MLB players to target on fantasy baseball waiver wire
I’m excited to put my two cents into Waiver Wire‘s article this week, as there are plenty of players I’m interested in who are sitting on waivers in the majority of Yahoo leagues. On the batting side, the lack of offense in Major League Baseball has put pressure on Fantasy managers to hitch their wagon to whatever players are performing well right now. And on the pitching side, after catching plenty of hot starters early in the season, it’s time to start focusing attention on relievers who are producing hard-hitting numbers. We’ll get down to business:
Elias Diaz (C, Colorado Rockies, 26% in)
Sometimes “Mr. Right Now” is better than “Mr. Right”. Unsurprisingly, Diaz is thriving at Coors Field, where he produced a lifetime .815 OPS OPS (.689 OPS overall). The Rockies open a six-game homestand on Friday, making Diaz a great streaming option in most leagues.
Jorge Mateo (2B/SS/OF, Baltimore Orioles, 27%)
Mateo is not a great hitter, and I won’t try to prove otherwise. But the speedster currently sits second in the Majors with seven steals, which should be enough to put him in most roto leagues. The Orioles are giving Mateo a full-time role, and his three-position eligibility makes him easy to fit into a roster.
Santiago Espinal (2B/3B, Toronto Blue Jays, 15%)
Those in the deep leagues should take a long look at Espinal, who took over the second base position in Toronto. The good outfielder put on 15 pounds of muscle in the offseason and impressed the coaching staff with his work ethic. On the field, he hits the ball harder and farther than ever, while collecting three interceptions. He is expected to hit double digits in home runs and sweeps this season.
Ramon Laureano (OF, Oakland A’s, 27%)
It’s time to stash Laureano in the roto leagues. The outfielder has a great power-speed mix, having produced 14 home runs and 12 interceptions in 88 games last season. He is due back from suspension on May 8 and will instantly join the active roster in the five-outfield leagues.
Taylor Ward (OF, Los Angeles Angels, 63%)
I’ve repeatedly pushed fantasy managers to consider Ward, and I’m so high on him that I’m including him in this article even though his roster rate is already climbing rapidly past the usual 50% threshold. Halos manager Joe Maddon used Ward in the front row, which makes perfect sense when you notice the outfielder’s .381/.509/.762 slash line. He will be registered in more than 80% of the leagues by mid-May.
Tommy Pham (OF, Cincinnati Reds, 28%)
Pham is a great short-term addition, as he heads to baseball’s best batting park to face a Rockies staff that has been among the worst in baseball this season. The 34-year-old has a long history of power and speed, especially after compiling 15 homers and 14 interceptions last year. He should be in most lineups this weekend.
Raimel Tapia (OF, Toronto Blue Jays, 15%)
Tapia is a good short-term option for those who need roto league flights. The speedster starts against all right-handed pitchers in the absence of Theoscar Hernandez, who is expected to miss another week. Tapia has already stolen a few sacks since Hernandez was on the IL and could land another steal when the Blue Jays face a steady stream of right-handers this weekend.
Drew Rasmussen (SP/PR, Tampa Bay Rays, 21%)
Rasmussen is the next in a long line of Tampa success stories on the mound, having produced an 18:4 K:BB ratio in his first four starts this year. He’s among the best two-start options for next week, when he faces two manageable rosters (A’s, Mariners).
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Tyler Anderson (SP/PR, Los Angeles Dodgers, 20%)
Taking a chance on Dodgers pitchers is almost always a good idea, and Anderson fits the bill perfectly right now. The southpaw started the season relying on those who made short starts, which put him in position to win many games. And with Andrew Heane on the IL, Anderson is now part of baseball’s most successful rotation. It’s early days, but the 32-year-old currently has career-high marks in many metrics. He should be listed in at least twice as many Yahoo leagues.
Michael King (PR, New York Yankees, 31%)
King could have a major fantasy impact as a multi-inning reliever on a winning team. The right-hander has already recorded one stoppage and two wins, while also posting outstanding stats (K:BB ratio of 20:3, 0.69 ERA, 1.00 WHIP) in 13 innings. King won’t win your league, but adding him now isn’t likely to backfire.
Wil Crowe (PR, Pittsburgh Pirates, 13%)
To understand Crowe, take everything I said about King and slightly modify the pitch for a losing team. The multi-inning reliever allowed just one run in 14.1 innings while recording one win, one save and 17 strikeouts.