Fantasy Baseball Waiver-Wire Targets: April 22, 2022

Hope the weather cooperates, but next week it will finally feel like baseball season is in full swing. There were a ton of day games to start the season, and the last of the home openers were finally played last week.

Apologies for a short spring training should also be over, as pitchers had multiple starts to stretch and everyday players racked up more than 50 plate appearances. May is just around the corner, so it’s time for slow-starting players to pull through and perform better.

Waiver targets

Arizona Diamondbacks Starting Pitcher Merrill Kelly – It’s a pleasant surprise, as Kelly was an afterthought during the draft season, but went into fantasy relevance to start the year. The 33-year-old made three starts and allowed just one earned run. Kelly also struck out at least five batters in each of his starts and totaled 18 for the season. He’s a pitcher with a 4.13 career ERA, so we know he can’t go on like this. However, we need to ride the hot streak and see if he can settle in as a rotational return option for the rest of the year. Kelly is currently 54% owned in Yahoo! Sports Leagues, so this will be the last chance to acquire the veteran.

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Dylan Bundy – Another widely available veteran is the former first-round pick. Bundy pitched the fifth inning on both of his starts and allowed an earned run. After recording two strikeouts in his debut, Bundy finished with five against the Boston Red Sox. Bundy averages a career-low fastball speed (his average fastball is 89.3 mph), but his confidence in his slider and change has helped him navigate a batting order. The 29-year-old has struggled in 2021 but has been solid in 2020. If he can get close to the latter this season, he’ll be a decent rotational return option for fantasy owners.

St. Louis Cardinals Starting Pitcher Miles Mikolas — It’s not often that when it comes to starting pitchers on the waiver wire, it’s the veterans who are recommended. The 33-year-old is our third veteran starting pitcher on this list. In three starts, Mikolas allowed three earned runs while striking out 13. Mikolas is on the better team of the three veterans, so he has a better chance of racking up wins. The right-hander was really good in 2019 as he threw a 2.83 ERA, but it will be hard to replicate that. Mikolas also hits a career-high 7.6 batters over nine innings. All three pitchers have solid option histories, but never at this level. We’ll temper our expectations and hope they can be pitchers who rack up innings while helping in the strikeout department and avoiding any outbursts that will kill our pitch ratios.

Baltimore Orioles reliever Jorge Lopez – The Orioles may not win many games, but when a closer is held less than 15 percent, we have to take advantage. Lopez showed his electric talent on April 20 when he pitched 1.2 innings and struck out three while collecting his second save. Lopez is used in high leverage situations, which could lead to some cheap wins. The right-hander has strikeout ability and has already struck out nine of seven innings pitched. We’re at a point in baseball where teams are coming together and right now Lopez is solidified in his role, which is fantasy gold. Lopez could eclipse 15 saves while adding a few wins, making him a solid waiver target.

Chicago Cubs infielder/outfielder Patrick Wisdom – Wisdom has nine hits, two home runs and seven RBIs in its last six games. Wisdom is also eligible for multiple positions, which is something we always want to target. Wisdom hit 28 homers in 2021, so the power is legit. If he can hit for a higher average than finishing .231 last year, the 30-year-old could be a viable fantasy option this season. Wisdom is currently batting .263 and has four interceptions in 2021, so there’s a chance he could add a few more this season.

Zack Collins, Toronto Blue Jays wide receiver – Offensive Seekers are difficult to find, so if there is a chance of acquiring one on the waiver wire, fantasy owners should seriously consider it. Collins is batting .333 with two homers and has eight hits in his last five games. Even more impressive, Collins is at bat in the middle of a powerful Blue Jays formation. I don’t know if this will last, but if Collins can provide offensive production, he’s an immediate waiver target because of the position he plays.

Photo credit: Colin Murphy/PressBox

Comments are closed.