2023 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Week 8: Brayan Bello is Finding a Groove
Adam Ronis breaks down this week's top fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups available in your league for the 2023 MLB season, including Brayan Bello.
The 2023 MLB season has been a wild one less than two months into the season making the fantasy baseball waiver wire a busy one. No one is surprised to see Ronald Acuna Jr, Pete Alonso, Spencer Strider, and Gerrit Cole among the league leaders for certain categories. Yandy Diaz, Justin Steele, Bryce Elder, Mitch Keller, Nolan Gorman and Josh Lowe being among leaders weren't predicted to be there at this point and many were free agent pickups off the waiver wire. No matter where your fantasy baseball team is in the standings, it's not too late to make a push for the championship. Waiver wire pickups are integral to being successful. Sometimes, the adds off the waiver wire can help for the whole season and other times they are short-term additions, even for one week such as a player with seven games in a favorable ballpark for the week, like Coors Field in Colorado. Some of the recommendations can be streamers for a short period. As always, continue to hit the waiver wire and consider adding some of the players below.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Hitters
Bryan De La Cruz, OF, Miami Marlins (26% – Yahoo, 7.4% – ESPN)
De La Cruz had a great September last season to get some buzz in deeper formats, but a slow start had many give up on him. De La Cruz has heated up in May with a .328 average, three home runs and a .905 OPS. The Marlins have four games in Colorado to start the week followed by three games on the road against the Angels. De La Cruz began the series in Coors Field on Monday going 4-for-4 with two runs and is slashing .302/.337/.459 with five home runs and 18 RBIs.
Marcell Ozuna, OF, Atlanta Braves (18% – Yahoo, 6.3% – ESPN)
Ozuna started the season slowly and has started to come around recently. He has an 12.1% walk rate and is hitting the ball hard and in the 87th percentile of barrel percentage. Ozuna is batting .333 with six home runs, 15 RBIs and a 1.095 OPS in May. The Braves have one of the best lineups in baseball and he will get lots of chances to drive in runs.
Matt McLain, SS, Cincinnati Reds (29% – Yahoo, 4% – ESPN)
McLain, a 2021 first-round pick, is getting the chance to play shortstop every day. He's been hitting second for the Reds. He is slashing .250/.333/.375 with six runs and two RBIs in his first 24 at-bats.
McLain slashed .348/.474/.710 with 30 runs, 12 home runs, 40 RBIs and 10 stolen bases at Triple-A.
Seth Brown, 1B/OF, Oakland Athletics (23% – Yahoo, 6.2% – ESPN)
Brown returned from the injured list on Monday. Brown had 25 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 150 games last season. While the A's are the worst team in baseball, the lineup has been better than expected. Brown was off to a slow start before getting injured, but it was only eight games.
Brenton Doyle, OF, Colorado Rockies (7% – Yahoo, 2% – ESPN)
Doyle is more of a short-term add. The Rockies play seven games at home this week. Doyle is batting .262 with 13 runs, four home runs, 13 RBIs and six stolen bases in 65 at-bats. He is in the 98th percentile of sprint speed, but a 35.3% strikeout rate and 4.4% walk rate show long term success is unlikely. Playing him at Coors Field is the ideal way to deploy Doyle.
Mickey Moniak, OF, Los Angeles Angels (8% – Yahoo, 3% – ESPN)
Moniak was the top overall pick for the Phillies in 2016, so the pedigree is there. Moniak has hit well since being called up and is starting to get more playing time. He has started five of the last seven games and hit lead off on Monday night and went 2-for-4 with a home run. He is 12-for-28 with three home runs, six RBIs and two stolen bases, but he has struck out 11 times and walked once.
Royce Lewis, SS, Minnesota Twins (41% – Yahoo, 4% – ESPN)
Lewis was mentioned in the Saturday FAAB article and people started to pick him up over the weekend. In leagues in which he was available, I fell short in two FAAB leagues, but landed him in one.
Elly De La Cruz, SS, Cincinnati Reds (22% – Yahoo, 3.9% – ESPN)
Another potential stash as many are starting to add him. The 21-year-old is slashing .281/.374/.588 with 23 runs, seven home runs, 25 RBIs and seven stolen bases. He hit a 465-foot home run on Sunday.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pitchers
Louie Varland, SP, Minnesota Twins (29% – Yahoo, 10.9% ESPN)
Varland has been mentioned here a few times, yet he's still available in too many leagues. He has made five starts and gone at least five innings in four. He has a 4.18 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP with a 26.3% strikeout rate and 5.9% walk rate. Varland has had some bad luck with a 2.25 HR/9. He has a 13.4% swinging strike rate.
Bobby Miller, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers, (24% – Yahoo, 5.8% – ESPN)
Miller will make his debut for the Dodgers on Tuesday in a difficult matchup against the Braves. Miller has a chance to stick in the starting rotation with Dustin May and Julio Urias on the injured list. The rookie started the season with shoulder soreness. He stuck out six and allowed one run over six innings in his last start.
Brayan Bello, SP, Boston Red Sox (19% – Yahoo, 5.5% ESPN)
Bello has pitched well over his last four starts, including facing the Braves and Blue Jays. Over 21 innings, he has allowed 20 hits, six earned runs, walked nine and struck out 23. He has three wins and a 2.57 ERA in that span.
Jared Shuster, SP, Atlanta Braves (8% – Yahoo, 2.4% – ESPN)
Shuster had a great spring and had a big rise up the board in high stakes drafts. In his first starts over 8.2 innings, he allowed 12 hits, eight runs, nine walks and struck out five to earn a trip back to the minors. With Max Fried and Kyle Wright on the injured list, Shuster is back in the rotation. He has been better in his first two starts back, including a start on Sunday against the Mariners in which he went six innings and allowed one hit, one run, one walk and struck out seven. Limiting the walks is key for his success. Shuster gets the Phillies in his next start and they are 24th in wOBA against left-handers.
Miguel Castro, RP, Arizona Diamondbacks (26% – Yahoo, 3.7% – ESPN)
Castro has been mentioned here in the last few articles, so many of you have added by now. While he's not officially the closer, he has been in the mix for saves. Castro has recorded saves in two of his last three appearances and four of the last six. In his last 6.1 innings, Castro has allowed four hits, no runs, walked three and struck out nine. Castro was brought into the seventh inning on Monday and Andrew Chafin got the save.
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