The All-Star break is over in Major League Baseball and the second half of the season is underway. More than half the season has been played and the next few weeks will determine if your team is a fantasy baseball championship contender. Working the waiver wire will be critical. With only three games this weekend, the pickups are light as of Friday night since little has changed since the previous Waiver Wire Article on Tuesday. Still, there are some decent pickups that could help short term and the Athletics called up two prospects, Zack Gelof and Tyler Soderstrom. Injuries are likely to occur over the weekend and there could be more waiver wire adds by Sunday night. Make sure to look at last week's drops too. It's possible someone was dropped due to the three-game week that could help your team. The bids are suggestions and should be altered to team budgets and the aggressiveness of the league.


Top Waiver Wire Hitters

Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds; FAAB Bid: 6-8%

Votto is still available in 61% of Yahoo leagues and while he hasn't hit for a high average, the power has been there and the Reds are in contention for the National League Central title. Votto is hitting .246/.358/.649 with ten runs, seven home runs, and 18 RBI. Votto is striking out often, but when he makes contact, it has been hard with a 51.4% hard hit rate and a 22.9% barrel rate. Votto has sat against some left-handers, but he has started against four.

Spencer Torkelson, 1B, Detroit Tigers; FAAB Bid: 4-5%

The 2020 first overall pick has been inconsistent, but there's potential here for deeper formats. Over his last 11 games, he has three doubles, one triple. four home runs, 11 RBI, and a 1.096 OPS. Torkelson has a 49% hard hit rate, is in the 92nd percentile of average exit velocity and in the 81st percentile of barrel rate.

David Peralta, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers; FAAB Bid: 2-4%

Peralta has been playing regularly against right-handed pitching and has been hot. Since the beginning of June, Peralta is 31-for-85 with 13 runs, five home runs, and 14 RBI over 28 games. Peralta has a 16.2% strikeout rate and 51.7% hard hit rate.

Mike Ford, 1B, Seattle Mariners; FAAB Bid: 2-4%

Ford is getting playing time at first base and is someone I added in a couple of 15-team leagues. Ford struggled in June when first called up, but has picked it up in nine games in July. He is 12-for-29 (.414) with five runs, two home runs, and eight RBI. Ford has a .944 OPS and 46.6% hard hit rate and can help short-term.

Zack Gelof, 2B, Oakland Athletics; FAAB Bid: 2-4%

Gelof was called up over the All-Star break and should play regularly. He struck out 27.9% of the time at Triple-A with a 13.3% walk rate. He hit .304/.401/.529 with 60 runs, 12 home runs, 44 RBI, and 20 stolen bases at Triple-A Las Vegas. Gelof is an add in AL-only leagues and deeper mixed leagues considering the Athletics have scored the fewest runs in baseball.

Tyler Soderstrom, C, Oakland Athletics; FAAB Bid: 2-4%

Soderstrom was also called up by Oakland over the All-Star break. He hit .254/.303/.536 with 45 runs, 20 home runs, and 59 RBI with a 27.6% strikeout rate at Triple-A. He is expected to see time between catcher, first base, and designated hitter. Having catcher eligibility makes him an add if you're struggling with your second catcher.


Top Waiver Wire Pitchers

Bryan Woo, Seattle Mariners; FAAB Bid: 15-20%

How is Woo available in 55 percent of Yahoo leagues? Woo's first start in his debut against Texas was awful as he allowed six runs on seven hits in two innings. Since then, 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.

Tarik Skubal, Detroit Tigers; FAAB Bid: 10-15%

Skubal should be on most rosters by now. Some may have been hesitant to add him since he went four innings in his first two starts 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. In his next start, he pitched 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 and will start to go deeper into games.

Seth Lugo, San Diego Padres; FAAB Bid: 6-8%

Lugo was likely dropped off rosters when he went on the injured list. Since coming off the injured list, Lugo has pitched 22 innings and allowed 20 hits, five earned runs, walked two, and struck out 21. The right-hander has a 3.39 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 22.2% strikeout rate and 4.9% walk rate.

Cristopher Sanchez, Philadelphia Phillies; FAAB Bid: 4-6%

Sanchez has made six starts and pitched incredibly well. In 30.1 innings, he has allowed 25 hits, 11 earned runs, walked five, and struck out 27 with a 3.26 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. He has faced the Rockies, Athletics, Mets, Nationals, Rays, and Padres. A four percent walk rate has helped lead to a great WHIP and he has a 3.27 xERA.

Kyle Hendricks, Chicago Cubs; FAAB Bid: 2-3%

It was easy to be skeptical of Hendricks coming back from injury. He doesn't throw hard and allows a lot of contact. It's difficult to roster a pitcher with a 14.9% strikeout rate, but finding pitching in deeper formats hasn't been easy. Hendricks has a 3.04 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and a 4.7% walk rate, while limiting hard contact with a 32.7% hard hit rate.


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