Fantasy Baseball: Walking the Waiver Wire 7/15

Fantasy Baseball: Walking the Waiver Wire 7/15

by July 15, 2021 0 comments

Welcome back to the waiver wire, my fellow fantasy baseball scavengers. With the All-Star break behind us and far past the midseason point, it’s more important than ever to lock and load for the stretch run in your respective leagues.

For the first entry in the series after the Midsummer Classic, we’re going to make one little change to the way we normally do things. My general rule of thumb is to only recommend players that are rostered in below 35 percent of all Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball leagues. That’s all fine and dandy for those in particularly deep leagues, but for this one, we’re going to throw out some names closer to 50 percent ownership (and some even higher), just in case there might be some available for those of you in shallow- to mid-range contests.

There’s a nice collection of players out there right now. Between potential trades, call-ups, and injury returns, there are a lot of good names to get your mitts on. Here are a few, and Sunday we’ll return to lesser-owned players that could be diamonds in the rough. As always, I try not to use players that I’ve spoken about before. You can check out all past recommendations here, as some are still available.

Nice to See You Again

Carlos Carrasco (SP, RP – NYM) 62% owned

I casually threw out Carrasco’s name a few weeks ago because this is an ace who will be returning from injury very soon. He is already slated to make his first rehab start, but they’ll be handling his workload with kid gloves as he stretches out. Regardless, available in almost 40 percent of leagues is unhear of for a pitcher of this caliber who will be hurling the ball in one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in the majors. In the shortened 2020 campaign, Carrasco had three wins, fanning 82 batters over 68 innings with a 2.91 ERA. You should expect him to be in the Mets rotation in about three weeks.

Danny Duffy (SP – KC) 58% owned

After an unreal start to the season (Duffy was one of the best pitchers out of the gate), injury sidelined the southpaw and many fantasy managers left him for dead. His ownership rose when he first rejoined the team, but many became impatient as the Royals eased him in with two-, three-, and four-inning stints. In his most recent start on July 8, he went five while allowing just one run and striking out five hitters. He’s nearly back to being full strength and even with a few rough starts after his layoff, still carries a 2.53 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. Duffy could pay major dividends down the stretch.

Mitch Garver (C – MIN) 27% owned

Remember when everyone tried to make Ryan Jeffers a thing? Well, he didn’t exactly capitalize on that opportunity and now he’s hurt. I said back then that the Twins would be waiting with open arms when Garver was ready, and he is. His numbers are not flashy, but he’s an everyday backstop that people will run to grab. Beat them to the punch before he returns to the team within the next week or so. Garver was sitting on .224/.333/.500 (.833 OPS, math wizards) with eight dingers before hitting the IL way back on June 1 with a groin injury.

There Goes the Neighborhood

Vidal Brujan (2B – TB) 39% owned

Brujan came up and then was sent back down as Tampa Bay made some roster moves to accommodate the addition. He’s started just 1-for-9 but has an intriguing blend of power and speed that makes him instantly fantasy relevant. He swiped a bag in his first game on the roster, so the Rays are clearly going to give him the green light often. Additionally, while he currently carries only eligibility at second base, the team is missing Manuel Margot from the outfield (likely until the beginning of August), giving Brujan all the opportunity he needs to play multiple positions. By the time Margot returns, Brujan may have established himself as a permanent fixture in the lineup and could rapidly gain position eligibility at other spots on the field.

Tanner Houck (SP – BOS) 9% owned

Whoah, nelly! The Red Sox calling up one of their top pitching prospects as they embark on an 18-day stretch of games isn’t exactly shocking, but the surprise and intrigue over Houck is real. He was relatively unimpressive when he showed up in Boston in April, but had some mechanical issues that could have been stemming from a flexor strain that eventually sidelined him. Houck will get a chance to show what he can do, and carries some extra appeal as he’s expected to make appearances both as a starter and reliever. Like Brujan, this is an opportunity for him to carve out a role. If the Sox slide him into the starting five (six?), the 25-year-old carries massive upside appear, even if he only starts on every other turn through the rotation.

Jarren Duran (OF – BOS) 41% owned

Let’s keep it in Massachusetts, and I’ll see the No. 6 Boston prospect and raise you three spots. Duran is the third-ranked prospect in the Red Sox’s farm system and will make his debut for the team tonight at Yankee Stadium. This is a must-add if he’s still dangling out there in your league. For Triple-A Worcester, Duran had a .926 OPS while hitting for decent average (.270) and smacking 15 moonshots with the boomstick in just 189 at bats. For good measure, he also tallied 12 swipes. Sign him up.

Sighs of Relief

Joakim Soria (RP – ARI) 28% owned

This is the time of year we always struggle with these questions. Why would you want the guy who, for all intents and purposes, is the closer on a garbage team? Two words: Trade Deadline. Arizona will keep running Soria out there in the hopes that he continues a hot streak and lowers his ERA to command a little something on the market. Worst case scenario, he goes somewhere and ends up getting holds and the occasional save as setup man. Best case scenario, a team with utter confusion at the back end of their bullpen dishes out a low-cost prospect to attain him (I’m looking at you, Cincinnati) and immediately installs him as closer or at least part of a committee.

Ranger Suarez (RP – PHI) 37% owned

Suarez is the guy in Philadelphia now, and that’s a way better boast than being the guy in Arizona. Would you just check out this line? Four wins, two saves, 35 strikeouts in 35 innings, a 0.77 ERA, 0.74 WHIP. Talk about stuffing the stat sheet. And in his last appearance before the break, he recorded a 7-out save, tossing 35 pitches. Gimme that guy.

Zack Britton (RP – NYY) 7% owned

Britton has only shown up in the box score a few times in 2021 and was just activated from the IL by New York to kick off the remainder of the season. Remember those two words we talked about? Here’s another opportunity. It may feel like Britton has been around forever, but he’s still only 33 years old and stands to have a lot of gas left in the tank. What the Yankees will do at the deadline remains shrouded in mystery (they almost never sell, after all).

The opportunity to get a low-cost Britton if you have a roster spot could pay off in three ways. Reliable setup man/save vulture. Possibility of being traded (I’m looking at the Reds again). An outside shot that the struggling Aroldis Chapman is traded, leaving the saves to Britton. In the shortened 2020 season, he accounted for one win, eight saves, three holds, a 1.89 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. He’s still got it.

Last but not least

I will continue to bang the drum for Avisail Garcia every chance I get. He is still available in half of all leagues while putting up 16 ding dongs, driving in 55 runs, swiping four bases and batting a respectable .256. His ownership is too low.

That will do it for the post-break version of Walking the Waiver Wire. I’ll see you all back here on Sunday night at the normal bat-time and bat-channel to commiserate on who the next crop of league winners could be. Best of luck to everyone as play resumes.

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Covering NFL, MLB, Fantasy Sports, and NCAAB. Cincinnati raised, Los Angeles resident with a stop in Philadelphia in between. Joe Mixon truther, fan of "The Answer". Joey Votto is an international treasure.

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