Here is The Game Day’s Week 18 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top Free-Agent Pickups. Set these key Week 18 MLB Pickups for your waiver wire list this weekend.
Week 18 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top Pickups
Akil Baddoo, OF, Detroit Tigers (46% rostered on Yahoo!)
I’ve been beating the drum for adding Akil Baddoo for a few weeks. Unfortunately, the opportunity for acquiring him cheaply has passed. It’s time to pony up.
His power dry spell is over. He’s hammered a pair of homers in the last week, adding a stolen base for good measure. According to FanGraphs, since June 1, he’s hit .304/.365/.456 with 22 runs, three homers, 16 RBIs and nine stolen bases in 137 plate appearances. If the power is on the upswing, he’s a legitimate five-category contributor the rest of the way.
- Akil Baddoo Waiver Wire Tip: It’s a game of adjustments for rookies, and Baddoo’s showing his mettle, adjusting as big-league pitchers get more information about his approach. Impressive for a youngster who never played above High-A. He’s worth a 25-30% FAAB bid as a difference-maker down the stretch.
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Shane McClanahan, SP/RP, Tampa Bay Rays (48%)
Shane McClanahan‘s been a mainstay in this space. However, he’s moved up and down from week to week. Scooping him up will likely cost a bit more than last thanks to a gem he had earlier this week, holding the Baltimore Orioles to one run on four hits, one walk and seven strikeouts.
The rookie lefty has struck out five batters or more in five straight starts. Overall, he’s been a strikeout machine this season, retiring 28.6% of hitters by strikeout. The strikeouts aren’t a product of smoke and mirrors, either. McClanahan sports a 32.0 CSW%, and he’s missing bats at an eye-popping rate, with a 16.3 SwStr%.
- Shane McClanahan Waiver Wire Tip: You don’t need to break the bank for McClanahan since there are rock-solid alternatives. However, I still advise sticking in a 15-20% FAAB bid.
Kolten Wong, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers (31%)
Kolten Wong‘s first year with the Milwaukee Brewers has been a stop-and-start affair due to injuries and injured list stints. However, despite the missed time, he’s played well when on the diamond, recording a .294/.350/.472 slash with 35 runs, seven homers, 21 RBIs and six stolen bases.
He’s opened the second half with a four-game hit streak, settling back in atop Milwaukee’s lineup. Wong’s spot enhances his potential for scoring runs while also making his positive batting average contribution more impactful.
- Kolten Wong Waiver Wire Tip: Wong’s not a stud in any category. However, he’s a player whose sum is greater than the individual parts. He’s worth a FAAB bid in the neighborhood of 15-20%.
- Read our Week 18 Two-Start Pitchers, Spot Starters + Hitter Streamers
Week 18 MLB Waiver Wire: Sleeper Pickups (6-15% FAAB)
- Ty France, 1B/2B/3B, Seattle Mariners (49% rostered)
- Robbie Grossman, OF, Detroit Tigers (40%)
- Tarik Skubal, SP, Detroit Tigers (45%)
- Gregory Soto, SP/RP, Detroit Tigers (33%)
- Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds (32%)
- NEW - Justin Upton, OF, Los Angeles Angels (32%)
- Logan Webb, SP, San Francisco Giants (24%)
- Alex Cobb, SP, Los Angeles Angels (30%)
- Patrick Sandoval, SP, Los Angeles Angels (26%)
- NEW - Zach Thompson, SP/RP, Miami Marlins (36%)
- NEW - David Price, SP/RP, Los Angeles Dodgers (44%)
- Kyle Muller, SP, Atlanta Braves (20%)
Ty France has nearly nudged above the 50% roster threshold, but he’s still just below that mark, making him available for inclusion. The multi-position eligible infielder hits in the heart of the Seattle Mariners’ order, and, since June 22, he’s hit .282/.330/.424 with 10 runs, three homers and 15 RBIs.
Robbie Grossman is a batting average drag with a .231 mark this year. However, he more than makes up for it elsewhere, scoring 51 runs, swatting 15 homers, driving in 46 and stealing 12 bases. He hit leadoff through the end of June. However, Baddoo has been bumped to the top of the order, and Grossman’s settled into a more RBI-friendly spot, hitting third. Unless you’re specifically needy for runs, the lineup move is a plus for his overall value.
Tarik Skubal is back this week. He rebounded from dicey back-to-back starts to hold the Texas Rangers to one run on four hits, zero walks and four strikeouts in six innings this week.
Gregory Soto has recorded Detroit’s last five save chances. The hard-throwing lefty is running away with the closing gig.
Joey Votto spent most of May and early June on the injured list. Since his reinstatement on June 8, he’s raked, hitting .286/.395/.496 with seven homers, 20 runs, 25 RBIs and one stolen base in 157 plate appearances. He’s primarily hit cleanup for more than a month, and he calls one of MLB’s most hitter-friendly parks home.
NEW - Justin Upton returned from the injured list Thursday. He was promptly thrust into the third spot in the order, and he hit cleanup the following day. Thanks mainly to his lineup spot, Upton should be a power source and helper in runs and RBIs.
The San Francisco Giants have received elite pitching contributions from their rotation. Rebounding veterans is a theme. Still, don’t let them overshadow Logan Webb’s breakout. In 13 appearances (12 starts) lasting 61.0 innings, he has a 3.54 ERA, 3.47 SIERA, 60.6 GB%, 1.25 WHIP, 8.2 BB%, 25.3 K% and 30.4 CSW%. He’s good enough to be rostered in leagues as shallow as 12-team mixers.
Teammates Alex Cobb and Patrick Sandoval are carryovers from last week. They’ve pitched at a remarkably similar level this year, so picking between the two is splitting hairs. Nonetheless, Cobb holds a tiny edge in SIERA with a 3.62 mark compared to Sandoval’s 3.81 SIERA. Regardless, both are viable options in 12-team mixers or larger.
NEW - Zach Thompson wasn’t his sharpest in his latest start, yielding three runs on six hits, one walk, and three strikeouts in five innings to the San Diego Padres on Friday night. It wasn’t a disastrous start, though. Further, he fired 85 pitches, suggesting the Miami Marlins are comfortable allowing their rookie hurler to handle a full workload. Overall, his 2.45 ERA, 3.80 SIERA, 1.06 WHIP, 7.4 BB%, 26.7 K%, and 30.4 CSW% in seven starts totaling 33.0 innings are worthy of rostering in 12-team mixers or deeper leagues.
NEW - David Price opened the year in the bullpen for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Needs in the rotation have resulted in the club stretching him out as a starter again. The lefty has gradually increased his pitch count, reaching a season-high 74 on Friday night. The veteran southpaw appears to still have plenty left in the tank, spinning a 2.84 ERA, 3.19 SIERA, 1.16 WHIP, 5.1 BB%, 25.3 K%, and 31.3 CSW% in six starts lasting 19.0 innings.
Add Kyle Muller to the expansive list of pitchers who warrants rostering in 12-team mixers or deeper formats. The rookie southpaw has a 2.41 ERA, 4.52 SIERA, 0.96 WHIP, 14.9 BB%, 29.7 K% and 29.9 CSW% in four starts over 18.2 innings. However, the sizable gap between his ERA and SIERA suggests regression is in order. Further, his walk rate leaves much to be desired. Still, he draws the New York Mets at pitcher-friendly Citi Field for his next turn, and I like his odds of helping fantasy baseball squads in that start.
Week 18 MLB Waiver Wire: Depth & Streamers (0-5% FAAB)
- Huascar Ynoa, SP, Atlanta Braves (29% rostered)
- Jed Lowrie, 2B, Oakland Athletics (32%)
- Enrique Hernandez, 2B/SS/OF, Boston Red Sox (40%)
- Miguel Rojas, SS, Miami Marlins (12%)
- Luis Arraez, 2B/3B/OF, Minnesota Twins (22%)
- Austin Gomber, SP/RP, Colorado Rockies (41%)
- Thairo Estrada, 2B, San Francisco Giants (1%)
Huascar Ynoa is on the injured list with a broken hand. He’s reportedly nearing a rehab assignment. Before going on the shelf in the middle of May, he spun a 3.02 ERA, 3.42 SIERA, 1.05 WHIP, 6.1 BB%, 27.9 K% and 31.6 CSW%. He’s a premium stash option.
It’s a pick your flavor at the middle infield between Jed Lowrie, Enrique Hernandez, Miguel Rojas, and Luis Arraez.
Arraez is strictly a batting average helper. Hernandez offers the most pop and upside scoring runs, hitting leadoff for the Boston Red Sox. However, he’s the biggest batting average liability.
Rojas lacks power, but he’s stolen six bases and provides modest run and batting average contributions. Lowrie has ho-hum power and doesn’t move the needle in batting average, yet he can chip in runs and RBIs from the heart of the Oakland Athletics’ order.
Austin Gomber would appear in the group above if he didn’t pitch his home games at Coors Field. The lefty’s pitched well this year, yet he requires careful management, threatening to take a blowtorch to your team ERA and WHIP if he gets Coors’d. As a result, I’m more comfortable rolling with him in head-to-head formats, where a bad start only hurts you one week.
Thairo Estrada is a deep mixer or NL-only league option while Brandon Crawford is on the injured list with an oblique strain. He’s hitting .341/.426/.537 with two homers in 47 plate appearances for the Giants. Before joining the San Francisco, he hit .385/448/.609 with seven homers and five stolen bases in 174 plate appearances at the Triple-A level.