The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

10 MLB Waiver Wire Pickups

It’s never too early to scour the waiver wire looking for bargains. Here are the 10 MLB Fantasy guys I recommend you pick up in your league(s) for the mid-April.

  1. Michael Wacha, St. Louis Cardinals – I made sure I watched 25-year old righty starting pitcher Michael Wacha’s 2017 season debut as I wanted to see if he made it back from the shoulder problems that ruined his 2016 season.  I was amazed at what I saw, as he was pumping 96 mph fastballs for six innings!  He was the winning pitcher as he only gave up 3 hits and 1 walk while whiffing 6 batters.  He looked a lot like he did in 2015 when he was a 17-game winner and an All-Star for the St. Louis Cardinals!  Pick him up immediately if he’s available in your league!
  2. Jeremy Jeffress, Texas Rangers – Initially I was going to suggest Matt Bush here, but he hurt his shoulder last Sunday.  Due to Bush’s injury, it appears that 29-year old righty Jeremy Jeffress will be the next man up as the closer for the Rangers.  That is because 28-year old righty Sam Dyson has imploded on the mound after saving 38 games for the Rangers last year.  Dyson has pitched in 4 games Rangers so far this year and he is 0-2 with a 33.00 ERA and a 4.67 WHIP!  Dyson blew the save in his last outing and Jeffress then replaced him and was the losing pitcher.  Jeffress has pitched in 6 games for the Rangers so far this year and he is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA and a 2.50 WHIP.  Jeffress was 3-2 with 27 saves, a 2.33 ERA, and a 1.26 WHIP for the Rangers and Brewers last year.
  3. Joaquin Benoit, Philadelphia Phillies – The Phillies wasted little time in pulling the plug on Jeanmar Gomez as the closer and rightfully so, as he was terrible so far this year.  But, the Phillies pulled a bait and switch, deciding to go with 39-year old righty Joaquin Benoit over 27-year old Hector Neris to replace Gomez as the closer.  Benoit hasn’t given up a run in four appearances so far this year for the Phillies.  Benoit has 51 saves in his first 16 years in the show with a high of 24 back in 2013 for the Detroit Tigers. So pick up Benoit for know, but keep Neris in the back of your mind.
  4. Gerardo Parra, Colorado Rockies – The Rockies signed 29-year old lefty swinging outfielder Gerardo Parra to a big contract two winters ago and he disappointed in his first year with them.  He played in 102 games for the Rockies last year and he was 93 of 368 (.253 avg., .671 OPS) with 45 runs scored, 7 homers, 39 RBI, and 6 stolen bases.  Parra lost his starting job during the 2016 season to 23-year old lefty swinging rookie David Dahl.  Dahl played in 63 games for the Rockies last year and he was 70 for 222 (.315 avg., .859 OPS) with 42 runs scored, 7 homers, 24 RBI and 6 stolen bases.  Dahl hurt his ribs in spring training and Parra has gotten off to a fast start, so he will likely keep the starting gig as long as he keeps raking.  Parra has played in 10 games for the Rockies so far this year and he is 12 of 35 (.343 avg., .836 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 1 homer and 6 RBI.
  5. Chase Headley, New York Yankees – 32-year old switch-hitting 3B Chase Headley has been on cruise control since his big year in 2012 for the San Diego Padres.  He played in 161 games for the Padres in 2012 and he was 173 of 604 (.286 avg., .875 OPS) with 95 runs scored, 31 homers, 115 RBI, and 17 stolen bases.  He has never come close to those kinds of numbers again.  But, he is off to a great start, as he is hitting the ball hard and he is making teams pay for over shifting on him with a sudden willingness to hit the ball to the opposite field.  Headley has played in 9 games for the Yankees so far this year and he is 12 for 32 (.375 avg., 1.053 OPS) with 9 runs scored, 2 homers, 3 RBI and 1 stolen base.  I picked him up for my bench on my mixed league team and you should consider it too.
  6. Danny Espinosa, Los Angeles Angels – 29-year old switch-hitting 2B Danny Espinosa will more than likely hurt your batting average, but he will help your speed and power.  He has hit at least 17 homers three times and he has stolen at least 17 bases twice in his first seven years in the show.  He has played in 10 games for the Angels so far this year and he is 8 for 35 (.229 avg., .749 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 3 homers, 12 RBI and 1 stolen base.  The bonus is that he qualifies at SS based on him starting there for the Nationals in 2016.
  7. Brett Anderson, Chicago Cubs – 29-year old lefty starting pitcher Brett Anderson has always been solid, when healthy.  That’s the catch with him, as he has only started more than 19 games twice (2009 with the A’s and 2015 with the Dodgers) in his first 8 years in the show.  He has pitched in 129 games (117 starts) in his first 9 years in the majors and he is 39-43 with a 3.81 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP.  He has started 2 games for the Cubs so far this year and he is 1-0 with a 0.84 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.  If he can stay healthy, he will win a lot of games for the Cubs.  Pick him up and cross your fingers hoping that he can stay healthy in 2017.
  8. David Freese, Pittsburgh Pirates – 30-year old righty swinging starting 3B Jung Ho Kang has not been allowed into the United States due to his 3 DWI convictions and the outstanding case of sexual assault leveled at him by a woman in Chicago.  This has opened the door for 33-year old righty swinging David Freese to become a full-time player again.  He has played in 8 games for the Pirates so far this year and he is 8 for 21 (.381 avg., 1.218 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 2 homers and 3 RBI.  He is a 15-homer, 75-RBI type of player.  Freese should be picked up in National League Only leagues.
  9. Hector Santiago, Minnesota Twins – 29-year old lefty starting pitcher Hector Santiago had the worst year of his career in 2016.  He pitched in 33 games (all starts) for the Twins and Angels last year in which he was 13-10 with a 4.70 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP.  He has looked sharp so far this year for the Twins.  He has started 2 games for the Twins so far this year and he is 1-1 with a 2.38 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP.  Santiago is only a consideration for A.L. Only leagues.
  10. Carter Capps, San Diego Padres – 26-year old righty reliever Carter Capps is the sleeper on this list.  He is on a rehab assignment in the minors and if all goes well, he will be called up soon.  He missed the entire 2016 season due to injury.  When he last pitched in the show, he was dominating, to say the least.  He pitched in 30 games (0 starts) in 2015 for the Miami Marlins and he was 1-0 with a 1.16 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP.  He only gave up 18 hits and 7 walks while whiffing 58 batters in 31 innings for the Marlins in 2015.  26-year old righty closer Brandon Maurer is no lock to keep his 9th inning gig.  He has pitched in 4 games (0 starts) for the Padres so far this year and he is 0-0 with 1 save, a 4.50 ERA and a 0.50 WHIP.  Maurer pitched in 71 games (0 starts) for the Padres last year and he was 0-5 with 13 saves, a 4.52 ERA, and a 1.26 WHIP.
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.