Fantasy Baseball Waiver Advice: September 12
Dan Malin is here to look around the waiver wire to point out some players worth grabbing off the waiver wire!
Bobby Dalbec (BOS – 1B, 3B) Dalbec got off to a bit of a cold start going 2-for-19 in his first five games. However, that has not been the case lately. Over the last week he’s slashing .429/.500/1.190 with five home runs, all of which came in consecutive games. As is the case with power hitters, you have to take the strikeouts that come with them and surely enough he does rack up quite a few K’s. He’s still hitting toward the bottom of the lineup, but he’s managed to produce lately. The Red Sox only have 14 games left in this forgettable season and next week’s matchups are a little tough in Tampa and Miami. However, they finish the year with six games at home and then three at Truist Park against the Braves.
Tyler Mahle (CIN – SP) I don’t know what’s gotten into Tyler Mahle lately, but no one should complain. The ERA is a little high at 3.89 but he’s turned into a strikeout machine lately. He’s improved his pitch repertoire and he’s generating more swinging strikes. He has 24 strikeouts in his last three starts including a dominant start on Tuesday against the Cubs where he struck out ten across seven innings. He’ll toe the rubber against the Cardinals on Sunday and then draws the White Sox next Saturday who have turned into an offensive juggernaut in 2020.
Adam Duvall (ATL – OF) A week after Duvall hit three home runs in a game against the Red Sox he did it again, this time against the Marlins. Entering Saturday’s game against Washington, Duvall has eight home runs, 13 runs scored, and 18 RBI in ten starts and one pinch-hit appearance. The final week of the regular season for Major League Baseball isn’t too far off and the Braves close the regular season with a homestand against the Marlins and Red Sox. Take advantage of those matchups if you do make it to your league’s Final.
Joe Musgrove (PIT – SP) Joe Musgrove is a pretty efficient pitcher whose previous performances won’t wow you, but he’s always been a fantasy commodity. He’s still on the up-and-up returning from a shoulder injury, but the Bucs have been extending the leash with each start he’s made. He’s only tossed seven total innings in his last two starts. But he’s generating swinging strikes and he’s allowed just two walks in that span. He draws two starts next week against the Reds and Cardinals.
DJ Stewart (BAL – OF) Sporadically across a handful of starts prior to September 5th, Stewart went hitless in 28 plate appearances with just one run scored. The lone saving grace for Stewart is that while the plate discipline was awful, he surprisingly had a 32% walk rate in this small, yet unfortunate sample size. He was sent back to Baltimore’s alternative site, but was brought back following the injury to Anthony Santander . Since his return, Stewart is slashing .455/.586/1.318 with six home runs, ten runs scored, and eight RBI. These are numbers paralleling Dalbec and Duvall, but Stewart has also basically done this in his last six games. The iron is hot, so strike now.
Michael Pineda (MIN – SP) Pineda has been great since coming back and making his debut. I don’t get why he’s still available in so many leagues especially with a matchup to close out the week tomorrow. Through 13 innings pitched through two starts he has a 2.77 ERA averaging almost a strikeout per inning. Minnesota has a big series this weekend against Cleveland and he’ll toe the rubber to close the series out tomorrow. Following the series against the Tribe, Pineda is slated for starts against the Cubs and Reds.
Seth Lugo (NYM – RP, SP) If he’s still available, Lugo is a nice source of strikeouts and can help in K/9. He hasn’t pitched terribly deep into games recently, but I’m optimistic they may extend the leash a little bit. Over his last 11.2 innings of work across three starts he has 20 strikeouts. That’s 1.7 strikeouts per inning. That is simply ridiculous. He’s slated for a road tilt against Toronto later today, and has a tough matchup next Friday against the Braves. I will also add that while the strikeout upside is fantastic, he’s allowed two home runs in his last 8.2 innings of work so tread carefully.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa (TEX – C, 3B, SS) Kiner-Falefa is probably only available in shallow leagues, but he’s been a legitimate play all season long. He has little power, but he offers position flexibility and he has stolen base upside. He’s also riding a 14-game hitting streak at the moment, hitting .411 in that span with minimal strikeouts. He’s hitting toward the top of the order as well so he’s in line for extra plate appearances as well as runs scored. If Kiner-Falefa is unavailable then take a look at Sean Murphy . He doesn’t get every start in Oakland, but he’s only about 15% owned and he has three home runs this past week.
Willi Castro (DET – SS, 3B) Castro won’t blow you away with the power numbers, but he’s a reliable hitter that has been getting on base quite a bit. Since August 20th he’s slashing .393/.422/.590 but he only has six extra-base hits in that span. It’s a bit of a surprise they don’t try and hit him toward the top of the order to see if he can score more runs. It would require shuffling around Victor Reyes and Jonathan Schoop . Regardless, he’s much better suited for roto or head-to-head category formats. With the lack of power and high strikeout rate he just isn’t worth picking up in a points league format.
Closers Still on Waivers: If looking for a late push in saves or if you need closer help for your head-to-head playoffs matchups then Greg Holland should be considered. He recorded saves on Wednesday and Friday while being used in some high leverage situations lately. Daniel Bard is another guy I wrote up on Wednesday. He has five saves and two wins in his last seven appearances. He also throws straight heat and gets a strikeout or two with each appearance. Jeremy Jeffress is still fairly available as well as he logged saves last Friday, Tuesday, and Thursday.