With another week upon us, the last full week in August actually, we have another opportunity to improve our fantasy baseball teams via the waiver wire. There is the usual assortment of starting pitchers taking the mound twice, streaking position players, and upside options of those players shooting up the fantasy baseball rankings. It is important to remember that in a lot of cases, there is a reason why the player is available to be claimed, and taking on risk is implied here. Now, let us jump right into some MLB waiver wire options ahead of the next scoring period. 




Waiver Wire Hitters

Yoán Moncada, 3B (CWS); FAAB Bid: 2%

Saying that it was a rough year for Moncada would be an understatement, but things are starting to turn around and move in the right direction for the third baseman. Moncada has hits in eight of his last nine games as well as RBI in five straight in an attempt to try and salvage 2022. The big thing here is that Moncada is healthy and back in the lineup and finding consistency is the start to living up to expectations we had for him entering the season as a mid-round pick.


Luis Rengifo, 2B/3B/SS (LAA); FAAB Bid: 3%

Granted the Angels lineup is not what it once was, but Rengifo has been locked into the number three spot in the order and the fact that he is eligible at multiple positions helps with roster decisions as well. Prior to going hitless on Friday, Rengifo was hitting .265 in August following a .333 batting average in July with 11 RBI in each month. We are seeing a little more power from Rengifo as well with four in August and nine overall in 329 plate appearances. It helps that Rengifo generally puts the bat on the ball and only strikes out 15.8% of the time and the fact that he bats in the middle of the order also helps here.


Leody Tavares, OF (TEX); FAAB Bid: 2%

Tavares came out strong this season before struggling to begin August. Before going 1 for 3 with a stolen base on Friday, Tavares got his batting average up to .236 for the month after a scorching July in which he hit .341 with 16 runs scored and 16 RBI. Through 198 plate appearances this season, it is possible that Tavares has finally found his groove at the major league level hitting .298. Of course, we still have to have some discretion as Tavares has benefited from a .386 BABIP (speed is his friend though) and he has struck out 24.7% of the time. 


Michael Conforto, OF (NYM); FAAB Bid: 1%

At this point, Conforto is available in 85% of Yahoo leagues, but we are getting to the point where the outfielder is worth a low-cost addition if you have the roster space. There is a proven track record of success as a hitter here, and rumors are beginning to kick up that Conforto is slated to join a contender for the stretch run. Based on the talent and past production here, there is value in making an investment to see what Conforto is capable of.


CJ Abrams, 2B/SS (WAS); FAAB Bid: 2%

One of the top prospects in the league, Abrams did not begin his major league career on the best foot with a .232 batting average for San Diego in 139 plate appearances. In Triple-A, Abrams did not have the same issues and in 151 plate appearances he hit .314 with seven home runs and 10 stolen bases just in case we needed a reminder that he is super talented. Now that Abrams is back in the big leagues in Washington, in a decidedly lower pressure situation, the top prospect is worth another as based on his talent, he should be rostered in more than 15% of Yahoo leagues. 




Waiver Wire Pitchers

Jake Odorizzi (ATL); FAAB Bid: 1-2%

Odorizzi has generally been a solid pitcher this season as he took a 3.80 ERA into his last start against the Mets. After he allowed five runs over five innings, the right-hander saw his ERA jump to 4.15, but he continues to be solid, as he certainly is not an exciting option. It is an easy start to the week for Odorizzi has he faces Pittsburgh although that is followed by an outing against the Cardinals. What you see is what you get here, and if it is victories you are after, Odorizzi gives you a solid chance at least one as pitches for a competitive Braves team and will keep his team in the game. 


Mike Soroka (ATL); FAAB Bid: 3%

Staying in Atlanta, Soroka comes with significantly more upside, but he also is not available yet. After the right-hander made his first rehab start and struck out eight batters in four scoreless innings, there was a surge in fantasy managers picking up Soroka as it surged by 23% and he is now rostered in 38% of Yahoo leagues. Soroka will likely make two more rehab starts, but as he gets closer to making his return, your window to claim him is quickly vanishing. The early success is a good sign as we really have not seen Soroka on the mound since he posted a 2.68 ERA in 174.2 innings in 2019.


Justin Steele (CHC); FAAB Bid: 1-2%

While Steele only has four victories in 107.2 innings this season, he has been a surprisingly reliable starter for the Cubs, and at this point we have to recognize him for that. The southpaw has posted a 3.43 ERA to this point (3.24 FIP) with a 51% ground ball rate while striking out 111 batters. A big thing for Steele is also that he is allowing just 0.59 home runs per nine innings and opposing hitters have managed just a meager 3.5% barrel-rate against him along with only a 32.2% hard-hit rate. That lack of quality contact against Steele has truly contributed to his success. 


James Karinchak (CLE): FAAB Bid: 1%

While Karinchak is not in line for saves, there is still plenty of upside here. The right-hander has thrown 18.1 innings this season and he has already struck out 34 batters while posting a 1.47 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. If you do not have the stomach to go chasing after some of the starting pitching that can be found on the waiver wire, Karinchak is more than a suitable alternative with opposing hitters yet to barrel a ball up against him this season. 


Brandon Hughes (CHC); FAAB Bid: 2%

It is telling that the Cubs went to Hughes on back-to-back days Thursday and Friday for the save opportunity and the reliever came through both times. They were the first two saves of the season for Hughes who brought his ERA down to 2.95 through 39.2 innings while striking out over 11 batters per nine innings. At this point, that is all we are looking for out of a waiver wire reliever. 




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