I’m excited to come at you with a double shot of fantasy baseball waiver wire tips this week, offering suggestions today and on Friday. And with two columns on the same topic in such a short period, I have decided to mostly focus today on those who can help your team right away.
Many managers make the mistake of getting too attached to the players at the lower end of their roster and keeping them in the fold during stretches where they are unlikely to be valuable. Roughly 20 percent of your team should be reserved for streamers, and that number may be even higher in 10-team leagues. Most of the players listed below are recommended because they line up to have a favorable projection for the next 3-4 days, or perhaps for all of this week. And nearly all of them should be shipped back to waivers as soon as their value runs out. Streaming players takes time, but the returns are tremendous for those who do it well.
Josh Naylor (1B/OF, Cleveland Guardians, 39%)
The Guardians face the Twins five times over the next four days, with four of those contests being ones where Minnesota will deploy a right-handed starter. Naylor has been effective overall this year (.837 OPS) with most of his success coming against righties (.954 OPS). Those in deep leagues can consider more widely available members of the Guardians, including outfielders Steven Kwan and Oscar Gonzalez.
Isaac Paredes (2B/3B, Tampa Bay Rays, 30%)
Paredes is as hot as any hitter in baseball, having collected 10 hits, five homers and nine RBIs in his past four games. I’m not sure that he can continue to play well enough to maintain a full-time role on the platoon-heavy Rays, but I would put him on my roster right now and see where this goes. He won’t steal many bases, but his solid strikeout rate could lead to a decent average and he has useful power skills.
Yonathan Daza (OF, Colorado Rockies, 4%)
Like most Colorado hitters, Daza has been better at home than on the road, both this season and during his entire career. The right-handed hitter has also excelled against lefties (.910 OPS), which puts him in great position to succeed during a week of six home contests that include four against southpaws. Daza won’t contribute much in the power or speed areas but should hit for average and score runs.
Max Kepler (OF, Minnesota Twins, 28%)
Kepler makes plenty of sense as a volume play this week, as the Twins are scheduled for eight games, with seven of the opposing starters throwing from the right side. The outfielder owns a solid lifetime .798 OPS against righties (.642 OPS vs. lefties) and should collect a few counting stats for those who have room to stream him. And those who would like a different Minnesota hitter can consider Alex Kirilloff, who has been playing regularly of late and also bats from the left side.
Edward Olivares (OF, Kansas City Royals, 10%)
Olivares is more of a long-term option than most others in this article. The outfielder became the butt of jokes last year when he was shuttled back and forth between Triple-A and the Majors, and this year he was just starting to make an impact when he went on the IL with a quad injury. Olivares is now back in the starting lineup, and he should get plenty of summer playing time on a team that is in full rebuild mode. The 26-year-old has plus speed (115 career steals in the Minors) and has tallied 10 homers in 242 career Major League at-bats.
Keegan Thompson (SP/RP, Chicago Cubs, 44%)
Thompson bounced back from the June 12 game where he couldn’t get out of the first inning by allowing one run and striking out 16 over 12 frames in his past two starts. The right-hander has been effective overall this season (7-2, 3.10 ERA, 1.15 WHIP), and should be active for all leagues with weekly transactions for an upcoming two-start week with home outings against the Reds and Red Sox.
Erick Fedde (SP, Washington Nationals, 8%)
Fedde is a below-average pitcher, and I’m not going to try to convince you otherwise. The right-hander has earned his mediocre 4.46 ERA and 1.47 WHIP this season by posting poor rates of strikeouts (7.2 K/9) and walks (4.2 BB/9). Still, Fedde has the potential to help those in points leagues or deep roto formats during a two-start week that features home matchups against the Marlins and Pirates.
Ross Stripling (SP/RP, Toronto Blue Jays, 36%)
Stripling is the exact opposite case of Fedde. The right-hander has been pitching well as a member of the rotation, logging a 2.81 ERA in that role. And he lines up for two starts this week. The only problem is that his matchups are tough — divisional outings against the Red Sox and Rays. Overall, I prefer him to Fedde but not Thompson.
Jhoan Duran (RP, Minnesota Twins, 46%)
Twins closer Emilio Pagan has allowed five runs in his past 3.1 outings, and on Sunday he pitched in the seventh inning before Duran came in for a save. Minnesota needs their best bullpen work to stay in the AL Central race throughout the summer, and Pagan may not be the best anchor for that group. Duran has clearly been the club’s best pitcher this season, posting a 46:6 K:BB line across 33 innings and could get more ninth-inning opportunities soon.