Fantasy Baseball Waiver Advice: September 18
Dan Malin is here to look around the waiver wire to point out some pitchers and Mike Trout replacements you'll want for your championship run!
Well here we are once again folks. If you’re still playing fantasy baseball on one hand, congratulations! But on the other, what is your league doing? The season should have ended last week. The baseball world has already lost Christian Yelich for the last few weeks of the season and now Mike Trout is done too. Imagine having a successful fantasy baseball season and getting all the way to this point with Trout and not having him to finish off your championship run. That sucks. So similar to last week, we’ll offer some targets for replacing Trout, but at the same time we’ll keep the focus mostly on pitchers you could stream since they’re all-the-more important in the playoffs.
10 Team Leagues
Mike Trout /Christian Yelich Replacements – There are a number of options we could go with here. Tommy Edman is a fine option, he has four home runs since September 6th with a couple multi-hit games and some stolen bases in that span. Eloy Jiménez has been very hot at the plate over the last week or so. He has four home runs since last Tuesday with a dozen RBI as well. He may not be as available as Edman, but there’s a chance Eloy is still around in your shallow league. Kyle Schwarber is a streaky hitter that can help your team out. So far in Wednesday night’s game he has a double and a triple to his credit. And don’t sleep on Kyle Lewis who has four home runs and nine RBI in just six career games. Luckily for you the outfield position has plenty of depth that can help you get through these last couple weeks.
Sean Manaea SP OAK – What more does Manaea have to do to prove his worth? The fact that he’s under 70% owned is baffling, but then again, most fantasy baseball teams are out of it now. In three starts (18 innings) he has given up one earned run (on a solo home run) with 21 strikeouts, and six walks. He’s been outstanding with two wins in his last two starts. He gets another start on Sunday at home against the Rangers who he just dominated this past Sunday. It’s unlikely Manaea will get the start for the last game of the season on the 29th as they’ll want him fresh for the playoffs, but definitely get some use out of him this coming weekend. I promise I won’t include him again in Saturday’s piece.
John Means SP BAL – Well wouldn’t you know it; an Orioles pitcher made the Waiver Advice column! The Orioles pitching staff set the record this season for the most home runs surrendered in a season and Means contributed to that infamous record, no doubt about it. Since July, in his last 12 starts, he’s given up 13 home runs. There are times when he is bad, but he draws the Mariners and Red Sox in his next two starts. The Mariners offense isn’t very good and who knows who the Red Sox will bother to start in their last series before the embarrassing follow-up to their World Series run from last year comes to an end. As much flack as one can give Means he still has a 3.65 ERA and he’s definitely a recommendation for the game against Seattle.
12 Team Leagues
Homer Bailey SP OAK – Bailey is a popular add this week based on his matchup on Wednesday against the Royals. Over his last six starts (36 innings) Bailey is 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA and an 8.50 K/9. He’s given up five home runs in that span, but the damage has been minimal as evidenced by his ERA. Unfortunately Oakland’s six-man rotation means Bailey won’t have two starts in the final week of the season, but he draws the Royals at home on Wednesday and then gets the Mariners on the road next Thursday. Coming into Tuesday night the Athletics had won 15 of their last 21 games and are once again hitting their stride at the right time heading into the playoffs.
Jason Heyward OF CHC – Here’s an option to replace Trout. Heyward boasts one of the most inconsistent bats in all of baseball, but right now he is on a heater. Since September 8th he is 12-for-27 with seven walks and three strikeouts in that span. He has seven extra-base hits including three home runs while driving in 11 and scoring a dozen runs. He’s doing all of this while still hitting in the bottom of the order. You aren’t asking for much, but he just needs to get you a week-and-a-half of production if your league goes until the end of the season. Strike while the iron is hot.
Johnny Cueto SP SF – Cueto’s only made two starts since returning from his Tommy John recovery and both have been similar: five scoreless innings with a few hits sprinkled in, a couple walks, and some strikeouts. It’s not incredibly flashy, but it’s effective and it lowers your fantasy ERA. Cueto’s next two starts come against the Braves on the road and the Dodgers at home. It’s fine to project him for another five innings, but he’s definitely serviceable. That last matchup next week at home against Los Angeles isn’t too terrifying. It’s a Friday night game and the Dodgers may want to rest some of their starters and not risk injury. Obviously check the lineup as they’re released next week and make that decision for yourself, but Cueto could be a decent play.
15+ Team Leagues
Garrett Hampson 2B, SS, OF COL – Hampson has been playing incredibly well as of late, but at the same time he’s been the beneficiary of playing in Coors Field the past few games. The Rockies embark on a six-game road trip before returning home next weekend for three games against the Brewers. But in his last five games, Hampson has 11 hits and eight runs scored hitting all over the lineup. This is a player you can give a short leash to, but he’s really helping fantasy owners with batting average right now and runs scored. If he doesn’t provide anything right away you can cut bait, but you probably already have your offense set at this point. He’s an intriguing deep league addition.
Mike Leake SP ARI – Leake hasn’t had a great run with the Diamondbacks so far, but if you need a pitcher to stream on Wednesday you could certainly do far worse than him. He draws the Miami Marlins at home in Chase Field with the humidor by his side. There is concern with Leake because he has been terrible since joining the Diamondbacks and he’s given up seven home runs at home since debuting with Arizona back on August 6th. If you want to avoid the gamble with this matchup that’s fine. Other players available that you could stream are Tony Gonsolin and Dinelson Lamet .
Nico Hoerner SS CHC – I wasn’t terribly high on Hoerner this time a week ago when he got called up, but he’s quickly grown on me. He has really hit the lucky seven’s of late with seven hits, seven runs scored, and seven RBI over his last four games (heading into Tuesday night). He’s hitting toward the bottom of the order, but he’s still producing like his teammate listed up above. The Cubs play the Cardinals in seven of their last ten games so there are some solid matchups you can target as a fantasy owner of any Chicago Cubs player.