Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 8

May 21, 2016

Cameron Maybin Tigers

Cameron Maybin’s batting average is nothing to grimace at so far: .647 

As the 2016 regular season passes the quarter mark, MLB fantasy owners will have a chance to grab some upgrades on the waiver wire.

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Ownership totals are in ESPN Leagues as of Saturday,  

Cameron Maybin (OF – DET) – 17.6 percent
Since being recalled from the disabled list a week ago, Maybin has been on a tear, and could be a cheap source of steals and runs for many fantasy owners. The 29-year old Maybin was once one of the most coveted prospects in all of baseball and was the centerpiece of the Miguel Cabrera trade back in 2007. However, Maybin never lived up to his billing, and Petco Park suppressed his overall numbers for several seasons.

Now in Detroit, Maybin has been red hot since recovering from wrist and shoulder injuries that cost him the first month and a half of the season. Maybin is hitting .647/.684/.824 with four stolen bases over 19 plate appearances. If Maybin can keep his OBP above the .320 mark, he should be good for at least 25 steals, and Detroit’s stacked offense will help him score plenty of runs.

Steve Pearce (1B/OF – TB) – 27.0 percent
While we probably won’t see Pearce ever match his excellent 2014 season, a current hot streak makes him an intriguing waiver wire addition. Pearce came out of nowhere with the Baltimore Orioles in 2014 to be one of the best fantasy waiver wire pickups in recent memory, posting a .293/.373/.556 line with 21 home runs. After a poor campaign last year, the Rays were able to pick up Pearce for cheap.

The 33-year-old has rewarded Tampa Bay with a 173 wRC+ in 26 games played so far. Pearce has been particularly hot in May with an OPS approaching 1.230. That’s unsustainable, but owners should consider adding Pearce as long as hit hot streak continues, particularly given his multi-position eligibility.

Matt Wisler (SP – ATL) – 19.3 percent
The Braves’ very young rotation is starting to display some of its upside, with Wisler ranking as perhaps the most intriguing member at the moment. Wisler came to the Braves before the 2015 season as the centerpiece of the deal that sent Craig Kimbrel to the Padres. While Wisler struggled in Triple-A, scouts liked his plus fastball-slider combination, and he displayed the command to succeed quickly in the Majors.

There were flashes in Wisler’s debut season, although inconsistency brought his overall numbers down. This year, Wisler has a 2.93 ERA (3.73 FIP) over 55.1 innings and has done an excellent job avoiding walks and home runs. The lack of wins will keep Wisler’s fantasy value down, but he can at least make a useful spot starter for owners.

Carlos Rodon (SP – CWS) – 34.7 percent
A poor start has led to many owners bailing on Rodon in the early going. As such, now is a great time for many owners to buy low. Rodon showed electric stuff shortly after being selected third overall in the 2014 draft, rising quickly through the minors.

In 193.1 innings with the White Sox last year, Rodon posted a 3.75 ERA (3.87 FIP) with just shy of a strikeout per inning, certainly making him fantasy relevant heading into this year. However, Rodon has struggled so far in 2016 with an ERA approaching five, leading many to drop him.

The stuff is still there, as Rodon has increased his strikeout numbers, and he turned in a very encouraging outing on Wednesday against the Houston Astros. While far from a sure thing, Rodon’s upside makes him worth the gamble for many fantasy owners in search of an upgrade.

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Nathaniel Reeves is a correspondent at FantasyPros. To read more from Nathaniel, check out his archive or follow him @njr3701.

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