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Pickups of the Day: Wainwright Returns

Adam Wainwright

Adam Wainwright

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Rotoworld’s brand-new Pickups of the Day column is designed to help fantasy managers uncover a handful of widely-available targets over the course of the season. It could be a breakout candidate, a prospect stash, an injury replacement, a pitcher with a favorable matchup or week, a player who is due some better luck, or any other number of scenarios. If there’s value to be found on the waiver wire, we will find it and bring it your way.

In today’s column, we’re looking at a couple of solid streaming options for the weekend – with the potential to develop into regular contributors in mixed leagues for an extended period of time.


PICKUPS OF THE DAY

Adam Wainwright, SP, Cardinals

Available in 69 percent of Yahoo leagues

When you’re thinking of the most exciting young pitching prospects to snag off of the waiver wire, a recommendation of 41-year-old Adam Wainwright is probably the furthest possible thing away from that. That doesn’t mean that we should ignore him though.

After a resurgent 2021 season that saw Wainwright garner down-ballot Cy Young Award and MVP votes, he came back to earth a bit in 2022 – but was still a viable mixed league arm. He went 11-12 and registered a 3.71 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and a 143/54 K/BB ratio over 191 2/3 innings. There’s certainly some value to be had in that – especially when deployed correctly.

Saturday seems like a terrific time to deploy Wainwright – even in his first start back from the injured list – as he draws a tremendous matchup against a miserable Tigers’ offense at home in St. Louis. He also looked very sharp in his final minor league rehab start at Triple-A Memphis – racking up nine strikeouts over his 5 2/3 innings. Pitch count shouldn’t be an issue for him, he should be able to pile up strikeouts against a free-swinging Tigers’ squad and will likely be a favorite to earn a victory there. You could do a whole lot worse as a streaming option.

LaMonte Wade Jr., OF, Giants

Available in 82 percent of Yahoo leagues

LaMonte Wade Jr. isn’t the type of player that’s going to get hot and carry your fantasy team to greatness, but he is a viable and productive guy to have on your roster – especially when timed correctly.

On the season, the 29-year-old has hit .256/.442/.551 with six homers, nine RBI, 12 runs scored and one stolen base in 78 at-bats. He sits against most southpaws – though he was in the Giants’ lineup against one on Wednesday afternoon – and has three right-handers coming up over the weekend in their series against the Brewers. He has shown more upside in the past as well – with 18 homers and six stolen bases over 109 games with the Giants during the 2021 season.

Wade Jr. is currently on a heater and has slugged home runs in four of his last seven contests – though two of them were in Mexico City against the Padres over the weekend. He’s a slam-dunk play in on-base percentage leagues – fueled by his outstanding 21/23 K/BB ratio, with his 23 free passes ranking fourth in all of baseball – but is a viable streaming option in most mixed leagues as well with three right-handers on tap for the coming weekend.