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Week 8 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Targets

Here are some waiver wire targets ahead of matchup number eight 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.

More great fantasy baseball advice and analysis: Waiver Wire & FAAB Recommendations | Daily MLB Injury Report | MLB DFS Picks | Line-up Analysis | Dynasty Rankings and Strategy | MLB Bullpen Updates | MLB Player Props | Prospect Rankings & Analysis | Fantasy Baseball Risers and Fallers

Deep League Waiver Targets

C Yan Gomes – ChC

Yan Gomes has been excellent this season as the primary backstop for the Cubs but has gone largely overlooked in fantasy. He has six home runs, 12 runs, 17 RBIs, one steal, and a .282 AVG on the season.

Gomes has lowered his strikeout rate to a career-low 15.4%, helping him to his best batting average since 2020. His .269 BABIP is 20 points lower than his career mark. And a career-low 13.7% LD rate and a pull rate under 40% both support a lower BABIP.

The veteran catcher has a 17.6% HR/FB rate – 4.6% higher than his career rate – but has hit the ball harder than ever. He has put the ball in the air more than ever as well. Gomes has career bests in his 12.3% barrel rate and 42.5% HardHit rate, which have led to more production than in recent seasons.

If Gomes has been lingering on the waiver wire in your league, and you need catcher help, he is worth adding immediately.

3B Jake Burger – CWS

Jake Burger has been on fire since returning from the IL on May 14. Since then, he has gone 7-for-12 (.583) with three home runs, three runs, and six RBI  – homering three games in a row. On the season, he is 10/14/20/.278, and has essentially claimed the third base role (also spending some time at DH).

He has a low .279 BABIP, considering some of the background metrics that he has produced so far. He has an 18.9% LD rate and a 50.9% pull rate, which are higher than he has averaged over his career so far. Yet his career BABIP is .324. Burger has also hit the ball harder than ever, barreling the ball at an astounding 26.4% rate with a 50.9% HardHit rate. That has led to home runs like this one:

Burger has a lot of swing-and-miss in his game, chasing at a 46.2% rate, among the worst in the league. He has a 67.8% contact rate, well below league average. Both his high chase rate and low contact rate play a large role in his 30.3% K rate. Despite his issues with discipline, projections have him batting as high as .259 over the rest of the season. That is a reasonable expectation considering the other data in his profile.

If someone dropped him because of his IL stint, and he has made his way to your waiver wire, he is very much worth an add.

SS Paul DeJong – STL

Paul DeJong has played his way into essentially an everyday role in St. Louis. He has five home runs on the season, three in the last 10 days, along with 12 runs, nine RBI, a steal, and a .288 AVG. Here is his most recent nuke:

The last two seasons for DeJong have been shortened by injury, but he has been extremely productive this season, turning in some of his best numbers since 2021.

DeJong is within a percent of his career walk and strikeout rates. He has improved his chase, contact, and line drive rates to their best marks since 2020. That season, he hit .250 in 174 PAs, with a .340 BABIP. This season, he has 73 PAs and a .341 BABIP. He may not continue to hit in the .280s, but he could do better than his career .234 AVG this season.

DeJong has also posted career bests in barrel rate (10.9%) and HardHit rate (50%), which help legitimize a boost in his power numbers. He may experience some regression to the rate of his homers, though. His HR/FB rate is 29.4% compared to a 15% rate over his career, in addition to the lowest flyball rate of his career.

DeJong’s metrics show an improved player from the last two seasons when he struggled mightily. Trust the performance, and pick him up from the waiver wire.

OF Brenton Doyle – COL

Colorado’s Brenton Doyle has hit well in his 53 PAs so far this season. He has four homers and six steals with a .255 AVG and a .323 BABIP.

One thing to remember with Rockies hitters is that BABIPs will be higher, so he could maintain his BABIP and AVG as many projections suggest.

Doyle performed excellently in the minors, posting seasons of double-digit homers and steals in high-A and AA. He also had a .306 AVG in AAA this season before his call-up to the majors.

He has a 20% barrel rate and a 45.7% HardHit rate in a small sample size. But his hard contact reflects a player who could and should reach double-digit homers, especially spending half of his games in Colorado. Just check this one out:

Doyle is absolutely worth consideration from the waiver wire in most league sizes and formats.

SP Matthew Liberatore – STL

Matthew Liberatore finally got the call from the Cardinals with Jordan Montgomery, Miles Mikolas, Jack Flaherty, Steven Matz, and Adam Wainwright all posting ERAs over 4.00.

In AAA this season, Liberatore turned in a 3.13 ERA in 46 IP with a 4-1 record. Before receiving the call from St. Louis, he had a 10.9 K/9 and a 50% GB rate, both very impressive.

In his first start in the majors this season, he struck out six batters in five innings while walking three, likely earning another turn in the rotation.

Liberatore tosses five pitches – a fastball, curveball, sinker, slider, and changeup mix – primarily leaning on his fastball and curveball. In his first start, batters were unable to hit his curveball, whiffing 30.8% on it. Here is a clip of him throwing those pitches in a start last year, showing why he could be dominant over the rest of this season:

Liberatore has the skills to stick in the majors and needs to be added from waivers as soon as possible.

Shallow League Waiver Targets

C Cal Raleigh – SEA

Cal Raleigh has continued to hit well for Seattle. He is up to seven home runs, 23 runs, 22 RBI, and a .233 AVG on the season.

Raleigh has a .291 BABIP, far above his .248 career BABIP, but a 22% LD rate and a 55.8% pull rate are signs that he could maintain a higher BABIP and AVG than in the past. He has also mashed the ball this season, possessing a 16.3% barrel rate and a 43% HardHit rate. Those hard contact numbers support a hitter that could put 25+ homers out of the park as his projections suggest. Here he is launching one over the Green Monster in Boston:

He could also maintain his batting average, which is much higher than his .208 career AVG. The catcher has career bests in chase, contact, swinging strike, and strikeout rates that show an improved hitter.

Raleigh likely is not available in deeper leagues, but in shallow leagues, he should be considered from waivers.

1B/OF Alex Kirilloff – MIN

Alex Kirilloff has yet to play more than 120 games at any level, but the early returns look good so far this season in 25 games across A, AAA, and the major league level.

In 44 PAs for Minnesota this season, Kirilloff has a 13% BB and a 22% K rate, producing two home runs, six runs, three RBI, and a .333 AVG. His BABIP is a bit high at .417, so some regression to his AVG should be expected going forward.

He has done some things to maintain a high AVG. Kirilloff has driven the ball well, and has shown much better discipline than in his past major league appearances.

His multiple positional eligibility make him enticing, and he has hit his way into the everyday lineup. This means Kirilloff should be added from waivers for those that need outfield or corner infield help.

SS Matt McLain – CIN

Matt McLain played his way into the starting shortstop role for Cincinnati with Jose Barrero and Kevin Newman struggling.

McLain had 12 home runs, 10 steals, and a .348 AVG in AAA this season after going 17/27/.232 for AA in 2022. Here is his first career hit for the Reds, beating the throw for a double:

While his 44% K rate in nine PAs this season looks awful, he showed excellent discipline in AAA, with a 19.7% K rate. He also walked 16.8% of the time in AAA this season.

The rookie projects for double-digit homers and steals in the majors according to most of the projection systems for the rest of the season. Although his projections for his AVG land between .230-.248, he could end up doing slightly better if he can get his discipline numbers closer to what he did in the minors.

McLain has likely been scooped up in deeper leagues, so if he is available on the waiver wire in shallow leagues, he should be added now.

OF Jake Fraley – CIN

Jake Fraley likely has been a popular add this week in leagues that feature daily waiver adds. For those in shallow or weekly waiver leagues, he should be added this week.

Over the last seven days, Fraley has gone 10-for-24 (.417), with three home runs, seven runs, 10 RBI, and two steals. That takes him up to 5/16/29/5/.276 on the season. He has also been extremely clutch this season:

Fraley may see some BABIP and AVG regression with a low 16% LD rate, but it should not fall off too far. He has a career-best 19.1% K rate. He also has a career-best 78.9% contact rate.

While Fraley is not known as a hard hitter, he possesses a modest 7.7% barrel rate. He could see a slight increase in his home run rate. His HR/FB rate is 2% lower than his career rate, and he has added 5% to his FB rate from last season, taking it up to 41.8%.

Fraley projects to be a 20/20/.265 hitter over the rest of the season, which is incredibly valuable. If he has managed to escape being rostered in shallow leagues, now is the time to add him.

SP Dane Dunning – TEX

Dane Dunning has been having a career year, posting a 1.69 ERA across 37.1 IP this season. He has mostly been a reliever but has taken on a starting role with Jacob deGrom on the IL.

He had off-season surgery on his hip that has played a major factor in his improved results this season. This has been especially evident in regard to his command as shown here:

His last three games have been as a starter, where he has allowed just three earned runs and a 12:2 K:BB rate in 17 IP.

Despite a career-low 5.5 K/9 rate, he has a career-best 1.69 BB/9 rate and 77.8% LOB rate. Dunning has also maintained a high GB rate, at 50%. He should end up experiencing some regression to his ERA as his 4.46 xFIP and 4.31 SIERA suggest, thanks partially to a low .234 BABIP. But he may not regress as far as those projections suggest if he maintains a career-low 16% LD rate and 5.4% barrel rate allowed.

Dunning’s sinker, slider, changeup, and cutter have been particularly effective (he also tosses a fastball and curveball). Of those four pitches, his slider has the highest batting average against at .214. His cutter, slider, and changeup all have whiff rates in the 21%-25% range.

Dunning should continue to receive starting opportunities as long as deGrom is out, potentially until early June, and should be added from waivers where available.

Other Players to Add

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: Elias Diaz, Gabriel Moreno, Matt Thaiss, Eric Haase
  • CI: Casey Schmitt, Nick Pratto, Ezequiel Duran (SS), Isaac Paredes (2B/SS), Joey Meneses (OF), Miguel Vargas (2B), Spencer Steer, J.D. Davis, Zach McKinstry (2B/OF), Owen Miller (2B), Spencer Torkelson
  • MI: Taylor Walls (3B), Kyle Farmer (3B), Hanser Alberto (3B), Jon Berti (3B), Anthony Volpe, Luis Garcia, Javier Baez, CJ Abrams, Adam Frazier (OF), Brice Turang, Geraldo Perdomo, Nolan Gorman
  • OF: LaMonte Wade Jr. (1B), Luke Raley (1B), Nick Senzel (3B), Christopher Morel (2B), Lourdes Gurriel, Harrison Bader, Dominic Fletcher, Lars Nootbaar, Esteury Ruiz, Jorge Soler, Lane Thomas, Mickey Moniak, Riley Greene, Jurickson Profar, Leody Taveras, Randal Grichuk, Jarren Duran
  • SP: Tyler Wells, J.P. France, Bailey Ober, Michael Wacha, Drew Smyly, Josiah Gray, Louie Varland, James Paxton, MacKenzie Gore, Kyle Freeland, Michael Lorenzen, Jake Irvin, Kyle Bradish, Alex Wood, Cal Quantrill, Rich Hill, Patrick Corbin
  • RP: Evan Phillips, Yennier Cano, Alex Lange, Scott Barlow, Jason Adam, Will Smith, Wandy Peralta, Miguel Castro, Jhoan Duran, Pete Fairbanks, Liam Hendriks

Prospect 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.

  • CIN SS Elly De La Cruz – playing his way into a role in the majors; six HR, 17 R, 19 RBI, 5 SB, .278 AVG at AAA
  • BAL SS Jordan Westburg – dominating at AAA; 11 HR, 32 R, 40 RBI, 4 SB, .317 AVG; could be called up any day
  • OAK OF JJ Bleday – has cooled off some for OAK, but still playing most days; may get benched vs LHP
  • 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 – 7 Ks and 2 BBs in 4.2 IP in first start; should have role in Miami rotation for foreseeable future
  • NYM 3B Brett Baty – still on the heavy side of a platoon, but producing
  • ChC 1B Matt Mervis – starting to settle in as primary 1B
  • OAK 1B Ryan Noda – very streaky, but playing nearly every day
  • ARI 3B Emmanuel Rivera – playing mostly against LHP
  • BOS 2B Emmanuel Valdez – in the lineup nearly every day, cheap SB option
  • SEA SP Bryce Miller – 3 Quality Starts, 18:1 K:BB, looks to have the role locked down in the rotation
  • CLE SP Logan Allen – 24:7 K:BB, but could be demoted when McKenzie and Civale return
  • CLE SP Tanner Bibee – 22:4 K:BB; in the same boat as Allen and may be first demotion for CLE pitchers
  • ARI SP Brandon Pfaadt – pitched better against SF in last start; lowered ERA to 8.59
  • OAK SP Mason Miller – mild UCL sprain and will be shut down for a while
  • PIT SP Luis Ortiz – risk of temporary call-up due to injuries at major league level for PIT; 4 K, 5BB, 5 ER in 8 IP
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