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Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups (Week 9)

Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups (Week 9)

Last week I wrote some of this fantasy baseball waiver wire article Friday evening and the rest beside the campfire while camping for my birthday weekend. The result was a good list of names to target, but it wasn’t the high-quality post I strive to bring you. This week will be much, much better.

I just sat down and opened my laptop to start this after finishing a pretty damn good horror movie. It’s called “Wrong Turn” on Amazon Prime and was full of crazy twists and turns. The ending was good. It was a movie about hikers who veered off the main trail and were chased down by a group of people who lived deep in the woods. Movies like that always have an extra creepy factor for me. Paranormal activity movies are cool but movies with plausible scenarios tend to stick with me more. This isn’t a movie recommendation article, but if you’re looking for a good one and are a fan of scarier movies I’d put it up there amongst my favorites I’ve watched lately.

Speaking of favorites I’ve watched lately, let’s get into some of my favorite fantasy baseball waiver wire options I’ve had my eyes on. This week’s list feels like it will end up being one of the best in a while, so if your roster needs a pick-me-up, pay attention. Here are my top 10 fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups ahead of Week 9.

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Assistant Analyze Moves Who To Pick Up

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups (Week 9)

Catcher

Ivan Herrera (C – STL)

CBS: 22% | Yahoo: 6% | ESPN: 3%

I was on the Ivan Herrera hype train a few weeks ago, fell off, and have since hopped right back on. With Willson Contreras going down with that horrific forearm injury, Herrera’s playing time issues have vanished. In his last 10 games, he’s scored five runs, driven in six, hit above .400 and struck out less than 20% of the time. His 18.3% blasts on contact prove the power he’s flashed is legit. With regular at-bats, he can put up counting stats in bunches. I’d recommend Herrera in every two-catcher league and single-catcher leagues where you’re struggling for production.

Tyler Stephenson (C, DH – CIN)

CBS: 44% | Yahoo: 12% | ESPN: 5%

Also making his second appearance on this list is a catcher who should have been rostered by a lot more people a long time ago. When healthy, Tyler Stephenson has always been productive. Whether it’s hitting for average, hitting doubles or driving in runs, Stephenson always finds a way to make his presence felt. This season has been no different, especially as of late. Before Saturday’s hitless game, he had a streak of four straight multi-hit games. He had an XBH in each and struck out once in 17 trips to the plate. He’s hitting in the heart of that Reds lineup and should be rostered everywhere.

Corner Infield

Joey “Joseph” Ortiz (2B, 3B – MIL)

CBS: 32% | Yahoo: 16% | ESPN: 3%

I put the “Joseph” in there because when you search Joey Ortiz on CBS it doesn’t pop up with anyone, just an FYI. As far as production goes, it’s difficult to find anyone who’s been as hot at the dish as Ortiz has been lately. In his last nine starts, he’s scored eight runs, hit four home runs and two doubles, and made exceptional contact. He’s hardly walking, but any time you can find a guy making 97% zone contact with a swinging strike rate below 10% and he’s turning those at-bats into quantifiable production, you can’t keep him on the waiver wire for long. Ride Ortiz while he’s hot; he may not cool down for a long time.

Luke Raley (1B, OF – SEA)

CBS: 11% | Yahoo: 19% | ESPN: 2%

I’ve been very vocal about my dislike of Luke Raley this season. For season-long purposes that sentiment hasn’t changed much, but in the short term, I think he makes a productive waiver wire addition. If 2023 taught us anything it’s that when Raley gets hot, he gets hot. Right now, he’s hot. Scott Servais has been finding ways to get Raley in the lineup every day. In turn, he’s excelled. He’s batting well above .300 with three home runs, nine runs scored and eight runs driven in this month. He’s also stolen a pair of bases. He’s making much better zone contact which has always been an issue for him — 31% of his batted balls are turning into line drives. It’s a productive recipe. I’m unsure how long he can keep it up, but he’s worth an add while he’s on fire.

Middle Infield

Wenceel Perez (2B, OF – DET)

CBS: 24% | Yahoo: 7% | ESPN: 3%

Another guy gracing us with his presence this week. My rule always has been, and always will be, that I will bless this list with the names I think help you the most. Just because I’ve written about them before doesn’t disqualify them from being here again, especially if you guys slack on picking him up. Wenceel Perez went 2-for4 on Saturday with a pair of triples and four RBI. That now gives him seven multi-hit games in his last 15 starts. He’s flashed some pop, speed, a good hit tool and the ability to score runs. All while hitting third in the lineup most nights. Perez has been incredibly productive and has second base and outfield eligibility which is rare and fun. Please add him so I can stop finding excuses to put him on this list.

Zach Neto (SS – LAA) 

CBS: 26% | Yahoo: 15% | ESPN: 5%

If you’re an OG you’ll remember Zach Neto from my “Must-Have Players” article a few months ago. Safe to say nothing has changed, especially with his production as of late. Neto is a sneaky combo of both power and speed, and has a good enough hit tool to help with your ratios when he gets hot. Although I love him more in a points league, he’s shown the bat is heating up. Five XBH and a 23.1% HR/FB rate will do that. He’s still batting at the bottom of the order, which isn’t ideal, but as long as Neto gets every day at-bats he will give you good production. He’s a dark horse to go 20/20 this season.

Outfield

Alec Burleson (1B, DH, OF – STL) 

CBS: 8% | Yahoo: 2% | ESPN: 1%

I think Alec Burleson has flown under just about everyone’s radar so far this season. Before this season, he fell into my “boring” player category, but sometimes you have to remember that “boring” doesn’t mean unproductive. As of Sunday, Burleson is riding a four-game multi-hit streak where he’s hit two home runs, scored five times, driven in four and stolen a base. He’s managed to turn a large chunk of his ground balls into line drives which is what suits his game the most. The Cardinals seem set on letting the red-hot Burleson continue to get playing time. As long as he’s in the lineup every day he should be in your lineup as well.

Luis Matos (OF – SF) 

CBS: 13% | Yahoo: 3% | ESPN: 1%

Luis Matos sits atop the throne as my No. 1 waiver wire target heading into Week 9. He’s a former top prospect who flashed his ability in the majors last season. Now that Jung Hoo Lee is out for the remainder of the season, the door is wide open for Matos to take over, and, oh boy, has he ever. Multiple hits in three of his five games including three doubles and two home runs. Most importantly, he’s driven in 16 runs in those five games. That’s not a typo. In his time at Triple-A to start the season, Matos proved he could hit for power (105.1 miles per hour, 90th EV) and make great contact (96.7% zone contact). That trend has continued with San Francisco. He’s the biggest priority add in every league right now.

Starting Pitcher

Cal Quantrill (SP – COL) 

CBS: 16% | Yahoo: 9% | ESPN: 4%

If I said the name Cal Quantrill you’d probably have to ask me to remind you who he plays for. When I tell you he’s out in Colorado you’d likely write him off immediately as not worth your time. I’m here to tell you that you’d be wrong. Trust me, it feels just as weird to type as it does to read. In his nine starts this season, Quantrill has six quality starts. That’s the same as Dylan Cease, Corbin Burnes, Cole Ragans, Jared Jones and Joe Ryan. No, I’m still not kidding. He’s gone at least six innings while allowing one or fewer runs in five of his last six. Still not kidding. Two of those came at home against the Giants and Mariners. The rest were on the road against good lineups (Philadelphia, San Diego, Pittsburgh).

His K-BB ratio isn’t great, neither is his 1.32 WHIP, but he’s been effective. He lines up for a two-start week this week and will likely get passed over by many. It could be a fun week to start him and see if the trend continues. Targeting guys who can get you quality starts will always be a far superior pitcher streaming strategy than chasing wins is.

Shane Baz (SP – TB)

CBS: 48% | Yahoo: 26% | ESPN: 9%

Shane Baz has pitched exactly zero innings in the majors since 2022. He’s been slowly working his way back from Tommy John surgery and is on a similar timeline to Walker Buehler, who has been back now for a couple of starts. Baz is working in the minor leagues on a rehab assignment that has gone…shaky, at best. You can likely chalk most of that up to rust as he’s got years of not pitching to readjust to. The last rehab outing Saturday was much more exciting as he walked just two in 3.1 innings, as opposed to the five he walked in 1.2 innings in the start prior. Baz throws a fastball that touches 97 and a slider and curveball combo that both fall off a table.

He has shown he can be one of the most dominant strikeout guys in baseball when healthy (28.9% strikeout rate in his 40.1 major league innings). If he can get back to even 80% of that you have a valuable fantasy asset moving forward. He will return to the Rays’ lineup very soon. Now is the time to grab him if he’s available in your league.

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