The time has come.
After 5 months of intensive scouting, thorough research, and hyper-vigilant roster management…it all comes down to this: It’s playoff time.
The next four weeks will determine if the last 5 months of work went to waste. Making the playoffs is a happy occasion but the closer you get, the more it hurts.
In the actual playoffs, the weak spots of your roster get quickly exposed. It’s no different here with fantasy baseball radar. In deeper leagues, this phenomenon is more widespread, but all players could benefit from adding a guy from this piece. In this edition, I’ll give you a league winner waiver-wire add for each position.
Cal Raleigh (9-24% rostered)
Cal Raleigh has been making good contact all season, with a Barrel% ranking in the top 95% of the league. With such a high barrel%, one must wonder what the reason for Raleigh’s low roster rate is. The fatal flaw to his offensive game has long been his plate discipline. A K% and Whiff% ranking near the bottom tenth of the league has doomed Raleigh with a BA of .210.
The Mariners backstop has caught fire as of late though with a .316 BA, 4 homers, and a 1.409 OPS in his last 6 games. Raleigh is lethal when he makes contact, and these last six games have made Raleigh a possible league winner. The Mariners’ weak schedule could carry you to a championship in the form of Cal Raleigh.
Hm: MJ Melendez (24-57% rostered)
Gavin Sheets (7-13% rostered)
I covered him last week, so to keep it short: Sheets is hot. The number one rule of waiver wire pickups: pick up the hot bat. 1B is not a position that most fantasy players struggle at, but Sheets is going to out-produce a lot of guys over these next four weeks. With a weak schedule and a division on the line, expect many White Sox players to overperform, Sheets included. Play Sheets when the White Sox don’t have to face a lefty pitcher.
Luis Guillorme (2% rostered)
Guillorme has been out since mid-August with a groin injury but appears to be coming back soon. He ripped a single in his first rehab at-bat, a common occurrence for the Mets infielder. Guillorme has only posted 14 XBH on the season but his .283 average makes him a plus-hitter. Guillorme may be the least flashy player in baseball, but his everyday starter status and ability to sneak through hits could make him a league winner.
*While he commonly occupies 3B, Guillorme is primarily listed at the second base position*
Nicky Lopez (7-13% rostered)
Nicky Lopez is Luis Guillorme on steroids. Not literally speaking, we don’t want another Tatis Jr. situation on our hands. It’s a take-your-pick situation with Guillorme and Lopez as each fills the same archetype yet plays in different situations. Guillorme is a slightly better hitter in a better situation, but Lopez is a speed demon whose baserunning could be enough to make him a league winner.
Gunnar Henderson (22-28% rostered)
I’m not going to say it again. PICK UP GUNNAR HENDERSON. HE’S HIM. HE’S A LEAGUE WINNER!
Josh Jung (2-8% rostered)
It’s September and Josh Jung is still not on the Texas Rangers roster. That’s an offense that can only be rectified with an immediate call-up. In a recent interview with the Dallas Morning News, Rangers manager Tony Beasley said that Jung is sure to get a call-up by the season’s end. We likely won’t have to wait long for the top prospect to make an appearance. With his success in the past month, Jung can have an immediate impact at the major league level, making him a possible league winner.
Joey Meneses (27-48% rostered)
If you didn’t know the name Joey Meneses before August, you definitely do now. Since joining the Nationals roster in August, Meneses has an OPS+ of 172 and a BA of .344. It’s a run that has made Meneses one of the best stories of the past few months. While a BABIP of .389 shows that his run is very unsustainable, it’s worth scooping up Meneses to see how long his luck will last. If he keeps it going, Joey Meneses will always be remembered as a 2022 league winner.
Joey Meneses has 41 hits in his first 30 @MLB games.
That’s the most by any rookie through his first 30 games in Nationals history. pic.twitter.com/6jZ5DFbXjD
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 6, 2022
Felix Bautista (54-84% rostered)
Bautista has seamlessly replaced to all-star production of former Orioles closer Jorge Lopez. An ERA+ of 249 makes Bautista an elite closer. Elite closers are uber-important in fantasy formats and almost every single one has league-winner potential. Elite closers don’t stay on waiver wires long so Bautista should be a priority add if he’s still available.
Alex Cobb (26-43% rostered)
The MLB vet must’ve found Farhan Zaidi’s limited stash of pitcher rejuvenation potion over the all-star break because he has been a completely different pitcher ever since. In 8 starts since the all-star break, Alex Cobb has a 2.83 ERA. Alex Cobb should finish the season strong and can be a league winner at the pitcher spot.