Week 15 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top MLB Pickups & Sleeper Stashes

Here is The Game Day’s Week 15 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top Free-Agent Pickups. Set these key Week 15 MLB Pickups for your waiver wire list this weekend.

Week 15 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top Pickups

Willy Adames, SS, Milwaukee Brewers (28% rostered on Yahoo!)

Willy Adames has raked since the Milwaukee Brewers acquired him. In 149 plate appearances for the Beer-makers, he’s hit .280/.362/.523 with seven homers, 20 runs, 28 RBIs, and two stolen bases. The surface stats are great. However, it’s a look under the hood that gets me excited.

His walk rate has surged from 7.0% with the Tampa Bay Rays to 11.4% with the Brewers. Meanwhile, his strikeout rate has plummeted from a terrifyingly high 35.9% to 23.5%. That’s a dream combination. Further, Adames has remained aggressive against pitches in the strike zone, scaled back his chase rate, and whittled his swinging-strike percentage down to 12.4% from 19.4%.

His plate discipline adjustments haven’t resulted in a downturn in batted-ball quality. On the contrary, he’s hitting the ball harder, producing fewer softly hit balls, and ripping line drives at a silly 28.9% clip, per FanGraphs. The shortstop’s hot stick has helped him climb in the lineup, hitting cleanup or higher in recent contests.

  • Willy Adames Waiver Wire Tip: Adames’ move up the lineup provides him a chance to be a true five-category contributor, and the underlying numbers all look legit. This appears to be a real-deal breakout, and I advise gamers to spend 25-30% of their FAAB budget on this 25-year-old shortstop.

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Amed Rosario, SS/OF, Cleveland Indians (39%)

A couple of weeks ago, I highlighted Amed Rosario in this space as a priority pick-up. Unfortunately, he’s suffered through a rough stretch since then, watching the percentage of rosters he’s on plummet from 51% to 39%.

I do not see alarming trends, and his overall numbers remain stellar. Additionally, the Cleveland Indians’ lineup will get a lift over the weekend with the return of slugger Franmil Reyes, providing Rosario a quality bopper to drive him in.

  • Amed Rosario Waiver Wire Tip: Rosario projects to be a jack-of-all-trades, master of none going forward. If he was cut loose in your league, consider spending 15-20% FAAB to scoop him up.

Ross Stripling, SP/RP, Toronto Blue Jays (35%)

Ross Stripling’s rolling. In his last five starts totaling 28.1 innings, he’s spun a 3.18 ERA, 3.85 SIERA, 1.06 WHIP, 6.0 BB%, 25.0 K%, and 25.7 CSW%. The righty has been reliant on called strikes with only a 9.5 SwStr%, which provides some pause.

Having said that, my concerns are eased by a glance at his game log to see which teams he’s succeeded against during his heater. Sure, he’s enjoyed some soft matchups, such as the Baltimore Orioles and Miami Marlins. However, he’s also acquitted himself well against the Tampa Bay Rays, Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees since the end of May.

  • Ross Stripling Waiver Wire Tip: Beyond Stripling’s success, he’s worth a waiver bid thanks to his potential to snag wins, backed by the high-octane offense of the Toronto Blue Jays. He’s worth a FAAB bid in the 15-20% range.
Ross Stripling pitches for the Toronto Blue Jays versus the Cleveland Indians in May 2021

Ross Stripling has excelled against many elite offenses, which makes him worth a Week 15 MLB Waiver Wire pickup. (Image: USA TODAY Sports)

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

  • Tarik Skubal, SP, Detroit Tigers (48% rostered)
  • Steven Duggar, OF, San Francisco Giants (34%)
  • Akil Baddoo, OF, Detroit Tigers (24%)
  • Patrick Sandoval, SP, Los Angeles Angels (22%)
  • Logan Gilbert, SP, Seattle Mariners (39%)
  • Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds (25%)
  • J.D. Davis, 3B/OF, New York Mets (37%)
  • NEW -Brandon Nimmo, OF, New York Mets (25%)
  • NEW – JT Brubaker, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates (31%)
  • Luis Arraez, 2B/3B/OF, Minnesota Twins (19%)

Tarik Skubal has a 3.14 ERA, 3.73 SIERA, 1.22 WHIP, 30.8 K%, and 29.0 CSW% in his last five starts totaling 28.2 innings. It’s an egregious mistake that he’s available in more than 50% of Yahoo! leagues.

Last month, Steven Duggar hit .324/.422/.563 with three homers, 15 runs, 14 RBIs, and six stolen bases. There’s a reason the percentage of rosters he’s on keeps rising.

Akil Baddoo’s rollercoaster rookie season got off to a fast start before he crashed back to Earth. He’s on the upswing again, albeit without power. He’s hit only one homer since May 1. However, his massive strides working walks and avoiding punchouts has resulted in a .312/.433/.440 line in his last 134 plate appearances. He has plus wheels, swiping nine bags during that stretch, and he’s earned a promotion to the leadoff spot.

Patrick Sandoval opened the year in the bullpen, and he threw only four innings in his first start of the year on May 17 after three relief appearances to that point. Since then, he’s pitched five or more innings and allowed three runs or fewer in each start. Strikeouts are primarily the appeal for rostering him. He struck out 31.9% of the batters he faced in June with a sterling 34.0 CSW%. His 3.97 ERA, 3.19 SIERA, and 1.06 WHIP are nothing to turn your nose up to, either.

Logan Gilbert has moved past his shaky start to his big-league career. In his last four starts stretching across 19.1 innings, he has a 2.79 ERA, 3.33 SIERA, 0.93 WHIP, 6.6 BB%, 30.3 K%, and 29.5 CSW%. Wins could be hard to come by for him, though. A bad offense backs him, and the Seattle Mariners haven’t allowed him to work deep in games, with only two of eight starts lasting six innings or more.

Joey Votto spent the month of June reminding people he still has something left in the tank. He raked to the tune of .293/.369/.520 with five homers, 13 runs, 17 RBIs, and one stolen base in 84 plate appearances. The line drives and hard contact have been plentiful, and his value gets a lift from calling hitter and homer-friendly Great American Ball Park home.

J.D. Davis has restarted his rehab assignment at the Triple-A level with the Syracuse Mets after pausing it at the end of May. He was ripping the cover off of the baseball before a hand sprain put him on the shelf. Last year was a disappointing follow-up to a brilliant 2019. Still, it’s worth being proactive and getting ahead of his reinstatement from the injured list to get him a bit cheaper.

NEW –While Davis is nearing a return to a suddenly healthy New York Mets squad, Brandon Nimmo made his return on Saturday. He sat atop the lineup against a lefty, promising his fantasy outlook since it’s driven mainly by his run-scoring potential. Nimmo delivered a multi-hit performance in his return. Dating back to last year, he’s hitting .290/.411/.472 with nine homers, 40 runs, 26 RBIs, and three stolen bases in 305 plate appearances.

NEW – Solo shots were a killer for JT Brubaker in his start on Friday, coughing up three of them early. He settled down for a stretch after the dingers before ultimately coughing up a couple more runs. The outing was yet another mixed bag. 

Over the last 30 days, he has a 4.76 ERA in five starts lasting 28.1 innings. However, the underlying statistics, such as his 3.99 SIERA, point to better days ahead. His 1.02 WHIP during that stretch is excellent, too. Brubaker’s superb 31.1 CSW% points to strikeout potential that extends far beyond his 22.1 K% in those starts. Better days lie ahead for the righty.

Do you need batting average help? Then, Luis Arraez is your guy. He has a .317 batting average in 699 plate appearances in his career, a .283 average this year, and a .304 mark since returning from the injured list on June 14.

Week 15 MLB Waiver Wire: Depth & Streamers (0-5% FAAB)

  • Jose Cisnero, RP, Detroit Tigers (14% rostered)
  • Gregory Soto, SP/RP, Detroit Tigers (23%)
  • NEW – Joe Ross, SP/RP, Washington Nationals (32%)
  • Wilmer Flores, 1B/2B/3B, San Francisco Giants (19%)
  • Patrick Wisdom, 1B/3B, Chicago Cubs (26%)
  • J.P. Crawford, SS, Seattle Mariners (27%)

Michael Fulmer is on the injured list, leaving Jose Cisnero and Gregory Soto to divvy up save chances. Cisnero is likely getting the bulk of the chances with Soto snaring some against lefty-heavy-lineup situations.

NEW – I’m not excited about Joe Ross’s forthcoming start against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. However, I can’t look past his recent heater, even if it’s involved some good fortune. In his last five starts totaling 32.1 innings, Ross owns a 1.95 ERA, 3.57 SIERA, 0.93 WHIP, 4.7 BB%, 25.8 K%, and 26.8 CSW%. He’s pitching above his skis. However, even settling in at a level commensurate with his SIERA would play in leagues as shallow as 12-team mixers.

Wilmer Flores is making the most of the chances provided to him by the plethora of injuries that have afflicted the San Francisco Giants, namely the injury to Evan Longoria. He hit .301/.342/.534 with four homers, 12 runs, and 9 RBIs in June.

Patrick Wisdom is a widely available power source, with 11 homers in 97 plate appearances for the Chicago Cubs this year. His 39.2 K% predicts his .295 batting average will drop substantially, though.

J.P. Crawford took the reigns of the leadoff gig on June 1, and he’s hit .352/.400/.528 with three homers, 17 runs, 14 RBIs, and two stolen bases. Yes, his .407 BABIP will regress. But, regardless, he should continue to help fantasy squads in batting average.

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