It’s been an eventful week in real-life baseball as familiar names like starting pitcher J.A. Happ and closer Zach Britton were traded by their respective teams. Trade deadlines in many season-long fantasy Baseball leagues are quickly approaching, making it important to evaluate your team’s needs heading into the final months.
Believe it or not, you can still find value on your league’s waiver wire. Here are a few players that can help you in the long and short term.
PLAYERS TO PICK UP
ROUGNED ODOR, 2B, Texas Rangers (68 percent owned in CBSSports.com leagues) - Act quick; this is probably the last week that Odor will be widely available. Odor got off to very slow start this season, but has batted well over .300 since the middle of June. He can help your team in the home run and stolen base categories.
DERECK RODRIGUEZ, SP, San Francisco Giants (54 percent) - Rodriguez has given up three runs or fewer in 10 of his first 11 big league starts and has demonstrated excellent control for a rookie pitcher.
COLE HAMELS, SP, Cubs (89 percent) - With Hamels sporting a 3.30 ERA while pitching in the NL vs. a 3.90 ERA while he pitched in the AL, you’ll want to put in a generous bid for his services in NL-only leagues.
LOURDES GURRIEL, 2B/SS, Toronto Blue Jays (9 percent) - Gurriel is batting close to .400 for the month of July and has been a fixture in the No. 2 slot of the Blue Jays lineup of late. His multi-position eligibility adds to his fantasy value.
BRAD BRACH, RP, Baltimore Orioles (27 percent) - With the trade of Zach Britton to the Yankees, Brach should get the majority of save chances for the Orioles. The Orioles may be a bad team but saves are hard to come by this season.
TWO-START PITCHERS TO STREAM
ERVIN SANTANA, SP, Minnesota Twins (59 percent) - Santana has been much more effective when pitching at home throughout his career. He gets two upcoming home starts culminating in a matchup against the hapless Kansas City Royals.
TANNER ROARK, SP, Washington Nationals (64 percent) - Roark has been inconsistent this season, but is coming off of an eight-inning shutout performance against the Brewers in which he struck out 11 batters. He has upcoming favorable matchups against the Mets and Reds.
DAN STRAILY, SP, Miami Marlins (28 percent) - Straily hasn’t given up more than three runs in six straight starts. He has tough matchups against the Braves and Phillies next week, but has defeated the Braves twice this season.
HITTERS TO STREAM
JAYSON HEYWARD, OF Chicago Cubs (46 percent) - Heyward is batting just above .300 over the past month. He finishes off next week with three games against the Pirates, against whom he has a .412 batting average against in 34 at-bats so far this season.
STEVEN SOUZA, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (36 percent) - Souza has been swinging a hot bat over the past two weeks. He faces a soft Texas Rangers pitching staff and a Giants team that gives up just over a quarter of a run more per game when they play on the road.
COLIN MORAN, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates (21 percent) - Moran has a .307 home batting average as opposed to a .221 average when he plays on the road. He has juicy upcoming home matchups against the Mets and Cubs, against which he is batting a combined .333.
This column was provided to The Associated Press by the Fantasy Sports Network, http://FNTSY.com
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