Fantasy Baseball 2020: Waiver-Wire Advice for Injured MLB Players for Week 2

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 7, 2020

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Pablo Lopez throws a pitch to the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Baltimore, Md. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Pablo Lopez's first outing of the season for the Miami Marlins should catch the attention of fantasy baseball owners dealing with injury issues in the starting rotation.

Max Scherzer and Mike Soroka were among the high-profile arms to leave starts this week. With each start meaning more in the 60-game season, immediate upgrades are necessary to avoid a loss in the short fantasy regular season. 

Unfortunately for the Atlanta Braves, Soroka was not the only key contributor it sent to the injured list, as Ozzie Albies was placed there Wednesday. 

The good news for those with Albies on their rosters is a handful of in-form second basemen are available in a wide majority of leagues. 

The same can be said at closer, where Wade Davis and Roberto Osuna suffered injuries. Davis' replacement and a few others are featured on the waiver wire. 


Week 2 Waiver-Wire Advice

Pablo Lopez, SP, Miami

In a normal season, you could wait to see how Scherzer's status develops over the next few days, but in the 60-game campaign, you have to acquire a hot hand or two to pick up that production just in case he is unable to make his next start. 

Scherzer said that he was not worried about the injury that forced him out of the first inning Wednesday, per The Athletic's Brittany Ghiroli.

"I'm really not concerned about this. For me, looking forward, I'm thinking in a couple days I'm going to be feeling pretty darn good. I don't think it's a major injury. I fully anticipate being back on the mound here sooner rather than later."

Lopez twirled a two-hit gem over five innings in his first start for the Marlins against the Baltimore Orioles. 

In his five scoreless innings, the 24-year-old struck over seven batters, and if he keeps that up, he will be coveted by more fantasy owners in the coming weeks. 

Even if Scherzer is healthy, Lopez could be a solid replacement for Soroka, who tore his right Achilles tendon in a start Monday night. 

Lopez, who is owned in nine percent of Yahoo leagues, per Fantasy Pros, faces more difficult matchups in the coming weeks in the National League East, but if he keeps that high strikeout total up, he would be worth the risk.


Leury Garcia, 2B/SS/OF, Chicago White Sox

No team has been harder hit at the middle infield positions than the Chicago White Sox, who had Nick Madrigal join Tim Anderson on the 10-day injured list Thursday. Albies' trip to the injured list the latest of the setbacks. 

Those injuries opened up more playing time for Leury Garcia, who is hitting .300 with an OPS of .799 through 11 games. 

Although he produced a pair of home runs July 25, Garcia is not expected to be a consistent power producer in the White Sox lineup. 

However, he does have a consistent ability to reach base. He has a trio of multi-hit games against three different opponents. 

If he performs well in the coming weeks, Garcia may be worth keeping as a bench option moving forward since he is eligible at second base, shortstop and outfield in Yahoo and ESPN competitions. 


Jairo Diaz, RP, Colorado

Jairo Diaz has taken advantage of his opportunity in Colorado's closer role with Scott Oberg and Wade Davis on the 10-day injured list. 

Diaz produced three saves in the last five days, with two coming at home against the San Francisco Giants. 

He could turn into a reliable replacement for Davis and Houston's Roberto Osuna, who "might've thrown his last pitch for the Astros", per The Athletic's Jake Kaplan.

If you need a closer, Diaz has to be selected off the waiver wire as soon as possible since he is owned in 48 percent of Yahoo leagues. 

If he continues to lock down the ninth inning for the Rockies, Diaz's ownership percentage could rocket in the next week or two given how well Colorado has played.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference