Waiver Wire Wisdom (8/17)

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Article courtesy of Fred Zinkie:

Could your fantasy team use more power? What about saves? Steals? Runs, RBIs or wins?

Regardless of your holes, the fantasy waiver wire has a plug or long-term fix to pick up today. Check the following 10 men — all sitting in waivers in many leagues, and all ready to help you win.

Gary Sanchez, catcher: To put it mildly, the bar for mixed-league relevance at the catcher position has not been especially high this season. Recently recalled from Triple-A, Sanchez — who has hit .372 with four homers across 43 at-bats since Aug. 3 — should have the necessary workload and plate skills to help mixed-league owners in the batting average and power categories across at least four starts per week.

Consider in: 10-team mixed leagues

Brandon Moss, 1B/OF: With Matt Adams and Matt Holliday on the disabled list, Moss is set to boost a decimated Cardinals lineup by receiving regular at-bats in the coming weeks. Having compiled 21 homers and 51 RBIs across 276 at-bats this season, the lefty slugger is arguably the most powerful player sitting on waivers in standard-mixed leagues.

Consider in: 12-team mixed leagues

Alex Bregman, 3B/SS: After collecting two hits in his initial 38 big league at-bats, Bregman has posted a .295 batting average since August 6. Wise fantasy owners will ignore the rookie’s initial struggles and realize that his .306/.406/.580 slash line in the Minors this season is an accurate representation of his immense talent.

Consider in: 10-team mixed leagues

Aaron Judge

Aaron Judge, outfielder: Judge is unlikely to provide a batting-average boost out of the gate (career .252 average, 25.7 strikeout rate in Triple-A), but he has the necessary power to make an immediate fantasy impact and rank among the rookie home run leaders down the stretch. With extra-base hits — including a pair of homers — in each of his first three contests, the hulking rookie (6’7”, 275 lbs.) should be added in virtually all leagues.

Consider in: 10-team mixed leagues

Jorge Soler, outfielder: Since returning from the disabled list on August 5, Soler has hit .360 with three homers across 25 at-bats. The talented 24-year-old has yet to break through as a reliable mixed-league contributor, but he could make a major impact if he can hit well down the stretch as part of a potent Cubs lineup. Though Chicago has many outfield options, the struggles of Jason Heyward (.616 OPS in ’16) could give Soler a chance to add some right-field work to his usual left-field duties.

Consider in: 12-team mixed leagues

Robbie Ray, starter: As wise owners focus on specific categories late in the season, Ray (10.9 K/9 rate in ’16) is the perfect waiver-wire target for those who need strikeouts. While some owners will be scared off by his 4.47 ERA and 1.47 WHIP, he has produced a solid 3.53 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP across six second-half starts and has walked two or fewer batters in 11 of his past 12 outings.

Consider in: 12-team mixed leagues

Dan Straily, starter: When he arrived at the All-Star break with a 4.35 ERA on a rebuilding Reds squad that calls home to a hitter-friendly park, Straily seemed to be an unlikely candidate to pitch like a mixed-league ace (4-0 record, 2.13 ERA, 0.92 WHIP) across his initial six second-half starts. Although the right-hander lacks the swing-and-miss arsenal (7.2 K/9 rate in ’16) to make a major impact in shallow leagues, he should be active in all formats as long as he continues to post helpful ratios.

Consider in: 10-team mixed leagues

David Phelps

David Phelps, SP/RP: Desperate for rotation help, the Marlins moved Phelps to a starting role when he held an impressive 2.65 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP across 50 relief appearances at the end of July. With a 1.84 ERA, a 1.16 WHIP and a 10.4 K/9 rate across his initial three starts — including outings at hitter-friendly parks in Colorado and Cincinnati — , the right-hander is proving that he can help mixed-league teams as he becomes further stretched out in the coming weeks.

Consider in: 10-team mixed leagues

Tyler Thornburg, reliever: Likely due to an influx of new save sources at the outset of August, Thornburg’s ascension to the closer’s role in Milwaukee has flown under the radar in many mixed leagues. But with a 2.03 ERA, a 0.90 WHIP and a 12.2 K/9 rate this season, the right-hander has made the necessary improvements to thrive in the ninth inning. Yet to allow a run this month, Thornburg should be rostered in all rotisserie formats.

Consider in: 10-team mixed leagues

Adam Ottavino, reliever: Ottavino has bucked the trend of inconsistency from Tommy John returnees by tossing 15 scoreless frames and posting an impressive 17-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio since returning to action on July 5. Seemingly already in top form, the right-hander has the skills to overcome the challenges of his hitter-friendly home park and provide fantasy owners with low ratios and a substantial saves total down the stretch.

Consider in: 10-team mixed leagues

Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB

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