Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 19
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 enter the dog days of summer.
Zack Wheeler - New York Mets (SP)
ESPN Ownership: 48.1%
It can be hard to wash off the stink of Zack Wheeler's 2017 season, when he posted a 4.64 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) over 86 1/3 innings while returning from injury. But he has been fantastic for an otherwise dreadful New York Mets team this season.
Over 127 1/3 innings, Wheeler has rebounded with a respectable 4.00 SIERA, including a 23.5% strikeout rate and 26.7% hard-hit rate. Most notably, he seems to have saved his best for last. Over Wheeler's last seven starts, the right-hander has fired a 2.17 ERA and 3.26 xFIP over 45 2/3 innings, including a nasty 25.8% strikeout rate and 17.7% hard-hit rate.
If your starting staff still needs some help, check out Wheeler.
Tanner Roark - Washington Nationals (SP)
ESPN Ownership: 44.8%
Over 136 2/3 innings this year, Roark has posted a 4.21 ERA, which matches his 4.31 SIERA quite nicely. Unfortunately for Roark fantasy owners, there have been severe downs, as he logged a 4.87 ERA in the first half this year, alternating between good and bad months.
In the second half, spanning 22 innings, the righty has been a boss, recording a sparkling 0.82 ERA and holding opponents to a .182 weighted on-base average (wOBA) with a 25.0% strikeout rate. If you're looking to overhaul your pitching, and hoping that Roark can avoid some recent inconsistencies, he makes for a great option.
A.J. Minter - Atlanta Braves (RP)
ESPN Ownership: 39.7%
If you're making a late push and need some saves, A.J. Minter appears to have gained a stranglehold on the closing role in Atlanta, and he's not a bad option to snap up quickly.
Minter now owns 8 saves over 45 1/3 innings pitched, and he's been really hard to hit, with a 27.8% strikeout rate and 15.6% swinging-strike rate. As the year has gone on, Minter has only gotten better and better. Since the All-Star break, the southpaw owns an absurd 39.1% strikeout rate.
With the 60-win Atlanta Braves showing no signs of slowing down, and plenty of save opportunities on the horizon, peep your waiver wire to see if Minter is available.
Nick Ahmed - Arizona Diamondbacks (SS)
ESPN Ownership: 22.2%
Owning a .410 wOBA in the last month (25th) and .493 wOBA in the last two weeks (8th), the shortstop has now bombed his way to 16 home runs (a career high) to go with 50 runs scored and 57 runs batted in.
If you can mix and match your lineups with daily roster moves, Ahmed is a must-play against lefties. Over 140 plate appearances, Ahmed owns a .365 wOBA, .269 isolated power (ISO), and 43.0% hard-hit rate in the split this season. There are 10 lefties currently in NL West rotations (Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Clayton Richard, Madison Bumgarner, Derek Holland, Joey Lucchesi, Robbie Erlin, Tyler Anderson, Kyle Freeland, and Andrew Suarez), so this could be a major boon for Ahmed owners as the D-Backs close their 2018 season with 24 of their last 33 games against NL West foes.
If you need some up-the-middle help, Ahmed is likely available in your league, so go pick him up and reap the rewards down the stretch.