We are getting closer and closer to the fantasy baseball playoffs. For some of you, they may have already started. Usually the month of September signals fantasy football draft prep as the start of the 2023 NFL season looms large. But we won’t lose sight of what’s important to us, and that’s getting our fantasy baseball lineups ready for the playoffs. As MLB rosters expand next month it’ll be worth monitoring the fantasy baseball waiver wire and revisiting previous articles to expand the player pool of who could be added to improve your team. This weekend’s article features some familiar names from previous weeks but also some fresh faces so we don’t make the article feel too stale. Here are today’s top fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups!
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Hitters
Tommy Pham, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks; FAAB Bid: 4-5%
Pham has been rolling since joining Arizona. He’s currently riding a 15-game hitting streak while slashing .293/.311/.569 entering Friday’s action. He was robbed of a home run Friday night on a weird fan interference rule, but overall he’s seeing the ball very well as the Diamondbacks ride a six-game winning streak. He should be rostered in deeper leagues or formats where you can start five outfielders.
Yainer Diaz, C, Houston Astros; FAAB Bid: 3-4%
Diaz is a great way to improve your fantasy baseball lineup at the catcher position. Really since we got to the summer months of the season he’s turned it up and performed as an elite option at the position and his rostership numbers are still suppressed. Since July 23rd he’s really turned it up slashing .341/.348/.682 with eight home runs and 23 RBI in that span. He doesn’t offer as much help in OBP leagues because he doesn’t walk much but he excels in a variety of categories otherwise. I imagine we see a spike in waiver claims for Diaz as we get underway with the fantasy baseball playoffs soon.
Kerry Carpenter, OF, Detroit Tigers; FAAB Bid: 3%
I mentioned Carpenter in this article about a week-and-a-half ago and he has not cooled off in the slightest. Since appearing in the previous waiver wire article on August 15th he’s added five home runs and 13 RBI to his already impressive resume. He’s hitting right in the middle of the Detroit lineup so he’s getting quality plate appearances. Ride the wave until he cools off, but that doesn’t seem like it’ll be anytime soon.
Noelvi Marte, SS, Cincinnati Reds; FAAB Bid: 2%
Marte currently has just shortstop eligibility on most sites but don’t be surprised if he gains third base eligibility as well. His numbers haven’t been groundbreaking since he got the call up, but he’s been productive. He has four hits in his last six games with three stolen bases as well. Swipes can be hard to come by and he’s flashed speed. He does have some pop in his bat that we just haven’t seen yet, but it’ll show itself in due time. For now, I’m fine adding him for the stolen base help and he’ll likely gain third base and corner infield eligibility if he keeps getting starts at third.
Eddie Rosario, OF, Atlanta Braves; FAAB Bid: 1-2%
Earlier this week I wrote up Marcell Ozuna, who has been absolutely crushing the ball and has been a daily fantasy baseball gem for those who played him. Ozuna is still my preferred outfielder to grab off the waiver wire if he’s available, but I do like Rosario in deeper formats. He isn’t an everyday player, but he appears in the Braves lineup on most days. Since the start of last week’s scoring period, Rosario has 13 hits including four home runs with a dozen RBI in that span. The Braves are about to kick off a long road trip on the West coast but there are also three games in Coors Field on the horizon for both Ozuna and Rosario.
Osleivis Basabe, SS, Tampa Bay Rays; FAAB Bid: 1%
With Wander Franco’s future in Major League Baseball looking bleaker with each passing week, we do find ourselves growing more intrigued by his replacement, Osleivis Basabe. Even this kid’s last name is just a couple letters away from being an anagram for “baseball.” Following Thursday’s series sweep of the Colorado Rockies, Basabe is now 12-for-38 with nine runs scored and nine RBI. He’s played in just ten games as of this writing (early Friday morning). He is a little buried in the bottom of the lineup, but such is the case with younger players. He’s been impressive in his small sample size so far though.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Pitchers
Seth Lugo, SP, San Diego Padres; FAAB Bid: 4-5%
Lugo comes with his pro’s and con’s. For example, in his last two starts he’s tossed six innings of shutout baseball in both. But in the two starts prior to that he allowed ten earned runs in 8.1 innings to the Diamondbacks and Dodgers. The strikeouts tend to fluctuate as well. But overall he does have seven quality starts in his last ten trips to the mound. He touts a 3.70 ERA which holds up next to his 3.74 FIP, and 3.63 xFIP so there isn’t too much flukiness here. Lugo gets two starts next week against the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants.
Cole Ragans, SP/RP, Kansas City Royals; FAAB Bid: 4%
Ragans isn’t quite a new name to the waiver wire column, but he’s still under-rostered. Likely only available in shallower leagues at this point, he’s gone 3-1 in his starts since the middle of July with a stellar 47 strikeouts in that 34.2-inning sample size. He has four quality starts in this span and the Royals are more than happy to stretch him out and allow him to go six innings. Ragans will play host to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday before a two-start week the following scoring period where he’ll take the mound against the Chicago White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays.
Evan Phillips, RP, Los Angeles Dodgers; FAAB Bid: 4%
Prior to Thursday night, Phillips had recorded a save in seven straight appearances. He appeared Thursday night for an inning of work with the Dodgers holding a six-run lead. It was his first appearance since last Saturday and the Dodgers probably just wanted to get him some work to keep him loose. He’s clearly the guy they’ll be going to in the ninth inning for the time being and he’s available in about 70% of ESPN leagues. He averages over a strikeout per inning and given how the Dodgers have done this year, there will be save opportunities for him down the stretch. (Update: he got the save Friday night against the Boston Red Sox)
Paul Blackburn, SP, Oakland Athletics; FAAB Bid: 3%
Blackburn has popped up in social media and with other fantasy sports outlets as a player to target off the waiver wire. Perhaps it’s the stigma of playing for the Oakland Athletics but I haven’t been able to get too excited about this name. But I can’t deny what he’s done over his last five starts. He’s only 2-1 in that span but he has four quality starts while averaging nearly a strikeout per inning. Blackburn closes out this scoring period with a road matchup against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday before playing host to the Los Angeles Angels next week. Given the state of both organizations, I’m fine running Blackburn for both trips to the mound.
Andres Munoz/Matt Brash, RP, Seattle Mariners; FAAB Bid: 2-3%
Munoz isn’t as available as Brash is but both have some appeal in their own right. Wins are highly unpredictable, especially for relievers. However, Brash has five wins since July 31st with three saves and three holds in that time as well. He’s allowed just three home runs on the year and touts a 14.58 K/9 on the season. Not too shabby. Munoz has been the one racking up a majority of the saves this month though. He has seven since August 2nd and with the Mariners on a 17-4 run over their last 21 games both relievers are intriguing players to grab off the waiver wire. Munoz is the shallow league target but don’t sleep on Brash in deeper formats.