Week four is another week with few available two-start pitchers to get ahead of the rush on. Only eight teams have seven games and that’s without any of the normal cancelations. The games played might jump if MLB tries to reschedule some games.
While the pitching options are a minimum, the hitters are more enticing with a full week at Colorado. To focus the discussion on available players, I’m just going to list players available in less than half of CBS leagues. I’m trying to dig past the obvious choices. With that caveat out of the way, there are a few guys to gamble on.
- Tyler Mahle (6% owned vs KC, vs PIT): If there is anyone to go grab, it’s Mahle. While owners may not like this week’s start against Cleveland, owners have to be drooling over the Kansas City and Pittsburgh two-step. He has implemented some changes that could point to some upside. First, he has added about 0.5 mph to his fastball. He’s dumped a below-average curveball (10% SwStr% for his career) for a slider that had a 20% SwStr% in his first start.
- Adam Wainwright (49% owned, vs PIT, at CHW): He has the best matchup (vs DET) this week going into the two-start week. If available, he’s a must-add. Wainwright is just boring, but Mr. Boring could accumulate enough stats to top option over the next two weeks.
- John Means (16% owned, at PHI, vs WAS): There is no way to start Means against the Yankees this week, but it does give an owner the opportunity to re-evaluate Means. While he’s added 3.5 mph to his fastball, his strikeout rate has dropped from 19% to 17%. Also, his 3.9 BB/9 is not good, but his 3.9 HR/9 is even worse. He’s got talent, he just needs to find it … quickly.
- Sean Newcomb (24% owned, at PHI, at MIA): It’s so tough to recommend him, but this add is based entirely on the matchups. The issue with Newcomb is that he walks too many batters (4.5 BB/9 for his career). Also, it’ll tough to start Newcomb versus Toronto (Ryu) this week.
- Under 80% – Two-start options are just not available, so if Zach Eflin (65% owned vs BAL, vs NYM), Ryan Yarbrough (78% owned, at BOS, at BUF), and Dustin May (63% owned, vs SD, at LAA) are available, they are must add.
Houston (3 vs SF, 3 vs SEA)
- Josh Reddick (16% owned): He’s a boring outfielder plays every day in a loaded offense. Owners could do so much worse.
- Martin Maldonado (34% owned): In two-catcher leagues, he performs well enough that some team could use him as a replacement.
Diamondbacks (3 at COL, 3 vs SD)
- Nick Ahmed (22% owned): The Diamondbacks have a deep enough roster that most of the players are owned, so it’ll be tough to add someone for the trip to Colorado. Since Ahmed plays every day, Colorado raises his value to the rosterable level.
- Christian Walker (46% owned): I surprised is ownership is so low. He seems like he should already be rostered in every league. He’s hitting a respectable .323/.344/.484 mainly from lowering his strikeout rate to 22% (28% for his career).
Nationals (4 at NYM, 3 at BAL)
- Asdrubal Cabrera (34% owned): He continues to play every day even though he is hitting .222/.250/.481. With so many teams on a short week, the seven games are great especially with the trip to Baltimore.
Rangers (3 vs SEA, 3 at COL)
- Nick Solak (31% owned): A must-add even before the nice week since he has hit second in three straight games. Plenty of prospect hype has surrounded him but he’s off to a unique start hitting .211/.318/.211 with two steals.
- Todd Frazier (7% owned): Another must add. He’s played in every game so far hitting fifth or sixth. He continues to be a batting average sink (.217) but that could turn around with a career-low 19% K%. And somehow he’s stolen a base.
Rays (4 at BOS, 3 at BUF)
- It’s so tough to figure out where to grab value at with Rays just making up new lineups each day. With Kevin Kiermaier out, Manuel Margot is manning center field. But it’s tough to recommend him since he only has a .357 OPS. Come back next week and maybe a new, decent regular has distanced themselves from the pack.
- Willy Adames (21% owned): He’s hitting in the top half of the lineup with a .292/.414/.458 slash line with a steal.
Reds (3 vs KC, 3 vs PIT)
- Freddy Galvis (32%): Glavis is the only regular readily available with Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel returning to the lineup. Galvis has changed is profile from a stolen base through to more of a power option (2 HR, .292 ISO).
Rockies (3 vs AZ, 3 vs TEX)
- Tony Wolters (5% owned): He’s the only regular who isn’t universally owned. He needs a few more games in Colorado to boost up his .167/.167/.222 line.