Fantasy baseball best waiver wire adds, free agent sleepers for Week 11

As the weather heats up and days start getting shorter, we realize that 40 percent of the MLB regular season has somehow already passed. Fantasy baseball owner must get serious from here on out, as summer roster decisions often make or break a team’s championship/postseason fate. Fear not, fantasy faithful! We happily review your top waiver-wire options every Monday.

Whether you’re competing in a league with 12 teams, 10 teams, or eight, Sporting News should be your go-to spot for the best and latest fantasy baseball free agent targets.

MORE: Week 11 Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers, 7-game teams, etc

Each week, we will highlight 10-12 waiver wire players – at least a handful of batters and a handful of pitchers – who remain unowned in roughly half of mixed leagues. We will analyze their recent success, determine the league formats and sizes in which they should be rostered, and provide situational-specific streaming advice. 

Good luck this week, happy summer, and enjoy waiver hunting!

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Best hitter pickups, free agent adds for Week 11

Tommy Pham, OF, Reds (51-percent rostered in Yahoo leagues)

Fantasy owners clearly seem wary of Pham’s unpredictable personality ever since he slapped Giants outfielder Joc Pederson over a prior fantasy football dispute (the age-old “keeping a player in IR after he returns to health and gets activated from the real-life IR” debate). Outside of his volatile demeanor, Pham has been as stable as hitters come. He’s 16-of-48 with three homers, six RBIs, two steals, and 11 runs over the past two weeks and he’s hitting .350 with a 1.135 OPS over the past week! Just because he’s a bad guy to have in your fantasy football league doesn’t make him a bad player to have on your fantasy baseball squad. Pham over everything!

Amed Rosario, SS, Guardians (50%)

Rosario carried a 12-game hitting streak into Sunday’s tilt with the Dodgers, elevating his batting average from .240 on June 5 to .271. The talented shortstop (who also has OF eligibility) has been particularly scorching over the past seven games, going 11-for-25 with nine runs, one home run, four RBIs, and two steals. His OPS during that stretch: 1.284. He might still be available in your league since he ranks just 293rd on the season, but only four players in all of baseball have ranked higher over the past week.

Dylan Carlson, OF, Cardinals (44%)

Carlson should be on your radar, especially in 10-team mixed-leagues and keeper formats. Just 24, Carlson has always had potential star appeal; he just hasn’t yet put it all together. A left hamstring injury kept him from nearly a month of action until his return on June 10. Since then, he’s 8-of-24 with two round-trippers, five RBIs, and five runs as well as a 1.156 OPS. He won’t be in the 40-percent ownership range much longer.

Jake Burger, 3B, White Sox (30%)

The St. Louis native has been flame-broiling the baseball lately – from June 4 through June 11 he hit four long balls, recorded 12 hits, and driven in nine runs – but a right hand contusion sustained against the Tigers on June 13 has kept his ownership percentage down. Burger only has two hits in the five games since his heater, but his batted-ball data suggests he’ll be back to smoking Whoppers again soon. His barrel rate and max exit velocity both rank in the 94th percentile or higher.

Ji-Man Choi, 1B, Rays (10%)

Choi has gone from an AL-only streamer to a viable everyday producer, and he only seems to be getting better as the weather continues to heat up. He’s hitting .375 with a 1.019 OPS with two dingers, nine RBIs, and seven runs over the past two weeks. He might be the quietest .293 hitter in the AL East. With Choi barely sitting (even against lefties), it’s probably time to consider scooping him up if you need some counting stats and improvement to your slash line.

Joey Gallo, 1B, Yankees (38%)

Gallo will strike out 25-30 times a month – and you’ll be lucky if you get him above the Mendoza line most weeks – but he’s a great source of power when he’s on a hot streak. He might be in the middle of one right now: He has three home runs and eight RBIs over his past eight games. If your league is deep and features slugging and/or OPS as stats, scoop Gallo up and play him against righties. His stats against southpaws are what nightmares are made of.

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Best pitcher pickups, free agent adds for Week 11

Tanner Houck, RP/SP, Boston (69-percent rostered in Yahoo leagues)

We usually stick to players owned in fewer than 50 percent of leagues. However, we’ll make the exception for Houck since he’s a must-roster pitcher and he’s not even 70 percent owned as of Monday morning. He has taken over as the Red Sox’s primary closer, and he’s converted all four of his save opportunities since June 10. Gobble him up if he’s somehow still available in your league. He’s the best pitcher available two weeks in a row (proud to say I told you so last week).

Kyle Gibson, SP, Phillies (46%)

Gibson’s had somewhat of an up-and-down season, but the veteran has looked solid overall since mid-May. He went eight innings against Miami last Wednesday, allowing just one run on seven hits while striking out six. Gibson has surrendered just 15 earned runs in his last 34 innings, and he’s fanned 32 batters in that span. Seven baserunners per outing seems to be his benchmark at this point, but he keeps the swing-and-miss stuff up and rarely spirals out of control. He should be able to earn a quality start against his former squad in Texas on Tuesday. Maybe he’ll even get his second win in two weeks (and fifth win of the season).

Zach Plesac, SP, Guardians (36%)

Plesac has gone 6.0 innings and recorded a quality start in four consecutive outings. Going even further back, he’s gone six strong in six of his past seven starts and logged the QS in six of his past 10. The Guardians have been cooking with gas since the end of May, going 15-4 since May 30. Plesac might be a good summer stash and here-and-there stream – he has the Twins and Red Sox next, so proceed with caution short-term. Yes, he held the Dodgers to one run over six innings last time out, but he only struck out one batter (with just five swinging strikes total), suffered a 50 percent hard-hit rate, and registered a .379 xBA. Go game-by-game for now.

Ross Stripling, SP, Blue Jays (28%)

Stripling has gone 3-1 in June while maintaining a 1.04 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, and .164 batting average against. He’s not a huge strikeout guy, but he makes up for that with low walk numbers. I’ll take a guy on a hot streak pitching for a squad with a top-tier offense. Just don’t roll him out against the White Sox on Wednesday unless you absolutely need him.

Dylan Bundy, SP, Twins (10%)

Give Bundy a stream on Friday against the Rockies at home. He’s coming off eight innings of one-run ball in Arizona on Saturday, striking out seven en route to his fourth win of the season. Bundy still can’t be trusted against top-tier offenses, but he’s plenty capable against squads like Colorado. He’s also a much better pitcher at home: 2-0, 2.29 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, .203 BAA at Target Field; 2-3, 6.82 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, .315 BAA in away games.

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