Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Spencer Strider Carving a Big Role with the Braves

Top players on the waiver wire that fantasy owners should be targeting this week.

Spencer Strider of the Atlanta Braves pitches against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
DENVER, CO - JUNE 4: Spencer Strider #65 of the Atlanta Braves pitches against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 4, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. The Colorado Rockies debuted the team's city connect uniforms in the game. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Last week’s waiver wire picks paid off in a big way. If you missed the article, or wanted to wait before adjusting your roster, luckily many of the players are still widely available. Although I still consider all of last weeks names an add, I have a fresh batch of names for this week as well.

Spencer Strider – SP – Atlanta Braves (18.9% ESPN)

2022 Stats: 2-2 2.35 ERA 1.12 WHIP 57 K 38.1 innings

Atlanta’s 23 year-old rookie has bounced from the bullpen to the rotation, appearing in 14 games with three starts. In his most recent start versus Pittsburgh, Strider went 5.2 innings of four-hit ball with eight strikeouts. A fastball over 98 miles per hour combined with a slider that hitters are whiffing on at a 52.3% clip has lead to Strider’s rookie success.

Strider’s matchup up comes on the Wednesday the 15th at Washington making him a great streaming option. However, he profiles as much more than that. What could look like a streamer this week could snowball into useful starter on a talented team leading to more wins.

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Jake Burger – 3B – Chicago White Sox (8.6% ESPN)

2022 Stats: .280/.326/.528 8 HR 143 wRC+

Over the past 28 days, Jake Burger has a 1.149 OPS while turning into an everyday player. Burger has filled the designated hitter role well, while also giving the struggling Yoan Moncada a fair share of days off at third. With the way he’s hitting, La Russa will have a difficult time taking him out of the lineup.

Burger has hit across every level he’s played. The power numbers will help any category player who might be looking for an uptick in home runs, while providing plenty of average for the time being. Once the White Sox get healthy, at-bats might become more challenging but ride the hot hand until that happens.

Bryson Stott – 2B/SS – Philadelphia Phillies (6.3% ESPN)

2022 Stats: .189/.246/.330 4 HR 61 wRC+

If you owned shares of Jean Segura before his injury, look no further than the rookie replacing him. Stott broke camp with the Phillies before returning to the minors for more seasoning. It looks like he found his swing during that time. Over the past two weeks he is slashing .333/.385/.722 with four home runs.

If you see his spray chart early in the season, you might notice most of his hits were to the left of second base. Since his hot streak, Stott has been pulling the ball more leading to more power. The former top prospect is starting to adjust to big league pitching and the time is now to scoop him up before he takes off. Playing time will not be an issue, and if the production continues, he could climb up the batting order.

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Diego Castillo – RP- Seattle Mariners (5.9% ESPN)

2022 Stats: 3-0 5.32 ERA 1.36 WHIP 4 SV

Bullpen ERA takes time to level out. Castillo has allowed an earned run in only six of his 24 games. Over the past month his ERA is 1.59 while holding batters to a .081/.150/.081 slash line. The reason he is not owned in a higher percent of leagues has been the lack of saves.

Well, Castillo had two saves last week. Paul Sewald has been used as the closer at times, but Castillo is poised to take that title over. He has the stuff and track record to close games out, now he just needs the opportunities.

Luis Garcia – 2B/SS – Washington Nationals (3%)

2022 Stats: .359/.366/.487 1 HR 135 wRC+

Luis Garcia is now in his third season after seeing playing time in part of 2020 and 2021. However, the Nationals middle infielder is only 22 years old and might just be figuring it out. He has already shown some increases in average exit velocity (90 MPH), barrel percentage (6.1%), and hard hit rate (45.5%) while putting up a max exit velocity of 113.4 miles per hour.

Garcia is now the starting shortstop, but could easily slide to second if Cesar Hernandez is once again traded at the deadline. Playing time should not be a concern and he is a likely candidate to take over the leadoff spot. With his opportunity and upside, a flyer on him is well worth the risk.

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