There are only a couple weeks remaining in most head-to-head fantasy baseball leagues. As every week passes, it becomes more and more crucial to put your team in the best position possible. Whether you are fighting to climb into a playoff spot, or you are attempting to earn yourself a first-round bye, the waiver wire can be a useful tool. Of course, you need to know who to pick up and when to pick them up.
Last week, I recommended swooping up Jorge Mateo, Reid Detmers and Aledmys Diaz. All three of them had very strong weeks and likely helped those that took the advice. There are a number of factors I look at when writing this column. Obviously opportunity, batting lineup, opposing teams are all among them. But baseball, and therefore fantasy baseball, is such a long season that players go on prolonged hot and cold stretches. This late into the season, studs aren’t generally just sitting there to be had. So the timing of your moves needs to be paramount.
Thus, here are the fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups for Week 18.
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Top 4 Fantasy Baseball Adds for Week 18
4. Jose Suarez – Los Angeles Angels SP
Angels starter Jose Suarez is coming off of one his best performances of his career. He tossed seven shutout innings with eight strikeouts in a 1-0 victory. Granted that was against the Oakland Athletics, but a dominating performance nonetheless. But he actually has not allowed an earned run in his last three starts, going 3-0.
Jose Suarez matched a career-high with 8 strikeouts tonight while the 7 innings pitched were his second most (9 IP, Sept. 4, 2021).
— Angels PR (@LAAngelsPR) August 9, 2022
The Angels obviously do not score a ton of runs, but they might not need to. Suarez is slated to get the ball Tuesday as Los Angeles plays host to the Seattle Mariners. After their scorching hot stretch around the All-Star break, Seattle has cooled off a bit. They have struggled offensively, so this matchup is not one to be afraid of. If you like to stream pitchers, or simply need some help this week, fantasy baseball managers could do worse than Suarez.
3. Vinnie Pasquantino – Kansas City Royals 1B
The Royals are obviously well out of contention at this point. That prompted the team to start calling up some young kids from the minors and see what they have. They made that move earlier this season with Vinnie Pasquantino. After struggling initially, the 24-year-old prospect has caught fire of late.
Vinnie Pasquantino’s last 15 games:
– 7 XBH, 5 BB, 7 K
— Royals Farm Report (@RoyalsFarm) August 14, 2022
Over his last 15 games, Pasquantino is hitting .327 with a .377 on-base percentage and an OPS of .941. This past week alone he has four home runs, including taking Dodgers starter Tyler Anderson deep Sunday. He is owned in just 21 percent of Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues, so there is a very good chance he is available for you to grab.
I would not expect Pasquantino to continue raking like this the rest of the year. But for the final couple weeks of fantasy baseball regular seasons, he could be very helpful.
2. Vaughn Grissom – Atlanta Braves SS
The Atlanta Braves infield has been hit with the injury bug. Both Ozzie Albies and Orlando Arcia are both on the shelf. That prompted the team to call up top prospect Vaughn Grissom from Double-A Mississippi. All he has done in the five games since getting the call up is destroy the baseball.
Grissom is 7-for-18 with two home runs, four RBI and six runs scored. He also swiped a base already.
Vaughn Grissom, who is 21, just hit a 440-foot home run that had an exit velocity of 107.1 mph. pic.twitter.com/CB0zsMPTQZ
— Justin Toscano (@JustinCToscano) August 14, 2022
He was thought to have decent power with good speed, but has already proven that his reputation precedes him. Somehow, Grissom is still available in more than half of standard redraft fantasy baseball leagues. That is a flat out crime. The Braves offense is elite and deep. So, even if he continues to hit near the bottom of the order, the production should still be there.
1. George Kirby – Seattle Mariners SP
Another big surprise is that Mariners starter George Kirby is also not owned in more fantasy baseball leagues. The Mariners rookie is having a very strong season, but appears to have gone unnoticed. Kirby is 4-3 across 16 starts, with a very good 3.39 ERA with an average 1.19 WHIP.
He’s also been very good at striking out hitters, with 86 K’s in 85 innings pitched this year.
Those are all very impressive numbers for a rookie. The Mariners are a winning team with playoff hopes. So there is next to no chance they shut him down as the season progresses.
To make things even better, his upcoming schedule is cake. Kirby’s next three starts are against the Angels, the Nationals and the Tigers. Those are two of the worst offenses in baseball with Los Angeles a slight notch better.