It’s Monday morning and the coffee is already gone. But I think I can muster up enough energy to tell you who you should be adding in your fantasy baseball leagues. It’s time to scour that waiver wire, folks—if you haven’t already!
OF Kyle Lewis, Seattle Mariners (43% owned)
Here’s what I wrote A WEEK AGO in our preseason waiver wire edition:
Consider this me officially drinking the Kool-Aid. Lewis slugged six homers in 18 games at the end of last season, though he walked just three times against 29 strikeouts (a 38.7% strikeout rate). But he’s continued to hit bombs in the restart. And his batting averages across the minors were actually tolerable, mostly in the .260+ range. That jives with last year’s .268 average, and the .254 xBA is tolerable given his power potential. Lewis hit the ball really, really hard last year. I know, hashtag analysis. But his 23.3% barrel rate would have ranked first in the majors, as he managed 10 barrels on only 43 batted ball events. He’s not going to win you a batting title, but he’s tabbed for a starting corner outfield slot and he’s even proven capable enough to handle center field in a pinch.
So I’m allowed to write about him this week just like everyone else, right? All Lewis has done is homer off of Justin Verlander and Lance McCullers Jr., and he’s mostly hitting fourth in the lineup. After two more games against Houston this week, the Mariners hit the road to play the Angels—so it’s an even better week to chase more dingers from the young slugger. If Yoenis Cespedes (60% owned) is available, I’d go that route, first. But if not, Lewis is a very fine consolation prize.
2B/SS/OF Jose Peraza, Boston Red Sox (20% owned)
You know what I like about Peraza over a guy like Kike Hernandez? The pathway to playing time. Whereas Hernandez (52% owned) plays for a stacked and platoon-happy Dodgers lineup, Peraza isn’t overly impeded at the keystone for Boston. After a monster debut (4-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI) against the lefty Tommy Milone on Friday, he was bumped up to the 5-spot against righty Alex Cobb on Saturday...and then to leadoff against another lefty in Wade LeBlanc on Sunday. He’s turned in a pair of 0-for-4 performances in back-to-back games, but it’s not like the Red Sox are swimming in leadoff men—especially against southpaws. He could be a push in batting average while being a plus in runs scored and stolen bases. At the price it costs to add him and with his eligibility, I’m all over Peraza as a MI option or depth piece.
RP Nick Burdi, Pittsburgh Pirates (4% owned)
A deep league play for saves, he looks like a good play right now after his performance on Sunday. Burdi struck out Paul Goldschmidt, Paul DeJong, and Matt Carpenter with the Pirates nursing their first ninth inning lead of the season...only only 11 pitches. Burdi can throw gas, and here’s some propaganda for you—giving the business to DeJong on some elevated 99 MPH heat:
I’m bummed to have missed out on him in TGFBI in last week’s waiver wire run. If he’s still available in your league this week, snatch him and hold him until Keone Kela (COVID-19) returns. And even then, we’ll have to see what happens. There’s a greater than zero chance that Burdi takes this gig and runs with it, in my humblest of opinions. I’d prefer Burdi over a guy like Anthony Bass, who is theoretically filling in for Ken Giles. Maybe that’s just me. I also don’t have any interest in speculating on Trevor Gott (SFG) or Greg Holland (KC). I feel like those situations are even more fluid than Burdi’s.
OF Anthony Santander, Baltimore Orioles (7% owned)
This ownership percentage is a small surprise to me. Santander was always guaranteed playing time in this lineup. And while Austin Hays has entrenched himself as the leadoff man, Santander appears to be a consistent choice atop the lineup as well. He batted second against a pair of Red Sox right-handers, and dropped to cleanup against the lone lefty. He has a hit in all three games so far, and slugged a homer in Sunday’s game. He’s not going to wow you with his on-base skills, but as a depth play in leagues that use batting average, he’s a solid way to round out your outfield.
SP/RP Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers (33% owned)
The best for last, maybe? I don’t actually have any Burnes shares in 2020. Woe is me. Burnes managed 3 1⁄3 innings against the Cubs in Week 1, allowing an RBI single early on, but seeming to settle down from there. He tallied six strikeouts, allowing two hits and three walks. Sure, it could’ve gone better. After all, he wasn’t efficient, needing 75 pitches to get through 3.1 innings (16 batters). But he’s also oozing with upside. A friendlier matchup awaits this week, as Burnes should get a chance to take on the St. Louis Cardinals at home in Milwaukee. Stay tuned, and let’s see if Burnes can increase his command a bit, especially with his big fastball.
These guys were listed in no particular order today. Feel free to hit us up in the comments or on Twitter at @faketeams for any waiver wire queries!