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

Corner Store is open! Primary shoppers: Eugenio Suarez owners, Greg Bird owners, Jake Lamb owners, Wil Myers owners, Justin Turner owners, Josh Harrison owners, Anthony Rizzo owners, Nolan Arenado owners, and Josh Donaldson owners. Injuries are one of the biggest cause for concern of most fantasy managers to start the season. However, it is not the only point of frustration causing some anxiety for you regarding your team and its place in the standings. Another cause for your annoyance is postponed games. Your team’s drop in the standings could be due to other teams having more at-bats and innings pitched because their rosters were not affected by weather-deterred games.

With so many injuries and postponed games, now might not be the time to take risks. It might be the time to play it safe and pick up someone that can get you through the rocky times. You might want a corner infielder that is as safe and smooth as James Taylor playing Fire And Rain. The other option is getting a little risky with your selection. As great as it sounds, getting some players in the mold of Jimi Hendrix' rendition of The Star Spangled Banner might be a little too wild for what you need, even as just a replacement player. Risky or safe is all your choice.

Again, you will not find a commensurate replacement for the corner infielder that you lost. When looking for a replacement or upgrade, identify the needs of your roster and how a player would fit in to improve your roster as a whole, or boost a certain category at the very least. First base and third base are generally the best spots to look to improve your team’s power. From the waiver wire, those individuals will usually come with a poor batting average. The main alternative is a player that will give you production across the board. Key points - the primary focus of this list is on players who are owned in less than 50% of yahoo leagues. Check your leagues for availability.

 

Week 3 Corner Infield (CI) Waiver Wire Targets

Joe Mauer (1B, MIN) 19% owned

Mr. 2000 (not his title) is a very safe option as a replacement at first base. Mauer is a safe guy that can hit, proven by reaching 2000 hits on Thursday; however, he provides no power or speed. While that might not be appealing to some, that might be exactly what you need to stay competitive in your fantasy league. With so many corner infielders on the DL, there are few options out there; even fewer are options that won’t hurt you. For the year, Mauer has six runs and six RBIs to go with an excellent .412 average and .545 OBP. If you are in OBP leagues, he should be near the top of your list.

Yulieski Gurriel (1B, HOU) 37% owned

The Astros wasted no time inserting Gurriel right into the fifth spot of the order when he was activated off DL, as expected. In two games since his return, he is 3-for-9 with a homer, a double and three RBIs. Gurriel should be owned in more leagues.

He doesn’t walk much but he makes enough contact to be a very good hitter. He hit 18 HRs last year but also had 43 doubles so there is a chance that more homers could be in store. Even with the short DL stint, he is likely to reach 20 HR, which combined with a high average should be a coveted asset. This might be the best of both worlds, a safe bet with a little wild upside.

Christian Villanueva (3B, SD) 13% owned

Villanueva continues to bat cleanup in the Padres lineup, giving him ample opportunities for RBIs. His average stands at .293 on the season. In the last week, Villanueva had a slash line of .375/.524/.875 and hit two homers with three runs and five RBIs. It should also be noted that also drew four walks compared to six strikeouts. The concerning piece is that Villanueva’s strikeout rate of 32.6%, which could become problematic. Also, he has a 38.5% swings at pitches outside the zone. His approach is working right now but it is worth keeping an eye on. You’ll have to be patient this week with him as he faces off against the Dodgers at home to start the week. You will be rewarded with better matchups in Arizona and Colorado later on.

Colin Moran (1B, PIT) 7% owned

Moran did not have a great week, statistically. He had a .294 average but didn’t have any counting stats to support his good week of actual hitting. He gets favorable matchups against the Rockies and Phillies this week so that should all change soon.

Risky Business

Luis Valbuena (1B/3B, LAA) 9% owned

He is batting .291 for the year. At 32 years old, it is hard to believe that he has suddenly figured it out, considering he has a career .229 average. It could be argued that the lineup has improved such that Valbuena has increased his talent to match that of his teammates. It is hard to believe but the Angels’ offense seems to have life and potency not seen in recent years. The first and third series of the week are quite intimidating against the Red Sox and Astros. However, if you plan on streaming risky players, Valbuena against the Giants in the second series of the week would be an optimal choice.

Ryan McMahon (1B/3B, COL) 11% owned

He has been a victim of over-crowing in the outfield, which has forced Ian Desmond to play at first base. He is only had 23 random at-bats but will get an opportunity to play for the next five days while Nolan Arenado serves his suspension. His play will go along way towards getting more consistent playing time in case of future injuries or struggles. Unfortunately most of those games will be played on the road in Pittsburgh, so he will only have the benefits of Coors Field in one game, against the Cubs.

Yangervis Solarte (2B/3B/SS, TOR) 49% owned

With Donaldson out, Solarte will get consistent playing time and potentially increase his value. On the year as a super utility player, he has a .286 average and a .423 OBP. With his ability to get on base, Solarte should hit toward the top of the order and have a chance to put up some stats. On the negative, he has not hit the ball hard at all yet this year (21.6%). Solarte does have two homers on the year so maybe a meeting with the Royals will benefit him.

Additional Notes:

Carlos Santana (1B/OF, PHI) 89% owned

Do not drop him. He is hitting .182 in past week. On the season, his average is .159 with two homers. Historically, he is known to start off slow. You’ve ridden the wave down with his stats, continue to do so and get the benefits of his elevation back to his norms. This week he faces off against the Braves and Pirates so he could have a good spurt this week.

Brian Anderson (3B, MIA) 17% owned

Anderson continues to be a player that is just an average hitter that hits and has a little power. He hit .25o with two runs and four RBIs over the past seven days. It has also been reported that Anderson is expected to move to the outfield when Martin Prado returns. He has not played there since college. Though his average has dropped to .268, if he can continue to hit with any degree of success, he will stay in the Marlins lineup for his progression. If there is any potential for success this week, Anderson’s best chances would be against Milwaukee as the Yankees and Dodgers will do everything they can to dominate the Marlins.

 

More 2018 MLB Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers




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