As you celebrate the unofficial start of summer on this Memorial Day weekend, make sure to get your season-long fantasy baseball team tuned up for the long haul of the next few months by staying active on the waiver wire. There are many players stepping into larger roles for their teams as the summer heats up, and you can find a specialist to give you a boost in whatever category in which you need a boost.
This week lines up to be busy since there are only four teams off on Monday. The Pirates and Reds also get an unusual eight-game week due to a doubleheader on Monday. On the other extreme, the Braves only have five games on tap, but at least they have good matchups overall.
If you’re looking to help your team with a waiver wire addition, check out the following four pickups, who are widely available and trending in the right direction. If you’re in a more active league or searching for a specialist, I’ve also included some other options at the bottom of the page. If you have specific questions about your roster or league format, I’d be happy to answer them on Twitter @ZT_Sports. Enjoy the long weekend and get your roster set for the dog days on the horizon.
2B/SS LOURDES GURRIEL JR., TOR (at TB, at COL)It was a miserable start to the season for Gurriel, who hit just .175 in 13 games while also struggling to throw the ball to 1B from 2B. He struggled so badly that the Blue Jays sent him down to Triple-A for over a month to work on his mechanics and play more positions. He has returned as the team’s super-utility player, and the 25-year-old should get plenty of playing time as he moves around the lineup.
During his time with the Buffalo Bisons, Gurriel went 33-for-121 (.273) with 13 doubles, four homers and 26 RBI. He seems excited to be back in the Majors, though, and homered in each of his first three games back and going 6-for-10 with a double and four RBI. Gurriel showed good potential last season and looks ready to return as a contributor after his stint in the minors. Playing a weekend set at Coors Field also buoys his potential production this week.
SP LANCE LYNN, TEX (at SEA, vs. KC)The Rangers quietly added Lynn on a three-year contract as a free agent this offseason. He has been a solid option in his first 10 starts for Texas, going 6-3 with a 4.67 ERA and 1.36 WHIP. His elevated ERA is due to a pair of rough games early in the season, but he has allowed two runs or fewer in six of his 10 outings including each of his past two outings which came against the Mariners and Royals, both teams he’ll face again this week.
In each of those two starts, Lynn went seven innings. He struck out five and allowed just one run against the Royals two starts ago and followed that with a season-high 11 strikeouts against the Mariners while allowing two runs on five hits. Lynn also had a strong outing earlier this season in Seattle when he allowed one run in seven innings and struck out nine. His Monday start against the Mariners is a great matchup to attack, and he’s also a good option Saturday when he returns to take on Kansas City.
1B/3B RENATO NÚÑEZ, BAL (vs. DET, vs. SF)Núñez has hit right in the heart of the order for most of the season, but he remains under the radar since the Baltimore lineup has struggled to sustain production. Núñez has been heating up lately, though, going 9-for-20 (.450) over his past six games coming into Sunday with five home runs and nine RBI during that stretch.
He’s still hitting just .238 on the season with 12 homers and a .764 OPS, but his recent groove makes him an intriguing power option with a week of games at home against a pair non-elite pitching staffs. Núñez is hitting .261 at home and has especially been good against lefties, going 17-for-58 (.293) against southpaws with six homers and a .962 OPS. He’s currently scheduled to face lefties on Tuesday, Wednesday and possibly Friday.
SP MITCH KELLER, PIT (at CIN, vs. MIL)The Pirates are going to give their top pitching prospect a chance to make his Major League debut on Monday as part of their double-header against the Reds. Management hasn’t made it clear if he’ll stay in the Majors or return to Indianapolis after this start, but with multiple injuries in their rotation, it would make sense for Pittsburgh to give him a look.
The 23-year-old has gone 5-0 in Triple-A with a 3.45 ERA in his nine starts and picked up 56 strikeouts in 47 innings. He has great velocity on his fastball and also has a plus 11-to-5 curveball with a solid changeup as his third pitch. He could grow into a top of the rotation option, so grab him for the upside and hope he earns an extended stay with a good start Monday.
Other options worth watchingBATTERS
- C Christian Vázquez, Boston Red Sox
- C Mitch Garver, Minnesota Twins
- 1B C.J. Cron, Minnesota Twins
- 2B Cavan Biggio, Toronto Blue Jays
- 2B/OF Derek Dietrich, Cincinnati Reds
- SS Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves
- OF Hunter Renfroe, San Diego Padres
- OF Clint Frazier, New York Yankees
- OF Avisaíl García, Tampa Bay Rays
- SP Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox
- SP Sonny Gray, Cincinnati Reds
- SP Chris Bassitt, Oakland Athletics
- SP Michael Pineda, Minnesota Twins
- RP Scott Oberg, Colorado Rockies
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.