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Lynne Sladky/Associated Press
The unfortunate news about Ronald Acuna Jr.’s torn ACL leaves a massive hole at the top of many fantasy baseball lineups.
Acuna was a top-five selection in most fantasy baseball drafts and now his services are lost for the rest of the regular season.
Luckily for fantasy players, they have a few days to explore the best possible outfield options on the waiver wire with the All-Star break starting on Monday.
One of Acuna’s National League East rivals is worth a look, as is a player working back from his own long-term injury.
While most of the waiver-wire focus is on potential outfield additions, there are some pitchers worth looking at to bolster your squad for the second half, including one flying under the radar in Seattle.
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Keith Srakocic/Associated Press
Garrett Cooper has been on a tear at the plate since he returned to the Miami Marlins lineup on June 25.
The outfielder has six multi-hit performances in that span, with three of them coming in his last four appearances.
For Cooper, the All-Star break is arriving at the worst possible time because he is in the middle of the best hot streaks of his career.
Cooper is 11-for-25 with three home runs and five RBI in July. He sits in a favorable spot in the Miami order with Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Miguel Rojas typically getting on base in front of him.
Cooper is worth an immediate pickup since Miami opens the second half with a doubleheader in Philadelphia and does not have a day off until July 26 out of the break.
He could be even more valuable in August if he continues to put up stunning numbers at home. Cooper has a 1.129 OPS in 29 home games and the Marlins have 17 games in their home ball park next month.
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Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press
Eloy Jimenez officially started his path back to the Chicago White Sox lineup on Saturday.
Jimenez hit a home run in the first game of his rehab assignment with Single-A Winston-Salem. He went 2-for-4 in that contest.
The White Sox outfielder is still a few weeks away from returning to the lineup, but if you want a power bat for August and September, he is the guy.
Jimenez is available in one-third of Yahoo fantasy leagues and he might be a mandatory waiver-wire addition in leagues where he is not on a roster.
Once he returns, Jimenez will be a focal point of the White Sox lineup that has dealt with a multitude of injuries this season.
Jimenez could slot into the cleanup role behind Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu when he is fully fit.
The prospect of Jimenez batting multiple times per game with runners on base should excite fantasy players, especially those who lost Acuna and can pick him up in the next few weeks.
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Elaine Thompson/Associated Press
Logan Gilbert produced his two best starts in a Seattle Mariners uniform prior to the All-Star break.
Gilbert did not allow an earned run in Thursday’s win over the New York Yankees. He conceded a single hit over seven innings and struck out eight batters.
On July 2, the right-handed hurler tossed 5.2 innings of two-run ball versus the Texas Rangers in a no decision.
Gilbert’s progression has been a welcome sight for the Mariners, and for fantasy players in need of pitching help.
The rookie hurler carries value in the strikeout department, as he has six or more punch outs in five of his last six starts.
Gilbert proved on Thursday that he can go deep into games without his stuff tapering off. That could be important if quality starts are tracked in your fantasy leagues.
No matter what he does in the second half, Gilbert has more than earned a shot to be on fantasy rosters as he helps the Mariners push for a wild-card spot in the American League.
Statistics obtained from MLB.com.