It’s that time of the week again! Time to get your waiver wire claims in and replace those lackluster players who continue to make you miserable. There are plenty of great options to choose from this week so let’s get right to it.
All players listed are rostered in less than 50% of Yahoo Leagues and are broken down into categories where they’re most likely to help you. Many will contribute across multiple categories, but their primary contributions should come under the title in which they are listed.
Without further ado, here are this week’s waiver wire adds based on category!
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Fantasy Baseball Category Pickups
It’s not every week I get to post about a catcher (most of the good ones are already taken), but when a backstop’s been raking as Alvarez has, he deserves the praise. The top-rated prospect to begin the season has been on a tear of late, performing as many expected. The 21-year-old is nine for his last 24 (.375) with three home runs, seven RBI, and zero strikeouts.
Described by FanGraphs as being built like a fullback, the 5-10, 235-pound catcher has found his groove and is driving the ball consistently with authority. The zero strikeouts are what stands out most to me as well as the increase in launch angle. He should be starting in all league types.
It’s difficult to trust DeJong long term, but in the interim, he could be valuable. Few have been hotter than the Cardinals shortstop over the past two weeks. DeJong now has eight homers, 21 runs, 18 RBI, and three steals over just 93 at-bats. He has gone hitless over the last three games, but the Cardinals are set to face off against KC and Pittsburgh this week, so his hot streak could continue.
Hall’s been out all year with a thumb injury, but he’s scheduled to begin a rehab assignment this week. The slugging first baseman connected with a 17.4 barrel % and a 91.4 avg exit velocity last year. He’s also a dead pull hitter, which should work in his favor this season. Once he’s back fully healthy, expect his rostership to shoot up dramatically.
Brown is back, and he’s already hitting dingers and driving in runs. Oakland has been terrible all season, but that’s not to say they don’t have a few valuable fantasy pieces. Batting behind Esteury Ruiz, Ryan Noda (.394 OBP), and their biggest standout Brent Rooker, Smith is in a great position to drive in runs. He totaled 73 last year over 500 at-bats and has already knocked in five in five days since returning from the IL. Brown is worth a look if you’re lacking homers or RBIs. He also stole 11 bases last year.
Luke Raley steals bases!? That’s right, the powerful lefty has already swiped six bags, to go along with his impressive 10 home runs. The Rays are in full-send mode on the base paths this year, leading the MLB with nearly 70 thefts already. With Tampa running so often, it’s not a huge surprise to see Raley and his top 22% sprint speed being aggressive on the bases. Raley has really joined the party of late snagging five bags over the last ten days.
The slugging 28-year-old was a monster in the Minor Leagues and is now finally getting to showcase just what he can do at the Major League level. He does sit versus some lefties, but in daily leagues, he’s worth adding.
Arizona just re-called McCarthy, and for good reason. The D’backs outfielder was tearing it up in Triple-A, mashing to the tune of .333/.419/.533. McCarthy got off to a poor start to begin the year, but hopefully, after a little time spent on the farm, his confidence has been built up again. He can do a bit of everything, but with elite speed and an everyday spot in the lineup, McCarthy should be a strong candidate to score plenty of runs. He scored 53 times over 321 at-bats last year.
Filling in for a handful of injured starters, Gurriel has been thrust into an everyday role for the Fins. Putting up numbers like it’s 2021, the 38-year-old first baseman is boasting a .304/.344/.455 triple slash line with three home runs and three steals. He’s been especially hot of late, gathering a ridiculous 11 hits over his last 17 at-bats. Gurriel hit .319 with a .846 OPS in 2021 when he won the AL batting title, so it’s not like he hasn’t done it before.
Maybe watching his little brother rake in Arizona got the competition in him brewing, and it helped increase his output. Whatever the case may be, Gurriel looks locked in right now and could be a great asset for those seeking batting average.
And for those in deeper leagues, Garcia may be worth a look. He’s hit well lately, collecting 12 hits over his last 28 at-bats (.429), and he also has four steals. The Royals’ infielder is a nice injury replacement at MI for those lacking batting average in 14+ leagues.
Shuster was a sleeper coming into the season after an outstanding camp. Unfortunately, he didn’t produce once the games counted and was quickly demoted after two bad outings. Since returning to the starting rotation, Shuster has faired far better, limiting opponents to just seven hits and six walks over 16.2 innings (0.802 WHIP). His slider and changeup have been very effective of late, and now he gets to take on Oakland for his next start. He’s a must-start in that matchup for deeper leagues.
Miller looked sharp in his Major League debut, limiting the Braves on the road to just one run over five innings. The Dodgers’ top pitching prospect averaged nearly 100 miles per hour on his fastball, yet he only threw it 30% of the time. Mixing in his four other offerings, the Braves hitters were left scratching their heads as they only collected one hit off a non-heater. Having to protect against 100 mph while fighting off four other pitches is going to be a tough task for any offense to conquer.
Bradley hasn’t been great lately, allowing too many hits and balls to reach the seats. He’s still averaging better than a strikeout per inning, however, K’ing 11 batters over his last nine innings. The highly touted prospect has racked up 34 strikeouts already in his young career over just 24.1 innings. He also rarely offers a free pass allowing just 1.48/9.
I’d probably still take Tanner Bibee (on Cleveland), who is still widely available, but Bradley does pitch for the Rays and can reach triple digits. So if you’re scouring for Ks, he is someone to consider strongly.
Kopech had a rough April, but once the calendar flipped to May, he’s been one of the better pitchers in the American League. The hard-throwing righty didn’t surrender a run in either of his last two outings while pitching deep into the game. Over those 15 scoreless innings, Kopech struck out 19 batters while only allowing three hits and one walk. He also earned the victory on the 7th in a blowout win versus Cincinnati. For May, Kopech’s sporting a stellar 1.99 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, with a .126 BAA. He’s got three wins for the month and is a great candidate for more, with the Angels and Tigers up next.
Finnegan looked to be in danger of losing his job, so he was dropped in nearly 10% of leagues. He came back with a vengeance this week, however, stringing together 5.2 scoreless innings while only allowing three batters to reach base. The third-year closer collected three saves and two holds while his main competition for saves, Hunter Harvey, blew the lead in his latest outing. The Nationals don’t win a ton of games, but when they do, they often come by three runs or less. Finnegan is rostered in the majority of deeper leagues, but he could be a nice pickup for those looking for saves in shallow ones.
Floro is another arm to consider for those in search of saves. With AJ Puk on the shelf with an elbow injury, Floro has filled in nicely, converting all four of his latest save opportunities. Puk is already throwing bullpen sessions, though, so it may not be his job for long.
Austin Lowell is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Austin, check out his archive.