2023 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Week 25: Pete Crow-Armstrong's Debut For The Chicago Cubs Is Something Out Of A Movie
Dan Malin breaks down this week's top fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups available in your league for the 2023 MLB season, including Pete Crow-Armstrong of the Chicago Cubs!
With the fantasy baseball playoffs in full swing, the fantasy baseball waiver wire mostly becomes a place to find a stream-worthy two-start pitcher or even just a one-start option in a great matchup. I subscribe to the theory that if you’re still in it at this point then your offensive pieces are set. I’ll make note of some hitters to grab if you’re in a pinch but most of my research ahead of next week was done looking at the pitching schedules and matchups. I will touch on Heston Kjerstad who was called up by the Baltimore Orioles, as well as Pete Crow-Armstrong of the Chicago Cubs. Both are just more young names to add to the long list of MLB top prospects called up this season. Here are the latest fantasy baseball waiver wire adds for your playoff rosters!
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Hitters
Heston Kjerstad, 1B/OF, Baltimore Orioles; FAAB Bid: 5%
Kjerstad was just the latest top prospect called up by Baltimore and Friday night he made his presence known…
Kjerstad is a former first-round pick from the 2020 MLB Draft class and he had no issues at all between Double-A and Triple-A this season as he hit over .300 with 21 home runs and 87 runs scored between both levels. It remains to be seen how much playing time he’ll receive amidst Baltimore’s playoff push. However, he has plenty of raw power and there’s some position flexibility.
Tommy Pham, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks; FAAB Bid: 4%
I don’t quite know why, but fantasy baseball managers just don’t like rostering Tommy Pham. And it’s odd because he’s very productive. Since he debuted with Arizona on August 3rd he’s slashing .260/.313/.467 with six home runs, 20 runs scored, and 26 RBI, and nine stolen bases. He went 0-for-4 Friday night, but it truly seems like he finds a way to get on base every single game and he’s locked into the three-hole in Arizona’s lineup.
Jorge Polanco, 2B/3B/DH, Minnesota Twins; FAAB Bid: 3-4%
Polanco is more of a shallow league pickup. He’s available in about half of all ESPN leagues and maybe a quarter of CBS Sports leagues so this isn’t necessarily an option available everywhere. Polanco missed some time in June and July, but he’s been productive since coming back to the Twins. In particular, over the last three weeks he’s slashing .310/.397/.586 with 18 hits in 15 games to go along with 13 runs scored and 13 RBI. Minnesota starts next week’s scoring period with a three-game series in Cincinnati and they close the year out in Coors Field. And in between that they have some easy matchups against the Angels and Athletics.
Francisco Alvarez, C, New York Mets; FAAB Bid: 2-3%
For what it’s worth I’d rather grab Mitch Garver if he’s available. But I’ve seen the ownership spike and I just mentioned Garver in Tuesday’s Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire article, so allow me to give you another option. Alvarez’s batting average (.216) is awful, but his .228 ISO at least indicates that there’s power when he does make contact. It seems odd that a catcher with 23 home runs is so widely available but that’s what we have with Alvarez in this spot. Playing time isn’t as consistent as Garver’s, and Alvarez did have the night off on Friday, but there’s still power here as the Mets close out the season with alternating series against the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies.
Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Chicago Cubs; FAAB Bid: 0-1%
In case you’ve been living under a rock the last week, Pete Crow-Armstrong got the call to the big leagues. Why is this significant? Check this out…
His mom portrayed a character who was the mother of a Chicago Cubs prospect. A kid, at that. And now Pete Crow-Armstrong makes it a reality as he got the call earlier this week and he just so happens to also play for the Chicago Cubs. He’s a phenomenal defensive prospect but that does very little for our fantasy baseball squadrons. He’s had a rough start to his career at the plate, but he was brought up for Chicago’s playoff push. If you want to just reflect on the irony of this kid playing for the Cubs then by all means do that and then check out the pitching options for this week.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Pitchers
Ryan Pepiot, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers; FAAB Bid: 6-7%
There are two pitchers that really stand out to me this weekend as options to grab ahead of next week. And I feel bad writing up Ryan Pepiot because I’ve mentioned him a couple times over the last month, but he’s been outstanding for the Dodgers. He’s worked 18 innings as a starter and allowed just one walk. He’s not a huge source of strikeouts but he also limits damage. And on top of it all he plays for the Dodgers who have a great offense and he’s collected two wins in three starts. He draws the Detroit Tigers this week and if your season expands into the final week of the season, he’ll get two road starts against the Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants. Obviously, the former matchup has its concerns but I’m having a hard time fading Pepiot currently. If you need another name to consider, I’ve seen Griffin Canning mentioned but he has some tough matchups coming up against the Rays and Rangers.
Mike Clevinger, SP, Chicago White Sox; FAAB Bid: 5%
Part of me always feels bad writing up Clevinger because of the off-the-field issues associated with his name. I don’t really ever give him much consideration so I can’t say I’ve added him, but he took the loss on Wednesday yet pitched well overall. He went six innings and struck out seven while yielding two earned runs. Over his last 17 innings of work he hasn’t allowed a single walk so the control is dialed in. He gets a pair of great road starts next week against the Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox so he should probably be added wherever he’s available because he could be a league-winning two-start streamer.
Logan Taylor Allen, SP, Cleveland Guardians; FAAB Bid: 4%
Allen lines up as a two-start pitcher next week and while he doesn’t pitch deep into games he’s pitched well in his last two appearances. He draws the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday and the Baltimore Orioles to close out the week. The unfortunate part for Cleveland is they only have five games during the final week of the season, but the way things are currently lined up, Allen is in play to pitch against the Detroit Tigers in the season finale. In terms of finding a streamer on the waiver wire, Allen is a player I’ve grabbed in a couple leagues. I’ll also note that if Bryan Woo is still available, I’d consider him over Allen if you need a one-start streamer. He draws the Oakland Athletics on Monday before closing the scoring period against the Texas Rangers which is likely a spot to avoid him.
Reid Detmers, SP, Los Angeles Angels; FAAB Bid: 2-3%
Be mindful of the FAAB bid if you even have any left in your budget at this point in the season. Detmers closes out the latest scoring period against the Detroit Tigers so I am perfectly fine streaming him if you’re in a pinch this weekend. There’s some variance to his game since he touts a 4.77 ERA on the season, but he averages over a strikeout per inning. Next week he draws the Minnesota Twins and then gets a nice matchup against the Oakland Athletics to close out the season. I’m fine dropping him after Sunday’s start to re-tool your lineup for next week but be mindful of his future matchups in case you want to utilize him again.
Julian Merryweather, RP, Chicago Cubs; FAAB Bid: 0-1%
Not a must-add by any means but I’m curious how the bullpen situation plays out for the Cubs over the next two weeks since Adbert Alzolay hit the IL. They’ve lost three straight and six of their last eight but Merryweather did get the save in the series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks, while Michael Fulmer got the save the next day against the Colorado Rockies. But if Merryweather is the preferred option by the team to close out the year then his fantasy value increases heavily and he averages well over a strikeout per inning.