Major League Baseball has a busy fantasy baseball week ahead in the first full week of May, with every team scheduled to play six or seven games. Coors Field will be in play all week as the Rockies host three-game sets against the Padres and Giants in a pair of NL West series. The Tigers and Twins have the only double-header on the current schedule, which is set for Saturday.
Both the double-header and playing at Coors Field are situations to consider as you prepare your season-long team for the coming week. If you need a boost in a particular category or are looking for an upgrade at a specific position, there are definitely options to consider on the waiver wire. The following four picks are widely available and can give you a nice boost. If you’re in a more competitive or active league, there are some additional options at the bottom of the page who can also be solid pickups. If you have specific questions about your roster or league format, I’d be happy to answer them on Twitter @ZT_Sports.
1B/OF JOSÉ MARTÍNEZ, STL (vs. PHI, vs. PIT)The Cardinals surged out to the lead in the NL Central and are now in a close race with their rival Cubs. Martínez has been a key contributor and regular option in the middle of the lineup, usually hitting in the fourth or fifth spot in the lineup. He’s hitting .364 on the season with two homers, 16 RBI and a .911 OPS.
Martínez has been heating up lately, going 19-for-45 (.422) over the past two weeks coming into Sunday Night Baseball with five doubles and a 1.081 OPS. He has had most of that success at Busch Stadium, where he is 20-for-46 (.435) with a 1.035 OPS. Since all six of the Cardinals’ games are at home, Martínez is a solid pickup for 1B or the OF and should be able to offer solid batting average, OPS and RBI, even though he isn’t a prototypical power 1B.
SP ANTHONY DESCLAFANI, CIN (vs. SF, at OAK, at SF)In his past three starts, DeSclafani has been lights out for the Reds. He has allowed just one run on nine hits in 17 2/3 innings over those three starts while striking out 20 and walking just five. DeSclafani has always had high strikeout potential but finally has found a nice groove by relying on his most effective pitches.
In the coming week, DeSclafani is lined up for two starts, one at home and one on the road. Both are scheduled to come against the struggling Giants lineup. San Francisco has averaged just 3.39 runs per game this season, which is the second-lowest total in the majors coming into action on Sunday. They’re hitting only .219 as a team, so DeSclafani should be able to keep cruising and also offers great strikeout potential and a couple of possible wins this week.
1B/2B/3B/SS RONNY RODRÍGUEZ, DET (vs. LAA, at MIN)The Tigers have gotten nice production from Rodríguez, who has played all around the infield this season but continues to hit wherever he plays in the field. He has hit safely in five straight games through Sunday’s action and 10 of his 12 contests overall. He is 15-for-45 (.333) overall with six doubles, a triple, three homers and a 1.091 OPS.
Rodríguez is a 27-year-old righty from the Dominican, who joined the Tigers system as a free agent before last season. He isn’t seen as a big-time prospect but he has gotten consistent results and can help fill in an injury spot anywhere in the infield. Rodríguez has solid matchups and is a hot bat to pickup as the Tigers play a seven-game week including Friday’s twin bill in Minnesota.
RP SHAWN KELLEY, TEX (at PIT, at HOU)Kelley signed with the Rangers as a free agent this offseason after splitting 2018 between the Nationals and the Athletics. The 35-year-old has been promoted to the role of closer after the rough start to the season for José Leclerc. Kelley hasn’t allowed a run in his past seven outings while striking out six in seven innings.
In those seven outings, Kelley has a pair of saves including one against the Astros, who he’ll face again this week. Kelley’s ERA is down to 1.29 with a 0.71 WHIP in his 14 games this season. If you need to grab a closer off the wire, he’s the top widely available option.
Other options worth watchingBATTERS
- C James McCann, Chicago White Sox
- 1B/2B/OF Derek Dietrich, Cincinnati Reds
- 2B/SS/OF Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks
- 2B/SS Eric Sogard, Toronto Blue Jays
- 3B/OF Nick Senzel, Cincinnati Reds
- OF Jorge Soler, Kansas City Royals
- OF Dwight Smith Jr., Baltimore Orioles
- OF Alex Verdugo, Los Angeles Dodgers
- OF Franmil Reyes, San Diego Padres
- SP/RP Martín Pérez, Minnesota Twins
- SP Vince Velasquez, Philadelphia Phillies
- SP CC Sabathia, New York Yankees
- RP Emilio Pagán, Tampa Bay Rays
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.