By Rob Steingall
Ernesto Frieri, Angels: When is this guy going to finally start getting some respect? He's only owned in 60 of Yahoo! leagues, which is criminal. His microscopic ERA (0.87, 0.00 for the Angels) and gaudy strikeout totals (53 K in 31 IP) make him one of the very best relief options in baseball, and someone who should be an immediate add to your fantasy team if you're lucky enough to stumble across him on your league waiver wire.
Tyler Clippard, Nationals: With Drew Storen possibly on track to return right around the All-Star Break, you still have roughly four weeks to profit from Clippard in the saves department. He's always had a closer skill set, and has done a great job in the role thus far, converting all nine of his opportunities since assuming the role. Ride him while you can, and enjoy the great ratios and strikeout totals that come along with the handshakes.
Heath Bell, Marlins: Don't look now, but Bell has converted his past 11 save opportunities, and hasn't given up a run since May 26th. He's back on track, and once again a trusted option in fantasy circles. With his contract and track record, he'll have a pretty long leash, even if he has a few more small hiccups along the way.
Carlos Marmol, Cubs: It looks like he has his job back, and converted his first opportunity on Friday. Marmol has been nothing short of awful this season, but with a chance to collect handshakes once again, he immediately gains value in all standard formats. Make the add, but keep a bottle of Pepto-Bismol by your side.
Brett Myers, Astros: He's still getting the job done, quietly putting together a season in which he converted 16-of-17 save opportunities while posting a 1.99 ERA before giving up eight singles in an inning on Monday. Ignore the fluky ERA spike. He plays for a bad Astros team and carries starting pitcher eligibility, making him a sneaky good play in formats with specific pitcher designations.
The Cubs are down to only one starter in next month's All-Star Game in Miami: reigning MVP Kris Bryant.
Jason Heyward lost his grip on the final starting outfielder spot to Marlins star Marcell Ozuna in the latest All-Star balloting update released by the MLB:
That may be for the best, as the Cubs are currently banged up (Heyward. Ben Zobrist and Kyle Hendricks are on the disabled list) and slogging through a season where they've hovered around .500. So maybe four days off in a row would be beneficial for the defending champs.
Heyward is 29,270 votes behind Ozuna and Zobrist is 118,248 votes behind Heyward. It appears as if Washington's Bryce Harper and Colorado's Charlie Blackmon are sure things for the top two outfielder spots in the NL.
Bryant is only 58,082 votes ahead of Nolan Arenado at third base. Anthony Rizzo trails Ryan Zimmerman at first base, Javy Baez comes in well behind Daniel Murphy at second base and Buster Posey has more than twice as many votes as runner-up Willson Contreras at catcher.
Addison Russell is third among shortstops. Kyle Schwarber — despite being demoted to the minors last week — is eighth among NL outfielders.
It's a far cry from 2016, when the Cubs made up all four infield spots in the NL starting lineup.
Voting ends in four days. Fans can head to MLB.com to vote.
Major League Baseball released the latest American League All-Star voting update Monday and Avisail Garcia has jumped back into fifth place among outfielders.
The White Sox right fielder jumped past Boston's Mookie Betts since the last returns were announced on June 13.
Since then Garcia has slashed .319/.447/.819 with a homer, 5 RBIs and three doubles in 12 games.
Aaron Judge, Mike Trout and George Springer remain the top vote-getters in the outfield, though Trout won't play in the Midsumemr Classic because of a thumb injury.
On the year Garcia is batting .331 with a .904 OPS, 11 homers and 51 RBIs; the RBIs are the same number Garcia had all of last year.
Garcia is the only White sox player among the top AL vote-getters at any position.
Voting ends June 30.