The grind never stops. If you aren’t constantly reviewing the back end of your roster and comparing it to the free agents and your team needs, then you are quite simply missing out. There is an art to managing the fantasy baseball waiver wire, so as we head into the weekend, let’s take a look at some of the players to keep an eye on. 



Top Waiver Wire Hitters


C/1B; FAAB Bid: 1%

If you are looking to churn at the catcher position, and for those of you in one catcher leagues I suspect a portion of teams would could use an upgrade, then Austin Nola should be on your radar. Not only has he essentially emerged as the starter for San Diego receiving the majority of the playing time, but Nola also generally bats first or second. Entering action on Tuesday, Nola was hitting .265 with seven RBI and six runs scored while also hitting a home run and stealing a base, and just about all teams can make that production work. Nola doesn’t strike out much and thanks to his .341 on base percentage, he is in prime position both to drive runs and to be driven in. 



1B; FAAB Bid: 2%

Ji-Man Choi plays the majority of the time for Tampa Bay with Tuesday being his fourth day off of the season, but the fact that he isn’t a true everyday player does hold back his ownership. When Choi is in the lineup though, it’s hard to argue with the production we are seeing from him to this point and has hit either third or fourth in every game he plays. There has only been one game this season in which Choi hasn’t picked up a hit, and to this point he is hitting .423 with two home runs and eight RBI. While we know he won’t maintain the batting average, the power numbers are reasonable given what Choi has done in the past. The sample size is small, 17 batted ball events, but Choi has a 23.5%-barrel rate and 64.7% hard hit rate to begin the season. 



2B/OF; FAAB Bid: 1%

Adam Frazier is pretty boring, but sometimes boring works and has a role on your fantasy team. Prior to Tuesday’s action, Frazier hit leadoff in all but one game for Seattle and was hitting .256 with seven RBI and five runs scored. Seattle’s lineup should get a little better as the season progresses and they find their footing which means Frazier will continue to benefit as long as he can find his way on base.



2B; FAAB Bid: 1-2%

Tuesday was the fourth game so far this season that Tyler Wade didn’t start and you could make the argument that he deserves more playing time. Through 11 games and 28 plate appearances, Wade is hitting .360 with two runs scored and four RBI, but that is not what we are after. Finding stolen bases can often be pretty impossible and we have to work pretty hard at it and leave no stone unturned, so that puts Wade squarely on our radar. To this point, Wade has two stolen bases on the season, so he is capable of picking up more - making him a valuable commodity. 



OF; FAAB Bid: 2%

This is a bet on the talent as the Angels do appear committed to seeing what Jo Adell can do this season. The bad is Adell’s 20 strikeouts in 44 plate appearances, but he does have two home runs and three doubles on the season along with a stolen base, so there is the good as the outfielder is a power/speed threat. If you have the roster space, adding Adell earlier than later is preferable as all it will take is one or two multi-hit games for him to jump in popularity. 



Top Waiver Wire Pitchers


SP; FAAB Bid: 2%

Steven Matz was a pitcher I was on all off-season to fill out the back end of my rotation but then he promptly was shelled by Pittsburgh to begin the season. It was supposed to be one of Matz’s easier matchups of the season, but we also know things never go according to plan. The left-hander did reward those who kept the faith as he didn’t allow a run in his next start against Milwaukee as he picked up the victory while striking out six in 5.2 innings. Matz’s next start comes on Friday against the Reds in a matchup that is streaming worthy after generating nine swings and misses against the Brewers. 



SP; FAAB Bid: 1%

With Taijuan Walker likely due back soon, David Peterson doesn’t have much more time left in the rotation for this installment. Until then, the left-hander is worth a look and he certainly is a streaming option on Friday against a weak-hitting Arizona team that he had success against on Sunday. In 8.1 innings so far this season, Peterson has yet to allow a run while striking out seven and he should be able maintain similar success once again. 



SP; FAAB Bid: 1%

It’s hard to believe this, but it’s still only two starts, but Drew Smyly hasn’t allowed a run in 9.2 innings to begin the season. He has done a good job of limiting baserunners to this point, and that is important as with just five strikeouts, Smyly doesn’t have the ability to over power hitters to get out of jams. Smyly does benefit from a 56.7% ground ball rate, but with a 1.81 xERA he is worth a look thus far. The fact that Smyly’s next start comes against Pittsburgh is also a plus after her emerged unscathed from Coors Field. 



RP; FAAB Bid: 4%

At this pace, I am going to run out of Boston relievers to tout here, but it was Garrett Whitlock who picked up the save on Tuesday. After saving two games last season, it was Whitlock’s first save of the year, and I expect to see some more out of him before the year is out as you can make the argument, he is the most talented pitcher in Boston’s bullpen. Through 9.2 innings so far this season, Whitlock has allowed just one run while scattering just four hits and two walks and striking out 11 and that makes him valuable on all fronts. 



RP; FAAB Bid: 1%

Yes, Héctor Neris is currently a closer, but I don’t expect him to retain the role as Ryan Pressly should be back from the Injured List quickly. The Astros’ closer went on the shelf with knee inflammation, and while it doesn’t appear to be anything major, the hope is that it does answer the mystery of why Pressly’s velocity was down to begin the season. But with each and every save having value, Neris is still worth a look as entering Wednesday he hadn’t allowed a run in 5.1 innings while striking out six. Neris has experience in high leverage situations and there is value in what he is doing even without the saves, but we have to be aware of every possible save that is available. 


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