Heading into the weekend, and looking toward the last week of July, here are five (or six, technically) waiver wire additions to consider in your fantasy baseball league.
5. Shin-Soo Choo, OF, Texas Rangers
Choo is not having a great season, as he is hitting .252/.365/.408 with 13 home runs, 46 RBI, 51 runs scored and nine stolen bases. Over his last three games, he’s 5-for-11 with a home run, three RBI, four walks, two runs scored and two steals.
In leagues that have on-base percentage as a category, Choo has some under-the-radar value. He is putting up solid numbers across the board this year, and a 20-15-75 season (home runs, stolen bases and runs scored) seems well within reach.
Choo needs to be added in AL-only leagues, and he’s worth a shot in deeper mixed leagues.
ESPN Ownership: 20.4%
4. Yoan Moncada, 3B/2B, Chicago White Sox
In the midst of a trade deadline sell-off, the White Sox finally called Moncada up this week. The No.1 prospect in baseball hit .282 with an .824 OPS, 12 home runs and 17 stolen bases at Triple-A Charlotte this year, and he should be an every day player for the Pale Hose for the rest of the season.
Moncada made his White Sox debut on Wednesday night, and went 0-for-2 with a walk against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was briefly in the big leagues with the Boston Red Sox in 2016, with a .211 average, one RBI and three runs scored over 19 at-bats.
Moncada is eligible at third base in ESPN leagues, but if he continues to play second base he’ll add eligibility there in fairly short order. An eventual move up the batting order may come too, and fantasy owners that awaited Moncada’s arrival this year can now add him.
ESPN Ownership: 45.6%
3. Luis Castillo, SP, Cincinnati Reds
Despite some tough matchups, Castillo has held his own with a 3.86 ERA, a 43:15 K/BB ratio and 29 hits allowed over six starts (35 innings). He has gone at least six innings in three straight outings now, with a 21:6 K/BB ratio over that span.
Castillo has another challenging outing coming next, on the road against the New York Yankees early next week. But improving peripherals diminishes the possibility of any real clunker starts, even if a .225 batting average against may start to rise naturally.
Castillo is still off the radar of fantasy owners, due surely to pitching for Reds. Don’t expect a pile of wins, but everything else points to Castillo being a fantasy asset.
ESPN Ownership: 19.8%
2. Maikel Franco, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies
Franco’s overall numbers still aren’t great (.233, 14 home runs, 52 RBI), but he is hitting .321 (18-for-56) with four home runs and 14 RBI over his last 14 games. A rough start has diminished his stock, and the Phillies reportedly were willing to trade him, but now Franco looks primed for a strong finish to 2017.
2016’s power numbers (25 home runs, 88 RBI) may be out of reach at this point, but Franco can absolutely get to 20 dingers and say 75-80 RBI. A .250 batting average for the season would be a win, so any help there can’t be expected down the stretch.
Particularly while he’s going well, Franco deserves to be added in mixed leagues. His ownership is very slowly rising in ESPN leagues, so there’s an opportunity here.
ESPN Ownership: 35.4%
1. Sean Doolittle/Ryan Madson, RPs, Washington Nationals
The Nationals fortified the back end of their bullpen by acquiring Doolittle and Madson from Oakland last weekend. Doolittle converted the first save opportunity for the duo on Tuesday night, with Madson pitching the eighth inning. It’s unclear if that arrangement will remain, but it’s worth noting Madson twirled a scoreless inning while Doolittle allowed a run before locking down the save.
A share of closing duties may be coming, based at least partially on matchups. That creates some unpredictability, but also makes both Doolittle and Madson worth owning in mixed leagues.
Sean Doolittle ESPN Ownership: 23.9%
Ryan Madson ESPN Ownership: 25.4%