Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 18
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 exit the All-Star break.
Robinson Cano - Seattle Mariners (2B)
ESPN Ownership: 45.9%
It's easy to lose sight of a player when they receive an 80-game suspension, and it's likely that Robinson Cano fell off the radar for your league mates. But now wouldn't be the worst time to jump back in on the veteran slugger.
Prior to the time off, over 169 plate appearances, Cano socked his way to a .357 weighted on-base average (wOBA) this season, including a strong 12.4% walk rate. Cano's streak of 12 consecutive seasons with double-digit home runs could be in jeopardy, but his pop is always beneficial at second base.
Players coming off of prolonged absences can be tricky to assess, but if you need middle infield help, check out Cano.
Clay Buchholz - Arizona Diamondbacks (SP)
ESPN Ownership: 42.0%
Over 51 innings pitched, Buchholz owns a 2.65 ERA. While his 4.08 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) shows that his ERA should regress a bit, his ERA is supported by a solid 5.8% walk rate and decent 9.4% swinging-strike rate.
It also doesn't hurt that Chase Field's humidor seems to be doing what it was intended to do. Looking at ESPN's Park Factors, Arizona's home park ranked third in park factor and fourth in home run factor a season ago, but it has slipped to 10th and 18th, respectively, in 2018.
No longer pitching in quite the offensive haven, Buchholz can be a solid depth piece to your rotation.
Lourdes Gurriel - Toronto Blue Jays (2B/SS)
ESPN Ownership: 28.4%
One of these names is not like the other. Check out some of the hottest hitters in baseball over the last two weeks, sorted by wOBA.
Gurriel isn't exactly a household name, but he has been absolutely bombing away as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. He owns 7 homers in 162 plate appearances, including a .182 isolated power (ISO), and he has been on fire at the dish with 25 hits in his last 50 at-bats.
He did suffer an injury late in Sunday's contest, so hopefully he can avoid a disabled list stint. If he does, he can be a positive boost to lineups while he's this hot.
Matt Boyd - Detroit Tigers (SP)
ESPN Ownership: 7.7%
With a fairly pedestrian 4.53 ERA over 109 1/3 innings pitched in 2018, Matt Boyd of the Detroit Tigers may not jump off the page as a must-add starting pitcher. However, a close look into Boyd's recent starts shows he has been a solid arm and could be a big-time addition.
Over his last five starts, Boyd has jumped up his strikeout rate to 27.4%, and he's kept the command in check with a superb 4.4% walk rate. While he did endure some rough starts against the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox, Boyd still managed a 11.7% swinging-strike rate over his last five outings.
Those increased strikeouts are even more impressive when you consider that the Red Sox (19.9%) and Kansas City Royals (21.0%) rank in the top-eight in toughest teams to strike out in terms of strikeout rate.
If you need some pitching help, check out Boyd as there could be something here.