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Fantasy Baseball FAAB Recommendations for MLB Week 4

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

Brandon Pfaadt – Arizona Diamondbacks

With Madison Bumgarner being designated for assignment, Pfaadt could get his opportunity in the very near future.  While home runs could be an issue, Pfaadt brings strikeout stuff and pinpoint control.  In 82.0 IP at Triple-A the past two years he has 96 K vs. 18 BB. gave a good scouting report on his repertoire, as they ranked him as Arizona’s third-best prospect:

The 6-foot-4 right-hander topped out at 96.2 mph in the Pacific Coast League but is typically more around 93-94 mph with his fastball. The pitch has enough carry to work up in the zone, giving another tick or two of quality. Pfaadt utilized his low-80s slider the most among his secondary pitches (roughly 28 percent of the time at the Minors’ top level), and it got a healthy amount of swing-and-miss because of its promising sweep across the zone. A mid-80s changeup moved the other way toward his arm-side and dove enough out of the zone to have a higher whiff percentage than the slider, while his upper-70s curveball is mostly used for show and little else.”

There’s always the potential for rookie starters to struggle.  However, the upside is far too high to ignore.  He’s a must-own in all formats.

Verdict – Must Own
FAAB – 15% (think $150ish in $1,000 FAAB, would be high if there wasn’t rookie risk)

Johan Oviedo – Pittsburgh Pirates

Oviedo had a rough first start, but has been highly impressive in his three subsequent outings:

  • CWS – 6.2 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 0 BB, 5 K
  • at Stl – 7.0 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 1 BB, 10 K
  • at Col – 6.0 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 3 BB, 6 K

Overall he’s shown all three metrics we look for.  He’s shown strikeouts (9.25 K/9 courtesy of a 14.6% SwStr%).  His control has been impeccable (2.96 BB/9).  He has been a groundball machine (55.1%).  While there is going to be a regression (88.2%), his move to use his curveball more (21.7%) has clearly been beneficial.

While the upside may not be as high as others, there’s enough to make him well worth buying.

Verdict – Well worth owning, despite the regression coming
FAAB – 3-5% (if you are pitching needy, think $40-50 in $1,000 FAAB)

Taylor Walls – Tampa Bay Rays

It’s generally tough to trust Tampa Bay Rays players.  As a team that generally plays matchups, will he get enough playing time to hold value?  Thus far Walls has appeared in 13 of the Rays’ 19 games, or roughly 68% of their games.  Sure everyone is going to sit, but is this really enough?

Now add in that Walls is hitting .350, courtesy of a .367 BABIP and his 18.8% HR/FB is uncharacteristic.  He’s also been flyball heavy (48.5%) and hasn’t hit the ball particularly hard (21.2% Hard%).

So you have questionable playing time and a regression likely coming…  Does that sound like a strong buy candidate?

Verdict – Short-term fill-in
FAAB – $0 bid if allowed (No more than $2 in $1,000 FAAB)

Mauricio Dubón – Houston Astros

Dubón has claimed the 2B/leadoff job with Jose Altuve sidelined.  While he’s hit .343 over 70 PA, it’s been relatively empty with 0 HR, 1 SB, 4 RBI and 14 R.  We can’t even say he’s been tremendous getting on base, with a meager 2.9% walk rate.

He’s been chasing far too many pitches out of the strike zone (45.5% O-Swing%).  He also hasn’t hit the ball hard (85.6 mph Exit Velocity).  Throw in 9 SB in 805 career PA and exactly what is to like?

Verdict – Short-term fill-in
FAAB – $0 bid if allowed (No more than $2 in $1,000 FAAB)

Christopher Morel – Chicago Cubs

With Trey Mancini struggling (.217 with 1 HR in 64 PA), how long will it be until Morel returns to the Majors?  He proved he belonged last season (16 HR in 425 PA) and is raking at Triple-A to open the year.

In his first 68 PA, he’s hitting .357 with 5 HR, while adding 7 doubles and 1 triple.  Strikeouts are going to be a big part of his game (18.0% SwStr%), so don’t look for him to provide much in AVG/OBP.  Still, the upside is high enough in the other categories to hold value.  Think Joey Gallo type, though obviously better.

Verdict – Must stash
FAAB – 5-10% (think $50ish in $1,000 as a buy before it’s too late)

Peyton Battenfield – Cleveland Guardians

Sure Battenfield isn’t going to maintain his 1.69 ERA over his first 2 starts (a .207 BABIP has helped).  That doesn’t mean that he’s not going to be productive though…  That said, he’s never going to be an ace.  Keep in mind these marks from 28 starts in Triple-A in ’22:

  • Strikeouts – 6.38 K/9
  • Control – 3.34 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 39.1%

There is more strikeout potential, as he had an 11.3% SwStr% (17.6% in his two starts this year).  He also has generally shown pinpoint control.  While home runs could be an issue, in the right matchup he’s going to provide value.

Verdict – Streaming option with upside
FAAB – 2-3% (think no more than $10 in $1,000 FAAB)

Sources – Fangraphs,

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