Waiver Wire Options for Week 17
Just like that, we see an end to July! We are entering the home stretch of the final four weeks or so (depending on your league’s settings) with teams needing to find any way they can to find ways to upgrade their lineups. Here are some options that are available on the waiver wire in a good number of leagues. Yahoo ownership percentage is in parenthesis.
Lars Nootbaar: St. Louis Cardinals LF, CF, RF (62% owned)
The ownership percentage for Lars Nootbaar has been skyrocketing already, but if he is still available in your league, make sure you get in on him ASAP. Regarded as a core piece of the Cardinals’ future, Nootbar was a disappointment to most who drafted him. Between injuries and underperformance, he found his way to the waiver wire in many leagues.
Those times have passed as Nootbar is finally living up to his lofty expectations. In the past week, he has been hitting .412 with 3 home runs and 6 RBI. More impressively, though, he is hitting over .311 over the past month with 6 home runs, 12 RBI, 5 doubles, and a couple of steals. This shows consistency. The Cardinals will be sellers at the deadline, but Nootbar is not going anywhere. You should add him ASAP.
Randal Grichuk: Los Angeles Angels LF, CF, RF (15% owned)
Since returning from the disabled list, Randal Grichuk has been delivering in a big way. Unfortunately, it isn’t preventing the Rockies from getting destroyed, but fantasy is all about stats, and Grichuk is putting them up.
For the week, Grichuk hit .423 with three home runs, four RBI, and six runs scored. The fact the Rockies stink will limit his RBI opportunities, but he is doing all that is in his power right now. This recent surge has Grichuk batting .312 on the entire season. Although he does not have enough at-bats to be considered a qualified hitter, 64 games is a decent sample size. His average would be tied with Yandy Diaz for sixth best in the league had he qualified, which he is not far from.
News just dropped that Grichuk has been traded along with C.J. Cron to the Angels. The move comes after the devastating injury to Taylor Ward yesterday. Ward was hit in the fast by an Alek Manoah fastball and will likely miss the rest of the season.
The trade makes him an even stronger pick-up. He is in a stronger lineup that will create more opportunities for RBI. With Ward out and Mike Trout not seeming to be close to returning soon, Grichuk will have the opportunity to play every day on a team fighting for a playoff spot.
Luis Rengifo: Los Angeles Angels 2B, SS, 3B (17% owned)
The Angels shocked many fans when they brought Zach Neto to the majors earlier this season, hoping to provide some production from the sorely lacking infield with the absence of Anthony Rendon and an infield full of journeymen. Unfortunately, This experiment failed, but thankfully Luis Renfigo has stepped up in a big way. Neto has now sat seven of his last ten games and looks like he is being relegated to backup duties, whereas Renfigo can start every day.
Renfigo deserves it, as he has been swinging a hot bat lately. Hitting over .300 last week, Rnefigo added a pair of home runs with five RBI, two doubles, and two triples. Most importantly, though, Angels manager Phil Nevin has batted him leadoff in seven of their last eight games. The move has been significant for Fantasy as he sees notably more opportunities than he was getting in the nine spot. Being eligible at three infield positions is just the chef’s kiss regarding what a great add Renfigo is.
Adbert Alzolay: Chicago Cubs RP (60% owned)
Like Nootbaar, Adbert Alzolay has seen his ownership surge past the 50 percent mark but is still available in enough leagues to be a significant waiver wire option. Alzolay has seemingly taken a stranglehold on the CUbs closer job that has been up in the air all season. The Cubs are also the hottest team in baseball right now and are showing no signs of slowing down. Winning more games equals more save opportunities. If your league still has Alzolay available.
Michael Lorenzen (Pitcher): Detroit Tigers SP (44% owned)
A surprising all-star selection for Michael Lorenzen led to public criticism of the Tigers’ starter. Before July, Lorenzen had a 2-6 record with a 4.28 ERA. It was understandable why his all-star status was questioned, especially when his teammate Jason Foley was deemed one of the biggest snubs.
Since entering July, however, Lorenzen has proven he has all-star stuff. He started the month with a three-start 18.2 inning scoreless streak where he picked up three victories. While his scoreless streak did end in his last start in a loss to the Angels, Lorenzen still delivered a quality start where he struck out seven. He ends the month with a 3-1 record with a stellar 1.14 ERA.
An added positive is that Lorenzen is rumored to be a candidate to be dealt at the trade deadline. Being traded to a contender will likely give him more run support than he is getting in Detroit. Snag him now before it is too late. Just make sure you pick up the pitcher Michael Lorenzen and not the batter.
Colin Holderman: Pittsburgh Pirates RP (3% owned)
Has there ever been a more fitting name for a setup man? Colin Holderman has been living up to his namesake this week. He picked up two holds, bringing his season total to 16. He has done a fine job setting up for star closer David Bednar. The pirates don’t win often, but when they do, it isn’t by much, so the hold opportunities are there.
The holds are a plus if you are in a holds league, but his strikeout rate makes him such a strong addition. After not striking out many batters in the first half, Holderman has been punching batters out at an elite rate. Over the past two weeks, he is average 10.50 k/9 over six appearances. Six appearances is a solid enough sample size that you can have realistic expectations that he continues to rack up strikeouts.