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Points Leagues Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 18

Welcome to the RotoBaller waiver wire column that skews towards points league. Yes, there is positive correlation to standard 5x5 scoring but in our format, specific categories matter less and the accumulation of total stats is the ultimate objective.

We’ve hurdled the Midsummer Classic and turning towards home for fantasy baseball season. While some league counterparts may be multi-tasking with pigskin prep, it’s time for savvy owners to stay juiced on the diamond! By now, team turnover should be commonplace and most managers have waved goodbye to busted high-round assets. During the dog days, keenness on the waiver could result in celebratory pay days in October.

Our points league waiver wire column will default to standard scoring and try to unearth three players under at least 50% ownership and three players under 25% ownership. For each group, we’ll identify an infielder, outfielder and pitcher. Let’s get hunting!

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Points League Pickups to Consider

Renato Nunez (1B/3B, BAL)

43% Owned

Nunez continues picking up ownership and he shouldn't qualify for this article next week. Over his last six games, Nunez has 10 hits and three home runs. He's ripping the cover off the ball and is up to a .444 combined wOBA through July. With his home park being Camden Yards, there is always a ton of upside if he's going to continue driving the ball at a 22% launch angle. He's also multi-position eligible, so he's versatile as well. His only real negative is striking out 24% of the time, but even that has been lowered over the last month.

There's not much to dislike about Nunez. He's going to be one of the more popular adds of the week and you should do your best to get him on your squad. He's up to 25 home runs and 61 RBI on the season and could easily finish the year over 35 homers. In a points league, there isn't many negatives to find. The overall Orioles offense isn't great, but they do put up a lot of runs. They just give up even more. Nunez may not be available in your league if it's an intelligent one, but he's available in 57% of leagues, so make sure to give him an add if available.


Zac Gallen (SP, MIA)

30% Owned

Gallen is another very easy add. Since coming to the majors, he's sported a 2.76 ERA while striking out 10.74 batters per nine innings. The walks will eventually catch up to him, but I think he was just being careful with a risky Dodgers team and it's inflated his BB/9. He only walked 1.68 batters per nine in the minors, so look for that 4.15 to drastically drop. He just absolutely dominated the White Sox, striking out nine and going 100 pitches.

He has been one of the best pitchers in the minors this year, going 9-1 while striking out 11.71 per nine with an 1.77 ERA. He's far from a fluke if you've watched him. He looks like one of those rare pitchers that controls the game without even trying. He can command his fastball like an ace and his off-speed pitches are insane. Especially the curveball that has exhibited a 38% swinging strike rate. On the shot term, the Marlins will be facing off with Rays and Mets, both of which Gallen would be a great play against. Gallen is an easy addition this week and would be a huge mistake to ignore.


Ryan McMahon (1B/3B/2B, COL)

25% Owned

We'll often reach for Rockies bats in hopes that they dominate at home, but that's not what's going on here. McMahon has posted a .383 wOBA in July and has been even better on the road. He did struggle for a lot of the beginning of the year, but it looks like he's truly turned a corner. He's hitting the ball hard 38% of the time and his BABIP has been consistent. He's only 25% owned and can be rostered at three different positions.

He's not a huge power hitter, but more than adamant with 11 homers. He's just as good against both righties and lefties, with a .300+ wOBA against both of them. He is up to 50 RBI and has stolen three bases, so there's more balance here than it may appear. He's hitting behind Arenado and Story, so he will continue to get RBI opportunities game in and game out. You also get half of his games in Coors Field, which brings a ton of upside by itself. With so much flexibility and McMahon appearing to turn a corner, he's worth an add if you need an consistent infielder.


Anthony Santander (OF, BAL)

23% Owned

If you've watched the Orioles lately, both Nunez and Santander have been extremely impressive. I don't think it says much for their future success, but it looks like they have found a solid youngster in Anthony Santander. He's a switch-hitting youngster that has been solid against both lefties and righties. He's also shown some power and the ability to hit with RISP (.341 BAA). Since being called up, Santander has posted a . 354 wOBA and has hit eight homers in just 40 games. He's perfect in a points league, as he only strikes out 18% of the time and walks 6%. The Orioles have already plugged him in as the cleanup man following Mancini and Nunez, so the RBI opportunities will come. The Orioles may be terrible as a whole, but there's no arguing that those guys will be on base a lot and Santander will have the platoon advantage no matter the pitcher. He's an easy add if you're looking for an outfielder that can do it all.


Tyler Beede (SP, SFG)

12% Owned

Beede added a slider four starts ago, and has since been a very different pitcher. The Cubs finally knocked him around, but he still struck out seven and worked into the sixth innings. It's certainly comforting to see a guy this cheap able to go far while allowing 10 hits and three home runs. The biggest concern for Beede has been his 4.15 BB/9 rate, which is now down to 1.9% since adding the slider. He's a completely different pitcher and will find a ton of success pitching to contact in Oracle Park.

He's owned in just 12% of leagues and gives you a great chance to grab a guy that's completely revolutionized his game and gets to pitch in the best ballpark in the league to reduce runs. He's gone over 100 pitches in three of his last four starts, so the upside is there if he's cruising. In a points league, this is the type of guy you want to own going down the stretch. As long as the match-up is solid, he's reliable as it gets as this price tag.

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