Welcome to the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 6 Waiver Wire.
A trend for the Waiver Wire continues as another young pitcher makes the list. Bryce Miller is a hot commodity after his spectacular MLB debut. Former second-overall pick Nick Senzel is the top batter to add this week. Also discussed is the New York Yankees' closer situation and my pick on who should win the job.
Along with these three, two exciting rookies are discussed on the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 6 Waiver Wire, and one outfielder who may finally be Fantasy relevant in 12-team leagues.
For our All-Access Members, an additional 28 batters and 23 pitchers are listed and discussed, that will help you stay ahead of your rivals and win the week!
2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 6 Waiver Wire
Top Waiver Adds
Nick Senzel, OF/3B, Cincinnati Reds
That's NL Player of the Week, Nick Senzel. pic.twitter.com/w14CYiBWxJ
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 2, 2023
My favorite Waiver Wire add on the batting side this week is Nick Senzel. The former top-10 prospect from 2019 may finally be living up to the hype. It's a big IF, but if Senzel can stay healthy, he will undoubtedly set career highs in almost every batting category. It wouldn't be surprising if Senzel even finished as a top-35 outfielder on the season.
Senzel missed the first 15 games of the season, but since returning, he has played great. He's slashing .288/.356/.455 with three home runs, two doubles, 14 runs, 12 RBI, and two stolen bases.
Senzel hasn't been hitting the ball hard (31.5% hard-hit rate), but he is spreading it around and hitting it to the open field. This has led to an outstanding .302 expected batting average. On top of the xBA, Senzel is striking out just 16.4% of the time. This is much better than the league average of 21.8%.
These stats show that Senzel's early season success is sustainable. Senzel is a must-add player in every Fantasy Baseball league due to these stats and his prospect pedigree from a few seasons ago.
Bryce Miller, SP, Seattle Mariners
Bryce Miller's stellar debut was more impressive than you think. ?
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) May 3, 2023
One trend in the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire articles has been the inclusion of young starting pitchers. It was Bailey Ober and Mitch Keller in Week 5. Mason Miller in Week 4, and Taj Bradley in Week 3. You get the point, we love young starting pitchers on the Waiver Wire, and I love Bryce Miller more than any of these other guys.
If you missed Miller's MLB debut, here is a refresher. Miller allowed two hits and one earned run in six innings with ten strikeouts. The naysayers will say this is a fluke because it was against the Oakland Athletics. They'll say anybody can do this to the Oakland Athletics. While this might be true, I am sold on Miller.
According to Baseball Savant, he has four pitches anchored by his dominant fastball, which has more rise than any other fastball in the game (4.7 inches above average.) This will force batters to swing under the ball creating lots of popups and strikeouts.
Miller has a 70% under rate. Under rate records the number of balls that batters make contact with but at the bottom of the ball (the league average is 24.6%.) Miller also has a 10% popup rate which records the number of popups he forces (the league average is 7.1%). I doubt Miller will sustain the under rate, but I believe he can maintain the popup rate and end the season leading MLB in both statistics.
The next test for Miller will come against the Houston Astros on Tuesday, May 9. Over the last seven days, the Astros have the third-worst OPS (.569) and the fourth fewest runs (14.) Despite their struggles, the Astros are always a tough matchup, especially for a rookie, but Miller should remain in Fantasy lineups for this match.
Matt Mervis, 1B, Chicago Cubs
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 5, 2023
One of the Chicago Cubs' top prospects just received the call to the big leagues. Matt Mervis debuted yesterday (Friday, May 5) and went 1-for-4 with one RBI. He batted seventh in the order.
Mervis is a must-add in Fantasy Baseball due to his immense power potential. If he starts swinging a hot bat, he'll bat in the heart of the Cubs lineup in no time. Batting next to Cody Bellinger, Ian Happ, and Seiya Suzuki will offer plenty of run-scoring opportunities for the rookie.
Mervis started the season in Triple-A, slashing .286/.402/.560 with six home runs, seven doubles, 27 runs, and 27 RBI in just 24 games. The most impressive stat here is the .402 on-base percentage. Everybody knows about his power, but if Mervis can get on base this often, he'll be one of the top first basemen in baseball.
It's clear that Mervis has outgrown the minor leagues, but like most rookies, there could be some struggles at first. If you add Mervis, exercise patience with the rookie. With his potential, it'll be worth the wait.
Ezequiel Tovar, SS, Colorado Rockies
Fantasy managers fell in love with Ezequiel Tovar this draft season, and he was a highly touted rookie to grab in the mid-to-late rounds. After his struggles in the first month of the season, Tovar's roster percentage fell dramatically and, according to FantasyPros, is now at 17%. Now is the time to strike gold on the rookie shortstop.
|First 19 Games
|Last 10 Games
The tear that Tovar has been on in these last ten games is what everybody expected before the season. Let's take a look at some of his Statcast numbers as well.
|First 19 Games
|Last 10 Games
After looking at these numbers, we see that Tovar has been getting more aggressive at the plate. While it has hurt his strikeout and walk rates, it has drastically helped his barrel and hard-hit rates. The strikeouts are concerning, but it will be worth it if it helps his overall production. I recently dropped Brendan Donovan for Tovar in a 14-team league and couldn't be happier with the move (although I may look to get Donovan back if he can return to form.)
Michael King, RP, New York Yankees
Michael King, Filth. ?? pic.twitter.com/9cH4klVi75
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 3, 2023
There is a new closer in the Bronx. At least, there should be after Clay Holmes continues to struggle. Michael King is now the guy to roster in Fantasy Baseball. He's recorded a save in each of his last two appearances.
On the other hand, Holmes hasn't recorded a save since April 12. In this same stretch, he's recorded two losses and two blown saves. Despite the struggles, New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone has backed Holmes up and continues to use him in high-leverage situations. However, King has pitched better and should stick as the closer for the Yankees.
Looking at the stats, I believe King should be the full-time closer. King is a must-add in Saves+Holds leagues, but he is also worth consideration in leagues that only count saves. Holmes can also safely be dropped for now.
Lane Thomas, OF, Washington Nationals
3-run bomb for Lane Thomas! pic.twitter.com/llyrRFaVVu
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) May 4, 2023
Lane Thomas is the last recommendation on the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 6 Waiver Wire. Fantasy Baseball managers have kept Thomas relevant since the St. Louis Cardinals traded him to the Washington Nationals in 2021.
Despite being relevant, Thomas has mostly only kept value in deeper leagues. Lately, however, he has been showing that he has value in the average 12-team leagues.
During his last ten games, Thomas hit two home runs, one triple, seven runs, six RBI, and one stolen base in 39 plate appearances. Thomas recorded an above-average 8.3% barrel rate during this stretch, albeit with a low 25% hard-hit rate.
I'm not entirely convinced he's ready for the step forward, but getting him while his bat is hot is a good idea.
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