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>> Read even MORE of RotoBaller's original 2013 fantasy baseball articles and analysis Fantasy Analysis

>> Read even MORE of RotoBaller's original fantasy baseball advice articles released recently Waiver Wire & Daily Leagues


Nick's Waiver Picks - Get 'Em While They're Hot (Premium Content)

All other Premium Tools can be accessed on the premium dashboard. With roughly a month and a half left in the fantasy baseball season and many trade deadlines passing in the coming days, it is truly waiver-wire crunch time. You cannot put a blanket over your head and ignore the fact that you're either +100 or -100 in innings, or slipping in average and steals while you continue to pad your league-leading homer margin. Be resourceful and honest about your team needs and address them with aggression! Let's see what the free-agent orchard has for us this week. Ownership rates are being taken from Yahoo. Without further ado, here are my waiver wire targets for Week 20. As always, you can find me on Twitter @NMariano53 to ask about anyone not mentioned here.  

Nick's Premium Waiver Wire Targets - Week 20


I don’t anticipate Aledmys Diaz (20% owned) to keep up such a torrid power pace as thwacking six homers and chipping in two steals in two-week spurts, but he’s getting regular playing time and offers modest pop for an MI. He rewarded those with faith by going deep on Saturday (his 15th on the season) after four homerless games, but he seems destined to stay in the bottom half of Toronto's order no matter what he does. Still, he's basically a lock to shatter his previous career-high in homers (17) and should be viable in 12-teamers. Let’s assume that the Padres didn’t just get a ridiculously lucky stretch of juiced balls and Hunter Renfroe (9% owned) and Franmil Reyes (10% owned) might be coming into their own. Renfroe had a nice seven-game hit streak that crescendoed with four consecutive homers before ending on Friday (he responded with two hits on Saturday) while Reyes was called up once Wil Myers hit the DL and had gone on a 9-for-18 stretch with three dingers before going 0-for-4 on Saturday. Renfroe is more interesting to me as long as he plays against righties and continues to bat third, whereas I think Reyes will somehow be notably more hit-or-miss than Renfroe and will be pushed from the lineup more readily once health returns. The Rays have lots of underowned assets, with Willy Adames (3% owned) socking two homers and swiping two bags while batting .333 (13-for-39) over the last two weeks. This is probably the high point of his average, but the pop and speed can play. This is assuming that Adalberto Mondesi (10% owned) is already scooped, because he’s just awesome, man. He shook off a minor shoulder injury last weekend to smack a homer with three steals over the last week and six steals in the previous two weeks. Only Trea Turner and Mallex Smith are running at a higher clip lately, yet Mondesi’s ownership rate still languishes. Sad times. And how about Tim Beckham (13% owned) finding himself again? We’ve got hitters like Trey Mancini and Mark Trumbo showing signs of life alongside respectable ownership spikes, yet folks are still slow to buy back into Beckham. I get it, but he’s notched a hit in eight out of 10 games this month with three homers in his last five contests while hitting out of the two-hole. If Mancini (29% owned) is available in your league then you should rectify that -- he combined to go 4-for-7 with a homer during Saturday's doubleheader, hitting cleanup in the nightcap. The Cardinals had to struggle through watching Dexter Fowler try to hit this season, but he’s out with a fractured foot. This leaves Marcell Ozuna as the only high-owned outfielder left (let’s not kid ourselves that Jose Martinez is a real outfielder), which means both Harrison Bader (7% owned) and Tyler O’Neill (5% owned) should have real playing time moving forward. O’Neill needs to get healthy first, but he’s already begun a rehab assignment and should come back on Tuesday. Bader has bashed a home run in two straight contests and stole his 12th base on the season in the game before that, so those seeking speed in the outfield without surrendering pop or average should turn his way.  


Whether the Astros are able to slide Brad Peacock (29% owned) into their starting rotation for a couple of turns while Lance McCullers is out or not, his performance warrants Collin McHugh-like adding. In just 10 ⅓ innings over the last month, Peacock has strutted his stuff by way of 20 strikeouts, a 1.74 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. And Jeremy Hellickson (25% owned) made headlines by being tagged with two earned runs and the loss despite giving up no hits over 5 ⅔ frames. He simply lost the strike zone in the sixth and his bullpen couldn’t bail him out, though he remains an underrated arm in the most pitcher-friendly division in baseball. The A’s took notes from our weekly SP waiver-wire piece and added Mike Fiers (24% owned) to their rotation at the deadline, no doubt being impressed by his added velocity and stretch of five consecutive quality starts. That’s omitting his injury-shortened outing, which I feel is fair to do. The Coliseum (man, I don’t like writing that name) is a homer-prone pitcher’s best friend and should help him coast to a strong finish in 2018. He struck out eight Dodgers over 5 ⅓ innings of one-run ball in his A’s debut and gets the Mariners at home next. And then we find two interesting names at 20%. Both Tyler Glasnow and Matthew Boyd are sitting here, available in four out of five leagues with different skill sets to offer. Glasnow is the electric strikeout artist, posting a combined 7 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 14 K line in two “starts” (opens?) for the Rays. Even if all he does is give you two four-inning shots in the arm per week, I’m absolutely in if double-digit strikeouts and strong ratios are rolling in. Boyd is another velocity jumper stuck on a subpar team who has held hitters to a .191/.263/.319 triple slash at home (2.93 ERA), but has had less luck on the road (5.60 ERA, .250/.324/.416 line). After a hot start, he saw poor results in June (6.32 ERA) that bled into the All-Star break. Then he dominated Boston, Kansas City and Cincinnati to start the second half before a two-homer, four-run outing against the Angels. His 2.59 ERA (2.75 FIP) and 20.6% K-BB rate in these four starts show a man who has bounced back. The Marlins don’t have much to offer, especially after trading Justin Bour, but Trevor Richards (11% owned) has grown into his stellar changeup lately after a rocky start to 2018. He still struggles with command -- he walked seven hitters on July 8 and six back on April 20 -- but the two homers he gave up in his last start on Aug. 8 are the only homers he’s surrendered in his last six outings. With 28 strikeouts in his last four starts (23 ⅓ IP), Richards should be on mixed-league radars. As if the Braves haven’t already flexed on other teams enough with its absurd pitching depth, it appears that Touki Toussaint (3% owned) is coming up for a spot start on Monday during a doubleheader against the Marlins. While we’ve already seen Kolby Allard fail to impress in the same favorable matchup, Toussaint is much different pitcher. Allard banks on command while Toussaint possesses top-of-the-rotation stuff in a more volatile package. He has 139 strikeouts over 117 ⅓ IP between Double- and Triple-A with an ERA under 2.75, meaning he could toy with the Marlins for 10-plus K’s. Here’s a neat list of relievers available in <30% of leagues who have a crack at the ninth, in the order I’d add them in: Jose Leclerc (25% owned), Robert Gsellman (23% owned), Mychal Givens (17% owned), Trevor Hildenberger (7% owned), Drew Steckenrider (10% owned), Wily Peralta (25% owned), Thyago Vieira (1% owned).

Week 20 Start/Sit Matchups - Starting Pitchers

You know what it is--it's my updated starts/sits column for Week 20! Your friendly neighborhood @Roto_Dubs is back again this year with his weekly starting pitcher matchups. This is our fifth year now writing this weekly column, helping fantasy baseball managers pick the best pitchers weekly. Below are the projected starting pitching matchups for Week 20, and our recommendations on whether to start or sit each pitcher.  If you've got any questions about which pitchers can capitalize on a juicy matchup and which ones might be worth putting on the pine against a fierce offense, this is the weekly piece for you. For every week of the fantasy baseball season, we look to analyze all of the projected starting pitcher matchups and put together our optimal lineups. Here at RotoBaller, we believe that it’s key to analyze every SP matchup, each and every week, to help determine which SPs to start/sit and to hopefully find some hidden gems to bolster your teams. Let's set those optimal lineups!  

SP Matchups & Start/Sit Recommendations

This weekly piece considers the pitcher’s opponents, their career stats against the opponent, some ballpark factors and historical splits. With all of this information, we then provide our start/sit recommendations for each starting pitcher matchup for the approaching week of fantasy baseball.
ARI@TEX Zack Greinke SP | ARI START Bartolo Colon SP | TEX SIT
CHW@DET Reynaldo Lopez SP | CHW START Artie Lewicki RP | DET SIT
CLE@CIN Mike Clevinger SP | CLE START Homer Bailey SP | CIN SIT
LAA@SD Andrew Heaney SP | LAA START Clayton Richard SP | SD SIT
MIA@ATL Pablo Lopez P | MIA START Touki Toussaint SP | ATL START
NYM@NYY Jacob deGrom SP | NYM START Luis Severino SP | NYY START
SEA@OAK Marco Gonzales SP | SEA START Sean Manaea SP | OAK START
SF@LAD Madison Bumgarner SP | SF START Clayton Kershaw SP | LAD START
TOR@KC Sean Reid-Foley SP | TOR START Brad Keller SP | KC SIT
WAS@STL Tommy Milone SP | WAS SIT Miles Mikolas SP | STL START
ARI@TEX Patrick Corbin SP | ARI START Yovani Gallardo SP | TEX SIT
BOS@PHI Rick Porcello SP | BOS START Nick Pivetta SP | PHI SIT
CHW@DET Lucas Giolito SP | CHW SIT Blaine Hardy RP | DET SIT
CLE@CIN Corey Kluber SP | CLE START Sal Romano SP | CIN SIT
COL@HOU German Marquez SP | COL START Justin Verlander SP | HOU START
LAA@SD Jaime Barria SP | LAA START Brett Kennedy SP | SD SIT
MIA@ATL Trevor Richards SP | MIA SIT Anibal Sanchez SP | ATL START
MIL@CHC Jhoulys Chacin SP | MIL START Jose Quintana SP | CHC START
NYM@BAL Jason Vargas SP | NYM SIT Andrew Cashner SP | BAL START
PIT@MIN Jameson Taillon SP | PIT START Jake Odorizzi SP | MIN START
SEA@OAK James Paxton SP | SEA START Mike Fiers SP | OAK START
SF@LAD Andrew Suarez SP | SF SIT Alex Wood SP | LAD START
TOR@KC Ryan Borucki RP | TOR START Heath Fillmyer SP | KC SIT
WAS@STL Gio Gonzalez SP | WAS START John Gant RP | STL SIT
BOS@PHI Brian Johnson SP | BOS SIT Vince Velasquez SP | PHI START
CHW@DET Carlos Rodon SP | CHW START Jordan Zimmermann SP | DET SIT
CLE@CIN Shane Bieber SP | CLE START Robert Stephenson RP | CIN SIT
COL@HOU Tyler Anderson SP | COL START Gerrit Cole SP | HOU START
LAA@SD Felix Pena RP | LAA SIT Robbie Erlin SP | SD SIT
MIA@ATL Jose Urena SP | MIA SIT Kevin Gausman SP | ATL START
MIL@CHC Junior Guerra SP | MIL START Kyle Hendricks SP | CHC START
NYM@BAL Zack Wheeler SP | NYM START Dylan Bundy SP | BAL START
PIT@MIN Chris Archer SP | PIT START Jose Berrios SP | MIN START
SEA@OAK Mike Leake SP | SEA START Brett Anderson SP | OAK SIT
SF@LAD Derek Holland SP | SF SIT Hyun-Jin Ryu SP | LAD START
TB@NYY Blake Snell SP | TB START Masahiro Tanaka SP | NYY START
TOR@KC Marco Estrada SP | TOR START Burch Smith SP | KC SIT
WAS@STL Jeremy Hellickson SP | WAS START Austin Gomber SP | STL SIT
ARI@SD Clay Buchholz SP | ARI START Jacob Nix SP | SD SIT
CHC@PIT Jon Lester SP | CHC SIT Ivan Nova SP | PIT START
COL@ATL Jon Gray SP | COL START Julio Teheran SP | ATL START
DET@MIN Francisco Liriano RP | DET SIT Ervin Santana SP | MIN SIT
NYM@PHI Corey Oswalt P | NYM SIT Zach Eflin SP | PHI START
TOR@KC Sam Gaviglio SP | TOR SIT Danny Duffy SP | KC START
WAS@STL Tanner Roark SP | WAS START Jack Flaherty SP | STL START
ARI@SD Robbie Ray SP | ARI START Walker Lockett RP | SD SIT
BAL@CLE Alex Cobb SP | BAL SIT Trevor Bauer SP | CLE START
CHC@PIT Cole Hamels SP | CHC START Trevor Williams SP | PIT SIT
COL@ATL Kyle Freeland SP | COL START Sean Newcomb SP | ATL START
DET@MIN Matthew Boyd SP | DET START Kyle Gibson SP | MIN START
HOU@OAK Charlie Morton SP | HOU START Edwin Jackson SP | OAK START
KC@CHW Jake Junis SP | KC SIT James Shields SP | CHW START
LAD@SEA Walker Buehler RP | LAD START Wade LeBlanc RP | SEA SIT
MIA@WAS Dan Straily SP | MIA SIT Max Scherzer SP | WAS START
MIL@STL Freddy Peralta SP | MIL SIT Luke Weaver SP | STL SIT
NYM@PHI Noah Syndergaard SP | NYM START Jake Arrieta SP | PHI START
SF@CIN Dereck Rodriguez SP | SF START Anthony DeSclafani SP | CIN START
TB@BOS Tyler Glasnow SP | TB SIT David Price SP | BOS START
TOR@NYY Marcus Stroman SP | TOR SIT CC Sabathia SP | NYY START
ARI@SD Zack Godley SP | ARI START Joey Lucchesi SP | SD START
CHC@PIT Mike Montgomery RP | CHC SIT Joe Musgrove RP | PIT START
COL@ATL Chad Bettis SP | COL SIT Mike Foltynewicz SP | ATL START
HOU@OAK Dallas Keuchel SP | HOU START Trevor Cahill SP | OAK START
KC@CHW Brad Keller SP | KC SIT Dylan Covey SP | CHW START
LAA@TEX Andrew Heaney SP | LAA START Drew Hutchison RP | TEX SIT
LAD@SEA Rich Hill SP | LAD START Erasmo Ramirez SP | SEA SIT
MIA@WAS Wei-Yin Chen SP | MIA SIT Tommy Milone SP | WAS SIT
MIL@STL Wade Miley SP | MIL SIT Miles Mikolas SP | STL START
SF@CIN Madison Bumgarner SP | SF START Matt Harvey SP | CIN SIT
TOR@NYY Sean Reid-Foley SP | TOR SIT Luis Severino SP | NYY START
ARI@SD Zack Greinke SP | ARI START Clayton Richard SP | SD SIT
BAL@CLE Andrew Cashner SP | BAL SIT Mike Clevinger SP | CLE START
CHC@PIT Jose Quintana SP | CHC START Jameson Taillon SP | PIT START
COL@ATL German Marquez SP | COL START Anibal Sanchez SP | ATL START
DET@MIN Blaine Hardy RP | DET SIT Jake Odorizzi SP | MIN START
HOU@OAK Justin Verlander SP | HOU START Sean Manaea SP | OAK START
KC@CHW Heath Fillmyer SP | KC SIT Reynaldo Lopez SP | CHW START
LAA@TEX Jaime Barria SP | LAA SIT Martin Perez SP | TEX SIT
LAD@SEA Clayton Kershaw SP | LAD START Marco Gonzales SP | SEA START
MIA@WAS Pablo Lopez P | MIA SIT Gio Gonzalez SP | WAS START
MIL@STL Chase Anderson SP | MIL SIT John Gant RP | STL SIT
NYM@PHI Jason Vargas SP | NYM SIT Nick Pivetta SP | PHI START
SF@CIN Andrew Suarez SP | SF SIT Luis Castillo SP | CIN SIT
TOR@NYY Ryan Borucki RP | TOR SIT J.A. Happ SP | NYY START

  [jiffyNews category_include='698' headline='More Weekly Lineup Prep']

AL-Only Waiver Wire Team of the Week: MLB Week 20

Every week in baseball, a significant player will hit the disabled list, slip into a slump, or get traded out of a good spot. How fantasy owners adapt to these situations can make or break the season as a whole. One lousy add might not hurt the long-term standing of a team, but failing to take advantage of breakouts or impact bats before others sure can. The primary challenge of playing in an NL or AL-only league is often the lack of options regarding adding and subtracting players when needed. In mixed leagues, the players on the waiver wire are usually starting for an NL-only staff. So then how does one wade through the names of players that even regular fantasy players have never heard of, and that often will not even start for their teams to begin with? That is where this series comes in. Instead of owners spending time digging the waiver wire of 0% owned players, this article will give owners a player at each position to fill the gap, or at the least, keep an eye on to add or stash. Not all of these players will replace that injury, but offer the best option off the scrap heap. Often the players advocated for here are long shots due to the nature of shallow leagues. No quick fixes, but some upside that could turn into much more.  With that onto the island of misfit fantasy toys.  

AL-Only Team of the Week

C - Mitch Garver (C, MIN) - 6% owned Garver looks to be the starting backstop for now in Minnesota, and it is not every day that owners can add a starter off the wire like this. While he is in the role due to an injury to Jason Castro, Garver has earned the role since that time as well. To date, he is slashing .261/.337/.405 with six homers and 24 runs in 77 games. The lineup hurts him a bit, as the Twins have struggled all year, but with that batting average should be a fantasy starter in most leagues. The other good news is that he has cut his K rate from 28.8% last season to 23.2% this campaign. While the OBP is not supported by a high walk rate at 9.6%, his numbers last year show that he can improve in the short term and return to the 11.5% rate. The skills are there to be a high-end backup, and this makes him fantasy worthy right now. 1B - Mark Canha (1B/OF, OAK) - 3% owned A new name at the position to add to the list with a recent switch from the outfield to first, Canha offers top production hidden by the switch. Not often can owners add a player who would be a top 12 player like this, but with the fact that he was stuck behind some other good player in the outfield, Canha has been a bench play at most times this year. In 93 games this season, Canha is slashing .258/.331/.454 with 14 homers and 49 runs. Those bombs are the main play, and even with a lack of standout power, he is productive enough to give him a spot in a corner role. The other good sign and a trend this week, the K rate is down from 29.9% last season to 22.5% this year. With the Oakland lineup also being driven by the long ball, Canha can turn that OBP into runs with the best of them and offers a floor in that category. This looks like one of the better options with the ownership rate this week. 2B - Neil Walker (1B/2B/3B, NYY) - 5% owned After a tough start to the year, Walker has rebounded into a serviceable fantasy player with good eligibility and lineup context. Also, in the second half of the 2018 season, Walker is hitting .333 with three homers and 11 RBI, almost matching his first-half numbers. While Walker might never be the top player he was in years past, there is little doubt that he has some value to the Yankees. The other good news is that the team chose to stick with him over Brandon Drury, so the front office thinks he is better than his numbers so far. The six homers are way down from past 20 plus season lines, so owners should not expect power to be an addition here, but should bank that he can keep up the current surge. This is a buy-low with upside and should be a nice add in most leagues. 3B - Alcides Escobar (3B/SS/OF, KC) - 1% owned The 2018 season has been a frustrating campaign for Escobar with a lowly .206 batting line, and this completes a trend with declining offensive production from the utility player. The good news for fantasy owners is that he is not being pushed for time, and should hold down a role the rest of the way. His glove keeps him with the Royals, but this might be the end of the line for the player in a starting role. Why should owners look to him with these numbers: runs. To date, he has scored 42 times, and with the playing time, should keep this pace up. When he gets on base so little, the fact that he is still productive when he gets there is a nice factor for owners looking to plug a hole or two. The other good news is that while six steals is not close to some of his career highs, he has already passed the four from last year. Productivity counts and owners should be keeping tabs on this player. SS - Chad Pinder (2B/SS/OF, OAK) - 1% owned Another favorite for this column, Pinder offers the unusual mix of positions with some upside to boot. To date, Pinder is slashing .253/.333/.442 with 10 homers and 30 runs. Having only played 73 games, this means that over a full season Pinder would be pushing 20 homers, offering good upside from a utility role. The park factors are key here, as Pinder hits close to 50 points better on the road, making him a matchup play in daily leagues. Even more unusual, Pinder hits better against lefties at home with a .286 batting line, and righties on the road, with a .283 rate. This is perhaps due to the pitchers more than the hitter, and clearly, Pinder is not only a platoon option for the skipper this year. The best option for the player is an MI role, where that power is unusual, but also can move around as needed. Play to the matchups, and reap the benefits. OF - Leonys Martin (OF, CLE) - 6% owned A word of warning with Martin, last week he went on the DL with an “illness” and should be out for a bit longer than the minimum with that stint on the DL. And yet, when he was playing this looked like the perfect final piece for Cleveland. That being said if owners can afford to wait this is the pickup of the week, but if they cannot, then keep reading onto the next name(s). While the team has been quiet about what the illness is and hoping it's not severe, the good news is that unlike an ankle or shoulder there should be no long-term ramifications. To date, this season has been one of his best in recent memory, with a .255/.323/.425 slash with 11 homers and seven steals. When he is back, Martin is the starter in center so owners can plan on runs as well. If he comes back soon, that 6 percent ownership will shoot up. OF - Greg Allen (OF, CLE) - 0% owned Allen is the hedge on Martin and is back in the bigs due to the illness. While not an offensive force this season, the last few games have been promising for the speedy fielder and should be a regular in the lineup without another true fielder in center for Cleveland. Since returning to the club, even though only 12 ABs, he is hitting .500 with three steals and four runs. The speed is the main reason to play Allen, as Cleveland has been stealing more than any team in the American League, and will continue to do so to produce runs with other injuries currently. For the long-term, Allen could be a .260 hitter with 25+ steals in a season, but in the short term offers a nice speed floor with runs upside with that lineup. Owners can do much worse, and adding him with Martin would be a nice combo. OF - Daniel Palka (OF/1B, CWS) - 5% owned At times this season, it has seemed that this column has been the only supporter of Palka, and moving forward will continue to be in his corner. The raw power plays well, and with 18 homers to date is showing up in games as well. He is being given every chance to be a long-term player in Chicago and therefore will get playing time the rest of the year, helping his fantasy chances.  This campaign, Palka is slashing .235/.280/.496 to support that power, and the line is a bit low with recent struggles. Rest of the way, owners should bank on a .240 average while expecting a bit more. The downside is that he strikes out a bunch with a 33.9% K rate to date, limiting some of the RBI numbers. Even with that, owners looking for power can expect a handful more this season. P - Brad Keller (SP/RP, KC) - 5% owned Typically starting a player on a losing team is not a great ideal, especially when that player is a pitcher with little to no run support. And yet, at this point of the season, any arm deserves a second look. In steps Keller who has moved between roles a lot this season, but looks to be a starter at least for now. The 3.57 ERA is nice, but the FIP sits at 3.64 so do not expect any improvement. Even so, this is a good play for teams in need of a starter with a decent ERA floor. The downside is that fantasy owners cannot count on many wins, and the 5.91 K/9 also does not look great either.  The good news for owners is that Keller generates a 54.6% GB rate, meaning that the homers are not typically an issue. Not a sexy play, but an excellent short-term option. P - Trevor Hildenberger (RP, MIN) - 7% owned The last few outings have been rough for Hildenberger to say the least, but owners should jump on the chance to buy low with Fernando Rodney moving west. If he can keep the ball in the yard, Hildenberger looks to be the closer moving forward, even if that job is not all that appealing to fantasy owners with the struggles in Minnesota this year. The 8.68 K/9 rate plays, and with the funky delivery will play up with bad contact more than swings and misses in most cases. A few bad outings bloat the ERA, so owners should trust the 3.72 xFIP more than the 4.74 ERA to date. For owners looking for saves, this is the best bet in a weak waiver class.   P - Adam Cimber (RP, CLE) - 1% owned Cimber first showed up on this list after his trade to Cleveland, and he is back due to the new context in that bullpen. With Cody Allen’s recent struggles owners can count on Cimber getting some more high-leverage innings, as even without taking the job from Allen, increased usage is good news. The other news is that Allen might be appearing more in the 7th inning to set-up Andrew Miller and Brad Hand, meaning a match-up 9th inning might fall to Cimber before all is said and done. Even more, Cleveland recently has been scoring more later in games and therefore might mess with the manager's plans out of the bullpen.  Even more, Dan Otero look to be done, so this is the second best righty in that pen.  The 8.72 K/9 is also a nice bonus to the 0.34 HR/9 line this campaign. With the Cleveland offense, Cimber will also walk into a few wins as well. For teams needing another relief arm, Cimber is a safe play with upside, making him worth the add even without saves.   [jiffyNews category_include='6916' headline='More Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers']

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups List

Back by popular demand in 2018... RotoBaller has brought back for the MLB draft season and regular season our Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups List.  Be sure to also use our other lineup tools shown in the icons below.

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2018 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire by MLB Position

ALL - C - 1B - 2B - SS - 3B - OF - SP - RP

  [srp post_limit='80' display_thumbnail='no' category_include='10578' post_content_type='content' post_content_length_mode="words" widget_title='' post_content_length='90' post_author="yes" post_date='yes' date_timeago="yes" tags_include='' string_break='...continue reading']  

Week 20 Waiver Wire - Second Base (2B) and Shortstop (SS)

At the risk of stating the obvious, time is running out on the 2018 fantasy baseball season. Some head-to-head leagues that end early are already about to begin their postseasons, and most only have a few weeks of regular play remaining. Regardless of format, trade deadlines are likely coming soon if they haven’t already, which means the waiver wire is your sole source of talent infusion from here on out. Every Sunday until the end of the season, we'll look at the best middle infielders available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues. These are based on standard 5x5 scoring; adjust accordingly for your specific setup. Let’s get to it. Below are your second base and shortstop waiver wire targets for Week 20.  

Week 20 Middle Infield (MI) Waiver Wire Targets

Ketel Marte, 2B/SS, Arizona Diamondbacks (22% owned) With the news that Jake Lamb will require season-ending surgery, trade deadline acquisition Eduardo Escobar slots in as the everyday third baseman in Phoenix. That means that Marte should remain the regular starter at second base moving forward, a designation he’s absolutely earned with recent performance. Marte has batted .294/.376/.552 since the start of June, with nine home runs, three stolen bases, and quality run production. He’s also walked nearly as often as he’s struck out in that time, and is hitting .344 since the All-Star break. Aledmys Diaz, SS, Toronto Blue Jays (20% owned) Diaz makes his second straight appearance in this space because he remains available in four out of every five leagues even with his ownership rate literally increasing tenfold since last weekend. A slow start and some missed time due to injury have kept his overall numbers suppressed, but Diaz is hitting .293/.319/.502 with 10 home runs in his last 216 plate appearances. Tim Beckham, 2B/3B/SS, Baltimore Orioles (13% owned) Beckham certainly hasn’t lived up to the stretch run performance a year ago that had fantasy owners taking a flier on him late in drafts this spring. That said, he looks to be putting together another late-season surge. He’s gone deep in three of his last five games and logged multiple hits seven times in the last three weeks, during which time he has slashed .306/.386/.528 with 25 R+BI in 18 games. Locked into the top of the Orioles’ order, Beckham should have ample opportunity to maintain that run production. Jorge Polanco, SS, Minnesota Twins (9% owned) It took a while after his return from suspension, but Polanco finally launched his first home run of the year a few days ago. Getting hits and walks hasn’t been a problem thus far, as he’s hit .287/.357/.403 in 34 games while also stealing four bags in six tries. Polanco has recently been slotted into the three-hole in the Twins’ lineup, so if he can send a few more balls over the fence, he’ll be a sneaky multi-cat contributor down the stretch. Joey Wendle, 2B/3B/OF, Tampa Bay Rays (9% owned) Wendle has appeared in this column a handful of times this season, and if memory serves his ownership rate has never climbed out of the single digits. It’s as close to doing so now as it can possibly be, because he has been red hot lately. With another multi-hit performance on Saturday, Wendle has recorded multiple base knocks in 26 of his 89 starts this season, a big reason why he’s one of only 29 batters with an average of .295 or above. He only has six home runs on the year, but four of them have come in his last 23 games. Wendle also recently gained eligibility at third base.   [jiffyNews category_include='6916' headline='More Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers']

Week 20 Waiver Wire - First Base (1B) and Third Base (3B)

Rosters are ever-changing and player values continue to rise and fall, depending on the flavor of the moment. Consider making a couple of moves to keep your team competitive. If you're in jeopardy of missing the playoffs, take a risk to get a player that could make the difference. The corner infield spots generally offer power bats. However, waiver wire players come with as much downside as they do upside and these power bats could come with their own distinct issues. In this article, I'll discuss waiver wire targets for first base and third base in week 20. This week we cover a few guys that cover the age spectrum, others that are on a little hot streak while at least one other has enticing matchups. Key points - the primary focus of this list is on players who are owned in less than 50% of leagues. Below are some names that might be available.  

Week 20 Corner Infield (CI) Waiver Wire Targets

David Freese (1B/3B, PIT) 5% owned Freese has been an underestimated player this year. Ok, so we aren’t talking about a big-time power hitter, just another guy who can hit the ball. However, it is worth pointing out that he does have a slash line of .292/.346/.474 so Freese does provide exactly what you need in a player, the ability to get on base and above-average slugging. In the last 14 days, Freese has two homers with nine RBI and a .316 batting average. This brings his season average up to .293 to go along with nine homers and 41 RBI. He isn’t someone that should be picked up in every single league, but Freese is hot right now and improvement in all categories is very important right now. Freese has very good matchups this week. He will have two games in Minnesota followed by four games at home against the Cubs. All four of those opposing pitchers are lefties; Freese is hitting .308 against lefties at home. Matt Duffy (2B/3B, TB) 19% owned The Rays are putting together a nice young team and Duffy is in position to capitalize on it. He is a steady bat that will get some counting stats if the rest of the offense can do their part. He isn’t the kind of player that will generate his own production. Duffy isn’t going to give you a lot of power as he only has a .382 slugging on the season. But, he can get on base (.353 OBP) and doesn’t strike out a lot (15%). Duffy continues to hit the ball on the ground (55%), but he seems to be finding success as he is hitting .301 this season. He also has 17 doubles and eight stolen bases in 12 attempts. Duffy has a tough assignment this week. He doesn’t have the best schedule with an entire week on the road against the Yankees and Red Sox. Tim Beckham (2B/3B/SS, BAL) 13% owned Beckham started off the season very slow with a .206 batting average in the first half with two HR and 13 RBI. In only 89 plate appearances of the second half, Beckham already has five homers, 15 RBI, and a .303 average. It should be noted that Beckham does not hit the ball with authority, as his hard-hit rate is only 31%. He needs to improve that similar to the rate of 2017 (39%). Beckham does continue to make improvements with his plate discipline though. He has reduced his swinging strikes to 13% and increased his contact rate to 73%. By no means will Beckham be confused with a top-100 player, but he is making minor adjustments and is currently hot at the plate. In the last 14 days, he has three homers, seven RBI, and a .319 batting average. He is not a bad play in deep leagues. Of course, the schedule isn’t as favorable as most this week. He faces off against the Mets at home and then a series in Cleveland. Keep in mind the Orioles only have five games on the schedule this week; they face three solid pitchers in Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco, and Zack Wheeler. Daniel Palka (1B/OF, CHW) 5% owned In the last 30 days, Palka has compiled seven HR with 17 RBI and a .306 AVG. The important thing to know is that he has very unique splits. At home, he is a .277 hitter that only generates 33% hard-hit rate and his swing is catered toward a ground ball result (46%). Contrarily, on the road his swings generate more fly balls (44%) and hard-hit rate (43%), resulting in more homers (15), but it comes at the expense of his batting average (.201). So, identify what category you need when you put him in the lineup of your deep league. Fortunately, Palka faces very good matchups this week with a series in Detroit followed by a home series against the Royals. Tyler White (1B, HOU) 2% owned With Jose Altuve and George Springer on the disabled list, there was some reshuffling done which now allows White to get some playing time at first base. Thus far, he is making the most of it. In the last two weeks, he has three homers, nine RBI, and a .342 batting average. In 79 plate appearances, White has a slash line of .279/.380/.574. It is boosted by a 14% walk rate and a .294 ISO. It should be noted that White isn’t hitting the ball as hard this year (33%) as he did in 2017 (44%). With a 43% fly ball rate, it must be enough to stay productive. The Astros will face two games at home versus the Rockies followed by three games in Oakland.  

More Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers

[jiffyNews category_include='6916']


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