Welcome to the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Waiver Wire. I'm stepping in for Dennis Sosic this week as he is on vacation.
We had some big-name players miss some time due to injuries this past week. Ronald Acuna Jr. missed a few games with an abdomen strain. It officially ended his torrid start to the season as he has gone hitless in three games back, including a double-header today.
Mike Trout was hit in the elbow on Thursday and has missed the last three games. He was off to a great start with six home runs and a crazy .521 OBP.
Speaking of hitless, Madison Bumgarner did something nobody expected and he no-hit the Braves. Yes, it was a 7-inning no-hitter, but I say that counts since that's what our new crazy COVID rules are for double-header games.
Anyway, it's time for some waiver advice. Before we go there I'm going to take this opportunity to remind you to check out my rest of season rankings, which are updated at least weekly.
2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Waiver Wire
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Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Miami Marlins
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Aguilar is vastly under rostered in leagues at 17 percent. I mentioned him on the latest episode of The Fantasy Six Pack Hour. At that time, this past Thursday, he had zero home runs so I get that was kinda the reason why he was not rostered. However, since then he has done nothing but hit home runs, three of them to be exact.
Trust me there is more of that coming. If you look at his statcast page, he is making contact this season to get on base, but he is not barreling the ball as often and not making as much hard contact. I expect that to regress back to the norm, which is why I think the power that we saw this weekend will continue. Just three years ago he hit 35 home runs. Will he do that again, probably not, but 25 home runs is in his range.
The other reasons why you need to roster him is he is going to be a solid producer hitting third or fourth in the Marlins lineup. He also won't drain your batting average like a lot of the power-first first baseman that are rostered. Since 2017 he has been steadily increasing his batting average (exception 2019).
Manuel Margot, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
Another player mentioned on The Fantasy Six Pack Hour.
Margot offers a nice speed/power combo as someone who you can pick up off waivers and plugin as your fifth outfielder. I'm shocked to see him rostered in so few leagues, especially with how many injuries there are in the outfield right now. Maybe it is due to not having IL spots in leagues?
His statcast profile is not eye-popping, but he does have a 46.8 hard-hit percentage which is pretty good. This tells me he is making great contact with the ball so his slugging percentage which is at a career-high of .410 right now could continue and possibly get better.
The steals will be there. I say lock in 15 and hope for 20 with him. He stole 12 in 2020 so hoping for 20 might not even be that much of a reach.
Kolten Wong, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers
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Wong returned from injury on the 23rd and immediately made an impact. In the first game, he hit a home run and stole a base. In the next two, he scored a run in each.
Wong was a cheap source of steals in leagues this season and was a guy who I was targeting for my MI spot for that reason because I thought he would not hurt my average.
The injury along with a poor start to his season hitting .105 led to him being dropped in a ton of leagues. He is now available in almost 75 percent of leagues and with how bad second base is right now I'm guessing you could use the help.
He is going to lead off for the Brewers offense that is struggling a bit at the moment, but is too good not to turn things around.
Mike Zunino, C, Tampa Bay Rays
OK, I'm going to start this one off by saying, Zunino is a points league special. The reason for this is his batting average is below the Mendoza Line. However, if you are in a points league that matters a lot less.
The strikeouts don't help you if those are negative, but his power is legit and for most points leagues that is what counts the most for hitters. His power is not going anywhere with a barrel rate in the 96 percentile.
If you are in a points league and he is not rostered, you better have one of the top five or six guys.
Anthony DeSclafani, SP, San Francisco Giants
DeSclafani is having a hell of start to the season. He was written off after a terrible 2021. However, with an ERA near two and a 9.00 strikeout per nine rate, he is having a huge bounceback.
Some of this success is due to drop in his fastball usage, which was a very negative pitch for him last season. Another plus for him is the move away from Cincinnati to San Fran. So far he has been able to drop his home run rate from 1.87 to 0.86 per nine.
This success is unlikely to continue at this level as his left on-base percentage is a tad inflated at 90 percent. It doesn't mean he won't be a useful pitcher though as his FIP and xFIP are 3.19 and 3.45.
Jon Gray, SP, Colorado Rockies
I get it, Colorado pitchers. Bleh. We've seen Colorado pitchers have success in the past though, Gray being one of them.
Gray has changed his pitch usage as well, limiting the amount of fastballs he throws, which has been a negative pitch for him most of his career.
He has also increased his groundball rate a tad this season and drastically limited the hard-hit contact rate. All of this has led to him limiting those dreaded home runs that sink Rockies pitchers.
Do I think he keeps this going all season? No. But, I'm also one that is willing to ride the hot hand with one of the last spots of my pitching rotation.
Ryan Weathers, SP, San Diego Padres
In his first two starts he has gone a total of 9.1 innings with nine strikeouts and no runs allowed.
He is a bit of a deeper league add, as there is some worry with him. One being its hard to tell how deep into games he is going to be allowed to go. Another concern is he is a two-pitch pitcher, fastball and slider.
Hitters are likely to catch up to those two pitches soon. It's not a guarantee though as we've seen guys like Brandon Woodruff succeed with primarily two pitches.
Take a chance on him in deep leagues and in shallower leagues pick up him to stream at the very least.
Nico Hoerner, 2B, Chicago Cubs
Thanks to an injury to outfielder Joc Pederson, the Cubs called up Hoerner. In his first four games up he has been productive with three RBI already.
He might get sent down as soon as Joc is healthy, but in In deep leagues you take a chance on him. If he produces the Cubs might be forced to keep him up.
Josh Rojas, 2B/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
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Another guy who had a huge Spring. Yet Rojas struggled mightily to start the season and was dropped just about everywhere for good reason.
However, in the last week, he has come alive. Rojas has a HR, five runs, three RBI and a steal.
Just like with Hoerner, since Rojas has second base eligibility he is worth taking a chance on.
Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Baseball content from our fantastic team of writers.