Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Week 3

Brad Berreman

Brad has contributed to (or is contributing to) various websites, most notably Rotowire, Rant Sports, FanSided and Bruno Boys Fantasy Football. He joined GoingFor2 in June of this year.

On this Easter Sunday, here are five players to seek out on the waiver wire in your fantasy baseball league.

5. Joey Gallo, 3B, Texas Rangers

Gallo’s place as the Rangers’ starting third baseman seemed to short-term, but now that Adrian Beltre has suffered a setback with his hamstring injury. Beltre may at least miss the rest of April, and after that Gallo is starting to build a case to stick around in the big leagues.

Gallo has continued to strike out a lot (15 times in 41 plate appearances this season), but he does have a hit in five of his last six games with two home runs, nine RBI, six r.uns scored and two stolen bases thus far. Once Beltre returns to the lineup, finding a place for Gallo may become a priority for the Rangers. He’s not an outfielder by trade, but Gallo has played some left field in the minors and there’s potential room for him there with Delino DeShields and Jurickson Profar struggling offensively.

Gallo is a solid short-term addition, particularly in AL-only leagues, while Beltre is out. But if he continues to be productive, the Rangers will have to find a more permanent place for Gallo in the lineup.
ESPN Ownership Rate: 13.3%

4. David Freese, 3B/1B, Pittsburgh Pirates

Jung Ho Kang’s situation has opened the door for Freese to be in Pittsburgh’s every day lineup, and he has produced thus far (.379, two home runs, five RBI). Last season, his first with the Pirates, Freese hit .270 with 13 home runs, 55 RBI and 63 runs scored over 141 games (437 at-bats).

Since his 2011 postseason breakout with the St. Louis Cardinals, and a nice 2012 follow-up (.293, 20 home runs, 79 RBI, Free has set a certain baseline for expectations. Over the last four seasons his home run totals have been nine, 10, 14 and 13, with 60, 55, 56 and 55 RBI and batting averages of .262, .260, .257 and .270. As expected, his number of plate appearances have also been in a short range over that span, from 470 (2015) to 521 (2013). As long as he keeps a spot in the regular lineup, Freese will help fantasy owners during hot streaks and not necessarily hurt during downturns.

Freese is eligible at third and first base, which only helps his fantasy value. NL-only league owners looking for a corner infield option can do a lot worse.
ESPN Ownership Rate: 13.8%

3. Chris Owings, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks

Owings got the most of the night off Saturday night, but he has at least one hit in six straight games he has started on his way to a .341/.372/.488 slash-line, one home run, six RBI and four stolen bases so far this season.

Owings lost some time in 2016 due to a foot injury, but he still led the majors in triples (11) while stealing 21 bases in 23 attempts. He also played some center field with A.J. Pollock out last year (49 games-47 starts), thus adding outfield eligibility in fantasy leagues.

Injuries have been a bit of a concern for Owings, but a finish as a top-10 fantasy shortstop this year is possible with good health and the requisite 500-plus at-bats. There’s still an opportunity to add him, with that potential in mind, and this is probably the last week I can say that.
ESPN Ownership Rate: 58.3%

2. Joaquin Benoit, RP, Philadelphia Phillies

After being named Philadelphia’s closer on Monday, Benoit got and converted his first save opportunity on Saturday. Over five total appearances (five innings) this season, he has yet to allow a run with six strikeouts and two holds prior to replacing Jeanmar Gomez.

The Phillies’ ninth inning situation may not be set in stone, with Hector Neris possibly entering the mix at some point and a turn back to Gomez possible if Benoit struggles. But right now Benoit is the one getting save opportunities, which automatically puts him in the cross hairs of fantasy owners.

Benoit will bring value outside of saves if he falls out of the role, with good ratios while compiling holds in leagues where that is a category. Fantasy owners have been slow to add him, but that may change now that Benoit has registered a save.
ESPN Ownership: 28.5%

1. Luis Severino, SP, New York Yankees

Severino struck out a career-high 11 in his last start against the Tampa Bay Rays, and over two starts (12 innings) he has a stellar 17:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio. A 4.50 ERA thus far does not tell the full story, with Severino also posting a 2.77 FIP and a .194 xFIP (via FanGraphs) in that small sample.

Severino may be starting to put it together, but some inconsistency can be expected in what is shaping up to be his first full major league season. Based on upside alone, the 23-year is worth adding while you can in all fantasy leagues.
ESPN Ownership Rate: 21%

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Brad Berreman

Brad has contributed to (or is contributing to) various websites, most notably Rotowire, Rant Sports, FanSided and Bruno Boys Fantasy Football. He joined GoingFor2 in June of this year.

Brad Berreman

Brad has contributed to (or is contributing to) various websites, most notably Rotowire, Rant Sports, FanSided and Bruno Boys Fantasy Football. He joined GoingFor2 in June of this year.

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