Major League Baseball heads into the first official week of summer with a solid slate lined up for the final full week in June. There are some unusual schedule quirks, though, including a pair of days off back-to-back for the Red Sox and Yankees as they head to London for a two-game set next weekend. Both those teams play five games along with the Cardinals, Padres, Reds and Orioles. While those teams have fewer chances, the Dodgers have the most favorable schedule — a seven-game slate highlighted by four games at Coors Field.
As you tune up your roster for the push to the All-Star break, there are some nice options available on many leagues’ waiver wires. If you have specific questions about who you should add to your roster, send them my way on Twitter @ZT_Sports. If you’re looking for a place to start, check out the following four pickups, who are widely available and can give you a nice boost this week. I’ve also added some other options at the bottom of this post who make solid options if they’re still available and offer what your team needs in a waiver wire pickup.
2B/SS/OF CHRIS TAYLOR, LAD (at ARI, at COL)With Corey Seager (hamstring) sidelined, Taylor has started 11 of the past 12 games for Los Angeles coming into Sunday’s play and has been heating up lately. He has gone 14-for-41 (.341) over that 12-game stretch with four doubles, two home runs, six walks, eight runs scored, 10 RBI and a 1.002 OPS.
Taylor and the Dodgers have a great schedule in the week ahead with stops at hitter-friendly parks at Chase Field and Coors Field. Since he usually hits at the in the middle of the order, Taylor shapes up to be a very solid source of runs and RBI if he continues hitting. He doesn’t offer elite power, but can go deep in the right situations — like the ones he’ll be in this week.
1B BOBBY BRADLEY, CLE (vs. KC, at BAL)Bradley is the latest in a long line of power prospects that have made their Major League debut this season. If you missed out on Pete Alonso, Austin Riley and Yordan Álvarez, try to get your claim in early on Bradley. The Tribe has lacked power in their lineup for most of the season and decided Sunday to call up their 23-year-old prospect from Columbus.
In 67 games at Triple-A, Bradley hit .292 with an impressive 24 home runs and a .997 OPS. He did strike out 91 times in 257 at-bats but has very appealing upside. In his debut Sunday, Bradley doubled in a run in his first at-bat and went 1-for-3 with a walk. He gets good matchups against weak pitching staffs this week, so he should get off to a fast start.
2B/3B/OF JEFF MCNEIL, NYM (at PHI, vs. ATL)McNeil got a deserved day off on Sunday after collecting multiple hits in five straight games on the Mets’ road trip. He is hitting .361 this month since returning from the IL with three home runs, 12 RBI and a 1.164 OPS.
The Mets have to be thrilled with his overall production this season, especially against their division rivals, who are on tap again this week. The week starts with a four-game series against the Phillies, who McNeil has lit up this season, going 10-for-22 (.455). After that, he’ll face the Braves, who he has gone 12-for-30 (.400) against this season. He should be ready to return to his typical leadoff spot on Monday and keep raking all week long.
SP TREVOR RICHARDS, MIA (vs. WAS, vs. PHI)There aren’t a ton of great two-start options this week since there aren’t as many teams with jam-packed slates. My favorite add of the week for a double-star power-up is Richards, who comes with good strikeout potential and gets two starts at home in pitcher-friendly Marlins Park.
In his nine home starts, Richards has held opponents to a .218 average but has gone 2-5 with a 3.76 ERA. Since starting the season 0-5, Richards has been much better over his past seven starts, going 3-2 with a 2.59 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings. He tied his season-high with eight strikeouts in his most recent start against the Cardinals and has at least five strikeouts in five of his past six outings. The Nationals and Phillies both beat him earlier this season, but he’ll have a shot at a pair of redemption starts this week in Miami.
Other options worth watchingBATTERS
- C Christian Vázquez, Boston Red Sox
- C James McCann, Chicago White Sox
- 1B/2B/OF Danny Santana, Texas Rangers
- 1B/3B Matt Beaty, Los Angeles Dodgers
- 1B/OF Ian Desmond, Colorado Rockies
- 2B/SS Eric Sogard, Toronto Blue Jays
- 2B/OF Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians
- 2B/SS/OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Toronto Blue Jays
- OF Alex Verdugo, Los Angeles Dodgers
- OF Ramón Laureano, Oakland Athletics
- OF Nomar Mazara, Texas Rangers
- SP Kyle Gibson, Minnesota Twins
- SP Jordan Yamamoto, Miami Marlins
- SP Adbert Alzolay, Chicago Cubs
- SP Ross Stripling, Los Angeles Dodgers
- SP/RP Roenis Elías, Seattle Mariners
- SP/RP Liam Hendriks, Oakland Athletics
- RP Emilio Pagán, Tampa Bay Rays
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.