Happy Fourth of July, #FAmily! One of the best days of the year delivers a great slate of baseball, the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest as Joey Chestnutt looks to win the competition for the 16th time, and overall it’s just a great day for grilling and fireworks. But for the diehard fantasy baseball players, we still have today’s waiver wire article to help you improve your team and close out the week on a high note and a win. I still suggest you look into the last Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire article that was published over the weekend as it touched on players like Jordan Westburg, TJ Friedl, Jordan Hicks, and Scott McGough. Some players have appeared in back-to-back waiver articles covered by myself and Adam Ronis, so we’ll try to introduce some new names with this Tuesday morning piece to expand your free agent pool a little bit. Here are the mid-week MLB free agents to have on your radar heading into the All-Star Break!


Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Hitters

Marcell Ozuna, OF, Atlanta Braves

I understand there’s a negative stigma with Marcell Ozuna. You or your league managers may have their own rules regarding players who have had trouble off the field. I wouldn’t blame you if a moral compass was deterring you from adding him. And if that’s the case then you can skip ahead to the next player because there are other options that can help you this week. But since June, Ozuna has been seeing the ball much better. Over the last month he only has two games where he didn’t record a hit and in that span he’s slashed .315/.392/.539 with five home runs, 14 runs scored, and 17 RBI. He’s found himself locked into the sixth spot in the Braves lineup and this is one of the best lineups in the league as Atlanta can do damage against any pitcher.

Henry Davis, C/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

Okay so maybe Davis isn’t a fresh name to the waiver wire article but how is he rostered in less than 20% of ESPN leagues where he has catcher eligibility? He’s only made a dozen starts in his young career, but the 2021 first overall pick by the Pirates has 14 hits, six runs scored, six RBI, and a pair of steals. The plate discipline will get better in time, but he’s done enough to warrant being rostered in more leagues especially since it doesn’t look like he’s going to play catcher very much, despite carrying the eligibility.

Ha-Seong Kim, SS/2B/3B, San Diego Padres

Another player whose rostership is surprisingly low on ESPN despite multi-position eligibility. Since June 15th Kim is slashing .356/.409/.644 and he’s scored 13 runs, collected a dozen RBI, and has a pair of steals. To hype up his power, he has five home runs since June 22nd and he’s even been leading off for the Padres more the last couple weeks. This is a very underrated player that’s available in plenty of leagues that you can plug in at most infield positions, despite the fact he plays almost exclusively at the keystone. If you want another player to consider stashing, then Trevor Story is someone to monitor. He’s set to return at the end of this month or possibly by the beginning of August. He’s not a “must add” right now, but have notifications set for Story if you’re seeking middle infield help.

Jarren Duran, OF, Boston Red Sox

If you’re in need of outfield depth, congratulations because this article is perfect for you! Since May 27th, Duran is slashing .312/.360/.473 with eight stolen bases in that span. If you watched the Red Sox game on Sunday, you’ll know that he played a big role in their come-from-behind effort to beat the Blue Jays. He scored three runs and hit four doubles. He’s been very happy to reward fantasy baseball managers that stuck with him through the early-season struggles.

Luke Raley, OF, Tampa Bay Rays

Over the weekend I wrote up Jose Siri, and while I still think he is a highly viable player to add, I’ll give Luke Raley some love because he’s available in some shallower leagues at the moment. Raley is slashing .281/.363/.587 with 14 dingers, 44 runs scored, and nine stolen bases. He’s been too good of a player to still be available in over half the leagues on Yahoo and ESPN. He plays more consistently than Siri and he’s producing at a solid rate this season.

Will Benson, OF, Cincinnati Reds

Benson may not be a household name in season-long fantasy baseball, but I have seen his name pop up in the MLB DFS Value Plays articles. Benson closed out last week with eight hits in his last four games with a pair of steals in that span as well. Moreover, the Reds have seven games this week and will see their share of right-handed pitchers against the Nationals and Brewers. Benson should find his way into the lineup considering he’s hitting .308 against righties on the year and he should provide some fantasy excellence heading into the break.

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Pitchers

Kyle Gibson, SP, Baltimore Orioles

Gibson has seen his ownership dip the last few days because he was tagged by the Reds and Mariners in a pair of home starts. He’s been a slightly better pitcher on the road for the O’s and sure enough he gets a pair of starts away from Camden Yards this week. And it all starts on Tuesday with an Independence Day matchup against the Yankees. The Bronx Bombers have struggled without Aaron Judge and in his last start in Yankee Stadium in May, Gibson tossed seven shutout innings with two hits and four walks allowed. Gibson then gets to close out the week in Target Field against the Twins who strike out more than most teams in Major League Baseball. This is a two-start streamer that I’ll be deploying in some of my leagues so it’s one I’ll endorse more than others.

Bryan Woo, SP, Seattle Mariners

Woo is a player that was mentioned a week ago that gets two starts this scoring period although one of them falls on Monday against the Giants (this section was written before Monday’s start). He’ll draw the Astros this weekend which could be a stiff challenge, but overall he’s looked great in his last four starts heading into this weekend. In his last 20.2 innings of work he has a 2.18 ERA, 12.19 K/9, and 2.18 BB/9. He isn’t pitching incredibly deep into games so I may look to go with Gibson if you’re prioritizing quality starts, but Woo’s ratios are very impressive of late. 

Justin Lawrence, RP, Colorado Rockies

Lawrence was a player I was tempted to write up for the weekend waiver wire article. But I wanted to see how he’d do over Saturday and Sunday. And how did things play out? He didn’t make a single appearance. As of this writing (Monday evening), Lawrence hasn’t pitched since last Wednesday and the Rockies had the day off on Monday. But Lawrence has five saves on the year including three since June 23rd. Are there flaws to his game? Sure, he allows too many walks for anyone’s liking but he does limit damage and averages nearly a strikeout per inning. Save opportunities may be few and far between since he plays for the Rockies who have just 33 wins this year, but in deeper leagues he could be a good source of saves down the stretch.

Michael Lorenzen, SP, Detroit Tigers

Say what you will about the MLB All-Star Game voting process and the rules that require at least one representative from each team. But Michael Lorenzen is the Tigers representative, and he can give you some production as a streamer later this week. Lorenzen had a rough go of it in his last start in Colorado, but that tends to happen to most. He’s still logged six quality starts in his last 11 appearances, and he’ll take the mound against the Oakland Athletics Thursday afternoon.

Michael Soroka, SP, Atlanta Braves

I’ll be honest, I’m not running to the waiver wire to add Soroka, but he looked about as good as one can possibly appear returning from a demotion. On Friday he logged a quality start against the Marlins tossing six innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits with seven strikeouts. He did still give up two home runs, which is still a big concern. He did say that the demotion after just two starts did motivate him, but keep in mind he is a guy that’s had to recover from a torn Achilles on two separate occasions. He’ll get another test on Wednesday against the Guardians. I’m still very concerned about how he progresses the rest of the year so use your best judgment.


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