As the calendar turns to May, standings are beginning to stabilize and we are getting a better idea as to where our teams stand. Under that guise, let’s jump into some MLB waiver wire options to help improve your teams. 


Top Waiver Wire Hitters


OF; FAAB Bid: 2%

With his return from suspension getting closer, May 8th, Ramón Laureano has now begun a rehab stint in Triple-A to prepare for the upcoming season. Now that the outfielder is back in the news on our radars, it’s time to make sure he’s not sitting around on any waiver wires. Prior to his suspension last season, Laureano hit 14 home runs and stole 12 bases in 88 games, and that is a skill set that every team can use. 



OF; FAAB Bid: 2%

Josh Naylor followed up four games of two hits each by going hitless in his next two games prior to getting the night off Tuesday. The outfielder played six straight games before that, so I’m not worried about playing time here, and it also doesn’t hurt that Cleveland is thin offensively. Depending on your league structure, Naylor is also eligible at 1B and it’s possible he has caught your league by surprise after returning from a gruesome injury suffered last season. Naylor is hitting .345 with one home run and five RBI through eight games and has done a good job making hard contact (46.2%). It is concerning though that Naylor essentially hasn’t produced a launch angle yet on 26 batted ball events, but he has barreled up three balls and did have a nine-degree launch angle last season. If Naylor can’t increase his 61.5% ground ball rate, I do have some doubts, but there is talent here and finding outfielders on the waiver wire has proven to be difficult this season.



OF; FAAB Bid: 3%

Let’s stay in the outfield as Taylor Ward continues to force his way into the Angels’ lineup. Beginning on April 16th and through April 26th, Ward has played in every game for Los Angeles while spending time in each of the first five spots in the batting order. Through 10 games entering action on Wednesday, Ward was hitting a scalding .353 while walking more than he was striking out (22.7% vs. 20.5%) to go along with three home runs, five RBI, and nine runs scored. From a Statcast perspective, everything looks good in the small sample size we have from Ward this season, but time is running out for you to add him as he won’t last on the waiver wire much longer. In 65 games last season, Ward hit .250 with eight home runs for the Angels while driving in 33 runs and he is doing a good job of building on that so far this season.



2B/3B; FAAB Bid: 1%

Now it’s time for the boring portion of our program, but there can be value in boring. Luis Arraez plays most games for Minnesota, provides positional flexibility across the infield (and outfield in Yahoo), and bats at the top of the order so we are off to a good start. Through 16 games through Tuesday, Arraez was hitting .354 and he is even more of an asset in OBP leagues (.436) as he walks 12.7% of the time against a strikeout rate of just 7.3%. Arraez does have one home run on the season, but I wouldn’t expect much more in the power department from him although he can be a solid contributor with seven RBI and six runs scored. With a 27.3%-line drive rate, Arraez continues to have a good approach and make solid contact and if you need him in deeper leagues to plug a hole, you certainly can do a lot worse as, at very least, the utility man won’t hurt you.



SS/OF; FAAB Bid: 2-3%

Fantasy baseball often turns into a game of risk and reward. We all know how elusive stolen bases can be, but there is also a reason why Jorge Mateo and his seven stolen bases are readily available in about three quarters of Yahoo leagues. That is due to the old adage that you can’t steal first base Mateo is hitting just .232 on the season despite a .361 BABIP. Due to his speed, Mateo’s BABIP will generally be on the higher side, but some regression is still possible and there isn’t any power to speak of here. Mateo also strikes out 32.8% of the time with a walk rate of just 6.6%, but he does have those seven stolen bases. If you are looking to fix an early deficiency, then Mateo is worth a look before things get too out of reach in the standings.




Top Waiver Wire Pitchers


SP; FAAB Bid: 4%

I have been on Eric Lauer all season, but it was more from a streaming perspective based on the fact that he pitches in the NL Central. That is not meant to take anything away from the 3.19 ERA (4.04 FIP) that he posted last season while striking out about a batter an inning, but I still had some doubts about the left-hander. To begin this season, it’s hard to argue with Lauer’s success, and at 46% ownership on Yahoo as of late Tuesday night, this will be the last time I have the ability to feature him here. The main risk is not to truly overrate Lauer after he struck out 13 batters in Philadelphia on Sunday as Angel Hernandez deserves credit for a portion of those strikeouts. Through three starts, Lauer’s ERA is sitting at 2.20 and he has another good start coming up this week against the Cubs. 



SP; FAAB Bid: 2%

With a 5.05 ERA in 22 starts last season, things didn’t exactly according to plan for Chris Paddack, but with a 3.78 FIP and a 60.7% strand rate, his season had the potential to be a good deal better. After allowing three runs over four innings in his first start of the season, Paddack has gotten progressively better and gave up just one run in 5.1 innings on Tuesday against Detroit. So far this season, Paddack’s ERA is 3.68 and it will likely be even better once he starts pitching deeper into games. Paddack is striking out eight batters per nine innings and things could get even better based on his 1.76 FIP, .356 BABIP, and 66.7% strand rate. 



SP; FAAB Bid: 2%

Zach Eflin picked up his first victory of the season on Tuesday and after a delayed start to Spring Training, it was perhaps an even better sign that he pitched six innings. There are issues here as Eflin is only striking out seven batters per nine innings so far this season, but he has made it work to this point in his career. Through four starts, the right-hander has a 4.12 ERA to go along with a 2.96 FIP, but if you can cover the strikeouts, he is a solid option to fill the back end of your rotation. 



RP; FAAB Bid: 3%

After saving seven games last year, it didn’t much for Lucas Sims to enter this season as the top option to record saves in Cincinnati’s bullpen. Due to injury, Sims got off to a delayed start in 2022, and after a closer by committee to begin the season, he appeared to slide right back into the role. Sims has only appeared in two games this season but he already picked up a save in one of those games. The saves do come at a price here as there is some ERA volatility, Sims allowed two runs in his first appearance of the season, but as you know, there is a finite amount of saves available and it appears that he owns the role. 



RP; FAAB Bid: 1-2%

Lou Trivino will be back at any time from the COVID-19 list, but in his absence, Dany Jiménez hasn’t missed a beat in the closer’s role. At the very least, he will take that production back to a high leverage role, but can we really expect Trivino to remain as closer (based on volatility and the possibility of a trade) for the remainder of the season? It’s possible we have to wait again for saves after Trivino’s return, but with three saves already this season, Jimenez has proven to be capable of filling the role. In his first seven innings this season, the right-hander has yet to allow a run while limiting baserunners (1.14 WHIP) and striking out nine. 



Fantasy Baseball 2022