Happy Fourth of July weekend to my fellow Americans, commemorating the day we officially broke free of the tyrannical, unjust, and less attractive British [Editor’s note: I’ll give you tyranny and unjust, but strong disagree about less attractive]. Sunday represents 245 years of freedom but also another fantasy baseball waiver processing.
As such, let’s dive in.
Waiver Wire Adds
I’ll keep typing Jonathan India‘s name until he’s 70% owned. 3.7 fantasy points per game in last 30 days.
Willy Adames has been great since being traded to the Brewers. Since the change in scenery, Adames is hitting .277 with a .868 OPS and .373 wOBA over 154 plate appearances. Miller Park is known as a hitters’ park and I saw that Adames mentioned he did not like hitting in the Trop. Adames is still less than 30% owned and I mention an over-owned shortstop in the drop section below that might be worth swapping Adames for.
Hunter Renfroe for home-run needs.
It’s worth mentioning that since Keston Hiura got recalled again on 23 June, he’s batting .296 with a 1.061 OPS. The strikeout rate is still pretty high, but maybe with the ban on sticky substances, he’ll have a better time picking up pitches with less spin on them and can make something of it.
Going to take a quick victory lap on the Tarik Skubal call from last week. 7.0 IP, 9K, 1 ER against the Astros. His next start is Saturday versus the White Sox, another tough test. He’s still less than 40% owned in ESPN leagues, give him an ocular pat-down.
Zach Thompson (Mia)
Since being called up and making his way into the Marlins’ rotation, Thompson has put together three straight good outings, glancing over his first MLB start at Boston. Through four starts, Thompson boasts a 1.50 ERA and 12.5 K/9. Looking under the hood, as I always urge you all to do, things still look great. His K-BB%, SIERA, SwStr%, and CSW% are ALL above league average. Thompson is only about 31% owned, and I just added him to my watch list in all my leagues where he’s available.
Getting two starts in one matchup week from a pitcher can be a big advantage, especially in points leagues. Here’s who is currently lined up to get two turns next week, skipping the must-start guys.
I’m turning this section into a nice little graphic for you because that’s how much I care about you. Red-highlighted opposing team wOBA means top-five in wOBA, thus not ideal, and green-highlighted means bottom-five in wOBA, thus being an ideal matchup. No at Colorado starts for anyone to be aware of this week.
If you’re still scouring for closers in categories leagues at this point, I’m sorry.
In shallower leagues, Jordan Romano is less than 60% owned and appears to be back on top as the Blue Jays’ closer.
It might be time to move on from these guys for a higher upside waiver wire add.
Jean Segura – I think the best production from Segura this season is behind us. Unless you’re really struggling for batting average in a categories league, I’d look to move on from Segura. His 2021 BABIP is 57 points higher than his career BABIP suggesting some potential negative regression off his .325 average. His xwOBA is 40 points below his wOBA, so his batted ball data is suggesting he’s overperformed a bit thus far.
Austin Riley – I was pretty excited that Riley might have settled in and found his bat in his third year and added him in a couple of leagues earlier this year, but now I’m wondering if he just had a hot two-month stretch. In deeper leagues and in Dynasty leagues he’s definitely a hold, but in shallow leagues, I’d be fine moving on. For reference I’m considering slotting Franmil Reyes in my utility slot once he comes of the IL, moving Ke’Bryan Hayes to 3B and dropping Riley.
Gleyber Torres – earmuffs Yankees fans. I think collectively we gave Gleyber a pass on his 2020 performance because of the usual suspects of the COVID, weird season. Personally, I did not give him a pass for saying he put on some quarantine weight and came into the season out of shape, you’re a pro athlete and your body is your job. No excuses.
But if we go back to August of 2019 and look at Gleyber’s last 600 plate appearances, which is what we usually use to normalize a full season of work, here are what his numbers look like.
.249 avg, .721 OPS, .315 wOBA, 98 wRC+, with 18 home runs
That stat line is a below-average player. He is still 85% owned, so the name value is carrying him a long way in the fantasy world right now. Strip the name away and that’s an easy drop for me.
Kenta Maeda – Maeda may just be broken. He’s 33 years old now, so no young chap. This year he currently sits at a 5.56 ERA with less than a strikeout per inning. Peripherals of 4.43 SIERA and 12.8% swinging-strike rate don’t look good either. I’m officially moving on from Maeda.
Matt Manning – I normally wouldn’t write about dropping someone who’s less than 10% owned, but for whatever reason going into his last start, I saw a lot of chatter on the Twitterverse about owning and starting Matt Manning. I just ask, why? His 4.7% swinging-strike rate tells me he misses bats at an impossibly low rate. His 5.74 SIERA tells me that he will get blown up more times than not. I watched some of his start against the artist formerly known as the Indians, and his delivery exposes the ball for a long time and he throws the flattest looking pitches I might have ever seen. Matt, if you’re reading this I apologize but drop him. He should be 1% owned and that’s in 24-team dynasty leagues only.
Buy and Sell
Buy low hitters
I know all three of these guys are big-name, highly owned guys, so you might need to really buy high instead of buy low. But the upside is still much higher than how they’ve performed thus far and the underlying numbers suggest that even better days could be ahead so I’d buy high on all of them.
Buy low pitchers
This is the last time I’m putting Heaney on here, if he gets blown up one more time he’s losing his privilege of being called a buy-low opportunity.
Sell high hitters
All three of the above show potential negative wOBA regression based on their xwOBAs as well as potential OPS regression based on Steamer projections. They also all strike out higher than the league average which removes a high floor of on-base potential for them.
Sell high pitchers
Don’t be fooled by ERA.
Photo by John Fisher