Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. June wraps up this weekend, leaving the All-Star week under two weeks away. Keep your foot on the pedal and work that wire!
This week, the Mets got more bad news as GM Sandy Alderson is taking a leave of absence as he deals with cancer; Mike Trout (finger) has returned to playing the outfield; and the Cubs have lost 3B Kris Bryant to the DL because of shoulder inflammation.
And now, let’s get to this week’s Fantasy baseball waiver wire recommendations…
Tim Beckham, 3B, Baltimore Orioles (ESPN: 2.4 per cent; CBS: 13 per cent): We’ve all heard the ubiquitous rumours that Manny Machado will be shipped out of B-More at the deadline as the floundering O’s seek to rebuild. Assuming that happens, Beckham is likely to take over as the everyday shortstop, and while that may not sound exciting, don’t forget about how good he was last year. His extra-base pop has been nearly non-existent this season, but since coming off the DL this week, he’s starting to show signs of life with three hits, including a double, over the last two games. Beckham is not an everyday player now, but could be a great stash as it’s likely his value could spike down the stretch. Just remember, this dude was the No. 1 overall pick in 2008 for a reason. At the very least, Beckham is clearly happy to be back in the lineup (see video below).
- Marwin Gonzalez’s 2017 breakout is looking like an outlier given how lame his counting cat numbers look this year. The good news he’s been playing shortstop since Carlos Correa (back) got hurt, and will soon qualify there again in 2019. That positional flexibility is valuable, and given that Gonzalez has put up a 931 OPS so far this month, perhaps he’s finally turning the corner.
- After delivering a walk-off sac fly Wednesday, Denard Span got the day off Thursday, but man is he hot right now. He’s delivered seven hits (two extra-base knocks) over the last five games, with four RBI. Span’s been far more productive this month after a May to forget.
- Joey Votto’s fuse is a bit short lately. He got tossed in the first inning Wednesday after arguing a strike three call against him. The next day, Votto sparked a benches clearing episode when he argued with Milwaukee catcher Erik Kratz. Meanwhile, despite a boatload of walks, Votto is enjoying his most productive month of the season.
- Trevor Bauer has suddenly turned into a bat-missing machine, whiffing at least 10 hitters in six of his last seven starts. He’s been nearly impossible to take yard and is working his way into a Cy Young candidate before our eyes. Best of all, Bauer is finally establishing a level of consistency after frustrating owners for years.
- Jean Segura has cooled a bit this month (after all, it’s hard to maintain the .382 pace he set in May), but after missing some time with a forearm infection is finishing June with a flourish for the Mariners. Over the last three games, he’s 6-for-14 with five runs, two doubles and a walk. Segura has been healthy and has never hit better than what he’s showing this year (third in the AL in batting).
- What a pleasant surprise veteran Milwaukee starter Junior Guerra has been this season. Last year, he dealt with injuries and spent some time in the bullpen. Used full time in the rotation this season, he’s doing a way better job of keeping the ball in the yard and is averaging nearly a K per frame. Guerra is a nice waiver wire pick if he’s available in your league.
- Is the Boston farm system cursed? Already decimated and depleted thanks to injuries and suspension to key prospects, now the BoSox have lost their 2018 top pick, corner infielder Triston Casas. The 18-year-old suffered a season-ending thumb injury just two games into his pro career.
- After his power display last year, Rhys Hoskins was expected to be a serious stud this season. However, his slugging was substandard over the first couple of months. Hoskins sure has awoken in June, with seven homers, five doubles, 15 runs and 20 RBI as he’s now lifted his BA over what he accomplished last year. Expect a huge second half.
- Lance McCullers Jr. is on a nice roll with six straight starts allowing three earned runs or fewer including seven shutout frames against the Rays on Thursday. His curveball, along with an improved changeup, has allowed him to shave nearly three-quarters of a run off his ERA from 2017, when he was also superb, but rather unlucky.
- Milwaukee OF Eric Thames still never plays against lefties, and the strikeouts are a concern, but he’s mashed 10 dingers through 111 at-bats this year. The power breakout he had last year is for real.
- Tampa Bay 3B Matt Duffy is quietly putting together an impressive season. He’s hit safely in eight straight games, and has been rewarded for his fine campaign with more action this month. Duffy’s OPS by month: March, 750; April, 714; May, 769; June, 860. Time to grab this dude.
- Mets Double-A knuckleballer Mickey Jannis was on his game Friday, hurling seven shutout innings, but is too inconsistent start to start to have success at Triple-A, where he was shelled in two starts earlier this year. Still, he’s managed to rack up a decent record at Double-A, and you never know with a knuckleballer when things will just click.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
We weren’t huge fans of The Beastie Boys when they first surfaced. Other than “No Sleep ‘Till Brooklyn” and a couple of other tracks, we didn’t have much time for them. But then came “Sabotage,” which spurred us to closer explore their back catalogue. From 1989’s Paul’s Boutique, here’s “Johnny Ryall,” about a dude they once knew.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy baseball waiver wire pick of the week is.