Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 17
Not again, baseball. Not again.
When you thought this crazy, injury-plagued season couldn't get any worse, it just did. Clayton Kershaw left with a back injury, and there's no time table for his return. Stephen Strasburg, although hopefully as a precaution, also left his start early on Sunday, and it's another injury that we need to monitor.
Making up for the loss of those two aces is virtually impossible -- and hopefully both see the field soon. But if you own one of those two aces, who were the second- and fourth-ranked pitchers, respectively, on
Here are two arms and two bats to target on the waiver wire. All players listed are owned in less than 50.0% of ESPN leagues.
Sabathia - New York Yankees (SP)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 42.3%
Admittedly, CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees is one of those pitchers I expect to get buried each time out. In his 17th major league season, with 3,257 1/3 innings pitched to his name, Sabathia is enjoying a fine campaign yet again despite all of that mileage. Over 16 starts, he's posted 9 wins and a 3.44 ERA.
Sabathia's put up a respectable 8.7% swinging-strike rate, but that's certainly not among the league's elite. He's also walked a healthy 9.3% of batters. So what's driving all of this success?
A lot of ground balls. Sabathia just misses qualifying among the league leaders, but if he did, his 50.2% ground ball rate would rank 12th among starting pitchers. Pitching in homer-friendly Yankee Stadium, that approach is a must.
While he's certainly no Kershaw or Strasburg, Sabathia is a reliable back-end arm who can help absorb a little bit of the loss if you're missing your ace.
Seth Lugo - New York Mets (SP)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 15.5%
With their own rash of injuries, the New York Mets probably aren't feeling a whole lot of sympathy for the pain these teams are enduring. Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey are both currently on the disabled list, and Steven Matz also missed significant time this year.
Working his way back slowly from injury, Seth Lugo has stepped into a rotation spot and been more than capable, including an impressive performance a ways back against one of the best offenses in the league.
Lugo's made seven turns this year, throwing a total of 46 2/3 innings while recording a 4.05 ERA and 3.88 FIP. His 16.6% strikeout rate is far below the league average, but his 8.1% swinging-strike rate has been steadily improving, including a mark above 8.0% in each of his last four starts.
Lugo's logged quality starts in five of his seven starts, and he can be useful in the right matchups.
Gerardo Parra - Colorado Rockies (OF)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 41.2%
While he's been nursing a bruised calf the last few days, Gerardo Parra has been absolutely absurd when he's been in the lineup, and he still is readily available in a lot of leagues.
Since returning from injury on July 7th, Parra has been crushing the baseball, hitting shots like these. In 44 plate appearances since being activated, Parra is hitting .513 with a .769 slugging percentage, scoring 12 times and driving in 12 runs. That's pretty good.
Assuming the calf injury is just a blip, Parra is worth a look.
Odubel Herrera - Philadelphia Phillies (OF)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 37.5%
Herrera's season-long mark of a .316 wOBA certainly doesn't catch your eye, but his recent run of play should grab your attention. Since June 1st, he's batting .331 with a .934 OPS, including 6 home runs. Even his foul balls make for must-see TV.
At 34-62, this certainly is not what the front office brass of the Phillies had envisioned for 2017 -- and Herrera's .218 batting average over the first two months were a big part of their slow start. But a 35.9% hard-hit rate over the last seven weeks is making that brutal start a distant memory, and Herrera can help your fantasy squad make a push for the postseason.