Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 12
The waiver wire has plenty of goodies available for the taking, so let's try to get a leg up on our fellow league members and make some moves where needed.
The four players below are all owned in fewer than 50% of ESPN leagues and could give your squad a shot in the arm as we move through May.
Eric Thames - Milwaukee Brewers (1B)
ESPN Ownership: 49.0%
Eric Thames sneaks in just under the 50%-owned clip, and he's a guy who feels criminally under-owned, especially if your lineup could use some pop.
Limited to just 84 plate appearances so far in 2018 due to injury, Thames has found a way to smack seven homers this season prior to Sunday's action, and he launched two dingers on Sunday.
.@EricThames makes this a 1-run game with 3-run homer in the 9th! #FearTheScruff #VoteBrewers pic.twitter.com/nNck5V9alS
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) June 17, 2018
Thames popped 31 long balls in 2017 in his return to U.S. soil, and he's been more than adept this year with a .324 isolated power (ISO) and .363 weighted on-base average (wOBA). His home park is no joke, either -- Miller Park checks in 11th in park factor and 8th in home run factor in 2018.
After close to a two-month break, Thames may be available in your league, and he's a great source of power numbers, especially when the Milwaukee Brewers are facing a righty.
Mike Leake - Seattle Mariners (SP)
ESPN Ownership: 40.1%
In 2017, the Mike Leake show got friggin' ugly in a hurry. Over 154 innings pitched as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals, Leake posted a decent 4.21 ERA, but he really struggled down the stretch. Over his last six starts, he posted a nasty 8.31 ERA, 14.1% strikeout rate, and 36.3% hard-hit rate.
For whatever reason, something seems to have clicked for Leake as a member of the Seattle Mariners. Since he was traded, a span of 24 starts prior to Sunday, Leake has recorded a strong 4.06 FIP, 29.0% fly-ball rate, and he pitches deep into games, which can be an overlooked factor. His solid ratios can be a big help, and his average of six innings per start would rank him 30th among qualified starting pitchers.
Leake is never going to be a strikeout ace -- he has posted a 15.0% strikeout rate in 2018 -- so his value lies in providing a ton of solid innings to fantasy staffs. If you can use some back-end help, check out the veteran right-hander.
Yulieski Gurriel - Houston Astros (1B)
ESPN Ownership: 38.5%
As part of a monster offense that ranks second in major league baseball in team wOBA (.335), Yulieski Gurriel gets to occupy a premium lineup spot, often batting cleanup. But after missing some time earlier this season and recording only a .312 wOBA this year, is he really worth owning?
If Gurriel's recent run of form is anything to believe in, the answer is a definitive yes. Over the last week (June 10th to June 16th), Gurriel has started to rake, posting a .527 wOBA with 10 hits in 23 plate appearances. While there's only one homer in that stretch, he did throw four doubles into the mix.
The Houston Astros have surged into first place in the American League West thanks to a league-best .384 wOBA over the last two weeks, so snap up Gurriel to take advantage of this potent offense.
Ketel Marte - Arizona Diamondbacks (2B/SS)
ESPN Ownership: 31.5%
The Astros have had no equal in recent weeks, but the Arizona Diamondbacks haven't been too shabby lately, either. Over that same timeframe, the Snakes rank third in team wOBA (.355), and Ketel Marte has been a major part of this surge, too.
The switch-hitting Marte has some interesting splits in 2018. He's been pretty bad as a lefty, with only a .253 wOBA, but he's been absurd as a righty, posting a .373 wOBA in the split. He's also shown some serious pop from the right side of the plate with a .219 ISO and 45.4% hard-hit rate.
Even as a plug-and-play option, at worst, Marte has rocked a .434 wOBA over the last two weeks, so if you need some up the middle help, check out Marte.