Each week we see players rise up the fantasy baseball rankings for multiple reasons. Whether it be players on a hot streak, players on their way up from a cold streak, players about to return from the Injured List or the newest MLB prospect to be promoted, the MLB waiver wire is also ripe for opportunity. Let’s take a look at some players I have my eye on this week that can help improve your team. 




Waiver Wire Hitters


OF; FAAB Bid: 4%

I know I advocated adding Ramón Laureano prior to his return from suspension, but he remains available in 69% of Yahoo leagues which is a little mind boggling to me. Over the last seven days entering action on Wednesday, the outfielder was hitting .308 with three home runs and five RBI while scoring seven runs. While the outfielder is still hitting just .246 on the season, he did hit his sixth home run of the season Wednesday as his power appears to be coming around. Couple that with his eight stolen bases, and Laureano is once again a power/speed threat. 



1B; FAAB Bid: 2%

Philadelphia’s new cleanup hitter Darick Hall emerged on the scene with three home runs in 27 plate appearances to begin his major league career. Hall earned his promotion with 20 home runs and 67 RBI in 72 games at Triple-A and he brought his power with him. While it is quite the small sample size, Hall has a .370 ISO and the Phillies do appear to be committed to giving him at bats in the middle of their lineup. This very well could be a situation where we are riding the hot hand and Hall finds himself quickly back on the waiver wire, but the power is worth chasing at a modest investment. 



1B/2B; FAAB Bid: 1-2%

Jonathan Schoop entered the season as a generally solid and consistent veteran hitter with some power and run production capabilities. Prior to Wednesday’s game, Schoop was hitting .391 with five runs scored over the last seven days as he works to boost his .209 batting average. With six home runs and 22 RBI we have not seen much from Schoop to this point, but it bares watching to see if this hot streak can continue into something more. 



1B/3B; FAAB Bid: 1-2%

Yandy Díaz is going to leave you lacking in the power department, three home runs in 301 plate appearances, but he provides flexibility and regular playing time at the corner infield positions. He walks more than he strikes out (15.6% compared to 10%) and has scored 35 runs but Diaz’s best statistical attribute is his .295 with a 45% hard-hit rate. 



OF; FAAB Bid: 2%

With the return of Jake Meyers, it appears that Houston has found their center fielder; at least for the next month prior to the trading deadline. As long as Meyers continues to hit, strong defense works in his favor, he will continue to get regular at bats in the Astros’ outfield as part of their strong lineup. In 41 plate appearances this season, Meyers is hitting .300 with 10 RBI as he continues to capitalize on coming to the plate with runners on base. So far this season, Meyers has a 90.2 mile per hour average exit velocity along with a 10% barrel-rate and 46.7% hard-hit rate. 




Waiver Wire Pitchers


SP; FAAB Bid: 4%

Had Brayan Bello pitched better in his debut Wednesday night, this number would likely be at least double, but instead he allowed four runs over four innings to Tampa Bay. The Rays got to Bello for six hits and three walks while striking out just two in a start that was less than ideal. With that being said, Boston is currently shorthanded in their rotation so Bello still has a chance to stick around and right the ship next week. Prior to his promotion, Bello had a 2.33 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 85.2 innings across Triple-A and Double-A while striking out 114 batters so it is not like he has much more to prove. 



SP; FAAB Bid: 1%

Sometimes when it comes to pitching you simply have to follow the results. I generally like to target pitchers with strikeout upside as it is both a nice boost in the category, but it also means the pitcher has a nice weapon with which they can escape trouble. If they don’t strike batters out, the ground balls are generally useful, but in the case of Tyler Wells we get neither; 5.95 strikeouts per nine innings and a 36% ground ball rate. I know I am still advocating to pick Wells up, so let me direct you to his 3.09 ERA and the fact that he walks just 2.02 batters per nine innings. We don’t want to chase victories, but Wells does have seven wins in 16 starts and opposing hitters have just a 6.9% barrel-rate against them. 



SP; FAAB Bid: 2%

It is no surprise that Dustin May has had an 8% surge in ownership in Yahoo leagues in recent days which means he is now rostered in 34% of leagues. Following Tommy John surgery, May is poised to begin a rehab assignment any day. Granted it is not game action, but May has already reached the century mark once again with his fastball so health doesn’t appear to an issue here. May has a career 2.93 ERA in 113.2 major league innings while striking out close to a batter an inning, so we know what we are working with. 



RP; FAAB Bid: 3%

We know how valuable saves are, and with Tanner Scott being rostered in 47% of Yahoo leagues, the southpaw is on his way towards being ineligible for consideration here (based on 50% ownership). Scott has picked up three saves over the last seven days to give him 10 on the year. To get that production, Scott’s 4.36 xERA is not a terrible price to pay and his 3.44 xERA should make you feel a little better along with his 13.64 strikeouts per nine innings. The walks, 5.45 per nine innings, are a problem, but there is enough here to work with. 



RP; FAAB Bid: 1%

As we watch Houston’s lead over the AL West continue to grow, it is clear that the Astros are taking a long-term approach to the remainder of the regular season. That means handling things with a fair amount of caution when it comes to their closer Ryan Pressly. Rafael Montero, who is being used in a high leverage role as it is with the Astros then becomes the next man up for save opportunities. That was the case on Tuesday which led to the sixth save of the season for Montero who has found success with a 1.93 ERA and 1.01 WHIP while striking out 35 batters in 32.1 innings. 




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