Another week brings another slew of injuries, impacting several big-name players. LA Dodgers’ superstar outfielder Mookie Betts was hit by a pitch on his left hand this past Sunday, resulting in a fracture that will keep him sidelined for at least 6-8 weeks. To compound the Dodgers' woes, starting pitcher Walker Buehler was struck by a comebacker in his hip during a start against the Rockies. Buehler was already dealing with a hip issue before the incident but will now miss extended time after being placed on the 15-Day IL.

St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado also took a hit by pitch this week and is now considered day-to-day with an elbow contusion. While he hasn't been performing at his usual All-Star level, Arenado's absence is still a significant blow to both the Cardinals and fantasy managers alike. Additionally, Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette, who hasn't appeared in a game since June 14th, was placed on the 10-Day IL retroactive to last Saturday due to a right calf strain. He will miss at least four more games.

On a brighter note, the Houston Astros, aiming to strengthen their rotation amid multiple injuries, have called up Double-A pitcher Jake Bloss, who is set to make his MLB debut on Friday. Bloss faces a tough challenge against the league-leading Baltimore Orioles, but his rapid ascent through the minors (skipping Triple-A entirely) makes him a pitcher to watch. He has been stellar across two levels this season, boasting a 1.61 ERA and 0.72 WHIP over 44 and two-thirds innings.

As always, we're here to help cure your fantasy woes by offering some intriguing options worth considering while they're hot. For a hitter to qualify for this list, they must be less than—or around—50% owned in Yahoo! Leagues. A player will only appear on this list more than once if they continue to perform well week after week. Let’s dive in.


Jorge Soler, OF - San Francisco Giants (57% Owned)

Giants OF Jorge Soler barely qualifies for this list, but I wanted to sneak him on in case he’s still available in your leagues. He has been fantastic since the calendar turned to June. As of Wednesday, the slugger had slashed .298/.403/.526, and has only helped his case by going 1-for-3 with a double (his fifth of the month) and a walk this past Thursday.  Additionally, while he has experienced a significant decline since his impressive 48-home run season in 2019, Soler has been locked in over the last three weeks, launching three of nine home runs on the year.


Cedric Mullins, OF - Baltimore Orioles (55% Owned)

Orioles OF Cedric Mullins has underperformed over the last three seasons after batting .291 with 30 HRs in 2021. 2024 has marked his worst output since, as he’s hit an abysmal .197 thus far. However, his speed hasn't seemed to decline, as he's chipped in 15 steals across his first 68 games – just four less than he had all of last year.

On a positive note, Mullins has been on fire since June 12th, with three multi-hit games over the last week. He’s also scored multiple runs in three contests during that span, notching three of those in his most recent outing. Most encouragingly, he’s struck out just once in his last 23 at-bats, making him worth adding while contributing in all five categories. Also, there might even be even more positive regression on the horizon with his average, as his BABIP is comically low, even by his standards (.224).


Zack Gelof, 2B - Oakland Athletics (41% Owned)

Oakland 2B Zack Gelof has been nearly as bad as Mullins, sporting a poor .202/.254/.365 triple-slash on the season, but it seems like he’s starting to heat up. Gelof has homered in three straight games and was a popular break-out pick in fantasy drafts this offseason after smacking 14 long balls in 69 games just a season ago.

I’m not too keen on his astronomical K% (a gross 35%), so if that will hurt you in points leagues, I’d recommend staying away. However, he might be due for some positive regression in batting average, as his BABIP currently sits at .279. While that may seem high, he’s a player who routinely hit in the high .300s throughout his minor league career, reaching a .410 BABIP as recently as 2023 while playing in just 69 Triple-A games.


Brendan Donovan, 1B/2B/3B/OF - St. Louis Cardinals (38% Owned)

I’ve kept a close eye on Cardinals super utility man Brendan Donovan throughout the course of the season, just waiting for him to start to pick things up. Fortunately – he’s begun to do so. Aside from his excellent positional versatility, Donovan has been a solid source of average over the past two seasons, batting no lower than .281. He started this season slow but over the last few weeks has really turned things around.

My favorite part about Donovan’s profile is his plate discipline, and he’s excelled in that aspect again this year, lowering his strikeout rate for a third-straight season to an impressive 13.5%. Over his last 15 games, he’s 20-for-59 (.339), with three HRs, 11 RBI, and seven runs scored. That’ll play.


JJ Bleday, OF - Oakland Athletics (26% Owned)

The breakout has officially come. Oakland OF JJ Bleday has been solid all year, but has been on an absolute tear over his last five games. During that span, Bleday is batting .474(!) with five runs scored and five extra-base hits (four doubles, one HR). Even more impressive, over the last week he’s walked more (4) than he’s struck out (1) and seems to be putting it together.

If you’ve read my column before, you know how encouraged I am when a player improves his plate discipline, and Bleday has done just that – cutting his strikeout rate nearly 6% from a year ago. His average is up 60 points from 2023, too, and he’s now slashing .255/.342/.467 with a robust .809 OPS. The former fourth-overall pick of the 2019 draft seems to have turned a corner, and if you need an outfielder – now is the time to grab him.


Carlos Santana, 1B - Minnesota Twins (23% Owned)

After an ice-cold stretch to begin the year, Twins 1B Carlos Santana has somehow played himself to relevancy over the last month. In his previous 73 at-bats, Santana has 13 walks to just eight strikeouts and is averaging well over a point per at-bat in that span. Thus far in June, he’s batting a superb 20-for-55 (.364). In that 16-game sample, Santana has four homers and five doubles, tacking on 15 RBI and ten runs scored. He’s still batting just .247 on the year, but the 38-year-old seems to have found his second wind after scuffling a bit over the last few seasons.


Deep League Options


Jake McCarthy, OF - Arizona Diamondbacks (7% Owned)

After a disappointing 2023, Arizona OF Jake McCarthy was a popular breakout pick for 2024 and is beginning to make due on his potential. While there’s virtually no power to his game, McCarthy has ticked his batting average up to an excellent .298, which, assuming it holds, would easily be the best of his young career. Additionally, the real draw here is his speed, as he’s swiped 12 bags on the season – three in the last week alone. I was all-in on McCarthy a year ago but let him fall to the wayside in drafts. It might be time to start reconsidering him.


Nolan Schanuel, 1B - Los Angeles Angels (5% Owned)

Angels 1B Nolan Schanuel might not be ready for a waiver wire add just yet, but he's shown promising improvement over the last few games. The 11th overall pick of the 2023 MLB Draft has drawn seven walks in the past week while going 7-for-20 (.350) and striking out just once. This is a notable change considering he struck out 44 times with only 18 walks in his previous 210 at-bats. Due to his hitting potential, his recent performance makes him worth monitoring.


55% Discount – 1-year DFS Optimizer: Cutting edge features, multiple projections sources


Pitching/Streaming Options


Spencer Schwellenbach, Atlanta Braves (11/37% Yahoo/CBS)

Since being called up four weeks ago, the Atlanta Braves' No.3 overall prospect Spencer Schwellenbach has been a pleasant surprise. In his most recent start against the Detroit Tigers, he went six strong innings, allowing just three hits and one earned run while striking out seven. He hasn’t walked more than two batters in any of his four starts, and while his 4.98 ERA isn’t great, Statcast expects that to come down as he boasts an xERA of 3.60. 

Schwellenbach will face the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates this upcoming week, and neither of those matchups present much of an issue. They rank 22nd and 24th in runs per game, respectively. While it would be nice to see him strike out a few more batters, Schwellenbach sat above a 9.22 K/9 in his last three stops in the minors before being elevated to The Show, so the possibility exists more K's could be coming. 


Kyle Hendricks, Chicago Cubs (3/7% Yahoo/CBS)

Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks was awful early in the year but has pitched well of late. To put things in perspective, Hendricks has 6.17 fantasy points over 50.2 innings in my Yahoo league, including the 22.5 points he accrued over his last two appearances. Read that again. Woof. However, he’s turned it around since his move to the bullpen with a 2.70 ERA – a vast improvement over the 7.46 ERA he has on the season.

He’ll square up against the San Francisco Giants and Milwaukee Brewers for his two-start week, and while I’m not thrilled about either of those matchups, he just earned his first win – striking out eight batters – against those same Giants this past Wednesday. If he’s strong again in his next start against them, it could be that the 34-year-old has found a groove. Regardless, his 30.4% hard-hit rate allowed is in the 93rd percentile, and it’s worth taking a shot on him while he’s pitching well.


Cade Povich, Baltimore Orioles (9/29% Yahoo/CBS)

The jury is still out on whether starter Cade Povich can be an effective big-league pitcher. Even with support from a strong Orioles lineup, over three appearances he has yet to grab his first win. Povich has as many walks as strikeouts (9) and will draw two tough matchups this coming week against the Cleveland Guardians and Texas Rangers. Luckily – they’ll both come within the friendly confines of Camden Yards.

You might be wondering why I’m suggesting him. Well, over his first 283 pitches, Povich sports an average exit velocity and hard-hit percentage that would rank in the top 5% of the league if he qualified. Also, despite his BB woes, Statcast has him pegged with an xBA of .198, and his 3.94 ERA is quite a bit higher than his xERA of 3.28. It’s a risky proposition, but if he can keep the walks down and elevate his K/9 closer to the 12.56 average he garnered throughout the minors, we could have a league winner on our hands. Monitor him closely.


As we wrap up Fantasy Baseball Week 13, it's clear that navigating injuries and finding hidden gems are key to maintaining a competitive edge. With stars like Mookie Betts and Walker Buehler sidelined, and players like Nolan Arenado and Bo Bichette facing shorter-term issues, fantasy managers must stay vigilant in adjusting their rosters. However, these setbacks also create opportunities to discover new talent and capitalize on emerging players.

In light of the injuries, it's worth keeping an eye on promising prospects like Jake Bloss as well as hot hitters like Jorge Soler and Cedric Mullins, who have been on a tear recently. Additionally, deep league options and potential streaming pitchers such as Spencer Schwellenbach and Kyle Hendricks offer valuable upside for those looking to bolster their teams. Remember, staying proactive and adaptable is crucial in fantasy baseball, especially as we navigate the midseason stretch. So, keep scouting the waiver wire, monitor player performances closely, and make those savvy moves to keep your team in contention.