This week’s 10-pack of potential waiver yarn gems is a balance between streamers and potential long-term additions. With the MLB trade deadline looming, the best plan might be to focus on the streamer roster — players on the rise or those with favorable matchups — while regularly updating the headlines in hopes of securing someone who becomes instantly valuable as a result of a real-life trade.
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Bell rebounded from a slow start to the season by posting a 0.787 OPS in June and an .802 mark in July. The hitter can keep hitting hard through a seven-game week, which includes four contests against a Royals team that ranks 28th in ERA. He is also expected to face six right-handed starters, which has been his matchup of choice during his long career.
Casas rebounded from a slow start to the season, finding his power stroke with five home runs in 46 hits this month. The left-handed hitter plays against left-handers, which won’t be an issue for the next two weeks as Boston is scheduled to play a right-handed starter in every game.
Julien’s escalation rate should be double his current mark. The rookie was one of baseball’s top hitters in July (1,309 OPS) and is regularly hitting 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 the next five games.
Few fantasy coaches have noticed how effective Flores has been in recent weeks, as just one player (Shohei Ohtani) posted the highest OPS in as many plate appearances since the start of June. I don’t promise that Flores can continue at this pace for much longer and I hope he gets back to his usual form sometime this summer. But managers could do worse than offer a temporary spot in the lineup to someone who is swinging the bat so well.
Luis Matos (OF, San Francisco Giants, 8%)
A right-handed hitter, Matos has shown a preference for tackling lefties (0.772 OPS) in his brief career. The rookie is well-positioned for success when the Giants face lefties in each of their next three games. And the club can 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 left-handed trio.
Though well past his prime, Cueto helped fantasy managers last season, posting respectable ratios (3.35 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) in 25 appearances as a member of the White Sox. Now part of the Marlins rotation after a three-month stint at IL, the veteran threw six innings of a ball against the Rockies last time out. At the very least, Cueto is a solid streaming option on Saturday as he works his home park for pitchers against a Tigers lineup that ranks 29th in the OPS.
Logan Allen (SP, Cleveland Guardians, 29%)
Allen enjoyed an effective three-week comeback in the minors, striking out eight in five shutout innings on July 18. With a 3.21 ERA in 13 starts this year, the left-hander really didn’t deserve to be relegated in first place, but the Guardians are rich in shooting depth and he needed to work on his efficiency after amassing huge shooting totals in short periods of time during some June games. He’s the top two-game option on waivers this week, as he’s drawn matchups against two of baseball’s least effective lineups (Royals, White Sox).
Canning has been inconsistent this season, but he deserves some credit for posting a 3.58 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP in his last nine starts. He’s easily broadcast-worthy across the leagues for his match tomorrow against a Tigers offense that posted a low OPS of .666. However, with their next start scheduled to face the Braves, Canning is strictly a one-day roster option.
Gavin Williams (SP, Cleveland Guardians, 30%)
With a 3.74 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP in six starts, Williams made a respectable transition into the majors. Fantasy managers were slow to add one of baseball’s best pitchers, but they should give him the opportunity to start Wednesday against a Royals lineup that ranks 28th in baseball in the OPS. Those in weekly transaction leagues may want to keep Williams beyond Wednesday as he lines up for two games (Astros, White Sox) the following week.
Alzolay had earned every Cubs save since June 3, but his successful ninth-inning work apparently wasn’t enough to impress many Yahoo managers. With a 2.51 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP, the right-hander proved that he is not only a capable closer, but also one of the best relievers in baseball. It should be added by anyone who needs saves.