Week 19 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top MLB Pickups + Sleeper Stashes
Here is The Game Day’s Week 19 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top Free-Agent Pickups. Set these key Week 19 MLB Pickups for your waiver wire list this weekend.
Week 19 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top Pickups
Paul Sewald, RP, Seattle Mariners (40% rostered on Yahoo!)
Paul Sewald is on the shortlist of players who might have gained the most from the trade deadline after the Seattle Mariners shipped out closer Kendall Graveman to the Houston Astros.
Quickly addressing Graveman, I don’t foresee him outright overtaking Ryan Pressly for the closing gig in Houston. However, I advise gamers holding him to confirm they don’t surprisingly utilize him in save situations or deploy a closer-by-committee featuring Pressly, Graveman, and possibly even fellow trade acquisition Yimi Garcia.
As for Sewald, he’s been dynamic in Seattle’s bullpen. The 31-year-old righty has dominated to the tune of a 2.30 ERA, 2.18 SIERA, 0.99 WHIP, 42.5 K%, and 33.0 CSW% while chipping in four saves. As great as he’s been, however, the situation is a bit murkier due to Seattle trading for reliever Diego Castillo.
- Paul Sewald Waiver Wire Tip: ̶S̶e̶w̶a̶l̶d̶ ̶e̶a̶r̶n̶e̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶m̶o̶s̶t̶ ̶r̶e̶c̶e̶n̶t̶ ̶s̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶M̶a̶r̶i̶n̶e̶r̶s̶.̶ ̶C̶o̶u̶p̶l̶e̶d̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶d̶o̶m̶i̶n̶a̶n̶c̶e̶,̶ ̶I̶ ̶i̶n̶i̶t̶i̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶e̶n̶d̶e̶d̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶s̶u̶g̶g̶e̶s̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶a̶n̶ ̶a̶g̶g̶r̶e̶s̶s̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶b̶i̶d̶.̶ ̶H̶o̶w̶e̶v̶e̶r̶,̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶a̶d̶d̶i̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶C̶a̶s̶t̶i̶l̶l̶o̶ ̶h̶a̶s̶ ̶c̶r̶e̶a̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶c̶l̶o̶s̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶u̶n̶c̶e̶r̶t̶a̶i̶n̶t̶y̶,̶ ̶t̶h̶o̶u̶g̶h̶.̶ ̶A̶s̶ ̶a̶ ̶r̶e̶s̶u̶l̶t̶,̶ ̶I̶ ̶s̶u̶g̶g̶e̶s̶t̶ ̶a̶ ̶F̶A̶A̶B̶ ̶b̶i̶d̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶1̶0̶-̶2̶0̶%̶ ̶r̶a̶n̶g̶e̶.̶
- Update: 7/31/21, 12:40 p.m. ET: Sewald entered Friday night’s victory with a three-run lead in the eighth. Castillo didn’t earn the save because the Mariners tacked another run on in the top of the ninth. However, it looks like Castillo’s the closer. A FAAB bid in the 5-10% range is more appropriate in light of Friday’s usage.
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Patrick Sandoval, SP, Los Angeles Angels (45%)
Patrick Sandoval’s been nothing short of sensational since moving from the Angels’ bullpen to the rotation in mid-May. In 11 starts spanning 64.1 innings, he’s dazzled with a 3.22 ERA, 3.54 SIERA, 1.06 WHIP, 8.2 BB%, 28.4 K%, and 31.8 CSW%.
The lefty was at his most dominant in his last start, carrying a no-hitter into the ninth inning and racking up 13 strikeouts against the Minnesota Twins. His strikeout rate has improved dramatically throughout the season, rising from 7.2 K/9 in May to 11.4 K/9 in June and July combined.
- Patrick Sandoval Waiver Wire Tip: Sandoval’s dialed in. He’s worth a FAAB bid in the 20-25% neighborhood.
Daulton Varsho, C/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (42%)
Not every prospect hits the ground running. Daulton Varsho initially struggled in the majors after debuting last year. Things are clicking now, though.
The 25-year-old is hitting like he’s been shot of a cannon in the second half. In 36 plate appearances since the All-Star break, he’s slashed .379/.500/.862 with a 19.4 BB%, 16.7 K%, four homers, 10 runs, nine RBIs, and two stolen bases.
- Daulton Varsho Waiver Wire Tip: Catchers who also play another position are fantasy gold, avoiding the wear and tear that accompanies donning the tools of ignorance. Varsho fits the bill, playing the outfield in addition to his receiving duties. While he won’t stay this hot forever, his plate discipline bodes well for continued success, and a 20-25% FAAB bid is reasonable.
Week 19 MLB Waiver Wire: Sleeper Pickups (6-15% FAAB)
- Harrison Bader, OF, St. Louis Cardinals (49% rostered)
- Tarik Skubal, SP, Detroit Tigers (42%)
- Andrew Vaughn, 1B/OF, Chicago White Sox (42%)
- NEW – Jarred Kelenic, OF, Seattle Mariners (39%)
- Kolten Wong, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers (33%)
- Huascar Ynoa, SP, Atlanta Braves (32%)
- Joe Ross, SP/RP, Washington Nationals (30%)
- Logan Webb, SP, San Francisco Giants (24%)
- Anthony Bender, RP, Miami Marlins (13%)
- NEW – David Bednar, RP, Pittsburgh Pirates (10%)
- NEW – Codi Heuer, RP, Chicago Cubs (7%)
- NEW – Tyler Clippard, SP/RP, Arizona Diamondbacks (5%)
- Kyle Finnegan, RP, Washington Nationals (3%)
Harrison Bader’s tools have never been in question, but strikeouts have plagued him throughout his career until now. He’s cut his whiff rate in half from last year and is hitting for more power as well with a career-best .240 ISO. Always a solid baserunner, Bader has swiped six bases as well and is batting a career-high .293.
Tarik Skubal flubbed a plus matchup against the Kansas City Royals in his most recent outing, but he’s been pitching well lately after a sluggish start to the year. The 24-year-old lefty has a 3.78 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP, and an 82:21 K/BB ratio in 66 2/3 innings over his last 12 starts. Inconsistency comes with the territory for a young pitcher, but he’s shown enough glimpses in a breakout campaign to warrant riding the rollercoaster.
Andrew Vaughn is starting to resemble the middle-of-the-order hitter he projected to be as a top prospect. The 23-year-old rookie has demolished lefties to the tune of a .431 wOBA and a 179 wRC+, but it’s his adjustments and improvement against righties this season that have excited me. In his last 73 plate appearances against RHP, he’s ripped five homers and slashed .338/.356/.647.
NEW – Will Jarred Kelenic burn me yet again for touting him? He might. Still, the tools are loud, and his upside is immense. A pair of two-hit efforts, including a homer in his last game, could be a sign he’s turned the corner. Let’s give him another shot if he’s available in your league.
Kolten Wong appeared as one of the headline players in last week’s piece. If he’s still available in your league, you can likely snag him for a little cheaper. He won’t help much with RBIs from the leadoff spot, but he’ll chip in across the other four categories, making him a valuable glue guy at the keystone position or as a middle infield option.
It’s the last call for stashing Huascar Ynoa cheaply. A sim game reportedly went well this week and a rehab assignment is on tap next week. Get ahead of the masses and stash him now, or pay through the nose next week if he slips through the cracks and isn’t scooped up.
Joe Ross was sharp in his return from the injured list on Monday, spinning five scoreless innings against a white-hot Philadelphia Phillies lineup and displaying stable velocity. Ross has recaptured his early-career promise with a 3.80 ERA, 4.06 SIERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 24.4 K% in 17 starts spanning 92 1/3 innings this season.
Logan Webb has been one of the hottest pitchers in baseball of late, allowing just six earned runs over his last seven starts. The 24-year-old righty has a 1.54 ERA and an 0.86 WHIP during that span along with a stellar 37:8 K/BB ratio across 35 innings. He hasn’t merely been capitalizing on soft matchups, either, as three of those starts have come against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Anthony Bender isn’t the only candidate who could replace the traded Garcia at the back of the Miami Marlins’ bullpen, but he’s my favorite. The 26-year-old righty has been impressive in his rookie season with a 2.27 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP, a 2.74 FIP, and a 5.6 K/BB ratio. Bender earned the most recent save for a reliever other than Garcia and could be in line for more save opportunities going forward.
NEW – A busy trade deadline featuring tons of closer movement leaves David Bednar, Codi Heuer, and Tyler Clippard in potential closing gigs for their respective clubs. Clippard’s probably the clearest closer of the trio, having saved a game Wednesday and appearing in the ninth inning of a tie game at home, the standard operating procedure for a closer. Bednar’s skills are the best in the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen. However, they could use a forthcoming reliever as the closer, namely if they wish to suppress Bednar’s salary through Major League Baseball’s archaic arbitration system that values saves.
Kyle Finnegan is arguably the top candidate to close for the Washington Nationals in the wake of the team dealing closer Brad Hand and top setup man Daniel Hudson. He’s recorded a 3.29 ERA, 4.08 SIERA, 1.46 WHIP, 25.4 K%, and just earned his first save of the year on Thursday. It’s not the most eye-catching line, but it’s respectable. The second-year reliever also has minor-league saves on his resume, which could aid his cause for closing. UPDATE: 7/31/21, 12:45 p.m. ET: Finnegan nailed down his second save on Friday night. Consider nudging his FAAB bid up to the 20-25% range.
Week 19 MLB Waiver Wire: Depth & Streamers (0-5% FAAB)
- Tylor Megill, SP, New York Mets (40% rostered)
- ̶J̶o̶s̶h̶ ̶H̶a̶r̶r̶i̶s̶o̶n̶,̶ ̶2̶B̶/̶3̶B̶/̶O̶F̶,̶ ̶W̶a̶s̶h̶i̶n̶g̶t̶o̶n̶ ̶N̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶a̶l̶s̶ ̶(̶2̶6̶%̶)̶
- Kyle Muller, SP, Atlanta Braves (21%)
- Evan Longoria, 3B, San Francisco Giants (20%)
- Gregory Polanco, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates (6%)
- ̶D̶r̶e̶w̶ ̶S̶t̶e̶c̶k̶e̶n̶r̶i̶d̶e̶r̶,̶ ̶R̶P̶,̶ ̶S̶e̶a̶t̶t̶l̶e̶ ̶M̶a̶r̶i̶n̶e̶r̶s̶ ̶(̶5̶%̶)̶
- Dylan Floro, RP, Miami Marlins (4%)
- ̶J̶o̶h̶n̶ ̶C̶u̶r̶t̶i̶s̶s̶,̶ ̶S̶P̶/̶R̶P̶,̶ ̶M̶i̶a̶m̶i̶ ̶M̶a̶r̶l̶i̶n̶s̶ ̶(̶2̶%̶)̶
- NEW – Chris Stratton, SP/RP, Pittsburgh Pirates (1%)
Tylor Megill has gone from pop-up prospect to valuable contributor for the New York Mets. The 26-year-old rookie has been tremendous in seven starts this year with a 2.04 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP, and a 39:11 K/BB ratio in 35 1/3 innings. While he’s outperformed his peripherals a bit, his 3.44 FIP and 3.77 SIERA are nothing to sneeze at.
Josh Harrison has been elevated to the middle of Washington’s lineup following his recent heater. In addition to hitting safely in 12 of his last 13 games, Harrison’s batted a scorching .412/.464/.745 during that span. With six homers, five steals, and an .800 OPS this year, the veteran utilityman is doing a little bit of everything.
UPDATE: 7/31/21, 12:50 p.m. ET: The Nationals traded Harrison and catcher Yan Gomes to the Oakland Athletics. Harrison profiles as a super-utility player rather than an everyday player. The playing time uncertainty makes him a less appealing waiver claim.
Kyle Muller has shined in his rookie season, recording a 1.90 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 26.6 K% in five starts lasting 23.2 innings. His 4.7 BB/9 rate has prevented him from pitching deep into games, however, and his 4.66 SIERA provides a reason for pause. Nonetheless, the 23-year-old southpaw is worth a cheap dart throw.
Evan Longoria (shoulder) is nearing a return from the 60-day injured list. He’s a stash candidate after displaying elite plate discipline and batted-ball data before being sidelined, producing a .280/.376/.516 batting line with nine home runs and 30 RBIs through 50 games this year.
Gregory Polanco has put his best foot forward in the second half, hitting .226/.324/.516 with a 10.8 BB%, 24.3 K%, two homers, and three stolen bases in 37 plate appearances. He’s been scalding the ball with a 43.5% hard-hit rate and a .290 ISO since the All-Star break.
If you need saves, then take multiple bites of the apple. Drew Steckenrider, Dylan Floro, and John Curtiss are candidates to fill closer vacancies. Steckenrider has three saves, Floro has two saves, and Curtiss has zero saves this year (but had two last year).
UPDATE: 7/31/21, 12:50 p.m. ET: Steckenrider preceded Sewald and Castillo in Seattle’s victory on Friday night. It appears he’s behind both in the saves pecking order, so I no longer advise bidding on him. Curtiss can also be dumped from waiver consideration since the Marlins traded him to the Milwaukee Brewers. However, now that he’s been dealt, Floro’s worth a FAAB bid in the 6-10% range in case he, not Bender, closes games for the Marlins.
NEW – The aforementioned Bednar’s a more skilled pitcher than Chris Stratton. Regardless, Stratton’s the only reliever remaining who’s saved a game in 2021 in Pittsburgh’s bullpen in the wake of trading Richard Rodgriguez. Moreover, Stratton’s an adequate reliever who could do enough to retain the job the rest of the year if awarded the opportunity.