Waiver Wire: Marco Estrada, Matt Duffy headline 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% of leagues.
Ervin Santana, Twins (Mixed: $8, AL-only: $21): Santana will make his Twins debut on July 5 after serving a suspension for the first three-plus months of the season. Over the last two seasons, he had a 3.58 ERA, 3.67 FIP, 1.22 WHIP and 340 strikeouts in 407 innings.
Ivan Nova, Yankees (Mixed: $6, AL-only: $17): Nova made his first start earlier this week since undergoing Tommy John surgery, and the results were good. He tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings, striking out one and surrendering three hits and two walks. In his last full season back in 2013, he made 20 starts and posted a 3.10 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 116 strikeouts in 139 1/3 innings.
Marco Estrada, Blue Jays (Mixed: $5, AL-only: $15): Estrada has taken no-hitters, and in one case a perfect game, into the eighth inning in each of his last two starts. This won’t last all year, but resurgence continues. He has a 3.45 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 63 strikeouts in 73 innings this season.
Roberto Osuna, Blue Jays (Mixed: $8, AL-only: $21): Osuna is the logical choice to take over as the closer in Toronto, until and unless they make a trade. He has a 2.10 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 40 strikeouts against 10 walks in 34 1/3 innings this season.
Ken Giles, Phillies (Mixed: $3, NL-only: $13): Giles is going to keep showing up in this space until the eventual Jonathan Papelbon trade happens. If you have space to speculate on a future closer, Giles should be at the top of your list.
Evan Scribner, A’s (Mixed: $2, AL-only: $13): If Giles is already owned in your league, Scribner makes a nice consolation prize. In 39 1/3 innings this year, he has a 2.97 ERA, 2.64 xFIP, 0.94 WHIP and 41 strikeouts against just three walks. The A’s aren’t realistic playoff contenders and could very well trade Tyler Clippard before the deadline.
Luis Valbuena, Astros (Mixed: $4, AL-only: $21): Valbuena’s batting average would almost always be prohibitive, but he carries fantasy value thanks to his power. The infielder has 19 homers this year, and while that’s already a career high, he put up solid isolated slugging numbers (.160 in 2013, .186 last year) in two seasons with the Cubs. If you can take on the ugly batting average (.197 entering Sunday), grab him.
Brock Holt, Red Sox (Mixed: $3, AL-only: $17): Holt has become an indispensable player for the Red Sox, playing all over the field and swinging one of the few consistent bats in the lineup. He’s hitting .295/.387/.446 with a pair of homers and four steals this season.
Francisco Cervelli, Pirates (Mixed: $1, NL-only: $17): Cervelli isn’t an ideal corner infielder, but he is in the midst of a career year and can be a service in deeper leagues. He’s hitting .306/.379/.408 with three homers, 23 runs and 25 RBIs. It also helps that he qualifies at catcher.
Rougned Odor, Rangers (Mixed: $10, AL-only: $24): Odor has been hot since returning from the minors, hitting .364 (12-for-33) with two homers, two runs, nine RBIs and three steals. He has what it takes to be a top-10 second baseman for the remainder of the season.
Logan Forsythe, Rays (Mixed: $4, AL-only: $15): Forsythe has kept it going over the last two weeks, hitting .449 (22-for-49) with a homer, three runs, four RBIs, three steals and a .518 OBP. He qualifies at both second and first. Go get him if you need any help across the infield.
Matt Duffy, Giants (Mixed: $3, NL-only: $14): Duffy has been a monster in the last two weeks, hitting .340 (17-for-50) with two homers, 11 runs and 10 RBIs. He’s up to a .294/.342/.458 slash line and qualifies at second, short and third.
Randal Grichuk, Cardinals (Mixed: $2, NL-only: $12): Grichuk has been a top-25 overall player for the last two weeks, hitting .325 (13-for-40) with three homers, 10 runs, eight RBIs, two steals and a .391 OBP. With a regular spot in the St. Louis lineup, he should be a starting outfielder in all leagues that require five in your daily lineup.
Joey Butler, Rays (Mixed: $3, AL-only: $13): Butler has slowed down a bit of late, but that was to be expected. He still brings an attractive speed-power combo to the table, hitting six homers and swiping five bags in 178 plate appearances this year.
Chris Young, Yankees (Mixed: $6, AL-only: $20): Young has been on a tear at the plate, hitting .425 (17-for-40) with three homers, 11 runs, 10 RBIs, two steals and a .452 OBP in the last two weeks. We’ve seen enough hot stretches like this from him in the past to know it won’t last, but he’s well worth owning—in the short term in shallow leagues and long term in deeper ones—while he’s hitting like this.