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6 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups & Deep League Sleepers (Week 4)

6 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups & Deep League Sleepers (Week 4)

As rough as the start of the 2024 season has been for mound artists, amid all the pitcher injuries happening in the early going it’s time for yet another special recognition to the amazing 14-strikeout performance by Tyler Glasnow on April 9. The punchouts were the most in a game with under 90 pitches since pitches were first recorded in 1988. Go figure in this month when so many pitchers are falling to, in some instances, significant injuries, one of the pitchers with a very checkered injury history is the picture of health and dominance.

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And that still might not be the greatest pitching performance in Dodger history on that calendar day. That distinction has to go to Fernando Valenzuela, who, on that same date in 1981, threw a 2-0, five-hit shutout of the Astros after being tabbed to pitch the previous day due to Jerry Reuss getting injured doing wind sprints. His Major League starting debut was the beginning of the phenomenon known as Fernandomania. Today, Valenzuela’s No. 34 is retired by the organization.

Surely, those early adopters of rotisserie baseball were likely clamoring to the waiver wire to pick up Valenzuela after that out-of-the-blue performance. They reaped the rewards that season — the second ever on record for those fantasy pioneers. El Toro was as deep a sleeper as it got. Let’s get into some who are deep, but maybe not as unknown.

6 Fantasy Baseball Deep Sleepers & Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 4

Charlie Blackmon (OF – COL): 17%

Is Chuck Nasty reminding the baseball community that the reports of his demise were greatly exaggerated? Hitting .326 with a .954 OPS, Charlie Blackmon is more than showing flashes of his former self. Now a few months short of his 38th birthday, Blackmon is still in the leadoff spot whenever he’s in the starting lineup for the Rockies — he’s only started on the bench in two of 13 games. He’s, at the very least, a starter in games at Coors Field.

Michael Busch (1B, 3B – CHC): 14%

Can Michael Busch just hit against his old team? In a three-game series against the Dodgers, Busch went 3-for-11 with a home run, four RBIs and two runs. He now has dual eligibility at first base and third base, so acquiring Busch could give lucky fantasy managers a find at a shallow first base position.

Blaze Alexander (2B, SS – ARI): 4%

In his last two seasons in the minor leagues, Blaze Alexander went from rookie ball to Triple-A. He hit well and got on base at a clip of .389 and .401 in the past two years. He’s continued that trend with a .345 batting average and .424 OBP in the opening stages of the MLB season. With Geraldo Perdomo and top prospect Jordan Lawlar out with injuries, shortstop may be Alexander’s for a while.

Javier Assad (SP, RP – CHC): 13%

The right-hander is not overpowering (average fastball was 92.2 miles per hour) nor particularly physically imposing at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds but Javier Assad knows how to get people out. He won his first start, then left his second after five innings with an 8-2 lead before the Chicago bullpen imploded to cost him the victory. With the Cubs dealing with injuries in the rotation, Assad could stick as a starter for a while.

Michael Kopech (SP, RP – CWS): 16%

With seven strikeouts covering three innings of his past two outings, Michael Kopech is firming his grip on the closer’s role for the South Siders. By the next time he registers a save, Kopech’s rostership number should have seen a nice jump. Closers on bad teams still get saves. Out of the top five saves leaders, four are on sub-.500 teams.

Casey Mize (SP – DET): 14%

The 2018 MLB Draft No. 1 overall pick can still pump heat with his fastball (95.8 miles per hour). Could Casey Mize now be living up to his advanced billing, six years after he became a professional? After missing the 2023 season recovering from Tommy John and back surgeries, Mize needs to stay healthy and see if all that talent can come together in his age-27 season for a Detroit squad that could be pretty good.

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