Hello and Welcome Fantasy freaks and geeks to the latest edition of the Fantasy Six Pack Waiver Wire.
I just returned from vacation, so did I miss anything? I see that neither Craig Kimbrel nor Dallas Kuechel has yet to find a home!?! Wait a minute! Did Virginia not choke and actually win the NCAA title? Hold on, did I read this correctly? Chris Davis got a hit!?! Nevermind, just one hit to break an 0-for-54 hitless streak, BUT Davis actually managed three hits! That goes to show you that anything can and will happen.
Speaking of, it was great to see Tiger Woods win The Masters for the first time since 2005. Everyone is a golf fan when Tiger is playing! It was quite a sports spectacle and not sure if there is a player in any sport that can draw that type of attention and audience! Kudos to Tiger Woods!
Attention Fantasy owners, it doesn't matter if you are in the last place in your league now, there is a long way to go! They don't hand out trophies after two weeks! Owners need to reevaluate their rosters and discover where their weak spots are, now. I am here to help your team. I came up with three triple plays of players to assist you in upgrading your rosters.
Who are the three hitters that can help your team? Which three pitchers on the waiver wire that can actually help your pitching categories? Which players should you conduct a search for in your available players' section that could possibly be a solution to roster issues? Find out the answers to those questions and a whole lot more in the 2019 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Week 3.
2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Waiver Wire
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Freddy Galvis, SS, Toronto Blue Jays
— Jamie Neugebauer (@Neugsie) April 9, 2019
If you are one of the unlucky Trea Tuner or Francisco Lindor owners, you are desperate to find a player to help you remain afloat until your stud shortstop returns. Enter Freddy Galvis.
Galvis is slashing an incredible .346/382/.654 with four homers and nine RBI while adding an outstanding 1.036 OPS. At least you know Galvis will out be there. He is the only player to appear in all 162 games in the last two seasons.
Galvis has adjusted his batting stance heading into the season. The adjustment has increased his ISO to a career-high .308 and his HR/FB rate is also currently at a career-high 21.1%. The massive jumps have also coincided with Galvis hitting either first or second in the everyday Blue Jays lineup.
The former Phillie standout is worth picking up and owners should ride the hot hand. Galvis is a viable value option. Additionally, the Blue Jays offense will also receive an offensive jolt when they finally call up Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to start playing games at the Rogers Centre. Jump on the Freddy Galvis bandwagon now before it rides away.
Alex Gordon, OF, Kansas City Royals
What do Mike Trout, Cody Bellinger, Anthony Rendon and Christian Yelich have in common? They’re the only position players in baseball with more fWAR than 35-year-old Alex Gordon.
How Gordon has turned back time: https://t.co/Q7siQN7OsU
— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) April 13, 2019
Here is a blast from the past! Alex Gordon, who is the oldest player on the Royals roster, is hitting like he was in the Royals' playoff-contending teams earlier this decade. Gordon is slashing .360/.452/.640 with three homers, 13 RBI and 13 runs scored in the first 50 at-bats of the 2019 season. More impressively, he has posted more walks (seven) than strikeouts (six) so far in the young season.
Gordon, 35, started his resurgence at the end of last season, specifically, when he was moved into the third spot in the Kansas City's lineup, where he flourished. He had a .274/.355/.452 batting line, hitting three homers, six doubles with a .807 OPS and 18 RBI in his last 96 plate appearances. Gordon ended the 2018 campaign slashing a respectable .245/.324/.370 with 13 home runs, 54 RBI in addition to 12 stolen bases.
Once considered the "Next George Brett", Gordon has always been a defensive stalwart and won his sixth Gold Glove last season. His current hot start could end abruptly, however, but Fantasy owners need to ride the hot hand in Gordon's last season in a Royals uniform.
Chad Pinder, 2B/3B/OF, Oakland A's
Lets gooo https://t.co/NI2zVyE6bt
— Dylan Deibel (@DylanDeibel) April 10, 2019
Chad Pinder has established himself as the A's super-utility man. Last season, he became the first Oakland player to start at least one game at every position except pitcher and catcher. His flexibility and his hot bat are making Fantasy owners salivate over picking up the right-handed hitting Pinder.
Pinder is slashing .308/.327/.558 with three homers, eight RBI and 10 runs scored in the first 17 games of the 2019 season. His versatility is appealing to Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin. This should also be appealing to Fantasy owners with the flexibility in their lineups, specifically in daily formats.
Pinder is poised for a breakout this season after slashing .258/.332/.436 with 13 homers and 27 RBI in 298 at-bats last season. He is an offensive force in a formidable A's lineup. He should be owned in all formats.
Trevor Richards, SP, Miami Marlins
Trevor Richards has the fifth highest spin rate on changeups in the MLB. He's thrown that pitch 55% of the time in two-strike counts and has a 22.6 percent swinging strike rate. He's also been getting more swinging strikes with the fastball this year as well.
— Michael F. Florio (@MichaelFFlorio) April 12, 2019
Richards went 4-9 over the 2018 season with a 4.42 ERA and a 4.05 FIP that suggests he’s slightly better. He led the team with 130 strikeouts (along with Jose Urena). Richards had a 1.385 WHIP and was one-of-five Marlin qualifying pitchers to average a K rate of over one per inning at 9.3K/9.
Richards is armed with an 80-grade changeup. The change comes with a 15-inch average horizontal break and a ridiculous 34-inch vertical break (average MLB is 31 inches) per baseballsavant.mlb.com. Per MLB.com. Hitters are batting .089 against him when he uses the changeup, which he uses 39.2 percent of the time. Take a more in-depth view of Richard's pitching arsenal in Samir Qurashi's Player Spotlight: 2019 Fantasy Baseball Trevor Richards.
Richards has been a strikeout stud, putting down 21 batters in his 22 innings of work. However, he has also been a walk machine as well, having walked 14 batters.
Overall, Richards is 0-2 with a 3.57 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and he has three quality starts to begin the 2019 campaign. While he will not provide much in the win category due to the Marlins being a rebuilding ballclub, Richards will provide quality counting stats that should help your Fantasy rosters. Trevor Richards should be universally owned in all Fantasy formats.
Aaron Sanchez, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
Aaron Sanchez was a little wild in the 1st tonight but MAN was this a nice CB to get Bogaerts swinging with 1 out and the bases loaded. pic.twitter.com/JLeVAnRE0u
— Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) April 11, 2019
Aaron Sanchez has struggled mightily with injuries over the last two seasons. However, after offseason surgery to correct a finger injury, Sanchez looked to be in top form in Spring Training. Sanchez allowed just three earned runs in 17 2/3 innings this spring. The resurgence has carried over to the regular season to the tune of a 1-1 record with a 1.69 ERA and 1.38 WHIP through three starts to start the 2019 campaign.
The current version of Sanchez is similar to his 2016 numbers when the right-hander went 15-2 with an American League-best 3.00 ERA. He was an afterthought in Fantasy drafts due to his lengthy and frustrating injury history.
Fantasy owners should roll the dice with Aaron Sanchez. Maybe there is still an ace outside of all of those finger blisters issues.
Mike Leake, SP, Seattle Mariners
Mike Leake dug in and shoved all day. Pretty good day at the office. 💪
📊 6.1 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO pic.twitter.com/BNYxPmD0SV
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) April 6, 2019
Mike Leake is the only pitcher in the Mariners rotation to throw 180-plus innings in the majors last season. Leake is a reliable rotation starter and innings-eater for the Mariners and could provide the same for your Fantasy roster. He has made more than 30 starts and pitched over 170 innings in each of the last five seasons.
The 31-year-old right-hander owns a 2-0 record with a 4.15 ERA and 17 strikeouts across 17.1 innings to begin the 2019 season.
He owns a career 2.1 BB/9 and he won't kill your categories but Leake is also not a league-winner. What he is a solid pitcher who provides average to above-average stats and is an excellent streamer option in all formats.
Leury Garcia, OF, Chicago White Sox
The switch-hitting Garcia is slashing .302/.327/.377 with 10 runs scored and has stolen four bases. Garcia has been the White Sox primary leadoff man this season and exhibited solid on-base skills.
He is a sneaky deep league target for Fantasy owners looking for steals.
He has value in AL-Only and deeper mixed formats solely based on his ability to steal bases.
Jordan Lyles, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates
In other news, Jordan Lyles struck out 10 Cubs today in 6 innings while allowing 3 hits and 1 run, the first run he’s allowed this season. Through 2 starts for the Pirates, Lyles’ ERA is 0.82 and he’s allowed 6 hits & 4 walks. Simply stunning what Ray Searage can do. @rumbunter pic.twitter.com/EHgTU9s4It
— Rox Pile (@RoxPileFS) April 11, 2019
Jordan Lyles won the fifth spot in the Pirates rotation out of Spring Training. However, he missed the first week of this season after being placed on the Injured List due to side cramps.
Lyles has been outstanding in his first two starts with a 1-0 record and a 0.82 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 12:4 K:BB across 11 innings. It appears that Lyles is continuing his excellent production from last season when he posted a career-low 4.11 ERA and his 4.09 FIP was the second-lowest of his career. Additionally, his 22.6 strikeout rate was 5.6% higher than any other season of his career.
The right-hander will not continue to pitch to this level, however, he remains a solid streaming option in all Fantasy formats.
Jeff Samardzija, SP, San Francisco Giants
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) April 12, 2019
The former Notre Dame wide receiver is off to a fantastic start this season. He is 1-0, sporting a 1.62 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP across 16.2 IP in his three starts. Samardzija is finally learning to mix up his pitches, evident in his last start against the Rockies, throwing 29 sinkers, 26 sliders, and 23 cutters, according to Baseball-Savant.com.
The Giants are looking for The Shark to provide five good innings while moving away from strictly a power pitcher. He does own a career 8.1 K/9 which displays his effectiveness but can he continue to his flash this effectiveness?
Fantasy owners should at least look at a Samardzija as a streamer option for the time being. If he continues to produce at this rate, this will significantly increase his trade value. The Giants are already looking at trading Madison Bumgarner and the right-hander looks to be right behind him. If he can remain healthy, a contending team could possibly utilize him to shore up the back end of their rotation.
Check out the rest of our 2019 Fantasy Baseball content from our great team of writers.