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1B and 3B Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 3

After two weeks of the 2021 MLB season, or really one and a half weeks, fantasy and real-world players are still feeling out the season. Trends are forming as we await larger samples to make declarations. Starting pitchers are still getting stretched out, and managers have yet to settle on substitution patterns. As we said last week, nothing should be finalized based off this little amount of data, but information gleaned from early weeks leads into successful fantasy months of April and beyond.

When adding players from the waiver wire this early in the season, we are looking for one major factor: playing time. Those sparsely owned players who are seeing a lot of game action deserve a closer look.

For our purposes in this column, we are using Yahoo's rostered percentages, as well as its positional eligibility. We are searching for useful players rostered in fewer than 40 percent of Yahoo leagues. With that being said, below are my first base and third base waiver wire pickups to consider for Week 3 - April 12th through April 18th.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:


Brian Anderson - 3B/OF, Marlins

35% Rostered

Anderson is 4-for-25 on the season. We don't care about that; at least not yet. What we do care about is him having played in seven of eight games and having batted in the middle of the Miami lineup each time out. It is also promising that he is (heading into the weekend's games) hitting the ball hard, to the tune of an 18.8 percent barrel rate and 91.0 average exit velocity. The samples are too small, but his expected batting average was 73 points higher than his actual average. Jump on Anderson because of the opportunity he is being given, not because of the production thus far.

Luis Arraez - 2B/3B/OF, Twins

35% Rostered

Arraez is not for every fantasy team or manager. He doesn't have much pop or speed. He will help in batting average and for those leagues that use OBP. The Twins also believe in him. We thought playing time might be an issue heading into the season. Two weeks in, it doesn't seem like it. Arraez has played in seven of eight games, batting leadoff five times. In a good lineup, that all but guarantees run production as well. You can do worse than a two-category producer in 5x5 rostered in just 35 percent of leagues.

Colin Moran - 1B/2B/3B, Pirates

22% Rostered

Much like Anderson, Moran's situation is what we want to buy into, even though his production hasn't been bad. Moran has played every game thus far for Pittsburgh, and he's batted either third or fourth each time out. Pittsburgh isn't the most fearsome lineup in the NL, but it is hard to beat that lineup positioning. He has already fallen into four runs scored despite PITT having only scored 19 runs this season (heading into Saturday). The RBI will come too. If the average stays up, Moran is a potential four-category producer even if we don't believe a 57.1 percent hard-hit rate or .320 ISO is sustainable.

Jesus Aguilar - 1B, Marlins

18% Rostered

Continuing our trend for the early portion of the season, Aguilar checks the boxes for situation. Despite previously falling victim to timeshares, Aguilar has played in seven of eight games this season. He has batted either third or fourth in each game. As a right-hander, he hadn't always played against right-handed pitchers in previous stops. That has not been the case thus far in '21. In fact, we are seeing a reverse platoon split currently; his few at-bats against lefties are actually bringing his overall numbers down.

Starlin Castro - 2B/3B, Nationals

8% Rostered

The Nationals have only played four games thus far heading into Saturday night. Each game has seen Castro slotted smack dab in the middle of the lineup, batting right behind Juan Soto and Ryan Zimmerman, or immediately behind Soto himself. The back half of the Washington lineup is nothing special, but there should be endless RBI opportunities for Castro if he holds onto this lineup positioning.

Soto and Zimmerman have career .417 and .343 OBPs respectively. Throw in Trea Turner in the two hole, and the base paths will often be crowded ahead of Castro. He has always been a good average hitter and could very well set a career-high in RBI.

Yandy Diaz - 1B/3B, Rays

2% Rostered

A number of things have been surprising about Diaz in the early going. For one, he has played nearly every game thus far, starting seven of eight contests. That is partially thanks to the loss of flexibility for the Rays. TB has had to put both Ji-Man Choi and Kevin Kiermaier on IL since the start of the season, leading to far fewer lineup iterations than we might have expected. Diaz has also found himself with prime positioning in the lineup, either hitting in the middle of the order or batting leadoff. Those comfortable landing spots have already led to four runs and four RBI in just a week and a half. Diaz is not a power or speed guy, but you can't find three-category production any cheaper.

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