MLB FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week

MLB FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week

This article is part of our MLB FAAB Factor series.

This FAAB article is in addition to the AL and NL FAAB articles that run Sunday. Bids are based on a $100 FAAB budget. Throughout the season, this column will have two goals:

1. Identify FAAB targets for fantasy managers in leagues with Thursday FAAB.

2. Offer a preview of FAAB targets ahead of Sunday's columns.

Fantasy managers in search of saves have plenty of opportunities to find closers on the waiver wire this week now that the trade deadline is in the rear-view mirror, while there are also several starting pitchers and position players who have increased fantasy value now that their roles are starting to come into focus heading into the final two months of the regular season.

Starting Pitcher

James Kaprielian, Athletics: Kaprielian has had sustained success over the last month, allowing one or fewer runs in five of his six starts dating back to the start of July. The right-hander has lasted at least five innings in each of those outings and has picked up wins in three of those six appearances. He has a strikeout rate of just 15.7 percent this year, and he hasn't struck out more than four batters in any of his starts over the last month, but the 28-year-old has been effective at limiting runs over the last month and his rotation spot is more secure after the Athletics traded Frankie Montas. FAAB: $8

Jose Quintana, Cardinals: Quintana has shown some signs of inconsistency this season, most recently

This FAAB article is in addition to the AL and NL FAAB articles that run Sunday. Bids are based on a $100 FAAB budget. Throughout the season, this column will have two goals:

1. Identify FAAB targets for fantasy managers in leagues with Thursday FAAB.

2. Offer a preview of FAAB targets ahead of Sunday's columns.

Fantasy managers in search of saves have plenty of opportunities to find closers on the waiver wire this week now that the trade deadline is in the rear-view mirror, while there are also several starting pitchers and position players who have increased fantasy value now that their roles are starting to come into focus heading into the final two months of the regular season.

Starting Pitcher

James Kaprielian, Athletics: Kaprielian has had sustained success over the last month, allowing one or fewer runs in five of his six starts dating back to the start of July. The right-hander has lasted at least five innings in each of those outings and has picked up wins in three of those six appearances. He has a strikeout rate of just 15.7 percent this year, and he hasn't struck out more than four batters in any of his starts over the last month, but the 28-year-old has been effective at limiting runs over the last month and his rotation spot is more secure after the Athletics traded Frankie Montas. FAAB: $8

Jose Quintana, Cardinals: Quintana has shown some signs of inconsistency this season, most recently allowing 10 runs in 9.1 innings over his final two starts prior to the All-Star break. However, he settled down to begin the second half, tossing 12.2 scoreless innings over his last two outings. The southpaw parlayed his recent success into a trade to the Cardinals, where he should have more opportunities to pick up wins since he'll be pitching for a contender. Quintana's 3.50 ERA this year would be his best mark since 2016 if the season ended today, and his fantasy value should be propped up by his new teammates. FAAB: $6

Justin Steele, Cubs: Steele has had a fairly up-and-down year but has held his opponents to three or fewer earned runs in each of his last five starts. He's been charged with losses in two of his last three outings, but his ERA has remained relatively steady during that time. The southpaw has some strikeout upside, posting a 9.6 K/9 over his last six appearances. Although the Cubs made a somewhat surprising move by not trading any starting pitchers ahead of Tuesday's deadline, Steele's rotation spot should remain secure down the stretch. FAAB: $5

Jose Suarez, Angels: Suarez gave up 10 runs in 7.1 innings over his last two starts prior to the All-Star break but has been much more effective over his last two outings. He's picked up two consecutive wins, allowing just one unearned run while striking out eight in 10.1 innings across that span. The 24-year-old should have more job security as a starter for the Angels after the team traded Noah Syndergaard to the Phillies, and Suarez has displayed some success at limiting runs in spite of his inconsistency. FAAB: $4

Relief Pitcher

Felix Bautista, Orioles: Jorge Lopez was successful as the Orioles' closer to begin the season, but the team plans to shift to a committee-based approach over the final two months of the year after Lopez was traded to the Twins. Cionel Perez and Dillon Tate have also been named as ninth-inning options, but Bautista seems like the most likely option for save chances given his 1.81 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 35.7 percent strikeout rate over 47 appearances this season. He worked the ninth inning Wednesday against the Rangers even though the Orioles held a four-run lead and has converted three of four save opportunities while picking up 13 holds this year. FAAB: $11

Rowan Wick, Cubs: Wick experienced some struggles in late June and early July but has struck out nine in 7.2 scoreless innings over his last seven appearances. The right-hander is the most likely closing option for the Cubs after the team traded David Robertson and Mychal Givens on Tuesday. Wick has converted four of six save chances this year, and while the Cubs could choose to test several arms in high-leverage situations over the final two months of the season, Wick seems like the top option for ninth-inning work. FAAB: $9

Jose Quijada, Angels: Raisel Iglesias was one of the closers with the most job security early in the season, but the Angels' ninth-inning role is now up for grabs after Iglesias was traded to Atlanta. Quijada had the first crack at closing duties following the trade deadline, and he tossed a perfect ninth inning against the Athletics to earn his second save of the season. The 26-year-old has a 27.9 percent strikeout rate this year and has posted a 3.60 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 10 innings over his last 10 appearances. FAAB: $8

Zach Jackson, Athletics: The Athletics have shuffled through a few closing options this season, and the job is up for grabs once again after Lou Trivino was traded to the Yankees. A.J. Puk should also be in the mix for high-leverage opportunities, but he worked the seventh inning Wednesday while Jackson picked up the save against the Angels. Jackson has certainly earned increased opportunities since he posted a 0.66 ERA, 18:5 K:BB and 0.73 WHIP with 11 holds and two saves in 13.2 innings over his last 16 appearances. While Puk and Dany Jimenez should also be in the mix for closing opportunities, Jackson appears to be the preferred option in the immediate aftermath of Trivino's departure. FAAB: $7

Wil Crowe, Pirates: Crowe's ninth-inning responsibilities will likely be more short-lived than some of the other pitchers in this week's column since he's serving as a fill-in closer while David Bednar is sidelined with a back injury. However, Crowe has been effective in a high-leverage role recently, striking out four in 2.1 scoreless innings while earning a win and a save over his last two appearances. The Pirates also have Yerry De Los Santos available as a closing option, but Crowe should be the top pitcher in the ninth inning during Bednar's absence. FAAB: $6

Catcher

Jose Trevino, Yankees: The Yankees were linked to several catchers ahead of Tuesday's trade deadline, but the team ultimately didn't acquire an additional backstop ahead of the postseason push. As a result, Trevino should remain the preferred option for work behind the plate over the final two months of the regular season. The 29-year-old has been particularly productive recently, going 5-for-13 with three home runs, a double, five runs, four RBI and three strikeouts over the last four games. Kyle Higashioka should also be in the mix for playing time at catcher down the stretch, but Trevino should have a chance to see the majority of the at-bats. FAAB: $4

First Base

Yuli Gurriel, Astros: Gurriel has recorded hits in his last seven games, slashing .379/.400/.517 with four doubles, five runs, two RBI and three stolen bases over that stretch. The 38-year-old had regular playing time for the Astros to begin the season, but it's possible that he sees some more days off going forward now that Trey Mancini is in Houston. However, the Astros have several ways to give Mancini playing time while Michael Brantley is sidelined, and Brantley doesn't yet have a timetable to return. Gurriel has been a well-rounded fantasy contributor recently and is worthy of consideration in leagues where he's still available, even if he loses an everyday role at some point down the stretch. FAAB: $6

Seth Brown, Athletics: Brown missed three games in late July while on the paternity list but has started four of the five matchups since then. The 30-year-old has been productive since returning to the field, going 5-for-16 with three solo home runs and a double over the last five games. Brown has worked mainly in the strong side of a platoon this year but is on pace to set career-best marks in several categories, as he has 15 home runs, 44 RBI, 34 runs and seven stolen bases. FAAB: $5

Second Base

Kolten Wong, Brewers: Wong's name was mentioned in trade rumors ahead of Tuesday's deadline, but he'll ultimately remain in Milwaukee for the remainder of the season. The 31-year-old has been an everyday player for the Brewers over the last several weeks and has been on a tear at the plate recently. Over his last seven games, he's slashed .458/.517/.875 with two homers, four doubles, eight runs, four RBI and a steal. Wong has been moved around the batting order this year but has had plenty of playing time and should remain an everyday player since he's staying with the Brewers. FAAB: $8

Luis Rengifo, Angels: Rengifo has had little trouble reaching base recently, recording hits in 15 of his last 16 games. Although he hasn't homered in that span, the 25-year-old has slashed .381/.426/.508 with a triple, six doubles, 10 RBI, four runs and two stolen bases over his last 16 games. Rengifo has been rewarded with a more prominent spot in the batting order recently and provides fantasy value for managers looking for ratios and run production. FAAB: $5

Adam Frazier, Mariners: Frazier has put up multi-hit performances in four of his last five games, going 9-for-19 with five runs, three RBI and two stolen bases during that time. The 30-year-old hasn't displayed much power this year, and his .316 slugging percentage ranks fifth-worst among qualified second basemen in 2022. However, he's been a good source of ratios, run production and speed, particularly in recent weeks. FAAB: $3

Third Base

Miguel Vargas, Dodgers: Vargas is among the top prospects in baseball and impressed during his major-league debut Wednesday, going 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a stolen base. The 22-year-old's long-term outlook for playing time is somewhat murky given the Dodgers' loaded roster, but he should have a chance to earn playing time while Justin Turner is sidelined with an abdomen injury. Turner isn't expected to be out long, but Vargas should be in the mix to remain on the active roster following Turner's return, especially after the Dodgers traded Jake Lamb to Seattle. FAAB: $7

Shortstop

Jorge Mateo, Orioles: Mateo has been one of the strongest sources of stolen bases this year, and he's also showcased some power over the last week and a half. Over his last eight games, the 27-year-old has slashed .276/.300/.724 with three home runs, a triple, two doubles, seven RBI, six runs and three stolen bases. He's hitting just .216 this season but has been a strong source of counting stats. FAAB: $8

Aledmys Diaz, Astros: Diaz has served as a utility man for the Astros this year but has carved out consistent playing time recently and has been productive at the plate over the past week. The 32-year-old has hit .500 with three home runs, a double, five RBI and four runs over the last six games. While it's possible that the Astros' recent addition of Trey Mancini will lead to a slight decrease in at-bats for Diaz, the latter's defensive versatility should allow him to still see relatively consistent playing time. FAAB: $5

Outfield

Trent Grisham, Padres: Grisham has experienced a power surge at the plate recently, slashing .270/.325/.622 with three home runs, four doubles, seven runs and seven RBI over the last 10 games. The 25-year-old has served as San Diego's everyday center fielder for most of the year and has 13 homers, 44 runs, 41 RBI and four stolen bases over 103 games in 2022. Grisham is hitting just .199 but has been a solid source of counting stats for fantasy managers who are able to handle that poor batting average. FAAB: $6

Victor Robles, Nationals: Robles had inconsistent playing time earlier in the year, but his at-bats have picked up in recent weeks since Lane Thomas has been serving mainly as a fourth outfielder for Washington. Robles has taken over as the Nationals' leadoff man over his last eight games and has hit .200 with a homer, seven runs, two RBI and two stolen bases during that time. Although he hasn't had a stellar slash line, the 25-year-old should have the potential to produce runs if he can retain his leadoff role, something which should be easier after the Nationals shook up their offense at the trade deadline. FAAB: $4

Cal Mitchell, Pirates: Mitchell has taken on regular playing time since the All-Star break and has been especially productive over the past week. Over his last six games, the 23-year-old has gone 6-for-19 with two home runs, a double, four runs and four RBI. He's been moved around the batting order but has certainly found more success at the plate following a somewhat disappointing start to his major-league career. Mitchell should have a chance to maintain playing time over the final two months of the season and warrants fantasy consideration in deeper leagues. FAAB: $3

James Outman, Dodgers: Outman has gotten off to a hot start early in his major-league career, going 6-for-10 with a home run, two doubles, five runs and three RBI over his first three games with the Dodgers. Despite the production that Outman has displayed, he certainly isn't guaranteed regular playing time going forward, particularly after the Dodgers acquired Joey Gallo from the Yankees. Outman represents a decent short-term fantasy option for managers in deeper leagues looking for immediate help, but he shouldn't be counted on for long-term production. FAAB: $2

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Shebilske
Jason joined RotoWire in 2019 as his first position covering fantasy sports. In addition to RotoWire, he writes for Sports Broadcast Journal.
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