Your Fantasy Baseball Weekly Planner Includes the Best Streamers and Waiver Wire Adds
Sweet Jeebers, we’re in July already? Wasn’t it last week when Matt Davidson was going to hit 45 homers and the Astros starting pitchers were each going to sport ERAs under 2.50? Remember when the Mets were healthy and Shohei Ohtani was going to win 16-18 games while hitting 15-20 homers?
The All-Star break is two weeks away, so let’s suck it up and push to the “halfway” point of the season. I’ve got your collective backs.
Pitching For Two, Please (Recommended two-start pitchers)
Nathan Eovaldi, Rays (at Marlins, Monday; at Mets, Saturday): Six innings of shutout ball against the Nationals on Tuesday also included nine strikeouts. Eovaldi should continue to trend upward with starts against two of the most run-starved offenses in the league in Miami (28th) and New York (25th).
Andrew Heaney, Angels (at Mariners, Tuesday; vs. Dodgers, Sunday): Seven of the 11 homers he’s given up this season have come in his last four starts, but his 1.21 HR/9 is a far, far (and we do mean far) cry from last season’s 4.98 HR/9 rate. The 11.22 K/9 is another reason to like Heaney in a week when he’ll get both his starts in pitcher-friendly environments.
Kyle Freeland, Rockies (vs. Giants, Monday; at Mariners, Sunday): Take away his June 10 start against the Diamondbacks, and Freeland has 11 straight starts of allowing three runs or fewer. No fear in starting him at Coors Field, where he has a 2.95 ERA and has held opponents to a .231 batting average.
Brent Suter, Brewers (vs. Twins, Monday; vs. Braves, Saturday): When he keeps the ball down (and in the park), Suter is a useful arm who will give you 80-90 pitches and has held opposing batters to a .293 OBP. The Twins won’t provide much lumber (24th in homers) and while the Braves have some thump, it’s not enough to avoid using Suter on Saturday.
Junior Guerra, Brewers (vs. Twins, Tuesday; vs. Braves, Sunday): A closer look at Guerra’s numbers suggests he should be much better than 4-5. Then again, Guerra can’t swing the bat to help his cause. After all, Milwaukee has scored just 11 total runs in his five losses, setbacks in which Guerra allowed three runs or fewer in four of them. Score some damn runs for the guy, won’t ya?
Kyle Gibson, Twins (at Brewers, Monday; vs. Orioles, Saturday): Like Guerra, Gibson has pitched much better than his W-L (2-6 suggests). He’s gotta own up to his loss at the White Sox on Wednesday, but his last three losses saw him allow three runs or less in each. He’s damn good on the road this season, holding hitters to a .177 batting average while delivering with a 2.56 ERA. The Orioles are dead last in runs scored, so I’d feel good about giving Gibby his two starts.
Domingo German, Yankees (vs. Braves, Monday; at Blue Jays, Sunday): Overlooked from his 5.16 ERA during June is a 34-4 K:BB rate and 1.08 WHIP. German is still gaining confidence in his curve and his 10.49 K/9 rate makes him an interesting play this week.
Tanner Roark, Nationals (vs. Red Sox, Tuesday; vs. Marlins, Sunday): For all his faults during a 1-6 stretch, Roark is among the Top 10 in the National League in innings pitched. Despite taking the loss against the Phillies on Thursday, Roark showed strong signs of turning things around, allowing one earned run over six innings. He won’t have to face a DH against Boston on Tuesday and he’s more effective on the road (3.63 ERA), making our view of Roark’s week more optimistic.
Zack Wheeler, Mets (at Blue Jays, Tuesday; vs. Rays, Sunday): Wheeler still hasn’t won a game in more than two months, but he’s shown signs of ending his drought. His 3.26 ERA in June was almost 50 percent less than his 6.43 ERA in May and he’s just shy of averaging a strikeout per inning. Let’s call it: Wheeler gets a win this week.
Austin Romine, C, Yankees: With Gary Sanchez sidelined until late July, Romine becomes the everyday backstop for the Pinstripes. Owned in 29 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, Romine doesn’t have the pop of Sanchez, but has an .850 OPS and a .500 slugging percentage. He’s an exceptional hitter during the day, when Romine has a 1.024 OPS and six of his 11 extra base hits.
A.J. Minter, P, Braves: After a slow start, Minter and his 96.5 MPH heater are back on track. He will get his chance to hammer down in the ninth inning in the wake of Arodys Vizcaino going on the disabled list. Minter has seen his ownership climb to 34 percent in CBSSports.com leagues due in part to him allowing just one earned run in his last 10 appearances.
Geraldo Parra, OF, Rockies: He’ll hate to see June go away, as Parra drove in 22 runs while batting .373 entering the weekend. Parra can steal the occasional base (six swipes) and if he’s drilling righties with an .882 OPS, he will have value in deeper leagues. He’s owned in 25 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and should see that number tick up a little closer to 30 percent if he carries his torrid bat into July.
Alen Hanson, 2B, Giants: Entering the weekend, 17 of Hanson’s 32 hits were for extra bases. The pop has always been there and if the Giants would give Hanson an uncontested green light, he’s capable of 15-20 steals. Like Parra, he’s owned in 25 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, making him a good fallback option for owners scuffling for help in the middle infield.
Stephen Piscotty, OF, Athletics: I know Piscotty’s pain all too well when it comes to losing your mother. He’s bounced back with a solid June, swatting four homers while hitting .309. The Athletics have a busy outfield, but Piscotty has established his spot as a daily presence, as the 27 percent ownership in CBSSports.com leagues indicates.
Matt Harvey, P, Reds: Consecutive wins offers hope of a Harvey revival. He’s owned in 28 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and while Harvey’s K/9 rate makes young children weep in shame, he’s become a useful source of production. He may never be the ace we all once envisioned he’d become, but you’ll take this version as long as he’s winning.
Enrique Hernandez, OF, Dodgers: Vying to become the 2018 version of Marwin Gonzalez, Hernandez has played every position except catcher, but has become a stabilizer of sorts in center field. Three homers over the past week has helped place his ownership in CBSSports.com leagues at 25 percent, a number that could go higher as Hernandez is on pace for 27 homers. A sub-.240 batting average will keep some owners away from him, but those looking for a flexible and productive performer should look in the direction of Hernandez.
A Streaming We Will Go (Pitchers Edition)
Chase Anderson, Brewers (vs. Twins, Wednesday): Currently in a run where he’s allowed three runs or fewer in five of his last six starts.
Andrew Suarez, Giants (at Rockies, Wednesday): He’s settling into a consistent hurler, especially in deeper leagues. Suarez has given up two earned runs or fewer in his last four starts while allowing only two dingers in his last five.
Jeremy Hellickson, Nationals (vs. Marlins, Thursday): Second start since coming off the DL. Hellickson has limited batters to a .619 OPS while wielding a 1.65 ERA at home sweet home.
Adlaberto Mejia, Twins (vs. Orioles, Thursday): Owned hitters in Triple-A last month to the tune of a 1.41 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. O’s are a fast track to a brutal page of history, so take a shot with Mejia, who had 21 starts with the Twinkies last season.
Joey Lucchesi, Padres (at Diamondbacks, Thursday): Pads have lost five of the last seven starts of Lucchesi, but there’s only one start where you say he earned it. He’s been one of the most overlooked rookies this season. They’d be screaming his name in esctasy if he were a Yankee, Dodger or Cub.
Marco Gonzales, Mariners (vs. Angels, Thursday): Scuffled for much of June but closed out the month with a complete game six-hitter against the Royals on Friday. I think there’s breakout potential in Gonzalez the rest of the season.
Dereck Rodriguez, Giants (vs. Cardinals, Thursday): Has allowed more than three runs just once in his first five starts. Rodriguez hovers toward fanning a batter per inning while also seeing his pitch count quietly push toward 100.
Jordan Zimmerman, Tigers (vs. Rangers, Friday): He’s been on a tight pitch count since returning from the DL. His July starts will merit attention, especially on a pennant contender who could use a veteran arm either in the back end of the rotation or as long relief.
A Streaming We Will Go (Hitters Edition)
Max Muncy, 1B/3B/OF, Dodgers (at Angels, Friday-Sunday): He’s killing it outside of Chavez Ravine, punishing hurlers to the tune of a .291/.436/.608 slash line.
Hunter Renfroe, OF, Padres (at Diamondbacks, Thursday-Sunday): Still can’t hit righties with consistency yet wears out southpaws with his .919 OPS.
Greg Bird, 1B, Yankees (at Blue Jays, Friday-Sunday): Finally over the Mendoza Line, Bird’s bat has started to heat up (two homers, 1.188 OPS over his last seven), which is always a good thing when you’re in the Yankees lineup and spending the weekend at homer-friendly Rogers Centre.
Scott Kingery, INF/OF, Phillies (vs. Orioles, Tuesday-Wednesday): Rest assured, the versatile Kingery will be in the lineup, as he has put up an .857 OPS over his last seven games. There’s no better way to celebrate Independence Day than facing a Baltimore pitching staff that’s all too willing to give up plenty of fireworks.
Jed Lowrie, 2B/3B, Athletics (vs. Padres, Tuesday-Wednesday): Lowrie deserves All-Star consideration, and his 1.122 OPS over the past two weeks only further his case.
Andrelton Simmons, SS, Angels (at Mariners, Tuesday-Thursday): Why the Angels aren’t allowing him to run more is beyond me; Simmons has five steals and would be good for 20-25 if he were ever given a more liberal green light. Still, shortstops who have an OBP near .400 need to be streamed.
Keon Broxton, OF, Brewers (vs. Twins, Monday-Wednesday): After spending the weekend clobbering Reds pitching, Broxton comes home to thump the Twins. Keep him in the lineup if possible before Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich return from injuries.
Jesse Winker, OF, Reds (vs. White Sox, Monday-Wednesday): His current power surge has his slugging percentage (finally) near .400. Winker is .307-5-19 over the past month with a .949 OPS.