Welcome Fantasy friends and foes to the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 6 Waiver Wire.
I sincerely hope that all of the Mothers and Grandmothers were treated like the queens they are on Mother's Day!
Injuries are creating havoc for Fantasy managers. With injuries in MLB up 15 percent, Fantasy managers are faced with greater challenges in managing their rosters and daily lineups. The biggest remedy to that challenge is to assure yourselves that your roster is full of consistent, versatile players.
I reviewed available players in less than 40 percent players in both ESPN and Yahoo leagues. I came up with three hitters and three pitchers that will hopefully ease the pain.
2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 6 Waiver Wire
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Brandon Belt, 1B/OF, San Francisco Giants
The Force was with Brandon Belt on May the 4th pic.twitter.com/WMZlc1fqE7
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) May 5, 2021
Brandon Belt is on a tear for the San Francisco Giants. He just hit his seventh homer of the season, three of which have come in his last three games. He struggled to start the season, keeping his overall batting average at .233. However, he is hitting .350 in the first seven games in the month of May.
Belt is currently producing the second-highest barrel percentage with 20.7 percent. Yes, I realize his strikeout numbers are not ideal, and there is a risk, but his counting stats, especially as of late, will provide a safe floor for Fantasy managers.
His current streak should continue and will correct to reach his .262 career batting average. Throw in his two steals and elite OBP numbers, and Fantasy managers have a hitter that should provide a lift over your current corner infield options in deeper formats.
Josh Harrison, 2B/3B, Washington Nationals
Josh Harrison’s 4 games this season:
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 16, 2021
Josh Harrison has been one of the Washington Nationals' most valuable players this season. The Nationals decided quite early this season to make a lineup adjustment that has demoted Carter Kieboom to the minors, and moved Starlin Castro to third base, and inserted Josh Harrison at second base.
Harrison has come out of nowhere to slash .325/.416/.494 with a .909 OPS and 154 OPS+ in 77 at-bats this season. Not bad for a player who signed a one-year deal for $1 million to be a bench player. Harrison has a firm grasp on the starting gig at second base and is a regular near the top of the Nationals' daily lineups.
The former Pirate has been a utility infielder for the majority of his extensive league career. Harrison faces zero competition for at-bats at second base and has been a catalyst for the Nationals so far this season. Fantasy managers should capitalize on his hot start by picking Harrison up off the waiver wire to gain an advantage at a weak second base position.
Dom Nunez, C, Colorado Rockies
Dom Nunez hits a solo shot (1) to cut the Dodgers lead down to 10-5.
— MLB Updates (@MLBNews1234) April 3, 2021
Dom Nunez is a late bloomer and was a sixth-round pick by the Colorado Rockies in 2013. He smacked 17 homers at Triple-A Albuquerque in 2019 and was one of Colorado Rockies Top 50 prospects. He earned the backup catcher job to Elias Diaz this spring. However, he has outplayed Diaz to this point in the season.
He is only .203/.282/.531 but nine of his 13 hits this season have gone for extra bases, including five home runs.
Every hitter who plays in Coors Field could be a Fantasy commodity. With all of the injuries across the MLB landscape, I hope you were lucky enough to escape it at the catcher position. The opportunity to heal your wounds at catcher is minimal, but Nunez has pop in his bat and could produce decent numbers for Fantasy managers.
Cole Irvin, SP, Oakland A's
What an outing by Cole Irvin ? pic.twitter.com/gaSKTUyMTa
— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) May 5, 2021
With veteran right-hander Mike Fiers on the injured list again, Cole Irvin came in and won the fifth spot in the Oakland A's rotation this spring. Irvin was impressive in spring training, allowing just two runs in 18 innings while striking out 18 batters.
Irvin struggled in his first two outings, allowing four earned runs and two homers in nine total innings. However, since those two starts, the southpaw has been a reliable starter for the A's. He has struck out 29 batters in 25.1 innings, including a career-high nine strikeouts in his last start against the Toronto Blue Jays. He has also allowed two or fewer runs in four consecutive starts.
Irvin displays excellent command, posting a 1.9 BB/9 rate during his minor league career, and currently owning a 1.3 BB/9 rate in 35 innings this season. The A's fifth starter is a streaming option for Fantasy managers who are desperate to increase their ratios.
Tyler Rogers, RP, San Francisco Giants
Tyler Rogers, Rising Sliders. ? pic.twitter.com/81l0a7lT0q
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 14, 2021
San Francisco Giants submarine closer Tyler Rogers was mentioned as a possible closer candidate to take over the struggling Jake McGee. Although McGee has recorded eight saves this season, he has also given up 11 hits and eight earned runs in his last six outings. Giants manager Gabe Kapler acknowledged the recent struggles could force him to turn to Rogers to close games going forward.
Rogers has been fantastic this season. He has compiled a 0.92 ERA and 0.864 WHIP with a league-leading nine holds and also contributed two saves.
The right-hander should be awarded save opportunities shortly. He provides excellent ratios and is an outstanding addition for Fantasy managers in save/holds leagues.
Garrett Whitlock, RP, Boston Red Sox
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) April 29, 2021
The Boston Red Sox selected Garrett Whitlock from the New York Yankees in the Rule 5 Draft. Whitlock had Tommy John surgery in 2019 and impressed enough in spring training to make the opening day roster winning a bullpen job.
The Red-Sox 30th ranked prospect started his MLB career with 13.1 scoreless innings with 18 strikeouts in six appearances. However, after that perfect dominance, Whitlock has struggled to the tune of allowing three earned runs and homers in consecutive outings.
Whitlock still owns a 1.76 ERA and 0.85 WHIP across 15.1 innings this season. Hitters are batting only .196 against the Red Sox right-hander while owning an 11.2 SO/9. Whitlock should be owned in Fantasy leagues that utilize Saves + Holds and produce elite ratios across all roto categories.
Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Baseball content from our fantastic team of writers.