Fantasy Baseball 2021: Players to Target on Waiver Wire for Week 9

Martin FennFeatured Columnist IMay 30, 2021

Fantasy Baseball 2021: Players to Target on Waiver Wire for Week 9

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    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    The first two months of the 2021 MLB season are nearly complete. It's likely most fantasy managers are looking for roster reinforcements.

    The campaign has been full of standout performances and, most notably, elite pitching. There have also been plenty of injuries to high-profile stars and key depth pieces.

    Although the dog days have not yet arrived, managers would do well to scour the waiver wire and navigate potential roster issues in the hopes of building momentum ahead of the final few months.

    Let's take a look at some guys to look into for Week 9 of the fantasy baseball season.

LHP Kris Bubic, Kansas City Royals

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Any managers looking for rotation depth would do well to pounce on Kansas City Royals left-hander Kris Bubic as soon as possible.

    The 23-year-old started the season in the bullpen as something of a long reliever. However, he has since been inserted into the starting rotation and thrived.

    Bubic has gone at least six innings in two of his past three starts, including Friday's outing against the Minnesota Twins, in which he tossed six innings of four-hit ball and allowed just one run. He has firmly established himself as a member of the rotation with a 1.52 ERA in 29.2 innings.

    Now, Bubic is not going to blow away opposing hitters or make a ton of gains for fantasy managers in the strikeout category. He is striking out just 6.7 opponents per nine innings and ranks in just the 30th percentile in whiff rate. That said, he has had success missing barrels and getting opponents to pound the ball into the ground, with a 50 percent ground-ball rate.

    Bubic is rostered in just under 20 percent of ESPN leagues. He can be the perfect filler guy for managers needing a No. 4 or No. 5 starter.

RHP Garrett Whitlock, Boston Red Sox

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Relievers can be a nice commodity in fantasy baseball, especially guys who can throw multiple innings out of the bullpen.

    Garrett Whitlock has been a multi-inning weapon for the Boston Red Sox at the end of ballgames, and he is readily available in most fantasy leagues.

    Whitlock is rostered in just 5.8 percent of ESPN leagues despite boasting a 1.85 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 24.1 innings. The Rule 5 draft pick is also striking out 9.2 opponents per nine innings and has thrown at least two or more innings in eight of his 13 appearances.

    Whitlock primarily uses his sinker and changeup to keep opponents on the ground, but he can also get his strikeouts. Fantasy managers merely using saves as a category might not have as much interest in Whitlock, but those with saves/holds should look into picking him up.

IF Ty France, Seattle Mariners

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Seattle Mariners utility man Ty France has been through it all early in the 2021 season.

    France was one of the hottest hitters in baseball through the first few weeks of the campaign. He was hitting .325 with a .942 OPS on April 27. However, the 26-year-old promptly went ice cold, going 3-for-45 at the dish in his next 14 games before being placed on the injured list with a wrist issue.

    That might have been cause for France's slump because he has returned from IL with a flurry of hits. France had seven hits in his past five games entering Saturday, also driving in a pair of runs.

    While six of France's seven hits in that stretch were singles, it's a good sign to see him immediately get back to early-April form after enduring such a bad slump.

    Managers looking for infield help might look to ride the wave France is on. He is available in more than 70 percent of ESPN leagues and could be a nice spot starter for the time being so long as he continues to hit.


    All stats obtained via Baseball Reference or Baseball Savant unless otherwise noted. Stats accurate prior to the start of play on May 29. Fantasy information obtained via ESPN.