Hello and Welcome back Fantasy freaks and geeks to the Fantasy Six Pack 2019 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire.
As we head into Week 4, I started to think of famous foursomes. Here are the first foursomes that came to mind:
- The Final Four: March Madness is Awesome!
- The Beatles-John, Paul, Ringo, and George. Need I say more.
- Led Zeppelin-Plant, Page, John Paul Jones and of course Bonzo! One of my favorite bands of all-time.
- The Four Horsemen: The four-man group of professional wrestlers who dominated in the 1980s and 1990s.
Ok, enough pop culture talk. Let's get into Fantasy Baseball analysis.
Keeping up with the concept of four, I came up with four players (two pitchers and two hitters) along with four deep-dive players that fantasy owners should look to see if there are available in their leagues. Find out who these players are in the 2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Waiver Wire: The Waiver Wire Quartet.
2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Waiver Wire
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Gregory Polanco, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Gregory Polanco is back for the #Pirates after missing the first 19 games of the season as he was recovering from shoulder surgery. He’s set to bat 3rd tonight. pic.twitter.com/NsD7Ya2mf2
— Chase Williams (@chasepwilliams) April 22, 2019
After playing limited games at Triple-A Indianapolis, in which Polanco went 6-for-20, he made his return to the Pirates lineup. In his first game after returning from the IL after season-ending shoulder surgery, Polanco went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and two runs scored.
Polanco led the Pirates in home runs (23) and RBI (81) last season while slashing .254/.340/.499 and stealing 12 bases.
Dwight Smith Jr., OF, Baltimore Orioles
Dwight Smith Jr. just hit an absolute bomb in Fenway pic.twitter.com/QqEly2wtbI
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) April 15, 2019
Dwight Smith Jr. was acquired from the Blue Jays last month and blossomed in Spring Training with a 1.082 OPS. He made the Opening Day roster and has been quite a find for the Orioles.
Smith has just 52 games of significant league experience but does possess a .304 career batting average.
Currently, he is hitting .289 with four homers and 15 RBI across 83 at-bats. Owners in five-outfielder leagues should take a shot on Smith as their last outfielder. He is not spectacular but steady and a good add in your deeper formats.
Luke Weaver, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Luke Weaver -@DreamWeava7- was fantastic this afternoon racking up 9 K's over 5 IP:
- 35% CSW rate
- Elevating his FB super well with 7 whiffs
- CH looked great with 7 more whiffs
Here are his 9 K's pic.twitter.com/DNvCmER60g
— Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) April 18, 2019
Luke Weaver came to the Diamondbacks from the Cardinals in the Paul Goldschmidt deal. Weaver looked excellent in Spring Training by producing ten strikeouts while giving up only two runs and no walks in 11.2 innings pitched.
Weaver, a former top pitching prospect, has a 4.87 career ERA in 242.1 innings pitched at the big league level. However, he added a new pitch, and it seems to spark the 25-year-old right-hander. Weaver is 1-1 with a 3.92 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 24 strikeouts in 20 innings this season, including averaging eight strikeouts across his last three starts.
Luke Weaver is a steamer star. He is a perfect option to take advantage of in favorable matchups. The type of pitcher that winning Fantasy owners love to have on their rosters.
Roenis Elias, RP, Seattle Mariners
Avisail Garcia, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
Avisail Garcia just LAUNCHED one 447 ft, 113 mph off the bat. Bonus two-handed bat flip. pic.twitter.com/aIWbhibMg8
— Ben Porter (@Ben13Porter) April 19, 2019
Do you remember Avisail Garcia? Fantasy owners were ecstatic over him after his breakout 2017 season, where he hit .330 (2nd in AL), 18 homers, .885 OPS, and 4.6 WAR. Almost every fantasy owner was reaching for him in their drafts. Unfortunately, he disappointed during his 2018 season.
In 2018, Garcia posted a .236 average, .719 OPS and 0.3 WAR but a career-high 19 homers while being limited to 93 games due to ongoing right knee issues and a hamstring strain.
The slugger signed a one-year deal with the Rays, who were looking for a right-handed bat in their lineup. He is expected to play right field or DH against left-handed pitchers, against whom he has a career .304 average, .816 OPS, and a 121 wRC+.
So far this season, Garcia has exhibited no ill effects from last season's injuries. He is hitting .286/.337/.519 with four homers and 10 RBI and even stolen two bases. Garcia should be owned in five-outfielder roto leagues due to his power numbers. He is a legit power threat and needs to be added for any owner looking to build up their power categories.
Renato Nunez, 3B, Baltimore Orioles
.347 AVG, 16 XBH, 14 RBI, 1.048 OPS
Dwight Smith Jr.
.289 AVG, 10 XBH, 15 RBI, .839 OPS
.294 AVG, 8 XBH, 16 RBI, .854 OPS pic.twitter.com/r9s6FIYKrs
— Dan Clark (@DanClarkSports) April 23, 2019
Renato Nunez was claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers by the Baltimore Orioles last season. The Orioles called him up late last season, and in 25 games in September, Nunez hit .313/.341/.550 with five homers and a .891 OPS. Nunez is attempting to take over the big shoes of Manny Machado in the Orioles' lineup.
Nunez has been forced to be the DH for 21 of the Orioles 23 games this season. A biceps strain late in Spring Training has kept him out of playing defense in the infield at third base. Nunez is currently slashing .292/.351/.528 with six homers, 17 RBI and 15 runs scored. He has been a considerable gem of a find for the Orioles.
Are you looking for power from your CI slot in your Fantasy lineups? Please search for Renato Nunez in your available fantasy players. He could be a 25-30 home-run contributor out of your 3B/CI slot in your lineup.
Alex Verdugo, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Plenty has been made of Alex Verdugo's contributions at the plate, but he's just as prideful in his defense.https://t.co/6BdjohfgVt pic.twitter.com/UXPBKpNjiB
— Dodger Blue (@DodgerBlue1958) April 22, 2019
The 22-year-old Alex Verdugo, the top prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization., is slashing .333/.378/.986 with three homers, 13 RBI in 53 plate appearances. So why is he not more universally owned?
His fantasy value is limited due to his playing time for the Dodgers. He plays for a very talented Dodgers ballclub who possess many players who can multiple positions, therefore, leading Verdugo with difficulty in obtaining playing time.
The left-hand hitting Verdugo was a hitting machine at Triple-A Oklahoma City. He hit .329 with ten home runs and 44 RBI in 91 games last season. The young outfielder is also very skilled defensively and typically comes in late in games as a defensive replacement.
He is currently the Dodgers' fourth outfielder, but I am not sure how they can keep his bat out of the lineup. He is a clutch hitter as evidenced by going six for 13 with runners in scoring position and five for nine with three doubles when he comes up with runners in scoring position and two outs.
Verdugo is no worse than a great stash candidate. His potential is outstanding and a platoon situation to monitor if he finally breaks through. Verdugo should be owned in NL-only leagues and all deeper leagues.
Jerad Eickhoff, SP, Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies optioned Nick Pivetta, but in many respects, the decision was more about Jerad Eickhoff, who dazzled against the Mets and is finally healthy. @MattGelb: https://t.co/kHMosXt42O
— The Athletic Philadelphia (@TheAthleticPHI) April 18, 2019
The Phillies' pitching is in shambles. The staff has pitched themselves to a 5.10 ERA through 16 games. They’ve also allowed the seventh most home runs in the league, and the opposition is hitting .276 off of them, 27th in MLB. One of the pitchers that were struggling was preseason sleeper candidate Nick Pivetta. The Phillies optioned Pivetta to Triple-A who allowed an abysmal 24 hits in 13.1 innings with a 9.45 ERA.
Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff was brought up and earned his first save of his career this week, striking out six while allowing just three hits and no walks in four innings of relief. Per WIP’s Jack Fritz, Eickhoff garnered 11 swings and misses on his 59 pitches thrown. In his first start of the season, the 28-year-old allowed four earned on seven hits and four walks while striking out eight batters across six innings of work. He took the loss against the Rockies at Coors Field but only allowed only two extra-base hits.
The Phillies are hoping Eickhoff can return to his 2015 and 2016 form. In 41 career starts, he had a 3.44 ERA, 120 ERA+, and a 1.136 WHIP. Unfortunately, injuries got the better of him as we missed a portion of the offseason following carpal tunnel surgery. He was never considered ace material, but he was slotted as a mid-rotation workhorse of the future. With an excellent opportunity and the Phillies offense behind him, Fantasy owners in NL-only leagues and deeper formats could help themselves by taking a chance on Jerad Eickhoff.
Now you know who to pick up in your Fantasy leagues, but now you need to figure out who to drop. Find out who Tom Stewart thinks Fantasy owners should drop in his 2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Drop List