Week 12 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top MLB Pickups Feature Omar Narvaez

Here is The Game Day’s Week 12 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top Free-Agent Pickups. Set these key Week 12 MLB Pickups for your waiver wire list this weekend, then follow along with our full fantasy baseball tips page all MLB season.


Week 12 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top MLB Pickups To Target

Week 12 MLB Waiver Wire: Top Pickups

Yusei Kikuchi, SP, Seattle Mariners (49% rostered on Yahoo!)

Yusei Kikuchi has dipped back below being rostered in half of Yahoo! leagues. That’s a mistake. The 29-year-old lefty has pitched at a high level all year.

However, he’s been lights-out in his last seven starts. According to FanGraphs, he has a 2.93 ERA, 3.12 SIERA, 0.88 WHIP, 6.7 BB%, 29.7 K%, and 32.3 CSW% in 43.0 innings pitched during his heater.

  • Yusei Kikuchi Waiver Wire Tip: Kikuchi should be rostered universally, and gamers should spend upwards of 30-35% of their FAAB to scoop him up.
Seattle Mariners SP Yusei Kikuchi pitching in June 5 game

Yusei Kukuchi is sorely under-rostered in fantasy baseball leagues. He’s a repeat listing on fantasy baseball waiver wire lists. (Image: USA TODAY Sports


Tarik Skubal, SP, Detroit Tigers (41%)

Tarik Skubal was a promising prospect. However, things didn’t click right away. It looks like the lights flipped on, though.

His breakout coincides with scaling back his slider usage in favor of more curves and changeups/splitters. In his last six starts spanning 32.0 innings, he’s dazzled with a 3.09 ERA, 2.89 SIERA, 1.28 WHIP, and 31.5 CSW%.

  • Tarik Skubal Waiver Wire Tip: I slightly prefer Kikuchi to Skubal, but the Detroit Tigers southpaw is still worthy of a FAAB bid in the 25-30% range.

Omar Narvaez, C, Milwaukee Brewers (44%)

In 1,099 plate appearances from 2017 through 2019, Narvaez hit .277/.362/.419 with 33 homers, an 11.2 BB%, and 18.4 K%. In 153 plate appearances this year, he’s hit .311/.399/.500 with six homers, a 10.5 BB%, and 17.0 K%.

The veteran backstop’s power is up. Still, last year’s struggles are clearly the outlier. He should be viewed as a starter in 12-team, single-catcher mixers. As a bonus, the Brewers play four games at Coors Field next week.

  • Omar Narvaez Waiver Wire Tip: There’s another catcher who’s worth a look in 12-team, single-catcher mixers, so you don’t need to go overboard with your bid. Still, a 15-20% FAAB bid is befitting for Narvaez.

Week 12 MLB Waiver Wire: Sleeper Pickups (6-15% FAAB)

  • Jordan Montgomery, SP, New York Yankees (45% rostered)
  • Lucas Sims, SP/RP, Cincinnati Reds (44%)
  • Brandon Belt, 1B/OF, San Francisco Giants (22%)
  • Max Stassi, C, Los Angeles Angels (10%)
  • Caleb Smith, SP/RP, Arizona Diamondbacks (12%)
  • Alex Cobb, SP, Los Angeles Angels (26%)
  • Justin Upton, OF, Los Angeles Angels (48%)
  • NEW – Colin Moran, 1B/2B/3B, Pittsburgh Pirates (28%)
  • NEW – Miguel Andujar, 3B/OF, New York Yankees (31%)

Jordan Montgomery’s 5.11 ERA in 2020 wasn’t reflective of his caliber of work, and his 2021 is in line with his peripherals. In his last seven starts totaling 38.2 innings, he has a 3.72 ERA, 3.47 SIERA, 1.19 WHIP, 4.4 BB%, 25.9 K%, and 28.6 CSW%. He’s a great target for gamers who don’t have the budget for Kikuchi or Skubal.

I still prefer Tejay Antone in the Cincinnati Reds bullpen. However, Lucas Sims looks like the safer bet for the traditional closer role, while Antone is a multi-inning relief-ace who snags a few lengthy saves.

Brandon Belt recently rejoined the San Francisco Giants from the injured list, and he’s been thrust back into prominent lineup spots (cleanup and the two-hole in two games played). The veteran first baseman got off to a sluggish start, but since ripping his first homer on April 11, he’s rattled off a .255/.380/.519 slash with eight homers, 20 runs, 20 RBIs, and two stolen bases.

NEW – Colin Moran has been out of the lineup for back-to-back games, but he appeared as a pinch-hitter on Friday night. As a starter, he hits third or cleanup, run-production-friendly spots in the lineup. He’s slashing a respectable .289/.351/.455 and has helpful three-position eligibility at Yahoo! Moran doesn’t have the sexiest profile, but it plays in a 12-team mixer or larger.

NEW – Miguel Andujar is settling into a regular role for the New York Yankees. He’s still a flawed hitter, but his power’s come alive, swatting five homers in his last 37 plate appearances stretched across nine games. He’s recorded a hit in eight of nine games and reached base multiple times in four of those games. Andujar has a .297/.328/.527 season with 27 dingers on his ledger as a rookie in 2018.

 


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Max Stassi’s the catcher I alluded to in Narvaez’s write-up. His work behind the dish, namely his pitch framing, has long been lauded. The bat’s caught up, though. In 162 plate appearances since last year, he’s ripped 11 homers with a 9.9 BB%, 22.8 K%, and .303/.370/.570 slash. He should be viewed as a top-15 fantasy baseball backstop.

Caleb Smith was yanked from the rotation after his first start. A spell in the bullpen did him wonders, and he’s pitched well in two starts since a return to the rotation. He’s pitched exactly five innings in both starts, recording a 2.70 ERA, 4.27 SIERA, 0.90 WHIP, 7.7 BB%, 25.6 K%, and 31.7 CSW%. Of note, he’s done a masterful job of getting ahead of hitters, throwing a first-pitch strike on 71.8% of his first pitches in his two starts.

Perhaps the return of Stassi’s exquisite framing skills behind the plate will smooth out some of Alex Cobb’s variance, helping him pitch to his peripherals rather than his ho-hum 4.24 ERA. Cobb’s 3.05 SIERA suggests brighter days ahead. His 29.0 K% already provides fantasy value, and his 1.21 WHP is adequate.

Justin Upton’s swung a hot stick since being elevated to the leadoff spot on May 23. He’s hit .327/.415/.745 with six homers, 15 runs, and 12 RBIs in 65 plate appearances. An unsustainable .387 BABIP is buoying his batting average. Still, his power is legit, and his run-scoring potential gets a pick-me-up from the lineup promotion.


Week 12 MLB Waiver Wire: Depth/Streamers (0-5% FAAB)

  • Jake Fraley, OF, Seattle Mariners (4% rostered)
  • Steven Duggar, OF, San Francisco Giants (5%)
  • LaMonte Wade Jr., 1B/OF, San Francisco Giants (2%)
  • NEW – Christian Arroyo, 2B/3B, Boston Red Sox (3%)

Pick your flavor from the outfield bargain bin. Jack Fraley demonstrated a power, speed, and on-base combo at the Double-A and Triple-A levels in 2019, mashing 19 taters, stealing 22 bases, and recording a .365 OBP in 427 plate appearances. Fraley’s walked in an eye-popping 30.4% of his 56 plate appearances for the Seattle Mariners this year, totaling two homers, four stolen bases, and reaching base for a silly .500 OBP.

Steven Duggar and LaMonte Wade Jr. have taken advantage of injuries opening the door to playing time. Mike Yastrzemski is returning soon. However, Mike Tauchman looks like the most likely candidate to be bumped to the fourth-outfielder role.

Duggar’s upped his launch angle, and he’s hitting the ball harder than ever before. He also mixes in speed with his newfound pop. Wade has served as the leadoff hitter against righties, where his patient approach fits well, providing him run-scoring potential in a surprisingly good offense.

NEW – Christian Arroyo moonlighted as the leadoff hitter for the Boston Red Sox on June 7 and June 8 before dropping to seventh, eighth, and seventh in the lineup for the following three contests. Enrique Hernandez and Danny Santana occupied the leadoff spot in the three games following Arroyo’s chances atop the order, and the results were a mixed bag. The leadoff spot appears to be a fluid one for the top-heavy Red Sox lineup, and Arroyo is doing everything in his power to throw his hat in the ring, hitting .286/.353/.467. Arroyo’s doing enough to warrant rostering in 14-team mixers or deeper, and he’d graduate to 12-team mixer viability if he claimed the leadoff spot.

 

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