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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Ride The Hot Hand of Lewis Brinson

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

Catcher

Wilson Ramos

Ramos smashed six home runs with nine RBI over 85 at-bats to help fantasy teams get out of the box in power in April. Unfortunately, he missed most of the next three months with a back issue. The Tigers released him in mid-June, leading to Ramos signing a minor league deal with Cleveland a couple of weeks later. After a hot 10 days at AAA (11-for-30 with two home runs and seven RBI), he packed his bags and headed back to the majors. Despite making only three starts over a six-game stretch, Ramos has a three-game hitting streak (5-for-10 with two home runs and three RBI). I expect his playing time to increase with Austin Hedges only hitting .175 over 183 at-bats.

MORE: Last Week's Waiver Wire

First Base

Frank Schwindel

After the Cubs dumped all their star players at the trade deadline, multiple starting jobs opened up for players with minimal major league resumes. Schwindel has a hit or more in nine of his previous 10 games (12-for-32) while delivering two home runs and seven RBI. At age 29, he only has 68 major league at-bats, but Schwindel did handle himself well at AAA (.297 over 1,311 at-bats with 189 runs, 68 home runs, and 257 RBI) over four seasons. For now, he fits a playing time need for fantasy teams with weakness or injury at first base.

Second Base

Yonny Hernandez

For a speed-challenged fantasy team, Hernandez may offer the stolen bases needed to pick up some league points in Roto formats over the final six weeks of the season. His bat brings empty power (four home runs over 1,520 at-bats in the minors), but he stole 154 bags over six seasons, highlighted by his success in 2018 at Single-A (.260 with 56 runs, two home runs, 40 RBI, and 44 steals over 361 at-bats). Hernandez only fits teams with an edge in home runs and RBI while needing to be reevaluated after each week.

Shortstop

Bobby Witt

With the minor league seasons winding down, the Royals may finally give Witt some playing time in the majors. His bat has been on fire over the previous nine games at AAA (11-for-38 with 10 runs, five home runs, 13 RBI, and two steals), pushing his season’s stats to .294 with 64 runs, 24 home runs, 69 RBI, and 18 stolen bases over 337 at-bats. Best of all, his approach hasn’t regressed after a step in class in the minors.

Third Base

Luis Urias

After Milwaukee acquired Eduardo Escobar at the trade deadline, he looked like the odd man out of the playing time rotation at 2B, SS, and 3B. Over a 15-game stretch in the latter part of July and early August, he only had five hits over 36 at-bats with one home run and four RBI, which led to him being dropped in many leagues. However, his bat showed a spark over the past five days (9-for-16 with six runs, two home runs, and six RBI), putting him back on the fantasy map. Additionally, the Brewers have some injury concerns at first base, creating a rebound in playing time for Urias.

Outfield

Lewis Brinson

After hitting .189 over his first 761 at-bats in the majors with 16 home runs, 72 RBI, and eight stolen bases, Brinson has been a much better player in 2021 with Miami (.282/7/23 over 131 at-bats). A trip to Colorado started his five-game hitting streak (11-for-19 with six runs, three home runs, and eight RBI). The Marlins have had him in the starting lineup 10 times in 11 games in August. However, Brinson does bring risk due to many strikeouts, so ride him while he is hot.

LaMonte Wade

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A cold week (2-for-15 with one home run and three RBI) and a couple of days on the bench led to Wade finding his way back into the free-agent pool in about 30 percent of 12-team leagues in the high-stakes market. Over the past week, he has had a seven-game hitting streak (9-for-31 with six runs, two home runs, and eight RBI), putting his name at the top of the page at first base and outfielder on the waiver wire. Since the All-Star break, Wade has eight home runs, 21 RBI, and one steal over 81 at-bats.

Lars Nootbaar

The Cardinals have a pair of injuries in their outfield, and Dylan Carlson looks headed to the injured list with a right wrist issue. St. Louis recalled Nootbaar in late July after success at AAA (.308 with 21 runs, six home runs, and 19 RBI over 117 at-bats). His bat has been quiet so far in the majors (.200/1/6 over 30 at-bats), but a starting job points to a potential uptick in his swing. The key to his fantasy value would be outplaying Edmundo Sosa.

Starting Pitching

Drew Rasmussen

I’ve chased Rasmussen around a few times this season while hoping he would earn a starting opportunity in Milwaukee or Tampa. Josh Fleming should have pitched his way out of the Rays starting rotation this week after giving up 10 runs and 17 base runners over 3.1 innings to the Red Sox. Since the All-Star break, his arm has been a disaster (25 runs, 49 baserunners, and three home runs over 21.2 innings.

Meanwhile, Rasmussen threw a season-high four innings against Boston on Thursday, leading to one run and four strikeouts. Walks (21 over 43 innings) have been a problem, but he does have a high 90s fastball with reasonable success this year (3.98 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, and 54 strikeouts over 43 innings). His next step is to reach the five-inning mark in a game.

Luis Severino

The last trip to the mound in the majors for Severino came on October 15th in 2019. He flashed his expected upside in his fourth rehab start at AA by tossing four no-hit shutout innings with five strikeouts. Over 12 innings, Severino has a 1.50 ERA and 17 strikeouts while pitching at the lower levels of the minors for the Yankees. He still looks a couple of weeks away from helping New York, but he should be pitched up in shallow leagues now.

Grayson Rodriguez

The Orioles have no reason to call up Rodriguez other than potentially trying to get his inning count higher next year. After not pitching in 2020 due to Covid shutting down minor league baseball, he has an 8-1 record between High A and AA with a 2.21 ERA and 122 strikeouts over 76.1 innings. Ideally, Baltimore should try to get him to the 125-inning mark this year. Their AA team (Bowie – 51-34) remains in playoff contention, which may hurt Rodriguez’s chances of making a handful of starts with the Orioles in September. His rise sets the stage for the Orioles climbing out of the basement in the AL East over the next couple of seasons.

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Senior analyst Shawn Childs is a multi-sport, high-stakes fantasy legend with lifetime earnings in the high six-figures. He has been providing in-depth, analytical break downs for years all while helping his subscribers to countless titles and winnings across season-long & DFS. A inaugural inductee of the NFBC Hall of Fame, Shawn can teach you how to prep like a champ!

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