Streaming Wars: Waiver Wire Targets for May 18

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Welcome to Streaming Wars, your one-stop resource for streaming the waiver wire. Use this column to improve upon your neediest categories.

Below are your pitcher and hitter streaming targets for Thursday, May 18th.

Let's get to it.

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Agenda

  1. Judge Not
  2. Today's Weather and Updates
  3. Tomorrow's Picks

 

1. Judge Not

Remember when Aaron Judge was a daily recommendation in this column. Now he's regarded as a better version of Giancarlo Stanton. Crazy times. Anywho, I'm borrowing this video from Jimmy Fallon via my colleague Justin Mason. For the lulz.

2. Today's Weather and Updates

As I warned, Minnesota is looking a little hairy tonight. If by hairy, I mean coated in a thick layer of rain and hail. There's a chance they'll get the game in so check forecasts closer to game time. As for Thursday, the Twins game is once again at risk of a soaking. The Phillies-Rangers contest is also under threat of storms. It would be real awkward if they have to postpone that one.

 

3. Tomorrow's Picks - Thursday, May 18th

Thin Thursday features 11 games this week. Not too shallow, not too deep.

 

Pitchers to Use

Only three pitchers stand out as useful additions. Jose Berrios offers the highest risk and reward. He has apparently blamed the baseball itself for his major league struggles. Major league and minor league balls are subtly different. This year, Berrios used MLB balls in his side sessions, and he claims it's prepared him to make the transition. So far, so good, right? His 2017 debut was an impressive 7.2 inning, one-run outing. While I'd like to see more than four strikeouts, he only allowed two hits and a walk. Last season, Berrios was hit, homer, and walk prone. If that's no longer the case, he's an asset in all formats. He's already nearly 50 percent owned.

By comparison, Jordan Montgomery is only 12 percent owned despite possessing what I believe to be are similar expectations for the 2017 season. The Yankees tend to supply solid run support. Coupled with frequent six inning starts and a strong bullpen, Monty will earn his share of wins. He also has the stuff and aptitude to post a strikeout per inning along with an acceptable ERA and WHIP. The latter categories will probably be slightly below average. Overall, we're talking about a pitcher who should run $4 to $8 in an auction format. The southpaw will face a hopeless Royals offense. Most of their best hitters struggle versus left-handed pitching.

The final rotation option is only 10 percent owned - Hyun-Jin Ryu. The Dodgers southpaw has struggled under the burden of Coors Field. He's allowed seven earned runs in 8.2 innings at elevation. He's posted a much more respectable 4.09 ERA with 9.82 K/9 and 2.86 BB/9 at sea level. Ryu is set to host the deceptively dangerous Marlins. In a small sample, Miami is tied for the second best offense versus left-handed pitching.

Other TargetsAmir Garrett, if you don't mind the wind probably blowing out at Wrigley.

 

Pitchers to Exploit

It's my job to pretend I know all about Sam Gaviglio. He's making the start for the Mariners versus Dylan Covey. Gaviglio is a soft-tossing righty. At his best, he'll pile up ground balls while pitching to contact. The best pitcher with this profile is Kyle Hendricks. Most have more in common with Kyle Kendrick.

It's also my job to pretend I'm very much aware of Hector Velazquez. He'll take the bump for the Red Sox since Kyle Kendrick is Kyle Kendrick. The 28-year-old spent his entire career in the Mexican League prior to 2017. Near as I can tell, he likes to nibble on the outer edge - an inference I've made based on his weird opposite field batted ball profile. I have no information about his stuff. John Farrell alluded to unimpressive velocity and a decent curve ball.

I'm actually quite familiar with another no-name hurler, Lisalverto Bonilla - mostly from his days as a Phillis prospect. He lacks a useful fastball, instead relying on a plus changeup and curve. Too bad he has to throw fastballs for the changepiece to work.

Tyler Glasnow is fully exploitable in every sense of the word. Not only is he hit, walk, and homer prone, he's also one of the worst at holding base runners. Look for the Nationals to get frisky.

Other Targets: Jordan Zimmermann, Tyler Chatwood, Nick Pivetta, Andrew Cashner, Sonny Gray, Edinson Volquez

 

Homers on the Wire

Come on people. What's Jayson Werth doing on the damned waiver wire. Pick him up. He's a walk, homer, and stolen base threat versus Glasnow.

I'm not sure where Ian Happ fits on a fully healthy Cubs roster, but he's making a very strong case to stick around. Let's see if the Cubs give him enough of an opportunity to force their hand a la Cody Bellinger. Jeimer Candelario finally had a good game too. He probably just requires a little more patience than the typical Cubs prospect. They face Garrett.

Eric Thames has been waylaid by strep throat. He may return on Thursday. In his absence, Jesus Aguilar is making a strong case to push Thames to the outfield or the American League. After a big spring, Aguilar is slashing .313/.343/.609 with three home runs in 67 plate appearances. There are chinks in the armor - namely a near-30 percent strikeout rate coupled with a .415 BABIP. His batted ball profile is pristine, and he has a long history of sub-20 percent strikeout rates in the minors. It may just be a matter of subtle adjustments to mold Aguilar into a quality first slugger.

Other Targets: Chris Taylor, Danny Valencia, Mitch Moreland, Matt Joyce, Jed Lowrie, Yangervis Solarte, Shin-Soo Choo, Max Kepler, Kennys Vargas, Hyun-Soo Kim

 

Steals on the Wire

Michael Taylor has the Glasnow matchup. He just needs to avoid swinging through everything. Easier said than done - he has a Gallo-ian 16 percent swinging strike rate.

Freddy Galvis had the second flukiest 20 home run season in 2016 (Didi Gregorius gets top honors). This year, Galvis has trimmed his strikeout rate by being more selective on pitches outside the strike zone. It's his greatest flaw as a hitter - he still chases balls at an above average rate. It's still good to see sharp improvement. If and when his .269 BABIP recovers, he could be a league average hitter with 15 home run and steal ability. Not bad for somebody who would have never made it out of a super utility role on most teams.

Leury Garcia has just enough speed to be a threat in a thin slate. Mostly, I wanted an excuse to post this.

Other Targets: Jarrod Dyson, Taylor Motter, Hernan Perez, Delino DeShields

 

Skill Positions

Austin Hedges offers all-or-nothing power potential on a nightly basis. He nothing's just often enough to remain widely available. On the other side of this one, Jett Bandy should start versus the ground ball pitcher. We may see Manny Pina instead. I still can't tell when they'll alternate and when they'll play two in a row.

 

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