The 2023 All-Star break is here and there will be no MLB games for four days. It's a good time to examine the standings closely and figure out where your fantasy baseball teams can gain ground in categories. It's not a time to ignore the waiver wire. Let your opponents take time off.

This is usually the time where some people pay less attention to their fantasy baseball teams due to the summer, vacations or the shift of focus to fantasy football. Make sure you pay attention to the next few days as starting rotations are announced for the weekend. If several pitchers on the roster aren't pitching this weekend, it makes sense to stream in relievers.

There are several players about to start rehab assignments and those players can be considered to stash. Tarik Skubal would have been a great stash a few weeks ago and he has impressed in his first two starts and is still available in some leagues. Take a close look at your teams and use the break to examine waiver wire pickups closely and make some trades to bolster the team for the second half of the season.


Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Hitters

Jordan Westburg, SS, Baltimore Orioles (40% – Yahoo, 10.4% – ESPN)

While Westburg hasn't homered or stole a base yet, he is hitting .325/.400/.500 with eight runs and six RBIs. He has a 13.3% strikeout rate and 8.9% walk rate. Westburg showed power and some speed in the minors and is getting the playing time. In 67 games at Triple-A this season, he hit .295/.372/.567 with 57 runs, 18 home runs, 54 RBIs and six stolen bases. 

Joey Votto 1B, Cincinnati Reds (34% – Yahoo, 14% – ESPN)

Votto has shown good power since coming off the injured list and plays in one of the best home parks for hitters. He is hitting .246/.358/.649 with 10 runs, seven home runs and 18 RBIs. While Votto is striking out 32.8% of the time, he has a 51.4% hard hit rate and a 22.9% barrel rate. Votto is 39 and coming off a season in which he batted .205 with a .689 OPS, but hit 36 home runs with a .938 OPS two years ago.

Colton Cowser, OF, Baltimore Orioles (31% – Yahoo, 9.6% – ESPN)

Cowser has started four of five games since being called up and while he didn't start on Sunday, he pinch hit and got three at-bats. He has played each of the outfield positions and is 3-for-16 with six runs, two RBIs and four walks with two strikeouts. Cowser will have to hit to get the playing time as it's going to get crowded with Ryan Mountcastle back.

Corey Julks, OF, Houston Astros (20% – Yahoo, 4.7% – ESPN)

Julks has been getting the playing time lately, starting seven of the last eight games. In July, Julks is 11-for-27 (.407) with four runs, two RBIs and three stolen bases. He is hitting .282/.325/.408 with 34 runs, six home runs, 29 RBIs and 15 stolen bases.

Mickey Moniak, OF Los Angeles Angels (18% – Yahoo, 6.9% – ESPN)

Moniak will get more playing time with Mike Trout sidelined with an injury. Moniak will sit against left-handers considering he has a .154 OPS against left-handers (11 at-bats) compared to 1.064 OPS against right-handers. Moniak is hitting .308/.338/.646 with 21 runs, 10 home runs, 28 RBIs and two stolen bases. A 31.6% strikeout rate, 2.9% walk rate and .390 BABIP show Moniak has some luck on his side. Moniak has a 16.1% barrel rate, but only a 34.5% hard hit rate.

Jorge Polanco, 2B, Minnesota Twins (36% – Yahoo, 44.4% – ESPN)

If you have room to stash Polanco, now is the time to start thinking about it. Polanco is scheduled to start a rehab assignment around the weekend. Polanco had five home runs and 16 RBIs in 30 games before landing on the injured list with a hamstring injury. 

Nick Gonzales, 2B, Pittsburgh Pirates (19% – Yahoo, 4.1% – ESPN)

Gonzales has been playing every day since getting the call to the majors and appeared in eight games at shortstop, too. He is batting .278/.310/.500 with eight runs, two home runs, 11 RBIs and an .810 OPS. 

Oscar Colas, OF, Chicago White Sox (7% – Yahoo, 2.8% – ESPN)

Colas started the season with the White Sox, struggled and was demoted to Triple-A. In the minors, he hit .293/.358/.508 with nine home runs and two stolen bases. In six games since being back in Chicago, Colas is 4-for-18 with two runs, one RBI and has struck out six times without a walk.

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups – Pitchers

Tarik Skubal, SP, Detroit Tigers (49% – Yahoo, 24.9% – ESPN)

Skubal has been great in his first two starts coming back from injury. In his first start against Oakland on July 4, he pitched four scoreless innings and allowed no hits, walked none and struck out six over 57 pitches. On Sunday, he went four scoreless innings and allowed two hits, walked two and struck out five on 63 pitches. Skubal is averaging 96 miles per hour with his fastball, an increase of 1.9 miles per hour from last season.

Bryan Woo, SP, Seattle Mariners (43% – Yahoo, 18.4% – ESPN)

It's perplexing to see Woo available in this many leagues. While the team will monitor his innings later in the season, it's not an issue for the next several weeks. Since an awful debut in Texas against one of the best offenses in baseball, Woo has been great. Since allowing six runs on seven hits in two innings against the Rangers, Woo has pitched 32.2 innings and allowed 21 hits, eight earned runs, walked eight and struck out 39 with a 2.20 ERA. Woo has a 3.63 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 30.5% strikeout rate and 6.4% walk rate.

Cristopher Sanchez SP, Philadelphia Phillies (7% – Yahoo, 2.1% – ESPN)

Sanchez has made five starts and pitched excellently. In 25.1 innings, he has allowed 22 hits, eight earned runs, walked four and struck out 22 with a 2.84 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. He has faced the Rockies, A's, Mets, Nationals and Rays. A four percent walk rate has helped lead to a great WHIP and he has a 3.27 xERA.

Seth Lugo, SP, San Diego Padres (33% – Yahoo, 17.4% – ESPN)

Lugo has done a good job shifting from the bullpen the last few seasons to the starting rotation. Since coming off the injured list, Lugo has pitched 22 innings and allowed 20 hits, five earned runs, walked two and struck out 21. Lugo has a 3.39 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 22.2% strikeout rate and 4.9% walk rate.

Nick Pivetta, SP, Boston Red Sox (7% – Yahoo, 5.1% – ESPN)

Pivetta has teased us before with flashes of brilliance before crushing souls. The Red Sox need Pivetta to start due to injuries and has pitched well in his last few outings. Over his last 12.1 innings, he has allowed seven hits, five earned runs, five walks and struck out 21. He has a 27.1% strikeout rate, which ties a career high. He's a play in 15-team leagues or deeper.


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