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7 Under-the-Radar Waiver-Wire Pickups (Week 14)

The halfway point of the fantasy baseball season is upon us! Bobby Bradley is still somehow only rostered in only 17% of leagues despite the fact that he tacked on three more dingers since our very own Dan Harris suggested him last week. Even with the strikeout concerns, Bradley is someone who continues to be a useful option, particularly for fantasy managers who need the power.

The beauty of our low roster percentage threshold is that the suggestions we provide give you the opportunity to keep an eye on high-potential players when they’re still widely available before the rest of fantasyland catches on. You have a chance to nab solid production very early. Myles Straw and Jake Odorizzi are just a couple players our featured pundits have suggested over the last few weeks that have delivered recently. Who could be next? Read on to find out!

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Q1. What one hitter should fantasy managers look into picking up that is rostered in less than 25% of leagues?

Austin Hays (OF – BAL): 24% Rostered
“I’ll start with the caveat that Jarren Duran and Jarred Kelenic are two minor leaguers that I want to stash right now, but for teams in need of some instant offense, I recommend Hays. The 25-year-old enters the weekend riding an eight-game hitting streak, a span in which in xwOBA has steadily climbed. Hays had shown flashes of fantasy success in the past, and as a former third-round pick, it’s worth riding the wave in deeper leagues to find out whether or not he’s figuring some things out.”
– Brendan Tuma (FantasyPros)

Austin Hays is looking to get on track after a pair of IL stints this season. He’s currently working on an eight-game hitting streak that includes a pair of homers and eight RBIs over the past week. He’s been a streaky player throughout his brief MLB career, but now appears fully recovered from his latest hamstring injury and could continue his offensive success hitting behind Cedric Mullins at the top of the Baltimore lineup.”
– Pierre Camus (RotoBaller)

Jesus Sanchez (OF – MIA): 9% Rostered
“With the trade of Corey Dickerson, Sanchez’s long-term playing time should be all but assured. Fantasy managers might not want to play him in the short term — he’s barely walking (just two in 54 plate appearances) and offers few counting stats on the Marlins. But he has a ton of power, and his strikeout rate (27.8%) shows he’s not overmatched in the majors. Bench spots are few and far between right now, but if you have the room, stash Sanchez just to see where it goes.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Tony Kemp (2B/OF – OAK): 16% Rostered
“Kemp keeps hitting in May and June. Over the past two months, he hit .292 with four home runs, 25 runs, 17 RBIs, one steal, and an .893 OPS. For a hitter with a 0% barrel rate, that’s a quality OPS that also makes Kemp valuable in OBP leagues. Given the consistency, batting average, and OBP, Kemp is viable in 12-team leagues with the 2B/OF eligibility.”
– Corbin Young (FantasyData)

LaMonte Wade Jr. (1B/OF – SF): 5% Rostered
“Wade Jr. has done a terrific job filling in for Brandon Belt on the Giants. Over the last two weeks, Wade is slashing .270/.325/.622 while hitting at the top of the order and has three HRs, eight RBIs, eight runs, and one steal. Rostered in just five percent of leagues, he has the starting gig and Belt has no timetable to return from his knee injury he’s trying to rehab. He’s worth the add.”
– Joe Pisapia (FantasyPros)

Q2. What one starting pitcher should fantasy managers look into picking up that is rostered in less than 25% of leagues?

Kyle Muller (ATL): 17% Rostered
“I’m not expecting Muller to hold a 32.5% strikeout rate, but he should still be added pretty much everywhere with news that he’ll stick in the rotation for another turn. The question isn’t about his stuff: he boasts an outstanding fastball with an above-average slider and curveball. Instead, it’s about his command, after he walked roughly 5.5 batters per nine innings over his last two minor league seasons. Whether he can regain his lost command remains to be seen, but at this rostered percentage, the pickings are slim. Add Muller and hope he continues to have manageable control, as he showed in his first two starts.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Kyle Muller looks interesting with a 2.70 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 32.5% strikeout rate, and 10% walk rate in 10 innings pitched. It’s a small sample, but Muller recently pitched five scoreless innings against the Reds with nine strikeouts. The high walk rate (13-14%) in the minors worries us, but both breaking pitches in the curve (22.9%) and slider (29.5%) boast a silly swinging-strike rate. Muller is worth adding, especially in deeper leagues as a streamer with upside.”
– Corbin Young (FantasyData)

“It’s hard to trust a rookie starting pitcher these days, especially one not guaranteed to stick in the rotation. Kyle Muller could be an exception based on how he’s pitched lately, though. In his first two Major League starts, he allowed a total of one run on two hits over nine innings while striking out 12. Plus, he’s a 6’6″ lefty who can mix in five different pitches. That’s the kind of arm worth taking a chance on.”
– Pierre Camus (RotoBaller)

Luis Patino (TB): 12% Rostered
“The Rays are recalling Patiño to start on Friday against the Blue Jays. That’s obviously a tough matchup so I understand not using him as a streamer, but he should be rostered in 12-team leagues for gamers in need of pitching. The 21-year-old pitched 15 innings for Tampa Bay earlier this season, registering a 19:4 K:BB with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. In his past three starts for Triple-A Durham, Patiño has fired 15 scoreless innings with a 23:4 K:BB. We know the Rays typically get the most out of their pitchers, which is exciting for someone with Patiño’s prospect pedigree. The team might cap his innings for his first few starts back in the majors, but for the rest of the season I see Patiño providing strong ratios with more and more wins mixed in once Tampa loosens the reigns a bit.”
– Brendan Tuma (FantasyPros)

Caleb Smith (ARI): 21% Rostered
“Smith pitching for the Diamondbacks doesn’t sound exciting, but he’s thrown up a 1.59 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP, and 19 Ks in 17.2 IPs over his last three starts. Smith carries a 3.08 ERA on the year and is also striking out more than a batter per inning. He could certainly help a myriad of contenders looking for rotation depth, and at 21% rostered, this lefty could become a useful fantasy rotation piece for the stretch run.”
– Joe Pisapia (FantasyPros)


Thank you to the experts for naming their under-the-radar waiver wire pickups. Make sure to give them a follow on Twitter for more great advice all season and check out our Leading Off Podcast every single day for quick-hitting takeaways and advice.


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