As we trudge forth deeper and deeper into the fantasy baseball season, the fantasy baseball waiver wire becomes a bit of a barren wasteland. We don’t have the greatest batch of players this week. No standout prospect getting the call. Maybe a couple players to add in the short-term because of playing time due to injuries. But that’s okay. Maybe we’re in a position where we can conserve some of our budget because we spent big on Elly De La Cruz or another elite prospect earlier in the year. I highly suggest reading over the last two waiver wire articles to cast a wider net with your free agent options. Trevor Story was featured recently and after struggling in his first two games back, he’s gone 3-for-8 in his last two games with a stolen base. So definitely consider the players in recent articles as well as the names below as you look to set your roster for next week!


Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Hitters

TJ Friedl, OF, Cincinnati Reds; FAAB Bid: 5-6%

It’s been a while since Friedl has been mentioned in the waiver wire article. Adam Ronis wrote him up plenty earlier this year and the guy just continues to play well. He doesn’t do anything outstanding with a .350 OBP and a .448 SLG. He just plays baseball well. He’s scored 47 runs with 46 RBI on the year and he has 21 stolen bases. He’s a solid around contributor that’s floating around on the waiver wire in a decent amount of leagues.

Jordan Westburg, 2B/3B/SS, Baltimore Orioles; FAAB Bid: 5%

Westburg was one of the many MLB prospects to get the call this year and he’s seen his rostership dip since being called up at the end of June. I’m recommending Westburg because he has multi-position eligibility. But he’s even been hitting better of late as well. Since July 30th he’s hitting .333 and only has an 11.4% strikeout rate. He’s not a huge source of power but he’s getting hits and helping in BA over the last two weeks. And again, he has plenty of position eligibility in the infield.

Mitch Garver, C, Texas Rangers; FAAB Bid: 4%

This is a slightly aggressive FAAB recommendation for a catcher, I totally understand. Especially one who may lose playing time shortly. There are rumors of Jonah Heim’s return coming sooner rather than later so that alone could force your hand into lowering the FAAB bid. But Garver has been absolutely crushing the ball since the start of the month. He has 11 hits, of which three have been home runs, since last Tuesday and he has seven RBI in that span. It helps that he hits in one of the more dangerous lineups in baseball despite all the injuries, but the production should be acknowledged, and he’s given the Rangers no reason to rush Heim back.

Mike Tauchman, OF, Chicago Cubs; FAAB Bid: 3-4%

Tauchman won’t really get many starts against southpaws so you do have to take that into consideration if you plan on picking him up. But since July 27th (basically a two-week sample size) he’s slashing .413/.481/.696 in 54 plate appearances. He has six multi-hit games in that span with three home runs and 11 RBI. He also tends to hit leadoff when he does get into the Cubs lineup. So if he is in the lineup there’s a decent chance he can be productive for your fantasy baseball roster.

Brice Turang, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers; FAAB Bid: 2-3%

Turang has played very well since the calendar flipped to August. So far this month he’s slashing .344/.432/.531 and a pair of home runs and thrice he’s swiped a bag on the base path. He’s even drawn more walks than strikeouts this month but that’s just a ten-game sample size. But either way he has scored eight runs for the Brew Crew, but the lone knock on him is that he hits toward the bottom of the order. But that does mean if he gets on base that the top of the lineup is driving him in.

Freddy Fermin, C, Kansas City Royals; FAAB Bid: 2%

Whoa, two catchers in one article? What a day! Fermin was scorching hot about a week ago but cooled off over the last handful of days. He still hit a home run against the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday but did ride a four-game hitting streak about a week ago where he had multiple hits in each of those games. He’s appeared in only 52 games this season but is slashing .302/.337/.535 so the hitting profile is solid and the Royals don’t bury him in the bottom of the lineup either.

Ceddane Rafaela, OF, Boston Red Sox; FAAB Bid: 0%

Deep league stash suggestion right here. Rafaela has been raking between Double-A and Triple-A this year with double-digit home runs and over 30 stolen bases. He’s also coming off a phenomenal week in Worcester.

Now the FAAB bid is low (and by ‘low’ I mean ‘free’) because he might be a few weeks away from being called up. The Red Sox are still only three games out of a Wild Card spot but they’re 5-5 in their last ten games while the Seattle Mariners recently leapfrogged them in the standings. But there may be a need for Rafaela later in the year. He’s small in stature at just 5’9” and is maybe 180 pounds soaking wet. But he packs a punch in his frame. Again, not a player to grab immediately but definitely keep an ear to the ground for when the call comes.


Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Pitchers

Jack Flaherty, Baltimore Orioles; FAAB Bid: 6%

Jumpin’ Jack Flaherty looks to have some great form in a pair of starts for the O’s. He has eight strikeouts in both of his starts bringing his total to 16 in 11 innings since joining the Charm City Birds. But even since the start of July he had been pitching pretty well with a 3.10 ERA and nearly a strikeout per inning. He gets a road start on Tuesday against the Padres who have lost four of their last five games and Flaherty has performed quite well on the road this year.

Michael Lorenzen, Philadephia Phillies; FAAB Bid: 5%

I’m perfectly fine if you want to give Michael Lorenzen a grab off the waiver wire following his no-hitter on Wednesday. Lorenzen has been fairly untouchable since the start of July. In his last six starts he has a 1.11 ERA with a 2.66 BB/9 and a 0.22 HR/9 in 40.2 innings of work. But as Scott White of CBS Sports made note of earlier this week, it doesn’t seem sustainable. He doesn’t force a ton of fly balls and he isn’t a huge source of strikeouts. Even on Wednesday he only struck out five of the 31 hitters he faced. Also, how bizarre is this stat below?

Now you’d think because he pitched on Wednesday that he’d be in line for two starts next week. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The Phillies are off on Monday and Thursday next week so his next start doesn’t come until Friday, but it is against the Nationals. I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to wait before grabbing him. But he’s only available in shallow leagues and the rostership spike is just an overreaction to Wednesday’s performance.

Graham Ashcraft, Cincinnati Reds; FAAB Bid: 3-4%

Ashcraft is a weird suggestion because he’s been great of late but should regress. He’s kind of like Michael Lorenzen in that he isn’t inducing a lot of fly balls, nor is he getting strikeouts. So how much longer can he keep this up? In eight starts since June 30th he has a 1.94 ERA and SEVEN quality starts. And in this 51-inning sample size he only averages 6.35 K/9 and he’s worked at least seven innings in each of his last two starts. It’s impressive to witness. The gamble this upcoming week is that he has a pair of home starts against the Cleveland Guardians and the Toronto Blue Jays. But Ashcraft also has a 5.79 ERA at home this year so tread with caution.

Kyle Finnegan, Washington Nationals; FAAB Bid: 3-4%

Finnegan is available in a good number of leagues and, while he plays for the Washington Nationals, it’s clear he’s their ninth inning guy. He averages just shy of a strikeout per inning which isn’t great but you’re looking for saves after all and he has three since last Friday. All in all, he has 18 saves on the season with a 2.70 ERA. You can probably even get him for cheap if you are desperate for saves.

Cole Ragans, Kansas City Royals; FAAB Bid: 2-3%

Since being acquired by the Kansas City Royals, and converting from a reliever to a starting pitcher, Ragans has done very well with 22 strikeouts in 17.2 innings of work while allowing just four walks and 15 hits in that span. He only has one win so far with the Royals but that’s to be expected with one of the worst teams in the American League. He has a tempting matchup on Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals if you can pick him up to stream. But I’d honestly entertain keeping him as long as he continues to pitch well.

Emerson Hancock, Seattle Mariners; FAAB Bid: 1-2%

I can’t think of “Hancock” and not think of this scene from Tommy Boy. But Emerson Hancock, a top ten pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, made his debut earlier this week and did… okay? He worked five innings, grabbed three strikeouts, and only one earned run against the San Diego Padres. His debut came at the expense of Bryan Woo hitting the IL. Poor Bryan Woo. Gone (temporarily), but not forgotten. Hancock wasn’t really all that impressive in the minors this year, which is concerning because of the draft investment the Mariners made. He did develop better control over his last handful of starts in the minors and Mariners GM, Justin Hollander, had indicated that this call was coming even without Woo’s injury. So I do like that vote of confidence. Hancock gets two starts on the road next week against the Kansas City Royals and the Houston Astros. Don’t feel like you need to start him against the Astros to close out the week.


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