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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Ramon Laureano, Ross Stripling, Andrew McCutchen (2022)

by Brian Entrekin | @bdentrek | Featured Writer
Jul 23, 2022
Ramon Laureano

Ramon Laureano may hurt your batting average, but he will help you with his legs.

We have officially entered the second half of the season with the All-Star break behind us. There is roughly 45% of the season left, so there is still plenty of time to make moves in the standings of your fantasy leagues. With some teams starting to focus on fantasy football, those that stay focused can take advantage of the waiver wire and find their way to fantasy titles.

Looking at the waiver wire this week, some intriguing options are not highly rostered in Yahoo leagues. However, some players need to be rostered in more leagues, so the time to pounce is now. 

When digging into the schedule this week, only four teams play five games, most play seven, and a handful of teams play six. There are also a lot of relievers that have been gaining saves that are available on the waiver wire, so feel free to spend wisely in adding some ninth-inning options while they have the job.

FAABulous Four: Top Waiver Wire Targets

Christian Walker (1B – ARI) 49% Rostered

Walker will not help your team with batting average, but if you need power, he is your guy. Since July 1, Walker is only hitting .208 but has three home runs to go with a .208 ISO. He also has an impressive 20.6% walk rate while only striking out 16.2% of the time. Walker’s .783 OPS and 123 wRC+ are solid, providing even more context to his fantasy upside. Walker has 22 home runs on the season and should be in store for another 15 or so, which will also aid in runs and RBI. If your team can survive the lousy batting average or play in an OBP league, Walker is an excellent addition to your team.

Ramon Laureano (OF – OAK) 48% Rostered

Like Walker, Laureano is not a great batting average asset, but he is at least hitting .236 on the season. What he does do that Walker doesn’t is run. Even with Laureano missing the first month of the season while serving a PED suspension, Laureano has nine home runs with nine stolen bases. Laureano provides excellent power and speed to any fantasy team while hitting second for the A’s. He should put up at least a 10/10 second half with the upside of 15/15. Laureano is one of the best pickups this week, as he should be locked into your lineup for the rest of the season.

Esteury Ruiz (2B, OF – SD) 42% Rostered

Ruiz was called up right before the break and hit safely in four of five starts. He had a double and a triple to go with a stolen base. Through his 77 games in the minors, Ruiz hit .333 with 13 home runs and stole an insane 60 bases. The power is nice, but it is all about the speed with Ruiz. He is an excellent addition for now but beware of Wil Myers returning to the Padres soon and Fernando Tatis Jr. at some point. When these players return, it is hard to determine how much playing time Ruiz will continue to have. For now, enjoy the playing time and rack up the steals, hoping for a Jon Berti-type run to boost your fantasy team.

Ross Stripling (SP – TOR) 41% Rostered

Stripling joined the Jays’ rotation on June 6 and has made eight solid starts. Stripling has racked up four wins with a 2.13 ERA and 3.75 xFIP. In addition, he has limited the damage with only three home runs. Stripling is not a significant strikeout arm, as he only has 32 strikeouts over the 42.1 innings pitched, but he makes the most of his arsenal when he’s on the mound. Stripling faces the Tigers next week and the Twins the following week, so two more solid starts await the Jays’ righty.

Priority Pickups – <40% Rostered

Jean Segura (2B – PHI) 38% Rostered

This is strictly a stash pick if you can afford to stash on your team. Segura has been hitting and throwing of late and will start a rehab assignment next week. He expects to be back in a week, and then he could bring some serious fantasy goodness to your team. Segura was hitting .275 with six home runs and eight stolen bases before he got hurt, and he can bring that much-appreciated power and speed combo once he returns.

Joey Votto (1B – CIN) 37% Rostered

It has been a rough season for Votto as he is only hitting .217 with seven home runs, but there is room for optimism. He is currently riding a six-game hitting streak with three extra-base hits and six RBI. Votto is barreling the ball 17.6% of the time with a 41.2% hard-hit rate. Votto is striking out more than usual, but that has changed Votto’s approach in the recent season. The batting average has taken a hit, but the power is still in Votto’s bat, and he is worth a roster spot in 12-team and deeper leagues.

Alex Kirilloff (1B, OF – MIN) 36% Rostered

Kirilloff has the potential to be a game-changing fantasy asset for the rest of the season. He has some serious power that he showcased last year before his injuries and showcased when he was rehabbing in Triple-A this season. Kirilloff is currently riding a seven-game hitting streak where he is hitting .348. The power has not been there yet this season, but Kirilloff has a 48% hard-hit rate, and the power will follow.

Andrew McCutchen (OF – MIL) 35% Rostered

After a rough start to the season, McCutchen is raking and needs to be rostered everywhere. He has hit safely in nine of his last ten games with three home runs and a .293 batting average. McCutchen has 11 RBI in his previous ten games and has even thrown in a stolen base. In addition, McCutchen has an impressive 12.9% barrel rate and a 48.4% hard-hit rate. McCutchen has been feeling it for over a month and should continue producing as he hits in the middle of the Brewers batting order.

Alex Cobb (SP – SF) 34% Rostered.

Most already know just how “unlucky” or “annoying” this season has been for those that have rostered Cobb. All the peripheral stats say he should be much better. However, if you have watched the games, the defense has often failed him. In Cobb’s last start, he threw 7.1 outstanding shutout innings with five strikeouts. The “luck” hopefully changed in that last start. Cobb has a 4.09 ERA but a 2.95 xFIP and 22.8% strikeout rate on the season. If you believe in positive regression, Cobb may be your pitcher.

Ramon Urias (2B, SS, 3B – BAL) 33% Rostered

We have seen Urias be a streaky hitter in the past, and when he is streaking, he can provide a lot of fantasy goodness. Currently, Urias is streaking. Over the last two weeks, Urias has been hitting .381 with three home runs and 14 RBI. Urias, a run producer, is icing on the cake for those who took a chance on the Orioles infielder. Urias is not just hitting well but also showcasing excellent plate discipline with a friendly 11.4% strikeout rate. Not striking out often means more balls in play which is great with a 10.8% barrel rate and 45.9% hard-hit rate. We know Urias will not stay this hot forever, but he has shown the ability to contribute to a fantasy team like this before. Enjoy his multi-position eligibility for now.

Brandon Belt (1B – SF) 30% Rostered

If Belt can stay healthy, he would be rostered in more than 30% of leagues. Over nine games (since July 8), Belt is hitting .414 with three home runs. In addition, Belt has an impressive .379 ISO, 1.245 OPS, and 248 wRC+. Belt is producing at an elite level when he is on the field, and for now, he is healthy and playing nearly every day. Roster him now and reap the benefits.

Max Kepler (OF – MIN) 25% Rostered

Kepler currently provides some much-needed batting average support for your fantasy teams. Over his last nine games, he is hitting .355 while striking out less than 10% of the time. Kepler is doing this while hitting cleanup for the Twins and will look to get the power going again. On the season, Kepler has nine home runs and two stolen bases. Kepler is a solid move in deeper formats with a bit of 12-team relevance.

Aaron Hicks (OF – NYY) 23% Rostered

Hicks is a highly streaky hitter and also an injury-prone hitter. However, he is now healthy and hitting, making Hicks quite fantasy relevant. In July, Hicks is hitting .326 with three home runs and two stolen bases. He walks 21.8% of the time while striking out only 18.2%. Hicks has been hitting sixth or seventh most games, and if he continues to hit like this, he will be an outstanding fantasy asset.

Adam Frazier (2B, OF – SEA) 19% Rostered

Frazier is heating up for the Mariners and fantasy teams everywhere. He brings an eight-game hitting streak into this weekend’s action. For July, Frazier is hitting .309 with a home run and a stolen base. He is striking out only 12.9% of the time while scoring seven runs. We know Frazier will not provide much power, but he will supply an excellent batting average boost, runs scored, and an occasional stolen base.

Jose Miranda (1B, 3B – MIN) 19% Rostered

Miranda had a slow start to the season but has adjusted very well to big league pitching and now looks like a fantasy asset. Over his last three weeks, Miranda is hitting .316 with four home runs and 16 RBI. He has an impressive .263 ISO, .940 OPS, and 166 wRC+. He is only striking out 11.5%, showcasing some strong plate skills. Miranda is hitting and hitting well, deserving a spot on fantasy teams. The only concern I will mention is that Miguel Sano will return soon, so we will have to monitor playing time after that.

Brady Singer (SP – KC) 19% Rostered

It’s been an up and down season for Singer, but his recent stats look promising. In his three July starts, he has thrown 17.2 innings with 20 strikeouts and a 3.06 ERA. Singer still walked five in his last start, so things are not perfect, but the strikeouts and improved ratios are a positive sign. Singer may be more a streamer but still has the potential for a stretch of fantasy goodness, especially pitching out of the AL Central.

Reid Detmers (SP – LAA) 14% Rostered

Detmers’s return from the minors has improved much from his previous run with the Angels. With a heavier slider usage, Detmers has thrown six innings in each start while striking out 13 and allowing only two runs. His 20% K-BB and 10.8% SwStr are solid, and the numbers on his slider production are even better. If this “new” Detmers can sustain, then he will be a weekly fantasy stud.

Braxton Garrett (SP – MIA) 13% Rostered

The young lefty for the Marlins has been quite a fantasy asset of late. He has now made back-to-back starts against the lowly Pirates, where he threw six innings in each start with only one run and 18 strikeouts. Garrett now has a respectable 18.4% K-BB on the season and a 12.5% SwStr. Garrett is young and will have some growing pains, but overall, he has been a stud and should be rostered in more leagues.

Deep League Targets – <10% Rostered

Austin Slater (OF – SF) 9% Rostered

With all the injuries the Giants have suffered, Slater is finally seeing regular playing time. Since July 5, Slater has been hitting .450 with four doubles and a stolen base. He is only striking out 13% of the time with a 1.072 OPS and 211 wRC+. Slater used to be a platoon bat versus LHP, but he faces everyone and produces.

Carson Kelly (C – ARI) 8% Rostered

After injuries and poor production, Kelly was drafted in many leagues and has found his way to many waiver wires. However, he should be rostered rather heavily as he is healthy and hitting. Since July 1, Kelly has been hitting .378 with three home runs, a .289 ISO, 1.071 OPS, and 196 wRC+. Kelly is hitting at the top of the DBacks lineup and producing in a big way. Roster him now wherever you need catching help.

Kutter Crawford (SP – BOS) 6% Rostered

Crawford has joined the Red Sox rotation and has been outstanding. He has allowed four runs over his last three appearances with 20 strikeouts. That has resulted in a 27% K-BB and 12.3% SwStr. Crawford has been outstanding, and the injury to Chris Sale may result in a long stint in the rotation. Crawford is one of my top starting pitching targets this week.

Mitch Keller (SP – PIT) 2% Rostered

Keller has been a streaming option most of the season, and he may still be a streaming option for now. I did want to mention how strong his last two starts have been, where he threw 13 innings, allowing one run, and striking out 11. One of those starts took place in Coors Field. He still does not have an elite SwStr rate or K-BB%, but Keller has shown signs of improvement throughout the season. Keep an eye on Keller going forward and see if the success can continue to be more of an ever-start fantasy option.


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