It’s already the end of June, and the All-Star break is in sight on the MLB calendar. Fantasy baseball owners need to be continuing to make moves, and mining the waiver wire is the best way to refresh a roster.
Here are five must-adds off your fantasy baseball waiver wire for the new week.
Note: All stats, trends are through action on June 23.
5. Merrill Kelly, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Over his last six starts (41 innings), Kelly has a 2.85 ERA with 37 strikeouts and five walks while going at least six innings every time. And if not for a fairly poor outing against the Colorado Rockies on June 18 (six runs-five earned allowed over six innings), that ERA would be even better.
Kelly allowed three earned runs or less over five or more innings in six of his first 10 starts this season, but he’s found a higher bar recently. NL-only league owners should already know about him, but those in mixed leagues need to have the rookie hurler on their radar.
Yahoo! Ownership: 43%
ESPN Ownership: 26.8%
4. Justin Upton, OF, Los Angeles Angels
Upton’s 2019 debut was delayed by a toe injury, but he was in the lineup last Monday and promptly hit a home run. In seven total games now he is hitting .280/.379/.680 with three home runs and four RBI.
From 2009-2018, Upton hit at least 26 home runs and drove in at least 70 in all but two seasons along with at least eight stolen bases each season. That’s a consistent producer, and one worth keeping on a fantasy roster all the way through his time sidelined to start 2019.
Upton’s ownership rates are high, and in ESPN leagues it has risen since he returned to action. But there’s still room to add him, and his ownership in your league has to be checked on.
Yahoo! Ownership: 84%
ESPN Ownership: 79.5%
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B/DH, Detroit Tigers
In concert with being made into a full-time DH, with one start at first base mixed in, Cabrera looks something like the peak version of himself. In June he is hitting .340/.368/.509 with five extra base hits (two home runs) and eight RBI. That has come in concert with hitting fewer ground balls, which is a likely product of being able to save his troublesome knee the wear and tear of playing in the field.
Cabrera is no longer an elite home run hitter, but he has a solid batting average overall this season (.296) to go with enough production (11 doubles, 30 RBI) to be a solid fantasy option.
If you need to fill a corner infield or utility spot, there are worse ways to go then this future Hall of Famer.
Yahoo! Ownership: 42%
ESPN Ownership: 50.8%
2. Ross Stripling, SP/RP, Los Angeles Dodgers
With Rich Hill (forearm) on the injured list and expected to be out more than a month, the Dodgers have an injury void to fill in the starting rotation again. Stripling seems to be the front runner to take that spot, starting Tuesday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Over six starts early this season, Stripling posted a 2.65 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP with 32 strikeouts and 10 walks over 34 innings. He hasn’t been as good overall out of the bullpen since then (4.02 ERA, 16:6 K/ratio over 14 appearances-15.2 innings), but he has been good enough to stick on fantasy rosters in deeper leagues.
Barring an official announcement to the contrary regarding who’ll take Hill’s spot in the rotation for the next 4-5 weeks, Stripling’s fantasy arrow is pointing up. Go get him in mixed leagues.
Yahoo! Ownership: 50%
ESPN Ownership: 37.9%
1. Cavan Biggio, 2B/OF, Toronto Blue Jays
Going back to a two-home run game last Monday night, Biggio has driven in a run in four of his last seven contests (seven RBI total). He is a batting average drag (.218 since being called up; .200 in June), but a .222 BABIP in June points to poor luck and his .822 OPS this month is quite good.
Being a second baseman was enough to put Biggio on the fantasy radar immediately, but he has also mixed in outfield eligibility with six games in June and he has started a game at first base too.
Some positive batting average correction is in order here, to go with power (five home runs, 13 RBI) and some speed (three stolen bases). Biggio has not been on our waiver wire list yet, but this week that changes.
Yahoo! Ownership: 28%
ESPN Ownership: 10.4%