Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups of the Week (Week of August 1, 2022): Best Players Available Under 50%, 40%, 30%, 20%, and 10% on Yahoo

by Mickey Bell

*Stats and Roster % as of the morning of August 3

GRADUATED

  • Batters
    • Anthony Santander, OF, BAL (45% to 70%)
    • Steven Kwan, OF, CLE (22% to 56%)
    • Jose Miranda, 1B/3B, MIN (18% to 56%)
    • Nathaniel Lowe, 1B, TEX (50% to 55%)
    • Josh Naylor, 1B/OF, CLE (46% to 55%)
    • Ramon Urias, 2B/3B/SS, BAL (45% to 54%)
    • Nico Hoerner, 2B/SS, CHC (48% to 52%)
  • Starters
    • Brady Singer, SP, KCR (21% to 54%)
    • Cole Irvin, SP, OAK (24% to 53%)
  • Relievers
    • Seranthony Dominguez, RP, PHI (45% to 55%)

Please check out last week’s article here if you missed it.

50% OR UNDER

Felix Bautista, RP, BAL (41%: new)

Bautista should be the Orioles’ closer with Jorge Lopez traded to the Twins. On the year, the 27 year old rookie has a 1.65 ERA (2.42 SIERA) and a 0.87 WHIP. While walks were an issue in his minors career, he’s got a 26.2% K-BB rate in the pros. Bautista has a fastball-heavy approach but also has a splitter and a slider. His four seamer has touched 102 MPH this year and sits around 99. His splitter has an absurd 26.9% SwStr% (Swinging Strike rate).

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Dylan Carlson, OF, STL (50%: returning): He showed some pop last week with two homers, though he only has seven on the year.
    • Ramon Laureano, OF, OAK (50% to 46%): For what it’s worth, 11 HR and 10 SB in 74 games extrapolates to a 24 HR, 22 SB pace in 162 games. 
    • Christian Walker, 1B, ARI (49% to 46%): Should a guy projected for 39 HR really be on the waiver wire?
    • Jean Segura, 2B, PHI (45%: new): Started a rehab assignment at AAA this week.
    • Andrew McCutchen, OF, MIL (38% to 45%)
    • MJ Melendez, C/OF, KCR (40% to 43%)
    • Joey Votto, 1B, CIN (37% to 41%)
  • Starters
    • Jesus Luzardo, SP, MIA (40% to 44%): Luzardo returned on Monday and pitched five innings, allowing two runs and striking out five. It’s promising he went 5 IP in his first majors appearance in over two months. He’s definitely worth a pickup and gets a favorable matchup at Wrigley versus the Cubs next.
    • Braxton Garrett, SP, MIA (24% to 41%): Since the beginning of July, Garrett has a 0.81 WHIP with a 25.9% K-BB rate, 8th in the MLB during that span. On the year, his Chase Rate is in the top three percent in the league according to StatCast. 
  • Relievers
    • Jhoan Duran, SP/RP, MIN (49% to 48%)
    • Tanner Scott, RP, MIA (47%: returning): With Anthony Bender back from the IL, Scott might lose his closer job soon.

40% OR UNDER

Jorge Mateo, 2B/SS/OF, BAL (30% to 38%) 

With an 81 wRC+ on the year, Mateo is not a good major league hitter. However, he’s a good fantasy player. After a two homer performance yesterday, Mateo has been the 25th best player in 5×5 roto over the past 30 days with 4 HR, 6 SB, and a 0.289 BA. In July, he got his K% down to a more respectable 25.3%. On the year, he has 10 HR and 26 SB. As with every righty on the Orioles, I do have to caution about the difficulty to hit homers in left field at Camden Yards. Indeed, Mateo has 7 HR on the road compared to just three at home this year.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Harrison Bader, OF, NYY (47% to 40%)
    • Nolan Gorman, 2B/3B, STL (39%: returning)
    • Kolten Wong, 2B, MIL (34% to 38%)
    • Riley Greene, OF, DET (44% to 36%)
  • Starters
    • Reid Detmers, SP, LAA (16% to 40%)
    • George Kirby, SP, SEA (33% to 38%): Feel free to cut him if you need a spot. I like Kirby a lot long-term,, but he is already 30 IP past his career high 67.2 innings last year. The Mariners acquired Castillo meaning they will go with a six man rotation. Kirby hasn’t been reaching five innings in starts lately and he might even be a candidate for a bullpen role for the home stretch.
    • Alex Cobb, SP, SFG (35% to 36%)
    • Aaron Ashby, SP/RP, MIL (32%: returning): The WHIP is still ugly, but he gets the Reds’ depleted lineup next.
  • Relievers
    • Dany Jimenez, RP, OAK (31% to 33%)
    • Jason Adam, RP, TBR (30% to 32%)
    • Kyle Finnegan, RP, WAS (31%: new)

30% OR UNDER

Nick Lodolo, SP, CIN (19% to 30%)

The big lefty has allowed just one run in his last two starts (12 IP), racking up 16 K in those starts. Not only are the results promising, he also has gone six innings in two straight games after missing all of May and June to injury. His 1.57 WHIP on the year might scare you away, but the ERA estimators (3.25 SIERA) all like him quite a bit more than that. The 0.406 BABIP will come down, but is he too hittable? His main pitch, the sinker, has an 0.886 OPS allowed in 401 pitches. While there are concerns, I would pick him up for the Brewers who have an 88 wRC+ against LHP.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Brandon Belt, 1B/OF, SFG (30% to 27%) 
    • Isaac Paredes, 1B/2B/3B, TBR (36% to 23%)
    • Kyle Lewis, OF, SEA (31% to 22%)
  • Starters
    • Jake Odorizzi, SP, ATL (35% to 24%): Not much changes with Odorizzi going from one six-man rotation to another, Houston to Atlanta. He gets a home park upgrade as homers are 15% more likely in HOU compared to ATL, according to Baseball Monster park factors (https://baseballmonster.com/MLBParkFactors.aspx).
    • Jose Quintana, SP/RP, STL (24%: new)
    • Jakob Junis, SP/RP, SFG (21% to 24%)
  • Relievers
    • John Schreiber, RP, BOS (30% to 29%)
    • AJ Puk, RP, OAK (21%: new): Even if Jimenez gets the closer job back, Puk has not allowed a run with a 0.68 WHIP in 10.1 IP across the last 30 days.

20% OR UNDER

Nolan Jones, 3B/OF, CLE (27% to 20%)

The Bucks County, PA has great underlying stats including his Barrel/PA (10.3%), Sweet Spot % (52.5%), HardHit% (50%), and BB rate (11.8%). My main concern is that he is platooning more than I would like. Oscar Gonzalez got called back up (although Franmil Reyes got sent down) and former first-rounder Will Benson might steal a start here and there. However, as a lefty, Jones has the platoon advantage and should start most games versus righties.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Garrett Cooper, 1B/OF, MIA (18%: returning)
    • Eddie Rosario, OF, ATL (19% to 18%)
    • James Outman, OF, LAD (17%: new)
    • Danny Jansen, C, TOR (18% to 16%)
    • Vinnie Pasquantino, 1B, KCR (20% to 16%)
    • Jarren Duran, OF, BOS (19% to 14%)
    • Alek Thomas, OF, ARI (13% to 12%)
  • Starters
    • James Kaprielian, SP, OAK (5% to 13%)
    • Kutter Crawford, SP/RP, BOS (12%: new)
  • Relievers
    • Anthony Bender, RP, MIA (17%: returning)
    • Andres Munoz, RP, SEA (17%: no change) 
    • Colin Poche, RP, TBR (21% to 17%)
    • Zach Jackson, RP, OAK (9% to 17%)
    • Alexis Diaz, RP, CIN (14%: no change)
    • Brooks Raley, RP, TBR (13% to 12%)

10% OR UNDER

Miguel Vargas, 3B, LAD (10%: new)

With Justin Turner hitting the IL with abdominal tightness, the 22 year old 3B got the call up. Vargas has hit at least 11% better than the league at every stop in the minors except for A ball in 2018 when he was 18 years old. This year, he has 15 HR, 12 SB, and a 119 wRC+ in 94 games at AAA. He walked 12.4% of the time, just slightly less than he struck out (14.6%). According to a tweet in April by Chris Clegg, Vargas’s hardest hit ball to that point was 112.7 MPH. That number alone would put him in the top 12% in the MLB for Max EV, and it’s possible he’s topped that number since April.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Brandon Marsh, OF, PHI (10%: returning): Phillies manager Rob Thomson says Marsh will be the starting CF for the Phillies here on out. Marsh’s 36.2% K rate is a huge cause for concern. However, he gets to go to an offensive ballpark and should offer a decent power-speed combo albeit with a bad BA.
    • Austin Slater, OF, SFG (11% to 8%)
    • Luis Gonzalez, OF, SFG (6%: no change)
    • Luis Garcia, 2B/SS, WAS (7% to 5%)
    • Ezequiel Duran, 2B/3B/SS, TEX (5%: no change)
    • Nick Pratto, 1B, KCR (3%: no change)
  • Starters
    • Mitch White, SP/RP, TOR (8% to 5%)
  • Relievers
    • Rowan Wick, RP, CHC (9%: returning)
    • Wil Crowe, RP, PIT (9%: new): Would be the closer if David Bednar’s back issue causes him to miss time.
    • Ryan Tepera, RP, LAA (8%: new): Might be the Angels new closer with Raisel Iglesias traded to the Braves, although Jose Quijada got the save yesterday.
    • Jonathan Hernandez, RP, TEX (6%: new)
    • Jose Quijada, RP, LAA (3%: new): As mentioned above, he got the save yesterday by pitching a 1-2-3 ninth against the A’s.

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