Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Take A Chance
As the calendar flips to June, we’re now two months into the 2019 season. At this point, you’re probably starting to get an idea of whether you’re going to be a contender this season, fighting for the playoffs in H2H leagues, or out of it altogether. Regardless of your position in the standings, the Fantasy Baseball Waiver wire continues to offer plenty of value each week this season and this week is no different. While we surprising don’t have any big prospects to fight over this week, we do have a few high upside arms returning to the rotation and not one but two catchers! If you need pitching or catching, this is the week for you.
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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire – Hitters
Chance Sisco, C, Baltimore Orioles
This probably should’ve happened much earlier due to the current state of the Baltimore Orioles, but better late than never I guess. Baltimore has recalled Chance Sisco from Triple-A and will likely be giving him the bulk of the catching duties moving forward. In 44 Triple-A games, Sisco slashed .289/.383/.530/.914 with 10 doubles, 10 home runs, 37 RBI, and 30 runs scored in 166 at-bats. The power bump this season has been nice, but it should be noted that he currently has a ridiculous 29.4% HR/FB rate. That’s simply unsustainable for anyone that doesn’t have Gallo/Stanton type power. Sisco does have more power than he’s shown in the past, but he’s not even close to THAT type of power. Still, even with regression in the power department, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Sisco pop 8-10 HR the rest of the way with a respectable batting average.
Make that seven homers in nine games for Chance Sisco.
— Norfolk Tides (@NorfolkTides) May 12, 2019
Jorge Alfaro, C, Miami Marlins
Two catchers in one week? What is this madness? I know, almost couldn’t believe it myself. If you’re reading this, there’s a strong possibility that you’ve been frustrated with the production from your catcher position. Alfaro can help with that. Through his first 46 games, Alfaro is hitting .282 with nine home runs, 25 RBI, and 21 runs scored. How he’s available in so many leagues is beyond me. This has been a borderline top-10 catching option to date and with his power upside and respectable batting average, he could very well continue to be a top-10 fantasy backstop for the rest of the season. Don’t let his team and K/BB rate scare you off.
Ramon Laureano, OF, Oakland Athletics
You might not have known as he plays on the west coast, but Ramon Laureano has been mashing of late. Over the last month, Laureano has hit .303 with five home runs and three steals. Now this is what owners were expecting when Laureano was one of the top sleeper picks back in the spring. A horrible start to the season caused his ownership rate to plummet to the point where he is still over 75% available in fantasy leagues. His spot in the bottom-third of the lineup isn’t ideal and will keep his runs and RBI lower, but the power/speed blend is quite intriguing for the rest of the season.
Garrett Cooper, OF, Miami Marlins
Not all waiver wire additions are home runs. We have to accept that and take value where we can find it. Not only did I go with two catchers this week, I’m also double-dipping from the lowly Miami Marlins. But hey, we have to accept value from wherever it’s coming from. Cooper has been arguably the Marlins best hitter over the last month, hitting .305 with five home runs, 16 RBI, and 19 runs scored in 82 at-bats. With his recent performance and favorable lineup spot, Cooper is worth a look in mixed leagues, at least to ride out this hot streak and see if he can provide solid ROS value.
Jeff McNeil, 2B/3B/OF, New York Mets
Having to include Jeff McNeil here disappoints me. It really does. Sure, he missed the last few weeks with an injury, but he was hitting well above .300 before the injury and is now up to .344 after a 2/2 performance yesterday. The power and speed upside here doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence, but McNeil has proven that he’s a strong batting average source that can also chip in a little power and speed as well. Please, do yourself a favor and scoop McNeil up if he’s still on your league’s waiver wire.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire – Pitchers
Alex Reyes, SP/RP, St. Louis Cardinals
It’s not often that a pitcher with this much upside is available on the waiver wire. For the last few years, Alex Reyes was considered one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. If you watched him pitch for five seconds, it was easy to see why. Reyes made his MLB debut back in 2016, then subsequently missed all of 2017 recovering from Tommy John surgery. Once he was able to get back on a mound, Reyes quickly reminded everyone of his immense talent. Over the course of four rehab starts, Reyes posted a 0.00 ERA, 0.61 WHIP, and 44 strikeouts in 23 innings.
The surprise 82mph 3-2 curveball for Alex Reyes' first strikeout. pic.twitter.com/AW3NFqED1w
— Pitcher List (@PitcherList) March 5, 2019
Unfortunately, Reyes only made it back for one start before tearing a lat tendon. An entire article could be made with just talk of his injuries. His broken pinky this year was 100% his fault. Don’t punch walls kids, it never ends well. Luckily for Reyes, he still has a chance to lock down a Cardinals rotation gig. Now is the time to stash Reyes as he’s likely going to be back up after one more rehab start. Sure, there’s some risk here, but the potential reward vastly outweighs that.
Freddy Peralta, SP/RP, Milwaukee Brewers
Alex Reyes isn’t the only one we’re welcoming back to the starting rotation. After several lackluster starts to open the season, Freddy Peralta was shifted to the bullpen where he wasn’t that much better. Put it all together and he had a 5.68 ERA and 1.58 WHIP entering last night’s start against the Miami Marlins. Peralta picked up the win allowing one run on four hits over six innings, striking out nine, and most importantly, walking none. That’s the key for Peralta. He’s always had an electric arm with enticing stuff, but his inconsistent command has made him maddening to own. The upside alone is worth adding in standard mixed leagues. Let’s just hope he can keep his command in check moving forward.
Nick Pivetta, SP, Philadelphia Phillies
Remember when Pivetta was everyone’s favorite non-Nola Phillies starter and a popular breakout pick for 2019? Seems like forever ago, doesn’t it? Well, an 8.35 ERA and 2.13 WHIP through your first four starts will make people change their minds really quick. If this was an elite arm, you bench him and wait it out. But since this was a guy taken outside the top-200 in drafts, the majority of Pivetta owners kicked his under-performing rear end to the curb. And rightfully so.
But do you believe in second chances? If you do, Pivetta deserves one. Even if you don’t, Pivetta has been pitching well since his return to the Phillies rotation with a 2.45 ERA and 17/2 K/BB rate in 11 innings. His last time out ended in six shutout innings with nine strikeouts. There’s no denying that April was atrocious for Pivetta, but it looks like he’s turned the corner and for the rest of the season could very well be the Pivetta we thought we were getting in spring drafts.
Framber Valdez, SP/RP, Houston Astros
Well, the Corbin Martin era in the Houston rotation didn’t go according to plan so the young righty has been optioned back to Triple-A. Taking his spot in the rotation, for now, is Framber Valdez, who has been pitching in a long relief role for the Astros so far this season. A long relief role can prove difficult to provide value out of due to the inconsistent nature of the role, but Valdez was pitching well with a 3.12 ERA in 14 appearances.
Now in the rotation, Valdez has the chance to provide some back-end value as long as he can limit the walks. That’s been an issue for Valdez throughout his professional career, as evident by his 3.7 BB/9 combined between the minors and Majors. This isn’t going to be a move that pays big dividends, but if you need a starter in a bad way, I’d give Valdez a look.
Dallas Keuchel, SP, Atlanta Braves
This is just a friendly reminder to doublecheck your league’s waiver wire for Keuchel. He was likely drafted and stashed, but you never know.
Photo/Video Credit: Norfolk Tides, Pitcher List.
Eric Cross is the lead MLB/Fantasy Baseball writer and MiLB prospect analyst for FantraxHQ and has been with the site since March 2017. In the past, he wrote for FantasyPros and FanSided. He is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) and a contributor in the best-selling Fantasy Baseball Black Book. For more from Eric, check out his author page and follow him on Twitter @EricCross04.
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