Fantasy baseball waiver tip: flip again the clock
I sincerely apologize for an abbreviated version of the waiver wire for today. I’ll try to overcompensate for the waiver wire on Sunday with some extra games, as well as streaming and offensive goals specifically for the next week. But here are some players who should check out the midweek disclaimers for this edition!
Jesus Aguilar (MIA) Right now, there may not be a hotter batsman on the plate than Aguilar. He has five home runs this season, but all five have come since last Friday and he has made 11 RBI and seven runs in that period. Now all that power has come to the streets. He has yet to play half of his games at Marlins Park, but it is still impressive that he has won three games in a row in San Francisco, another pitcher’s park. He gets a lot of playing time, he goes as much as he wants, and once Jazz Chisholm leaves the IL there are more RBI opportunities for him.
Buster Posey (SF) After mentioning Carson Kelly in back-to-back articles, we’re going to give Posey some love for his comeback after losing out in 2020. The Giants weren’t expected to be overly competitive this year, but they sit at 16-9 and Posey scores .351 / .413 / .667. While he’s likely going down, these are still useful numbers for any league, and he’s had five home races so far in the young season, and that’s nearly half of his 2018 and 2019 total (12). It isn’t much fun when they hit him seventh in the order, but the Giants could do without Mike Yastrzemski for the rest of this week as he’s dealing with a slight sloping load so they may have him this weekend and in the Have to beat the order a little faster I like to take the offensive production that he offers when that is the case.
Enrique Hernandez (BOS) I’m always a little DFS darling as it is usually affordable and has a head start. I’m a little surprised that Hernandez is around 50% represented in ESPN leagues. You want to see better record discipline from a leadoff hitter because they are down 22.3% of the time and don’t make up for it with a 4.9% gait rate. It only scores .240 / .282 / .417 so there isn’t a lot of power there, but it does provide a lot of counting statistics, making it a viable addition to the Roto or Head-to-Head category. He has scored safely in 10 of his last 13 games and has made 16 runs in the season. Hard to expect to improve the batting average as he has a career of .241 hits, but given the offensive support behind him, he could deliver 80-90 runs and he could get around 15 home runs.
Albert Pujols (LAA) I can’t believe I’m actually walking this trail and I’m sure a lot of people will laugh, but if you can take the bad batting average … then why not? He doesn’t go much, but he also doesn’t hit enough to kill you. He’s purely a target for power in the league, having hit about four things in the last week and almost hitting his home run total from the shortened 2020 season. In 131 games in 2019, he still hit 23 bombs with 93 RBI. He’s not a man who deserves an incredibly long leash given his age, but he is a very cheap source of strength available for waiver leagues in many leagues.
Jake Junis (KC) It recently appeared in Ronis’ latest Ronis Bonus because of its hot start. We should acknowledge that he still allows hard contact, but the key to his most recent streak is the new cutter. He averages well over one strikeout per inning and is a coveted pitcher with two starts next week, with both matchups taking place at home against the tribe and White Sox. Obviously, some big second matchup concerns, but hard to miss a two-start grazing pitcher next week.
Michael Kopech (CHW) Many will flock to resignations after his last launch to catch Kopech and I can’t blame them. His potential pedigree is well documented, as is the speed of his fastball. He’s actually starting to develop and mature as a pitcher because he knows he can call it back a little and opt for speed command. Are there any concerns? Yes. It’s possible the White Sox could bring him back to the Bullpen anytime, considering Tony La Russa was pretty adamant about working out of the pen. And he’s still relatively young (he’ll be 25 on Friday) and never threw 140 innings in any season. So load management is going to be the key to him at some point, but how long can you honestly suppress what he brings on the table? 27 strikes in 15.2 innings of work are phenomenal and surprisingly, the White Sox let him throw 87 pitches on his last start. Dylan Cease is having problems this year. He failed to get out of the fifth inning in all four starts, and he allowed 12 walks in 17.1 innings of work. At a certain point you have to call it as you see it and rotate with Kopech over Cease, right?
Anthony DeSclafani (SF) After a tough game against the Phillies, DeSclafani recovered on Monday night with a complete loss of the game against the Rockies. In his last five appearances, he gave back nine hits in just one step to make his third quality start. His next two starts are likely to be against San Diego so be careful there, but DeSclafani had a fantastic start to the season as a reclamation project for the Giants.
Framber Valdez (HOU) Valdez had completely fallen off my radar for almost a month into the season, but as someone who contributes to a decent chunk of the updates to the MLB Injury Report (updated daily), I noticed that Valdez was ahead of schedule in terms of his rehab. He’s likely a couple of weeks away, but we’ve seen his holdings decline in the ESPN and CBS leagues and once we learn of a possible return date we’ll see a spike in ownership. So it doesn’t hurt to be ahead of the curve and hide it. He is more likely to return in late May, but given the speed at which he has recovered, returning in mid-May is out of the question.
Josh Staumont (KC) How about some new blood for closers? It’s only April and the Royals saw six different players book a save and Staumont got the last three on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday nights. Greg Holland threw the eighth inning in loss on Tuesday, but that could simply be because Staumont pitched two of the last three days. The Royals surprised a lot of people from the start. If this success is real we can see many safe opportunities for this bullpen. You’re just hoping a man will get closer, so ride your hot hand and reach for Staumont for the time being.
Kendall Graveman (SEA) I think it’s time for a closer update from the Mariners and be sure to keep an eye out for Joe Gallina’s Bullpen report which will be released later today. Not one of the more stable bullpens in baseball, but the M’s started the year 11-7 but lost five of their last seven games. The Mariners led two runs into the eighth inning on Wednesday night before Rafael Montero allowed four runs and the Astros took home a win. The Kenyan Middleton threw parts of the seventh inning and Graveman did not appear in the game on Wednesday for setting up the seventh inning of the game on Tuesday. To be honest, this is a messy bullpen situation that I personally avoid. But in lower leagues where Middleton and Graveman (and maybe even Misiewicz) are available, this is a notable one. I oppose Graveman, but it is also possible that the M will stay with their husband in Montero. The last time we thought there was a changing of the guard in that bullpen they ended up going straight back to Montero.
Victor González (LAD) Greetings to Joe Gallina for putting this guy on my radar, but I think he’s worth mentioning for lower leagues that involve holds. The Dodgers Bullpen got a hit after losing Corey Knebel for a few months and also David Price hit the IL too. While Blake Treinen (mentioned in this article on Sunday) is the man of choice, Gonzalez isn’t a terrible look in deeper leagues. He’s accumulated eight holds and saved up the season so they wouldn’t be afraid to put him in high leverage situations. He’s just a two-pitch pitcher with a plus fastball and a decent slider. My big concern is the walks as he allowed four free tickets in his last 3.2 innings so he’s begging for trouble right now. He hasn’t given up much hard contact so he’s worth a look at in deeper saves + leagues.