Fantasy Baseball Waiver Advice: June 26
Dan Malin is here to look around the Fantasy Baseball waiver wire to point out some intriguing players to grab off waivers!
John Gant and/or Carlos Martínez RP STL; FAAB Bid: 10-20% - Jordan Hicks tore his UCL and now requires Tommy John Surgery so there’s obviously a wide open opportunity for saves in St. Louis. It looked like Gant would be the favorite initially, but he was roughed up on Sunday and it re-opened some discussion to put Carlos Martínez in the ninth inning role. I’m still feeling like Gant will be the guy despite what happened on Sunday, but Martinez is worth monitoring because the once-top prospect for St. Louis has looked better working out of the bullpen since his season debut just a little over a month ago.
Ross Stripling SP LAD; FAAB Bid: 8% - So Stripling has some upside the rest of the way, but you’ll have to exercise some patience. On Tuesday night he got the start in Arizona, but was pulled after three innings of work (60 pitches). He struck out four and allowed one earned run. It was known before the game he wouldn’t pitch too deep into the game because he’s spent the last couple months in the bullpen for Los Angeles. As he progresses he’ll get more work and they’ll allow him to pitch deeper into the game. His next start comes Sunday to wrap up the week in Colorado so you can possibly bench him for that start if you’re feeling uneasy about the Coors matchup.
Keston Hiura 2B MIL; FAAB Bid: 3-5% - Hiura’s ownership is falling due to the demotion a couple weeks back. And it was a demotion that wasn’t his fault. Sure, Shaw hit a home run on Sunday but he’s hitting .129 with an OPS of .455 so he’s not exactly instilling a ton of confidence with management. He’s hitting towards the bottom of the order so he doesn’t carry much upside. Hiura, by comparison, hit his 19th minor league home run this year on Tuesday night. I don’t believe Hiura spends much longer down in the minors. They will bring him back up at some point so keep hoping Shaw struggles because it’ll signal a quick return for the Brewers rookie.
Liam Hendriks SP/RP OAK; FAAB Bid: 8-10% - What a BRUTAL week for the Oakland Athletics. They lost Frankie Montas , who was having a great season, for 80 games due to a PED suspension. Then they lose Blake Treinen with a shoulder injury. That’s just a big old bucket of suck right there. But this presents opportunities. Hendriks is available in over 50% of Yahoo leagues and in over 70% of ESPN leagues. He got the save on Saturday for Oakland and he touts a 1.49 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 42.1 innings of work. On Tuesday, in a non-save situation, he was brought in to work the ninth inning. I’m not ruling out the possibility that Lou Trivino and/or Joakim Soria get some save opportunities as well, but right now I’d go with Hendriks.
Adbert Alzolay SP/RP CHC FAAB Bid: 8-12% - I mentioned Alzolay over the weekend after his impressive debut against the Mets where he initially tossed four no-hit innings before getting roughed up in the ninth inning. Similar to Ross Stripling , Alzolay got a start Tuesday night and was pulled after 4.2 innings. On the surface he only allowed one earned run and struck out four. But the lone run allowed came off a solo shot to Ronald Acuña Jr. and he allowed four walks. It’s possible Alzolay might get another start on the road in Pittsburgh next Monday, but even if he moves back to the bullpen at some point there’s still fantasy upside with his role in long relief.
Oscar Mercado OF CLE; FAB Bid: 5-7% - I mentioned him a week or two ago and while he isn’t as hot as he was then (which is to be expected) he’s regularly hitting second for the streaking Cleveland Indians. The Tribe have a bunch of problems surrounding their starting rotation, but currently the offense is doing just fine on its own winning 14 of their last 20 games. He’s currently in a bit of a drought where he hasn’t gone deep or stolen a base in over a week, but those will come. He’s still getting on base despite a low walk rate and he’s flying under the radar.
Chris Taylor 2B, SS, OF LAD; FAAB Bid: 2-3% - Chris Taylor offers some flexibility on your roster and he’s on a nice little run. Over his last 32 plate appearances he has 13 hits, three of which have been home runs with four additional doubles. He has a dozen RBI over that span and he stole a pair of bases last night. He actually hits left-handed pitching pretty well so he is a pretty good lock for regular playing time as of right now and you can grab him for peanuts.
Jason Kipnis 2B, OF CLE; FAAB Bid: 3-5% - Widely available almost everywhere, Kipnis had one hell of a run last week. Since June 16th Kipnis has six multi-hit games with four home runs, nine runs scored, and 14 RBI. Sure it’s a very small sample size because on the season he still touts a sub-.700 OPS, but in deeper leagues you kind of need to ride the waves of hot hitters, and if you get him for nothing then you can eventually drop him for nothing if he cools off, or in the most likely case, he gets hurt.
Jesús Luzardo SP OAK; FAAB Bid: 2% - You can get him for cheap right now, and it’s quite possible he gets the call up sooner rather than later. With Frankie Montas getting suspended there is just another hole in the Athletics’ starting rotation as they’ve dipped into the bullpen looking for spot starters. Luzardo has looked decent in his rehab assignment and it sounds like he’ll be bumped up to Triple-A in short order. His ownership is around 31% on Yahoo which means he can be grabbed for cheap still. He touts some strikeout upside so if you can wait a few weeks for him to get called up, go ahead and do so.
Rowdy Tellez 1B TOR; FAAB Bid: 1-2% - This is not a points league recommendation by any means. His walk rate (6.4%) is too low and his strikeout rate (28.3%) is too high. Additionally he’s only hitting .226, but in a roto league or a head-to-head categories league he’s worth grabbing in deeper leagues because of his power. He’s available in over 95% of all leagues and he has 14 home runs through 80 games. I don’t think he’ll hit 30, but there’s an outside chance. He bounces around the lineup, but he’s still a threat to go deep. If you have plenty of contributors providing batting average for your team then you might be able to afford to stash Tellez.