Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Week 20
August 14, 2017 | Matt Terelle
Welcome to Week 20 of the MLB season. Today we will take a look at the waiver wire in your fantasy baseball league and make recommendations based on MLB risers. For this series, I will be using ownership percentages from Yahoo! leagues. Generally speaking, I will be looking for players who are less than 50% owned, but there are times where I may target someone who is slightly over the ownership threshold if he is a must-own in leagues.
Please note, all statistics and ownership percentages are from Monday, August 14. Let’s get started!
Dinelson Lamet (SD) – 22% owned
Lamet, a rookie, has had his struggles this season but he has elite strikeout upside and has pitched extremely well over his past four outings. On the season, Lamet is averaging 11.20 strikeouts per nine innings. Over his past four starts, the rookie has posted a 3-0 record, 2.31 ERA, and 23 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings of work. For the season, Lamet has a 5.00 ERA, but his SIERA of 3.78 shows that he’s pitching well and he should continue to improve upon his traditional stats.
Tyler Flowers (ATL) – 33% owned
Flowers has just been rock solid all season. While he isn’t flashy, the veteran backstop has been steady with a batting average that has hovered right around .300 this year. It currently sits at .298 with nine homers, 36 runs, and 37 RBI. Lately, the Braves have been giving Flowers prime run-producing opportunity, batting him either fourth or fifth over the past few weeks.
C.J. Cron (LAA) – 16% owned
Cron played poorly at the beginning of the season and was optioned to the minors on June 22. He was recalled two weeks later and has hit well ever since. Now getting a chance to play every day, Cron has been red hot in the month of August, rolling up a .372/.413/.721 slash line to go along with four homers, nine runs, and 11 RBI in 11 games. He may not wind up being an everyday starter for your fantasy team for the rest of the season but he’s worth using while he’s swinging the bat well.
Kolten Wong (STL) – 12% owned
It’s not all that long ago that Wong was considered a top-15 fantasy second baseman. As recently as 2015, Wong was a threat to reach double digit homers and steals while posting useful counting stats across the board. He got off to a slow start in 2016, was sent to the minors, and wasn’t heard from again. Wong has resurfaced this season and is in the middle of a hot streak for the resurgent Cardinals. Over the past 14 days, Wong is batting .409 with one homer, 12 runs, 10 RBI, and one stolen base. Wong is a starting-caliber fantasy 2B who can be had for free off the waiver wire.
Nick Castellanos (DET) – 37% owned
Castellanos was a popular breakout candidate before the season started but he got off to a slow start and found himself on many waiver wires. The third baseman has heated up at the plate recently, giving him a chance to still be a useful fantasy player this season. Over the past 30 days, Castellanos has a .261 average, six homers, 16 runs, and 21 RBI. There has also been talk of the Tigers starting to use him in the outfield to make room for prospect Jeimer Candelario. If Castellanos gains outfield eligibility that would give fantasy owners added flexibility.
Wilmer Difo (WAS) – 9% owned
Difo has filled in at shortstop for the injured Trea Turner admirably. Over the past 30 days, Difo has posted a .315 average, three homers, 15 runs, nine RBI, and three stolen bases. He’s producing solid numbers across the board and has served as a bonus in the batting average category. With eligibility at 2B and SS, he can be a useful fantasy starter until Turner returns.
Eddie Rosario (MIN) – 26% owned
Rosario has been red hot at the plate lately for the Twins, hitting .326 with six homers, 16 runs, and 20 RBI over the past 30 days. The 25-year-old outfielder has always been extremely talented but, in the past, his plate discipline has gotten him into trouble. During Rosario’s recent hot streak over the past month, we’ve seen his strikeout rate fall and his walk rate rise, suggesting he’s swinging at better pitches. If he’s able to keep this up, he will remain a fantasy difference-maker for the remainder of the season.
Aaron Hicks (NYY) – 44% owned
Hicks was in the middle of a breakout season before an oblique strain landed him on the DL for over a month. Hicks is now back in action and picked up right where he left off, blasting a home run in his second game after being reinstated. On the year, Hicks has a .280 average, 11 homers, 42 runs, 39 RBI, and eight steals in 218 at-bats. He should be owned in all leagues as we head down the stretch.
Thanks for reading, good luck this week!