This week’s list of fantasy waiver wire gems includes some exciting starting pitchers who are either long-term options or preferable streamers. This could be a good week for managers to fill all of their bench spots with hurlers, streaming aggressively to rack up high totals of innings, strikeouts and wins.
On the hitting side, the answers are less obvious. However, there are still a few bats to grab for short-term use.
Williams has been successful in 10 starts with the Guardians since debuting on June 21 (2.80 ERA, 1.17 WHIP), and he has been especially dominant in his past two outings (12 IP, 1 ER, 22 SO, 1 BB). When a premium prospect such as Williams shows signs of finding his groove, smart managers jump on board right away. As an added bonus, the right-hander’s next start will come against a light-hitting Tigers lineup.
Chase Silseth (SP/RP, Los Angels Angels, 38%)
Simply put, Silseth is pitching too well right now to sit on waivers in most mixed leagues. The right-hander has logged a 1.59 ERA, a 0.88 WHIP and a 31:5 K:BB ratio across four starts since shifting from the bullpen to the rotation, and all four of his outings have come against teams with winning records. At this point, there is no reason to doubt Silseth for a home start against the Rays next weekend.
Summoned from Double-A, Hancock enjoyed a solid MLB debut when he held San Diego to one run over five innings. The 24-year-old should be streamed in most leagues for his second outing, which comes tonight against a Royals squad that ranks 27th in baseball in OPS.
With his third start set to come against the Astros next weekend, Hancock is strictly a one-start streamer in my eyes.
Mikolas has been a fantasy disappointment overall this season, but by removing his slow start to the season, we can see that he has logged a 3.69 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP since May 1. Although the right-hander won’t rack up a lofty strikeout total, he is plenty good enough to excel tonight against an A’s offense that ranks last in baseball in OPS. And Mikolas could stay on rosters until his reasonable home matchup against the Mets on the weekend.
After appearing to be overmatched in the majors for most of his initial 19 career appearances, Liberatore allowed just two hits across eight shutout innings against a quality Rays lineup in his most recent start. While it’s far too early to say that the youngster has taken a step forward, he showed enough against Tampa to get the nod in 12-team leagues for a home start on Thursday against the last-place A’s.
Most of the top fantasy catchers to this point in August are lesser-known names who remain available in the majority of leagues. Fermin is unlikely to maintain his .875 OPS, but he posted an .845 OPS in Triple-A last season and a 1.122 mark at that level this year. The Royals have room to keep Fermin and Salvador Pérez in their lineup, which means that Fermin only needs to keep hitting in order to maintain his recent role. Unlike other hot-hitting catchers such as Ryan Jeffers (11%) or Gary Sánchez (25%), Fermin has a chance to post a respectable long-term batting average.
A left-handed hitter, Jones will be in prime position to have a memorable series when he faces three right-handed Arizona starters at offense-inducing Coors Field at the outset of this week. And his effective run could continue into the weekend when the White Sox use a trio of righties during their trip to Coors. Hitting .267 with 11 homers and seven steals, Jones has the versatile skill set to contribute to fantasy teams in a variety of ways.
Tyler O’Neill (OF, St. Louis Cardinals, 52%)
O’Neill suffered through a poor start to the season before finally winding up on the 60-day IL. But since returning on July 20, the 28-year-old has logged an .847 OPS that better represents his capabilities. O’Neill has the power and speed to contribute in multiple ways during an upcoming three-game series against an A’s staff with a 5.78 ERA, and he could remain active in most formats when the Cards host a Mets team that gutted their rotation at the MLB Trade Deadline.
Hitting .282 with 15 homers across 252 at-bats, Carpenter has been surprisingly effective this season. The lefty hitter rarely starts against same-sided hurlers, and a lack of overall playing time kept him on waivers in most leagues. However, Carpenter’s playing time ticked up during July and has remained on a positive trajectory in August, during which time he hit .395 with four homers and a 1.191 OPS. This is the time to grab Carpenter, who is set to face right-handed starters in each of his next five games.
Among the widely available members of the D-backs, Pham is the most likely to take advantage of a three-game series at hitter-friendly Coors Field that begins today. The right-handed hitter fares best against lefties, which puts him in perfect position to rake against southpaw starters tomorrow and Wednesday. Pham has not found his top form since being traded at the deadline, but the guess here is that he makes an impact this week.