Jeff Trela @jtrela20
Waiver Wire: 2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 15
As a reminder, this column focuses more on deeper leagues of 15-teams or more and uses NFBC contests as the basis for ownership percentage. For 12-team or lower leagues, feel free to reach out for more shallow options leading into the All-Star Break.
There are many schedule quirks to consider with the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 15 NFBC FAAB Run. Firstly, this is the last full week before the All-Star Break. While weather often wreaks havoc on streaming for two-start pitchers, it is a particularly slippery slope this week. It is entirely possible if you have a pitcher scheduled to pitch next Sunday that loses the start because of a postponement during the week that they will not even get a start in week 16.
Usually, the pitchers we are picking up with FAAB in 15-team leagues are at the back end of their team's rotation, so they may end up getting skipped with the short week. You can see such a pitcher go ten or even more days in between starts.
This makes for a keen strategy of picking up high-end relievers who are not in ninth-inning roles to start for the next two weeks. One or two innings from a high strikeout reliever that controls your ratios are much more useful than a starting pitcher who does not even start in the period. Evan Phillips, Jason Adam, Anthony Bass, and Ryan Stanek are a few choices that are widely available to pick up for the week at only $1 with very little downside.
Another angle to consider is games played per team this week. The Angels, Dodgers, and Orioles only play five games this week. Meanwhile, four of the AL Central teams play eight games, the Guardians, Tigers, White Sox, and Royals. There are seven games in Coors Field, so the Rockies, Padres, and Pirates all get a bump up this week. While these schedule quirks may not influence your FAAB bids as much, they must be taken into consideration with your lineup decisions.
You should also be cognizant of the fact that many closing situations will change shortly after the break as the trade market heats up. When a closer is traded, two jobs generally change. Keep a few extra dollars in your pocket as this will begin to play out shortly.
Nolan Jones, 3B, Cleveland Guardians (unowned)
Just when we thought we could relax with the rookie callup excitement, along came Nolan Jones and his 457-foot, 109 mph first Major League home run yesterday. This came after a 2 for 3 performance with an RBI double in his debut on Friday.
The 24-year-old has peaked as high as #1 on the Cleveland prospect rankings and should be fantasy relevant the rest of the way. He can run a bit and hit for power without destroying your average. Possibly the most attractive piece here is that he is NFBC eligible at 3B and on his way to add OF as well in the next week or so. Feel confident bidding over 10%, especially with the Guardians' favorable schedule this week.
Harold Ramirez, OF/1B, Tampa Bay Rays (19%, 12 teams)
I have been driving the Harlod Ramirez hype train since the preseason, so it is victory lap time for me. After his three-double performance last night, Ramirez has his average up to .321. While he does not offer much in the power categories and doesn't run alot, the average along with the dual-position eligibility makes him a great asset in deeper rotisserie leagues.
Josh Harrison, 2B/3B/OF, Chicago White Sox (25%)
Josh Harrison just won't go away. He does not do a whole lot, but he plays every day and is eligible everywhere. He is batting north of .400 over his last ten games. With the eight-game schedule, he makes for a nice streaming hitter this week.
Bryan De La Cruz, OF, Miami Marlins (3%)
Bryan De La Cruz has been red hot of late and showing more power. If he can continue his homerun pace and get to 15 with a solid hit tool, he will pay off a 5% bid rest of the way. I would much rather bid on Ramirez.
Reid Detmers, SP, Los Angeles Angeles (38%)
So Reid Detmers threw a no-hitter, then went into the toilet for five weeks. Was demoted to AAA, and struck out 13 batters in his one start there. He was recalled on Friday and threw a pretty little gem to the tune of seven strikeouts across six shutout innings with only two hits.
He may be back for good now. Just keep in mind that the Angels deploy a six-man rotation. With only five games next week, he may not even get a start. This is the very scenario I warned of in the opening. It may be two full weeks before you enjoy this acquisition.
Spencer Howard, SP, Texas Rangers (13%)
The book on former second-round pick Spencer Howard has always been about a lack of a third pitch. While his 95 mph average fastball is up there with the best of them, the lack of movement at times makes it very hittable. I have always thought him to be best suited for a short relief, maximum effort role.
But what do I know? He is back in the bigs as a member of the Rangers rotation and looking scary as ever. After a four-run, four-inning outing on Tuesday, he lines up with a shot at two starts this week against Oakland and Seattle. He is very much in danger of getting bumped from the second start. If you enjoy forks in electrical outlets, go for it.
Josh Winder, SP, Minnesota Twins (35%)
Continuing my recent theme of picking up Twins' pitchers after the exodus of pitching coach Wes Johnson is Josh Winder. Unlike Detmers, he benefits from the schedule, lining up with a fairly safe two-step against the Brewers and White Sox. He doesn't strike out many, but remember our sneaky strategy of getting 8-10 strikeouts from a low k-rate pitcher in a two-start week. The 3.12 ERA and 1.24 WHIP are nothing to scoff at.
Brayan Bello, SP, Boston Red Sox (unowned)
Brayan Bello was another exciting call-up this week. Boston's top pitching prospect, the 23-year-old Bello had dazzled in the minors with a 2.33 ERA and 12 k/9.
The debut didn't go as hoped, as he struggled through four innings, striking out only two while allowing nine baserunners. He likely would have been sent down immediately if Connor Seabold hadn't come down with the dreaded forearm strain.
He likely will get one more turn through the rotation before the break to prove his worth. With Chris Sale and Nate Eovaldi's returns looming, I wouldn't expect Bello to stick. Don't bid on the prospect hype, keep your bids under 5% here.
Alexis Diaz, RP, Cincinnati Reds (8% owned)
I love Alexis Diaz's stuff. He looks the part and has the witchcraft slider I love in a reliever. He just walks too many batters. Fortunately, his xBA of .180 has counteracted that quite well.
While Cincinnati has not had a defined closer since Raisel Iglesias, I think there is a real opportunity for his two saves to turn into 12 by the end of the season. Lucas Sims, Tony Santillan, Tejay Anytone, and Art Warren are all on the IL. Hunter Strickland was given an opportunity but proved he still sucks. Roll the dice on the live arm.
Joe Mantiply, RP, Arizona Diamondbacks (13%)
There's definitely a man-splaining joke in here somewhere. But the fact is Joe Mantiply has put together one of the best stat lines in the game this year. With a 0.8% walk rate and .231 xWOBA, he has slid under the radar as Mark Melancon has sucked the wind out of the Diamondbacks season.
Veteran Ian Kennedy is very likely to be traded when he returns from the IL. While there aren't many save opportunities in Arizona, Mantiply is certainly most deserving of them, and can probably be picked up for just a few bucks right now.
For more discussion about these options, or other options, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @Jtrela20. Otherwise, I will be streaming LIVE this Tuesday at 8:45 pm on YouTube with the Stack Attack Fantasy Podcast. This article can also be viewed on fantasysixpack.net.