Here are some waiver wire targets ahead of matchup number 10 that you should consider adding. The following recommendations are organized here as deep and shallow league targets. The players you choose to add and drop from your team should largely depend on your league size and roster construction.
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Deep League Waiver Wire Targets
C Patrick Bailey – SF
Patrick Bailey continues to earn playing time with the Giants as their primary backstop. He has performed well so far, tallying two homers, four runs, and 12 RBI in 41 PAs. His AVG sits at .333. And his manager seems to love him as a player:
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) June 1, 2023
There are some negatives that come with playing Bailey – he has a 2.4% walk rate and a 26.8% K rate. He is slightly worse than league average at chase rate and contact rate, at 33% and 73.9% respectively. Those discipline issues may make it difficult for him to sustain a decent batting average.
On the other hand, Bailey drives and pulls the ball extremely well, which are skills that allow for more hits. He also has a 35% line drive rate, helping to buoy his BABIP and AVG.
Bailey, granted in a small sample size, has a 10.3% barrel rate and a 51.7% HardHit rate. If he qualified, his barrel rate would rank tied for fifth with William Contreras and Shea Langeliers among catchers. His HardHit rate would rank first.
If he can get his flyball rate above its current 25% mark, Bailey could see a major boost in home runs.
Bailey is widely available, and has the lion’s share of playing time at catcher for the Giants, and should be added from waivers in deep leagues.
1B Ryan Noda – OAK
Ryan Noda is quietly having a solid fantasy season, posting quality roto stats, aside from his batting average. His six home runs are tied for ninth among first basemen, his 28 runs are tied for 10th, and his 19 RBI are tied for 18th. Even with a .231 AVG, in deep leagues, Noda is very fantasy relevant. Check out his most recent bomb:
Ryan Noda – Oakland Athletics (5)
— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) May 28, 2023
Noda has a 16.9% barrel rate, third among qualified first basemen behind Pete Alonso and Matt Olson. His 48.2% HardHit rate is seventh among qualified first basemen. If he can continue to hit the ball hard and drive the ball at a 23.8% rate, he may be able to maintain a BABIP close to his current .351 mark. That may prevent his AVG from regressing too much. Noda also has a 53% pull rate, which could also keep his average from plummeting.
Noda’s biggest issue seems to be actually making contact, but his plate discipline numbers are quite odd. He has a 33% K rate, but just a 22% chase rate – the third-best in baseball. What he needs to improve most is his contact rate on pitches outside of the strike zone, which is a league-worst 35%.
He is extremely patient at the plate, maybe too patient – his 40.7% swing rate is the fourth lowest in baseball. Being more aggressive could benefit him, so keep an eye on his approach at the plate. Even with the discipline issues, Noda is a must-roster in deep leagues, and should be added from waivers now.
SS Elly De La Cruz – CIN
I know I’ve written about him here recently, but speculation has been growing that he will receive a call to the big leagues very soon.
He posted a cryptic picture on social media that many took as a sign of his imminent call-up:
That call has yet to happen but could come any day now.
Elly has received comparisons to stars like Fernando Tatis and Ronald Acuna for his ability to hit for power and to steal bases. In AAA this season, he has done exactly that, with 11 home runs and 11 steals. He has also tallied 33 runs and 33 RBI.
Concerns over his plate discipline have been quelled somewhat this season. His 13.8% walk rate is a career-best so far in four minor league seasons. He also lowered his strikeout rate to 26.3%, its lowest point since rookie ball in 2019.
He should be an immediate factor for the Reds and for fantasy managers and if available. Elly should be added from waivers immediately.
OF Jose Siri – TB
Like many of his Rays counterparts, Jose Siri has made significant strides as a hitter this season thanks to a team-wide approach change. In just 32 games and 118 PAs, Siri has 10 home runs, 22 runs, 22 RBI, five steals, and a .245 AVG.
Siri increased both his barrel and HardHit rates from last season. His barrel rate is up to 17.8%, which would be top-10 in baseball if he qualified. His HardHit rate is up to 42.5% from 33% last season.
Part of the reason for his increased rate of homers is thanks to a 45% flyball rate combined with a 30% HR/FB rate. His career HR/FB rate is 17.9%, so the home run pace may slow a bit.
And his AVG seems to be reasonably low with a .258 BABIP and a very low 15.3% LD rate driving it.
Siri has lowered his chase rate for the third year in a row but suffers from the same problem as Ryan Noda. He struggles immensely when it comes to making contact on pitches outside of the zone.
He has a few things to correct, like driving the ball more and making more contact, but if he does those things, the average could feasibly improve. That would make him a major fantasy asset that you could get for a reasonably low cost from the waiver wire now.
SP JP Sears – OAK
Like all Oakland pitchers, JP Sears will struggle to earn wins, making him much more of a target in leagues that feature quality starts. Aside from that, Sears is a deep league target on waivers thanks to his ability to induce strikeouts and limit walks.
He has an 8.15 K/9 rate thanks to four pitches with whiff rates above 20%, including a slider that has a 36.7% whiff rate and a 33% putaway rate.
Sears has shown excellent command this season, with a 1.66 BB/9 rate, sixth best among qualified starters this season and well above league average.
If he can induce more ground balls – he has just a 27% GB rate right now – it would help limit his home runs allowed and lower his 4.37 ERA.
Even with certain limitations, Sears should be added from the waiver wire and rostered across more leagues.
Shallow League Waiver Wire Targets
C Francisco Alvarez – NYM
Francisco Alvarez has blossomed in May after batting just .194 with a home run, three runs, and two RBI. Since May, Alvarez has added seven homers, 11 runs, and 17 RBI, while batting .292. His AVG sits at .259 on the season.
Alvarez has a 10% barrel rate and a 35% HardHit rate, which both have potentially influenced his home run boom. He has added power despite a 53.8% GB rate and a 69.4% contact rate. If he qualified as a batter, his contact rate would be the worst in the league.
Do not let that detract you, though. Alvarez’s chase rate and swinging strike rate are trending in a positive direction. Alvarez also improved his strikeout rate from a short stint last season.
Alvarez appears to be the team’s primary backstop and should continue to get most of the starting opportunities behind the plate. When Max Scherzer likes what you do, it certainly helps your case to get more playing time:
"He's got that 'it' factor to him. He's going to be a great player."
Max Scherzer on Francisco Álvarez: pic.twitter.com/s31TZ6NdbK
— SNY (@SNYtv) June 1, 2023
He may not stay as hot as this as the season continues, but he is one of the hottest catchers available right now. He should be added from waivers where available.
3B/2B Ryan McMahon – COL
Ryan McMahon finally turned it on in recent weeks. He is now up to eight home runs, 28 runs, 31 RBI, four steals, and a .250 AVG. Here is his most recent homer:
Ryan McMahon has homered in FOUR STRAIGHT! pic.twitter.com/624XLg1uWc
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) May 29, 2023
McMahon’s BABIP is .342 compared to a .313 career BABIP, and is the highest of his career. He has a 21% LD rate, but even still, his BABIP is likely to drop and so is his AVG.
McMahon’s plate discipline should keep his average from dipping too far, though. His chase, contact, and swinging strike rates are all almost identical to his career average rates, or slightly better.
He should continue to produce power, though. McMahon has a 13.3% barrel rate and a 50% HardHit rate – both career bests. His 17% HR/FB rate is just below his career AVG, so he could realistically add to his home run pace.
If you need some corner or middle infield help, consider picking up McMahon from the waiver wire.
OF/2B/3B/SS Chris Taylor – LAD
Chris Taylor continues to hover over the Mendoza Line, but his BABIP is experiencing some positive regression, as is his average. That makes this an excellent time to add him.
Taylor has a 23% line drive rate, just under his career rate, but his BABIP is nearly 100 points lower than his career rate. He is mashing the ball, with a career-best 15.2% barrel rate and a near career-best 40.5% HardHit rate. Just take a look at this shot:
Chris Taylor CRUSHED this baseball…
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) May 28, 2023
Taylor has a 45.6% pull rate as well. All of these factors make his .211 AVG seem too low; his .235 xBA reflects this.
The most obvious reason for his batting average struggles is his plate discipline. He has a career-worst contact rate and the second-worst chase rate of his career. These come with a 49.1% swing rate, which is aggressive for Taylor, who has reached that mark three other times in nine seasons prior to this one.
Perhaps if he swung less, it would lead to fewer strikeouts and more contact. Even without an adjustment like that, Taylor has done well. He has nine homers and six steals and is on his way to his fourth season overall (and his third consecutive season) of double-digit homers and steals.
He is multi-position eligible and likely to improve, so now is the time to add him from waivers.
SP Kyle Bradish – BAL
Kyle Bradish has been a pleasant surprise this season after struggling to a 4.90 ERA in 2022. His 3.89 ERA is a major improvement and seems to be sustainable for the second-year pitcher.
Part of the reason he could potentially sustain an ERA in this range is thanks to a relatively normalized BABIP and HR/FB rate. Plus, he has limited walks well, posting a 2.86 BB/9 rate.
Bradish has stranded runners at a 75% clip while inducing grounders at a 41.4% rate. His LOB% is above league average, while his GB% is just below.
The young pitcher never finished a minor league stint with a K/9 rate under nine, but he had an 8.49 K/9 rate last season and has a 7.36 K/9 rate so far this year.
He has modified his pitch mix this season, tossing his sinker more and his fastball and slider less. That could be a reason his K/9 rate is so low. His slider and curveball are unquestionably his best pitches and have performed even better this season than last. Bradish’s slider has a .203 BAA, a .183 xBAA, a 35.6% whiff rate, and a 25.6% putaway rate. His curveball has a .200 BAA, a. 246 xBAA, a 34.4.% whiff rate, and a 27.5% putaway rate.
His fastball and sinker play well off each other, and maybe readjusting his pitch mix would work better. Here is how he has been able to fool batters with those pitches:
Kyle Bradish, 94mph Two Seamer and 88mph Slider, Overlay pic.twitter.com/ec3E2lXsHA
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 20, 2023
His fastball, sinker, and changeup have not performed nearly as well as last season. If he can get those pitches on track, the sky is the limit. Add Bradish from waivers now and reap the rewards.
Other Players to Add from Waivers
Here are a few other players available in a range of league sizes that you should consider adding if they are on your waiver wire.
- C: Francisco Alvarez, Elias Diaz, Matt Thaiss, William Contreras, Luke Maile, Connor Wong
- CI: Spencer Steer, Owen Miller (2B), Zach McKinstry (2B/OF), Jeimer Candelario, Josh Naylor, J.D. Davis, Jake Burger, Gio Urshela, Casey Schmitt (SS), Brendan Donovan, Brandon Drury (2B), Yuli Gurriel
- MI: Ha-Seong Kim (3B), Matt McLain, Bryson Stott, Royce Lewis, Adam Frazier, J.P. Crawford, Isiah Kiner-Falefa (OF), Luis Garcia, Zach Neto, Ezequiel Tovar, Kevin Newman, Paul DeJong, Jose Caballero, Michael Massey
- OF: Willi Castro (3B), Luke Raley (1B), Connor Joe (1B), Tucupita Marcano (SS/2B), Bryan De La Cruz, Michael Conforto, Akil Baddoo, Mitch Haniger, Esteury Ruiz, Lane Thomas, Leody Taveras, Corey Dickerson, Jarred Kelenic, Austin Hays, Jake McCarthy, Marcell Ozuna, Andrew McCutchen, Ji Hwan Bae, Randal Grichuk
- SP: Miles Mikolas, Logan Allen, Ben Lively, Braxton Garrett, Kyle Gibson, Louie Varland, Michael Wacha, Andrew Heaney, Tommy Henry, Tanner Bibee, Zack Greinke, MacKenzie Gore, Brayan Bello, Michael Lorenzen, Domingo German, Tarik Skubal
- RP: Alex Lange, Miguel Castro, Kyle Finnegan, Giovanny Gallegos, Craig Kimbrel, Jason Adam, Andrew Chafin, Will Smith, Kendall Graveman
Prospect Waiver Wire Watch
A number of prospects are worthy of consideration for waiver wire claims due to being called up or potentially being called up. Here are a few to consider adding.
- NYM SS Ronny Mauricio – may get called up with 2B being somewhat of a black hole for the Mets
- ATL SP AJ Smith-Shawyer – will be pitching out of the bullpen after a dominant minor league campaign
- LAD SP Bobby Miller – 9:2 K:BB ratio in 11 IP; one QS and 2 W in first two starts; risk of demotion when Michael Grove returns
- STL SP Matthew Liberatore – STL is going to move either him or Matz to the bullpen; both are struggling
- CIN SP Brandon Williamson – Clear issues with control even at AAA with more than 5 BB/9, should get consistent starts, but risky to add him
- CIN 1B/3B Christian Encarnacion-Strand – .352 AVG and 14 homers in 33 games at AAA
- BAL OF Colton Cowser – another BAL minor leaguer that should get the call soon; 7/43/28/5/.331 at AAA
- MIA SP Eury Perez – 19:10 K:BB ratio in 19 IP; has locked down a spot in the rotation for the long term
- NYM 3B Brett Baty – still on the heavy side of a platoon, but producing
- ChC 1B Matt Mervis – sputtering lately; AVG below .200
- ARI 3B Emmanuel Rivera – playing mostly against LHP, but getting into the lineup more often lately
- PIT SP Luis Ortiz – going to continue to get run with PIT while Vasquez is out