This is a personal anecdote, but I feel like we’re at the part of the fantasy baseball season where it can start to be a mental drag. Summer is here, the weather is nice, people are out and about, and you can forget about your fantasy season. Now is the time to find that second wind and start a strong push toward the end of the regular season. There are probably only seven or eight weeks left in your regular seasons in head-to-head leagues, so getting lazy on a couple of weeks now could have a large negative compounding effect on your season.
Let’s dive in.
Waiver Wire Adds
Jonathan India 2B, 3B, Cin
Talked about him last week, so I’ll simply just say add India. Since 1 May he’s batting .268 with a .374 wOBA and 136 wRC+.
Cavan Biggio 2B, 3B, OF Tor
I’ll put my personal biases aside, forget the fact that I dropped him in one league, and say that Biggio has been playing well over the last 30 days, and really well over the last 15. He seemed to be the only Blue Jay who didn’t get the “let’s hit the crap out of the ball” memo this year, but I’ll show his progression in his slash line below.
Season long – .230/.335/.399
Since 1 May – .256/.358/.451
Last 30 days – .278/.333/.583
Last 15 days – .381/.458/.905
That is clearly up-and-to-the-right progression, especially in batting average and slug. He might have just needed some extra time to get going this year, but there’s no denying he’s on fire. His triple-eligibility suits this injury-ridden season well, surely you can find a need for him on your team.
Max Stassi C LAA
Stassi has been quietly putting together a really good season. He only plays about 50% of the time, but he’s made those games count averaging 3.0 fantasy points per game this season, which is really good for a catcher. He’s worth a look if you’re stuck in catcher limbo on your team.
Joc Pederson OF ChC
The disclaimer here is that Pederson is a platoon guy, mostly sitting against lefties. The plus is that still affords him the ability to play 75% of the time. He usually leads off against righties and is a great power source.
Ryan Mountcastle 1B, OF Bal
Another guy who got off to a horrendous start but has started to turn it around, over his last 30 days Mountcastle is slashing .299/.337/.575 with a .387 wOBA and six home runs. His ownership has fallen to down around 70% but I think he should probably be more in the 75-80% owned range.
Miguel Andujar OF NYY
In deep leagues, keep an eye on Andujar. It seems they’re trying him out in left field, despite him being an atrocious defender, as the team may have lost faith in Clint Frazier. We know from his 2018 season that he can hit, so his bat might keep him in the lineup.
Austin Gomber Col
I’ve been hesitant to advocate for Gomber or add him myself in any of my leagues because he pitches in Coors Field for half his games, which is just always a nightmare waiting to happen. There’s basically never been a Rockies pitcher who was good at home, so he’s somewhat defying history doing what he’s doing. But I cannot ignore him any longer.
His 3.54 ERA is supported by his 3.35 xERA and 3.91 SIERA, if he can live in mid-to-upper threes for ERA that’s great. He also has a 31.4% called-strike-plus-whiff rate, which is near-elite. It’s hard to get BABIP’d and hit hard in Coors if no one can make contact with your pitches. I’m not throwing out the possibility that he comes crashing down with like four straight blowup starts at home, but I think he can be more than productive as a guy you just start when he has road starts. He’s still only 59% owned, so take a look at Gomber. With a lot of high-end pitching injuries this past week, he could be a viable replacement.
Bailey Ober Min
I’m not sure how long Ober will stick in the Twins’ rotation, however as mentioned above some of your teams have been blindsided by pitching injuries this week, I know mine have. Ober has a 3.71 ERA and 11.12 K/9 in four starts this year. He’s striking guys out and not walking many, a great combo. He’s still lined up to get his next two turns in the rotation, so Ober could be a great short-term replacement.
Getting two starts in one matchup week from a pitcher can be a big advantage, especially in points leagues. Here’s who is currently lined up to get two turns next week, skipping the must-start guys. It’s slim pickings this week for stream-able two-start pitchers.
Zach Eflin (Was, @ NYM)
Mike Minor (@ NYY, @ Tex)
Frankie Montas (@ Tex, @ SF)
Tarik Skubal (StL, Hou)**
Ross Stripling (@ Mia, vs Bal)
Jake Odorizzi (@ Bal, @ Det)
Tyler Anderson (ChW, @ StL)
Keegan Akin (Hou, @ Tor)**
Jorge Lopez (Hou, @ Tor)**
Side note – both the Baltimore boys above have really tough matchups, those two are desperation only
Johan Oviedo (@ Det, Pit)
Jordan Lyles (Oak, KC)
Cole Irvin (@ Tex, @ SF)
J.A. Happ (Cin, Cle)**
**at least one start against a top-five wOBA team
Same with Emmanuel Clase (Cle), it appears Karinchak is now the high-leverage reliever with Clase being the true closer.
Lucas Sims (Cin) who I wrote about last week, is now just the straight closer for the Reds.
It might be time to move on from these guys for a higher upside waiver wire add.
Andrew Vaughn 1B, OF ChW
About six weeks ago I was debating between the two rookies of Adolis Garcia and Andrew Vaughn and ended up with Vaughn. Boy, do I wish I went the other way. Vaughn shows promise about every once a week when he smacks and absolute bomb home run, unfortunately, he’s just been bad though. Overall hitting .227 with a .691 OPS and a 28% strikeout rate. In his defense, he went from playing high-A ball in 2019 to not playing at all last year due to no minor leagues to now facing major league pitching. I think it’s time to drop Vaughn now for this season, but remember the name for maybe later this season or next.
Quick mention of his teammate, Nick Madrigal, who is out for the year so you can safely drop him.
Buy and Sell
Buy low hitters
Juan Soto has been good this year, but not his insane Juan Soto levels of years past. The promising part is that he’s been underperforming his xwOBA by quite a lot, and his Statcast page still looks pretty damn elite.
It’s not going to be cheap to acquire him, but I think rest-of-season he could be a top-two outfielder.
Suarez has been pretty awful this year, but similar to Soto is underperforming his expected stats and he’s the kind of guy who could go unconscious in July and August and hit 30 home runs. His batting average should go up a bit as well, considering it can’t get much lower, but he’s mainly a great buy-low power source.
Buy low pitchers
Some very real buy-low candidates above who have potential to return solid upside, especially Castillo and E-Rod.
Sell high hitters
Here are three guys who have gotten off to great starts this year, Mullins and Frazier especially. All three of them have much higher BABIPs this year than their career averages, don’t hit the ball particularly hard, and are over-performing their expected wOBA by considerable amounts. There just isn’t a strong chance that these guys can maintain their level of production, so try to sell high on them.
Sell high pitchers
If you’re lucky and aren’t hurt by pitcher injuries and own one of these guys, try to sell high to whoever owns Bieber, Glasnow, Sonny Gray, etc. who have gotten hurt recently.
Photo by Andy Cross
While we have you, make sure you check out the latest MLB weekly review from John, Ben and Rob, in which they discuss sticky balls, the abysmal Diamondbacks and the legendary Joey Votto. Click on the Reds’ first baseman to take you to the pod.