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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Ryan Weathers & Harrison Bader Heating Up

Five-time high-stakes champ Shawn Childs helps you at the waiver wire to bolster your fantasy squad

Catcher

Francisco Mejia

A hip issue to Mike Zunino created a bump in playing time for Mejia over the past week. He has a five-game hitting streak (7-for-16), leading to six runs, one home run, and five RBI. His success points to a bump in playing time as a short-term buy.

Alejandro Kirk

The Blue Jays called up Kirk this week after placing Kirk on the injured list with a hamstring issue. His bat started to heat up at AAA over his last five games (10-for-21 with three runs, one home run, and nine RBI). With Reese McGuire struggling at the plate (.129 over his previous 31 at-bats), Kirk looks poised to steal the starting catching job in Toronto.

First Base

Rowdy Tellez

In deep formats, Tellez looks to be a speculative play this week. He smashed a pair of home runs on Saturday, giving him five hits over his last eight at-bats with three runs and five RBI. Tellez has 20-plus home run power while underachieving against right-handed pitching in 2021 (.198 over 146 at-bats with three home runs and 11 RBI).

Second Base

Rougned Odor

After the All-Star break, Odor has seven hits over 26 at-bats with four home runs, two home runs, and five RBI, including a current five-game hitting streak. Over his past 15 games, he hit .313 with three home runs and nine RBI over 48 at-bats. An injury to Luke Liot helps his path to more playing time.

Third Base

Carter Kieboom

An off-the-field issue with Starlin Castro opened up the door for Kieboom to be called up. He only hit .236 over 148 at-bats with 26 runs, five home runs, and 23 RBI at AAA. Kieboom flashed over six games late in June (10-for-27 with two home runs and seven RBI) before a knee injury cost him the next three weeks in the minors. A potential everyday job makes him viable in deep leagues.

Shortstop

Nick Ahmed

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Over 276 at-bats this year, Ahmed hit only .225 with two home runs and 20 RBI, suggesting he doesn’t belong in the starting lineup on any fantasy team. Despite his struggles, Ahmed played much better over his last seven games (10-for-22 with three runs and five RBI). His next step may be a bump in power and overall production. Ahmed is only a week-to-week flier in deep formats.

Outfield

Harrison Bader

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The bat of Bader picked up the pace over the past two weeks, leading to 15 hits over 35 at-bats with six runs, one home run, five RBI, and one steal. His approach (24 strikeouts over 150 at-bats) has improved in 2021, pointing to more follow-through in his success.

Brandon Marsh

Los Angeles called up Marsh after the All-Star break despite a slow start at AAA (.255 over 94 at-bats with three home runs, eight RBI, and two steals). In his best season in the minors in 2019 at AA, he hit .300 with seven home runs, 43 RBI, and 18 RBI over 360 at-bats. Possible speed out, but I don’t expect an impact finish to the year.

Gregory Polanco

After spending 10 days in July on the injured list with a hip issue, Polanco found his rhythm at the plate. He has seven hits over his last 23 at-bats with five runs, two home runs, six RBI, and three stolen bases. He is on pace for a 20/20 season while still needing plenty of correction in his batting average (.209).

Starting Pitching

Ryan Weathers

The Padres activated Weathers off the injured list over the weekend, leading to four shutout innings with four strikeouts. Over 18 appearances this season, he has a 2.73 ERA and 46 strikeouts over 62.2 innings while failing to pitch over five innings in 17 games.

Luis Patino

Despite struggles in his previous three major league starts (13 runs, 24 baserunners, and two home runs over 14 innings with 15 strikeouts). His arm played much better at AAA in 2021, leading to a 3.07 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and 41 strikeouts over 29.1 innings. Patino has a live arm with high upside, but he won’t pitch deep in games.

Drew Rasmussen

The Rays surprisingly traded Rich Hill to the Mets this week. Tampa gave Rasmussen a start on Saturday, and he responded with one mistake over three innings (one home run with three strikeouts). Over his last four appearances, Rasmussen allowed two runs and five hits over nine innings with one walk and 10 strikeouts. His fastball remains in the upper 90s while offering a difference-maker arm once he improves his command. I expect him to be stretched out over his next couple of games. 

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