Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 10
The waiver wire has plenty of goodies available for the taking, so let's try to get a leg up on our fellow league members and make some moves where needed.
The four players below are all owned in fewer than 50% of ESPN leagues and could give your squad a shot in the arm as we move through May.
Ben Zobrist - Chicago Cubs (2B/OF)
ESPN Ownership: 40.5%
The utility-knife Ben Zobrist has fallen back into favor with the Chicago Cubs, as he's donned the leadoff spot in each of his last 10 starts. And he's performed like a boss in those situations, so we may want to start giving him some serious attention.
In that two-week time span, the Cubs rank third in team weighted on-base average (wOBA) with a .346 mark, and Zobrist's .432 on-base percentage (OBP) in the timeframe is a big reason for that offensive resurgence. It doesn't look to be a fluke, either, as Zobrist has posted a 37.3% hard-hit rate and 13.2% walk rate this year.
We definitely want top-of-the-lineup exposure to strong offenses, and Zobrist fits the bill.
Ian Kinsler - Los Angeles Angels (2B)
ESPN Ownership: 39.7%
After missing the start of the year thanks to a late spring training injury, Ian Kinsler has struggled to find his way so far in 2018, posting only a .279 wOBA mark this season. However, Kinsler's recent run of play suggests that he may be getting back to form, and we want to snap him up while we can.
The nearly 36-year-old second baseman isn't likely to revert back to his 2016 form, when he posted an absurd 117 runs scored, 28 homers, 83 RBIs, and 14 steals. But he has ripped three jacks in his last six contests, and he has cut his strikeout rate down to 9.5% this season.
Kinsler is still contributing in the steals category, too. He's been a sneaky source of speed and has swiped double-digit bags in all 12 seasons of his major league career. With six steals already in 2018, he's well on his way to making it 13.
Joe Musgrove - Pittsburgh Pirates (SP)
ESPN Ownership: 36.1%
Recommending starting pitchers after only two starts can be setting a very dangerous precedent, but if you need a boost to your pitching staff, Joe Musgrove could be a solid addition.
Over his first two turns, a span of 14 innings, Musgrove has posted a nasty 0.64 ERA. His 3.70 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) suggests that ERA should be a bit higher, but with a mark that low, that's not much of a surprise. To support that ERA and respectable SIERA, Musgrove has whiffed 21.4% of hitters along with limiting them to a 25.0% hard-hit rate and 27.5% fly-ball rate. His 9.4% swinging-strike rate is healthy, too.
Musgrove won't keep up these gaudy traditional numbers, but he could be a strong addition to your pitching mix.
John Ryan Murphy - Arizona Diamondbacks (C)
ESPN Ownership: 6.1%
If you are asking yourself who this guy even is, Murphy bounced around the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins organizations for parts of nine seasons, racking up a total of only 381 plate appearances before this year. He may have finally have found a permanent home in the desert thanks to his eight home runs already in 2018, which spans only 87 plate appearances. Murphy has always shown decent pop in the minors, and he smacked 12 long balls back in 2013 across two stops.
To be a bit cautious -- Murphy doesn't walk much (3.4% walk rate this year), and he is striking out a lot (27.6% strikeout rate). To counteract that, Murphy has always gotten plenty of lift on the baseball, sporting a 41.2% fly-ball rate for his MLB career.
The catcher slot is a tough one to fill, so if you are in a pinch, even a short-term bind, check out Murphy.