The fantasy baseball waiver wire has been a bit of a barren wasteland of late. I swear I saw a tumbleweed bounce across my screen at one point. The “elite” options are few and far between as I can really only get excited about two hitters and one pitcher and these names are really only available in shallower leagues. So consulting previous Waiver Wire articles will be vital. Zack Gelof still appears to be the top option in the free agent pool if he’s still out there. The kid has not cooled off. I won’t feature him today because I wrote him up on Tuesday and in a previous weekend edition of this piece. But still examine your own waiver wire pool and get your questions into the Fantasy Alarm Discord. Let’s take a look at the top fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups as the season starts to wind down.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Hitters
Royce Lewis, 3B, Minnesota Twins; FAAB Bid: 6-7%
It’s only been a few games since Lewis made his return, but he doesn’t look like he’s missed a beat. He has five hits in his last 14 plate appearances with a pair of doubles, two runs scored, two RBI, and a stolen base. Interestingly enough, he even hit second on Friday night so I’m curious to see if that sticks but either way this is a player that was productive prior to the injury and looks great heading into the weekend.
Spencer Torkelson, 1B, Detroit Tigers; FAAB Bid: 4-5%
Torkelson is a bit of an all-or-nothing type hitter. He’s only hitting .229 on the season but still has 21 home runs with 62 runs scored and 66 RBI. The counting statistics aren’t awful, but the .229 batting average could certainly be better. The former first overall pick has been really flashing the power of late as well. Since last Saturday he has six extra base hits, four of which have been home runs and two for doubles. The lone knock on him in the short-term is that he’s been a much better hitter on the road (.244 BA, 15 home runs) than at home (.212 BA, six home runs) and the Tigers have a ten-game homestand on the horizon starting on Monday.
Tommy Pham, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks; FAAB Bid: 3%
After a slow 1-for-16 start with the Diamondbacks, Pham has hits in nine straight games with a .314 batting average and two home runs in that span. He’s hitting right in the heart of the lineup and he’s been productive as the Diamondbacks now sit just two games out of the last Wild Card spot in the National League.
Drew Waters, OF, Kansas City Royals; FAAB Bid: 1-2%
I don’t love the hitting profile for Waters because he lacks plate discipline. Since August 2nd he’s only hitting .238 with a .298 OBP. However, when he makes contact its usually quality contact. Since the beginning of the month half his hits have gone for extra bases plus, he has three stolen bases in that span. Again, the batting average may not look great but when he does get on base he finds ways to produce in the categories requiring quantity.
Nicky Lopez, 2B/3B/SS, Atlanta Braves; FAAB Bid: 1-2%
Lopez has been getting the start at the keystone with Ozzie Albies landing on the IL. Last Saturday he had an outstanding day with four hits (including a home run and double) with three runs scored and five RBI. Even on Monday he collected three hits and three RBI against the New York Yankees but since then he’s hitless in his last 11 plate appearances. Still, he gets to fill in during the immediate future in a great lineup and will get plenty of playing time until Albies comes back from his hamstring injury.
Ryan Jeffers, C, Minnesota Twins; FAAB Bid: 1%
Jeffers has been hitting the ball consistently well of late and has been receiving regular playing time. He’s collected hits in 14 of the last 16 games he’s appeared in. However, there is a bit of a problem with this recommendation… He hasn’t appeared in a game since Tuesday because of a sore back. Even when he’s had to split time at catcher with Christian Vasquez he’s still managed to get starts at DH. He’s a better hitter than Vasquez and has more power to offer, so maybe the Twins just really value the defensive upside of Vasquez. So I’d pump the brakes on shelling out significant portions of your FAAB. If he can find his way back into the lineup this week then my worries will be quelled and I’d say he’s the top catcher to grab at the moment. If you need a pivot then it’s likely Keibert Ruiz in shallower leagues and Mitch Garver in deeper formats.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Pitchers
Yusei Kikuchi, SP, Toronto Blue Jays; FAAB Bid: 6-8%
Kikuchi is really only a shallow league player to add. I was stunned to see he’s still available in about half of all ESPN leagues. He’s allowed at most one earned run in six straight starts and if we zone in on his last four trips to the mound, he has four straight quality starts, four walks allowed (in 25 innings of work), and 24 strikeouts for nearly a strikeout per inning in that span. Kikuchi is a two-start pitcher next week against the Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Guardians.
Kyle Finnegan, RP, Washington Nationals; FAAB Bid: 5%
Easy source of saves right here and to be honest, the Nationals haven’t been awful of late. They’ve won six of their last seven games and 11 of their last 15. Finnegan got the save Thursday and Friday night, so it is possible he gets the day off on Saturday if the Nats are in position for another win in a close game. But he’s been Washington’s ninth inning guy of late and should be rostered in more leagues as you make your playoff push needing saves.
Chase Silseth, SP, Los Angeles Angels; FAAB Bid: 4%
I’ve mentioned this kid a few times and the wheels have yet to fall off. Silseth gets a very tough matchup on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Rays who have taken their licks lately regarding the injury to Shane McClanahan and the news regarding Wander Franco. But the Rays are resilient and have still been getting some wins. So, this is still a test for Silseth. Silseth is 3-0 in his last four starts and he’s done a great job of keeping hitters off the base path. He’s almost done too good of a job as there are regression signs and the Halos aren’t heavily committed to letting him work deep into games. But the results can still be fruitful even in a tough matchup like he’ll see today.
J.P. France, SP, Houston Astros; FAAB Bid: 2-3%
I wrote up France within the last couple weeks and while I still think he’s a regression candidate, it hasn’t quite happened yet. Perhaps the signs are coming though. On Friday he only allowed two runs in six innings of work, but those two runs were solo home runs. Friday night’s loss ended a streak of four straight starts with a win. He still has seven wins dating back to June 29th and has been consistent in registering quality starts.
Logan Allen, SP, Cleveland Guardians; FAAB Bid: 2%
Allen does give me pause because he’s shown to be a streaky pitcher at times. Right now we’re in the midst of a good streak with three earned runs allowed in his last 17 innings of work with 15 strikeouts in that span. He does have a 3.51 BB/9 on the season, but the Guardians will continue to lean on him with the injuries to Shane Bieber, Trison Mackenzie, and Cal Quantrill. He’ll get a home start against the Detroit Tigers on Sunday to close out the scoring period.
JoJo Romero, RP, St. Louis Cardinals; FAAB Bid: 0-1%
Romero has been splitting the late-inning duties with Giovanny Gallegos with Ryan Helsley out of action. The Cardinals thought they’d have Helsley back sooner rather than later but that hasn’t been the case following the MLB Trade Deadline. There won’t be many saves to come by for this bullpen, but Romero seems to have a little more upside in the strikeout department than Gallegos and he’s carved out a slightly larger share of ninth inning work. This is probably a deeper league recommendation since the Cardinals may not lead many games to even be in position for an abundance of save opportunities.