In just a few weeks’ time, most Major League Baseball teams will have played 81 games, reaching the official halfway point of the 2019 regular season. What that means for fantasy baseball is that the season is half over, too.
This is a major moment in the fantasy season, to assess and gauge where your team is going and whether or not the year can be salvaged. Still waiting for that steady veteran to get his average above the Mendoza Line? Maybe you’re thinking that touted rookie will find his power stroke in the second half.
If you’ve hung on to non-producing players this long, chances are your team is buried in the basement of the league standings. There may be time to salvage the season still if you force yourself to make those hard decisions and waive players you like—but that are just not playing well this year.
Players to Get on Your Team Now
1. Julio Teheran, SP, Atlanta Braves: If you need a starter, you can do a lot worse. His walk rate is high (4.3 per 9 innings pitched), but Teheran is getting enough strikeouts (8.2 Ks/9) on a good team to collect wins for you for the rest of the year. He is still just 28 years, so he could keep this up for awhile.
2. Avisaíl García, OF, Tampa Bay Rays: His 2017 All-Star season with the White Sox was followed up by a bad 2018 campaign. Now, with a new team, García is hitting well again (.298, 11 HRs, 31 RBI). His walk rate is still garbage, though, so don’t expect this to last all season, as he has rarely put together good numbers for a whole season.
3. Scott Kingery, UTL, Philadelphia Phillies: He could be eligible at SS, 3B, and/or OF in your league, depending on settings, and with eight home runs and a .347 average, we like the fact Philly is giving him more at-bats. It’s hard to take a guy this hot out of the lineup, so now is the time to ride Kingery.
4. Yordan Álvarez, OF, Houston Astros: This is a rookie that was shredding Triple-A pitching, and now he has hit four HRs in his first five MLB games. He also has drawn more walks than he has struck out, and that’s a telltale sign at age 21. Álvarez is available in about half the leagues right now on Internet sites. Grab him.
Players to Drop to Waivers Now
1. Gregory Polanco, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates: He just never seems to put it all together. He stole 27 bases in 2015, but he’s only got three steals this season so far. He hit 23 HRs last year, but Polanco has just six this year. He’s never hit higher than .258 in his career, and the .242 average right now isn’t cutting it, either.
2. Jonathan Lucroy, C, Los Angeles Angels: His “hot” start is over, and Lucroy is hitting just .129 this month. He is 33 years old and hasn’t had a legitimately good season at the plate since 2016. This is not a pattern that is going to reverse itself at this point. You can find a better-hitting catcher out there on the waiver wire.
3. Carlos Carrasco, SP, Cleveland Indians: This is hard to do, since you probably used a high draft pick to grab him. His blood disorder manifested itself in a 4.98 ERA, more hits allowed than innings pitched, and a very high HR-surrender rate. Let someone else take the chance he sorts this out in time to matter this season.
4. Dallas Keuchel, SP, Atlanta Braves: We never would have drafted him after a season last year, at age 30, where he posted his lowest K rate in years and gave up more hits than innings pitched. Now, after not being signed in the winter, Keuchel is joining the Atlanta Braves. Just remember he is 31 now, and it’s not 2015.