Never stop looking for ways to improve your fantasy baseball team. Our latest installment of MLB waiver wire picks for the week runs the gamut as we look at a newly promoted hitter, some slugging first baseman, a veteran outfielder, and some potentially valuable starting pitchers while also hunting for saves. Let’s dig into some of those options and see which waiver claims you should be adding to improve your fantasy baseball roster!
Top Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Hitters
1B/3B; FAAB Bid: 3%
The Cardinals seemingly produce hitters out of nowhere, and it’s possible that Juan Yepez is the next to emerge. After hitting 27 home runs in 111 games between Double-A and Triple-A last season, Yepez continued the success with nine home runs and 26 RBI in 22 games before getting the call to the big leagues. Yepez’s ISO in Triple-A jumped from .299 last season to a whopping .372 this year while still striking out less than 25% of the time. He wasted no time jumping right into things at big league level as Yepez doubled twice in three at bats while getting the start in right field. St. Louis didn’t promote Yepez to sit on the bench, and as long as he hits, he will be in the lineup.
OF; FAAB Bid: 5%
Tommy Pham is simply too good of a player, when healthy, to be floating around the waiver wire in 67% of Yahoo leagues. Right now, not only is Pham in the lineup on a daily basis, but he continues to bat third and play every day for a floundering Reds team. Entering action on Wednesday, Pham was nine of 23 over the last seven days with two home runs, four RBI, and six runs scored. Overall, Pham was hitting .240 with four home runs, 12 runs scored, and seven RBI but it does look as if the outfielder has turned a corner. Pham’s current ISO of .227 is a career best mark and the same can be said of his 57.4% hard-hit rate. What’s most impressive is Pham’s average exit velocity of 95.4 miles per hour, and as long as he stays healthy, he has a home on most teams; especially those that start five outfielders.
1B; FAAB Bid: 2%
Entering the season, I liked Jesús Aguilar as a fine late-round option to round out your corner infield depth but the first baseman promptly got off to a slow start. The veteran does have a solid track record of success (22 home runs and 93 RBI in 131 games last year) so I wouldn’t truly write him off just yet, but at the same time you have to churn the back end of your roster. Aguilar had eight hits in 19 at bats in the seven days prior to Wednesday’s game along with his first home run of the season and he promptly went deep for the second time on Wednesday. That gives Aguilar a modest five game hit streak with multiple hits in four of those games while bringing his batting average up to .282 for the season. The thought here is that Aguilar’s power continues to resurface as things are certainly moving in the right direction.
1B; FAAB Bid: 3%
Let’s stick with first baseman that I liked heading into the season and take another look at Rowdy Tellez. Given the lack of power that seems to be readily available at times around the league, Tellez could be a real asset, and considering he is only rostered in 11% of Yahoo leagues, there is an opportunity here. After going deep twice on Wednesday (including a grand slam), Tellez has four home runs in his last four games and seven on the season to go along with 19 RBI and 15 runs scored. With a .267 batting average, Tellez isn’t a liability there either and it’s hard to miss his .338 ISO. Tellez’s career high barrel rate of 19.2% and launch angle of 17.2 degrees also supports his performance over the first month of the season.
2B; FAAB Bid: 1-2%
If you need to plug a hole your middle infield, Cesar Hernandez is readily available in the majority of leagues. Hernandez has proven to be a dependable option this season as he consistently bats in the lead-off spot for Washington. Prior to going two for four on Wednesday, Hernandez had nine hits in 25 at bats over his last seven games to bring his batting average for the season up to .282. Hernandez will steal the occasional base, but he is mainly a two-category contributor with 15 runs scored on the season and there is value in the playing time.
Top Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pitchers
SP; FAAB Bid: 4%
This is the going to be the last time he likely is eligible for this article for the rest of the season, under the criteria of being rostered in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues, as Drew Rasmussen is currently at 42% and climbing. In four of his five starts, Rasmussen has allowed two earned runs or less and has a 3.13 ERA (3.16 FIP) in 23 innings this season while striking out 21 batters. He does a good job of limiting baserunners as Rasmussen is walking just under two batters per nine innings but he has benefitted from a .210 BABIP. Rasmussen continues to get results and has had six balls barreled up against him in 64 events so far this year.
SP; FAAB Bid: 2%
I have been resisting all season, but for now I give in and include Michael Wacha. Of course, I should be knocking on wood and this could mean the end of his fantasy relevance for the year, but it is hard to ignore what Wacha has been doing to this point. It’s not an earth-shattering statement to make that Wacha isn’t going to maintain a 1.38 ERA all season, but regression to his 3.88 FIP (4.13 xFIP) still makes him a viable streaming option at worst. The strikeouts might not be there (6.58 per nine innings) but Wacha is limiting the barrels (5.7%) and hard hits (35.7%) against him.
SP; FAAB Bid: 2%
Alex Cobb’s injury brought on a hit to his ownership which now gives us a buying opportunity. After a relatively short absence he returned to the rotation earlier in the week against Washington and things didn’t exactly go according to plan as he allowed five runs in two thirds of an inning. In fairness to Cobb, only one of those runs were earned as he simply never got comfortable on the mound while allowing four hits and three walks. Cobb gets another chance on Friday against St. Louis and despite his 5.40 ERA, I would give the right-hander an opportunity to make up for it. The .452 BABIP opposing hitters currently have against Cobb isn’t sustainable and the highest of ERA metrics is a 2.57 xFIP.
RP; FAAB Bid: 1-2%
This is quite temporary in nature as Ian Kennedy is only guaranteed to sit in the closer’s seat until Mark Melancon returns from the COVID list, but the veteran does have three saves over the past week. Prior to this, Kennedy also picked up two victories as he was being used in high leverage roles with Arizona and that will continue even if isn’t the designated closer. In 12 innings to this point, Kennedy has a 3.75 ERA and 1.50 WHIP while striking out eight, so this is more of a hunt for saves than anything else. Melancon has had success with a 3.38 ERA and four saves, so the Arizona closer job is surprisingly valuable regardless of who it belongs to.
RP; FAAB Bid: 6%
What a roller coaster it has been with Joe Barlow. He was drafted as the closer for Texas, wasn’t used as such, was then named the closer by Chris Woodward, and now he finally is picking up saves. All three of Barlow’s saves have come in the last seven days as his ownership continues to surge. Along with the saves, you get a 2.16 ERA and 0.72 WHIP with 12 strikeouts in 8.1 innings.
Fantasy Baseball 2022