05/16/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/16/2018 19:45
Need an impact arm or bat that can give your fantasy team a boost? Whether you're looking for an injury replacement or someone to stash on your bench, the fantasy waiver wire has a plug or long-term fix to pick up today.
Check out the following 10 players -- all sitting on waivers in many leagues, and all ready to help your team in Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball, the Official Commissioner Game of MLB. All statistics and ownership percentages are as of Wednesday morning.
Ian Kinsler, second baseman, Angels (48% owned)
Kinsler has started slowly in his first season with the Angels, hitting just .209/.292/.304 with two home runs and five RBIs through 29 games. But fantasy owners should recall that it took a while for Kinsler's bat to wake up last year as well, as the veteran batted .223/.341/.357 through May 15 before rebounding to finish the season with 22 homers, 14 steals and 90 runs scored. Kinsler has maintained good plate discipline (13-to-14 BB/K ratio), so his numbers should start to improve along with his .220 BABIP.
Jeff Samardzija, starter, Giants (45% owned)
Samardzija has struggled to get in a groove since returning from a strained pectoral muscle on April 20, going 1-2 with a 6.94 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP over five starts. Command has been his biggest issue thus far (5.8 BB/9 rate, 1.9 HR/9 rate), but he should bounce back if he can approach his career levels of 2.7 BB/9 and 1.1 HR/9. Although the peripherals aren't pretty (6.28 FIP, 5.81 xFIP), fantasy owners should take a chance on the righty in case he can rediscover his previous form as he moves further away from his injury.
Jeremy Hellickson, starter, Nationals (41% owned)
Hellickson has been tremendous in his first season with Washington, notching a 2.20 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP over his first six starts. His peripherals support the strong start, as his 0.6 HR/9 rate, 1.4 BB/9 rate and 2.82 FIP all represent career bests. His strikeout rate has also rebounded from last year's career-low 5.3 K/9 to 7.2 K/9, and he's posting the highest ground-ball rate of his career at 48.3 percent. While he's unlikely to rank among the NL ERA leaders all season, Hellickson appears to have regained his effectiveness following a down 2017.
Dexter Fowler, outfielder, Cardinals (32% owned)
Fowler has had trouble getting himself going at the plate this year, batting just .146/.257/.285 through 35 games. The main culprit for his cold spell has been a .149 BABIP, which ranks as the lowest in baseball among qualified hitters. However, he's remained patient (11.8 percent walk rate) and is still making quality contact (32.3 percent hard-hit rate). He's hitting for power as well, with a career-high 45.5 percent fly-ball rate yielding five homers. The outfielder showed the ability to rebound from a poor start just last season, slashing .296/.394/.529 with 12 homers in his final 78 games after producing a .205/.302/.411 slash line with six home runs in his first 40 contests. Fantasy owners should expect him to do it again.
Mark Reynolds, first baseman, Nationals (19% owned)
Reynolds returned to the Major Leagues with a bang by belting a pair of homers in his Nationals debut on Sunday. He figures to see significant playing time at first base as long as Ryan Zimmerman(back) is out, which likely will be until next week at the earliest. Coming off a 30-homer season with the Rockies last year, Reynolds is capable of providing a short-term boost for fantasy owners in need of power.
Steven Matz, starter, Mets (17% owned)
After missing considerable time with injures in 2016 and '17, Matz is healthy and off to a promising start in '18. The 26-year-old has a 3.86 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP and a career-high 9.4 K/9 rate over his first seven starts and has been even better since the calendar flipped to May, allowing just two earned runs over 11 innings in his past two outings. His command has been a little shaky thus far (4.1 BB/9 rate, 1.9 HR/9 rate), but the lefty has the talent to be an above-average starter if he stays healthy.
Freddy Peralta, starter, Brewers (15% owned)
Peralta dominated in his MLB debut at Coors Field on Sunday, allowing just one hit and two walks while racking up 13 strikeouts over 5 2/3 scoreless innings. The 21-year-old has earned a spot in Milwaukee's rotation with Chase Anderson, Zach Davies, Wade Mileyand Jimmy Nelsonall on the disabled list, and he is scheduled to make his next start on Saturday in Minnesota. After going 5-1 with a 3.63 ERA and an 11.9 K/9 ratio in seven starts at Triple-A this year, Peralta could be ready to succeed at the Major League level.
Matt Duffy, 2B/3B, Rays (7% owned)
After playing just 91 games in 2016 and missing all of '17, Duffy has come back strong this year. He has career-best marks in all three slash-stat categories (.322/.352/.430), though he's not far off from his .295/.334/.428 showing as a rookie during his last healthy season in '15. He's been particularly hot in the past month, slashing .370/.397/.493 since April 13. The 27-year-old can hit for average while also offering some power and speed, and his spot in the heart of Tampa Bay's lineup should be conducive to solid run-production stats.
Jordan Lyles, SP/RP, Padres (5% owned)
Lyles came within five outs of perfection in his most recent outing, narrowly missing out on becoming the first pitcher in Padres history to throw a no-hitter. He's been terrific in two starts since moving from the bullpen to the rotation, yielding just six hits and two walks while racking up 16 strikeouts over 12 1/3 innings at Petco Park. After struggling in seven seasons with the Astros and Rockies, the 27-year-old righty could be poised for a breakout if he can take advantage of his favorable home environment.
Franmil Reyes, outfielder, Padres (0% owned)
Reyes was called up from Triple-A El Paso on May 14 to help fill in with Wil Myersand Hunter Renfroeon the disabled list. The 22-year-old was leading the Minor Leagues in home runs at the time of his promotion, slashing .346/.442/.738 with 14 homers and 38 RBIs in 36 games. Teeming with natural power, the 6-foot-5, 275-pound slugger makes for an intriguing add in most leagues.
Tyler Maher is a fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com.