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August is on the horizon already, and here are five players to add off the waiver wire in your fantasy baseball league heading into a new week.
5. Odubel Herrera, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
Herrera consistently draws ire from Phillies manager Pete Mackanin and others for some lack of hustle, misplaced bat flips, etc. But he is hitting .337 (62-for-184) with seven home runs, 24 RBI and 28 runs scored since the start of June.
The recent trade of Howie Kendrick gets rid of a logjam in Philadelphia’s outfield, so Herrera’s idiosyncrasies may not take him out of the lineup all that much as long as he’s hitting. He’s worth adding and plugging in while he’s hot, particularly in NL-only leagues.
ESPN Ownership: 40.8%
4. Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox
In four games since being called up, Devers is 5-for-17 (.294) with a home run, two RBI and three runs scored. Boston’s acquisition of Eduardo Nunez clouds his outlook as the every day third baseman, but at this early point there seems to be room for both in the regular lineup.
In 86 games between Double and Triple-A this year, Devers posted a .311/.377/.578 slash-line with 20 home runs and 60 RBI. That power may not instantly translate to the big leagues, but it speaks volumes Devers was not sent back down to Triple-A when Nunez was acquired.
Devers should already be on a lot of rosters in AL-only leagues, and there’s room to add him in mixed leagues.
ESPN Ownership: 32.7%
3. Sam Dyson, RP, San Francisco Giants
Since landing with the Giants after a disastrous start to the season with the Rangers, Dyson is 6-for-6 in save chances with a 2.33 ERA. He has allowed more base runners (15 hits and eight walks) than innings pitched (19.1) over that span, but walking that tightrope has worked thus far and he doesn’t seem to be in danger of losing his role as closer.
The Giants are having a rough season, so save opportunities haven’t been, and aren’t likely to suddenly be, plentiful. But any closer belongs on the fantasy radar, and Dyson’s 38 saves for Texas last year should not be forgotten.
ESPN Ownership: 28.3%
2. Brad Ziegler, RP, Miami Marlins
After a trade sending A.J Ramos to the Mets, and being activated from the disabled list on Saturday, Ziegler has been named Marlins’ closer by manager Don Mattingly. He was not pitching well prior to a back issue this year, with a 6.52 ERA and a 1.83 WHIP over 29 innings. But he tallied 52 saves in 2015 and 2016, mostly with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Miami’s ninth inning situation could be fluid. Junichi Tazawa could be in the mix immediately, along with Kyle Barraclough (shoulder) once he returns from the disabled list. But Ziegler has been anointed as the man right now, and that makes him worth a speculative add in fantasy leagues.
ESPN Ownership: 4.1%
1. Kirby Yates, RP, San Diego Padres
Speaking of a bad team and a changing closer, Yates tallied his first save of the season Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Brandon Maurer was traded to the Royals, and Brad Hand may not be far behind heading into Monday afternoon. So that leaves Yates, his 2.23 ERA and elite peripherals (13.6 K/9, 2.2 BB/9) to lock down the ninth inning for San Diego.
There’s a rumor out there that the Padres may not trade Hand, so if he stays he may get save chances based on matchups or create an outright committee with Yates. But now is the time to add Yates, who has been a closer without the role all season to this point.
ESPN Ownership: 2.8%