This week’s 10-pack of potential waiver wire gems is an even balance between streamers and potential long-term additions. With the MLB trade deadline approaching, the best plan may be to focus on rostering streamers — red-hot players or those with favorable matchups — while regularly refreshing the news headlines in hopes of securing someone who becomes instantly valuable as the result of a real-life trade.
Bell has recovered from a slow start to the season by posting a .787 OPS in June and an .802 mark in July. The slugger could continue to hit for power during a seven-game week that includes four contests against a Royals staff that ranks 28th in ERA. He is also slated to face six right-handed starters, which has been his preferable matchup during his lengthy career.
Casas has rebounded from a slow start to the season by finding his power stroke to the tune of five homers across 46 at-bats this month. The southpaw slugger sits vs. lefties, which will not be a problem in the next two weeks, as Boston is scheduled to face a right-handed starter in every game.
Julien’s roster rate should be double its current mark. The rookie has been one of baseball’s best hitters in July (1.309 OPS) and is regularly hitting in one of the top-two spots in the lineup. The left-handed hitter has shown a clear preference for facing righties (1.005 OPS) and will enjoy that matchup against the starting pitcher in each of his next five games.
Few fantasy managers have noticed how effective Flores has been in recent weeks, as just one player (Shohei Ohtani) has posted a higher OPS across as many plate appearances since the outset of June. I make no promises that Flores can continue this pace for much longer, and I fully expect him to revert to his usual form at some point this summer. But managers could do worse than offering a temporary lineup spot to someone who is swinging the bat this well.
Luis Matos (OF, San Francisco Giants, 8%)
A right-handed hitter, Matos has shown a preference for facing lefties (.772 OPS) in his brief career. The rookie is well-positioned for success when the Giants match up with southpaw starters in each of their next three games. And the club could rack up runs late in the game, as their opponents (Royals, A’s) have two of the worst bullpens in baseball. In addition to Matos, veteran outfielder Austin Slater (1%) and catcher Patrick Bailey (15%) should thrive against the trio of lefty starters.
Although long past his prime, Cueto helped fantasy managers last season by posting respectable ratios (3.35 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) across 25 appearances as a member of the White Sox. Now part of the Marlins rotation after a three-month stay on the IL, the veteran tossed six innings of one-run ball against the Rockies last time out.
At the very least, Cueto is a solid streaming option Saturday, when he works at his pitcher-friendly home park against a Tigers lineup that ranks 29th in OPS.
Logan Allen (SP, Cleveland Guardians, 29%)
Allen enjoyed an effective return from three weeks in the minors, striking out eight across five shutout innings on July 18. With a 3.21 ERA across 13 starts this year, the left-hander really didn’t deserve to be demoted in the first place, but the Guardians are rich in pitching depth and he needed to work on his efficiency after racking up large pitch totals in short time frames during a couple of June starts. He is the best two-start option on waivers this week, as he draws matchups against two of baseball’s least effective lineups (Royals, White Sox).
Canning has been inconsistent this season, but he deserves some credit for having logged a 3.58 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP across his past nine starts. He is easily worthy of being streamed in all leagues for his start Tuesday against a Tigers offense that has posted a lowly .666 OPS. With his next start scheduled to come against the Braves however, Canning is strictly a one-day roster option.
Gavin Williams (SP, Cleveland Guardians, 30%)
With a 3.74 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP across six starts, Williams has made a respectable transition to the majors. Fantasy managers have been slow to add one of baseball’s best pitching prospects, but they should give him an opportunity for a Wednesday start against a Royals lineup that ranks 28th in baseball in OPS. Those in weekly transaction leagues may want to keep Williams beyond Wednesday, as he lines up for two starts (Astros, White Sox) the following week.
Alzolay has earned every Cubs save since June 3, but his successful stretch of ninth-inning work has apparently not been enough to impress many Yahoo managers. With a 2.51 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP, the right-hander has proven that he is not only a capable closer, but he is also one of the best relievers in baseball. He should be added by anyone who needs saves.
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