We’ve reached the middle of the third month of the fantasy baseball season, and there’s another busy week ahead. Twenty-one of the 30 teams are scheduled to play seven games this week and only the White Sox, Tigers and Pirates have multiple off-days leaving them with five games. As a result of the many seven-game schedules, there is a huge group of two-start starting pitchers and there should be plenty of offense to go around as well.
Coors Field is out of play this week as the Rockies play all six of their games on the road. The White Sox, Tigers, Angels and Astros will all lose the DH for one of their series as they travel to National League parks, while the A’s, Mariners, Nationals, Cardinals, Rangers, Dodgers and Diamondbacks are set up to play all their games at home.
As you get your squad in shape for the next week, there are some nice additions available on many leagues’ waiver wires. If you have specific questions about your roster or league format, I’d be happy to answer them on Twitter @ZT_Sports. I’ve also added some other options at the bottom of this post who make nice options if they’re still sitting on your waiver wire and offer what your team needs in a waiver wire pickup.
SP MICHAEL FIERS, OAK (vs. BAL, vs. TB)The top two-start pitcher that is widely available is Fiers, who has built on his no-hitter earlier this season and become a solid contributor on a weekly basis. He has allowed three earned runs or fewer in nine straight starts and dropped his ERA from 8.28 all the way to 4.64. In those nine starts, he is 4-1 with 36 strikeouts in 56 2/3 innings while holding opponents to a .184 batting average.
He gets a great matchup with the Orioles to start the week before facing the Rays next Saturday. Both matchups are at pitcher-friendly Oakland Coliseum, where Fiers is 4-2 with a 3.60 ERA in seven starts. Fiers doesn’t have an elite strikeout rate but he has been a great addition for the Athletics and has limited baserunners and damage. He is a great play early in the week against the O’s, and anything you get out of his second outing is icing on the cake.
3B/SS/OF SCOTT KINGERY, PHI (at WAS, vs. MIA)Kingery had three hits on Friday and three hits on Saturday to boost his average to .347 through his first 38 games. He had 12 doubles, a triple and eight home runs coming into Sunday’s game, in which he moved up to the third spot in the Phillies order. Whether he stays there or goes back to his usual sixth or seventh spot, Kingery is a great pickup since has a 1.058 OPS this season.
The 25-year-old missed a month earlier this season with a hamstring injury, but has been excellent when healthy. He does have some speed potential, but has only two stolen bases on the season. Kingery has been playing most of his games in CF lately, taking over for Andrew McCutchen (knee) since his season-ending injury. Kingery is part of a good lineup with a full, favorable seven-game slate. If he’s still available, he can help almost any fantasy team.
1B/OF IAN DESMOND, COL (at ARI, at LAD)Even though the Rockies are on the road this week, Desmond is worth a look since he has caught fire lately. He entered Sunday’s action with a nine-game hitting streak, during which he went 14-for-32 (.438) with three doubles, three home runs, 14 RBI and a 1.270 OPS. Six of those games were at Coors Field, but Desmond has been hitting everywhere.
He has punished lefties this season, hitting .304 with six homers and a 1.018 OPS against southpaws. This week, the Rockies are slated to face three lefties, so Desmond should be able to stay hot. He’s been known as a streaky hitter throughout his career and worked his way through a tough slump to start the season. He’s a nice power bat to pick up, especially if you can afford to let him ride during road weeks and capitalize on Coors-heavy weeks in the future.
SP ADBERT ALZOLAY, CHC (vs. CWS, vs. NYM)The Cubs haven’t mad any final decision yet, but all signs are pointing to them bringing up top prospect Alzolay to fill in the rotation spot of Kyle Hendricks (shoulder), who was placed on the 10-day injured list earlier this week. Hendricks could be out a while, and Alzolay could lay a claim to a rotation spot if he can translate his success from Triple-A.
Alzolay missed almost the whole 2018 season with a lat injury, but 2019 has been a different story for the 24-year-old righty. He has made six starts for the Iowa Cubs, going 2-1 with a 3.09 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 32 innings. He has been especially dominant lately with a 1.93 ERA and 40 strikeouts and just three walks in 28 innings. If the Cubs make the call, Alzolay would be lined up for his Major League debut on Thursday at home against the Mets.
Other options worth watchingBATTERS
- C Roberto Pérez, Cleveland Indians
- 1B/OF Garrett Cooper, Miami Marlins
- 1B/3B Yandy Díaz, Tampa Bay Rays
- 1B/2B/3B/OF Howie Kendrick, Washington Nationals
- 2B/SS/OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Toronto Blue Jays
- 2B/3B/SS Adrúbal Cabrera, Texas Rangers
- OF Yordan Álvarez, Houston Astros
- OF Jackie Bradley Jr., Boston Red Sox
- OF Mallex Smith, Seattle Mariners
- SP Merrill Kelly, Arizona Diamondbacks
- SP Lance Lynn, Texas Rangers
- SP Tommy Milone, Seattle Mariners
- SP Matt Strahm, San Diego Padres
- RP Taylor Rogers, Minnesota Twins
- RP Hansel Robles, Los Angels Angels
- RP Ian Kennedy, Kansas City Royals
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.