The MLB Trade Deadline is behind us and we’re in for a very busy week of fantasy baseball as we head into the first full week of August. With a pair of doubleheaders early in the week, there is daytime baseball every day this week but Thursday. You’ll want to make sure to get your lineups set and in place to maximize your production since it’s crunch time for season-long leagues with the playoffs looming in just a few weeks.
It’s an especially busy week for the Tigers and Marlins, who each play eight games over the next seven days. In contrast, the Astros and Mariners only play five games, so you’ll want to make sure to take that into consideration as you assemble your squad.
As you try to tweak your team for the stretch run, there are still some available options on the waiver wire who can boost your team in specific categories or help you compensate for a weakness in your current team. I’ve listed my top four picks who are widely available below, but if they’re not quite the right fit, you can check out the other options at the bottom of the page. If you have specific questions about your roster or league format, I’d be happy to answer them on Twitter @ZT_Sports.
OF MIKE YASTRZEMSKI, SF (vs. WAS, vs. PHI)While Yastrzemski was originally drafted by the Red Sox, the team of his grandfather and Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, he didn’t have his breakthrough until this season after being traded from the Orioles to the Giants toward the end of March. His emergence as one of San Francisco’s top outfielders has been one of the main reasons for the Giants’ turnaround and surge back into the NL Wild Card race.
Coming into Sunday, Yastrzemski has started 22 of the past 28 games for the Giants, going 28-for-91 (.308) with 19 RBI, six doubles, a triple, five home runs and a .923 OPS. He has bounced around the order but has settled into the second spot in the lineup lately, which puts him in a premium spot to score runs and be a key part of the Giants’ vastly-improved offense. In his seven most recent contests before Sunday, he went 11-for-28 (.393) with a 1.092 OPS, so grab him while he’s hot and is coming home for a seven-game week at Oracle Park.
SP AARON CIVALE, CLE (vs. TEX, at MIN)The Indians traded Trevor Bauer to the Reds at the deadline and had to put Danny Salazar (groin) back on the injured list after just one start following an extended absence with an unrelated injury. The shortage in the rotation opens up an opportunity for Civale to return to the team and try to build on his impressive debut in June. In that game, Civale struck out six and allowed just two hits in six shutout innings against the Tigers.
Civale was sent back down to the minors but has compiled an impressive 7-1 record with a 2.35 ERA in 13 starts in Double-A and Triple-A this season. He has averaged about a strikeout per inning, so the ceiling isn’t especially high for his strikeout rate. However, he can give you quality innings and good numbers with a solid two-start week coming up against the Rangers and the Twins. Civale should have a good chance to stick around in the rotation if he can continue to find success.
RP SCOTT OBERG, COL (at HOU, at SD)On Friday, Rockies manager Bud Black announced that the team will use Oberg as their closer instead of the struggling Wade Davis. Davis is 1-5 with a 6.82 ERA in 36 games while Oberg has a 1.56 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in his 45 games. He has four saves already and converted his first chance since taking over the job on Friday night.
While the Rockies are struggling and just lost a key offensive piece in David Dahl (ankle), they still should be able to pick up some wins this week with four games in San Diego. Oberg is a solid source of strikeouts and should be able to give you saves in his new role. If you need to replace a reliever, Oberg is the first option to search for on waivers.
2B/SS/OF TRAVIS DEMERITTE, DET (vs. CWS, vs. KC)The Tigers just added Demeritte in the deadline deal that sent closer Shane Greene to the Braves, and Detroit wasted little time in calling up the 24-year-old for his Major League Debut on Aug. 2. He went 1-for-2 with two walks, a triple, a stolen base and 19 DKFP. He started Saturday as well, going 0-for-3 but working two more walks. Demeritte batted seventh and played RF in both those starts but has expanded versatility in most formats.
In Triple-A, Demeritte showed the kind of hitter he can be, cranking 20 homers to go with 28 doubles, 74 RBI and four stolen bases. He had a .944 OPS and was ranked as the No. 24 prospect in the Braves system before the trade. He was in the middle of a breakout season, and Detroit will likely take a long look at him down the stretch to see if he’s ready to contribute at the Major League level.
Other options worth watchingBATTERS
- C Roberto Perez, Cleveland Indians
- C/1B Victor Caratini, Chicago Cubs
- 1B/3B/OF J.D. Davis, New York Mets
- 2B/SS Freddy Galvis, Toronto Blue Jays
- 2B/OF Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians
- 2B/SS/OF Eric Sogard, Tampa Bay Rays
- SS Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays
- SS/OF Leury García, Chicago White Sox
- OF Willie Calhoun, Texas Rangers
- OF Jesse Winker, Cincinnati Reds
- SP Jeff Samardzija, San Francisco Giants
- SP Aaron Sanchez, Houston Astros
- SP Max Fried, Atlanta Braves
- SP Jason Vargas, Philadelphia Phillies
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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.