Entering a new week, and the last full week before the All-Star break, here are my five new fantasy baseball waiver wire adds.
Note: All stats are through action on July 7.
5. Jordan Zimmermann, SP, Detroit Tigers
Over his first two seasons with the Tigers, Zimmermann defined the term free agent bust with a 5.60 ERA over 48 appearances (47 starts). But he's been solid so far this year, with a 3.51 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP and good peripherals (8.9 K/9, 1.8 BB/9) over 11 starts (56.1 innings).
Over his last three starts, Zimmermann has a 0.90 ERA, a 0.70 WHIP and a 20:1 K/BB ratio over 20 innings. Narrowing to his last two, he has gone at least seven innings in each with 17 strikeouts and zero walks over 15 innings.
Skepticism can still reign for fantasy owners regarding Zimmermann, as a blowup start or an injury could be around the corner.. But if anything close to his recent results manages to stick, he'll be a mixed league asset down the stretch.
Yahoo! Ownership: 24%
ESPN Ownership: 21.6%
4. Will Smith, RP, San Francisco Giants
With Hunter Strickland out of commission with a broken hand, Mark Melancon a non-entity right now and Sam Dyson having some ups and downs, Smith has locked down the last three save opportunities for the Giants. After missing last season due to Tommy John surgery, the veteran left-hander has a 1.07 ERA and a 12.4 K/9 rate over 27 appearances this year.
Strickland is expected to be out for another month of better. Melancon and Dyson could always pick up a stray save opportunity in the meantime, but Smith is the guy to lock down the ninth inning for Bruce Bochy right now. That makes him a worthy fantasy add for the short-term, with the potential to keep the role over the rest of the season.
Yahoo! Ownership: 34%
ESPN Ownership: 11.2%
3. Tyler Mahle, SP, Cincinnati Reds
Since June 1, Mahle has a 2.04 ERA with 41 strikeouts and 19 walks over seven starts (39.2 innings). Going back into mid-April, excluding his first three starts, he has a 3.28 ERA while averaging essentially a strikeout per inning (83 over 82.1 innings).
Walks have been a bit of an issue for Mahle, with a 3.8 BB/9 over his 18 starts. But he has yielded three or fewer free passes in five of his last seven starts, which has coincided with improve results.
Due to pitching for the Reds, Mahle may go underappreciated in fantasy. But he should be added in NL-only leagues, and he's on the radar in mixed leagues.
Yahoo! Ownership: 25%
ESPN Ownership: 18.4%
2. Kyle Tucker, OF, Houston Astros
After flat-out raking for Triple-A Fresno (.306/.371/.520, 14 home runs, 66 RBI, 14 stolen bases and 24 doubles), the Astros called Tucker up on Saturday morning. He was in the lineup playing left field Saturday night, and went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Tucker is expected to play every day, in both corner outfield spots as Jake Marisnick was sent down to make room for him and Josh Reddick has been mediocre offensively (.269, 8 HR, 27 RBI). Tucker hit seventh in his major league debut, but pretty much any spot in a good Houston lineup will set him up to succeed.
Tucker will be one of the hottest waiver wire adds in the next few days. But for now, he's still pretty widely available.
Yahoo! Ownership: 45%
ESPN Ownership: 32.6%
1. Starlin Castro, 2B, Miami Marlins
Castro's streak of multi-hit games ended at five Saturday night. But he has a hit in 12 of his last 13 games, with a .480 average (24-for-50) with three home runs, six RBI and 11 runs scored over that span.
While his recent scorching hot stretch is not sustainable, Castro is having a good season overall (.297, 6 HR, 33 RBI, 55 runs scored, 21 doubles; .760 OPS). He has hit no lower than fifth in any game he he has started this year, so if there's fantasy production to be cultivated from the Marlins' lineup Castro is one of the guys in line to offer it.
Castro is not the most exciting player to have on a fantasy roster. But he should be owned far more than he is, even with a solid spike in ownership as his recent run gets noticed.
Yahoo! Ownership: 54%
ESPN Ownership: 55.3%