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.

As the regular season winds down, a few prospects continue to trickle into the majors with the potential to give fantasy managers a boost in production over the final few weeks of the year, including the Diamondbacks' Jordan Lawlar. A few new closers have also emerged in recent weeks and should be able to provide fantasy value for managers down the stretch. As always, subscribers can use the Discussion section to ask league-specific questions.

Starting Pitcher

Jordan Wicks, Cubs: Wicks was also in last week's column, but he warrants consideration again in leagues where he hasn't yet been picked up. The southpaw has been effective over his first three big-league starts, earning wins in each outing while posting a 2.16 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 16.2 innings. Although he struck out just one batter during Wednesday's start against the Giants, he earned his first quality start by allowing two runs in 6.2 innings. The 24-year-old previously displayed some strikeout upside by striking out 12 in 10 innings over his first two big-league starts, so he has well-rounded potential for the final few weeks of the regular season. FAAB: $10

Jose Quintana,

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.

As the regular season winds down, a few prospects continue to trickle into the majors with the potential to give fantasy managers a boost in production over the final few weeks of the year, including the Diamondbacks' Jordan Lawlar. A few new closers have also emerged in recent weeks and should be able to provide fantasy value for managers down the stretch. As always, subscribers can use the Discussion section to ask league-specific questions.

Starting Pitcher

Jordan Wicks, Cubs: Wicks was also in last week's column, but he warrants consideration again in leagues where he hasn't yet been picked up. The southpaw has been effective over his first three big-league starts, earning wins in each outing while posting a 2.16 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 16.2 innings. Although he struck out just one batter during Wednesday's start against the Giants, he earned his first quality start by allowing two runs in 6.2 innings. The 24-year-old previously displayed some strikeout upside by striking out 12 in 10 innings over his first two big-league starts, so he has well-rounded potential for the final few weeks of the regular season. FAAB: $10

Jose Quintana, Mets: Quintana didn't make his season debut until late July, but he's been relatively effective in recent weeks. The 34-year-old gave up five runs in 5.1 innings against Atlanta on Aug. 23,. but has logged quality starts in seven of his last eight outings. During that time, the southpaw has posted a 2.94 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 49 innings despite settling for a 2-4 record. Quintana doesn't have much upside for wins while pitching for the struggling Mets, but he's had solid ratios and is a serviceable option for those looking for ratios and quality starts. FAAB: $7

Javier Assad, Cubs: Moving back to the Cubs' rotation, Assad had lackluster results out of the bullpen earlier this season, but he's been much more effective as a starter in recent weeks. He's lasted at least 5.1 innings in each of his last five starts and has posted a 1.62 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in 33.1 innings during that time. The right-hander picked up just two wins during that time, but he's been a reliable source of quality starts and has struck out seven batters in back-to-back outings. While Marcus Stroman is progressing in his recovery, both Wicks and Assad should have an opportunity to remain in the starting rotation in the coming weeks – and potentially even after Stroman's return if they continue to pitch well. FAAB: $6

Ryan Pepiot, Dodgers: Pepiot was sent down by the Dodgers at the end of August, but he was recalled to start Thursday's game against Miami. The 26-year-old was productive in three big-league outings over the second half of August, posting a 1.29 ERA, 14:2 K:BB and 0.71 WHIP in 14 innings. The Dodgers have other starters currently unavailable, so Pepiot is a candidate to remain in the rotation down the stretch if he continues to perform well at the major-league level. FAAB: $4

Reese Olson, Tigers: Olson has largely struggled after the All-Star break, but he's put together back-to-back solid starts. Those outings have been against two struggling teams in the Yankees and White Sox, but he still allowed one run while striking out 11 in 11.1 innings during those appearances. The 24-year-old lines up for a rematch against the White Sox this weekend and at least has some streaming upside while he's riding a hot streak. FAAB: $3

Relief Pitcher

Tanner Scott, Marlins: David Robertson unsurprisingly began his time with the Marlins as the team's primary closer but has struggled recently, and the team has moved away from him in the ninth inning over the past few days. Scott has stepped into the role and has performed well, including saves in each of his last two outings. The left-hander has now converted three of four save chances over his last five appearances, allowing two runs (zero earned) while striking out five in 6.2 innings. The Marlins should continue to battle for a postseason spot down the stretch, giving Scott solid fantasy value if he can maintain the closing job. FAAB: $8

Tyler Kinley, Rockies: Kinley made his season debut at the beginning of August and has been in the mix for save opportunities over the past week. He's converted both of his save chances over his last three appearances and has struck out two in 2.1 innings. Kinley had some rough outings in mid-August before landing on the injured list, but it's been encouraging to see him perform well in a high-leverage role upon his return. The Rockies are out of contention, but Kinley still has late-season fantasy potential if he can remain in the mix for closing duties. FAAB: $4

Catcher

Mitch Garver, Rangers: Garver has had several stretches this season in which he's put himself in the mix for FAAB consideration, and he's been a consistent contributor in recent weeks. Over his last 13 games, he's slashed .318/.444/.795 with seven homers, 10 runs and 10 RBI. He's improved his season-long batting average to .283 and should be a solid catching option for fantasy managers in leagues where he's still available. FAAB: $5

Bo Naylor, Guardians: Naylor drew plenty of buzz ahead of the 2023 campaign, but has largely underwhelmed in the majors, leading to discouragement among redraft fantasy managers. However, the 23-year-old has turned things around over the past two weeks, slashing .333/.432/.833 with four home runs, three doubles, nine RBI, six runs and a steal over his last 12 games. While it's unclear whether he'll be able to maintain this production for the remainder of the season, it's at least encouraging to see him garner some streaming appeal. FAAB: $3

First Base

Jose Abreu, Astros: Abreu has also had a disappointing season overall after entering his first year with the Astros with a favorable fantasy outlook. He was eased into action after being activated from the injured list in late August, but has been effective upon his return, slashing .256/.333/.581 with four home runs, two doubles, 18 RBI and eight runs over his last 11 games. Abreu has displayed plenty of potential earlier in his career, and the 36-year-old could be a rest-of-season fantasy option if he can stay close to his recent production. FAAB: $6

Nolan Jones, Rockies: Jones has had encouraging production for the Rockies in 2023, and he's riding a seven-game hitting streak between late August and early September. During that stretch, the 25-year-old has slashed .385/.467/.769 with a home run, two triples, three doubles, seven RBI, six runs and four stolen bases. His recent stretch of steals has put him at double-digit stolen bases on the season, and he has plenty of well-rounded potential down the stretch. FAAB: $6

Gabriel Arias, Guardians: Arias has been on a tear at the plate over the past week and a half, and he's put together four multi-hit performances over the last nine games. During that time, he's hit .324 with a home run, five doubles, eight runs and five RBI. The 23-year-old wasn't a prolific contributor for the Guardians before his recent hot streak, so his rest-of-season potential is murky. However, he at least has streaming appeal, especially for those in deeper leagues. FAAB: $2

Second Base

DJ LeMahieu, Yankees: LeMahieu's overall production has declined over the past few seasons, but he's in the midst of a power surge that has stretched over the past two weeks. Across his last 14 games, he's slashed .278/.371/.685 with seven home runs, a double, 10 runs and nine RBI. The 35-year-old has served as the Yankees' leadoff man since mid-August, and he's been a fantasy asset in most categories recently. If he can maintain some sort of that production this month, he could provide a late-season boost for fantasy managers. FAAB: $5

Mauricio Dubon, Astros: Dubon saw limited playing time in late August, but has seen an uptick in at-bats in recent weeks and has responded with solid production at the plate. Over his last 10 games, he's hit .314 with three home runs, two doubles, seven runs, seven RBI and a stolen base. The 29-year-old still doesn't have the consistency on a game-by-game basis to make him a promising rest-of-season player, but he at least warrants some streaming consideration for those in deeper leagues. FAAB: $2

Third Base

Jorge Polanco, Twins: Polanco's season-long counting stats have been hampered by several stints on the injured list, but he's been a reliable contributor for the Twins recently. Across his last 11 games, he's slashed .333/.420/.690 with four home runs, three doubles, 12 RBI, 10 runs and a stolen base. Polanco has overcome several absences this season en route to becoming a solid fantasy option for the final few weeks of the season. FAAB: $6

Jake Burger, Marlins: Burger has showcased plenty of power this season and has warranted FAAB consideration on multiple occasions. His slugging rate has remained consistent since being traded to Miami, and he already has a career-high 31 home runs in 2023. The 27-year-old has been especially productive recently, hitting .261 with four homers, nine runs and five RBI over the last six games. Burger tends to have somewhat inconsistent output in most areas, but can provide late-season value for fantasy managers in search of power down the stretch. FAAB: $5

Shortstop

Jordan Lawlar, Diamondbacks: Lawlar is among the top prospects in baseball, and he'll be available to make his major-league debut Thursday against the Cubs. The 21-year-old had a dominant season in the minors between the Double-A and Triple-A clubs, slashing .278/.378/.494 with 20 homers, 95 runs, 67 RBI and 36 steals over 105 games. The Diamondbacks are pushing for a spot in the postseason, but Lawlar should have an opportunity to see regular at-bats and has plenty of well-rounded fantasy upside if he can avoid growing pains early in his big-league career. FAAB: $18

J.P. Crawford, Mariners: Crawford has had some ups and downs throughout the 2023 campaign but is hitting his stride in recent weeks. He's recorded hits in 10 of the last 12 games, slashing .370/.482/.739 with five home runs, two doubles, 15 runs, 11 RBI and a steal. The shortstop missed time in August due to a concussion, but has been back in his role as the everyday leadoff man upon his return, and he's been a force at the plate as the Mariners battle for a playoff spot. FAAB: $7

Outfield

Nelson Velazquez, Royals: Velazquez is riding a power surge in which he has six extra-base hits over the last six games. During that time, he's hit .333 with four home runs, two doubles, nine RBI and six runs. The 24-year-old spent the middle of the season in the minors, but was called up by the Royals in early August, shortly after being acquired from the Cubs. Velazquez has had regular playing time recently and warrants streaming consideration for those in deeper leagues. FAAB: $3

Jesus Sanchez, Marlins: Sanchez's .274 batting average this year is the best of his career, and he's reached base reliably over the past week. Across the last seven games, he's slashed .455/.538/.818 with two homers, two doubles, six runs and five RBI. The 25-year-old has some potential for run production while hitting in the heart of the Marlins' order and is at least a streaming option given his recent success at reaching base safely. FAAB: $3

Will Brennan, Guardians: Brennan doesn't hit for much power, but he's been a reliable on-base option for the Guardians in recent matchups. He's recorded hits in eight of his last 10 games and has had multi-hit performances in five of his last seven contests. Over his 10-game stretch, he's hit .424 with two doubles, five RBI, three runs and two stolen bases. The 25-year-old doesn't have much upside in counting stats, but is a worthwhile streaming consideration for those looking for help with ratios, especially in deeper formats. FAAB: $2

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason
Jason joined RotoWire in 2019. In 2023, he was named the FSWA Player Notes Writer of the Year. In addition to RotoWire, Jason writes for the Sports Broadcast Journal. In 2024, he was dubbed "The Polish Parlay" for his WNBA hot betting streak.
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