Here are some waiver wire targets ahead of matchup number nine 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 Matt Thaiss – LAA
Matt Thaiss is still widely available despite hitting .291 with two home runs, 14 runs, and 10 RBI in 91 PAs. In his last seven days (as of writing), he is 4-for-16 (.250) with a home run, two runs, and two RBI. Here’s his most recent bomb:
Matt Thaiss goes yard and the Angels take a 2-0 lead! 👼 pic.twitter.com/DC3Un7oUi4
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 24, 2023
Thaiss plays essentially every day – his last day without a registered at-bat was on May 9. This is important because he has a ton of opportunities to produce.
Clearly, his .404 BABIP has something to do with his .291 AVG, however, Thaiss continues to hit the ball hard and drive the ball well.
He has a 24% LD rate, an 11% barrel rate, and a 42.6% HardHit rate. The line drive and barrel rates are career bests. And with the quality of contact and the type of balls he has hit, Thaiss may be able to maintain a higher BABIP and AVG than usual.
If Thaiss is available in your league, and you need an everyday catcher, add him from waivers as soon as you can.
1B/2B/3B Owen Miller – MIL
Owen Miller has played his way into the Brewers lineup of late, picking up games at first, second, and third base, and in the outfield.
He was perhaps one of the hottest hitters in baseball from May 10-21, going on a 10-game hit streak. During that streak, he had six runs, two home runs, three RBI, and a steal. Over his last seven games (as of writing), Miller is 8-for-24 (.333), with three homers, five runs, and four RBI.
This is Miller’s third season, and in many areas, he is trending in the right direction. He has a career-low 14% K rate, helping his .346 AVG. That AVG is likely to regress, though, as his line drive rate sits at 18%.
Miller has also improved his barrel rate to a still below-league average 6.7%. But it is a good sign that he has nearly doubled his barrel rate from last season.
He also is from Wisconsin, which may play a small part in his success this year:
Owen Miller shares what it means to him to be playing in front of family and friends again back in his hometown!@LaurenShehadi | @markdero7 | @RoFlo | @Brewers pic.twitter.com/3s9XVLoqGc
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) May 24, 2023
Most of his discipline metrics are nearly identical to last season, further suggesting that his batting average will regress. But as long as he continues to hit, he is worth an add from waivers.
SS Jordan Westburg – BAL (AAA)
After a scorching start, Baltimore shortstop Jorge Mateo has started to fade. Since May 8, he has just four hits in 42 at-bats. While those that roster Mateo are disappointed, this is great news for Jordan Westburg.
Westburg has 12 homers, 37 runs, 42 RBI, four steals, and a .309 AVG in 40 games at AAA. He has shown solid discipline, with a 10% BB rate and a 24% K rate. This is his latest homer for the Norfolk Tides:
Jordan Westburg collects his 12th home run of the year 😮💨 pic.twitter.com/EFxS27hcFR
— Orioles Player Development (@OsPlayerDev) May 18, 2023
The Baltimore prospect has the ability to post double-digit homers and double-digit steals, as he has done in his first two minor league seasons.
Once he gets the call, he figures to slot into the lineup either at shortstop or third base. He has performed well against both right-handed pitching and left-handed pitching in the minors, and could force Mateo and Gunnar Henderson into a platoon.
This is the time to claim Westburg off waivers before anyone else.
OF Jose Siri – TB
It took a little while, but Jose Siri has returned to his pre-injury form. He is up to eight home runs, 19 runs, 18 RBI, four steals, and a .250 AVG on the season. This is his most recent home run – check out the bat flip too:
Jose Siri PIMPED it pic.twitter.com/dzBmaAEm3P
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) May 24, 2023
Siri has surpassed his 2022 home run total already in 227 fewer plate appearances. A major reason for that is a career-best 19% barrel rate. He also has a solid 41% HardHit rate.
His 27.6% HR/FB rate looks high on the surface, but considering 46.8% of his hits are fly balls, a high home run rate is not surprising.
Siri has improved his chase rate but has struggled with overall contact so far this season. If he can make some more contact, he should continue to produce at a high level, especially with how hard he hits the ball.
If he is still available on your waiver wire, now is the time to make the move and pick him up.
SP Patrick Corbin – WAS
Hear me out. He’s not that bad, and certainly not as bad as he has been the last few years. After beginning the season with 12 ER in 14 IP, Corbin has settled in as much as he can. He has a 4.47 ERA, which would be his lowest mark since 2019. Here is a stat from May 15 that reflects his continued positive performance:
Patrick Corbin is done for the day. Over his last 6 starts, he has a 3.47 ERA, 1.156 WHIP and 22-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) May 15, 2023
Corbin has yet to strike out double-digit batters in a game this season, reaching more than five Ks in a game just twice. Despite that, he has three wins and six quality starts this season.
Corbin has made some clear improvements, lowering his BB/9 to a career-low 1.60 rate. His 48% GB rate and 1.28 HR/9 rate are both improvements and his best marks since 2019.
He could also continue to improve if he can pick up a few more strikeouts and lower his HR/FB rate to closer to league average. This could partially be why his xFIP is 4.23.
Patrick Corbin should be added in deeper leagues – you do not have to start him every game, but he is worth playing in good matchups. At the very least, he should be at the top of your list of streamers on the waiver wire.
Shallow League Waiver Wire Targets
C Elias Diaz – COL
Elias Diaz has continued to hit well for Colorado. He is up to five homers, 19 runs, 25 RBI, and a .343 AVG on the season. Diaz is on pace to significantly outproduce his stats from last season, a disappointing nine-homer campaign. He demolished his most recent home run:
Elias Diaz – Colorado Rockies (5) pic.twitter.com/xmKp5OE373
— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) May 25, 2023
He is a clear regression candidate when it comes to his AVG, with a .389 BABIP vs a .284 career BABIP. But he has done a few things really well this season that should keep his batting average from a significant decline. In fact, projections slate Diaz for an AVG in the .260-.278 range over the rest of the season.
He has a 20.3% LD rate and a 44% pull rate, his best rates since 2020. Those could be contributing to his high BABIP and AVG. Additionally, Diaz has a career-best 40.7% HardHit rate, and a barrel rate just below league average.
Diaz is a great value at a thin position, and if available, he should be added from waivers now.
1B/3B Spencer Steer – CIN
Spencer Steer has still managed to stay off the radar in many leagues, despite performing relatively well across the board. He has six home runs, 24 runs, 22 RBI, a steal, and a .273 AVG. Check out these stats from a recent outing:
Career-high 4 hits for Spencer Steer! #Reds pic.twitter.com/fxGBixj6Vf
— Bally Sports Cincinnati (@BallySportsCIN) May 25, 2023
Steer is better than league average in BB%, K%, GB%, FB%, chase rate, and contact rate. His .328 BABIP vs his .308 career BABIP should not scare anyone off, as his line drive rate is up to 20.1%. His 36.6% GB rate is an improvement over last season. And with an increase in fly balls, Steer has seen an increase in his HR/FB rate too.
With his above-average discipline, Steer could very well maintain an AVG in the .270 range over the rest of the season. His biggest issue may be that the Reds lineup could get crowded very soon.
Joey Votto is close to a return, plus prospects Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Elly De La Cruz are expected to receive a call to the main roster this season.
For now, though, Steer should be added from waivers where available.
SS Elly De La Cruz – CIN (AAA)
Elly De La Cruz should also be added from the waiver wire where available. The market for him will be extremely competitive once he receives the call, so getting in early is a must.
De La Cruz has received comparisons to Ronald Acuna Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr., with his ability to hit for power and average, plus the speed to steal 20+ bags. Take a look at this for perspective on his talent:
Elly De La Cruz's last 162 games in the minors:
🔴 35 HR
🔴 122 RBI
🔴 54 XBH
🔴 58 SB@ellylacocoa18 pic.twitter.com/4UZtthZgSn
— Reds On The Rise (@RedsOnTheRise) May 22, 2023
In AAA this season, he has seven homers and nine steals in 28 games, along with a .282 AVG. The biggest knock on De La Cruz is his high strikeout rate. He had a 30%-31% K rate in low-A, high-A, and AA ball, but has lowered it to 27% this season in AAA. Projections slate him for a 31% K rate in the majors.
De La Cruz drives and pulls the ball well, both of which are important skills for having a high BABIP and high AVG.
If you have room on your bench to stash him, you should add him from waivers immediately.
OF Riley Greene – DET
Riley Greene has been on fire in May. He ended April with two homers and a .231 AVG, but has increased his AVG to .291 since May began.
In total, he has five homers (three in May), 25 runs, 17 RBI, and five steals. Here is his latest dinger:
Riley Greene goes deep! pic.twitter.com/sOS6yZI9Ub
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) May 25, 2023
His .400 BABIP is high, but only 31 points higher than his career BABIP and supported by a 25.6% LD rate and a 46.4% pull rate.
Greene has also made improvements to his hard contact, barreling the ball at a 10.1% clip, along with a 44% HardHit rate.
Greene’s discipline numbers have dipped slightly from last season, but not by much, so that should not worry fantasy managers. Most projections have him hitting about .260 for the rest of the season, but if he continues to hit the ball hard and drive the ball well, he could do better.
Greene should be able to reach double-digit steals and homers and should be added from the waiver wire if you need some outfield depth.
SP Brayan Bello – BOS
After a rough start to the season, Brayan Bello has stepped up and improved his ERA to 4.08. He has three wins in four starts in May, two of which were quality starts.
Bello has a 9.4 K/9 rate, thanks in large part to a nasty sinker and a filthy changeup. His sinker averages 95.4 MPH and has a .245 batting average against. His changeup has a .235 BAA, a .161 expected BAA, a 45.9% whiff rate, and a 25% putaway rate. Take a look at the movement on his changeup:
Brayan Bello, Filthy 87mph Changeup. 👌 pic.twitter.com/0B6cvlAZ4K
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 17, 2023
Part of Bello’s success this season is due to improvements to his walk rate, which now sits at 3 BB/9. He also would be top 15 in LOB% and would rank fifth in GB% if he had enough innings to qualify. Those are also major keys to his success since two ugly games in April.
Furthermore, Bello may get even better as the season continues. His 3.64 xFIP and 3.78 SIERA are both better than his current ERA. Snag him off the waiver wire now if you can.
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: Danny Jansen, Cal Raleigh, Yan Gomes, Gabriel Moreno
- CI: Ezequiel Duran (SS), Jake Burger, Jeimer Candelario, Miguel Vargas (2B), Casey Schmitt,
- MI: Taylor Walls (3B), Kyle Farmer (3B), Paul DeJong, Bryson Stott, Jose Caballero, Geraldo Perdomo
- OF: Alex Kirilloff (1B), Esteury Ruiz, Jake Fraley, Jorge Soler, Bryan De La Cruz, Lane Thomas, Mikey Moniak, Adam Frazier (2B), Lars Nootbaar, Leody Taveras
- SP: Andrew Heaney, Michael Lorenzen, Louie Varland, Dane Dunning, Patrick Corbin, Bailey Ober, Rich Hill, Josiah Gray, James Paxton, JP Sears, Domingo German, Cal Quantrill
- RP: Miguel Castro, Alex Lange, Will Smith, Dylan Floro, Wandy Peralta, Pierce Johnson, Scott Barlow, Giovanny Gallegos
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.
- LAD SP Bobby Miller – 5.65 ERA in 14.1 IP at AAA, but looked good in debut vs ATL with 5 Ks and 1 BB in 5 IP
- STL SP Matthew Liberatore – STL was short on relievers, so Liberatore saw in inning in relief, but should continue to see starts
- 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 – .353 AVG and 11 homers in 27 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 – 16:6 K:BB ratio in 14 IP; locked down 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 – starting to settle in as primary 1B and seeing regular playing time
- ARI 3B Emmanuel Rivera – playing mostly against LHP, but getting into the lineup more often lately
- SEA SP Bryce Miller – 4 Quality Starts, 22:2 K:BB, looks to have the role locked down in the rotation
- CLE SP Logan Allen – 33:9 K:BB, but could be demoted when McKenzie and Civale return
- CLE SP Tanner Bibee – 25:8 K:BB; in the same boat as Allen and may be first demotion for CLE pitchers
- ARI SP Brandon Pfaadt – gave up 3 ER to PIT in last start, but lowered ERA to 7.65
- OAK SP Mason Miller – mild UCL sprain and will be shut down for a while; plans to return before the end of the season
- PIT SP Luis Ortiz – risk of temporary call-up due to injuries at major league level for PIT; 8 K, 7 BB, 7 ER in 15.2 IP