Roll with Twins Ervin Santana | Rays Mallex Smith a Prime Waiver Add
Your Fantasy Baseball Planner includes Key Streamers and notable Waiver adds
Let’s keep our collective heads on a swivel between now and Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline. Chances are strong that a waiver wire castoff might carry a Fantasy team to victory. In the same vein, someone who went all-in with FAAB bucks for a player in an AL or NL-only league may spend the winter lamenting his decision.
Pitching For Two, Please (Recommended two-start pitchers)
Jon Gray, Rockies (at Cardinals, Tuesday; at Brewers, Sunday): Banishment to Triple-A seems to have worked for Colorado’s Opening Day starter, who has allowed two earned runs in his first 14 innings back in the Rockies rotation. Gray’s control issues are solved, which should give his Fantasy owners confidence in starting him away from Coors Field.
Walker Buehler, Dodgers (vs. Brewers, Monday; vs. Astros, Saturday): Let’s all pretend Buehler’s 6.52 ERA in July didn’t happen and focus on the happier side of the Dodgers’ young ace in training. Buehler has a 2.97 ERA at Dodger Stadium while holding batters to a collective .209 batting average at Chavez Ravine. Even with the loaded lineups of Milwaukee and Houston scheduled, Buehler is a must-start.
Ervin Santana, Twins (vs. Indians; vs. Royals, Sunday): Erv’s gonna need some time to get the rust out but I’d take him for both starts considering he’s sporting a 78-50 career record post All-Star Break with an ERA (3.78) almost a half run better than his career 4.26 ERA in the first half. Santana’s a gold-plated must-start at home against a Royals team that has scored the fewest runs in the majors.
Freddy Peralta, Brewers (at Dodgers, Monday; vs. Rockies, Saturday): “I’m not starting a pitcher averaging 11.8 Ks per nine innings who also has a HR/9 rate of 0.8,” said no sane person ever.
Edwin Jackson, Athletics (vs. Blue Jays, Monday; vs. Tigers, Sunday): Getting tagged by the Rangers in Arlington shouldn’t deter you from starting Jackson, who had allowed three runs or fewer in his first five starts. Jackson gets a pair of home starts at Oakland Alameda County Coliseum, which has a very pitcher-friendly park factor of 89 this season. He’s more attractive as both Toronto and Detroit are in Mail it In mode at this point.
Dan Straily, Marlins (at Braves, Tuesday; at Phillies, Sunday): I don’t think he’ll be traded by the deadline, but Straily has gone six straight starts of allowing both fewer than five hits and three earned runs. Oddly enough, he’s pitched better on the road (3.27 ERA, .213 batting average allowed) than he has in Miami. Play the trends and reap the rewards.
Tyler Anderson, Rockies (at Cardinals, Monday; at Brewers, Saturday): For now, Anderson is the ace of the Colorado staff. Don’t believe it? Let his 1.32 ERA and .141 opponents’ batting average in July give you religion. Anderson is 4-0 with a 3.48 ERA on the road this season while averaging close to a strikeout per inning. Yeah, I’d start him.
Julio Teheran, Braves (vs. Marlins, Monday; at Mets, Saturday): Getting shelled for nine runs (seven earned) over 4.1 innings against Miami on Tuesday does look discouraging. Keep in mind, though, that Teheran had allowed a combined six runs in his previous four starts. The week sets up well for Teheran, who gets two of the lowest-scoring teams in the majors.
Daniel Poncedeleon, P, Cardinals: Just 13 months ago, Poncedeleon was fighting for his life after being hit in the temple by a liner. Now, he’s owned in 26 percent of CBSSports.com leagues after pitching seven no-hit innings against the Reds in his big league debut. He was called back up to the majors after the release of Greg Holland on Friday, so while he’s eventually going to give up a hit or two, Poncedeleon will be a key part in the Cards’ push to get back into the NL Wild Card chase. He should rejoin the rotation soon.
Jace Fry, P, White Sox: Joakim Soria’s departure to the Brewers opens the door for the lefty to bid for a chance to become the closer for the Pale Hose. Fry is averaging 11.03 K/9 with a solid 0.29 HR/9 rate over 31 innings of work with an array of pitches that is highlighted by a slider and heater with good movement. He’s owned in 11 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, making him a good play in deeper leagues.
Brad Brach, P, Orioles: Save opportunities in B-More come as frequent as 45 avoids his Twitter app, but Brach returns to the role he held prior to Zach Britton’s brief return. Brach’s strikeout rates have dipped from 10.48 K/9 in 2015 to his current 8.77 K/9 due in part to a loss in velocity, yet beggars can’t be choosers when trying to find a closer this late in the season. He’s owned in 28 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and will see his numbers go higher as he pares down his 4.85 ERA. Again: beggars. Choosers.
Austin Romine, C, Yankees: Currently at 23 percent ownership in CBSSports.com leagues, Romine should see a sharp increase with Gary Sanchez out until late August. Romine has an acceptable .788 OPS and has enough pop in his bat to play him daily. He will also benefit from being in a lineup that leads the majors in homers and fifth in runs scored, which is why I feel Romine will continue to see his ownership in CBSSports.com leagues go up.
Willie Calhoun, OF, Rangers: He was hitting .192 entering the weekend, but Texas has little to play for at this point, so it stands to reason they will give the central piece to last year’s Yu Darvish trade to the Dodgers all the time he needs to develop. Calhoun is one of the few healthy outfielders available to the Rangers and will eventually get past his early struggles and live up to the promise of power and speed he has offered throughout his run to the bigs. He’s owned in 42 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and is one good streak away from hopping past the 50 percent mark.
Mallex Smith, OF, Rays: Sitting at 28 percent ownership in CBSSports.com leagues, Smith has 18 stolen bases and will have the green light to flirt -- if not exceed -- 30 swipes. His .397 slugging percentage is a turnoff yet is countered with a solid .350 OBP, an encouraging number for a player whose game is built on speed (take notes, Billy Hamilton). If you can live with the lack of power (one homer in 93 games this season) and need the steals, Smith must be front and center on your wish list.
Mitch Garver, C, Twins: An AL-only shout out, Garver has hit .321/.429/,585 in his first month as Minnesota’s primary catcher. The power is real, as Garver projects as a 20-homer performer when prorated for 550 at-bats while he’s becoming the latest example of a catcher whose offense takes time to develop. Garver is owned in nine percent of CBSSports.com leagues and while he’s AL-only/deeper league material, his bat will make him viable in more standard leagues. I’d also clip and save him as a possible 2019 breakout candidate.
A Streaming We Will Go (Pitchers Edition)
Nick Kingham, Pirates (vs. Cubs, Wednesday): Has held his own in a pair of starts against the NL Central leaders (3.75 ERA, .261 OBA in two starts). Also helps that the calendar turns for him after recording a 6.20 ERA in July.
Pablo Lopez, Marlins (at Braves, Wednesday): Has held opponents to a .179 batting average in his first two career road starts while averaging close to a K per inning.
Kyle Freeland, Rockies (at Cardinals, Wednesday): Allowed three runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts, including six shutout innings in Friday’s win over the A’s. Colorado has won each of his last five starts.
Chase Anderson, Brewers (at Dodgers, Wednesday): Since June 17, Anderson has allowed two runs or fewer in his last seven starts while trimming his ERA from 4.54 to 3.69.
Andrew Heaney, Angels (at Rays, Thursday): Just a shade under averaging a strikeout per inning, Heaney’s 1.13 WHIP and five straight starts of three or fewer earned runs gives him a spot here.
Brad Keller, Royals (at White Sox, Thursday): He’s about as close to a “stopper” that KC has in its rotation. Has allowed only two homers in 70.1 innings worked.
Vince Velasquez, Phillies (vs. Marlins, Thursday): His name is Vince, and he’s been funky good in July, going 2-0 without allowing a run in 14 innings.
Max Fried, Braves (vs. Mets, Thursday): Projected to return from the 10-day DL, keep the memory of Fried’s 11-strikeout performance against the Cardinals on June 30 (when he earned his first big league win) in mind.
Jhoulys Chacin, Brewers (at Dodgers, Thursday): He’ll look to carry the momentum of a strong July (3-0, 3.04 ERA, .165 OBA) into a potential sneak peek into Milwaukee’s early October docket.
Nick Pivetta, Phillies (vs. Marlins, Friday): Struck out nine while allowing only four hits in 5.2 innings to record a win over Miami in his only previous start against them on April 5.
A Streaming We Will Go (Hitters Edition)
Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers (vs. Brewers, Monday-Thursday): Blistering hot since the All-Star Break to the tune of .429/.448/.679 with a 1.127 OPS.
Nick Williams, OF, Phillies (vs. Marlins, Thursday-Sunday): My fellow alum of the 409, Williams has a .393 OBP in July to go along with a .937 OPS.
Ryon Healy, 1B, Mariners (vs. Blue Jays, Thursday-Sunday): Another post-ASB masher, Healy is hitting .353/.389/.882 with three homers and eight ribbies since coming back from vacay.
Ian Kinsler, 2B, Angels (at Rays, Tuesday-Thursday): Quietly has hit .284 over the past 30 days and as brutal a season Kinsler has had, he’s still on pace for 18 homers and 16 steals.
Yario Munoz, 2B/SS, Cardinals (vs. Rockies, Monday-Thursday): Sneaky good source of power and speed, Munoz has a 1.032 OPS since the break.
Michael Conforto, OF, Mets (at Nationals, Tuesday-Wednesday): Entering Saturday, he was hitting .370 over the past seven games with five extra base hits and nine RBI.
Johan Camargo, 2B/SS/3B, Braves (vs. Marlins, Monday-Wednesday): Has worn out Miami pitching this season, tagging them with a .345/,486/.483 with a homer and six RBI in 29 at-bats.
Wil Myers, 1B/OF, Padres (at Cubs, Thursday-Sunday): Over the last 30 days, Myers is swinging it at a .310/.368/.690 pace with eight homers and 22 RBI.
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