Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Gavin Stone, Bobby Miller get their shot at the show
The following players are widely available in Yahoo Fantasy Baseball formats and might be worth grabbing, depending on your league’s depth.
Gavin Stone (13%) & Bobby Miller (22%), SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Both prospects will get a chance in L.A.’s rotation with Julio Urías and Dustin May recently hitting the injured list. Stone and Miller pitched better in 2022 than they have to start 2023, but each carries fantasy upside playing for a Dodgers team that helped Tony Gonsolin go 16-1 over just 130 innings last year.
Miller is a first-round pick with a big fastball coming off his best start of the season in Triple-A after dealing with shoulder soreness to begin the year. Stone relies heavily on his changeup and struggled during his MLB debut earlier this season but posted dominant numbers in Triple-A last season, with a 1.12 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 35.5 K%.
Pitching has been especially difficult in 2023, with the league's ERA up more than expected (even with the new rules factored in), and many young pitching prospects have struggled as a result. Moreover, the Dodgers have an incredibly tough schedule this week; Stone is slated to face the Braves and Rays on the road — two of the top-four offenses in wRC+ this season. Grabbing Stone and/or Miller but remaining patient one more week looks like the best move, if possible.
Louie Varland, SP, Minnesota Twins (29%)
Varland somehow remains available in more than 70% of Yahoo leagues, despite strong peripherals in an incredibly pitching-starved fantasy environment. His SwStr% and K-BB% would both rank top-20 among starters if he qualified. His xFIP is better than Gerrit Cole’s. Varland is also due for much better luck moving forward; his 23.3% HR/FB rate is easily the highest among starters, and his .292 BABIP comes with a .262 expected BABIP.
In a season filled with young pitching busts (Grayson Rodriguez’s expected BABIP is .369 — the second-highest in MLB), Varland has quietly impressed and looks poised to help fantasy managers the rest of the season.
Brenton Doyle, OF, Colorado Rockies (7%)
Doyle isn’t a great MLB prospect, but he’s plenty interesting in fantasy leagues, with power/speed skills while playing at Coors Field. He has racked up 10 homers/steals over his first 65 at-bats in the majors, and while that pace will undoubtedly cool, Doyle’s terrific defense in center field should help keep his bat in Colorado’s lineup. The rookie possesses 60-grade power and has a Sprint Speed in the 98th percentile.
The Rockies get seven games at Coors Field this week, which remains by far the most favorable hitter’s park in baseball. Coors Field has increased run scoring by an MLB-high 37% the past three seasons, when it has also boosted batting average a league-high 18% for right-handed batters. Doyle’s plate discipline (35.3 K% 4.4 BB%) is shaky, but his power/speed skills at Coors make him worth adding in fantasy leagues — especially if you can stream him exclusively at home. Doyle rules!
Jared Walsh, 1B, Los Angeles Angels (9%)
Walsh looked like a sleeper entering the year, coming off a down 2022, thanks to an injury that ultimately required season-ending surgery. He had more issues creep up in spring training, such as headaches and insomnia, but he’s reportedly good to go now. Walsh is one season removed from swatting 29 homers with 98 RBI over just 530 at-bats, and he posted a 150 wRC+ in limited action the year prior.
Walsh should be the Angels’ starting first baseman in an otherwise righty-heavy lineup. Angel Stadium has increased homers for left-handed batters by 32% over the past three seasons — third-most among all MLB parks. Walsh remains available in more than 90% of Yahoo leagues.
Seth Brown, 1B/OF, Oakland A’s (23%)
Brown is expected to return Monday from the IL and will likely settle in the middle of the A’s lineup. He had 25 homers and 11 steals over 150 games last season with some encouraging early Statcast numbers before suffering an oblique injury this year. THE BAT X projects a 114 wRC+ rest-of-season. Oakland’s lineup isn’t the worst in the league as expected (not even bottom-10 in wRC+), and the team has the green light while swiping the third-most steals in 2023. Brown should quickly be added in fantasy leagues now that he’s healthy.