Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson are more interesting in Washington

We've been waiting all year for the Nationals to trade for a closer. So what do they do? They trade for a pair of them and refuse to name either the closer. Perfect.

Sean Doolittle (27 percent) and Ryan Madson (28 percent) instantly become the two most interesting options on the waiver wire that could get you saves. They're also very good pitchers.

Doolittle, in particular, is having a phenomenal year with 13.1 K/9 and less than a walk per nine innings. His 2.35 FIP is far more reflective of his performance than his 3.38 ERA. He's the best pitcher in the Nationals bullpen now, but he's also left-handed and that could mean slotting into an eighth inning role he has for much of his career. If he eventually earned the closer's role, he'll be a top-10 option.

Madson has more of a history closing games out (30 saves last year, 32 in 2011) and is having a fine year in his own right with a 0.79 WHIP. He's not as dominant as Doolittle (8.9 K/9) but he'd still be a top-15 closer if he locks down the job for the Nationals.

I'm trying to add both of these guys in any type of Roto or categories league where saves matter. It may take a week or two before the dust settles, but I'd bet on one of them being must-own the rest of the season. I would prioritize Madson over Doolittle.

Here's the rest of Monday's waiver wire:

Waiver Wire
1
Trevor Cahill San Diego SP
I was slow adapting to Cahill this spring and then totally ignored him while he was on the disabled list. But he's now struck out 20 hitters in 16 innings since returning, and it's time to view him a must-own until further notice. Cahill now has 11.1 K/9 on the to go along with a ground ball rate of 56.8 percent. Keeping those two numbers where they are and staying healthy would lead to a top-30 performance from Cahill the rest of the season.
2
Whit Merrifield Kansas City 2B
I get why you're doubting Whit Merrifield , but the things he's doing well he's doing really well. Merrifield is on a 30-SB pace and has struck out just 13.2 percent of the time. He's now a .285 hitter over 634 career plate appearances, and I'd expect decent run numbers with him hitting in the leadoff spot. Merrifield is a must-own in any league where you have a middle infield position and he's a borderline option in a standard points league.
3
Tommy Pham St. Louis LF
With Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk both back on the DL, we can stop worrying about Pham's future roster spot. Like Merrifield, Pham just crossed over 600 career PA, his .270/.356/.479 slash line is even more impressive than Merrifield's. Pham's .306 average is propped up by an unsustainable BABIP, but I'd still expect him to be a 20/20 guy with upside in both categories. 
4
I don't really believe Brandon Phillips can perform at a high level for an entire season at age 36, but when he gets hot ... look out. Phillips has been red-hit since the break with seven hits in three games, six of them for extra bases. He's a worthy add as a middle infielder, second baseman or even utility until he cools off. 
5
With all the commotion around the Nationals closer situation, it seems everyone totally missed Alex Claudio picking up a pair of saves in the Rangers ' first two games after the break. Claudio hasn't been particularly good this season, but neither has anyone else in the Rangers' bullpen. New addition Jason Grilli just took a loss in his first appearance after the break. Caudio could become the man by default. He doesn't have the upside of Madson or Doolittle, but if you're chasing saves, he's a good add.
Senior Fantasy Writer

Heath Cummings is a Senior Fantasy Writer that covers Daily Fantasy Sports of all types. Before coming to CBS Sports he was a staff writer for Footballguys and the host of The Fantasy Football Show on... Full Bio

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