As we move from April to May, the baseball season is nearly 20% in the books. That is a significant milestone and usually marks the time when fantasy owners need to scrutinize each and every player on their roster. It doesn’t matter if you drafted a player in the 7th round, if he’s not performing and his underlying stats look unproductive, you need to start making moves.
Fortunately, we are here to help with a number of excellent pickups this week.
Enjoy the list and please click on the baseball card to visit our partner amazon.com to explore additional information on each player.
Yordan Alvarez, OF, HOU (CBS: 25% owned)
In 72 at-bats at Triple-A Round Rock, Alvarez has mashed 11 homers, driven in 29 runs, and is sporting a spectacular 1.362 OPS. Meanwhile, in Houston, the ‘Stros are still waiting for that first 2019 homer from Tyler White. Those footsteps are getting louder, Mr. White.
Zach Britton, RP, NYY (CBS: 14% owned)
The absence of Dellin Betances due to an extended stint on the IL leaves the job of closing out games when incumbent Aroldis Chapman needs a day off to a very qualified Zach Britton. If 5-10 saves and a steady diet of solid innings in a setup capacity helps, he’s your guy.
Ty Buttrey, RP, LAA (CBS: 27% owned)
Cody Allen has hit the 10-day IL with a lumbar sprain, which helps to explain his rather poor start. Ty Buttrey should be first-in-line in the bullpen-by-committee, but in deeper Leagues don’t ignore Hansel Robles (8% owned) as both are pitching well and will be in the mix for saves moving forward.
Kole Calhoun, OF, LAA (CBS: 29% owned)
He’s now got the BA up over the .200 mark and is slowly turning that abysmal start into a fading memory. This past week he hit homers in three consecutive games and chipped in with 7 RBI and an equal number of runs scored. There’s still some life left in “Cowboy’s” bat.
Griffin Canning, SP, LAA (CBS: 15% owned)
In 16 IP (3 starts) Canning currently sports a .56 ERA and has allowed only two walks. How often do you see a starter post a lower ERA than WHIP? The fact that he’s off to this start in the hitter-friendly PCL speaks volumes. In any League that speaks volumes. The Angels desperately need the arm in that rotation and with the Jays, Tigers and Orioles in a two-start week, followed by the Royals, he couldn’t get a better opportunity to get his career off and running.
Anthony DeSclafani, SP, CIN (CBS: 13% owned)
Back-to-back quality starts against the Cards and Padres have provided a glimmer of hope for the long-time Red. He has the Mets next week followed by a home-and-home series with the offensively challenged Giants. Buying a week early guarantees a shot at that favorable two-start week.
Jarrod Dyson, OF, ARZ (CBS: 7% owned)
He’s slowly working himself into a steady diet of at-bats and with that comes an opportunity for owners to pad the stolen base totals. He’s up to three thefts in his first 60 at-bats, with more to follow.
Carter Kieboom, SS, WAS (CBS: 53% owned)
The Nats have turned to their top-prospect, Carter Kieboom, to hold down the fort until the return of Trea Turner, I like the kid a lot, but realistically once Turner returns where are the at-bats? Howie Kendricks and lately Brian Dozier are getting it done at 2B leaving one to be concerned that Kieboom could find himself back in Triple-A as quick as he arrived in Washington.
Cedric Mullins, OF, BAL (CBS: 7% owned)
My man-crush with Cedric Mullins continues. Since being demoted to Triple-A Norfolk, he has gone 5-for-15 with 3 runs scored and a stolen base. He has also walked five times with only two strikeouts. If you have the room on your bench, it’s a good time to stash him on the cheap, as he will be back up with the big league club sooner rather than later.
Emilio Pagan, RP, TAM (CBS: 8% owned)
Alvarado is still listed as being the go-to guy, but Pagan is the favorite son that the Rays are handing the ball to in the ninth inning. He has earned the past three save opportunities for the Rays and unless he struggles, will be definitely in the mix for more.
Drew Pomeranz, SP, SF (CBS: 15% owned)
It was only two years ago that Pomeranz posted a 3.32 ERA while winning 17 games for the Red Sox. He finally looks to be healthy and is off to a decent start for the Giants. The two-start week against the Dodgers and Reds is daunting, but if his last start against the Jays is any indication, he could be up for the challenge.
Robert Stephenson, RP, CIN (CBS: 7% owned)
In ten appearances out of the Reds bullpen, Stephenson has now struck out 18 batters while allowing only four free passes. Maybe he has finally found his niche.
Raimel Tapia, OF, COL (CBS: 10% owned)
Ian Desmond is off to a dreadful start and losing at-bats to the hot-hitting Tapia. Tapia was sporting a .194 BA on April 13. He now has the average up to .274 and has hit three homers to boot. Until the Desmond ship is righted, expect Tapia to see a steady playing time in the Rockies outfield.
Eric Thames, 1B/OF, MIL (CBS: 16% owned)
We discussed the slumping Jesus Aguilar on the Podcast recently, and it looks like our thoughts are now being confirmed. He’s losing at-bats and in a hurry. Milwaukee has a rather potent offense and right now Thames is contributing in a significant way. He’s 6-for-13 with two homers, six runs scored, and eight RBI in the past week. Producing at that level will guarantee Aguilar continues to ride the pine.
Jose Urena, SP, MIA (CBS: 16% owned)
After a dreadful start, Urena has settled down and has now compiled a nice little run of three quality starts, two against the Phillies and one against the Nationals. He has allowed a total of only five earned runs during this streak. It appears that a corner has been turned.
Five Under Five %
Chris Davis, 1B, BAL (CBS: 4% owned)
It’s a funny game that we play. A couple of weeks back Davis was wrapping up his epic hitless streak. Since April 13, he’s gone 9-for-29 with a pair of homers and 8 RBI. In AL-only formats, he’s worth a look.
Luis Rengifo, SS, LAA (CBS: 4% owned)
Rengifo moved through three levels of play in 2018, running rampant at every stop. He finished up with a total of 41 stolen bases. He got the call to replace Zack Cozart who hit the 10-day IL with a neck sprain. He’s likely a short-term pickup, but with those wheels shouldn’t be ignored.
Ty France, 3B, SD (CBS: 5% owned)
If one is to believe the rumor mill, Ian Kinsler’s days in San Diego could be coming to an end. France has done nothing but mash this year, and could prove to be a solid option in the middle-infield if he can secure regular at-bats.
Luke Jackson, RP, ATL (CBS: 1% owned)
The last time Luke Jackson allowed a run was way back on March 28, against the Phillies. He’s put together a string of 11 consecutive appearances without allowing a run, including back-to-back holds in his past two appearances. The Braves pen is a mess, with A. J. Minter struggling badly. Patience will only be exercised for so long.
Eric Sogard, 2B/SS, TOR (CBS: 5% owned)
Since getting the call on April 16, Sogard is on fire. He’s 14-for-35 with a pair of stolen bases and three homers. As long as he continues to hit, he’ll continue to fill the leadoff role for the Jays.