Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 26
It's the final week of not only the regular season in baseball, but also the final week of the fantasy baseball season in most leagues. As the NFL starts to heat up, there's one more week we need to focus on in order to achieve fantasy baseball glory.
The four players below are all owned in fewer than 50% of ESPN leagues and could give your squad that final shot in the arm as we enter the last week of our seasons and championship weeks.
Thanks to all who read this for 26 weeks, and we will pick it back up in the spring.
Jeff McNeil - New York Mets (2B)
ESPN Ownership: 37.6%
The 26-year-old second baseman does not whiff at all (9.5% strikeout rate), but he hasn't walked a ton (5.9% walk rate). So, why do you want to own him?
The dude flat out rakes. In his first 221 plate appearances, McNeil owns a juicy .340 batting average and .382 wOBA, and he has shown decent pop thanks to a 38.2% fly-ball rate. McNeil doesn't have any discernible platoon splits either, rocking a .376 wOBA versus lefties and a .384 mark versus righties.
If you need some late season punch to your lineup, especially in batting average, check out McNeil.
Daniel Palka - Chicago White Sox (OF)
ESPN Ownership: 20.2%
You can always add power to a lineup, and Chicago White Sox outfielder Daniel Palka has plenty of that to go around. With 27 home runs this season, including 9 jacks in the last month, Palka definitely can help fill up the home run category.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) September 21, 2018
With a .255 ISO and 33.4% strikeout rate this season, the White Sox outfielder is definitely a boom-or-bust type of player. And if your league penalizes strikeouts, that hefty strikeout rate may hurt a little more.
But if you have the ability to plug-and-play Palka, he makes for a great option against right-handed pitching. Over 344 plate appearances, the outfielder possesses a .290 ISO, 37.4% hard-hit rate, and 41.6% fly-ball rate in this split. For a power boost, peep Palka.
Ty Buttrey - Los Angeles Angels (RP)
ESPN Ownership: 27.3%
So far, the flame-throwing righty has shown himself capable of handling the job, striking out 29.2% of batters with a juicy 14.4% swinging-strike rate. He's also not as prone to the late-inning blow up, as he is a ground-ball machine. In 15 1/3 innings, Buttrey owns a 57.5% ground-ball rate and 17.5% fly-ball rate.
In an extremely valuable counting category, check out the Angels hurler for some help.
Adam Wainwright - St. Louis Cardinals (SP)
ESPN Ownership: 23.1%
With only 7 starts and 35 1/3 innings pitched in 2018, it seems like the lights have been going out on Adam Wainwright's career. Heck, even the local media is highly critical of starting the veteran right-hander down the stretch in chasing a playoff spot:
Umm, sorry to be rude here but there are 19 games left in the season. What’s the objective here this evening for the Cardinals? To win? Or to have Nostalgia Night?
— Bernie Miklasz (@miklasz) September 11, 2018
We did both tonight big fella. Big win for the @Cardinals Definitely taking the high road with my response to you tonight @miklasz
— Adam Wainwright (@UncleCharlie50) September 11, 2018
The warning signs were coming here, as last season, spanning 123 1/3 innings pitched, Wainwright posted a 4.70 SIERA and 17.6% strikeout rate. Missing most of this year, a funny thing happened along the way -- since returning on September 10th to the St. Louis Cardinals rotation, the righty has posted 3.31 xFIP, 11.5% swinging-strike rate, and 25.4% strikeout rate.
For a last-minute rotation boost, Wainwright makes for a solid play.