Daily Intel – 5/13/2018 (Waiver Wire Recommendations for Week 7)

Today, we’re making recommendations on a waiver wire option for most teams, with a brief explainer on some of our favorites. If you want to read more about two-start pitchers option you may want to consider streaming next week, click here.

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • 3B Jake Lamb is getting ready to start his rehab assignment today in his recovery from shoulder and elbow issues. Lamb will be an everyday player when he returns, though it may be a week or so until that happens considering he hasn’t played since April 3.
  • Waiver Wire: RP Yoshi Hirano (1% owned) – Hirano is recommended because of RP Brad Boxberger’s injury history and the likelihood that RP Archie Bradley would remain in his current role rather than move to closer.

Atlanta Braves

  • Waiver Wire: OF Jose Bautista (42% owned) – Bautista is recommended because he’s relatively safe in playing time and will gain third base eligibility soon.

Baltimore Orioles

  • 2B Jonathan Schoop hit two home runs yesterday, giving him extra-base hits in three of his last four games. He also is getting plenty of RBI chances, having driven in six since returning from the disabled list on Wednesday.
  • Waiver Wire: OF Mark Trumbo (83% owned) – Trumbo should be owned in all leagues because of his recent streak of making contact, a sign that his power should come soon.

Boston Red Sox

  • SP David Price got the job done in his first start back, earning a win with 5 1/3 innings of two-run ball, and he did strike out six. But his command wasn’t great, throwing only 55 strikes on 93 pitches. Between his cutter and two-seam fastball, his two most used pitches, he threw 34 balls the 61 times he threw the pitches. Price gets the Orioles at home next time out, and we’d be wary of starting him in shallow mixed formats.
  • Waiver Wire: 2B Dustin Pedroia (4% owned) – Pedroia is likely to get close to every day playing time when he returns, and should help owners looking for runs scored and batting average.

Chicago Cubs

  • We can officially stop worrying about C Willson Contreras, who is 10-for-15 in his last three games after a 3-for-5 effort yesterday. Contreras has hit three doubles, two triples, and three homers over his last three games, driving in 11 runs. Just like that, he’s on pace to go .281/18 HR/86 RBI/59 R this season, which would be a clear top-five performance at the catcher position.
  • Waiver Wire: RP Carl Edwards Jr. (34% owned) – Edwards Jr. is in the discussion for the best non-closing reliever outside of RP Josh Hader. He provides weeks with multiple innings at close to a two strikeout per inning rate.

Chicago White Sox

  • Waiver Wire: 2B/3B Yolmer Sanchez (76% owned) has sustained his strong start and continues to make more and harder contact than in previous seasons. His playing time is beyond safe, and his position flexibility makes him someone worth owning in all leagues – even in shallow leagues, he’s a great fill-in if your starter at 2B, 3B, CI, or MI gets hurt.

Cincinnati Reds

  • RP Jared Hughes picked up a perfect five-out save last night, and he’s quietly emerged as a strong option in NL-only leagues thanks to his volume work. He’s now at 20 appearances and 23 2/3 innings, with 20 strikeouts and just five walks, with a 1.52 ERA and .85 WHIP.
  • Waiver Wire: SP Tyler Mahle (78% owned)

Cleveland Indians

  • OF Michael Brantley has now hit second in consecutive games and may have cemented that spot in the order with a 3-for-4 day yesterday that include a double, two RBI, a two runs scored.
  • Waiver Wire: No recommendation.

Colorado Rockies 

  • Waiver Wire: SP German Marquez (18% owned) is a fantastic streaming option in road starts, as we mentioned on Friday, and that starts with a perfect matchup this coming week. To quote from that 5/11 Intel: “He has allowed 38 baserunners and 18 earned runs in 15 2/3 innings at home this year (10.34 ERA), while on the road he’s allowed 27 baserunners and five earned runs in 23 1/3 innings (1.96 ERA). He’ll get the Padres in San Diego next and is a nice option in that start.”

Detroit Tigers

  • Waiver Wire: OF JaCoby Jones (31% owned) – Jones has made clear changes to his swing, and it is resulting in more line drives and hard contact. He is very safe in his short-term playing time outlook.

Houston Astros

  • C Evan Gattis and C Brian McCann both went deep yesterday, and while McCann could stand to show a little more power, he’s at least got a .262 average and .367 on-base percentage to show for his season. Gattis is now at two home runs and 10 RBI after yesterday, but he has hits in each of his last four starts. This could be the start of a nice run for Gattis if he can recover to regular playing time levels.
  • Waiver Wire: RP Brad Peacock (69% owned)

Kansas City Royals

  • OF Jon Jay has been back in the leadoff spot for five games now after 2B/OF Whit Merrifield moved in to that spot for a couple of weeks. After a 3-for-4 day yesterday, Jay now has 10 hits in those five games, along with seven runs scored.
  • Waiver Wire: OF Alex Gordon (5% owned)

Los Angeles Angels

  • RP Keynan Middleton worked the ninth inning of a tie game last night and allowed a hit and picked up a strikeout. Based on the two games since he came off the DL, his velocity looks normal compared to his pre-injury levels, but he is relying primarily on four-seam fastballs and a little less on his slider.
  • Waiver Wire: SP Andrew Heaney (48% owned)

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • 2B/SS/OF Chris Taylor was bumped down in the lineup for the second straight day, hitting fifth last night and going 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and a run scored. We still like Taylor to come around soon and start producing at last year’s levels, because he’s making more hard contact and nothing else has changed in his batted-ball profile. He is having less luck on balls in play than he was last season, though.
  • Waiver Wire: No recommendation.

Miami Marlins

  • Waiver Wire: SP Caleb Smith (88% owned) has to be owned in all leagues at this point – the underlying metrics point to him being able to sustain an ERA in the mid-to-high 3s, and his strikeout rate is among the best for starters in baseball. If he’s available in your league, drop someone to grab him now – he’s got a decent set of matchups coming up with the Dodgers in Miami, and then the Mets and the Padres on the road.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • Waiver Wire: C Manny Pina (52% owned) – With C Stephen Vogt out for the season, Pina will continue receiving as much playing time as any of the top catchers in the game. He may not produce at that level, but he should be owned in all two-catcher mixed leagues.

Minnesota Twins

  • SP Kyle Gibson delivered his fifth straight start with at least an average level of value for fantasy owners – six innings, three hits, four walks, two runs, six strikeouts. Gibson has had some home run luck based on the amount of pulled and hard contact he’s allowed, but both his fastball and slider are performing better than last season, per FanGraphs pitch values. We’ll continue to use Gibson in most outings – last night was a pretty high degree of difficulty considering opponent and location, and he came out of it well.
  • Waiver Wire: 1B Logan Morrison (65% owned)

New York Mets

  • The Mets are changing up their rotation a little with yesterday’s game being rained out and rescheduled to an August 16 doubleheader in Philly. SP Jacob deGrom will return from his brief DL stint to start today, and yesterday’s scheduled starter SP Noah Syndergaard will start on Tuesday after an off-day Monday.
  • Waiver Wire: SP Zack Wheeler (31% owned) will get a start at home Wednesday against an average Toronto lineup, than get a nice two-start week in week eight at home against Miami and at Milwaukee. Add him now to take advantage.

New York Yankees

  • OF Brett Gardner doubled his stolen base total for the season in one game, swiping two on top of a strong 2-for-4 effort. His on-base percentage has jumped more than 35 points in a little over a week, and we expect both his stolen base and runs scored totals to start creeping up toward his career norms very soon.
  • Waiver Wire: 1B Greg Bird (80% owned) – With 2B/1B Neil Walker not lighting the world on fire and 1B Tyler Austin having options, we expect Bird to get every chance to hit when he returns from the disabled list in a week or so. This is the most elite power skill set likely available to you on waivers, and he should be owned in all leagues, regardless of size.

Oakland A’s

  • In the first two games of OF Dustin Fowler’s time with the A’s, OF Stephen Piscotty has been the playing time loser among the current set of outfielders, with OF/1B Mark Canha and OF Matt Joyce remaining in the outfield corners.
  • Waiver Wire: OF Dustin Fowler (20% owned) – Fowler is an elite speed option, and finding guys like that with clear paths to playing time on waivers is difficult as the season wears on.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • Waiver Wire: SP Zach Eflin (7% owned) had his start postponed yesterday due to rain, and it is unclear as of Sunday morning whether he will start today, but he’s worth a flyer in deep mixed leagues if you’re looking for a starter with some strikeout upside and a good shot at a win.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • 1B Josh Bell went 2-cor-3 with a double, two runs, and an RBI last night, and he now has hits in five straight, including four extra-base hits.
  • Waiver Wire: 1B/3B Colin Moran (57% owned)

San Diego Padres

  • It was a little surprising to see RP Brad Hand worked the ninth and tenth innings of a tie game last night. He did so without an issue, allowing just a walk and striking out two. The last time Hand worked two innings was March 29, and in his next outing he gave up four hits and five runs (two earned) in an inning. We’ll see if he bounces back better this time.
  • Waiver Wire: OF/2B Jose Pirela (71% owned)

San Francisco Giants

  • Waiver Wire: 2B/OF Alen Hanson (69% owned) went 2-for-3 last night with a walk, a home run, and two runs scored. He’s played every day since his call up and offers high upside in stolen bases.

Seattle Mariners

  • Waiver Wire: SP Marco Gonzales (33% owned) went six innings and allowed 10 hits, two walks, and four runs in a loss yesterday against the Tigers, but we continue to believe in his ability as a good bench/streaming option in shallow mixed leagues. Gonzales draws Detroit next at home on Thursday, and after that he’s lined up to face Texas and Oakland, two lineups that are about average or a little worse against lefties. Also, all three have pretty shaky pitching staffs, setting up Gonzales for a good shot at multiple wins.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • Waiver Wire: SP/RP Alex Reyes (61% owned) is worth looking at if you have a bench spot to stash a high-upside flyer with some risk. The risk primarily comes from Reyes’ uncertain role, as the Cardinals have some starting pitching depth and no obvious openings.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • SP Chris Archer was bad again yesterday, blowing an early 3-0 lead and taking the loss after allowing six runs on seven hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings. He also allowed three home runs, upping his total to nine on the season. Archer’s slider just isn’t the elite pitch it has been the last two seasons, and even though it generated nine swinging strikes yesterday, the Orioles still picked up a few extra-base hits on it, including a home run by 2B Jonathan Schoop.
  • Waiver Wire: SP Nate Eovaldi (0% owned) – Eovaldi is no more than two weeks away from returning to the majors, and his arsenal is worth taking a risk on in deep leagues. Give him three or four starts and you should have enough of data to make a call on his long-term viability.

Texas Rangers

  • 2B Roguned Odor struck out in all three plate appearances yesterday, giving him five Ks in his first two games back off the disabled list.
  • Waiver Wire: OF Willie Calhoun (61% owned)

Toronto Blue Jays

  • Waiver Wire: RP Tyler Clippard (0% owned) – Clippard is closing now and RP Roberto Osuna may not be back anytime soon. He should be owned in all roto formats, regardless of size.

Washington Nationals

  • Waiver Wire: SP Jeremy Hellickson (25% owned) – Hellickson is working deep enough in to games to be a good source of wins and a solid streaming option in deep mixed leagues

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