Welcome to June, fantasy baseballers. This is the time of year that pretty much half of the team that you drafted is hurt. There are twenty plus top starting pitchers, like Jose Fernandez, on the shelf and big offensive stars, like Prince Fiedler, are done for the year. Unlike fantasy football which you can win with the team that you drafted, baseball is all about the waiver wire moves you make in June and July. I have lost the likes of Fielder, Jose Abreau, and Andrew Cashner just to name a few, so I looked deep to find some people myself. Others I am keeping a close eye on, ready to pick them up any given moment.
FIVE WAIVER WIRE PICKUPS THAT CAN SAVE YOUR SEASON:
Ryan Vogelsong, SP, San Francisco Giants (3-2, 3.44, 51 Ks):
Vogelsong had a career resurgence at the ripe old age of 33 in 2011 and pitched solid for two seasons. Last season, he fell of the map digressing to the pitcher he was in his twenties. Fantasy managers apparently still lack faith in him as he is still owned by less than 70% of teams in most fantasy formats. Jump on him right now. The Giants are amid another one of those seasons that no one expected them to have. When the Giants win, it is because their pitching is gelling. Vogelsong has been dominant in five of his last seven starts, allowing one run or less in each of those said starts while averaging almost six strikeouts an outing. Everyone is going to lay a stinker, especially players currently on the waiver wire. If Vogelsong pitches poorly every fourth outing like he has been, he is going to get you a lot of points in between.
Casey McGehee, 1B/3B/DH, Miami Marlins (.291, 1 HR, 34 RBI):
McGehee isn’t far removed from being one of the more promising young third basemen in the game. He hit 23 bombs in his second season back in 2010 and then was seemingly run over by a truck and lost his ability to hit. McGehee was so irrelevant that he disappeared from the MLB and went to Japan for the 2013 season. After winning the Japanese World Series with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, he has returned stateside and looks rejuvenated and is seeing the ball well again, despite the lack in power. He already has driven in 34 Marlins and here is the most important thing: The Marlins have a lot of young hitters and speedsters like Christian Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton, and Marcell Ozuna who are going to continue to get on base. Someone needs to bring them home. Still under owned at under 60% in most fantasy formats, McGehee can help you out if you’re a team that has a Fielder, Abreau, Mark Teixeira, Brandon Moss, or Brandon Belt on the shelf. His dual eligibility is always a help during the mid season injury surge as well.
Oscar Taveras, OF, St. Louis Cardinals (hit a home run in his first major league game on Saturday):
Cardinal fans have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of one of the top five prospects in all of baseball. Their dreams were answered this weekend, although it was unfortunately at the expense of a Matt Adams DL stint. He didn’t disappoint either already having one home run under his belt. The top prospects over the past few years have been huge hits and have seemingly exploded onto the scene upon entering the league. Look at George Springer for crying out loud. In 40 major league games he has already tied a home run record by belting a bomb in seven straight games. Incidentally, please let me know if you are in a league that George Springer is sill out on the waiver wire. Taveras won’t be out there much longer, so act quickly. He was batting .325 with seven home runs and 40 RBI before his promotion. He is primed to take over the Cardinals’ lineup.
David Phelps, SP, New York Yankees (1-2, 1 save, 3.38 ERA, 38 Ks in 40 innings):
The Yankees starting pitching woes continued this week as Michael Pineda was shut down while rehabbing his injury. That means Pineda and CC Sabathia are out for awhile, and with Ivan Nova done for the year, that also means there are three open slots in the Yankees rotation. Phelps is not going anywhere and has the three slot locked down, but he is somehow still owned in less than 30 percent of most fantasy leagues. He has pitched well enough to win all of his last three starts but has been the victim of poor run support. He has two favorable match-ups this coming week against the Cano-less Mariners at home as well as the Royals at The K. It could be the two starts Phelps needs to boost his confidence and lock down the fifth slot once CC and Pineda return. Phelps will never be a superstar, but there have been an absurd amount of injuries to pitching that he can certainly help out most fantasy squads.
Tommy Milone, SP, Oakland A’s (3-3, 3.60 ERA, 39 Ks):
Milone was absolutely dreadful to start the season, going 0-3 and letting up three or more runs per start. This led to many owners giving up on him and consequently dropping him. Milone is still only owned in less than 40 percent of all fantasy leagues. Here’s the problem, though. When the calendar turned to May, Milone found his old form and has been undefeated over his last five starts. Over that same span he is 3-0 and has allowed a meager six runs while striking out 23. Milone is pitching very well for a really good team. He has consistently become a double-digit win pitcher over his young career and there is no reason to think that will change now. Injuries or not, Milone should be owned in no less than 80 percent of fantasy leagues, even if he stays on your bench for streaming or two-start purposes.