• Howdy folks! Joe here. I’m hoping that all of you are faring well in your respective leagues, but I also understand that its not possible for everyone to be victorious in this crazy fantasy world we inhabit. Injuries and underperforming players can make it challenging to say the least.

    That’s where I come in. I’m here to be your guide through the crazy landscape of Major League Baseball, and in the following paragraphs, I will try and help you find some value plays that are out there just waiting to be had! The names that you are about to see can be added today to give your team a little mid-season boost for this week and beyond, while hopefully moving you up the standings in the process. I’ll also include their roster percentages on Yahoo and ESPN, as those are the sites that I focus on the most.

    You guys can find me on Twitter @JoeOrrico99 to see the different threads that I do throughout the week, mainly to analyze the waiver wire and answer any questions you might have. You’ll also find the links to my podcast, Fantasy MLB Today, which runs Monday through Friday and covers the biggest performers of the day, gets you ready for the night’s matchups, and brings you the best guests in the fantasy baseball industry!

    You guys can also stay up to date throughout the week by listening to Fantasy MLB Today, my podcast, and also by following my Twitter feed, @JoeOrrico99, to see all of my threads, thoughts, and show links!

    Enough of the preamble, let’s get cooking!


    First, some notes and players of interest…

    Jesus Sanchez (26% Yahoo, 16.9 ESPN) 

    Sanchez has really come back to life this week. After being one of the hottest waiver pickups early in the season, he was dropped in most leagues after some serious slumping. We’ve seen a return to form as of late, as he’s gone 8-for-22 with three home runs this week. I haven’t been running to add him just yet, but the power potential is there and I’ll be keeping a close eye on him going forward.

    Vinnie Pasquantino (11% Yahoo, 1.6% ESPN)

    The Royals’ fourth overall prospect should be up in the bigs sooner than later, and he makes for an ideal stash candidate right now. The 24-year-old has been great for AAA Omaha, with 15HR, 52RBI, a .285 batting average, all while walking almost as much as he strikes out. He is sure to get called up soon and fantasy managers should add for his power and good speed from the first base position. Between Pasquantino, Bobby Witt Jr. and MJ Melendez, the future is bright for Kansas City and their fans.

    Daniel Hudson (21% Yahoo, 5.8% ESPN)

    Hudson has been arguably the most reliable piece of the Dodgers bullpen. He’s got two wins, four saves (including one on Friday in which he recorded four outs), a 1.96 ERA and .76 WHIP. He’s struck out 31% of batters and has only issued three free passes in his 18.1 innings pitched. Hudson is a solid option to help out with your ratio and K numbers, and get you the odd save when Craig Kimbrel gets the night off, which could happen more as he has struggled to this point.

    Jorge Lopez (63% Yahoo, 23.7% ESPN) 

    The only reason a closer with the numbers that Lopez has (three wins, seven saves, 1.00 ERA) is available in so many leagues is the fact that he plays for the Orioles. He’s done a fantastic job at limiting hard contact, ranking in the 92nd percentile for average exit velocity and 98th for HardHit rate. He has exceeded expectations by a country mile this season and should be added by anyone looking for some bullpen help.


    Hot-Hand Pickups

    These are the guys to grab if you need to give your lineups an instant jolt.

    Jace Peterson (23% Yahoo, 5.6% ESPN)

    Peterson has been on a great little run over the last month with four home runs, five steals, 27-plus RBIs, and he’s done so while hitting close to 300. It also helps that he has 1B, 2B, 3B, and OF eligibility, making him very easy to plug into lineups if one of your regulars gets hurt or has a day off. He’s available in almost every league, and managers who like to stream a lineup spot or ride with hot players should give him a close look.

    Anthony Santander (37% Yahoo, 70.8% ESPN)

    Santander has been a a durable source of production, appearing in all but one of the Orioles games thus far. He’s got nine home runs and 30 RBI’s, and has been especially hot over the last week going 9-for-31 with two homers and eight driven in. One huge thing that he has done is raise his walk rate from 5.3% to 11.5%, which has resulted in him walking more already this year than he did all of last year. Go pick him up for a power boost where available.

    Joey Votto (53% Yahoo, 67% ESPN)

    We all knew this was gonna happen, didn’t we? As soon as people started to give up on him, he would start to rake. He’s got four home runs over the last two weeks and is 11-for-39 over that span. His batting average (.182) is going to look ugly for a while, but you’re adding him for future production and not based on his poor first month. Happily add where available and enjoy!

    Alejandro Kirk (48% Yahoo, 33.9 ESPN)

    Kirk has been scorching over the past couple of weeks, going 15-for-34 (.441) with three long balls in that span. The only thing holding people back has been the near equally hot Danny Jansen and the fact that the Blue Jays have Catcher Gabriel Moreno tearing the cover off of the ball in AAA, and he happens to be the fourth prospect in all of baseball. These other factors may limit the total AB that Kirk will have throughout the year, but he also slots in at DH, which undoubtedly helps. He’s a strong add while he’s hitting like this, and depending on what the Jays do with their other catchers, he could be a great play ROS.

    Matt Carpenter (5% Yahoo, 2.7% ESPN)

    I probably should have saved the “come back to life” comment for Carpenter. After failing to crack the Mendoza line each of the last two seasons in St. Louis and combining for seven HR between 2020 and 2021, Matt has now hit four of them in his first 19 at bats as a Yankee. That short porch has been very kind to him, with three of his four shots coming at home and all of them in right field. For those who like to gamble, and I count myself among their ranks, he could prove to be a very interesting pickup in that stacked lineup.

    Kyle Farmer (45% Yahoo, 29.1 ESPN) 

    What a damn shame it is that Farmer no longer has catcher eligibility. Last year, he could be slotted in at C,1B, 2B, SS and 3B. This year, we are down to SS and 3B, still nice but nowhere near as valuable as that C designation would be. He has been absolutely smoking, going 13 for his last 31 and 22 for his last 69. He’s got four homers and 13 driven in to go along with a steal over his last two weeks and despite the loss of positional depth, he still has value as long as he’s hitting like this.


    Waiver Wire Pitchers

    Josiah Gray, Thursday @ MIA (37% Yahoo, 26.3% ESPN)

    Gray has shown flashes of brilliance in his brief time in the majors, but he’s also struggled with allowing free passes and home runs. He’s coming off a six-inning gem against the Reds where he allowed only one earned run over six innings while striking out 9. He gets a really good matchup this week against a so-so lineup in the Marlins, and also gets to face them at the spacious LoanDepot Park in Miami.

    Konnor Pilkington, Tuesday vs TEX, Sunday vs OAK (2% Yahoo, .6% ESPN)

    This one definitely has some risk associated with it, as we’ve seen both sides of the coin with the 24-year-old lefty. However, he is coming off a fine start against the Royals where he struck out eight and allowed only five hits in his five innings of work. The matchups make him a very interesting option for this coming week, and I think he is worth the gamble that fantasy managers would be taking

    Spencer Strider, Friday vs PIT (39% Yahoo, 14.8 ESPN) 

    Strider has shown signs of really elite stuff, striking out 49 in 32.2 innings, good for a 36.8 K%. He will face a Pirates team this week that ranks in the bottom-five in the majors in runs, hits, batting average and OPS. He’s a really interesting add for me as long as remains a starter, and perhaps even in a bullpen role given his ability to miss bats.

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