Waiver Wire: Byron Buxton, Franciso Lindor among this week's top options
Need some help in your fantasy league? We all do at some point during the season. Lead fantasy sports writer Michael Beller provides his best waiver wire additions this week. All players are available in at least 60 percent of leagues.
Jaime Garcia, Cardinals (Mixed: $6, NL-only: $16): Garcia had his best start last week since coming off the DL, tossing eight shutout inning with six strikeouts against the Royals. He’s always an injury risk, but he should be almost universally owned at this point. In 35 innings, he has a 2.06 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 24 strikeouts.
Vincent Velasquez, Astros (Mixed: $3, AL-only: $9): Velasquez had a decent major league debut, striking out five and allowing seven baserunners in five scoreless innings against the White Sox. There will be growing pains, but there’s no doubt about his stuff.
Matt Cain, Giants (Mixed: $2, NL-only: $7): This one is for the stash-conscious owners. Cain made his first rehab start last week as he continues to work his way back from an elbow injury. If all goes according to plan, he’ll be back in the San Francisco rotation in early July.
Ken Giles, Phillies (Mixed: $4, NL-only: $11): Giles can be an asset to fantasy owners as a setup man, but he might not be in that role much longer. The Phillies would love to unload Jonathan Papelbon, and if they do, Giles will take over the closer’s role. Now’s the time to go get him.
Will Harris, Astros (Mixed: $1, AL-only: $6): Harris makes about three appearances in a typical week, and has a 0.94 ERA, 0.52 WHIP and 33 strikeouts this season. Even though he won’t be saving games, those rates make him a worthwhile addition to any team in deeper mixed leagues.
Pedro Strop, Cubs (Mixed: $3, NL-only: $10): With Hector Rondon struggling, Strop will likely see increased save opportunities, at least in the short term. He was excellent for the first five weeks of the season, and is back on track after hitting a rough patch in May. If you’re speculative on Cubs relievers go for him, not Rafael Soriano.
Carson Smith, Mariners (Mixed: $21, AL-only: $33): Smith picked up a pair of saves in the last week, and it seems the Mariners are finally turning away from Fernando Rodney. Smith has easily been the team's best reliever this year, compiling a 1.38 ERA, 0.73 WHIP and 29 strikeouts in 26 innings.
Chris Colabello, Blue Jays (Mixed: $3, AL-only: $13): Colabello is getting consistent starts with Toronto, even with Edwin Encarnacion back from injury. His decent power makes him an intriguing player when he’s getting regular at-bats, and the environment in Toronto makes him all the more valuable.
Mitch Moreland, Rangers (Mixed: $3, AL-only: $14): Moreland has been hot over the last two weeks, going 12-for-34 with three homers and nine RBI in his last eight games. Moreland’s not suddenly going to become a top-10 first baseman, but he’s now hitting .303/.360/.529 with eight homers on the season.
Alex Guerrero, Dodgers (Mixed:$5, NL-only: $12) Guerrero still isn't playing every day, but he's doing enough with his at-bats to be fantasy relevant in deeper leagues. It's also worth betting that he'll eventually get more regular playing time in Los Angeles, given that it's hard for basically anyone, other than Don Mattingly, to keep a guy with a .621 slugging percentage on the bench.
Francisco Lindor, Indians (Mixed: $6, AL-only: $16): The Indians promoted Lindor on Sunday, and he’s expected to take over as the everyday shortstop. While he should be added in all leagues, understand that his high prospect rating has more to do with his glove than his bat.
Justin Turner, Dodgers (Mixed: $5, NL-only: $15): Turner missed a couple games last week after fouling a ball off his knee, then went 2-for-4 with an RBI in his return to the lineup. He continues to be one of the most underappreciated players in fantasy this year, slashing .319/.391/.496 with five homers in 151 plate appearances.
Delino DeShields, Rangers (Mixed: $4, AL-only: $14): DeShields may only be a two-category player, but he’s proving himself plenty valuable regardless. In 165 plate appearances, he has 32 runs and 13 steals. He should be owned in all deep leagues.
Byron Buxton, Twins (Mixed: $20, AL-only: Whatever you have left): The Twins promoted Buxton, the No. 1 prospect heading into this season according to Baseball Prospectus and MLB.com, over the weekend. He hit .283/.351/.489 with six homers, seven doubles, 12 triples and 20 steals at Double-A Chattanooga before his promotion, and should be owned in all leagues.
Joey Butler, Rays (Mixed: $10, AL-only: $23): With Desmond Jennings out another two months because of a knee injury, Butler’s place in the Rays’ lineup is secure. He’s hitting .347/.373/.529 with four homers and three steals in 126 plate appearances, all while holding down the second spot in the order.
Rajai Davis, Tigers (Mixed: $2, AL-only: $14): Davis is doing his thing again this season, crushing lefties and stealing bases. His platoon role makes it hard to play him in shallower mixed leagues, but he should be owned across the board in deep leagues. He’s hitting .281/.347/.444 with 14 steals this season.