It’s hard to believe that we enter the last vestiges of May this week. As Al Green once famously sang a tune penned by Willie Nelson, “ain’t it funny how time slips away?” Let’s check the waiver wires in your leagues and see who might be resting there, waiting to help you this week.
Deep (15 teams) 15% rostered or less: Tyler Naquin OF (12%, 6.3 grade)
Naquin continues to be quietly productive in the Cincinnati lineup. Naquin plays daily with a wide variation in his lineup spot; against right-handed pitchers, he usually hits second, but against left-handed pitchers, he hits eighth. Yet despite that variation, Naquin has four home runs, three stolen bases, 21 RBI, and 17 runs scored while hitting .265. That is value that should not be sitting on the waiver wire if deep leagues. Grab him if he’s out there and you need outfield help. Josh projects 1.1/3.6/3.4/.5/.269 this week for Naquin.
Honorable Mention: Mike Moustakas 1B/3B/DH (15%, 4.8 grade). Naquin’s teammate in Cincy, Moustakas appears to finally be healthy. Moustakas has corner infield eligibility and has three home runs since coming off the IL in late April. Never a big batting average hitter, nonetheless, his .230 average is tolerable when you get the home runs. I’ve always been a big fan of Moose and he’s a great option if you need corner infield help this week. He’s got seven games and is playing every day. Josh projects 1.2/3/3.4/.1/.243. You could do far worse.
Standard (12 teams) 30% rostered or less: Andrew McCutchen (25%, 5.3 grade)
I feel like I need to preface any comments made about Cutch with this caveat: we all know he is not the player he once was. But if you have realistic expectations, Cutch can still help you. People seem to forget that he hit 27 home runs last year, and chipped in with six steals as well. Yes, the batting average was a paltry .222. But in today’s game, that is not a deal-breaker. In 2022, he has three home runs, three steals and is hitting .250 in Milwaukee. He just returned from the Covid IL, was batting fifth, and had three hits and a home run last night. Josh projects him with 1/3.4/3.2/.4/.244 this week. Cutch has value as your fourth or fifth outfielder in standard leagues, and he’s hitting over .300 in May.
Shallow (10 teams) 50% rostered or less Brendan Rodgers (50%, 5.4 grade)
Rodgers doesn’t seem to get a ton of respect, but he has both 2B and SS eligibility in most leagues and is starting to heat up. Working out of a slump to start the season, Rodgers has clawed his way up to .233 due to a .354 clip in May with two home runs and 17 RBI. He continues to fly under the radar in many leagues. Don’t let him fly under yours. A modest bid can net you some good stats this week. Josh projects .9/3.6/3.6.1/.273 this week.
Honorable Mention Adley Rutschman (43%, 2.1 grade)
Rutschman is the consensus number one prospect in baseball. With the dearth of catching options out there, he’s likely worth a pickup if you need help there. The Orioles did not call him up to sit on the bench. He’s going to play. Rutschman is a switch hitter with power. Hard to say how things will go for him in the Show right away, but he’s a must-add in most leagues right away (if he isn’t already on a team), especially in two catcher leagues.
What teams have easy matchups this week?
Colorado @ Pittsburgh, @ Washington
Houston vs. Cleveland, @ Seattle
Minnesota vs. Detroit, vs. Kansas City
Teams with seven games this week: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colorado, Detroit, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New York Yankees, Oakland, Philadelphia, and Washington.
Teams with five games this week: Chicago White Sox, Miami