The waiver wire can be tough, especially in deep leagues. A key injury hits, (hello Ohtani), and you’re stuck looking at a desolate wasteland wondering who to pick up. Well here are 5 guys to pick up or put on your watchlist. Now, these are based on Yahoo percentages, so Fantrax probably has a higher % ownership, but hopefully, this list helps you guys out too.
1. Albert Almora Jr. 9% owned
Albert Almora Jr. makes the catch for an out on Reds’ Brandon Phillips to close the seventh inning on Wednesday, June 29, 2016, in Cincinnati.(John Minchillo / AP)
Almora has been getting time in the leadoff spot for the Chicago Cubs, specifically three out of the last five games. Overall he has posted a .325 average with 2 home runs and 19 RBI with 15 doubles. He isn’t a big power threat, but he will score runs as long as he stays at the top of the lineup. The biggest concern is playing time, and that concern’s name is Ian Happ. Ultimately Almora plays Gold Glove level defense in the outfield and I think should get the bulk of the starts. Once Heyward comes down to earth Almora could see even more playing time. When he’s batting leadoff, Almora is hitting .339 in 118 at-bats.with 23 runs scored according to Fangraphs. So this is one position battle you need to keep an eye on.
2. Alen Hanson 5% owned.
San Francisco Giants’ Joe Panik, right, celebrates with Alen Hanson (19) after both scored against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fourth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 4, 2018, in San Francisco. Both scored on a double by Giants’ Buster Posey. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Hanson was once a top prospect for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is currently with the San Francisco Giants. Again, like Almora, Hanson doesn’t have an everyday job, but when he bats, he produces. He sports a .296 batting line with 5 bombs and 3 stolen bases. He’s stuck towards the bottom of the Giants order when he plays, but if he continues at this pace, that cannot last. Hanson may not have the luster he had a couple years ago, but he is making a comeback as we speak.
3. Harrison Bader 4% owned.
Consider this one more of a wait, rather than a pickup. Harrison Bader has been one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball, but his bat is what intrigues me for fantasy. Specifically his speed/power combo. Bader has 5 home runs and 6 steals in limited playing time for the St. Louis Cardinals. He has played in 4 of their last 5 games. It’s hard to crack an outfield of Ozuna/Pham/Fowler, but Bader has done it. He had a 20 home run season for the Memphis Redbirds a year ago, so the power is no fluke. If Fowler continues his struggles, (batting .170 which makes it the worst qualifying batting average), Bader will continue to see starts in right field. If he gets more playing time, he could have value, especially in ROTO leagues.
Colin Mchugh 9% owned.
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
The best bullpen arms in baseball aren’t always the closers, and this is the case with Colin Mchugh. He has a 1.16 ERA on the year with a WHIP under 1.00 and more than 9 K’s per9 innings. What really sets him apart is his SP eligibility, which helps you sneak in an extra reliever and get that edge over your opponent. Mchugh doesn’t get you holds, but gives you excellent ratios and strikeouts. Non-closing relievers can often be ignored despite great seasons and that is what we are seeing with Mchugh here.
Jose Urena 8% owned.
Miami Marlins’ Jose Urena pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning. (Alan Diaz/AP)
(Insert joke about the Marlins here), but seriously Urena is putting together a solid if unspectacular season. His latest outing against Baltimore was a gem, 8 innings of no run ball. On the year Urena has a 4.18 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP. Nothing to jump up and down for, but he could be a solid back-end rotation if your starters have all caught Ohtani syndrome. He won’t light up the radar gun with strikeouts, but he can get enough of them to make him relevant in deeper leagues.
So there you have it, five guys who could be on your wire right now that could potentially help you get over that injury bug.