We would all love to win our league on Draft Day, but that’s simply not possible. The fantasy baseball waiver wire is a necessary tool for fortifying your roster. How much FAAB should you be willing to spend on some of the hot adds? Here’s a look at some of the players, generally owned in 50% or less of leagues, who may be worth considering.
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Fantasy Baseball FAAB Recommendations
Must Target Options:
- Matt Brash – Seattle Mariners (FAAB – 10-15%) – While there have been some bumps, Brash appears to be the man after Paul Sewald was dealt at the deadline. There’s never been a question about his strikeout potential, and he has a solid 3.24 ERA in 8.1 August innings. While he did blow a save recently, he has successful converted back-to-back chances. The fact that he’s showing improved control this season (BB/9 of 5.86 in ’22 down to 3.74 this season) gives him even more of a chance for success. Saves are hard to come by, and Brash has the potential to be one of the best.
- Lawrence Butler – Oakland A’s (FAAB – 3-5%) – We all know Oakland needs help offensively, and Butler could help be the solution. Between Double and Triple-A he had 15 HR and 21 SB over 412 PA. There is some strikeout risk (SwStr% of 11.1% and 11.3% in the minors), but there’s enough power and speed to make him intriguing. He may have a longer leash than some other prospects, and there’s enough upside to make him worth the gamble. He may not be a high level prospect, but he could get hot and make an impact the rest of the year.
Young Players Who May Struggle:
- Oslevis Basabe – Tampa Bay Rays (FAAB – 0%) – The Wander Franco situation has created an opportunity for Basabe. He’s gotten off to a slow start, hitting .211 with 0 HR and 0 SB over his first 5 starts. Approach has never been an issue, but he’s struck out 33.3% of the time in the Majors. Will he get enough time to make an adjustment? That remains to be seen, but the Rays need production and they may not have a long leash. Don’t be surprised to see him back in the minors if he doesn’t turn it around quickly.
- Nolan Schanuel – Los Angeles Angels (FAAB – 1%) – Schanuel may be one of the most surprising recent callups. A first-round pick less than 6 weeks ago, he played 21 games across three levels before being promoted. He had 10 K vs. 21 BB over that time, but only 1 HR and 1 SB. The Angels are hoping to capitalize on his approach, hitting him atop the lineup in his MLB debut. Those in OBP formats could discover a two-trick pony (OBP & R), but little else. In dynasty formats, it’s a different story, but others need to be skeptical of his lack of experience.
- Masyn Wynn – St. Louis Cardinals (FAAB – 1-2%) – Did he find his power at Triple-A this season (18 HR over 498 PA)? Maybe, though that’s not going to be his calling card in the Majors. He may chip in double-digit home runs, but it’ll be more about making contact and stealing bases. He went 17-for-19 in SB at Triple-A, while showing an ability to make contact (7.6% SwStr%). He was considered St. Louis’ best prospect, though his defense is a big part of that (and do we care about that?). He’s worth grabbing, but the offensive upside may be limited.
Use Them While They’re Hot (But Don’t Grow Attached):
- Nicky Lopez – Atlanta Braves (FAAB – 1%) – Atlanta always manages to strike gold in their deadline deals, don’t they? Since being acquired Lopez has hit .368, with 1 HR and 1 SB. Of course, the home run is his only one of the season and he’s not an elite stolen base threat. He could get a few stolen bases, as he fills in for the injured Ozzie Albies, but long-term there simply isn’t much here.
- Andruw Monasterio – Milwaukee Brewers (FAAB – $0) – One of Monasterio’s best traits is his eligibility flexibility. Depending on your league rules he could have eligibility at 2B, 3B, and SS. He’s got some speed and a good approach (8.2% SwStr%, 22.7% O-Swing%), but is that enough to bid high for him? He’s been playing regularly, which gives him some appeal for the short term if you need help in OBP/SB. Get what you can and then move on.
- Nelson Velazquez – Kansas City Royals – He’s hitting .308 with 4 HR over 26 PA since going to Kansas City, making him the epitome of a use them while he’s hot player. Obviously, he’s not going to maintain a 50.0% HR/FB and his approach is abysmal (17.8% SwStr%, 37.4% O-Swing% overall). Things will tank, and likely soon, so get while you can out of him now.
- Zack Littell – Tampa Bay Rays (FAAB – $0) – He gets the Rockies, but as always they aren’t the same offense while on the road. Colorado is the second-lowest-scoring team on the road (233 runs) and owns the lowest OPS (.656). That’s an ideal matchup for any pitcher, especially one that’s looked good since coming out of the bullpen. As a starter, he owns a 3.00 ERA over 30.0 IP, with a 7.20 K/9 and 0.30 BB/9. Obviously, that will be tough to maintain, but for one start against a weaker offense? If you need a gamble he should prove worth it.
- Jesse Scholtens – Chicago White Sox (FAAB – 0-1%) – Scholtens moved to the rotation on August 1, and in three starts he’s allowed 6 ER with 17 K and 5 BB over 18.1 IP. That includes a start against the Rangers, so it hasn’t been against all soft offenses. Now he takes on the A’s, who own the worst OPS in baseball (.666). Scholtens isn’t a groundball pitcher (39.2%), but Oakland has hit the third-fewest home runs this season. Long-term Scholtens may be a reliever, but as a streaming starter he makes sense.
Sources – Fangraphs, MLB.com, CBS Sports