Waiver Wire Report (Week 23)

Last week, I got several requests for more hitters but there are no more on the up. It got even worse this week when rosters expanded. Major league teams are using more platoons and resting guys so the average hitter’s production is down.

Additionally, lots of starters were added to the rotation, but most aren’t even average. Also, many rotations have expanded to six or even seven men. While they provide new options, make sure they provide more fantasy value than the players being dropped.

In the article, I cover the players using CBS’s (40% or less initial roster rate) and Yahoo’s ADD/DROP rates. Both hosting sites have the option for daily and weekly waiver wire adds. CBS uses a weekly change while Yahoo looks at the last 24 hours. Yahoo is a great snapshot of right now while CBS ensures hot targets from early in the week aren’t missed. The players are ordered for redraft leagues by my rest-of-season preference grouped by starters, relievers, and hitters.

Hitters

Brandon Belt: Belt (.244/.354/.536, 20 HR, 3 SB), along with Bryant and Crawford (who has only one second-half home run), are the only everyday regulars on the Giants.

Nicky Lopez: A contributor to Runs (55, batting 2nd), stolen bases (18), and batting average (.289).

Colin Moran: He is playing every day, batting fourth, and hitting .283/.340/.429 with 8 HR.

Ramón Urías: He was starting at short but has moved over to third base (8 games). He continues to be a boring, steady contributor (.271/.351/.415 with 7 HR and 1 SB).

Odúbel Herrera: A steady outfield accumulator (.265/.322/.440) with 12 HR and 5 SB.

Frank Schwindel: Initially, his value existed because he was playing every day after the Cubs purged the team of talented players. Since becoming a regular, he’s hitting .315/.360/.608 with nine homers. Ride the hot streak.

Jonathan Villar: Over the last 27 games, he’s started 25 of them while hitting .257/.330/.454 on the season with 17 HR and 10 SB. Over the last four games, he has hit leadoff. One note, he’s only attempted four stolen bases in the second half and has been caught twice. At age 30, we might not be able to predict more than a dozen steals from him.

Nick Solak: Since being recalled, he’s hitting .296/.367/.463 with his strikeout rate dropping from 24% to 10% with the walk rate up from 5% to 8%. These are Matt Olson-type gains and we’ll see if he can keep them. Additionally, he’s started eight straight games.

Ian Happ: In the second half (.785 OPS in the 2H vs .626 OPS in 1H), he’s producing like many thought he would to start the season. Not great but a serviceable accumulator. He’s now batting in the middle of the lineup every game so that alone can provide value in most leagues.

Bobby Dalbec: He has turned in on in the second half hitting .294/.368/.608 with 12 home runs. The biggest improvements have come from his plate discipline (5% BB% to 8% BB%, 37% K% to 32% K%). Also, his HR/FB% has nearly doubled from 17% to 32%.

Bradley Zimmer: Another second half darling (.620 OPS in 1H, .801 in the 2H) with almost all the difference coming from zero home runs in the first half and six in the second half even though his groundball rate has increased from 45% GB% to 49% GB%. Besides Taveras, he’s one of the few stolen base accumulators.

Edmundo Sosa: He hasn’t killed a fantasy team by hitting .278/.357/.408 with 5 HR and 3 SB. Additionally, he’s started 10 of the last 12 games.

Leody Taveras: He has performed better (.167/.219/.433) than earlier in the season (.247 OPS), but that wasn’t a high bar to cross. He is one of the better waiver wire steals options (5 SB in 2H).

Brandon Marsh: I just can’t get behind the Brandon Marsh experience (40% K%, .463 BABIP) even after his insanely hot August (.309/.369/.436, .560 BABIP). Even if he is a .280 hitter with no power or speed, he’s just Luis Arraez with a Joey Gallo strikeout rate.

Yoshi Tsutsugo: Even though he’s hitting .270/.317/.811 since joining the Pirates, he is mainly only starting against lefties (started nine of last 16).

Brad Miller: He was playing first base with Rhys Hoskins on the IL, but over the last few games, J.T. Realmuto has been playing first base with Rafael Marchan catching. Miller has been sort of productive this season (.227/.321/.450 with 15 HR).

Connor Joe: He has been a pleasant surprise this year (.285/.379/.469, 8 HR), but looks like he’ll spend some time on the IL after straining his hamstring. If he goes on the IL, he’s an immediate drop considering how little time is left in the season.

Catchers

Jorge Alfaro: One of the few catchers providing steals (8 SB) this season.

Alejandro Kirk: He’s started five of the last six games while hitting .259/.338/.422 with 4 HR in 133 PA.

Elias Díaz: He has taken over the catching duties in Colorado with three home games next week.

Keibert Ruiz: He’s just getting a shot by starting in three of the last four games while just posting a .533 OPS over 22 PA this season.

CBS Rostership Rates for Hitters
Name Prev Roster% Current Roster% Change
Nicky Lopez SS KC 35% 43% 8%
Elias Diaz C COL 34% 37% 3%
Brandon Belt 1B SF 34% 37% 3%
Ian Happ CF CHC 33% 42% 9%
Jonathan Villar 3B NYM 33% 36% 3%
Bobby Dalbec 1B BOS 31% 37% 6%
Connor Joe LF COL 28% 36% 8%
Frank Schwindel 1B CHC 28% 34% 6%
Nick Solak 2B TEX 27% 32% 5%
Brandon Marsh CF LAA 24% 27% 3%
Jorge Alfaro C MIA 20% 25% 5%
Colin Moran 1B PIT 19% 21% 2%
Keibert Ruiz C WAS 18% 40% 22%
Odubel Herrera CF PHI 17% 19% 2%
Alejandro Kirk C TOR 15% 17% 2%
Brad Miller 1B PHI 8% 10% 2%
Leody Taveras CF TEX 8% 10% 2%
Ramon Urias SS BAL 7% 10% 3%
Bradley Zimmer CF CLE 7% 9% 2%
Yoshitomo Tsutsugo 1B PIT 2% 4% 2%
Edmundo Sosa SS STL 1% 7% 6%

Starters

Bailey Ober: He’s got the home runs under control (2.5 HR/9 in 1H, 1.3 HR/9 in 2H) and thereby dropping his ERA under 4.00.

Glenn Otto: He’s been outstanding in the minors and great (1.86 ERA, 2.66 xFIP, 10.2 K/9, 54 GB% 0.72 WHIP) in two major league starts. He’s a buy now because he won’t be around in a week. So far, the slider (20% SwStr%) has been amazing. The only issue is that he has been limited to 84 pitches.

Luke Weaver: After coming off the IL, he threw 79 pitches over 6 IP for 1 ER and 3 K. He essentially threw just his fastball and slider so he may struggle the second or third time threw the batting order.

Reynaldo López: He is the White Sox’s sixth starter so he moves in and out of the rotation. While he’s been a decent starter (2.40 ERA, 9.0 K/9, 1.00 WHIP), it’s tough to know if and when he’ll pitch.

Drew Rasmussen: Remember to evaluate him being a starter and reliever since the profile is completely different. As a starter, he has a 7.4 K/9, 0.77 WHIP, and 2.45 ERA (3.58 xFIP). The issue is that in his starts, he’s only reached five innings once and his max is 74 pitches. While he’s been great when he starts, he has yet to get a Win.

Joe Ryan: The five strikeouts in five innings in his debut was nice. After dominating AAA, I can understand the buzz around him. I do have a reservation though. He threw his 91-mph fastball 71% of the time. While he shut down the Cubs the first time through the order, they got to him for all three runs the second time they saw him.

Jesús Luzardo: He’s been better over his last three starts (7.7 K/9, 4.41 ERA, and 1.22 wHIP). So even during this “good” stretch, he’s pitching like Merill Kelly (7.5 K/9, 4.30 ERA, and 1.24 WHIP).

Edward Cabrera: For someone with a 97-mph fastball, he hasn’t been able to strike out batters (3.5 K/9). While I understand he might have the most upside of anyone on this list, I’m more interested in the ones who have performed in the majors.

Jackson Kowar: While his season-long stats are rough, he came back a few days ago and threw six shutout innings against the Cleveland Baseball Team. Additionally, he was throwing a slider 11% of the time instead of a curve. He might be interested in his Baltimore start next week.

Brady Singer: Over the last three games, he has a 2.04 ERA and 8.7 K/9 but a 4.6 BB/9 leading to a 1.42 WHIP that makes him just a streaming option. He’s starting to throw his slider (16% SwStr%, 48% GB%) a little more, so if the walks drop, I could see his production take off.

Antonio Senzatela: He has been surprisingly decent (6.1 K/9, 1.31 WHIP, 52% GB%, 4.16 ERA) and is a fine streamer away from Colorado.

Chris Archer: He’s made two starts since coming off the IL with his pitch count going from 41 to 59. He is staying with his fastball (velo down 1.5 mph)-slider combination and still getting strikeouts (15 K/9) but the lack of a third pitch makes him hittable the 2nd time through the order (1.42 ERA 1st TTO, 4.50 ERA 2nd TTO).

Paul Blackburn: While there aren’t many strikeouts (5.1 K/9), he’s using the combination of a low walk rate (2.3 BB/9) and high groundball rate (54% GB%) to suppress his ERA (2.81 ERA). Additionally, he’s throwing harder than he ever has at 91 mph. He might be worth streaming against Texas (Otto) this upcoming week.

Chris Ellis: I’m intrigued with the 9.3 K/9, 1.5 BB/9, and 3.09 ERA in 10 IP so far. All four of his pitches have a swinging-strike rate over 13%. His fastball is sitting at 94 mph. Looking back when he threw in the majors in 2019, his velocity is now up ~1 mph across all his pitches. His issue has been the lack of control so watch his walks going forward.

Paolo Espino: A streamable starter (7.2 K/9, 1.24 WHIP, 4.33 ERA) who has pieced together two decent starts 12 K and 3 ER in 10 IP. his curve (16% SwStr%) and slider (12% SwStr%) are average or better while his 89-mph fastball (4% SwStr%, 31% GB%) does nothing. For the gambling types, his two starts at Atlanta and at Pittsburgh might be worth taking a shot on.

Taylor Hearn: In his last start, he held Houston to two runs over six innings of work. A couple of things are happening for the turnaround. He’s nearly cut his walk rate in half (4.9 K/9 ot 2.8 K/9) from the first to the second half. Additionally, he’s added a sinker.

A.J. Alexy: He has shown some magic to maintain a low ERA despite consistently posting a 10% BB% or higher since 2017. In his MLB debut, he walked three batters in five innings. I’m going with the belief that the walks will eventually catch up with him but I could be wrong.

Logan Allen: Since being called up, he has pitched batter (2.13 ERA, 5.7 K/9, and 0.71 WHIP). He has cut his walk rate by over half (4.4 K/9 to 2.1 K/9) to help his cause. For the two games, his velocity is up about half a tick and he’s featuring his non-fastballs more, especially his slider (12% SwStr%). I’m not buying into the changes just yet, but I’m intrigued.

Alec Mills: A streamable profile (6.7 K/9, 1.41 WHIP, 4.25 ERA) and faces the Reds (Gutierrez) this week.

Andrew Albers 앨버스: The 35-year-old Albers has a sub 4.00 ERA for his career in just over 100 IP. It has come with a 5.2 K/9 and 1.28 WHIP. I could see him repeat those numbers since his ERA estimators are around 4.00 while his ERA is under 1.00. Or it could all be a mirage. It would have to be a deep league for me to start him this week against the Royals (Lynch).

Zach Davies: People bought into a two-step at Minnesota (4 IP, 3 K, 0 BB, 0 ER) and he’s supposed to face Pittsburg today. I think the gamble is over with him facing San Francisco next week, so he’s likely a drop.

Kyle Freeland: He’s been decent in the second half (3.12 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 9.0 K/9). His two-start week is a complete gamble next week with the first start at home (i.e. Colorado) against the Giants with Kevin Gausman starting. The other issue is that he’s dealing with a hamstring issue and might not be able to make the start.

CBS Rostership Rates for Starters
Name Prev Roster% Current Roster% Change
Edward Cabrera SP MIA 38% 40% 2%
Jesus Luzardo SP MIA 36% 40% 4%
Zach Davies SP CHC 32% 34% 2%
Kyle Freeland SP COL 30% 41% 11%
Brady Singer SP KC 24% 26% 2%
Chris Archer SP TB 21% 23% 2%
Reynaldo Lopez RP CHW 20% 25% 5%
Bailey Ober SP MIN 18% 35% 17%
Alec Mills SP CHC 18% 21% 3%
Drew Rasmussen RP TB 13% 20% 7%
Antonio Senzatela SP COL 12% 16% 4%
Jackson Kowar SP KC 8% 11% 3%
Luke Weaver SP ARI 8% 10% 2%
Joe Ryan SP MIN 5% 17% 12%
Logan Allen SP CLE 5% 7% 2%
Glenn Otto SP TEX 4% 12% 8%
Paolo Espino RP WAS 4% 6% 2%
Paul Blackburn SP OAK 2% 4% 2%
Andrew Albers RP MIN 2% 4% 2%
Chris Ellis SP BAL 1% 3% 2%
Taylor Hearn RP TEX 1% 3% 2%
A.J. Alexy SP TEX 0% 5% 5%

Relievers – Saves based rankings

Scott Barlow: Good reliever who is closing

Giovanny Gallegos: Great reliever who is closing for now.

Adam Ottavino: OK reliever who is closing.

Andrew Kittredge: Good reliever who is getting most of the Save chances.

Carlos Estévez: OK reliever who is the closer.

Andrew Chafin: Fine reliever who may be the closer.

Pete Fairbanks: OK reliever who is getting some Saves.

Drew Steckenrider: Fine reliever who is next in line for Saves.

Garrett Whitlock: Good reliever who is next in line for Saves.

Blake Treinen: Great reliever who is next in line for Saves.





Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won four FSWA Awards including on for his Mining the News series. He's won Tout Wars three times, LABR twice, and got his first NFBC Main Event win in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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sempergumbymember
2 years ago

Curious where “fine” sits on the ok, good, great reliever scale? It it “fine” the way that Alexandra Daddario is “fine”, or “fine” the way that my teenager rolls his eyes at me when I ask him to do something around the house?

Bigperm8645member
2 years ago
Reply to  sempergumby

hadn’t thought about her in a while, she was fine, hopefully still is. Thanks for the pleasant memory

cartermember
2 years ago
Reply to  Bigperm8645

She is still very fine. Had a show on HBO recently that was fine as well.

MLBtoPDX#2024
2 years ago
Reply to  carter

She nothing but fake Tits, she never was fine unless you like fake things

cartermember
2 years ago
Reply to  MLBtoPDX#2024

actually they aren’t fake