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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.

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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.


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