Fantasy Baseball

2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 2 Waiver Wire

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Welcome Fantasy friends and foes to the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 2 Waiver Wire.

So how is the 2021 MLB season treating so far? Is this the year that Byron Buxton finally lives up to his hype? Did you take the plunge that Shohei Ohtani would explode? Is anyone going to stop the Dodgers? And can Jacob DeGrom get any love from his teammates?

The 2021 MLB storylines are plentiful but at least we are talking about action on the field. Speaking of, Fantasy owners should be looking ahead to next week’s action with our Week 2 Hitting Planner. 

Additionally, I have 12 players that Fantasy managers should add to their rosters as we head into next week’s action. Find out who the top hitters and pitchers owned in less than 40 percent of leagues that Fantasy managers should pick up immediately. Oh no, those players are already owned. Don’t you worry, I also got you covered with players that are owned in less than 10 percent of leagues.

Are there any hitters that can help me with steals? Who can help my roster with saves? Any starting pitchers that I am not thinking of? Find out the answers to those questions and a whole lot more in the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 2 Waiver Wire.

2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 2 Waiver Wire

Looking for a Fantasy advantage? Get the ultimate in-season edge with customized Fantasy Baseball advice for your team using MyPlaybook from FantasyPros.

Hitters

Luis Arraez, 2B/3B/oF, Minnesota Twins

With his multi-position eligibility and excellent plate discipline, Luis Arraez should be owned in more Fantasy leagues. Arraez is currently hitting .381 and hits leadoff for the fourth-best offense in MLB. 

Arraez will also contribute to the runs scored category and is an on-base machine, owning a career .390 on-base percentage. His career of 8.2 K% and the ability to put the ball in play is an ideal asset as a productive leadoff hitter.

He is currently platooning across the diamond, which provides flexibility for Fantasy owners. Arraez should see a healthy number of at-bats and can be an immediate contributor for counting stats in points leagues.

Manuel Margot, OF, Tampa Bay Rays

The former San Diego prospect has never lived up to his promise as being a speedy lead-off hitter. Manuel Margot has shown flashes, including two seasons of double-digit homers and steals while with the Padres, but has been maddeningly inconsistent throughout his extensive big-league career.

Margot has started the 2021 campaign as the Rays’ right fielder. He is solid with the glove, but his primary or, I should say, only attribute is his speed. He has averaged 16 steals per season in his last three full seasons, but his OPS+ has never been higher than 91.

Margot is off to an excellent start this season, slashing .300/.330/.500 with one homer, three runs scored, and five RBI. He is worth a speculative add in five outfielder roto formats where his steals could provide the jump your roster needs to move up a few spots in the standings.

Cedric Mullins, OF, Baltimore Orioles

All Baltimore Orioles outfielder Cedric Mullins did to start the 2021 season is hit  9-for-13 with three doubles, including a 5-5 outing to cap off the opening weekend.

Mullins has now hit safely in all seven games this season while playing center field and hitting leadoff for the Baltimore Orioles. His speed and defense earned him the everyday role, but no one could have expected this offensive explosion.

He stole seven bases in only 48 games last season. Fantasy managers should see the 26-year-old outfielder become a more significant Fantasy asset on top of this Orioles lineup as he begins to start stealing bases.

Look for Cedric Mullins to have the most significant jump in Fantasy ownership among hitters this week.

Tyler Naquin, OF, Cincinnati Reds

The former Cleveland Indian was non-tendered by the club and made the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster as a non-roster invitee to spring training. He provides a left-hand hitting option out of the outfield. With outfielders Shogo Akiyama, Nick Senzel, and Jesse Winker all missing time to start the season, Tyler Naquin made his presence felt in the Reds lineup.

Naquin exploded for a two-homer, seven-RBI day against the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this week. His scorching bat is now 6-for-19 with four homers and 13 RBI in six games this season.

His MLB resume doesn’t indicate that we should exude any confidence that this will last for an extended period. However, Fantasy owners should ride Naquin while he is hot and drop him like he’s hot when he stops hitting.

Pitchers

Yimi Garcia, RP, Miami Marlins

Yimi Garcia was the Marlins’ best reliever last season while serving the setup man to closer Brandon Kintzler. Garcia posted a 0.60 ERA with a 0.93 WHIP and an 11.4 K/9. He surrendered zero homers, and batters hit for only a .164 batting average with a .192 XBA.

With two blown saves in three opportunities, Anthony Bass has lost his closer duties. The door is open for Garcia to be the reliever that Marlins manager Don Mattingly will go for save opportunities. Garcia earned the save this past weekend when he struck out the side against the New York Mets.

Overall, Garcia owns a 1.80 ERA with four strikeouts in five innings of work this season. Fantasy managers looking for saves should target Garcia on the waiver wire this week.

Corey Knebel, RP, Los Angeles Dodgers

A reliever that Fantasy managers should check on the availability is Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Corey Knebel. The former dominant closer for the Milwaukee Brewers is now resurfaced in the Dodgers bullpen.

Knebel was sent to the Dodgers last December after not being offered a contract by the Brewers. He had UCL surgery in 2019, and his recovery has been slow, and he has struggled to capture the magic that made him an All-Star closer.

Dodgers All-Star closer Kenley Jansen‘s struggles have led to speculation of his job security as the team’s closer. Jansen has already issued four free passes with just one strikeout in 3.2 innings this season which followed his postseason struggles last season.

Knebel was impressive in spring training with a 1.23 ERA and 1.091 WHIP, along with ten strikeouts in 7.1 innings. His splendid performance carried over to the start of the regular season. Knebel has yet to allow an earned run in his four appearances, along with earning two saves in 3.1 innings of work so far this season.

Knebel is next in line for saves for the Dodgers, and with Jansen’s struggles, Fantasy managers should be ahead of the curve. He should be added in all Fantasy leagues immediately.

Michael Kopech, P, Chicago White Sox

It seems that we have heard the name Michael Kopech forever because of the projected can’t-miss label on the flame-throwing right-hander. His MLB arrival was filled with much anticipation. However, a UCL injury suffered shortly after his big league debut in 2018 forced him to miss the entire 2019 season. Kopech then decided to sit out last season due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

We have not seen Kopech pitch since 2018, so his return to the mound has created plenty of buzz in Chicago. The White Sox have Kopech coming out of the bullpen to start slow with their talented young fireball. This will also keep him fresh with the anticipation of stretching him out to move him into a starting role, possibly later this season.



Kopech has not disappointed with eight strikeouts with no earned runs in four innings pitched. He has looked fantastic in a small sample size, and now he seems to be trying to pitch instead of just throwing the ball. He has the potential to make a significant Fantasy impact with his elite strikeout ability and excellent ratios.

Steven Matz, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

Speaking of talented youngsters looking to fortify their hype, former New York Mets’ prospect Steven Matz seems to have found a new life with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Matz is trying to revitalize his career after a dismal 2020 season with the Mets. He went winless in six starts with an ugly 9.68 ERA, the second-highest among all starters.

Matz started his Blue Jays career by going 6.1 innings, striking out nine while only allowing one run. The southpaw followed up that performance by going six innings, scattering five hits while striking out four hitters in his second start. His 2021 ERA now sits at an impressive 1.46 across 12 innings. The change of address is working for Matz. Matz should work out for Fantasy managers in need of starting pitching.

Adam Wainwright, SP, St. Louis Cardinals

Adam Wainwright is beloved in St. Louis and ranks among Cardinals all-time leaders in several pitching categories. Wainwright, 39, owns a career of 3.38 ERA and is very effective for the Cardinals last season. He finished with a 5-3 record with a 3.15 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. The veteran right-hander also surprisingly tied for the NL lead in complete games last season.

Unfortunately, he got bombed at his first start of the 2021 season. Wainwright coughed up six runs in 2.2 innings against the Cincinnati Reds. However, he proved he still has something left in the tank in his second start. The former closer turned starter went five innings, scattering five hits and giving up one earned run while striking out six Milwaukee Brewers. He earned the win to even out his 2021 record to 1-1. His current 8.22 ERA looks demoralizing but don’t shy away from the right-hander.

Wainwright could be a valuable piece of your Fantasy rotation. He is a great addition and worth a roster spot to utilize while streaming your weekly starting rotation.

Going Deep

Phillip Evans, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates

Phillip Evans was raking to start the 2020 season, slashing .359/.444/.487 in 11 games before he suffered a season-ending broken jaw in a collision with outfielder Gregory Polanco.

During the second game of this season, young third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes went down with a sore wrist and was placed on the 10-day injured list. This opened the door for Evans to gain at-bats to prove that his 2020 start was no fluke.

In his first seven games, Evans is hitting .391/.462/.826 with a team-leading three home runs and four RBI. How do the Pirates even think of removing his hot bat from the lineup? Hayes is due to return off the IL next week, and with Evans already playing two games in the outfield, there is a road for his bat to remain in the lineup.

Outfielders Gregory Polanco (.130/3.10/.174) and Anthony Alford (.000/.167/.000) have struggled to start the season. There is no fundamental reason that Evans can’t move his hot bat into one of the outfield spots in the Pirates lineup. Fantasy managers can add Evans and utilize him in their CI spot or be patient until he gains outfield eligibility to take advantage of his hot bat.

Tim Locastro, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks placed outfielder Ketel Marte on the injured list with a right hamstring strain earlier this week. This injury has opened the door for Tim Locastro to get an extended look in centerfield for the Diamondbacks.

Locastro is already making a name for himself by having the most stolen bases at the start of a career without getting caught.

He does a great job of getting on base, and in the 2020 shortened season, Locastro went .290/.395/.464 with a 130+OPS and four stolen bases in 33 games.

Locastro will step in and hit leadoff for the Diamondbacks and is currently hitting .276/.323/.379 with one homer, eight runs scored, and two stolen bases this season. He makes things happen and will be a 25 to 30 steal threat and hit for high average on top of the Diamondbacks lineup.

Just like saves, Fantasy managers are always looking for steals. Locastro should provide excellent short-term value for a minimal investment for Fantasy managers.

Jose Alvarado, RP, Philadelphia Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies acquired reliever Jose Alvarado in a three-team trade in late December. Alvarado, 25, owns a career 3.46 ERA over 132.2 innings with a 27.9 K percentage and 0.4 home runs allowed per nine innings over his career.

Alvarado became part of the Phillies’ bullpen mix, including fellow newcomer Archie Bradley and Hector Neris. Neris has opened the season as the closer, but each of their roles is not set in stone. Alvarado earned his first save of the season earlier this week, and while he won’t garner many save opportunities, his versatility provides Fantasy value.

The southpaw has struggled the last few seasons with shoulder injuries and control issues, but he was lighting up the radar gun during spring training. Alvarado was throwing pitches over 100 MPH this spring, and this upward trend should lend itself to allow him to be a Fantasy factor this season.

Alvarado contributes Fantasy value in leagues that rewards holds. Combine that with his ability to generate strikeouts along with the occasional save opportunity, and you have a reliever pickup that will benefit Fantasy managers.

Dane Dunning, SP, Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Dane Dunning was the headliner in the offseason trade that came over for Lance Lynn this offseason. In his Rangers debut, Dunning held the Toronto Blue Jays to one run over six innings, striking out six while not issuing a walk in a start for the first time in his young career.

Dunning is looking to build upon a promising seven starts in 2020 for the Chicago White Sox. The young right-hander posted a 3.97 ERA with a 35/13 K/BB in 34 innings pitched.

Dunning may already be the Rangers’ best starting pitcher. However, how much will that matter with the Rangers being cellar dwellers in the AL West?  His ceiling is a mid-rotation arm, but he does possess enough Fantasy upside to be utilized as a valuable streaming option for Fantasy managers.

Aaron Sanchez, SP, San Francisco Giants

Aaron Sanchez won the number-five starter role for the San Francisco Giants for the 2021 season. Sanchez has not pitched since 2019 after missing the 2020 season due to shoulder surgery.

Sanchez had a promising start to his career, including leading the league with a 3.00 ERA back in 2016. He struggled across 55 starts in 2017-2019 with a dreadful 5.29 ERA and 5.12 FIP. Sanchez made an excellent first impression in his showcase this offseason, hitting 98 mph in bullpen sessions.

His Giants debut was encouraging and included Sanchez going five innings while allowing only one earned run on 74 pitches. He scattered six hits while striking out six batters and allowing no walks.

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Sanchez could be an attractive Fantasy option and worth a roster stash in deeper leagues, especially if he continues his turnaround.


Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Baseball content from our fantastic team of writers.

About Dennis Sosic

Dennis Sosic is from Cleveland, Ohio and a HUGE sports fan including NFL (GO BROWNS!) and college football (GO BUCKEYES!) MLB (GO TRIBE), NBA (GO CAVS!) and MMA. He has been called a Sports Geek by friends and foes alike and that fits him perfectly. He has been competing in fantasy sports, mainly fantasy football and baseball for over 20 years. Please do all of us a favor and follow Dennis @ CALL_ME_SOS.

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