Fantasy Baseball Waiver Advice: May 8
Dan Malin is here to look around the Fantasy Baseball waiver wire to point out some intriguing players to grab off waivers!
Once again I’m going to try and avoid repeating names, but there will be a few guys listed and discussed that have made the column recently. But seriously, do not think that you shouldn’t still grab Michael Chavis, Hunter Dozier , or Nick Senzel . Those three guys are still pretty available over on ESPN. Also, Shohei Ohtani made his return for the Angels yesterday. If he’s available you should go grab him. I won’t go in depth on him because his ownership is a little too high to really qualify as a consistent waiver addition even in shallow leagues.
10 Team Leagues
Martín Pérez (Starting Pitcher – Minnesota Twins) FAAB Bid: 5-8% - There’s no reason to get overly excited right now about Perez. He’s looked really good in five starts for the Twins this season. In those starts he is 4-0 with a 1.64 ERA, but he does have a 3.02 FIP so some regression could be in the cards for him. He’s never been a massive strikeout machine and that holds true so far this season. In 33 innings as a starter he has 27 strikeouts, but he also doesn’t allow many free passes. He’s worth an addition, but don’t think of him as a “must add.” Four of his five starts have come against the Blue Jays or Orioles and those two teams are currently in the bottom third of the league in terms of run production. Easily enough his next start comes against Detroit (another horrible offense, especially against southpaws) so go use him as a streamer and hang on to him until he cools off.
Blake Parker (Relief Pitcher – Minnesota Twins) FAAB Bid: 12-15% - You’re going to find quite a few Twins in this article today, just a heads up. There are skeptics of Parker because his ERA is 1.69, but that comes with a 4.27 FIP. He has an absurd 93.8% strand rate with a groundball rate near 60%. In addition to that he does have a 4.22 BB/9. But in his last five relief appearances he hasn’t allowed a walk, and he’s only allowed four hits although one was a home run. But in that span he has three saves and a hold in that stretch. Don’t be too deterred by Taylor Rogers logging a save on Tuesday night. Yes, it was his fourth of the season, but Parker still leads the team in saves and even if they do go with a committee route, I still believe Parker is the one to own. Rogers may be worth a stash in deeper leagues.
Clint Frazier (Outfielder – New York Yankees) FAAB Bid: 12-16% - Frazier’s ownership dipped when he went on the injured list. Perhaps people were a little too impatient and didn’t want to wait out his return. But it happened! And he only missed a little over a couple weeks. It’s been a quiet return, but don’t forget what Frazier did before going down with injury. He hit .324 and had a slugging percentage of .632 with six home runs. The Yankees are starting to get healthy and it starts with Frazier, but there’s still plenty of playing time for Frazier in the outfield. If he can pick up where he left off before getting hurt then he’ll remain fantasy relevant.
12 Team Leagues
Jake Odorizzi (Starting Pitcher – Minnesota Twins) FAAB Bid: 8-11% - I actually feel slightly more confident in Odorizzi than his teammate mentioned above, Martín Pérez . Odorizzi has come on strong over his last four starts and while Perez has had a fairly easy schedule, three of Odorizzi’s last four opponents have been the Astros (twice) and the Yankees (despite the injuries). Over that span (24.1 innings) he’s allowed just three earned runs on 20 hits, six walks, and he’s rung up 23 strikeouts. Like Perez, his next start comes against the Tigers so you definitely should consider him as a streaming option later this week. Depending on the site you play on Odorizzi may not be available in 12 team leagues, but Perez still might be. Both are worth grabbing for this weekend.
Mychal Givens (Relief Pitcher – Baltimore Orioles) FAAB Bid: 2-5% - Givens can certainly help fantasy owners seeking saves in the short-term. But you should remain skeptical on him because given his success and Baltimore’s obvious rebuild status, The O’s will likely move him by the MLB trade deadline. However, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. He’s logged a save in four straight appearances dating back to April 24th. Now that’s roughly a two-week stretch and to be fair, given how bad Baltimore is, four save opportunities in two weeks is a decent rate. He’s definitely an add if Baltimore commits to him as their short-term closer. Don’t spend too much though.
Derek Dietrich (Second Baseman, Outfielder – Cincinnati Reds) FAAB Bid: 3% - Lets operate under the assumption Dietrich can’t keep the hot streak up. However, over the weekend he hit four home runs and we can probably give credit to Howard Bender because it all started when Howard listed Dietrich in Friday’s Playbook. With Scooter Gennett hitting the injured list, and the Reds cutting ties with Matt Kemp there was a window for more playing time. The Reds called up top prospect Nick Senzel , but it also paved the way for Dietrich to get some extra starts. With Gennett sidelined a little longer Dietrich may find spots in the lineup and he could gain first base eligibility as well. He takes a mild hit in points leagues, but it’s not a drastic downgrade. He does have a sub-.250 batting average, But his OPS is currently over 1.000 because of his extreme slugging percentage due to his nine home runs.
Danny Santana (Second baseman, Outfielder – Texas Rangers) FAAB Bid: 5-8% - I mentioned Santana not too long ago as a deep league addition, and he’s kept the production going. He has ten extra base hits in 77 plate appearances and he has six steals. I was hopeful the Rangers would keep hitting him second behind Shin-Soo Choo , but they’ve dropped him down in the lineup. It hasn’t hurt him too much. Since the drop in the lineup on April 27th he has three multi-hit games in five starts. The slight dip in starts is concerning, but he’s still producing and can help in batting average, runs, and stolen bases when he’s in the lineup. I do advise against picking him up in points leagues. He has a 24.7% strikeout rate and he rarely walks.
15+ Team Leagues
Howie Kendrick (Second Baseman – Washington Nationals) FAAB Bid: 3-6% - With Brian Dozier struggling, there’s been room at the top of the order for Howie Kendrick . With five home runs and three doubles, he’s flashed a little bit of power in 88 plate appearances, but he is hitting .320 and the Nats have found ways to feature him in the heart of their lineup at times. I’m of the mindset that Dozier will eventually turn it all around. He’s known for starting slow and it’s incredibly frustrating to fantasy owners. Dozier is still just 31 (turns 32 next Wednesday, so do wish him a happy birthday), so for anyone who thinks this could be Dozier falling off a cliff due to age, just remember that Kendrick is 35. Dozier should come around and move up in the lineup later in the season. That may just slide Kendrick back to the fifth or sixth spot which is where he basically hit last year for the Nats.
Shawn Kelley (Relief Pitcher – Texas Rangers) FAAB Bid: 5-7% - I mentioned Kelley not too long ago and it does appear like he could be in line for more saves. He hasn’t appeared in a game since last Saturday, but in that appearance he did register a save, and I believe that if the Rangers went into the ninth inning of last night’s game they may have turned to him again. José Leclerc worked the seventh and eighth innings of Tuesday’s game with the Rangers down one run. Now that’s a relatively high leverage situation, but it’s doubtful they would have used him for a third straight inning. For now, it does appear as if Texas is reserving Kelley for the ninth inning.
Jorge Soler (Outfielder – Kansas City Royals) FAAB Bid: 1-2% - Nobody is really rushing to the waiver wire to claim Soler. And to be honest, he’s downgraded in points leagues since he strikes out over 30% of the time and walks less than 10%. But he has power with nine home runs on the season, and he has ten doubles. He seems to be locked into the fifth spot in the Royals lineup. When this lineup is bad, it’s pretty bad in that it’ll consistently post two-to-four runs. But there are random nights like last night when they put up double digit runs. If you need power and counting stats, go grab Soler.
James McCann (Catcher – Chicago White Sox) FAAB Bid: 1-4% - The catcher position is always difficult to figure out unless you have one of the top options. But McCann is flying under the radar and he’s swinging a hot stick right now. Dating back to April 22nd McCann has seven multi-hit games with three home runs in that span. He’s likely due for regression in power as his .711 SLG% isn’t sustainable, but the White Sox are hitting him in the heart of their lineup so for now you can turn to him as a deep league catching option.