MLB Week 26 Hitting Waiver Wire: High Upside Plays For The Final Week

NamePositionTeamESPN Own %
Brandon Belt1BSan Francisco Giants40.9
Jarred KelenicOFSeattle Mariners42.5
Bobby Dalbec1B, 3BBoston Red Sox34.7
Miguel Sanó1BMinnesota Twins50.9
Nicky Lopez2B, SSKansas City Royals55.6

1. Brandon Belt | 1B | San Francisco Giants

As it stands, the Giants currently hold a two-game lead over the Dodgers. Heading into the final week of the season, it’s all hands on deck to maintain that division title and stay out of the wild card play-in game. Luckily for San Francisco, Belt is healthy and has been crushing it all year. If he’s on the waiver wire in your league, strongly consider rostering him and plugging him in for the rest of the way. Belt, who is owned in less than half of ESPN leagues, is hitting .319 with a 1.071 OPS in the month of September. During those 18 games, Belt has 18 runs, six home runs, 13 RBIs, and an 18-to-13 strikeout-to-walk ratio. What more could you ask for?

2. Jarred Kelenic | OF | Seattle Mariners

I’m a little salty at how much better Kelenic has been lately. I picked up Kelenic back in May just a few days before his initial call up and coined myself a genius. I smashed him into my lineup and felt like a king when he went berserk in his second game. I ended up dropping him when he was sent back down to the minors in early June and haven’t really worried about it since. In the month of September, however, Kelenic is hitting .257 with a .933 OPS. It isn’t Earth shattering, but it’s a major step up from the level of production he had been providing. In fact, he’s hit four home runs over his last 10 games. He’s looking more and more like the prospect he has been hyped up to be. Pick him up for the upside, as there exists the world where he goes nuclear over his last week.

3. Bobby Dalbec | 1B, 3B | Boston Red Sox

Just like Kelenic, you’re going for upside with Bobby Dalbec. In fact, the floor seems pretty solid for Dalbec at this point as well. I drafted Dalbec and felt good about it, only to drop him not long after the season started. As soon as I realized he was providing all of the strikeouts without any of the promised power, it was clear he was not going to be fantasy relevant for the time being. Fast forward a few months, though, and Dalbec has been really good for quite some time now. Here is Dalbec’s OPS by month, starting with April: .619, .672, .780, .541, 1.205, 1.069. Additionally, here is his K% each month of the season, starting with April: 33%, 39%, 39%, 39%, 25%, 28%. I don’t know about you, it sure looks as if he has figured some things out over the last two months. With how good he has been lately, and how much upside he provides, there’s no reason Dalbec shouldn’t be rostered.

4. Miguel Sanó | 1B | Minnesota Twins

If you missed out on Bobby Dalbec, consider Miguel Sanó instead. At the moment, lets view him as Bobby Dalbec Lite. Much like Dalbec, Sanó started the season so abysmally that he was largely dropped off fantasy rosters. Every time it appeared he was picking things back up, he’d be a smash-add and would largely disappoint over the following two weeks or so. Rinse, wash, and repeat. Really though, if you look at the last few months, some production has been there. In fact, Sanó has posted an OPS of over .800 for three straight months. It’s risky, considering how many strikeouts there will be, but there’s always the upside of five home runs in one week for Sanó.

5. Nicky Lopez | 2B, SS | Kansas City Royals

If you’re looking for a middle infielder, or just anyone with a little less boom/bust than Sano, consider Nicky Lopez. He’s not going to give you any home runs, but he’s good for just about anything else. On the season, Lopez has a .304 batting average, 73 runs, 41 RBIs, two home runs, and 20 stolen bases. The lack of power is a buzz kill, but he’s been so hot lately it’s hard not to roster him. In the month of September, Lopez has a .352 average and an .843 OPS with 18 runs, one home run, seven RBIs, two stolen bases, and an 11-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Again, he might not provide the upside that some of the other players on this list do, but he provides a solid floor over the final week of the season.

Zach Boeder is a high school math teacher that has a passion for sports and data journalism. Zach received a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics and a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Arizona. He currently teaches in Saint Paul and Lives in Minneapolis with his partner Sarah, their dog Dozier, and cat Remy. Zach plans to argue for a very long time that "2020 would have been the Twins' year if baseball hadn't been shut down."

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