The first weekend of baseball usually won’t be like the rest of the season. Some of these players, like Mitch Haniger and Colin Moran, are having great starts to the season and the same goes for pitchers. Take it from a man that has won a fantasy league before. The league is won not by the draft, but from the WAIVER WIRE! Yes that’s right, the guys that weren’t drafted can impact the final result.
Again take it from me, I plucked Aaron Judge, Cody Bellinger and Luis Severino from the waiver wire, they, and especially Judge, helped propel me to victory, especially in the playoffs.
This past week, there were actually some studs, like Kluber and Keuchel, who haven’t been performing to their usual standards. Now I’m not saying you should drop these guys, but these 5 guys are guys you should pick up right now, that should pay off in the very near future for your team. Now what qualifies as a sleeper in this post? Each player must have less than 60% ownership rate, according to the ESPN fantasy league ownership rating system. That means that if that percentage is less than 60%, then less than 60% of all fantasy leagues have that player on a team.
So with that being said, let’s dive right into it!
1. Sean Manaea- Oakland Athletics (ESPN Fantasy Own Rate- 56.8%)
Past 2 starts: 3/30 ( Loss) LAA- 7.1 IP (21 Pts) 4 K’s (4 pts) 1 ER ( -2 pts)= 22 pts, 4/4 TEX (Win) 8.0 IP, 7 K’s, 1 ER= 31 pts.
Manaea had two strong outings against two, to be fair, two teams that don’t have a very strong offense to show for. He also has his next start vs the Dodgers on Tuesday but this should play into his favor since the Dodgers have struggled with left handed pitching in recent years. Manaea is an expert at throwing strikes as well, throughout his two starts this year, he has allowed only one walk. There’s only two possible problems with Manaea, that certainly tainted his draft stock. First off, he plays for the Athletics, which just isn’t a good team, and his velocity isn’t all that impressive, but if you like his location and control, get him and get him now!
2. Ian Kennedy- Kansas City Royals ( ESPN Fantasy Own Rate: 7.4%)
Past 2 starts: 3/31 (No Decision) CWS 6.0 IP (18 pts) 5 K’s (5 Pts) 1 ER (-2 pts)- 21 pts, 4/7 (Win) CLE 6.0 IP 8 K’s 0 ER
Ian Kennedy dominated the Cleveland Indians offense on Saturday, that alone is reason enough to pluck him off the wire. Kennedy has also put up plenty of strikeouts in a short amount of time. He can strike batters out and he can give you at least 6 consistent innings. That is something you can’t take for granted going down the road. His next start is Thursday vs the Angels. Don’t be surprised if he drops off a little bit, but he is still a good streaming start as of now. Hopefully his excellent start will continue.
3. Mike Foltynewicz- Atlanta Braves (ESPN Fantasy Own Rate: 26.6%)
Past 2 starts: 3/30 (No Decision) PHI 5.0 IP (15 pts) 2 ER (-4 pts) 7 K’s (7pts)= 16 pts, 4/4 (Win) 5.1 IP 1 ER 8 K’s
Folty throughout the years has shown sparks of greatness but then has subsided to strains of mediocrity. It should be expected of him to have a much better season this year than in years past. Keep in mind he is hurling on a very hot Braves team that is sure to give him some run support in his next start vs the Nationals again this Tuesday. He quieted a strong Nationals lineup in his previous start, striking them out on command. If he can get anywhere close, and even if he can last a bit longer, like until the 6th inning, I’d see his value increasing steadily.
4. Tyler Skaggs- Los Angeles Angels (ESPN Fantasy Own Rate: 35.3 %)
Past 2 starts: 3/30 (Win, 5 pts) OAK 6.1 IP (19 pts) 0 ER 5 K’s (5 pts)= 29 pts, 4/4 (No Decision) CLE 4.2 IP 2 ER 5 K’s
There is a slight reason for concern in picking up Skaggs. He has had an injury history and it took him 103 pitches to get 14 outs in his past start against the Indians. Now even though he throws a lot and will be held back due to his injury history, Skaggs is still a pitcher that doesn’t allow a lot of runs. Runs allowed knock off two points per run allowed in most fantasy scoring systems. skaggs and his ability to go strong for 5 to 6 innings, with a fairly decent Angels team, should be a good pickup for starts to come, especially for his upcoming start against the Texas Rangers.
5. Kyle Gibson- Minnesota Twins (ESPN Fantasy Own Rate: 22.4)
Past 2 starts: 3/31 (Win, 5 pts) BAL 6.0 IP (18 pts) 0 ER 6 K’s (6 pts)= 29 pts, 4/5 ( No Decision) SEA 4.1 IP 1 ER 3 K’s= 14 pts
In his first start of the season, Kyle Gibson carried a no hitter into the 7th inning vs the Orioles, until he was taken off the mound. Any performance over 25 points is certainly nothing to scoff at and it could have gone on longer. His second outing wasn’t as good, but it was still fairly decent. Sure you can judge him primarily off strikeouts but only allowing a single run in two games is quite the achievement. Gibson is due to take a step forward and hopefully pitch deeper into games if he can do what he has been doing and limit allowing home runs, which has dampened his stats throughout his career. He is facing the Astros this upcoming Wednesday, so stream with a sort of caution.