Week 22 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top MLB Pickups & Sleeper Stashes
Here is The Game Day’s Week 22 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top Free-Agent Pickups. Set these key Week 22 MLB Pickups for your waiver wire list this weekend.
Week 22 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top Pickups
Josh Rojas, 2B/SS/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (46% rostered in Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues)
Josh Rojas is enjoying a breakout campaign in his third season for the Arizona Diamondbacks — his first with regular playing time. It hasn’t been smooth sailing the entire year, but he’s settled into a groove of late.
In 67 plate appearances over his last 16 games, Rojas has hit .482/.567/.732 with one homer, 11 runs, seven RBIs, and two stolen bases. The single tater doesn’t tell the whole story for his power, though, as he’s also ripped nine doubles and a triple during that span.
- Josh Rojas Waiver Wire Tip: Rojas has become a mainstay in Arizona’s lineup, batting leadoff against righties and towards the bottom against southpaws. His defensive versatility adds to his fantasy appeal, and he’s worthy of a FAAB bid in the neighborhood of 20-25%.
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Amed Rosario, SS/OF, Cleveland Indians (43%)
Amed Rosario joins Rojas as a multi-position-eligible premium waiver target. He’s also been hot in the second half, slashing .323/.345/.469 with one homer, 17 runs, 14 RBIs, and four stolen bases. He’s now swiped 12 bags this year without getting caught, which makes sense given his 98th percentile sprint speed, per Baseball Savant.
Also similar to Rojas, Rosario has been racking up extra-base hits with 12 doubles and a pair of triples since the All-Star break. A .390 BABIP suggests some batting average regression on the horizon, but his value should hold steady given his batted-ball profile and elite wheels, which have helped him maintain a .327 BABIP throughout his career.
- Amed Rosario Waiver Wire Tip: Rosario’s a table-setter who can help gamers in runs, batting average, and steals. I advise a FAAB bid in the 15-20% range.
Lewis Brinson, OF, Miami Marlins (43%)
Lewis Brinson has cooled off since I touted him last week. Nonetheless, I’m encouraged by his strikeout rate remaining in check, so he’ll rebound from this hiccup eventually if he can continue to avoid punchouts.
Despite his recent scuffle, the 27-year-old is still batting .291/.358/.558 with five homers, 20 RBIs, and 15 runs in 27 games since July 19. His hot streak has also helped him claim a prominent lineup spot in the middle of the order for the Miami Marlins.
- Lewis Brinson Waiver Wire Tip: I’m starting to believe in Brinson. A FAAB bid of roughly 15-20% is reasonable.
Week 22 MLB Waiver Wire: Sleeper Pickups (6-15% FAAB)
- Jordan Montgomery, SP, New York Yankees (46% rostered)
- Tarik Skubal, SP, Detroit Tigers (45%)
- Kyle Finnegan, RP, Washington Nationals (38%)
- Cesar Hernandez, 2B, Chicago White Sox (36%)
- Andrew Vaughn, 1B/OF, Chicago White Sox (36%)
- Mychal Givens, RP, Cincinnati Reds (32%)
- Tanner Houck, SP, Boston Red Sox (30%)
- Abraham Toro, 2B/3B, Seattle Mariners (30%)
- Tejay Antone, SP/RP, Cincinnati Reds (28%)
- Joe Barlow, RP, Texas Rangers (25%)
- Luis Arraez, 2B/3B/OF, Minnesota Twins (21%)
- Tyler Clippard, RP, Arizona Diamondbacks (15%)
- Drew Steckenrider, RP, Seattle Mariners (6%)
- Yadiel Hernandez, OF, Washington Nationals (4%)
Jordan Montgomery is enjoying a stellar season in which he’s spun a 3.77 ERA that his ERA estimators support. He’s also fanned better than a batter per inning (9.1 K/9 rate) and has been extremely consistent, allowing three earned runs or fewer in 17 of his last 19 starts.
Let the lefty love continue with Tarik Skubal. The 24-year-old southpaw’s had some ups and downs this year in his second season, but his overall work has been solid. He also has a microscopic 1.02 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in August with a 17:2 K/BB ratio in 17 2/3 innings this month.
I’ll now address the three closers who I think are the most entrenched in the role from this group; Kyle Finnegan, Joe Barlow, and Tyler Clippard. They’re all worth FAAB bids near the upper end of this tier around 15%. Barlow’s my favorite of the bunch, narrowly edging out Finnegan, then Clippard.
Switch-hitter Cesar Hernandez has been a table-setter for the Chicago White Sox since they traded for him before the deadline. He’s been a batting average liability this year at .230, but his ability to work walks and get on base has helped him score 71 runs, including 11 runs in 19 games for Chicago.
Speaking of White Sox hitters, Andrew Vaughn has rounded into form after a slow start. He has four home runs and 10 RBIs in August while raising his average to .263, making him a solid fantasy bat.
The distinct second-tier save options in this section worth a FAAB bid in the 10% range include teammates for the Cincinnati Reds, Mychael Givens and Tejay Antone (who should return from the IL next week), as well as Drew Steckenrider from the Seattle Mariners. Givens has recorded Cincinnati’s last three saves, while Steckenrider has converted two of Seattle’s last four saves. However, the Mariners’ situation appears to be a full-blown committee, as Kev Mahserejian noted in this week’s 2021 Fantasy Baseball Closer Rankings & Bullpen Depth Charts.
The Boston Red Sox have taken advantage of Tanner Houck having options, recalling and optioning him often. Houck’s easily been one of their best starting pitchers this year, and they’ll need him down the stretch as the battle for a playoff spot. He and his sparkling 3.12 ERA, 2.55 xFIP, and 11.9 K/9 rate through 34 and 2/3 innings should be recalled to rejoin the rotation soon.
Abraham Toro has been delivering the goods for Seattle since they acquired him from the Houston Astros last month, hitting .308/.393/.487 with three homers, 11 runs, nine RBIs, and one stolen base in 21 games with his new club. Given how well he’s been playing lately, there’s no reason for him to be as widely available as he is.
If you need batting average help, Luis Arraez is your man. He doesn’t hit for power or steal bases, but he’s elite at putting the ball in play. His .313 batting average is a full 70 points higher than the MLB average this year, and it’s not a fluke. He’s batted at least .310 in all three of his MLB campaigns and is a .324 career hitter.
Yadiel Hernandez is doing everything in his power to shed his Quad-A hitter label. The 33-year-old is batting .297/.362/.434 in his second season and has been on fire in the second half. Since the All-Star break, he’s hitting .364/.434/.561 with three homers, 12 runs, 14 RBIs, and one stolen base in 76 plate appearances.
Week 22 MLB Waiver Wire: Depth & Streamers (0-5% FAAB)
- Paul Sewald, RP, Seattle Mariners (28% rostered)
- Carson Kelly, C, Arizona Diamondbacks (23%)
- Daulton Varsho, C/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (23%)
- Evan Longoria, 3B, San Francisco Giants (21%)
- NEW – Hunter Dozier, 1B/3B/OF, Kansas City Royals (14%)
- Colin Moran, 1B/2B/3B, Pittsburgh Pirates (10%)
- NEW – Nicky Lopez, 2B/SS, Kansas City Royals (9%)
- Daniel Lynch, SP, Kansas City Royals (8%)
- NEW – Corey Dickerson, OF, Toronto Blue Jays (3%)
Paul Sewald appears to be a notch below Diego Castillo and Steckenrider in the pecking order for saves in the Mariners’ bullpen. He does have six saves on the year, however, and also helps in ERA (2.63), WHIP (0.90), and strikeouts (41.1 K%).
Carson Kelly and Dalton Varsho are splitting time behind the dish for Arizona, with Varsho also earning starts in the outfield. The D-backs are one of five teams scheduled for seven games next week, enhancing the outlook for both catcher-eligible players in the short term.
The sudden depth of the San Francisco Giants potentially capping Evan Longoria’s playing time is my only reservation preventing me from listing Longo in the group above. The veteran’s batted-ball data and patience remain elite, resulting in a .289 batting average, a .237 ISO, 10 homers, and a 13.1 BB% this year. He’s worth a claim to see how the playing time shakes out.
NEW – Hunter Dozier’s breakthrough 2019 became a distant memory after a mediocre 2020 and horrendous first half to 2021. However, he’s swinging a hot stick in the second half. Add in his seven-game week, and he’s a viable streamer who could stick.
Colin Moran hits at an above-average clip against righties (.306 batting average and 119 wRC+ this year) and occasionally plays against lefties. The starts against southpaws are a blessing and a curse, as they hurt his batting average but provide him more potential for counting stats. Nonetheless, he’s a viable streamer with the Pittsburgh Pirates scheduled to play seven games next week.
NEW – Nicky Lopez will also be treated to a full complement of seven games next week. The middle infielder’s climbed to the second spot in the order against right-handed pitchers lately, enhancing the impact of his helpful .273 batting average. Further, his calling card is stolen bases, swiping 15 without getting caught. He’ll have more opportunities to reach base as a table-setter. Thus, his stolen base ceiling’s risen, too.
Daniel Lynch was a former first-round draft pick and well-regarded prospect, and he’s starting to flash his upside for the Kansas City Royals. In his last five starts spanning 30 2/3 innings, the 24-year-old rookie has compiled a 2.35 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP, and a 19.5 K%. His ERA estimators don’t align with his glowing ERA, however, limiting his value to 14-team mixers and AL-only formats.
NEW – Corey Dickerson is another player with seven games on the docket next week. He’s raking since joining the loaded Toronto Blue Jays’ offense via trade, slashing .282/.333/.538, with two homers, seven runs, eight RBIs, and one stolen base in 14 games. Further, he’s regularly hit fifth against right-handed pitchers, putting him in an RBI-friendly spot.