The key to winning your fantasy baseball league is not how well you draft, but the players you add off waivers. This is extremely important because securing hidden talent and call-ups could replace those late-round selections, even mid-rounders, that aren’t having the best season. Here at NFS, we provide the best picks for players you should grab off waivers now before it is too late. As always, both opportunity and performance are taken into consideration for these players. All players listed are rostered below 40 percent on ESPN. Learn to think like a NERD!
Abraham Toro, 3B/DH/2B, Seattle Mariners
After being traded from the Houston Astros, Abraham Toro has a quick burst of solid productive games. But with 11 games played for Seattle, he is looking like a legitimate piece for the future as he’s shown consistency and productivity. In those 11 games played, Toro has hit .425/.489/.750 and an incredible 1.239 OPS. 11 games still might be a small sample size, but by the game, Toro continues to show is worth more and more. Toro is a priority pick-up on the waiver wire while he continues to shred through these games.
Jarred Kelenic, OF, Seattle Mariners
After a poor outing in his first stint in the majors, Jarred Kelenic spent a lot of time in the minors to restructure his game and get back on track as a big-time prospect for the Mariners. In his last 10 games, Kelenic has hit .237/.326/.526. But while those numbers may not seem out of this world, Kelenic has also hit three homers, eight RBIs, and six runs scored. Kelenic is a quality pick-up with a big name and slow progression to a quality major league player.
Rafael Ortega, OF, Chicago Cubs
Rafael Ortega has struggled to stay in the majors but since coming to the Chicago Cubs, he’s been able to show off his power hitting. In his last 10 games, Ortega has hit .368/.442/.737 and a powerful 1.179 OPS. He could improve on his strikeout numbers, as he has 12 in those same games. While he might not be in the offseason plans for the Cubs, Ortega will still be due for a solid payday in the offseason. With the bat continuing to stay hot, Ortega is a solid pickup in deeper formatted leagues.
Rowdy Tellez, 1B/DH, Milwaukee Brewers
Rowdy Tellez was moved to the Brewers in a minor trade during the deadline. But his bat, like everyone else in Milwaukee, has been red hot since his arrival. In his last 10 games, Tellez has hit .294/.368/.529 with two homers, eight RBIs, and five runs scored. Tellez, still 26, can be a solid power bat for the Brewers going forward. His production will be key for opportunities in the future. For now, he’s worth watching on radars until his hitting becomes more consistent.
Logan Webb, SP, San Fransisco Giants
Logan Webb has been mentioned in this column before. But he typically ends up hitting a road bump with inconsistencies, or more commonly, injuries. The main reason he’s mentioned again is that he’s grown past that. His most recent six starts are proof that Webb can work out his inconsistencies to become a more productive pitcher. In those six starts, Webb has managed 2.10 ERA with 28 strikeouts over 30 innings. Webb is a feature pick-up on the waiver wire to add immediately.
Marco Gonzales, SP, Seattle Mariners
A veteran in this game, Marco Gonzales continues to make improvements and be an underrated pitcher in this league. In his last four starts, he has produced productive outings that help keep the Mariners in games. Gonzales has managed a 1.93 ERA with a 2-0 record in those four starts. His command could improve as he only has 16 strikeouts to seven walks. He also only has 16 strikeouts in 23 innings of pitching. But Gonzales is another great pickup to bring solid outings to your fantasy team.
Vladimir Gutierrez, SP, Cincinnati Reds
Vladimir Gutierrez had a productive stretch of games that earned a spot on this column earlier this season. But he was unable to stay consistent enough to make him a long-term steal off the waiver wire. Now, he’s back on the positive side of production and helping the Reds win games. In his last three starts, all in which he has won, Gutierrez has managed a 1.86 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 19 innings. Gutierrez is a perfect unpopular pickup on the waiver wire to add immediately.
Daniel Lynch, SP, Kansas City Royals
Daniel Lynch was one of the first top prospects to be called up to the majors this season. many thought this would be an early start to a great future career in the majors. That wasn’t exactly the start, as he struggled to keep his command. Lynch even allowed eight runs in his second start. But after plenty of time in the minors, Lynch has found his stride again, managing a 1.89 ERA in his three recent starts. Lynch is a perfect player to watch on radars through his next handful of starts.