Fantasy Baseball: Walking the Waiver Wire 6/12by Sam Schneider June 12, 2022 0 comments
Sunday Funday is here, which means fantasy baseball waiver claims are, too. “Walking the Waiver Wire” has been essential to deepening benches, regardless of league style. To remind everyone, this column is for all fantasy managers. For those in deep leagues, some picks won’t apply. To those in shallow leagues, picks may not crack your starting lineup. Regardless, we’re going to roll through some valuable guys that are able to find contribution every lineup. They could be starters, bench rotation, or injury fill-ins. Let’s roll.
***All availability percentages are from Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues.***
Luis Garcia (2B, SS – WAS) 7% owned
There are a lot of skeptics out there, as Garcia’s contract was purchased from Triple-A due to an injury to Alcides Escobar. Let those skeptics pass on Garcia and snatch him up. He will be the Nationals’ shortstop for years to come and is already demonstrating his potential. With Washington sitting in the basement of the East, he will at least earn a timeshare when Escobar returns. That is, until he takes over the role completely after the break. Entering Sunday, Garcia has 14 hits in his first 39 at bats (.359) with a home run, seven RBI and an .853 OPS in the early part of his career.
Kyle Farmer (SS, 3B – CIN) 52% owned
It’s generally a rule of mine not to suggest the same player twice in this column. However, Famer should be rostered in nearly every type of league in fantasy. You can find my initial recommendation here, and all he’s done in since in June is go 13-for-35 (.371) with two doubles, a dinger, four walks and nine RBI while raising his average to .274. Add to the fact that catcher Tyler Stephenson is scheduled to miss 4-6 weeks (thumb) combined with the rotation at designated hitter, Farmer will stay in the lineup daily.
Garrett Cooper (1B, OF – MIA) 39% owned
The 31-year-old just landed on the COVID-19 list, and what a horrible time to do so. Since May 21, Cooper had 29 hits in 65 at bats (a whopping .446 average) with an absurd 1.162 OPS. Obviously, the risk is that the short time on the list will slow his roll. However, Cooper has already missed two games, so we will not have long to find out. If he keeps swinging the bat at that sort of level, he’ll be a valuable resource on any team. He has a career .288 batting average and a career .818 OPS. As long as he stays healthy in 2022, this will likely be his best season to date.
Spencer Strider (SP, RP – ATL) 43% owned
Most fantasy managers don’t know much about the Ohio native because he made just two appearances in 2021. Many viewed him as a future starter, be began in a relief this season. However, he has been moved into the Atlanta rotation and is showing off his stuff. Strider is a right-handed fastballer who has tossed a phenomenal 57 strikeouts in 38.1 innings.
The righty is rocking a 2.35 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP in mixed-duty this season. During his first start, he turned in just 4.1 innings and gave up three earned runs. He still struck out seven. However, over his last two times out, he’s totaled 9.2 innings while allowing six hits and striking out 13. Strider is young, so he’s bound to have some bumps in the road. But the strikeout stuff and playing with an offense ranked sixth in the league in average runs scored through six innings make him worth a jump.
Jason Adam (TB – 31%) is a must-add as the closer in Tampa Bay, as previous closer Andrew Kittredge is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery. Adam has a 0.72/0.64 and 30 punchouts in 25 innings pitched.
Seeming to have been shunned by the fantasy community, Tanner Scott (MIA, 14%) can thank his numbers. After all, a 4.24 ERA and 1.24 WHIP aren’t eye-popping. However, they are still better than that of Anthony Bender. Scott replaced Bender when the latter went on the IL (back stiffness). Meanwhile, Scott has three saves and two victories (and has not allowed a run) in his last five outings during that time. He’s struck out 36 in 23.1 innings, and should keep the job as long as he keeps heading this way.
In Seattle, Diego Castillo (35%) is being used in leverage situations in tandem with Paul Sewald. Sewald has the better numbers, but Castillo has shown enough raw potential and has made up for an awful start to the season. He also has the last two saves for the Mariners. Watching for saves can be maddening, but Seattle plays enough close games that both guys have benefitted with wins, saves, and holds.
Tough week for starting pitchers on waivers. Tough week for catchers, too. Not to mention, tough week for lower-rostered options. Hopefully some new standouts will be jumping off the page next Sunday. Good luck tonight with all of your waiver claims. May you get everyone you want.