As we continue to work our way through the middle of June, we’re getting into the grind of the fantasy baseball season. Making the right additions to your team as the season goes on is critical to sustained success, so make sure to stay active on the waiver wire.
Looking at the week ahead, there are very few afternoon games with most teams staying under the lights. The Reds, Indians, Astros, Brewers and Giants have the lightest schedules with only five games on tap, while the rest of the teams are lined up for either six or seven contests. Coors Field will be in play all week as the Rockies host the Cubs and Padres, and there will also be some very favorable hitting matchups for players on the Red Sox and Twins.
As you look through the options on your waiver wire, start with these four widely available pickups who are available in most leagues. If you have specific questions about your roster or league format, I’d be happy to answer them on Twitter @ZT_Sports. I’ve also added some other options at the bottom of this post who make nice options if they’re still sitting on your waiver wire.
OF YORDAN ALVÁREZ, HOU (vs. MIL, vs. TOR)The Astros have one of the better offenses in the Major Leagues but have been lacking some pop with José Altuve (hamstring, knee), George Springer (hamstring) and Carlos Correa (rib) all on the injured list. To give them a power boost, they recalled Alvárez from Triple-A before Sunday’s game, in which he made his MLB debut, playing DH and hitting fifth. In just his second at-bat in the Majors, Alvárez homered off of Orioles starter Dylan Bundy.
Alvárez was having a phenomenal year for the Round Rock Express, hitting .343 with a minor league-best 23 home runs boosting him to 71 RBI and a 1.184 OPS in 56 games. Alvárez has always hit for power although his average usually dips when he first moves up to the next level. The same could happen with his promotion but he offers tantalizing power in a lineup that should give him lots of chances to be involved in run production. Alvárez was ranked as the No. 3 overall prospect in the Astros’ system by MLB Pipeline, which ranked him 23rd in the top 100 prospects coming into the season. His big year at Triple-A makes him a great addition if he can translate that power to the Majors.
SP ANÍBAL SÁNCHEZ, WAS (at CHW, vs. ARI)After looking washed up in Detroit for a few seasons, the veteran righty has authored a nice second act to his career in the NL East. He spent last season with Atlanta and went a solid 7-6 with a 2.83 ERA. While his ERA hasn’t been quite that good this year, Sanchez had been solid recently in his first season with the Nationals and has allowed one earned run or fewer in four of his five most recent outings. One of those starts was cut short by a hamstring injury that forced Sánchez to the IL.
Since returning from that injury, Sánchez has allowed just one run in 11 1/3 innings while striking out 14 and allowing just five hits. He pitched well against the White Sox in his most recent outing, striking out seven in a no-decision. He’ll face Chicago again on Monday of this week before finishing the week with a second start against the Diamondbacks at home at Nationals Park. Sánchez doesn’t usually offer great strikeout numbers but should be a solid source or innings and a win or two in good matchups this week.
3B COLIN MORAN, PIT (at ATL, vs. MIA)The Pirates have tried different options at 3B this season but Moran has continually been a solid play against righties and offers some solid power production. He has held down the majority side of the platoon most of the season and has started 20 of Pittsburgh’s past 22 games.
Coming into Sunday, Moran was hitting .343 over his past 20 games with six home runs, 18 RBI and a 1.036 OPS. He and the Pirates are scheduled to play seven straight road games against right-handed starters this week, so he should be set up for more success this week at the hot corner.
SP SANDY ALCANTARA, MIA (vs. STL, VS. PIT)If you are looking for a sneaky boost to your pitching staff, check out Alcantara, who has been up and down this season but has turned in some very nice starts lately. He allowed just one run in seven innings despite a tough matchup against the Brewers in his most recent outing after shutting out the Giants for six innings in his previous start.
Both of Alcantara’s two starts will come at Marlins Park, where he has a 3.43 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings and has held opponents to a .234 batting average. He has never started against the Cardinals or Pirates, so should have the advantage of being unknown to the hitters in both his home starts this week.
Other options worth watchingBATTERS
- C Roberto Pérez, Cleveland Indians
- 1B/OF Jay Bruce, Philadelphia Phillies
- 1B/2B/OF Howie Kendrick, Washington Nationals
- 2B Brian Dozier, Washington Nationals
- 2B/3B/SS/OF David Fletcher, Los Angeles Angels
- SS Didi Gregorius, New York Yankees
- OF JaCoby Jones, Detroit Tigers
- OF Garrett Cooper, Miami Marlins
- OF Avisaíl García, Tampa Bay Rays
- SP Garrett Canning, Los Angeles Angels
- SP Nick Pivetta, Philadelphia Phillies
- SP Franmer Valdez, Houston Astros
- SP Zach Plesac, Cleveland Indians
- SP/RP Adrian Sampson, Texas Rangers
- RP Luke Jackson, Atlanta Braves
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.