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.
- Kyle Schwarber (OF)
Looks like Schwarber is heating up. In his last seven games, he’s slashing .375/.583/.1.521 with three HR, six runs, and six RBI. As I write this, he’s 48% owned (which is bound to increase with 2 HR the other day), so if you’re struggling in the HR department, he’s the best option I see on the waiver wire. But you know you can’t count on that batting average, right? Still, though, if he’s on this kind of a heater, you want to be a part of it.
- Rougned Odor (2B)
Here’s another wave you need to ride until it crashes… and it will crash. He hit .282 in his last 30 games (110 at bats) and it STILL only brought his batting average up to .210 (the other two-thirds of that triple slash are .328/.983). Odor hit 10 HR, scored 19 runs, and drove in 28 in those 30 games. If you need help at 2B – and most of us do – Odor is a good short term answer.
- Anthony Santander (OF)
Santander isn’t playing like anyone’s 12thranked prospect (Orioles’ 12thbest prospect according to Fangraphs), and the Orioles aren’t treating him like one. They continue to let him play and he continues to reward them for it. He holds a .328/.362/.578 triple slash in his last 15 games and has hit three HR, scored nine runs, and has 10 RBI. I believe you can expect those counting stats to increase because lately the Orioles have been batting him in the three hole, and he has been making the most of the opportunity. Any hitter consistently batting third in an A.L. East lineup should be more than 35% owned. Get him while you can.
- Jose Leclerc (RP)
The thing about save opportunities is that they often turn into saves (brilliant, I know). Saves are hard to come by this time of year, so if you need saves and can snag a guy off the waiver wire who is going to get save opportunities, you need to do it. And that’s the only reason you’re reading about Leclerc right now. He almost blew another save Friday night by allowing two runs on two hits and two walks (one intentional). With Shawn Kelley on the IL and Chris Martin currently day to day, Leclerc is going to get most, if not all, of the Rangers’ save opportunities. If you have the stomach to handle nights like Friday and you need saves, Leclerc might be your guy. But you better hurry. He’s 49% owned.
This is the last week Brandon Workman and Oscar Mercado will appear here. Their ownership rates are over 50% and they should be owned in all competitive leagues.
Continue to ADD
- Bryan Reynolds is still playing every day and still hitting well. And he even gave us two HR last week. I expect him to continue to provide the great batting average and elite OBP we’ve come to expect.
- Niko Goodrum had a decent week at the plate, and decent is pretty much the floor we’ve been getting from him. He slashed .233/.324/.724 with one HR, five runs, five RBI, and a steal. If Goodrum is continuing to be decent, I’m continuing to add him but I understand if his spotty track record and the lackluster lineup around him have you looking elsewhere.
- Bo Bichette has reached 50% ownership – that means the other half of you are focusing way too much on fantasy football right now. Since being called up he’s slashing .406/.457/.1.207 with 2 HR and 5 doubles. I’m buying in and picking him up wherever I can.
- Zac Gallen pitched another good game last week (against the Twins). He went seven innings, gave up two earned runs on four hits and three walks, and he struck out eight. The walks are a little scary, but pitching is hard to come by this late in the season.
- Emilio Pagan has converted his last two save opportunities (both in the last week). He’s still getting save opportunities so he’s still an add in my book, but the opportunity ship is sailing.
- Scott Oberg was officially named the closer for the Rockies on Friday and promptly earned his fourth save of the season. He’s still only 49% owned (again, I blame fantasy football). We all need saves. Go get him.
HOLD (not good enough to add but maybe too good to drop)
- Robinson Cano slashed .333/.355/.567 with a HR, eight runs, and four RBI last week. He’s still not a bad option at 2B if you need help there, but he left Sunday’s game with hamstring issue. I’m holding until I see how bad the injury is.
- Alex Verdugo sat two of the last ten games for the Dodgers. This is about a game off more than usual so I’m going to say hold for now in case it’s a sign of things to come for him. He also had his worst 15 game stretch in a while at the dish (.220/.278/.598 with 1 HR, 5 runs, 1 RBI) which is something I’ll be keeping an eye on for next week if playing time isn’t actually an issue.
- Tyler O’Neill was still doing Tyler O’Neill things when he went on the IL last week. It’s a left wrist strain and he’s out until at least August 11th but let’s hold on him until he comes back and continues doing those Tyler O’Neill things.
- Kyle Tucker is going to either be up this week with the Astros or in the Drop column next week. I’m just about as tired of telling you to stash him if you can as you are of reading it.
- Christian Walker had rough week at the plate if you’re looking for counting stats (what else are we looking for out of Walker?).He slashed .333/.571/.500 with one HR, two RBI, six runs (not bad), and zero steals. I told you it wouldn’t always be pretty with him.
- Franklin Barreto only had 14 at bats last week. If the A’s don’t have faith in him, why should we?
- Garrett Cooper struggled mightily in his last 15 games (.167/.196/.404 with zero HR, two runs, and two RBI). The Garrett Cooper wave has crashed.
- Cavan Biggio has had a bad month (.207/.338/.680 with 37 Ks and five BBs). You’ve got to be really desperate for steals if you want to hold on to him.
- Dinelson Lamet had a five inning start last week. He allowed 3 ER on 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5. It’s the first time in three games that he’s pitched deep enough to qualify for the win. If he’s only qualifying for the win every third start, it’s time to let him go.