Week 4 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups: Weliable Wandy

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Streaks, hot and cold, only last so long and play a key role on how to work the fantasy baseball waiver wire. As we enter week four, fantasy owners should prepare for guys like J.P. ArencibiaDexter Fowler, and Paul Maholm to cool down. At the same time, guys like Jayson Heyward, Matt Kemp, and David Price should finally get their season started. We all know it’s just a matter of time until the law of averages comes into play.

fantasy baseball waiver wire
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez 51 throws during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field Mandatory Credit Matt Kartozian USA TODAY Sports

On the other hand, it’s much harder to tell if a young player with minimal experience is having a hot streak or hitting his potential. Let’s take a look at some younger players that it seems to be coming together for and a few veterans that are proving as reliable as ever.

Wandy Rodriguez (Owned in 57% of Yahoo Leagues): Wandy looked great in his first start, giving up just two hits and a walk over 6.2 scoreless innings against the Cubs. He left his second start against Arizona in the second with an injury but returned strong on Friday as he pitched seven one-hit innings against the red hot Braves, striking out five. Rodriguez hasn’t had an ERA above 3.76 since 2007 and while his K/9 is around 6-6.5, he is capable of producing in every other fantasy category.

Lucas Duda (23%): Last season, Duda struck out a ton and ended up getting sent down in the summer. This year he’s back with a chip on his shoulder and showing the pop the Mets were excited about when they first brought him up. Aside from just his five home runs, Duda currently ranks second in the National League in walks (15), third in On-Base Percentage (.475), and fourth in OPS (1.135). He’ll have his struggles, especially against lefties, but this is a guy capable of hitting 30 homers this season.

Jose Quintana (23%): Quintana struggled in his first start against the Mariners but completely blanked the Indians and Blue Jays on the road, giving up just six hits, two walks, and striking out 14 over 13.2 IP. Quintana is translating his 2.76 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over 300 IP in the minors to the big league level and his strikeouts are climbing toward the 10 K/9 rate that he consistently put up through his minor league career.

Patrick Corbin (26%): Corbin is one of the most interesting pitchers in the league right now. His track record in the minors has been wildly inconsistent but there are a few things we definitely know; his 4.54 ERA last season was the result of an uncharacteristic 1.2 HR/9 ratio after he put up a 0.7 HR/9 in 430 IP in the minors. He has only given up one home run this season through 19 IP. His 7.2 K/9 and 3.44 K/BB in 2012 is approaching his 8.4 K/9 and 3.64 K/BB that he put up in the minors. The one big negative is that he gives up a ton of hits, 9.3 H/9 in his first 126 Major League innings and 9.1 H/9 over his minor league career. His WHIP will never be below the high 1.20s at best but if he can keep his home run and walk totals reasonable, he should definitely pan out very nicely for the DBacks and fantasy owners alike.

Lorenzo Cain (45%): I’m not fully sold on Cain, especially with 13 strikeouts in 57 at-bats, but the numbers seem to suggest a pretty productive player otherwise. He showed an ability to put up 15+ homers and 80+ RBI in the minors and has more than enough speed to steal 30-40 bases. While his ability to hit for a high average is suspect, he can definitely finish the season with 10-15 homers and 30+ steals after starting with a homer, five doubles, nine RBI, seven runs, and a .368 BA.

Ervin Santana (40%): It’s easy to roll your eyes at a guy who owned a 5.16 ERA last season but it was the first time we had seen a healthy Santana struggle since 2007. His 39 homers allowed last year led the league and his 2 HR/9 is twice as high as his career-average. Just a season ago, Ervin put up a 3.38 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 7 K/9. Thus far this season he has a 2.48 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 26/5 K/BB on a much better looking Royals team.

Vernon Wells (40%): I know, I don’t want to pick up Vernon Wells anymore than you do, but you can’t fight math. Over his first 63 at-bats, Wells is batting .317 with five homers, eight RBI, 10 runs, and a 1.013 OPS. Unsustainable as it may be, Wells is showing that he still has something left in the tank and there’s no reason you shouldn’t give Wells a shot until he starts trending back down.

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Igor Derysh
Igor Derysh is Editor-at-Large at XN Sports and has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sun-Sentinel, and FantasyPros. He has previously covered sports for COED Magazine, Fantasy Alarm, and Manwall.com.