Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 23
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 fantasy baseball playoffs.
Jeremy Jeffress - Milwaukee Brewers (RP)
ESPN Ownership: 48.4%
Want to take another spin on the closer carousel? With Corey Knebel demoted to Triple-A and officially out of the closing picture, Jeremy Jeffress is in line for some save opportunities, and even without those saves, he's been brilliant in 2018.
Over 66 innings pitched, Jeffress has seven wins and eight saves to his name, thanks to a 28.2% strikeout rate and 2.98 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA). Jeffress' success lies in that he gets a pile of ground balls -- at a clip of 57.5%, to be exact -- which doesn't leave him susceptible to the late-inning blowup.
Jeffress will likely alternate save opportunities with Josh Hader, but he could still help your bullpen staff.
Trey Mancini - Baltimore Orioles (1B)
ESPN Ownership: 46.3%
After a solid 2017 season where he slugged 24 homers, Trey Mancini got off to a rough start, but he now owns 21 homers on the year. If you only saw Mancini's poor first half, where he logged a .288 weighted on-base average (wOBA), you may be ignoring his second-half explosion, but don't sleep on him any longer.
Mancini owns a .362 wOBA since the All-Star break, including a staggering .236 isolated power (ISO). While he doesn't hit a pile of fly-balls, as he's only posted a 32.0% mark in the second half, he's making a ton of hard contact, with a 42.4% rate over that time frame.
If you are looking for a source of cheap pop in the fantasy playoffs, Mancini's your guy.
Joey Wendle - Tampa Bay Rays (2B)
ESPN Ownership: 34.5%
For a team that's supposed to be tanking like the Tampa Bay Rays, they are doing a pretty poor job of it, as they now sit 10 games over .500. If there's one player to blame for this resurgence, it could be AL Rookie of the Year candidate Joey Wendle.
Wendle has flashed a solid power-speed combo this year, as he has racked up 7 homers and 12 steals with a .333 wOBA mark (in 116 games). Even more impressive, the rook has gotten better as the season has progressed, recording a .328 batting average, .371 wOBA, and .164 ISO in the second half.
Wendle's overall numbers aren't particularly gaudy, but he's been a major contributor to a surging Rays squad. Peep Wendle for some up-the-middle help.
Chris Stratton - San Francisco Giants (SP)
ESPN Ownership: 16.7%
A quick glance at Stratton's overall 2018 numbers show a bumpy ride for a young, inexperienced pitcher. In 22 starts covering 121 1/3 innings, he's recorded a 4.90 ERA, 4.63 SIERA, and 17.6% strikeout rate. Those numbers belie, however, how good Stratton has been over his last three starts since returning to the rotation.
In 20 1/3 innings pitched, the righty has logged a 1.77 ERA, 2.61 FIP, and he hasn't issued a single walk in that time frame. Combining that with a 29.5% fly-ball rate, it's not hard to see why Stratton has been successful.
For a lesser-known arm that could help your fantasy rotations down the stretch, Stratton is a strong option in over 80% of ESPN leagues.