As the MLB All-Star break approaches, you should be looking to bolster your roster for a second-half push. This week’s Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch should give you everything you need to spot the proper buy-low, sell-high candidates for fantasy baseball trades.




You probably spent this past Sunday scratching your head and wondering why things look so bleak on the fantasy baseball waiver wire. You are not alone. Despite another rash of MLB injuries, the players available to you on Sunday were pretty limited. Sure, there may have been an intriguing name or two, but overall, you’re going to be better off exploring the fantasy baseball trade market to see how best to adjust your roster.

With so many players rising and falling in value, it’s time to play a little ‘3 Up, 3 Down’.



Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch: Risers

James Wood, OF Washington Nationals

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or just ignoring the multiple times I’ve mentioned Wood in the Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire column, now is as good a time as any to remind you as to how special a player this kid is going to be. Think about Juan Soto back in 2018. Wood is expected to be that kind of a player and acquiring him for the second half is a winning move. 

The 21-year-old presents a strong power/speed combo and has hit well at every level of the minor leagues, in spite of a quick ascension. This was his first season in Triple-A and he slashed .353/.463/.595 with 10 home runs, 37 RBI, 44 runs scored and 10 stolen bases over 52 games. 

He missed a bit of time with a hamstring injury, came back and picked up right where he left off. He made his big-league debut Monday, July 1st, and knocked a single in his first at-bat and also drew a walk. If he’s available on your waiver wire, use that priority. If it’s FAAB bidding, empty the wallet.

Whit Merrifield, 2B/OF Philadelphia Phillies

Fantasy owners and the Phillies are in a tough spot right now with both Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber on the injured list, but the team has some depth that may help them but can definitely help us. Merrifield is a grizzled veteran the Phillies love having on the bench, especially in moments like these. Maybe it’s only 10-homer power, but he’s going to be solid with batting average and garner you some much-needed steals.

Don’t worry about what his current overall numbers look like. You’ve got close to two weeks of full-time at-bats coming from Merrifield as we expect both Harper and Schwarber to be held out until after the All-Star break. Yes, they are eligible to return right around July 10th, but the Phillies are thinking long-term here and finish the first half with a three-game set against Oakland, so there is no need to rush either of them back.

George Springer, OF Toronto Blue Jays

Two weeks ago, everyone was done with Springer. He was mired in a horrific slump and had hit .143 with no runs, no RBI for the week. On top of that, he was sporting a strikeout rate of 36.4-percent. Drop City for most people. However, Springer has turned things around over the past seven games and while we aren’t saying he’s cured of all his issues, the veteran is now ready to produce for your fantasy team.

Over the last seven games, Springer is batting .524 with a .673 wOBA and 1.048 slugging percentage. He’s hit two doubles, three home runs and has 10 RBI over that span. He even stole a base for you in his last game. It’s not going to be all lollipops, rainbows and sunshine the rest of the way for the 34-year-old outfielder, but the Jays are taking a big road trip before the first half ends with games in Seattle, San Francisco and Arizona, three teams whose pitching has not exactly been sturdy as of late.




Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch: Fallers

Marcus Semien, 2B Texas Rangers

I know. This hurts you to see. Believe me, with the shares of Semien I have, it pains me to have to put him here. But over the last two weeks, Semien is batting .098 with just one run scored and four RBI over 54 plate appearances. That’s bad. Like one hit in his last 26 at-bats bad. He’s not striking out much, but he’s also not drawing any walks, so the .148 OBP is also a kick to the groin.

But we aren’t losing faith and neither should you. Semien’s numbers this season have not lived up to where he was drafted, but the Rangers have dealt with their fair share of struggles from Corey Seager’s slow start to rookies like Evan Carter and Wyatt Langford not living up to the hype. But the turnaround is coming. It’s already started for some and Semien will bounce back. If his owners are frustrated, you can probably get him at a lower-than-expected cost.

Matt Olson, 1B Atlanta Braves

I battle back-and-forth with both Jim Bowden and my friend Adam about Olson’s production. About a month ago, I traded Olson and encouraged people to do the same if it meant filling in some roster holes. Olson went on a little binge just afterwards, prompting Jim and Adam to text me all sorts of discouraging messages, but the fact remains that Olson is not living up to what he did last season or for where he was drafted.

A little pop here and there is fine, but is that really what you’re looking for in a first baseman? Over the past two weeks, Olson is slashing a miserable .152/.204/.217 with one home run, three RBI and four runs scored over 49 plate appearances. He hasn’t homered or even had an extra-base hit since June 21st and his strikeout rate over that span is pushing 40-percent. 

I get that it’s tough to sell a guy like this, but there is someone in your league ready to offer a king’s ransom while still thinking they’re buying low. Get what you can in the power department for a trade, maybe get them to throw in a decent starting pitcher too, and you should be golden.

Kevin Gausman, SP Toronto Blue Jays

After a slow start in April, Gausman seemed to be turning things around in May and he actually finished the month with a 3.76 ERA and 33 strikeouts over just 26.1 innings. But then the calendar flipped to June and the wheels fell off the wagon again. Even worse than in April, to be honest. 

For the month of June, Gausman posted a 5.65 ERA over 36.2 innings and that’s even with a complete-game shutout against Oakland. Outside of that outing against the A’s, Gausman hadn’t allowed fewer than three runs in any start in June. He got abused by both the Orioles and Yankees, got thumped in both ends of a home-and-home series against the Red Sox and failed to make it out of the sixth inning against the Guardians. 

He allowed nine home runs over six starts and continues to struggle with his command. Can he dig down deep and get you another few quality-starts here and there? Probably. But is that enough to bring you a fantasy baseball championship? Probably not.