As the first month of the season gets near the end, here are five must-adds off your fantasy baseball waiver wire for the coming week.
5. Caleb Smith, SP, Miami Marlins
Smith went six innings against the Washington Nationals last Friday night (87 pitches-61 strikes), allowing one run on five hits with eight strikeouts and no walks. Through four starts this season, completing a circuit against the rest of the NL East, he has a 2.35 ERA and an 0.87 WHIP with 29 strikeouts and six walks over 23 innings.
As long as Smith has sustainably improved his control (3.8 BB/9 last year), he will be a usable starter in mixed leagues. A big win total isn’t coming, but for what it’s worth he is 2-0 thus far.
Yahoo! Ownership: 53%
ESPN Ownership: 34.5%
4. Nick Anderson, RP, Miami Marlins
Yep, a second Marlins’ pitcher.
Anderson has allowed a run in each of his last two appearances, but he still has a 2.79 ERA with a 20:2 K/BB ratio over 9.2 innings so far this season. He had a 13.2 K/9 rate in Triple-A last year, and with Sergio Romo (7.71 ERA), Adam Conley (6.75 ERA) and Drew Steckenrider (7.27 ERA) carrying bloated ERAs it should only be a matter of time before Anderson pushes into the mix for saves in Miami.
The Marlins aren’t going to provide a bundle of save opportunities, with a 6-16 record entering Monday. But Anderson has value, as a non-closer or a closer, and he’s worth adding in NL-only and certainly some mixed leagues.
Yahoo! Ownership: 5%
ESPN Ownership: 23%
3. Hunter Dozier, 3B/1B, Kansas City Royals
Dozier is off to a good start, with a .304/.410/.623 slash-line, six home runs and 11 RBI. He also seems to have a better approach at the plate, already with half as many walks (12) as he had in 102 games for the Royals last year. His exit velocity also sits in the the upper tier thus far.
Dozier has strictly played third base this season, aside from one game as a DH, but he is also eligible at first base (51 games in 2018). Time will tell just how sustainable his first month of the season is, but overlooked on a bad team Dozier is plenty worthy of a roster spot in mixed leagues.
Yahoo! Ownership: 46%
ESPN Ownership: 28.1%
2. Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., 3B, Toronto Blue Jays
Someone with Guerrero’s ownership rates doesn’t belong on a list like this, but the top prospect in all of baseball is a special case. Since finishing rehab from a spring training injury, he is hitting .412 with a 1.324 OPS at Triple-A with two home runs and six RBI. He is in line to make his major league debut soon, perhaps by the end of this week.
Simply out, Guerrero should be owned in 100 percent of fantasy leagues. It’s worth checking on his status in yours.
Yahoo! Ownership: 95%
ESPN Ownership: 95.9%
1. Jorge Polanco, SS, Minnesota Twins
Polanco has cooled a little, but he’s still hitting .362/.430/.652 (1.082 OPS) with three home runs, five RBI, 11 total extra base hits (five doubles and three triples) and 12 runs scored so far this season. He has mostly hit No. 2 in the Twins’ lineup, but he hit leadoff in both games he played against the Baltimore Orioles last weekend.
Polanco had a notable hot streak in 2017, with a .316/.377/.553 slash-line (.931 OPS), 10 home runs and 42 RBI from August 1 on. Then he tested positive for a PED at the start of 2018, and finished strong (.310 average, .821 OPS in September). Some amount of skepticism can linger, but Polanco is in line to produce across the board as a key part of Minnesota’s lineup.
Fantasy owners have been slow to get on the Polanco bandwagon, but this might be the last week to have a great opportunity to add him and he has to be owned in mixed leagues.
Yahoo! Ownership: 43%
ESPN Ownership: 67.1%