It finally appears the St. Louis Cardinals will return to action Aug. 15 after having a COVID-19 outbreak that has caused them to not play any games in the month of August.

We never know if we are over the hump, but it’s encouraging that we are close to finally having all 30 teams in action.

Waiver-Wire Targets:

Colorado Rockies Infielder/Outfielder Garrett Hampson — Hampson is right at 50 percent ownership in Yahoo! Sports leagues, but I’m recommending him in case he’s available. The 25-year-old is batting leadoff for a team that plays in the hitter’s paradise known as Coors Field. Hampson is taking full advantage, as he is batting .325 with 10 runs scored and two stolen bases. Even more attractive is Hampson is eligible at three positions, which is what we want as fantasy owners. There’s a lot to like about Hampson, which is why he’s the hottest addition off the waiver wire in fantasy baseball.

Cincinnati Reds Outfielder Jesse Winker — Another hot hitter fantasy owners need to look at and is more widely available than Hampson is the 26-year-old outfielder for Cincinnati. Winker was always a top-100 prospect, but has yet to take the next step to become a strong fantasy option. I don’t know if he’s turned the corner, but we can at least ride the hot streak for a while. Winker has collected nine hits (and three home runs) in his last four games while also chipping in with a stolen base. This shortened season is all about riding the peaks — and Winker is peaking, so it’s time for fantasy owners to jump in.

Baltimore Orioles Catcher Pedro Severino — One of the early surprises this season has been the Orioles. Not only are they winning games, but their offense is one of the best in all of baseball. The offense was attractive to fantasy owners a few years ago when Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Nelson Cruz and prime Chris Davis were wearing the orange and black. Now, fantasy owners are rostering Hanser Alberto and Renato Núñez.

However, Severino is another strong option, as he plays a position that is tough to find offensive consistency. Severino is batting .333 with four home runs and 13 RBIs, which makes him one of the best hitting catchers in baseball right now. Severino should be rostered. The only downfall, of course, is that he doesn’t play every day, but most catchers not named Salvador Perez or J.T. Realmuto don’t every day, either.

Also, due to the Orioles’ incredible hot streak offensively, fantasy owners can look at outfielder Anthony Santander, shortstop Jose Iglesias and third baseman Rio Ruiz if they need an offensive boost.

Miami Marlins First Baseman Jesus Aguilar — The offensive help continues this week as fantasy owners can turn to the power hitting first baseman. Aguilar was an offensive force in 2018 as he hit 35 home runs and 108 RBIs for the Brewers, but was squeezed out of playing time and eventually moved on to the Tampa Bay Rays. The result was a disappointing 2019 as Aguilar only hit 12 home runs. Another change of scenery along with consistent playing time looks to be exactly what Aguilar needed. The Marlins were obviously idle due to an outbreak of COVID-19, but the lost time hasn’t stopped Aguilar. The first baseman is batting .311 with four home runs and 12 RBIs. Fantasy owners may be a little hesitant due to the 2019 campaign, but I’ll roll the dice on the 2018 Aguilar returning for the remainder of this year.

Philadelphia Phillies Third Baseman Alec Bohm — This is the second consecutive week we have seen a top hitting prospect be promoted to the big leagues. Bohm isn’t ranked as high as Angels outfielder Jo Adell is, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t talented. Bohm has shown the ability to hit for average and power in the minors and now joins a talented offense that needs a jolt. All indications point to the 24-year-old playing everyday at third base and in his Major League debut, he already collected an extra base hit with a double. Bohm should hit and provide fantasy owners another offensive option.

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox

Phil Backert

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