So far, the waiver wire has netted players like Adam Dunn, Tyler Flowers, George Springer, Justin Morneau, Dee Gordon, and Charlie Blackmon. It has also led us to pitchers like Nate Eovaldi, A.J. Burnett, Francisco Rodriguez and even Mark Buehrle. Fantasy baseball is the only fantasy sport where the waiver wire can single-handedly make your team infinitely better, even with a less than average draft. Be sure to keep an eye on the wire, you never know who is next.
Whether it is a free agent pool, a budget-budget based system, or weekly waivers, playing the wire is a key element to winning your fantasy baseball leagues.
Each Wednesday, XN Sports will present an option at each position, and why you should add them.
Without further ado, let’s play the waiver wire:
A.J. Pierzynski, Boston Red Sox
So far this season, Pierzynski is hitting .275 with 12 runs scored, three home runs and 15 runs batted in. But in his last fifteen games, the Red Sox catcher is hitting a whopping .325 with nine runs batted in while clobbering two home runs. Last season, he hit .272 with 17 home runs and 70 runs batted in, so long-term success is in order as well. Add him if you need help behind the dish.
James Loney, Tampa Bay Rays
First base is a position where you want power and production in fantasy baseball. Loney has only hit one home run this season, but he can help you in various other ways. The Rays’ first baseman is hitting .322 with 12 runs scored and 18 runs batted in, so if you need a solid option in the utility slot, or if you need to help your batting average, Loney is your guy. He is available in half of fantasy baseball leagues.
Danny Espinosa, Washington Nationals
Espinosa has been a solid option for fantasy players since Zimmerman went down to injury, but he is still available in over 90 percent of fantasy leagues. In the last two weeks, he ranks among the top five among second baseman in home runs and steals. Espinosa will struggle to keep his batting average above .240, but as long as he is playing, he can get you home runs and stolen bases.
Cody Asche, Philadelphia Phillies
What a turn of events. The thought was Asche was headed for the minor leagues or bench-duty. He has been notorious for slow starts in his career, but it did not look like Ryne Sandberg was going to give him any playing time. Asche has turned it on of late, and Sandberg is getting him into the lineup. Asche is seven for his last 14 with two home runs (including a grand slam) and five runs batted in. Is this the turning point for the young third baseman? He’s worth the risk if you need help at the hot corner.
Eduardo Escobar, Minnesota Twins
You may be thinking, “Who?” but once you see this kid hit, you will remember his name. Be sure to keep an eye on his playing time for the Twins as he has hits in six straight games played. So far this season, Escobar is hitting .348 with five runs scored, one home run, seven runs batted in and one stolen base in under 50 at-bats. Add him in deeper leagues, and keep an eye on him in standard leagues. He could be an easy fill in at shortstop (or third base) if he continues to play.
Marlon Byrd, Philadelphia Phillies
If you ignore the name and his age, Byrd has been a very productive fantasy outfielder. So far this season, Byrd is hitting .303 with four home runs and 22 runs batted in. He ranks ninth among outfielders in runs batted in, so if you need help in that department without sacrificing batting average, Byrd is your guy.
Robbie Ray, Detroit Tigers
Ray won in his first career game against the Astros and impressed by allowing just one run in five innings against the Astros. Ray faces the Twins this weekend, and with a lot of run support from his teammates, Ray could be a good add for every pitching category. Keep an eye on him if you do not choose to add him, as he could be a potential add later in the season.
Jean Machi, San Francisco Giants
This pickup is for those who are in leagues that require more than two relievers, or those who have holds as a category. Machi has been dominant so far this season, posting a 0.53 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP in 17 innings of work. Machi also has five wins and four holds. Keep an eye on him in standard leagues as well, because you never know with closers.