Each week I will dig through the f/a pool to find the best potential free agents on waivers (under 50% ownership on ESPN and Yahoo). Some are good for a quick boost, others could be good long-term additions, and there will be a few speculative adds thrown in there as well. And just like in years past, I will be tracking previously recommended players and if they are still worthy of a roster spot. Now on to what you came here for.
- Zac Gallen (SP)
Gallen was 9-1 with a 1.77 ERA and 0.71 WHIP with a 33.6 K%. He had a 3.33 FIP and a 3.56 xFIP in those 10 games. In two games with the Marlins, he’s 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA/1.56 FIP/3.34 xFIP. His K% is about the same as it was in the minors at 32.6%. The FIP, xFIP, and K% are good to outstanding making it look like he can sustain the ERA and K% that he’s carrying so far in the bigs. Gallen is already 47% and hasn’t done anything in his two big league starts to keep it from rising. Get him while you can.
- John Means (SP)
I know, I know…I’m late to the party. But better late than skipping it altogether. And just because I’ve decided to come to the party doesn’t mean I’m arriving with bells on. This is one of those parties where you might sit in the car for a bit…check out who’s coming and going – maybe you were “invited” by a friend of a friend so you’re a little leery?
There are several reasons I’m hesitant about this particular party (John Means). What’s to fear? The man is 7-4 with a 2.50 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, a 0.95 HR/9. If you trust the peripherals, though, you’ll understand why I’m suspicious. His FIP isn’t horrible (3.94), but his 5.11 xFIP is. Pitching all your games in the AL East and half of them in Camden Yard has to make his LOB% (82) unsustainable (even though his home/road ERA split is 1.62/3.73).
All that being said, the guy is doing what he needs to do right now. Pick him up if you need pitching help or have room to take a flyer that his good luck will continue.
- Christian Vasquez (C)
I understand that not everyone plays in a two catcher league, so Vasquez being owned in just 42% of leagues isn’t a complete mystery. But he’s been good enough for long enough these last couple months to warrant being owned in all but the shallowest one catcher leagues. He continues to get most of the starts behind the dish for Boston and is making the most of them, slashing .328/.333/.885 with 4 home runs, 9 runs, and 12 RBI in his last 15 games. Take good hard look at who you’re starting and see if Vasquez would do better for you.
- Corey Dickerson (OF)
Dickerson hasn’t been playing every day since he came off the IL in early June. But lately his starts have become more regular. Slashing .308/.361/.915 in his last 30 games will make that happen for a player. He’s started 8 of the Pirates’ last 10 games, and with Gregory Polanco on the IL for another couple weeks (and struggling prior to the IL stint), that trend should continue for Dickerson. The power and the counting stats aren’t there right now, but if you need help in batting average or if you play in an OBP league, Dickerson can help you.
This is the last week Jeff McNeil and Ian Desmond will appear here. Their ownership rate is over 50% and they should all be owned in all competitive leagues..
Continue to ADD
- Willie Calhoun is slashing .296/.345/.864 with a home run in his last 7 games. He got off to a slow start after being recalled from AAA, and I had some concern regarding his playing time once Joey Gallo returned from the IL, but Calhoun is playing and heating up.
- Oscar Mercado is still hot, but he didn’t steal a base last week (I’ll give him a pass for that). He’s stolen a total of 6 on the year in 153 at bats – four of those came last week in 33 at bats.
- Bryan Reynolds slashed .348/.448/.883 last week. Most of that OPS is his OBP…like I said in my last column, not much power here. But last I checked, batting average is a category, and Reynolds can help you there.
- Ramon Laureano is still hitting for a decent average, with some pop and some speed (.268 batting average, 4 home runs, and 1 steal in his last 15 games).
- Keston Hiura is back up with the Brewers and started all three games since his arrival. With Travis Shaw back in AAA, Hiura should see plenty of playing time.
- Alex Verdugo started all but one game in June and slashed .311/.360/.866 with 5 home runs and a steal.
HOLD (not good enough to add but maybe too good to drop)
- Kyle Tucker is still at AAA Round Rock and has cooled off significantly in his last 10 games (.171 batting average with 0 home runs and 1 stolen base). If you’ve added him and you have room to stash him, hold. If not, it might be time to let him go until after the all-star break. At just 12% owned, he’ll probably still be available.
- Christian Walker was cold last week and hot the week before. Put them together and he slashed .294/.333/.510 with 3 home runs and a stolen base in his last 15 games. If you can’t handle the ups and downs of this merry-go-round, go ahead and get off.
- There will be streaks with Niko Goodrum, and right now he’s riding a bad one. I’ll understand if you drop him, but I’m holding for another week (can’t help it…I’m a Tigers fan).
- Griffin Canning had a win and a quality start against Oakland last week with 6 Ks and one walk. He hasn’t done anything to warrant putting him in the Drop section, but I don’t trust him enough yet (two of the three hits he gave up last week were home runs) to tell you to continue to add him.
- Framber Valdez got sent down last week after another rough start. You don’t need Valdez so much that you can’t afford to cut him and give someone else a shot.
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