Chris Bassitt is suddenly quite reliable. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy baseball. We’re into mid-May now, nearing the time when you should have a pretty good idea of whether you’re a contender or pretender. Use the wire to your advantage!
This week, Addison Russell has more trouble to get himself out of, this time with his team’s fans; Albert Pujols became just the third player in the MLB history to reach 2,000 RBI; and Dee Gordon has scratched JA Happ off his X-Mas card list after having a pair of pitches thrown near his head.
And now, let’s get to this week’s Fantasy baseball waiver wire recommendations…
Miguel Sano, 3B, Minnesota Twins (ESPN: 24.1 per cent; CBS: 50 per cent): Sano has nearly recovered from a heel injury that has delayed his season debut. His rehab has now taken him to Triple-A, leaving him days away from activation and likely your last chance to buy in. It’s unclear if Sano will immediately reclaim his third base job, but Minnesota needs to find a way to get his power bat in the lineup. His extra-base pop never looked worse in an injury-ravaged 2018 season, but if he’s truly healthy, he has 30-homer potential. Sano has had a ton of health woes, yes, but he’s an absolute beast of a man capable of serious mashing when he’s right (see video below). And he’s still only 25, so take the chance.
Chris Bassitt, SP, Oakland Athletics (ESPN: 26.3 per cent; CBS: 44 per cent): Since returning from the minors, Bassitt has been a very reliable starter, so it’s time to take him more seriously as a Fantasy asset. On Thursday, he hurled a season high 7 2/3 IP, matching his season high with nine Ks. Homers have been an issue for Bassitt this year, but after looking pretty good last season, he’s really opening some eyes in 2019. A 16th round pick in 2011 by the White Sox, he may finally be ready stick as a big league starter.
- Corey Ray, once a rising star in the Brewer organization, is off to a horribly sluggish start in his debut season at Triple-A, with some embarrassingly low counting cat numbers. He finally launched his first homer of the season Friday, but man, he has work to do before being considered for a promotion.
- Mike Trout had been in a slump for about a week and had only managed one homer since April 9. A little extra BP and — voila — he’s out of it. Trout doubled and homered Friday, driving in three and scoring two with a walk. He’s 3-for-6 in the last two games, with three runs, four RBI and two walks. Trout’s on pace for a seventh career 100-run season. Ho hum.
- Oh man, the Twins are getting some stellar work from their rotation this season, and Jake Odorizzi has been perhaps the biggest surprise, tossing seven shutout innings of one-hit ball on Friday to run his scoreless streak to 20 innings. He really improved his homer rate last year, but this season, it’s been nearly impossible to take him yard, and the results have followed.
- After a day off Friday, Kyle Schwarber returns to the lineup for the Cubs on Saturday. Strangely, he’s hammering lefties so far (.300/.440/.500), yet is scuffling badly against righties (.226/.305/.369). Anyways, Schwarber is starting to heat up with hits in two straight and three of the last four games. He made better contact last year, but has been unable to build on that so far in 2019.
- Trey Mancini was a serious flop last year, but he’s making up for that so far this season. He homered on Friday, giving him hits in three straight and RBI in the last two. Mancini missed some time last month, but has really hit well when he’s been healthy.
- After an ugly start, Detroit left field Christin Stewart seems to be finding his footing in the majors now. He was starting to roll before hitting the IL three weeks ago. Stewart made his first start Friday since being activated and smoked his sixth double, giving him hits in the last six games he’s started. He’ll be given every opportunity to work his way out of this, and is line to see a hell of a lot more action this season.
- Vanderbilt has a long history of producing quality MLB arms, and it may have another one coming soon in Drake Fellows. In seven innings Friday, the junior allowed just one earned run while fanning 11, a career high vs. an SEC opponent. Fellows is now 10-0 on the season, leaving him just four shy of matching the school record of 14 wins set by Tyler Beede in 2013 and matched by Carson Fulmer in 2015. Fellows is expected to go in the fifth round of this year’s draft, but a late-season run could bump him up the boards.
- Amed Rosario‘s grand salami on Friday sparked and eight-run first inning — the Mets biggest opening frame in 30 years. He’s now hit safely in six straight games and has driven in six runs over the last three. Rosario continues to raise his OBP, but after showing improvement last year, strikeouts are a big issue again (14 in the last seven games).
- Gio Gonzalez seems to be enjoying showing the Yankees what they’re missing. He tossed 5 2/3 shutout innings on Friday to earn his first win of the season for the Brewers. Gonzalez struggled to a 4.21 ERA last year, but he’s undefeated so far this year and has been nearly unhittable.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
One of the greatest bands ever to come out of London, Led Zeppelin in 1970 released III, a more eclectic, folky effort than its first two albums. The final track on the album was “Hats Off to Roy Harper,” was a reworking of a blues song by Bukka White.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy baseball pickup of the week is.