Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 20 Waiver Wire: Playoff Push

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If you are continually coming back to reading my article each week, then congratulations to you because it seems like you are still in contention. I hope my weekly waiver wire pickups have been helpful thus far and continue to be helpful for your fantasy team.

This week, I will be honest; I dug a little deep into the waiver wire and had to make a few assumptions along the way. At this point in the season, it seems that fantasy teams across leagues are actually established and are making fewer moves to bolster their clubs. Here are a few pickups that I recommend can be helpful for that final playoff push.

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 20 Waiver Wire

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Hitters

Aledmys Diaz, SS, Toronto Blue Jays (18% owned in Yahoo)

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Ever since the All-Star break, Aledmys Diaz has been hitting for both power and average. He posts a low OBP (.295), which shows how he can be impatient at times. Diaz is a product of a wonderful Cardinals organization that keeps producing players that can be successful in the majors.

The last two weeks though it seems that Diaz has found a nice stroke that can be a sneaky play in fantasy going forward. He has five home runs, nine RBI, a stolen base and 10 runs. During this time, he has raised his overall average from .250 to .261. Last Sunday he blasted his 14th home run of the year and continues to be a force for the Blue Jays in the second half of their lineup.

Steve Pearce, 1B/OF, Boston Red Sox (17% owned in Yahoo)

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I know, sort of a homer pick, but I can’t shy away with what Pearce is doing right now. What a weekend it has been for Pearce and the Red Sox to move further away from the Yankees. On Thursday night, he became only the sixth player in the history of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry to hit three home runs in a game. Pearce adds to the three big acquisitions the Red Sox made at the trade deadline.

Since joining the Red Sox, Pearce is batting .357 with five home runs and 14 RBI in 19 games. Mind you, he does not play in an everyday role. So for fantasy purposes, I see him being the same type of player. I would acquire him knowing this and use him as a platoon type player for either the outfield or first base positions.

Pitching

Mike Minor, SP, Texas Rangers (15% owned in Yahoo)

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Since June 9th, Minor has only given up three earned runs or less minus a bad start on July 15th (five earned runs). Before this time, Minor seems to be having a roller coaster type of season where he would throw a great start and then a horrible start no matter what type of matchup he was facing. It seems like he has been settling himself down lately as I have been tracking him since the beginning of June.

Minor’s last two starts are what impress me the most. I feel like he is very underappreciated in the fantasy world. These past few weeks he faced the Astros and the Orioles. Combined he threw for 13 innings, 14 strikeouts, had an ERA of 2.08 and a WHIP of 0.69. He recorded a quality start and won both games.

Minor is just another fabulous arm to come out of Vanderbilt University. As his first season as a Rangers starter, he will be given a bit of a tester on Saturday against the New York Yankees.

Ryan Madson, RP, Washington Nationals (33% owned in Yahoo)

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Kelvin Herrera just recently went on the DL and Sean Doolittle is still feeling discomfort from a stress reaction in his left foot. Davey Martinez, the Nationals manager, announced on Wednesday that Madson will be the closer for a little while. Ryan Madson has seen time as the closer of the Oakland Athletics, so this role is nothing new to him.

For a team that needs to win now, the Nationals are going to put their best foot forward in all positions. I believe Madson gives you ample enough service to be a formidable force in the saves category. While his overall numbers for the season have not been that great, he has been excellent the past few weeks posting an ERA of 1.50 and a WHIP of 0.33 in six innings pitched. If the Nationals look to move up the NL East they will have to put their faith in Madson at the end of their games as well as you should too.

Deep Dives

These are players who are better suited to be owned in 14-plus team leagues or deeper roster leagues.

Drew Steckenrider, RP, Miami Marlins (8% owned in Yahoo)

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Are you desperate for saves/holds at this point in the season? Were you hurt in your closing department because of the trade deadline? Well, look no farther. Here is someone who I think will be the next closer for the Marlins. Don Mattingly, the Marlins Manager, announced on Tuesday that Kyle Barraclough will no longer be the Miami closer. Drew Steckenrider has been the next best relief pitcher for the Marlins and has been the predominant set up man all year.

 


If you are in need of a 3rd of 4th reliever I suggest picking up Steckenrider. The Marlins haven’t formally come out to say he is the next in line as they will probably do it by committee. In 50 innings pitched this season, Steckenrider owns a 3.42 ERA and a WHIP of 1.28 to go along with 18 holds and one save.


Check out the rest of our great 2018 Fantasy Baseball content.

About Tyler Gettmann

You can follow me on Twitter @RedSox_SF49ers for more fantasy news and advice. Also be sure to like us on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram for all updates from Fantasy Six Pack.

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