Fantasy Baseball: Walking the Waiver Wire 8/17-8/23

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Eric Hosmer

Another fantasy baseball week is in the books, so it is time we look to the wire for the hot bat/hand to get an advantage moving forward. It’s hard to believe that for most teams the season is already one-third complete. If you are holding on to draft picks you thought might be a gamble and they are still underperforming, this is probably high time to reassess who else is available.

Here are your top six waiver targets with a pair of mentions at the end. Fortune favors the bold, so go after the guys riding a hot streak and happy hunting.

Pedro Severino, C, Baltimore Orioles – 39% owned

Catcher is always a tricky position in fantasy. If you do not have one of the studs, the typical reaction is just to ride with what you have but that could prove a risky proposition if you ended up with a dud. Severino is the best backstop in Baltimore and will see the bulk of the at-bats there. The 27-year-old has a .304/.371/.571 line and has accounted for four homers and 15 runs batted in on the season. He has been especially hot lately, hitting .400 with a 1.205 OPS in his last five games played.

Eric Hosmer, 1B, San Diego Padres – 50% owned

Had Hosmer not missed some time due to injury, he would likely already be rostered in all formats at this point. Hosmer came out of the gate in 2020 smoking and was a must-add early in the season after starting 5-for-10 with three extra-base hits (one dinger) and seven runs batted in. While he started slowly after his return from the injured list, he is picking it up now, going 4-for-12 with two home runs and slugging .600. In a small sample size, his exit velocity is up in 2020 as is his launch angle, so the power numbers should remain.

Clint Frazier, OF, New York Yankees – 28% owned

In a short fantasy season, one can do a lot worse than having a Yankees player in their offense. With Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton both hitting the injured list the time is now for Frazier to make a mark, and he is off to a fiery start. He is batting .636 with five of seven hits going for extra bases, including two home runs. After a five-RBI night on Saturday, his total stands at eight in three games. We do not have to pretend that his current OPS means anything, but here it is anyway: 2.121. With the big guns in the Yankees outfield sitting, there is zero reason to think Frazier is coming out any time soon.

Dylan Cease, SP, Chicago White Sox – 26% owned

Cease started 2020 behind the eight-ball after giving up four runs in just over two innings in his season debut but seems to have righted the proverbial ship since then. A pitcher’s best friend is run support and Chicago is a good place to be. Two of his last three starts he was backed by 16 total runs, though he did also win a 2-0 tilt against the Indians. Cease is not going to strike a lot of guys out but should be in line for several more wins and the team has afforded him a longer leash in each game. In his last three, Cease is 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA and a .230 BAA.

Rowan Wick, RP, Chicago Cubs – 48% owned

With Kimbrel scuffling (and pitching in a non-save situation as recently as Friday), Wick seems to be the best bet for saves on the North Side of Chi-Town. That is saying a lot when you consider the Cubs are a likely playoff-bound team that will be gunning for the first seed in the NL. If he is still available in your league, this is a no-brainer. Even if Kimbrel were to reclaim his role there will be opportunities for both as the season progresses. Wick currently has a tidy 1.50 ERA to go along with three saves in as many opportunities.

Taylor Williams, RP, Seattle Mariners – 24% owned

The Mariners only have seven wins on the season to this point. The fact that they are not blowing anyone out means save opportunities for Williams. His overall 4.70 ERA does little to inspire confidence. He appears to be the go-to in a save situation, so it is worth looking at those stats in particular. In his three converted save chances this season, he tossed 3 1/3 innings, gave up one run and struck out six. He is an auto-add in mixed leagues.

Worth mentioning: Merrill Kelly (SP, ARI)

We covered Kelly as a must-add last week and all he did was go out on Friday and get another win (along with seven strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings). He remains available in 48% of leagues and has quietly been one of the most reliable pitchers thus far in 2020.

Worth mentioning: Jo Adell (OF, LAA)

The highly-touted prospect for the Angels has gotten off to a slow start since being called up, batting just .167. If talent were the deciding factor he would be rostered everywhere. The rough patch has him sitting at just 33% owned. Keep an eye on the five-tooler going forward and keep him on your watch list.

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