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
Wandy Peralta – New York Yankees
Fantasy owners are always on the lookout for saves, which puts Peralta on radars. He had earned saves in three straight appearances, before blowing a save on May 17 (he allowed a walkoff home run). Does the bump in the road put him out of the mix?
It can’t be overlooked that he was brought into the eighth inning of a 3-2 game on Friday. That would mean that he wasn’t going to be used to grab the save. That’s obviously a concern, as is his 5.40 BB/9 entering Friday.
He does bring groundballs (55.8%) and strikeout stuff (14.9% SwStr%, 37.0% O-Swing%). Is that enough, though? You could argue that Michael King is the better option, and with his control issues he’s unlikely to ever emerge as the sole owner. With that in mind, he’s going to be a desperation dart throw.
FAAB – 2-5% (think no more than $25 in a $1,000 FAAB, and only for those most desperate for saves)
Dylan Floro – Miami Marlins
He’s got 25 saves over the past two years, and appears to be emerging as the Marlins’ closer once again. Floro has saves in his last three appearances, while he’s showing upside in all of the skills we look for:
- Strikeouts – 7.97 K/9
- Control – 2.21 BB/9
- Groundballs – 58.9%
The main question right now is if he cedes the role back to A.J. Puk once he’s ready to return from the IL. With Puk working his way back, it’s possible Floro is just a short-term fill-in. If you are desperate for saves, sometimes if you have to pay and hope for the best. Having the job to himself, at least for now, is going to make him a highly sought-after option. That’s going to mean you have to pay, and hope that he can pile up the saves while the job is his (and hopefully he can hold it long term).
FAAB – 5-7.5% (think $50-75 in a $1,000 FAAB, but know that you may need to go higher than that)
Infielders – Additional Waiver Wire/FAAB Options:
- Jake Burger – Chicago White Sox (FAAB – 1.5-2%) – Sure he has 10 HR… His 17.2% SwStr% and 46.8% O-Swing% hang over him. He has shown power against all types of pitches, including 3 HRs against sliders and 3 HRs against curveballs. That’s nice, and he’s a good source of power if you are in need, but he brings little else. That limits the potential FAAB appeal. He’s more than a $0 type, but he’s nothing more than $20 in a $1,000 FAAB.
- Paul DeJong – St. Louis Cardinals (FAAB – $1-5) – There was a time that DeJong wouldn’t have found himself on a waiver wire. While those days are long behind us, his current resurgence has thrust him back into the spotlight. Through his first 78 PA he’s hitting .282 with 6 HR. His 30.0% HR/FB and contact concerns (14.5% SwStr%) loom large, though. He’s a ride ’em while he’s hot type, which means spending a ton makes no sense. Making a $0 bid is certainly reasonable.
- Nick Pratto – Kansas City Royals (FAAB – 1-2%) – There’s pop in his bat and his approach has been solid thus far (10.9% SwStr%, 22.8% O-Swing%). His average Exit Velocity for his MLB career does stand at just 86.1 mph, which is concerning. He also hasn’t been getting the ball in the air very often (25.6% fly ball rate). In other words, as currently constructed there are flaws. The upside is there, if he can make the adjustments, but currently there’s little reason to put a large bid on him. Think under $20.
- Spencer Steer – Cincinnati Reds (FAAB – 10%) – It’s quite surprising he’s still available in as many leagues as he is (rostered in just 36% of CBS Sports formats). That appears to be changing, and while it’ll now cost you he should no longer be unowned. He’s hitting .255 with 5 HR over 174 PA. However, he’s showing a strong approach (10.0% SwStr%, 25.5% O-Swing%) and his 90.2 mph average Exit Velocity is solid. He’s added 11 doubles and 1 triple, and in that ballpark, more power should be on the way. His .306 BABIP should also rise, meaning more across-the-board production is coming. He’s a must-own, and while you may still be able to get him on the cheaper size you don’t want to risk missing out. Seeing a $100+ bid isn’t unreasonable, though you likely won’t need to push the envelope quite that much.
Outfielders – Additional Waiver Wire/FAAB Options:
- Brenton Doyle – Colorado Rockies (FAAB – 2-3%) – He’s shown both power and speed, with 4 HR and 6 SB over his first 62 PA. However you need to make contact to tap into those skills, and with his 15.5% SwStr% that’s going to be a concern. You also have to wonder if someone like Nolan Jones or Yonathan Daza could return to the Majors, and impact his playing time. Those two things are going to help limit the FAAB bid, but the power/speed combination makes him impossible to ignore. A $25 bid in a $1,000 FAAB makes sense, with the potential to go a little bit higher if you feel it’s necessary.
- Dominic Fletcher – Arizona Diamondbacks (FAAB – 2-3%) – While he’s shown a good approach (6.8% SwStr%, 28.0% O-Swing%), that’s been about the only positive. He doesn’t offer much speed (1 SB in 174 PA between Triple-A and the Majors). His power is also still developing and currently is more geared for extra bases (10 doubles, 5 triples, 5 HR combined). The potential for that to continue coming, at the highest level, is intriguing. However, with Alek Thomas and Jake McCarthy waiting at Triple-A, the time for Fletcher could be short. Keep that in mind before going all in. In $1,000 FAAB he’s more of a $15 type bid, if not a little bit more.
- Lane Thomas – Washington Nationals (FAAB – 2%) – There was some preseason hype, and it’s starting to come together. Over 183 PA he has 6 HR and 4 SB, as he continues to show an impressive approach (8.1% SwStr%, 29.7% O-Swing%). While a regression in his .360 BABIP does hang over him, there’s more than enough to like.
Pitchers – Additional Waiver Wire/FAAB Options:
- Brayan Bello – Boston Red Sox (FAAB – 10-15%) – He’s allowed 2 ER or fewer in four straight starts. Given his pedigree that’s going to bring hope. Adding to the appeal is the strikeout stuff (9.85 K/9, courtesy of a 12.2% SwStr) and groundballs (61.9%). Considering the latter his 1.59 HR/9 should plummet, and his .350 BABIP should also improve. Throw in solid control (3.81 BB/9) and there’s an awful lot to like. While he may be inconsistent, having thrown 153.1 innings last season a cap isn’t likely going to be a problem.
- Kyle Bradish – Baltimore Orioles (FAAB – 3-5%) – Bradish has shown control (2.78 BB/9) and enough groundballs (47.4%). He isn’t striking out a ton of batters, but his 11.9% SwStr% and pitch diversification shows upside. Thus far he’s gone less than 5.0 innings per start, though going 1.2 and 2.1 innings in two of his first three starts helps skew that. He’s gone 6+ innings in each of his past two starts, including holding the Dodgers to 1 ER over 6.2 IP. Having shown the same signs last season (despite his 4.90 ERA), there’s a lot to like. You shouldn’t need to spend a ton to get him, but there’s definite appeal and upside. Spending $25-30 in a $1,000 FAAB would certainly make sense, depending on your format/league size.
- Matthew Liberatore – St. Louis Cardinals (FAAB – 5-7.5%) – Once a valued prospect, Liberatore has seemingly fallen off the map in recent years. That changed in a big way while at Triple-A (46.0 IP) as he posted a 3.13 ERA. He has all three skills, with a 10.96 K/9, 3.33 BB/9, and 50.0% groundball rate. The thing to watch will be his pitch usage, as he was primarily a two-pitch starter in his only outing thus far (56.8% fastball, 35.8% curveball). The upside is there, but we can’t ignore the risks and need to factor that into our bids.
- Michael Lorenzen – Detroit Tigers (FAAB – $1-2 bid) – He owns a 3.44 ERA over his first six starts. He’s primarily used just three pitches, has struggled to generate swings and misses (8.7% SwStr%), and hasn’t gotten many groundballs. His best attribute has been his control (2.38 BB/9), though that feels like an aberration (3.72 for his career). He’s the type of pitcher to stream against weaker opponents.