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Week 22 Waiver Wire - First Base (1B) and Third Base (3B)

We are getting to the final stretch run before playoffs in head-to-head leagues and separation at the top of the roto standings. Now is the time to focus on speculative adds for players who may see increased roles or move to a better situation.

The corner infield positions traditionally offer power with the potential for high averages, so you may want to target players that can offer an advantage in those categories to bolster your team. In this piece, I'll identify waiver wire targets for first base and third base in week 22 who should be able to contribute in multiple categories, either as replacements or bench depth. These players are owned in 50% or less of Yahoo! leagues.

We'll also look at the names mentioned in last week’s post, noting which players have graduated off of the waiver wire (ownership higher than 50%), which are still recommended pickups, and which we are dropping off the list entirely. If you have any questions on corner infielders or any dynasty question for that matter, message me directly on Twitter @EllisCan2.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!


Week 22 Corner Infield (CI) Waiver Wire Targets

Kendrys Morales (1B, TOR) 49% owned

Morales barely sneaks in under the 50% mark; however, it is important to make sure he is not available in your league. To say he is on fire is an understatement. He has done nothing but taken over the game in the last week. Morales has seven homers and 11 RBI while batting .500. He has been known to go on streaks and to do better in the second half. Thus far, he is batting .300 with nine homers and 21 RBI in the second half. He also has a .564 slugging and only a 13.4% strikeout rate during that time. Even at 35 years old, Morales is able to manage a 39.4% hard-hit rate.

Another reason to get Morales is his matchups this week against the Orioles and Marlins. Despite being on the road, he will get the hitter-friendly confines at Camden Yards followed by another great matchup in Miami. Morales will also face nearly all right-handed pitchers, against which he is hitting .289 with 17 homers this season.

Aledmys Diaz (3B/SS, TOR) 12% owned

Diaz busted on the scene in 2016 with 17 homers, 71 runs, and a .300 batting average in 404 at-bats. We haven’t seen that type of player since but at times we can see small moments where that type of player still exists. His season numbers aren’t impressive, with a .258 batting average, but he does have 16 homers. The recent numbers are more interesting. In the last seven days, Diaz has three runs, one HR, and four RBI, to go with a .300 AVG. In the second half as a whole, he still maintains that .300 batting average and is only striking out 11% of the time. Add to that, Diaz has become more of a fly ball hitter 44% in the second half as well. What is more interesting is he has a .310 ISO during that same time. Although Diaz has a week of road games, they are great matchups against Baltimore and Miami. There is only one left-handed pitcher on the schedule this week. That is in Diaz favor as he is batting .272 wit h11 homers and 32 RBI against right-handed pitchers this year. He is even batting .271 on the road against righties.

Trey Mancini (1B/OF, BAL) 29% owned

The Orioles lineup, as a whole, is not one to get excited about. However, they do have an injection of youth that can suddenly catch fire. Additionally, they are a professional ball club. Mancini is poised to take advantage, hitting in the middle third of the lineup. He does only have one HR, four RBI, and a .283 AVG in the last two weeks. On the season he is batting .236, however, he has kicked into gear in the second half batting .287 with five homers and 14 RBI. He has also reduced his strikeout rate down to 20% and improved his hard-hit rate in the second half to 42%. It is a far cry from his rookie season in 2017 hitting .293 with 24 HR and 78 RBI. However, it seems he has made the adjustments and will look to profit for the rest of the season. Mancini has very good matchups this week with a home series against the Blue Jays (two lefties) followed by a road series in Kansas City (all righties).

Wilmer Flores (1B/2B/3B, NYM) 12% owned

Opportunity and consistency. Sometimes that is all a player really needs in order to thrive. For most of the season, Flores has been a utility player that has slotted in all over the infield. Now that he has the first base job, he can finally relax at the plate without a need to press to earn more playing time, ultimately resulting in inferior performance. Flores is also slotted in at a prime RBI-contributing slot in the lineup, batting third or fourth. In the last 14 days, he has six runs, one HR, and 10RBI to go with a 281 batting average. Flores has improved his overall play in the second half, raising his batting average to .287. Flores has favorable road matchups against the Cubs and Giants. Currently, he is scheduled to face all lefties this week. While he is only batting .246 against left-handed pitchers, he has a BABIP of .255 against southpaws that will restrict the average a little bit. Flores’ strikeout rate is awesome this year (8.9%), but it is even better against lefties (7.1%), as is his walk rate (7.9%). He is not in the mold of traditional power-hitting first baseman with a .444 slugging but he does enough to be a decent contributor this late in the season.

Yonder Alonso (1B, CLE) 44% owned

At this stage of the season, you might just need a power bat that will get you over the hump in a couple of key categories. That is exactly what 31-year-old Alonso will provide, power. The Indians will enjoy a stretch at home taking on the Twins followed by the Rays. Alonso will face all righties against Minnesota but will likely encounter the committee staff that Tampa Bay has employed as of late. A .249 batting average leaves a lot to be desired but his .197 slugging should provide reassurance that he will give you exactly the stats that you desired when you picked him up. In the last seven days, Alonso does have two HR, four RBI, and a .278 batting average. We know that Alonso will face a few right-handed pitchers this week, which is fortunate. Thus far this season, he has 18 homers, 55 RBI and a .256 against righties. The Indians are smart not to use him against lefties (.226 AVG), so you should be equally as smart. Make sure you have a plan on those days, especially when the Indians take on Blake Snell this week.


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