After taking most of last week off for the All-Star break, Major League Baseball is back with a busy week of fantasy baseball action as we quickly move into trade deadline season. Moves are already starting to happen and rumors are starting to fly. Make sure to keep a close eye on all the moves since playing time, opportunity and fantasy baseball potential can be radically impacted. In fact, one of the top pickups of the week was the first major piece on the move this season.

It’s a full week for most of the Majors with seven games on the schedule for most teams. A few teams have six games, while the Orioles, Mariners and Rangers only play only five times in the coming week. If you’re looking at short-term pickups make sure to figure out the best matchups to attack.

As you plan for the coming week, check out these four additions who are widely available and are set up for a strong start to the second half. If you have specific questions about your roster and your league format, I’d be happy to answer them on Twitter @ZT_Sports. If these four players aren’t a good fit or are already owned in your league, check out the extra additions listed at the bottom of the page who are also worth considering.

1B NATE LOWE, TB (at NYY, vs. CWS)

After scuffling in his first shot in the Majors earlier this season, Lowe has flashed his power potential since re-joining the Rays on July 4. In seven games coming into Sunday, Lowe cranked five home runs and had an impressive 1.374 OPS. In Sunday’s game, Lowe moved into the cleanup spot and went 2-for-4, improving to 10-for-29 (.345) since his most recent call-up.

The 24-year-old 1B hit 12 homers and 19 doubles in his 68 games at Triple-A for the Durham Bulls with a .290 batting average and a solid .938 OPS. He looks like he could become a fixture in the heart of Tampa Bay’s lineup for the rest of the season and possibly for years to come. He gets good matchups this week and offers excellent power potential.


SP ANDREW CASHNER, BOS (vs. TOR, at BAL)

Cashner was the first major piece to be moved ahead of the trade deadline as the Red Sox acquired the veteran righty from the Orioles for a pair of young international prospects. Cashner has been rolling lately and will be a huge boost to Boston’s starting rotation as he fills in as their fifth starter. He lines up for a two-start week in his first week with the Red Sox taking on the Blue Jays on Tuesday and returning to Baltimore next Sunday to take on the team that just traded him.

In each of his past five starts, Cashner has allowed two earned runs or fewer, going 3-1 with a 1.41 ERA in 32 innings. Cashner only struck out 18 during that span but held opponents to a .168 average. On the season, he went 9-3 in 17 starts with the Orioles with a 3.83 ERA. Even though he may not be able to keep up his current pace, Cashner should be able to pitch well enough to get wins with a much better lineup behind him. He doesn’t have a high strikeout rate but can give you solid innings and wins in his new role with his new team.


SP DANIEL PONCE DE LEON, STL (vs. PIT, at CIN)

If you’re looking for a strong starting pitching prospect, check out Ponce de Leon, who has staked his claim to a spot in the Cardinals’ rotation. He made a spot start Friday against the Diamondbacks and was impressive, allowing just one run on three hits and striking out seven. He lowered his ERA for the season to 1.99 and now has 38 strikeouts in his 31 2/3 innings.

He has made four starts and appeared in three games as a reliever for St. Louis this season, but manager Mike Shildt said he will stay in the rotation for now. He’s scheduled to start Wednesday against the Pirates and will be a nice addition if he can continue his success and stick in the rotation. He has high-strikeout potential and will be pitching for a team with a good offense, making him a solid second-half addition


1B/2B/OF DANNY SANTANA, TEX (VS. COL, VS. CIN)

After spending time earlier in his career with the Twins and Braves, Santana has filled a huge role for the Rangers in his first season with Texas. In 66 games coming into Sunday’s action, he had a .309 batting average with 13 doubles, 11 home runs, 11 stolen bases and a .886 OPS.

Earlier in the year, Santana showed his versatility playing multiple positions when the Rangers were battling several significant injuries. He has been swinging a hot bat lately, going 25-for-71 (.352) over his past 20 games with seven home runs, four stolen bases and a 1.060 OPS. He has picked up multiple hits in seven of his past 17 starts and started July with an 11-for-28 burst which includes two home runs in his first three games after the All-Star break. As the weather gets hotter in Arlington, the Rangers lineup usually gets involved in plenty of slugfests, which should make Santana a playable option in almost every format the rest of the way as long as he keeps starting.


Other options worth watching

BATTERS
  • C Roberto Pérez, Cleveland Indians
  • 2B Keston Hiura, Milwaukee Brewers
  • 2B/3B/SS/OF David Fletcher, Los Angeles Angels
  • 2B/3B Mike Brosseau, Tampa Bay Rays
  • 3B Evan Longoria, San Francisco Giants
  • SS Andrelton Simmons, Los Angeles Angels
  • OF Brett Gardner, New York Yankees
  • OF A.J. Pollock, Los Angeles Dodgers
PITCHERS
  • SP Michael Pineda, Minnesota Twins
  • SP Felix Peña, Los Angeles Angels
  • SP Brett Anderson, Oakland Athletics
  • RP Diego Castillo, Tampa Bay Rays
  • RP Daniel Hudson, Toronto Blue Jays
  • RP Ian Kennedy, Kansas City Royals


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.