Week 23 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top MLB Pickups & Sleeper Stashes

Last Updated: Aug 30, 2021

Here is The Game Day’s Week 23 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top Free-Agent Pickups. Set these key Week 23 MLB Pickups for your waiver wire list this weekend.

Week 23 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top Pickups

Miguel Sano, 1B/3B, Minnesota Twins (45% rostered in Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues)

Miguel Sano is a streaky hitter due to his high strikeout rate, but his power is undeniable. Earlier this week he launched a 495-foot moonshot out of Fenway Park — the longest home run of the season, according to Statcast.

Sano’s been swinging a hot bat in the second half, smacking seven homers with 21 runs, 22 RBIs, and a palatable .252 batting average in 33 games since the All-Star break. He’s also been walking at a 14.4% clip while keeping his strikeout rate below 30%.

  • Miguel Sano Waiver Wire Tip: Gamers in need of power should spend 15-20% of their FAAB budget securing Sano’s services.

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Anthony Santander, OF, Baltimore Orioles (40%)

Anthony Santander has been raking in August and was one of the few bright spots during the Baltimore Orioles’ recent losing streak. He’s batted a blistering .338/.361/.700 with eight homers, 13 RBIs, 14 runs, and a stolen base in 83 plate appearances this month. His fantasy value is also enhanced by his middle-of-the-order presence and hitting-friendly home park.

  • Anthony Santander Waiver Wire Tip: Santander is worthy of a FAAB bid in the 15-20% range.

Brendan Rodgers, 2B/SS, Colorado Rockies (19%)

Brendan Rodgers was one of MLB’s more highly regarded prospects on his way up the minor-league ladder. While that didn’t translate to instant success upon reaching the big leagues, the 25-year-old is breaking out in his third season.

Rodgers is hitting a smooth .289/.344/.474 with 10 homers, 31 runs, and 35 RBIs in 70 games this year. He’s also one of the few Rockies who’s performed better on the road this season with an .863 OPS in away games compared to .775 at home.

  • Brendan Rodgers Waiver Wire Tip: Rodgers’ bat travels, negating concerns when Colorado’s on the road. However, it doesn’t hurt that he’ll have four games at Coors next week after three games in offense-friendly Texas.
Brendan Rodgers Colorado Rockies Infielder

Colorado Rockies infielder Brendan Rodgers has established himself as a solid fantasy baseball contributor in 2021, making him a top Week 23 waiver wire pickup. (Image: USA TODAY)

Week 23 MLB Waiver Wire: Sleeper Pickups (6-15% FAAB)

  • Jordan Montgomery, SP, New York Yankees (48% rostered)
  • Travis d’Arnaud, C, Atlanta Braves (47%)
  • Kyle Finnegan, RP, Washington Nationals (43%)
  • Daulton Varsho, C/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (43%)
  • Kolten Wong, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers (41%)
  • Josiah Gray, SP, Washington Nationals (41%)
  • Nicky Lopez, 2B/SS, Kansas City Royals (39%)
  • Mychal Givens, RP, Cincinnati Reds (31%)
  • Tanner Houck, SP, Boston Red Sox (27%)
  • Abraham Toro, 2B/3B, Seattle Mariners (20%)
  • NEW - Luis Arraez, 2B/3B/OF, Minnesota Twins (20%)
  • Tyler Clippard, RP, Arizona Diamondbacks (19%)
  • David Bednar, RP, Pittsburgh Pirates (16%)
  • NEW - Jake Meyers, OF, Houston Astros (16%)
  • Drew Steckenrider, RP, Seattle Mariners (14%)
  • NEW - Glenn Otto, SP, Texas Rangers (0%)
  • Yadiel Hernandez, OF, Washington Nationals (5%)

Jordan Montgomery doesn’t have the most favorable matchups the rest of the way, but he’s essentially matchup-proof at this point. The Yankees southpaw has spun a 3.69 ERA, 3.69 FIP, 1.20 WHIP, and 8.9 K/9 in 23 starts this year.

Travis d’Arnaud is ripping the cover off of the ball since returning from the injured list early this month, crushing a pair of homers while batting .286/.394/.571 over 33 plate appearances. He’s worth starting in single-catcher leagues as shallow as 12-team mixers.

Kyle Finnegan is on the highest percentage of rosters among the closers in this section, yet I have him in the same tier as Mychal Givens and Tyler Clippard. They’re all in the same boat and worth a FAAB bid in the 10-15% neighborhood.

Daulton Varsho is the rare catcher who’s eligible at other positions and makes an impact on the bases (four steals). He’s also caught fire at the plate over the past two weeks, batting .343/.410/.829 with four homers and eight RBIs over his last 11 games. I slightly prefer d’Arnaud for catcher-needy gamers, but Varsho’s nipping at his heels.

I’ll address Kolten Wong and Nicky Lopez together, as they’re in the same tier at second base. The former has a more well-rounded profile, chipping in across the board. The latter offers nothing in the power department but has offset that with 18 stolen bases. Accordingly, gamers should allow their team needs to dictate which of these second basemen to prioritize claiming.

Josiah Gray‘s been impressive through his first seven games (six starts). The 23-year-old rookie has compiled a 3.75 ERA and 10.5 K/9 rate that are supported by his 3.92 xERA and 31.1 CSW%. He’s the real deal.

Tanner Houck‘s most recent start wasn’t his best showing, but his overall marks this year are tantalizing. The Boston Red Sox have been extra careful with his workload, allowing him to complete five innings in only two of his eight starts this season. With their bullpen wearing down, however, perhaps they’ll start letting him go deeper into games.

The Seattle Mariners were heavily criticized for trading Kendall Graveman in the midst of a playoff race, but Abraham Toro has paid immediate dividends. He’s slashed .327/.404/.475 with three homers, 14 runs, 10 RBIs, and one stolen base in 114 plate appearances for Seattle. Toro also offers a dreamy blend of patience and contact, walking in 8.8% of his plate appearances and striking out in only 10.5% of them for the Mariners, supporting the possibility of him continuing to hit north of .300.

NEW - Luis Arraez has regularly appeared here. I opted not to include him in this space during the initial run, but he remains under rostered. He’s essentially a one-trick pony. However, when that one trick is a .306 batting average this year and a .321 batting average for his career, it’s a needle-mover.

David Bednar and Drew Steckenrider are a notch below the previously discussed closers. As such, I suggest bidding 5-10% FAAB to scoop them up.

NEW - With the Houston Astros reinstating lineup mainstays Kyle Tucker and Alex Bregman from the injured list recently, it appeared Jake Meyers’ days as a lineup fixture may be numbered. Not so fast, as he’s started all three games with Tucker and Bregman back. Despite a down-order lineup spot, Meyers possesses run and RBI upside thanks to the depth of Houston’s offense. He also possesses a tantalizing power and speed combination, homering 19 times and stealing 11 bases between Triple-A and the majors this year. Further, his unsightly 30.8 K% is out of whack with plate discipline numbers that hover around the league average, so he could continue to be a batting-average asset even when his .410 BABIP regresses

I’m dumbfounded as to why Yadiel Hernandez remains so widely available. Since settling into a regular role around the trade deadline, he’s hit .350/.404/.613 with five homers, 13 runs, 15 RBIs, and one stolen base in 89 plate appearances. Snag him from the free-agent pool while you still can.

NEW - Yahoo! added Glenn Otto to the player pool between Friday night and Saturday morning following an electrifying big-league debut, so don’t be fooled by the zero percent of rosters he’s on. The rookie righty received a baptism by fire, facing Major League Baseball’s top offense against righties, and all he did was hold them scoreless on two hits, zero walks, and seven strikeouts through five innings. In 17 appearances (16 starts) between Double-A and Triple-A, Otto spun a 3.20 ERA, 2.47 FIP, 1.01 WHIP, and 35.3 K%. After substantiating his elite minor-league numbers with a dominating first showing in the majors, he’s a priority add.

Week 23 MLB Waiver Wire: Depth & Streamers (0-5% FAAB)

  • Nestor Cortes, SP/RP, New York Yankees (36% rostered)
  • Edward Cabrera, RP, Miami Marlins (29%)
  • Aledmys Diaz, 1B/2B/3B/OF, Houston Astros (24%)
  • Connor Joe, 1B/OF, Colorado Rockies (18%)
  • Daniel Lynch, SP, Kansas City Royals (16%)

Nestor Cortes‘s 4.80 xFIP and 4.47 SIERA in seven starts give me pause. Still, his 2.70 ERA and 1.04 WHIP as a starter this year are impossible to ignore. Perhaps he’s an ERA estimator overachiever, but he’s certainly worth a small FAAB bid to find out.

Edward Cabrera cruised through six scoreless innings before finally letting up three runs in the seventh in his MLB debut earlier this week. Cabrera generated a 17.9 SwStr% at Double-A and an even more impressive 20.0 SwStr% in Triple-A, so the 23-year-old has upside. There’s also some risk, however, as evidenced by his 14.7 BB% in Triple-A.

The Houston Astros are healthy around the diamond again, capping Aledmys Diaz‘s playing time potential. Regardless, his versatility and stellar stick should provide him regular opportunities to spell Houston’s starters.

Connor Joe is making the most of an extended audition to be part of the Rockies’ future. The 29-year-old rookie has earned his place atop Colorado’s lineup, batting an impressive .292/.376/.500 with eight homers and 33 RBIs in 55 games.

Daniel Lynch has dazzled since the All-Star break with a 2.27 ERA in his last six starts spanning 35 2/3 innings. Beware of his 4.64 xFIP and 4.78 SIERA, however, which suggest regression. Still, the 24-year-old rookie has neutralized some of baseball’s top lineups during the second half and deserves the benefit of the doubt going forward.


Josh Shepardson

Josh is a fantasy gamer of roughly 20 years and a fantasy pundit for more than 10 years. He's experienced in numerous season-long baseball and football league types and a daily fantasy sports grinder, too. Additionally, Josh is a recreational gambler who has a soft spot for futures and prop bets. He studied and completed his Bachelor's degree in Sport Management at the State University of New York at Cortland, and he remains in Central New York, residing in Auburn.

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