Week 9 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top MLB Pickups Feature Michael Fulmer
Here is The Game Day’s Week 9 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top Free-Agent Pickups. Set these key Week 9 MLB Pickups for your waiver wire list this weekend, then follow along with our full fantasy baseball tips page all MLB season.
Week 9 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top Free-Agent Pickups To Target
Week 9 MLB Waiver Wire: Priority Adds
Michael Fulmer, SP/RP, Detroit Tigers (28% rostered on Yahoo!)
Michael Fulmer was featured in the bottom tier of this piece last week, and he’s graduated to a priority fantasy baseball pickup this week. He recorded the last save for the Detroit Tigers, but he was used in the eighth inning of a three-run game on Wednesday, saving Gregory Soto for the ninth inning. The Tigers tacked on another run in the eighth to expand the lead to four runs, making it a non-save situation.
It appears Soto’s still in the mix for saves based on Wednesday’s usage, but Fulmer has three saves and is clearly trusted in high-leverage, late-inning situations. He’s been a revelation since getting moved to the bullpen.
Fulmer’s allowed only one unearned run in seven relief appearances spanning nine innings since May 5, striking out nine, walking one, netting a 0.78 WHIP, earning a pair of holds, and three saves.
- Michael Fulmer Waiver Wire Tip: Fulmer’s a dynamo in the bullpen, and he’s a decent bet to save some games with the potential to run away with the job, making him worth a 25-30% FAAB bid.
Tejay Antone, SP/RP, Cincinnati Reds (40%)
Antone’s the 1A to Fulmer as the No. 1 relief pitcher addition suggestion. He recorded the last save for the Cincinnati Reds, his second of the season on May 16. Additionally, he’s pitched lights out in relief.
In 13 relief appearances spanning 21.2 innings, he’s recorded a 2.08 ERA, 2.76 SIERA, 0.78 WHIP, 11.1 BB%, 35.8 K%, 38.4 CSW%, and 55.0 GB%, per FanGraphs. Expanding further upon his brilliance, he coughed up four of his five runs allowed this year in one ugly outing against the Cubs on May 2, pitching scoreless relief appearances in 11 of 13 tries.
Additionally, he’s been used to record more than three outs nine times. Even with sporadic saves, he’s worth rostering for his strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP contributions. However, his excellence could lead to more saves in the future.
- Tejay Antone Waiver Wire Tip: I’m prioritizing Fulmer over Antone, but he’s worthy of an identical FAAB bid in the 25-30% range.
Rich Hill, SP, Tampa Bay Rays (48%)
Last call for nabbing Rich Hill before he graduates from qualifying for this piece. The veteran lefty earned his third win of the year Thursday afternoon, lowering his ERA to 3.89 and WHIP to 1.07 by holding the Baltimore Orioles to one earned run on two hits and four walks.
He’s distanced himself from a shaky start to 2020, and he’s dialed in now. The run allowed to the O’s was his first in his last three starts after pitching six scoreless innings on the road against the Oakland Athletics, followed by 6.2 scoreless innings at home against the New York Yankees. Thursday’s start also represented his fourth start allowing two earned runs or fewer in six or more innings in his last five turns.
- Rich Hill Waiver Wire Tip: The 41-year-old lefty is defying father time, and gamers should be willing to pony up 25-30% of their FAAB budget to secure Hill’s services among Week 9 MLB Pickups.
Week 9 MLB Waiver Wire: Sleeper Pickups (6-15% FAAB)
- Adbert Alzolay, SP, Chicago Cubs (26% rostered)
- NEW – Danny Santana, 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF, Boston Red Sox (5%)
- NEW – Alex Kirilloff, 1B/OF, Minnesota Twins (50%)
- Luis Garcia, SP, Houston Astros (23%)
- Omar Narvaez, C, Milwaukee Brewers (43%)
- NEW – Brendan Rodgers, 2B/SS, Colorado Rockies (7%)
- Jordan Romano, RP, Toronto Blue Jays (48%)
I swear Adbert Alzolay isn’t paying me to include him in articles. The percentage of rosters he’s on has ticked up, but it’s not high enough. The righty’s 4.62 ERA undersells how good he’s actually been, as evidenced by his 3.27 SIERA. He’s struck out 27.5% of the batters he’s faced, and his 0.89 WHIP is magnificent.
NEW – Danny Santana made his season debut for the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night, immediately slotting in the leadoff spot and manning first base. He slugged a homer in his first game. He was back in the lineup on Saturday night, hitting fifth — still a fantasy-friendly lineup spot. Santana stole his first base of the year and homered for the second time. Last year was a disaster for him, but he was brilliant en route to a 28 homer, 21 stolen base season in 2019, hitting .283/324/.534. Scoop up the switch-hitting, multi-position eligible Santana, as even 70% of his 2019 season would make him a major contributor to fantasy baseball teams.
NEW – Alex Kirilloff was activated from the injured list on Friday, and he wasted no time picking up where he left off, recording a pair of hits, two runs, and two RBIs in five plate appearances. He’s become locked in and raked since going hitless without a walk in his first five games and 14 plate appearances. Since his putrid start, he’s riding a nine-game hit streak, slashing .333/.343/.788 with four homers, 10 runs, and 13 RBIs. He should be rostered universally.
Luis Garcia’s taken like a fish to the water starting for the Houston Astros. He won his second game of the year on Thursday afternoon, holding the A’s to two earned runs on three hits (two homers), two walks, and seven strikeouts. In seven starts this year, he’s spun a 3.71 ERA, 3.86 SIERA, 1.15 WHIP, 10.0 BB%, and 28.6 K%.
Omar Narvaez is a top-10 option at catcher. Full stop. Last season’s struggles are the outlier in an otherwise above-average career at the dish. The 29-year-old left-handed-hitting catcher is a line-drive machine, ripping liners at a 27.7% clip in his career spanning 1,441 plate appearances. He has a career triple-slash line of .274/.361/.407. Narvaez should be universally rostered. Period.
NEW – Brendan Rodgers was activated from the injured list on Friday, and he was immediately inserted into the lineup, playing the keystone position. He started again at second base on Saturday. After going hitless in his season debut, he recorded a couple of singles with two RBIs in four plate appearances. He’s struggled in a little over 100 plate appearances in his big-league career. Still, he was a well-regarded prospect, and he calls Coors Field home. Also, he has a seven-game week on the docket next week, adding to the appeal of picking him up.
Colleague Kev Mahserjian lists Jordan Romano as the closer with a “Solid” job security grade in the latest Fantasy Baseball Closer Rankings, Depth Charts, Bullpent Report, & Sleepers For Saves piece. I’m inclined to agree he’s the best bet for saves in the future, namely after Rafael Dolis blew a save on Thursday night following Romano’s scoreless eighth inning. Still, I’m not entirely on board with calling the situation solid. For that reason, I can’t support spending more than 15% of FAAB on Romano, and there’s more to come on the reason for my skepticism regarding the Toronto Blue Jays’ closer usage.
Week 9 MLB Waiver Wire: Depth/Streamers (0-5% FAAB)
- Austin Hays, OF, Baltimore Orioles (20% rostered)
- Adam Duvall, OF, Miami Marlins (34%)
- Mike Zunino, C, Tampa Bay Rays (24%)
- Tyler Chatwood, SP/RP, Toronto Blue Jays (14%)
Austin Hays is hitting .250/.315/.466 with five homers this year. He has a fantasy-friendly lineup slot hitting second, and the Baltimore Orioles have seven games on the schedule next week. He’s a streamer at worst with the potential to stick on rosters.
Adam Duvall is another streaming option with seven games on tap next week. He’s a batting average liability with a 31.7 K% and .226 batting average this year, but he offsets it with power. He’s hit eight homers with a fly-ball approach tailor-made for hitting dingers. He also gets a value bump next week with three games at hitter-friendly Fenway Park.
Mike Zunino’s a widely available dinger-chasing option at catcher. No one has a steeper launch angle among hitters with a minimum of 25 batted-ball events than Zunino’s 30.5-degree mark, per Baseball Savant. His extreme launch angle and 37.0 K% drag his batting average into the doldrums at .211, but his propensity for hitting pulled fly-balls hard when he does make contact has resulted in 10 taters.
I foreshadowed discussing Toronto’s bullpen situation more, and Tyler Chatwood makes an appearance because I believe this is a closer-by-committee situation. Unfortunately, I don’t recall word-for-word what broadcaster Buck Martinez said after Rafael Dolis appeared in Toronto’s 8-0 blowout win on Tuesday night, but he alluded to the revolving door at the back of the bullpen. Martinez also provided second-hand info from manager Charlie Montoyo on Thursday night’s telecast, indicating the Blue Jays’ manager plans to use Chatwood against the meat of the opposing order in high-leverage situations.
Martinez provided the nugget of info into Montoyo’s plan for using Chatwood upon the reliever’s appearance against the two-through-four hitters in the Boston Red Sox’s lineup in the seventh inning of a two-run game the Blue Jays were leading. The planned usage makes sense, as Chatwood’s pitched like a relief ace with a 0.56 ERA, 1.94 SIERA, 0.75 WHIP, 6.8 BB%, and 39.0 K% in 15 relief appearances totaling 16 innings. If the opposition’s top hitters project to hit in the ninth inning, the door is open for Chatwood netting some saves.
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