Perhaps the biggest storyline sweeping the Major League Baseball landscape the last 24-48 hours was the news coming out of Baltimore regarding Felix Bautista. Bautista was having an outstanding year for the Orioles with 33 saves, a 1.48 ERA, and an absurd 110 strikeouts in 61 innings of work. Obviously, this opens the door for the cover boy in this week’s article, Yennier Cano. We’ll dive deeper into Cano shortly, but I want to briefly mention that it is highly suggested you look at recent Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire articles because it can’t hurt to cast as wide a net as possible when assessing what players you should look at to add for your fantasy baseball playoff push. We’re also at the apex of fantasy football draft prep season so don’t miss out on the most recent updates to the Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet as well as everything else from the Fantasy Football Draft Guide. September is approaching and the playoffs are on the horizon. Here are the top waiver wire pickups to close out the month of August.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Hitters
Duvall has been crushing the ball of late. He went yard for the third straight game Monday night and that now gives him six home runs dating back to last Monday. He has 15 hits in that span and 11 of them have been for extra bases. He is a bit of a streaky hitter but he’s on a roll right now. Despite missing two months of the season there’s still a chance he could finish with 25+ home runs. If he’s out there in your shallow leagues or five-outfielder formats by all means, please pick this guy up.
Over the last couple weeks I’ve mentioned both Rosario and Marcell Ozuna. Ozuna’s ownership has spiked so if he is available I prefer him over Eddie Money. However, Rosario is still a great pickup in deeper leagues. Entering Monday, he was slashing .389/.450/.704 since August 8th with nine extra base hits, 11 runs scored, and 16 RBI. He’s comfortable hitting sixth most nights when he is in the lineup. Plus, the Braves are currently in a nice mid-week series in Coors Field so it’s an opportunity to jump on Rosario in a lethal park for offense.
Charlie Blackmon, DH/OF, Colorado Rockies
Blackmon has been pretty solid since returning from injury. Over the last two weeks he’s slashing .395/.500/.651 with five extra base hits and a dozen runs scored. As of this writing, he’s currently 2-for-3 against the Atlanta Braves with a run scored. Blackmon is far from the player he used to be, given that he’s now 37 years old. However, he still has a good eye for the ball and the Rockies still have 19 games at home from now until the end of the regular season.
Josh Rojas, 2B/3B, Seattle Mariners
Rojas didn’t get the start on Monday, but he still has some very tempting matchups against the Oakland Athletics the next couple days. He’s scored ten runs since last Sunday with a 1.107 OPS and a dozen hits in that span. Sure, it’s a small sample size but he also has four stolen bases in this window as well. We know he isn’t a huge source of power, but he does possess speed and could put up more numbers the rest of the week with great matchups against the Mets and Reds following the current series against Oakland.
Jake Burger, 3B, Miami Marlins
Burger has been on a nice run since August 11th. Entering Monday night’s action, he was slashing .397/.435/.517 with 23 hits over his last 15 games. He may only have one home run over the last two-and-a-half weeks but he’s crushing it in terms of pure batting average. It is a little odd he doesn’t have a single RBI since August 18th but that’s just the unfortunate aspect of hitters ahead of him not getting on base.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Pitchers
The Orioles are likely to be without Felix Bautista the rest of the season as he suffered a UCL injury over the weekend. It’s a tear. We just don’t know if he’ll undergo surgery yet. But this is an upgrade to Yennier Cano. Cano did take the loss on Sunday following the save he registered on Saturday. But on the year, he has a 1.57 ERA, a WHIP just under 1.00, a 0.43 HR/9 and he’s averaging just under a strikeout per inning. He has five saves and 28 holds on the season and is a worthy replacement for Bautista as the Orioles continue pushing toward the postseason. Yennier should probably be the most popular player to add off the waiver wire as we turn the calendar to September.
Eury Perez, SP, Miami Marlins
Perez had a couple rough starts after being brought back up to the big leagues, but he’s followed those up with back-to-back quality starts. Against the Nationals and Dodgers, Perez has worked a dozen innings total with 17 strikeouts, five hits allowed, and just one walk in that span. He’s definitely worked his way back into his stellar form and is surprisingly available in over 50% of ESPN leagues. He’ll draw the Nationals again on Friday before potentially getting the Dodgers (again) next week.
Skubal is a unique waiver wire pickup. He’s either been great or pretty awful since returning from injury after making his debut last month. In nine starts he has a 4.06 ERA and in four of his last seven starts he’s allowed at least four earned runs. Perhaps he’s due for some positive regression because he does have a 2.63 xERA and a 1.92 FIP. In 44.1 innings of work he does have 50 strikeouts and only eight walks allowed so I’m inclined to believe he’s just had some bad luck and can still close out September on a high note. He gets a pair of delicious starts this week against the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox.
Jordan Wicks, SP, Chicago Cubs
Wicks is not the biggest pitching prospect to make his debut this year. But he looked awesome in his Major League Baseball debut on Saturday. Against the Pittsburgh Pirates he worked just five innings and struck out nine. He probably could’ve gone out for the sixth inning because he was only at 80 pitches after five innings but overall it was an impressive outing for his debut. A performance like that is worthy of another start. Unfortunately, it may come against the Cincinnati Reds, but the Reds have looked a little more human the last month of the season as the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs have come on strong in the NL Central.
Canning isn’t a league winner by any stretch of the imagination. But with Shohei Ohtani not pitching for the rest of the year, Canning could likely stick in the rotation. He got the start on Sunday against the New York Mets and tossed seven innings of one-run ball and struck out nine. He was inducing whiffs and locating his pitches pretty damn well. As it stands right now, he’s lined up to face the Oakland Athletics on the road on Sunday. I’m not saying he’ll help you win a championship, but he has a great matchup to potentially win the matchup this weekend.
The Fish gave the ball to Tanner Scott in the ninth inning on Sunday. I’m not saying that signals a changing of the guard because it may not. But David Robertson has been roughed up in two of his last three appearances. Scott has worked plenty of high leverage situations this year (with 24 holds) and he’s a strikeout machine (12.45 K/9). I’d love for Miami to just anoint him the new closer because they still have a legitimate shot at making the postseason and can’t give Robertson too long of a leash if his struggles were to continue.
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