, which is somewhat respectable for the young prospect. He’s only walked once and struck out a dozen times including Wednesday’s performance so, like Riley, he’ll need to work on plate discipline. However, he’s still an interesting add in 12 team leagues. Obviously there are bigger prospects out there, but if none are available on the waiver market then Hiura is a nice addition for your team.
We aren’t talking enough about the silent, steady, stretch of success Julio Teheran has been in recently. He went 5 2/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R tonight. Was pulled for final out in 6th for a bullpen matchup. He lowered his ERA to 3.67 tonight and is in line for the win. #Braves— Kelsey Wingert (@KelsWingert) May 22, 2019
Over his last four starts, Teheran has given up just two earned runs in 22.2 innings of work and he’s lowered his ERA to 3.67, but this comes with a caveat. I’m not a fan of the walks (4.26 BB/9 on the year) hence why his FIP and xFIP are 4.27 and 4.53 respectfully. But he hasn’t given up a home run in May yet after surrendering eight in his first seven starts. He’s averaging nearly a strikeout per inning, but to be fair his strikeout numbers are padded from earlier in the year. His next start comes against the Cardinals who he limited to just two hits in five innings of work last Thursday. Obviously you tread carefully with Teheran, but he’s been on a very quiet and solid run lately.
Marwin Gonzalez 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF MIN; FAAB Bid: 4% - Along with his multi-position eligibility, Gonzalez is currently swinging a pretty hot stick right now. He’s riding an 11-game hitting streak and he’s recorded hits in 15 of his last 16 games. He has eight multi-hit games since May 2nd and he’s slashing .381/.451/.587 in that span. Now he’s never been a massive fantasy contributor, but he can club about 15 home runs if he keeps his current pace up. Mostly you’ll want him for the position eligibility, but don’t overlook the fact the Twins have been hitting him third the past few games where he has seven hits and five runs scored in that short span.
15+ Team Leagues
Jarrod Dyson OF ARI; FAAB Bid: 4% - Playing time may be scarce for Dyson as he sits a couple times each week, but it’s a bit surprising that he’s tied for the third-most stolen bases in all of baseball. You won’t see it when you try and sort the stolen base leaders on Fantrax because Dyson doesn’t have the qualifying amount of plate appearances, but sure enough he does have a dozen steals to his name with nine of them coming since May 5th. Steals are hard to come by in deeper leagues and Dyson’s flying under the radar because he plays in Arizona. He’s converted on all but one of his stolen base attempts and I completely glossed over the fact he has 23 runs scored despite not getting every day playing opportunities.
Lance Lynn SP TEX; FAAB Bid: 2-5% - Lance Lynn has quietly been a very effective pitcher for the Rangers this year. In ten starts, he has three appearances that were truly dreadful. However, he also has six quality starts and he’s coming off a dominant 11-strikeout performance against the Mariners on Tuesday night. He’s allowed just three walks over his last 21 innings of work, and three home runs in that span but those were all solo shots in a start against Houston back on May 10th. There’s plenty of reason for optimism with Lynn. He touts a 4.67 ERA, but a 3.47 FIP so perhaps he’s turning the corner that the FIP has foreseen. He’s a two-start pitcher this upcoming week against the Mariners again and then the lowly Kansas City Royals next Saturday to kick off the month of June. Definitely give Lynn some heavy consideration for the next week at the very least.
Rowdy Tellez 1B TOR; FAAB Bid: 2-4% - Tellez is a big-time left-handed hitting prospect who hit a pair of home runs in last night’s game against the Red Sox and drove in five RBI. When he has been appearing in the lineup for the Jays lately they’ve been slotting him fourth, fifth, or sixth and he’s hitting .283 so far in May. He packs a lot of raw power into his swing and while the power hasn’t been consistent, perhaps you can stash him for cheap and see if he turns the corner and gets hot.
Marcus Walden RP BOS; FAAB Bid: 1% - I’m not so much recommending Walden as an add because of his six wins, but rather the way Boston uses him. You can’t rely on relievers for wins and Walden is lucky to have the half-dozen that he has. He could easily reach ten on the season, but you should look deeper at his numbers to find the right reasons to pick him up. First things first, he’s given up just two home runs in 26.1 innings of work and he’s allowed just six free passes. On top of that he has 30 strikeouts. However, the Red Sox are perfectly fine using him in long relief. So far in May he has two appearances where he worked three innings (earning the win in each) and in his last four appearances he’s recorded at least five outs. At some point there may be an opportunity for him to get a few three-inning saves if Boston’s working a blowout and they want to preserve the rest of the bullpen. He touts a good fastball, and a very good cutter. He’s been an unsung hero in Boston’s bullpen and in a deeper league where there may not be closers on the waiver market you can consider him as an add if chasing wins and maybe long relief saves.