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FAAB Waiver Wire Bidding - Fantasy Baseball Pickups to Target for Week 4 (Apr 15 - Apr 21)

Alex Kirilloff - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News

Baseball season is officially in full swing. If you have an interest or a need in tweaking with your team, then you have come to the right place. This FAAB fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups series will be looking at Week 4 -- April 15 through April 21 -- and will point out free agents to target and how much FAAB you should allocate for them.

Baseball is a long season, and your FAAB budget has to last you an awfully long time. For the next 24 weeks, we must carefully place bids and target players who will fill holes in our team. Pay close attention to this in category leagues and spend big on a player if you need a specific category filled urgently.

Below are a few players with ownership percentages under 50% in most Yahoo leagues that could benefit your roster and provide you with an added boost in several categories. I will also include what percentage of your FAAB budget you should look to spend on each player. Let’s get started!

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

 

Reynaldo Lopez, RP/SP, Atlanta Braves

35% rostered
FAAB Bid: > 5-10%

Lopez was included in my column last week, and this may be the last time as he is quickly approaching the 50% roster mark. Lopez was dominant in his first start against the White Sox, but more importantly, he followed that up with another dazzling performance against the New York Mets on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old threw six shutout innings with three hits, three walks, and six strikeouts. Lopez has relied heavily on two pitches, a four-seamer, and a slider, which performed well, according to Statcast. Overall, he has an above-average .190xBA, which places him in the top 80% of qualified pitchers.

Lopez should be a popular addition this week. He should be in line to receive double-digit wins over the course of the season and post at least a strikeout per inning, making him a solid No. 4 or 5 starter in a rotation. Lopez is tentatively scheduled to pitch against the Houston Astros on Monday.

 

Paul Blackburn, SP, Oakland Athletics

20% rostered
FAAB Bid: < 3-5%

Paul Blackburn has turned some heads early in the campaign. The A’s ace has thrown two shutout performances against the Tigers (six innings) and Guardians (seven innings). 

He has allowed a total of six hits and one walk across those 13 innings and struck out seven along the way. Blackburn also got off to a strong start in 2022, posting a 3.62 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in the first half en route to making an All-Star Game appearance.  

What makes Blackburn intriguing is that he should continue to provide you with a strong WHIP. He currently sits in the top 93% of pitchers with a 2.1% walk rate and in the top 73% of pitchers with a 51.3% ground-ball rate. Both of these factors suggest Blackburn will continue to limit baserunners and keep himself out of trouble.

 

Javier Assad, RP/SP, Chicago Cubs

20% rostered
FAAB Bid: < 5%

With Justin Steele and Jameson Taillon injured, Craig Counsell has turned to Javier Assad to serve as a back-end option to the rotation. Assad played a similar role in the second half of last season and performed well, with a 2.48 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 72 ⅔ innings after the All-Star break. Assad has made two starts and has a 1.64 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, and 12 punchouts across 11 innings.

If the 26-year-old can continue his success, he should be in contention to remain a starting option for the time being. However, it will be much harder once both Steele and Taillon return. Assad should be viewed as a short-term option, especially if you have a pitcher like Nick Pivetta, who is slated to miss a couple of weeks. Assad should not be projected anything further as he is not guaranteed much more than three more starts.

 

Michael Kopech, RP, Chicago White Sox

28% rostered
FAAB Bid: > 10-15% for teams needing saves, < 5% for others

Let’s talk saves. Unfortunately, the best option most likely available on your waiver wire may be the presumptive closer for arguably one of the worst teams in baseball. However, Kopech pitched two clean innings against the Guardians on Tuesday, notching his second save of the season. He struck out four.

After being used as a starter, Kopech seems to be in charge of late-inning duties on the south side of Chicago. If you are desperate for saves, you might have to spend on Kopech, as he is probably the only defined closer on your waiver wire. If you do not feel comfortable with him, you could wait for a steady closer to miss time with an injury and swoop in then and grab the replacement.

However, if you are already near the bottom of saves in your rotisserie league, you cannot wait much longer, especially if you have an opportunity to add a player who is in line to tally double-digit saves. Yes, Kopech may only finish with around 11-15 saves, but those can be the difference in your team's overall save total.

 

Colton Cowser, OF, Baltimore Orioles

34% rostered
FAAB Bid: > 15-20% in five outfielder leagues, < 10-15% for others

Another familiar face to readers of this series. As I mentioned last week, Cowser just needs playing time, and in Baltimore, that is hard to come by. With a strong lineup and deep pipeline, Cowser has to take advantage of any opportunities that come his way, and he blew expectations away this week. Hopefully, you added him at a discount last week!

Cowser took advantage of his playing time this week as he spoiled the opening series in Fenway Park this week. The 24-year-old hit an incredible .462/467/1.154 with two home runs and 10 RBI. Stretches like this can make Cowser a permanent starter in the Baltimore lineup.

Cowser may only see a few starts every week, but performances like this suggest that he could be very valuable in fantasy over the long haul. Stash him if you can do it this week, especially in five-outfielder leagues, but be prepared to pay up.

 

Blaze Alexander, 2B/SS, Arizona Diamondbacks

5% rostered
FAAB Bid: 1-2%

With the news of Geraldo Perdomo needing surgery to repair a torn meniscus, Blaze Alexander is in line to see everyday starts in the desert. Alexander has usually been on the lineup card when facing a left-handed pitcher, as he has only made one start against right-handed pitchers. However, that might change quite soon. 

The 24-year-old has an opportunity to take the reins on the shortstop position and become an everyday player. So far, Alexander has been solid, riding a .345/.424/.552 stat line. On Wednesday, he also launched a solo home run in Coors Field, his second of the season.

While Alexander should see more starts, he will likely be placed toward the bottom of the batting order, which will lower his fantasy production. However, the Diamondbacks have a very strong lineup that could provide Alexander with opportunities to get on the scoresheet if he can continue to hit.

 

Brett Baty, 3B, New York Mets

15% rostered
FAAB Bid: 1-3% 

After disappointing in his first full season, Baty may finally be turning the corner. The highly respected former top prospect is batting .311/.354/.378 across the first week and a half to begin the campaign. Baty is a perfect example of not giving up on prospects too early. He was a popular breakout pick last season but struggled with a .212 AVG and only nine home runs.

Baty is a solid pickup in deeper leagues and could provide help at a corner infield spot. He is an everyday player in Queens who has batted consistently in the middle of a good hitting lineup. 

 

Alex Kirilloff, 1B/OF, Minnesota Twins

20% rostered
FAAB Bid: < 15%  

Kirilloff has been a popular waiver target the past weekend and will likely be just under 40% by the end of the week. The outfielder/first baseman has been off to a scorching start at the plate. He is hitting .324/.385/.647 and just hit his first home run on Tuesday.

His Statcast page supports his production as he sits well above league average in xSLG, average exit velocity, barrel rate, and K rate. Kirilloff should be on your radar this weekend. If you need a corner infielder or outfielder, be prepared to spend a lot!

 

Going Deeper on the Waiver Wire

Joey Gallo, 1B/OF, Washington Nationals
3% rostered
FAAB Bid: 1% 

Yes, I am including Joey Gallo in a waiver wire article. In fact, when looking at his underlying metrics, I am just as surprised as you are. Gallo is currently the best hitter when it comes to barrel rate and is in the top 80% of hitters in walk rate and chase rate.

Gallo has a rough .179 AVG but an impressive .487 SLG, which is very helpful in leagues that score it. In addition, looking at how hard he has hit the ball, he should be considered a safe bet to hit over 20 home runs this season. He already has three.

Maybe playing for the Nationals can help Gallo settle himself back in and relieve the pressure he had from playing in the Bronx. In NL-only formats and teams who are desperate for power, Gallo might just be what you need.

Reese McGuire, C, Boston Red Sox
5% rostered
FAAB Bid: 1%

McGuire should be expected to serve as the primary catcher in Boston for the foreseeable future credited to his strong start to the season. The backstop has a .267/.333/.500 stat line with two round-trippers and one swiped bag. More notable, his 16.7% barrel rate places him in the 94th percentile among all hitters. McGuire is worth an add in AL-only formats or deeper 12-14 team two-catcher leagues. 



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