Fantasy Baseball 2021: Pickups and MLB Waiver-Wire Adds for Week 18

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 1, 2021

Fantasy Baseball 2021: Pickups and MLB Waiver-Wire Adds for Week 18

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    The deals made prior to the Major League Baseball trade deadline affected the rosters of both contenders and bottom feeders. 

    The affects of the buying and selling led to some rearranged lineups over the last few days and that will have a major impact on fantasy baseball rosters. 

    The immediate reaction to contenders, like Atlanta and the Los Angeles Dodgers, making moves is to add the players that were brought in to provide an extra push toward the playoff spots. 

    However, the playoff contenders are not the only squads to look at for waiver wire additions for the next week and the rest of the season. 

    Cleveland and the Chicago Cubs have new leadoff hitters in their lineups that could add valuable totals to fantasy offenses alongside the sluggers aiming to land berths in October. 

Jorge Soler, Of, Atlanta

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    Atlanta went through the largest reorganization of a single position by any team fighting for a playoff spot. 

    The National League East side added Jorge Soler, Adam Duvall and Eddie Rosario to its outfield depth that was impacted by Ronald Acuna Jr.'s season-ending torn ACL. 

    Soler comes to Atlanta off one of the hottest streaks of his career. He ended his tenure with the Kansas City Royals by hitting six home runs in a six-day span.

    Soler is expected to provide some power out of the bottom half of Atlanta's lineup for August and September. 

    The outfielder should receive plenty of pitches to hit since Freddie Freeman, Austin Riley and Dansby Swanson have had no problem getting on base from the heart of the team's order. 

    Soler's RBI production should increase, and if he settles in well, he could go on a power tear to help Atlanta work past the New York Mets in the NL East race. 

Rafael Ortega, Of, Chicago Cubs

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Someone still has to hit in the Chicago Cubs order for the next two months. 

    With Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javier Baez all traded away, the Cubs are expected to limp to the finish this season as they get on with their rebuild. 

    In the first two games since the trade deadline, Rafael Ortega hit well out of the leadoff position versus the Washington Nationals.

    Ortega went 4-for-9 with eight total bases and a home run on Friday and Saturday. If those numbers hold up, he could be an intriguing depth addition for fantasy baseball players. 

    Ortega is expected to receive the chance to start every day for the final two months. If he can reach base against tougher pitching staffs, he may be a sneaky good waiver-wire pickup.

    At best, Ortega is a depth option in outfield, but he is worth the picking up now while other players look at the improved orders of contending teams for their latest additions. 

Myles Straw, Of, Cleveland

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    Myles Straw is an intriguing fantasy baseball case to explore. 

    Straw was deemed as a surplus in the Houston outfield and was shipped to Cleveland for relief pitcher Phil Maton.

    Straw slotted into the leadoff position on Saturday night and he will be hitting in front of two power sluggers in Jose Ramirez and Franmil Reyes. 

    Straw reached base safely with a hit in seven of his last nine games and he scored four runs over his last three appearances.

    If Straw consistently gets on base, he could cross the plate on a frequent basis with the two home-run hitters underneath him.

    Straw should fill the leadoff role to start his time in Cleveland since the American League Central side traded Cesar Hernandez to the Chicago White Sox. 

    Straw could be a more intriguing addition than Ortega because of the speed he possesses. He has 17 stolen bases, which could be a valuable stat for fantasy players looking for the extra edge in weekly head-to-head matchups.