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.
- Ryan McMahon (1B, 2B, 3B)
Yeah, I know. I told you to drop McMahon back in Week 6. He wasn’t playing much. He wasn’t hitting much either. But my how things have changed as of late. He’s slashing .277/.368/.594 with 9 HR, 23 RBI, and 16 runs in his last 30 games. Only 12 of those games were in Colorado so he appears to be performing well both at home and on the road. Granted, he hit 7 of those 9 HR at home, but guess what?! Half of Colorado’s remaining games are at home. McMahon is getting hot at the right time, and if he’s going to hit like this in Colorado, he can help win leagues. Plus, he’s hitting the ball hard – 89th percentile in Exit Velocity and 88th percentile in Hard-Hit%. Pick him up…again.
- Mike Yastrzemski (OF)
Wow is Yastrzemski hot. Not Hall of Famer Grandpa Carl hot, but grandpa’s genetic code has been wildly evident in his last seven games, where he slashed .345/.387/.966 with 5 HR, 7 runs, and 8 RBI. But it’s not just a nice seven game streak. In his last 30 he’s slashing .321/.374/.696 with 10 HR, 20 runs, and 24 RBI. His statcast data is telling us this is all a bit too good to be true (.252 xBA, .336 xWOBA, .488 xSLG, 88.5 exit velocity, 41.8 Hard-Hit%), but at this point in the season, you’re coming here for the next wave to ride. Pick up Yastrzemski before he crests and crashes.
- Aaron Civale (SP)
Yes, fantasy football season is upon us. I see you there with your internet tabs open, wondering if you really have a shot to gain any ground in your fantasy baseball league’s pitching categories, moving back and forth between this article and fantasy football content, but come on, folks, Civale is just 36% owned and he can help you climb some pitching categories. Sure, he’s 1-2 in the four games he’s pitched for the Indians, but each of those games was a quality start.
Civale has a 1.50 ERA with a 0.96 WHIP, but his run support has been abysmal (six runs in four games). I think we can count on Cleveland to score more than 1.5 runs per game in his future starts, and if he continues to pitch like he has been (and I think he will), all those quality starts will turn into wins.
- Mark Melancon (RP)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Save opportunities have value. That’s even true if Mark Melancon is the pitcher getting them. The Braves have given him three of their last four opportunities, and he’s converted all three of them. Not all of his appearances have been pretty. The one chance he didn’t get in their last four was because he entered the game in a non-save situation and promptly gave up two runs. The Braves pulled him and Blevins came in to get the last out and earned the save.
Melancon has a 7.36 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP since he joined the Braves at the trade deadline so if you need saves, but you don’t have any wiggle room in the ratios race – be careful. But if you need saves and you can take the hit to your ratios, then it looks like Melancon is now the guy in Atlanta and he’s worth adding.
This is the last week Bryan Reynolds, J.D. Davis, and Aristides Aquino will appear here. Their ownership rates are over 50% and they should be owned in all competitive leagues.
Continue to ADD
- Willie Calhoun slashed .333/.407/.583 with two HR, two RBI, and three runs. Yeah, it was a little light in the runs and RBI categories, but if he continues to hit like this, those will come. He’s currently only 12% owned so go get him if you need help with batting average.
HOLD (not good enough to add but maybe too good to drop)
- Christian Walker slashed .200/.286/.440 last week, but he had a few more counting stats than he’s given us the last couple (two HR, five runs, and three RBI). I still like him as a solid contributor and I’m still holding on to him.
- Anthony Santander hit a couple more HR last week, but those homers cover his RBI and run total for that time. Other than the two HR, he had a rough week at the dish slashing .167/.167/.367. He’s a .286 hitter in 252 at bats on the year so I believe he’ll bounce back. He’s a hold because he was a hold last week, and the last two weeks haven’t been great. I expect him to come out of this little slump.
- Ok, I know what you’re thinking. Niko Goodrum had another mediocre week at the plate last week and he didn’t steal a base. I know I told you to pick him up for steals help and he hasn’t put any in that column for you for almost three weeks (his last SB was July 31st). So here he is in the Hold section. But I don’t believe he’s just done stealing bases, so all this dry spell means for him is that he’s due.
- Ian Happ is seeing only semi-regular playing time. Joe Maddon started him 8 of the Cubs’ last 14 games. He’s made the most of that time (.325/.341/.725 with four HR, nine runs, and ten RBI). I’m going to continue to monitor his playing time and if it doesn’t improve, he might have to be a drop for me next week.