Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Week 23
September 4, 2017 | Matt Terelle
Welcome to Week 23 of the MLB season and happy Labor Day Fake Baseballers. Hopefully you are getting ready for the fantasy playoffs and stopped off here for some last minute ideas on roster tweaks. 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, September 4. Let’s get started!
Jake Junis (KC) – 28% owned
Junis has pitched extremely well over his last four starts, allowing just five earned runs in 25 innings while striking out 24 batters. Not only has he been pitching well, but two of Junis’ next three starts will come against vulnerable opponents. He’s currently scheduled to face the Tigers, Twins, and White Sox. Detroit and Chicago have had struggles against right-handed pitching this season. The Twins have been good, but they do have a 21.7% strikeout rate.
Mike Zunino (SEA) – 35% owned
Zunino can be a very streaky hitter but he definitely has fantasy value when he’s going well. That has been the case over the past 30 days as the backstop has a .318 batting average, five homers, eight runs, and 10 RBI. Zunino provides exceptional power at the catcher position and should be locked into lineups while he’s hitting well.
C.J. Cron (LAA) – 15% owned
Cron continues to be a cheap source of power for fantasy owners. The 27-year-old first baseman has a .298 average, seven homers, 14 runs, and 22 RBI over the past 30 days. He’s been especially hot over the past week, with three of those homers and 11 RBI coming in the past seven days.
Jose Pirela (SD) – 9% owned
Pirela has been a pleasant surprise for fantasy owners and San Diego fans this season. While he’s shown that he can be very streaky, Pirela is a must-start option when he’s hitting well as he can rack up stats in a hurry. That has been the case of late as Pirela has two homers in his past four games. On the season, Pirela has a .294 average, 10 homers, 37 RBI, and four steals in just 74 games.
Nick Castellanos (DET) – 38% owned
Castellanos is one of the few faces casual Tiger fans might recognize after the team recently sent Justin Upton and Justin Verlander to the Angels and Astros, respectively. Castellanos was a popular sleeper pick this spring but failed to deliver on some lofty expectations. He’s been much better in the second half, however, and is a player who should not be ignored in fantasy. Over the past month, Castellanos has batted .304 with four homers, 12 runs, and 19 RBI.
Jorge Polanco (MIN) – 59% owned
Polanco was recommended here last week. Since then his ownership has jumped up but he’s still available on enough waiver wires that I thought he needed to reappear here. Polanco has been on another level over the past month, batting .377 with seven homers, 18 runs, 28 RBI, and four stolen bases. Even if your fantasy team is strong in the infield, Polanco is worth a pickup to keep him away from the competition with the fantasy playoffs starting.
Delino DeShields (TEX) – 17% owned
DeShields has been flying under the radar for a while now, but he’s emerged as a real stolen base threat this season. The 25-year-old has 28 steals in 96 games played this season. In addition to his excellence on the basepaths, DeShields has a respectable .286 average and 59 runs scored. He’s worth a look if you need to add some speed as the fantasy playoffs approach.
Shin-Soo Choo (TEX) – 40% owned
Choo has been recommended here a few times this season. While his season-long stats aren’t amazing in any one category, the veteran outfielder provides well-rounded production across the board. On the year, Choo is hitting .262 with 18 homers, 84 runs, 65 RBI, and 12 stolen bases. He should be owned in many more leagues than he is, although it’s understandable why fantasy owners don’t want to take the plunge with the oft-injured Choo. He’s been mostly healthy this season and can help a fantasy roster out down the stretch.
Thanks for reading, good luck this week!