Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Week 4

Add these players from waivers for your week 4 fantasy baseball matchup

In weekly FAAB leagues, your waiver wire claims have likely already been processed. Our FAAB Insights articles are great sources for finding targets ahead of weekly waiver deadlines.

Here, you will find players you can pick up if you have daily waiver claims or if you are able to pick up players throughout the week.

These are players you should consider adding from the waiver wire for matchup number four who are available in 60% or fewer of ESPN leagues.



Jonah Heim (C – TEX) 9.3% rostered

Jonah Heim is up to four home runs on the season in his first 60 plate appearances, a year after hitting 16 in 450 PAs. He has scored 12 runs and picked up 16 RBI while batting .320.

Elements of this hot start are very promising. Heim has increased his walk rate from 9.1% last season to 13.3% this year. His barrel rate (10.3%) and HardHit rate (48.7%) are career bests. He has also decreased his groundball rate by 10% from last season and is driving the ball at a 28% rate.

These data points reflect an improved hitter, and justify an increase in his home run rate, although he has doubled his HR/FB rate from last season with an almost identical flyball rate. Although his current rate of homers may slow down, he should be able to outproduce his projections for 12-15 homers the rest of the season. Here is his most recent bomb:

Where he likely will regress is his batting average. Heim carries a .343 BABIP vs a career .240 BABIP and has not improved in plate discipline.

Buy the boost in power, anticipate some batting average regression, and go add Heim from waivers now.

Honorable Mention: Elias Díaz (40.2%), Cal Raleigh (29.4%), Shea Langeliers (7.7%)


Corner Infield

Patrick Wisdom (3B – ChC) 36.1%

Between April 16-22, Patrick Wisdom hit four homers, with seven runs and 10 RBI, while hitting .290. For the season, his stat line reads 9/17/18/.257.

Wisdom has his flaws, including a career strikeout rate of 36.8% (it is 32.5% this season, so there’s that), and poor discipline numbers. But at least early in the season, the third baseman looks to have made some major improvements. Just look at his hitter performance so far this season:

He has cut down on his swinging strikes and has his best contact rate in four seasons. He has a 22.9% barrel rate, which is third among third basemen, sixth among all qualified hitters, and a career-best. His 58.3% HardHit rate is tied with Yandy Díaz for fifth best among qualified hitters, is second among third basemen, and is also a career-best.

Wisdom has also improved his line drive rate and groundball rates while also increasing his flyball rate to 53%. His 36% HR/FB rate may be unsustainable, but he had a 30.8% HR/FB rate in 2021 over 375 PAs when he hit 28 homers. A 30+ home run season is not out of the question for Wisdom.

Will he continue hitting above his career .220 batting average? His K% suggests we should not expect that. But ride the hot streak while it lasts, and scoop Wisdom up off waivers this week if he is still available in your league.

Honorable Mention: J.D. Davis (9.9%), Harold Ramírez (14.3%), Josh Jung (19.6%)


Middle Infield

Rodolfo Castro (2B – PIT) 2.3%

With Oneil Cruz on the shelf, Rodolfo Castro has seen more playing time in Pittsburgh.

He has made a number of improvements at the plate from last season after starting slowly to begin this season. His chase, contact, swinging strike, and strikeout rates have all improved as reflected in his PLV Strikezone Judgment chart:

Castro has career bests 15% barrel and 47.5% HardHit rates, and has lowered his groundball rate and increased his flyball rate from last year.

While he likely will not sustain his .273 AVG with a .342 BABIP, he appears to have made enough adjustments to warrant being added from waivers in deeper leagues, especially since he carries multiple position eligibility.

Honorable Mention: Taylor Walls (12.2%), Bryson Stott (34.9%), Nolan Gorman (41.3%), Wilmer Flores (20.8%)



Andrew McCutchen (OF – PIT) 27.2%

Hey, I was as surprised researching McCutchen as you likely are seeing his name here, but his age 36 campaign looks legit so far.

McCutchen has four homers, 11 runs, nine RBI, has swiped three bags, and has a .277 AVG. And there are signs that his batting average may go up from there!

His current .275 BABIP is well under his .315 career BABIP, while his LD/GB/FB rates profile almost identically to his 2015 season when he hit 23 homers with a .292 AVG. He also has the best strikeout rate of his career at 15% and is walking at a 15% rate as well.

McCutchen’s contact rate is the best it has been since 2012 at 80.9%, and it is good contact – he has a 43.6% HardHit rate (his best since 2015). Just check out his latest homer:

I know it sounds crazy, but if you need some outfield depth, McCutchen is widely available on waivers and is worth considering in all formats.

Honorable Mention: Jarred Kelenic (49%), Josh Lowe (28.8%), Brandon Marsh (30.8%), Jorge Soler (10.4%), Austin Hays (49.5%), Ji Hwan Bae (3.5%)


Starting Pitcher

Graham Ashcraft (SP – CIN) 43.7%

What are we doing here, people? Graham Ashcraft should be unanimously rostered at this point.

He is third in Stuff+ behind Jacob deGrom and Shohei Ohtani and has the third-best Stuff+ on his cutter and the second-best on his slider. Both of those pitches carry a batting average against of .212 or below, and each has a putaway rate of 20% or more.

His PLV data also shows how well his pitches are performing. Both his cutter and slider are above league average, with his cutter bordering on being a quality pitch.

Not only is he exceedingly difficult to hit, but Ashcraft is also talented at avoiding home runs – a skill that is extra important for pitching in the homer-friendly Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.

Ashcraft has the fifth-highest groundball rate of all qualified starting pitchers, with his cutter inducing just a 4-degree launch angle and his sinker inducing a -8 degree LA.

Though Ashcraft has just a 7.8 K/9 and a dangerous 4.3% BB/9, he is worth adding for his ability to simply get batters out. Yes, the ERA will regress from 1.80 (his PLA is 2.94, which is still very good), but now is the time to add him from waivers while you still can.

Honorable Mention: Johan Oviedo (25.5%), Hunter Brown (53.8%), Mitch Keller (24.3%), Bryce Elder (42.4%), MacKenzie Gore (20.4%), Ryne Nelson (4.8%), Brad Keller (13.7%), Domingo Germán (8%), Taj Bradley (25.6%), Alex Cobb (43.2%)


Relief Pitcher

Jhoan Duran (RP – MIN) 48.7%

The reliever market is thinning more every week, so it is surprising that Jhoan Duran is still available in more than 50% of leagues.

He clearly has the manager’s confidence as the closer in Minnesota, with four saves as opposed to Jorge López’s one.

It is no surprise why Duran has been used as the primary closer – his stuff is filthy. He has a 12.7 K/9 rate and a 50% GB rate thanks to an arsenal that features a 101 MPH fastball and a 99 MPH splitter that has yet to be hit.

All three of his pitches have whiff rates that range from 25%-50% and putaway rates ranging from 18%-21%. Batters are essentially hitting his splitter directly into the ground the few times they do make contact with it, as it has a -19 degree LA. It is also the fifth-best splitter according to our PLV data.

Duran’s 2.84 ERA is ballooned some because of his 50% HR/FB rate, and his 2.46 xFIP and 2.30 SIERA suggest even better days are ahead.

He is a must-add from waivers if he is available in your league.

Honorable Mention: Paul Sewald (56.2%), José Quijada (10.9%), A.J. Minter (43.6%), Andrew Chafin (20.2%), A.J. Puk (8.2%)

Taylor Tarter

Taylor is a fantasy baseball champion that has been playing for over a decade. Tune into his podcast, Fastball Fantasy Baseball, every Wednesday for in depth analysis making sabermetrics friendly to the everyday fantasy player.

4 responses to “Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Week 4”

  1. Andrew Kovacic says:

    I think the 60% threshold is too high for this type of article. Think about the type of fantasy baseball manager who would be reading this article from PL, they are likely to be playing in a competitive league.

    Players like McCutchen, Kelenic, Josh Lowe, Ashcraft, Hunter Brown, Taj Bradley, Jhoan Duran, Paul Sewald, AJ Puk are going to be rostered in any semi-competitive 12 team league, and certainly in any 15 team league.

    • Malibu says:

      Agreed. These players – even all the honorable mentions – have been owned for weeks.

      The issue with any WW article is that it’s reactionary and usually a week late. Players have been swooped up long before it comes out.

    • Patrick says:

      Also the percentages seem a little funky. Article lists Wisdom as rostered in 36% of leagues. He is rostered in 87% of leagues on Yahoo

  2. Taylor says:

    I’m using ESPN rostership data. Just writing what I see. I’m trying to include players that can be found in both deep and shallow leagues. Some of it is meant to be players who are less available that need to be more unanimously rostered. Some are players that aren’t rostered hardly at all. It’s also hard not to be reactionary when addressing the waiver wire in an article once a week. If I was writing it every day, I could be more anticipatory. But I have to look at who is available and offer my best recommendations for players that should be rostered in basically every type of scoring format in every size league. Easier said than done.

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