As we head into the last week before Memorial Day unofficially starts the summer, the Major League Baseball season is already almost two months old. It may be time to make some adjustments to your season-long fantasy baseball team if players are off to a slow start or if there are some great options on the waiver wire. To help you find the best pickups, you can find my top two hitters and top two pitchers to target on waiver wires below, along with some specialty options if your team is in need of a boost in a specific category.
Throughout the week, I’m available for lineup and waiver wire advice on Twitter at @ZT_Sports, where I’ll also send out pickup alerts if there’s the potential to pick up a key addition during the week and give out streaming SP options. As always, remember to consider your specific team needs and league rules when making your pickups.
1B/2B/3B/SS/OF Danny Santana, Boston Red Sox (vs. ATL, vs. MIA)
If you’re a fan of roster versatility, adding Santana can help your roster have lots of different looks since he’s eligible just about everywhere in many formats. The Red Sox called up Santana on Friday, and the veteran responded with a home run out of the leadoff spot while going 1-for-5. On Saturday, he moved to the fifth spot in the lineup and went 1-for-3 with another home run and also added a stolen base.
Last season was a rough one for Santana who was limited to just 15 games with the Rangers and struggled badly during that limited time. This year started late after elbow surgery in the offseason and a foot infection that forced him to be hospitalized during spring training. Remember, though, the versatile 30-year-old had a breakthrough campaign in 2019 with a .251 ISO and .352 wOBA in 130 games with the Rangers while finishing with 28 home runs and 21 stolen bases. If he continues to be a regular in the Boston lineup, he could end up being a great pickup since he comes with such a high, multi-category ceiling and can contribute to your team in so many different ways when he’s at his best.
1B/3B Josh Fuentes, Colorado Rockies (at NYM, at PIT)
Since the Rockies are actually on the road this week, this may seem like an odd time to add one of their bats. However, Fuentes has been hot enough to pick up and use on this road trip and hold for all the upcoming Coors Field goodness throughout the summer. The 28-year-old righty got out of the game slow while trying to replace Nolan Arenado at 3B for Colorado, but he has been heating up in May and should stay in a premium lineup spot for the Rockies moving forward.
In 17 games in May, Fuentes has gone 19-for-53 (.358) with six doubles, two home runs, 14 RBI, a .264 ISO and .431 wOBA. He has been much better at Coors Field, but that is also partly a result of most of his recent games coming at home. Fuentes typically hits fifth or sixth in the lineup, which gives him good RBI opportunities. Although C.J. Cron (back) and Brendan Rodgers (hamstring) are both back and could squeeze Fuentes for playing time, he is playing well enough that I think he’ll remain a regular in the lineup.
SP/RP Michael Fulmer, Detroit Tigers (vs. CLE, VS. NYY)
What seems like eons ago, Fulmer won the American League Rookie of the Year back in 2016 and was a solid SP for the Tigers, but Tommy John surgery and a dreadful 2020 led to a change in roles for the 28-year-old righty, who now has settled in as one of the Tigers’ best arms out of the bullpen.
He’s currently splitting save opportunities with Gregory Soto, but Fulmer has been sharper and more dominant of the two lately. In his past eight games, he has four saves, two wins and two holds, allowing just six hits and one unearned run over 10 innings while striking out 10. The Tigers may not get a ton of save chances, but it looks like Fulmer has found a role where he can excel, and he can give you a nice boost in the bullpen, providing in multiple categories.
SP Austin Gomber, Colorado Rockies (at NYM, at PIT)
Gomber is set up for two starts this week, and the best news for the Rockies' young lefty is that neither one will be at Coors Field. Gomber had a strong outing on Tuesday in San Diego, striking out seven and giving up just one run over six innings to the Padres. He has allowed two earned runs or fewer in four of his past six starts and six of his nine starts overall this season. He will look to build on that impressive outing with two starts this week against the Mets and Pirates, so it makes sense to add him as a short-term option and see how he does this week while evaluating whether to hold him moving forward for future starts at Coors Field.
His 3.58 ERA and 3.97 FIP are inflated by a disastrous outing in San Francisco early in the season, but he has been better this month with a 3.22 ERA, 3.15 FIP, 24 strikeouts and a .269 opponents’ wOBA in his past 22 1⁄3 innings. The key area of improvement for Gomber, though, has been his walk rate which has dropped from 18.4% in April to just 3.2% in May.
Specialty pickups to consider
AVG/hits Pickup: OF Bryan Reynolds, Pittsburgh Pirates
OBP/Runs scored Pickup: 2B/OF Kiké Hernandez, Boston Red Sox
SB Pickup: 2B/OF Jurickson Profar, San Diego Padres
HR Pickup: 1B/OF Garrett Cooper, Miami Marlins
C Pickup: C William Contreras, Atlanta Braves
Two-start streamer: SP Spencer Turnbull, Detroit Tigers
Saves Pickup: RP Josh Staumont, Kansas City Royals
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