Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 19
And down the stretch we come.
If you're in a head-to-head league, your playoffs start probably in the next four to five weeks. In rotisserie leagues, you've got a little under two months to make that final push from the quarter pole (for some reason, horse racing is on my brain) and grab those last few points in your leagues.
It can be hard to make up ground, but a few sneaky adds can go a long way.
Here are two arms and two bats to target. All players listed are owned in less than 50.0% of ESPN leagues.
Shane Greene -- Detroit Tigers (RP)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 36.8%
Need a cheap source of saves? Look no further than Shane Greene of the Detroit Tigers, who appears to have inherited the closer role after Justin Wilson was traded to the Chicago Cubs right before the deadline.
Greene languished a bit as a starter. In 2015, his last full season in that role, he made 16 starts, posting a 6.88 ERA and a pedestrian 13.4% strikeout rate.
The last two years, working in relief, Greene has been far better. His strikeout rate has shot up to 23.1% and 25.6%, respectively, and this year, he may have turned a corner, posting a 2.54 ERA in 49 2/3 innings pitched.
If you're looking for some numbers in that elusive counting category, look no further than Greene.
Hyun-Jin Ryu -- Los Angeles Dodgers (SP)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 35.9%
It appears as though we're in line for a fun crash course in the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros. Since Independence Day, the boys out west are an absurd 24-3, so what they needed was another fantastic starting pitcher, right?
In three starts after the All-Star break, Ryu has thrown 19.0 innings, allowing only two earned runs and posting a 30.3% strikeout rate. Over that same stretch, hitters have managed only a .202 wOBA against him.
With Clayton Kershaw set to return, Yu Darvish added to the mix, and Alex Wood putting up a career year, the Dodgers have an embarrassment of riches in the rotation, and Ryu is another big chip in the mix.
Manny Margot -- San Diego Padres (OF)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 32.3%
Another category that can be hard to fill is steals -- sometimes it's filled by one category wonders, and the truly elite, like Billy Hamilton, cost far too much.
Margot was traded as part of the Craig Kimbrel deal in the 2015 offseason, and he's been a running machine in the minors. In 2016, across Triple-A and a quick cup of coffee, Margot nabbed 32 bags. This year, despite being a little banged up, Margot's swiped 13.
Margot returned from his latest disabled list stint at the end of June, and he's definitely picked up the pace -- he's stolen six bags over the last five-plus weeks, and can be a nice add in the speed department.
Tim Beckham -- Baltimore Orioles (SS)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 29.9%
Beckham was a dude with massive hype, but was perhaps in trouble before he even donned the Rays uniform. He was selected first overall, before Buster Posey (!) and was later suspended 50 games in 2012 for "a drug of abuse."
Beckham's first long look at the majors, in 2015, was a tough one. He batted .222 with a heavy 30.9% strikeout rate. Last year was more of the same -- he struggled to a .247 batting average, and whiffed even more (31.2%).
But he seemed to be turning a corner this season. He still strikes out at a healthy rate (31.1%), but upped that average to .282, knocking 15 homers (career-best .179 ISO), and also was making a lot of hard contact (43.0% hard-hit rate).
While the sample size is fantastically small, as an Oriole, he's batting .583 in 25 plate appearances, blasting three more homers. It could be a little beginner's luck, but this may turn out to be a savvy move by the Orioles.