Fantasy Baseball: Top waiver-wire targets for Week 8 include Corbin Martin, Steve Cishek
Our Fantasy Baseball crew gives you the top waiver-wire adds for Week 8, including some high-upside pitchers showing signs of figuring it out
All week long, we recap the action from around the baseball world each day. During those recaps, we provide winners and losers from the previous day's action, and more importantly, our top waiver-wire picks. These are based on standout performances, injury news, and anything else that might cause a player's value to rise or fall.
Heading into Week 8, we've recapped our top targets from last week, while adding a bunch of new names for you to consider adding from this weekend's action.
Here are this week's top options:
Corbin Martin (47%) — There were other Astros pitchers who garnered more hype in the offseason and during spring training, but it was Corbin Martin who got the first call after the Astros sent struggling Collin McHugh to the bullpen. And why not, as Martin has been dominant in Triple-A, allowing four runs in 24.1 innings before his callup. He held his own in his MLB debut against the Rangers Sunday, averaging nearly 96 mph with his fastball and showing two swing-and-miss secondary pitches. He had a 36.3% called-plus-swinging-strike rate and showed enough promise to be worth adding where available this week.
Lucas Giolito (51%) — Prior to this year, we hadn't even seen flashes of the guy Giolito was supposed to be when he was the top prospect in baseball. We're starting to now. Over the last four starts (including Sunday's gem against the Blue Jays), he has 28 strikeouts to seven walks in 22 innings. He added some speed to his fastball, and has refined his changeup and curveball, making Giolito a real breakout candidate.
Steve Cishek (12%) — The Cubs' first save since Pedro Strop was placed on the I.L. went to Cishek, making him the early leader for saves moving forward. It's a pretty good spot to be in on a team that just keeps winning, and Cishek should be up for the challenge. He hasn't had an ERA over 3.00 since 2015, and has a 2.32 mark with 99 strikeouts in 89.1 innings since joining the Cubs last season. He's certainly worth an add.
Cole Irvin (10%) — Irvin wasn't quite the prospect Martin was, but his debut was pretty impressive nonetheless. He allowed just one earned r un in seven innings of work while striking out five against the Royals, after putting up a 2.51 ERA in 197.1 innings at Triple-A over the last two seasons. Irvin isn't much of a strikeout pitcher and he had just six swinging strikes in his debut, so he doesn't have quite the upside Martin does. You're hoping for a potential Marco Gonzalez-esque impact, but you shouldn't blow your FAAB looking for it.
Andrew Heaney (52%) — It seems like we're getting a repeat of last season with Heaney, who was shut down with elbow soreness early on but was able to work through it to make an impact for Fantasy. Heaney has been cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment this week and should be back in the majors in a couple weeks, if all goes well. Heaney wasn't dominant in 2018, but he did strike out a batter per inning with a 1.20 WHIP to go with his 4.15 ERA. There's value in that, and you could still grab him now before he makes his return.
Brandon Woodruff (76%) – Woodruff had nine strikeouts and no walks while allowing one run in six innings Wednesday, a good sign of what he is capable of when things are going right. That's four good starts in the past five for Woodruff, who has a 3.29 ERA in that span. That's a big improvement from his 6.00 through three starts. Woodruff should probably be owned across the board at this point, especially with a two-start week for Week 8. –Chris Towers
Anthony DeSclafani (73%) - DeSclafani was a popular two-start streamer in Week 7, but he may be more than that. He has a career-high 28.6% strikeout rate and has only allowed four earned runs in his past four starts combined. –Heath Cummings
Griffin Canning (66%) - We don't know for sure Canning is going to stick in the rotation, but he looked good enough Tuesday that he should be universally owned until we hear otherwise. Canning struck out seven Tigers in 5.1 innings and picked up his first career win, and now has 13 strikeouts to just two walks in 9.2 innings across his first two starts. –Heath Cummings
Kyle Gibson (63%) - Gibson never manages to put it all together, but he always has these interesting stretches like the one he is currently in. He struck out 11 in six innings against the Blue Jays Wednesday, and now has a 2.25 ERA over his last four starts. That doesn't represent what his real upside is, but with some tweaks to his arsenal, Gibson can be a good option off your bench against good matchups, at the very least. –Scott White
Didi Gregorius (58%) - Gregorius is still recovering from Tommy John surgery, but he's close to getting back into games. Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters Saturday Gregorius could be playing in rehab games in a couple of weeks, and a return before June isn't out of the question. Let's not forget, Gregorius hit .268 with 27 homers in just 134 games and can still be a difference maker whenever he gets back. –Chris Towers
Spencer Turnbull (56%) - It's not hard to see why Turnbull didn't have much hype coming into the season, but he's opened my eyes so far. Turnbull limited the Royals to just one run on six hits in seven innings in his most recent start, with seven strikeouts and only one walk, lowering his season ERA to 2.31. He won't sustain quite that level of success, but with a decent ground-ball rate and solid strikeout and walk numbers, Turnbull deserves more respect. –Chris Towers
Wade MIley (52%) – I've gone back and forth on Miley, who it turns out isn't another Astros success story on the level of Charlie Morton or Collin McHugh. But he has continued to succeed in the same unexpected way he did for the Brewers last year, thriving on weak contact. Thursday's two-hit, two-run outing against the Rangers gave him four quality starts in his past five, which is saying something in today's environment. –Scott White
Brad Peacock (50%) - Expectations were high when Brad Peacock won a role in the rotation this spring, but he entered his most recent start with a 5.28 ERA and less than a strikeout per inning. However, after his dominant turn Wednesday12 strikeouts, one walk in seven three-hit, shutout innings —Peacock is starting to look quite a bit better. At the very least, he should have saved his spot on those rosters he was still on and will be worth adding once again where he is available. –Chris Towers
Mitch Garver (47%) - As excited as we all got about Willians Astudillo, it's Garver who has been the breakout star catcher for the Twins. He hit his seventh home run on Tuesday and now owns a .367/.424/.783 slash line. I would have to have one of the top seven catchers to continue ignoring Garver. –Heath Cummings
James McCann (47%) - McCann hit his fourth home run on Monday and now has six extra-base hits his past six games. Welington Castillo doesn't look like much of a threat to his playing time, especially the way McCann is hitting. If you don't have a great catcher, there's nothing wrong with just playing the hot hand, and McCann is lava-hot. –Heath Cummings
Hunter Renfroe (45%) - Something has to give with the Padres outfield at some point, right? They still just have too many interesting guys and not enough spots for all of them. Renfroe homered yet again Wednesday, his third in four games. At this point, the Padres would probably be better served playing Renfroe over Wil Myers if we're being honest. Whether that will happen remains to be seen, but at some point, Renfroe is going to have an everyday job. Somewhere, somehow. –Chris Towers
Pablo Lopez (41%) - If you buy into the value of advanced stats, you've gotta be a fan of Lopez. He showed above-average swing-and-miss skills with his changeup and curveball last season and combined it with a fastball that garnered plenty of groundballs. He's taken things to a new level in 2019, with a 51.0% groundball rate, 9.24 K/9, and 2.13 BB/9. He's doing everything you want from a pitcher, leading to a 2.79 FIP. And, with a 2.35 ERA over his past four starts, the results are starting to catch up. –Chris Towers
Danny Duffy (32%) - Duffy made his third start Tuesday against the Astros, and it was another encouraging one. He's now given up six runs in 17.2 innings and pitches in a big park with a great defense. There are still a few troubling signs in the peripherals, and I'm not sure he's going to be good, but he has enough success in his history that he needs to be owned in close to half of leagues. –Heath Cummings
Chris Bassitt (31%) - At 30, Bassitt probably isn't on the verge of a breakthrough, and it's worth noting the swinging strike rate has come back down in his past two starts. But the results haven't — he struck out nine in 7 2/3 innings Thursday, surrendering three earned runs — and you just don't see too many pitchers putting together those kinds of efforts on the waiver wire. You need pitchers, so grab on and see where it takes you. –Scott White
John Means (26%) - Means shut down the Boston Red Sox on Monday, holding them to just one run over seven innings. He's now made five starts for the Orioles and given up more than one earned run in just one of them. He hasn't had the strikeouts or a guaranteed rotation spot, but he does have elite control, and it's hard to imagine the Orioles not continue starting him as well as he's pitched. –Heath Cummings
Mychal Givens (23%) - Givens' usage (and performance) was really frustrating at the start of the year. But he's now earned a save in four of his last five appearances and he's only given up one run in that stretch. I still don't think he's a great reliever and the Orioles are still terrible, but in a league where you're desperate for saves, he's an add. –Heath Cummings
Tommy La Stella (17%) - La Stella's career high in homers coming into this season was five. He has more than that just counting the two-homer games, the third of which came Thursday. His fly-ball rate is up, but not to the point he should have a sub-.200 BABIP, and his strikeout rate is so low it would have led the majors last year. He's getting to be pretty interesting, even if he does sit against left-handers. –Scott White
Jonathan Loaisiga (14%) - Another guy whose results have lagged a bit behind the potential, Loaisiga returned to the majors to replace James Paxton this week after he was placed on the I.L. with a knee injury this weekend. Loaisiga returns from Triple-A with a 4.41 ERA in 34.2 career innings, but with a 3.73 ERA and a bevy of swing-and-miss offerings that make him worth a look if you need pitching help, even if he wasn't great in his first appearance Wednesday. –Chris Towers
Ian Happ (12%) - There's not a ton of smoke with Happ, but it doesn't take much to see an easy path back to the. Albert Almora had two doubles Sunday night, bringing his grand total of extra-base hits this season to four. He just doesn't have enough bat, and it's not hard to see the Cubs looking for an upgrade at some point. After striking out nine times in his first five games at Triple-A, Happ has struck out just 20.2% of the time in 25 games since, with four walks, and a .259/.385/.459 line. The Cubs have still been using Happ in center field, and if they tire of Almora's limited bat, Happ still has a very Fantasy-friendly profile. He's worth a proactive stash, especially if you got burned by big FAAB claims on prospects who didn't pan out earlier. –Chris Towers
Chris Martin (11%) - With Shawn Kelley headed to the IL with an infection, Martin is the choice to close now for the Rangers and could be surprisingly useful in the role. The Rangers would like to see Jose Leclerc reclaim it eventually, but after a three-walk appearance Thursday, he doesn't appear any closer to doing so. –Scott White
Josh VanMeter (11%) - One of the things we've seen over the past few years is players with strong contact profiles and middling power performing better than expected in the majors. With the ball flying out of the park at higher and higher paces, the ability to put the bat on the ball simply gives you more opportunities to take advantage of the environment. In VanMeter's case, we've seen signs of that in Triple-A this year, where the switch to the same ball as in the majors was made. Vanmeter has hit 13 homers in Triple-A. His first five games in the majors haven't been exceptional, but he did start two games in a row Wednesday and Thursday and has just one strikeout in 13 plate appearances. –Chris Towers
Mac Williamson (10%) - Yes, it was Coors Field this week, but Williamson has the power to hit it out of any park. He has 14 home runs in 344 career plate appearances and could legitimately be a 30-homer guys, even playing half his games in San Francisco. Strikeouts will be a concern, but at the very least he's must add in a five-outfielder Roto league. –Heath Cummings
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