Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Walker Buehler, Jon Lester, and winners and losers from Monday
Heath Cummings tells you who to add off the waiver wire and looks at Monday's winners and losers.
Very few players are simply good or bad all year long. For most, the baseball season is one long roller coaster. As a Fantasy player, it can pay to know when to get off. That's how I'm feeling about Walker Buehler and Jon Lester right now.
Buehler was spectacular on Monday, whiffing eight Diamondbacks in eight innings of one-run ball. It was Buehler's fourth quality start in his last five starts and he's looking like the ace he was drafted as. But my concerns about Buehler as an ace were more about the second half of the season and how the Dodgers might limit his workload after a huge increase in 2018. Which makes now an opportune time to deal him.
Lester started off the season and looked like one of the true bounceback starting pitchers. Then he gave up 19 runs in three starts. Another good start on Monday night dropped his ERA to 3.32 and put me in the mood to sell. I'm not confident he's going to be a must-start pitcher rest of season.
Three to add
Mallex Smith (55%) - Smith has been underowned for at least a week now, and his home run on Monday was just a reminder of that. Over his last eight games he owns a .313/.389/.500 slash line with six stolen bases. He's also led off in seven of those games. Smith should be rostered in all formats and started in most.
Christian Walker (48%) - After an extended cold streak, it appears Walker's waking up again. He homered off Buehler on Monday night, his third in his last five games. He has eight hits over that stretch and once again looks like a borderline top-12 first baseman.
Ryan Pressly (32%) - Pressly picked up his third save on Monday, but the saves are really just a bonus. You're rostering him for the elite ratios. He probably doesn't deserve a spot on a standard points roster, but he should be started everywhere else.
Monday's Winners and Losers
Javier Baez - Baez doubled and homered on Monday, his first extra base hits in a week. Hopefully he's breaking out of his recent slide.
Robbie Ray - Ray took the loss on Monday, but seven innings against the Dodgers is a win, especially for him.
Keston Hiura - Hiura was sent to the minors, despite a blistering recent pace, to make room for Travis Shaw. I was afraid this would happen but really thought Hiura's recent play might prevent it. How soon he gets back likely depends on whether Shaw's bat wakes up.
Mitch Haniger - Haniger went hitless with two more strikeouts on Monday and looks unplayable for the time being. His strikeout rate (28%) is a career high and it's fair to wonder if he's pressing due to the Mariners recent struggles.
Aaron Nola - Hopes that Nola had returned to his ace-self were put on hold on Monday. He gave up six runs to the Padres in 6.1 innings. Bad starts happen, but this was the fourth start in Nola's last five that he walked at least three batters. He's not going to be the pitcher he was in 2018 if his control doesn't improve.
Andrew McCutchen - McCutchen suffered a knee injury in a rundown on Monday night. We'll know more after his MRI on Tuesday but it didn't look like a short-term absence. We'll have more information when we learn more.
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