Stream Reds’ Luis Castillo, Tigers’ Francisco Liriano | Prime Waiver Adds
Your Fantasy Baseball Weekly Planner Includes Starters to Stream and Top Waiver Targets
So you didn’t get Ronald Acuna and just missed out on Nick Kingham. Such is Fantasy Baseball life as we begin the merry, merry month of May. With warmer weather expected across the country, expect bats to start firing up, as this past week we began to see signs of offenses throughout the league coming out of their March-April funks.
Pitching For Two, Please (Recommeded Two-Turn Starters)
Jon Gray, Rockies (vs. Angels, Tuesday; vs. Brewers, Sunday): Relying more on his heater and slider, Gray has been filthy in his last two starts, allowing one earned run and six hits while striking out 17 over 13 innings. I like the trend despite his sluggish numbers at Coors Field (7.31 ERA).
Sean Newcomb, Braves (at Rays, Tuesday; at Marlins, Sunday): His increased use of a changeup (17.9 percent, well up from last season’s 10.9 percent) has been key in his 10.9 K/9 rate. Tampa Bay and Maimi both have power deficient lineups, making Newcomb’s two-step through the Sunshine State a worthy play.
Fernando Romero, Twins (at Cardinals, Monday; at Angels, Sunday): Minnesota’s top pitching prospect gets thrown into the fire with a pair of high-end matchups (vs. Carlos Martinez and Shohei Ohtani). If he’s still out there in your league’s waiver wire, I suggest you grab him now.
Jose Urena, Marlins (at Cubs, Tuesday, vs. Braves, Sunday): Miami has yet to win any of his first seven starts, which is a shame because Urena has pitched much better than his 0-5 record indicates. He’s allowed a mere three runs (two earned) in his last two starts yet received no (as in zero) run support. If your league has quality starts as a category, Urena can help your numbers.
Dallas Keuchel, Astros (at Athletics, Monday; vs. Rangers, Sunday): Suddenly the weak link in the Houston rotation, Keuchel is suffering from gopheritis, having allowed five home runs in his last two starts. Opponents are hitting just .248 against him, so I feel optimistic that Keuchel is due for a rebound.
James Paxton, Mariners (at Blue Jays, Tuesday; at Tigers, Sunday): Me and My Cutter is a hell of a title for Paxton’s breakout season that was highlighted by his 16-K gem against the A’s on Wednesday. After throwing it just 10.4 percent of the time last season, Paxton now tosses the cutter at a 19.1 percent rate, a big reason behind his 13.97 K/9 rate. He’s now a must-start arm.
Luis Castillo, Reds (vs. Mets, Tuesday; at Dodgers, Sunday): I want to believe...I want to believe...I want to believe. The nasty cheese was on display in Wednesday’s loss to the Brewers but it was the first time this season Castillo’s filthy tools showed up on a consistent basis. He is a major gamble, yet one that I’d roll with, especially if you’re buying that the strikeouts are coming back for him.
Zack Godley, Diamondbacks (at Dodgers, Tuesday; vs. Nationals, Sunday): This is a great week to play Godley, who gets to pitch in Chavez Ravine before a Mother’s Day start at home, where he sports a 1.96 ERA. Godley has allowed just two homers this season and could be due for a solid run if the control (3.67 BB/9) can come around.
Kyle Hendricks, Cubs (vs. Marlins, Tuesday; vs. White Sox, Sunday): Hendricks gets the scuffling Marlins before getting an intriguing matchup against a White Sox lineup that has been more productive (.252/.320/.440) on the road. Still, I’d boldy go with Hendricks and his 2.18 ERA and .176 opponent’s batting average at Wrigley Field.
Blake Snell, Rays (vs. Braves, Tuesday; at Orioles, Sunday): You can’t go wrong with a pitcher who comes into next week with five straight quality starts. Snell has fanned at least nine batters in three of those five starts, something to consider when he faces the struggling O’s.
Jorge Soler, OF, Royals: Just over my 40 percent ownership bar (41 percent) in CBSSports.com leagues, Soler is swinging the bat like most of us expected he would when he was a can’t-miss prospect in the Cubs organization. Soler has a wicked .429 OBP and a .934 OPS, numbers that seem out of whack for a Royals team ranked 25th in slugging percentage. Still only 26, the lights may have finally come on for Soler.
Howie Kendrick, 2B/OF, Nationals: He’s benefitted from having Bryce Harper batting leadoff, having recorded four hits and three runs scored in the first two games of the Nats’ adjusted lineup. Kendrick is owned in 40 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and his newfound power has him on pace to eclipse double digits in homers for the first time since 2013.
Matt Adams, 1B, Nationals: Adams’ bat (three homers, 11 RBI in six games prior to Thursday) is sizzling, so run with him while you can before Adam Eaton and Daniel Murphy return to the lineup. At 10 percent ownership in CBSSports.com leagues, Adams is a good play in deeper leagues and NL-only formats.
Alex Verdugo, OF, Dodgers: While everyone has been enamored with Acuna and the possible arrival of Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., the Dodgers’ top hitting prospect was quietly recalled and responded with five hits in his first 13 at-bats, including five doubles. If he continues to wear out opposing hurlers, Dave Roberts is going to have to find a place in the lineup for Verdugo once Yasiel Puig returns from the DL. Verdugo is owned in just 23 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and I’d highly suggest you add him now. I don’t think he’s going back to the minors for a long, long time.
Domingo German, P, Yankees: With Jordan Montgomery out until July, German gets first dibs on filling Montgomery’s spot in the rotation. He was impressive in four shutout innings at the Astros on Tuesday after Montgomery left the game with a left elbow flexor strain. German is owned in 10 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and should see a sharp increase with an arsenal teammate Dellin Betances refers to as “really filthy.”
Tyler Mahle, P, Reds: Eighteen strikeouts over the past 12.1 innings gets your attention, which is why Mahle is now owned in 39 percent of CBSSports.com leagues. He lacks true octane but is averaging 10.26 K/9 in due part to increased usage of his changeup (12.1 percent). Home runs are a bugaboo for Mahle, which might temper expectations a bit, yet I’d go after him if the need for whiffs is glaring.
A Streaming We Will Go (Pitching Edition)
Jose Quintana, Cubs (vs. Marlins, Wednesday): The stuff looks to be back and he gets a chance to thrive further against a Miami team that is 29th in batting average.
Mike Foltynewicz, Braves (at Marlins, Thursday): Out of the frying pan and into the fire go the Marlins, who face a hurler who has yet to allow more than two earned runs in any of his first six starts.
Julio Teheran, Braves (at Rays, Wednesday): In his last three starts, Teheran has allowed just three runs on eight hits. Take a look at the way he handcuffed the Mets on Thursday. My goodness, the Braves staff is starting to look pretty damn good.
Chris Stratton, Giants (at Phillies, Wednesday): Getting tagged by the Dodgers last Saturday seems to be more of a blip than a unnerving trend. Plug him in.
Joey Lucchesi, Padres (vs. Nationals, Wednesday): Two of his three wins are at Petco Park, where the rookie hurler has a 2.53 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 21.1 innings.
Lance McCullers, Jr., Astros (at Athletics, Tuesday): Two runs, 11 hits, 21 strikeouts in his last three starts. I think he’s found his groove...
Francisco Liriano, Tigers (at Rangers, Wednesday): His steady decline has hit the guard rail. Liriano isn’t whiffing hitters as he did early in his career, but his resurgence is a reason why Detroit has played better than expected.
— Detroit News Sports (@detnews_sports) May 3, 2018
A Streaming We Will Go (Hitting Edition)
.Ryon Healy, 1B/3B, Mariners: With a healed ankle that cost him much of April, Healy mashed four homers and scored six times in his last four games prior to Thursday. Don’t be fooled by his .217 batting average, as Healy has energized a Seattle lineup that scored 30 runs in the same four game stretch.
Chris Taylor, 2B/SS/OF, Dodgers: Corey Seager’s replacement has found his stride after a slow start. Sooner or later (at least we think), the Dodgers’ bats will get hot and Taylor’s power-speed combination will be a plus to Fantasy players.
Nomar Mazara, OF/DH, Rangers: His power is starting to return, as Mazara homered in consecutive games on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Johan Camargo, 3B, Braves: Spot starter whose 1.042 OPS will get him more ABs as the Atlanta offense remains one of the most potent lineups in the game.
Jorge Alfaro, C, Phillies: Eight hits in a five-game span helped Alfaro raise his batting average 72 points. He’s one of several Phillies (we see you, Carlos Santana) who’s overdue for a tear at the plate.
Michael Brantley, OF, Indians: He’s smoking the daylights out the ball of late. Brantley is a huge asset in leagues that use OBP as a category.
Eugenio Suarez, 3B, Reds: Cincy’s lineup is going to improve as the season goes on. If so, that will mean plenty of RBI opportunities for Suarez, who looks comfortable hitting in the fifth spot.
Wilmer Difo, 2B/3B/SS, Nationals: More of a deeper league option, Difo is getting on base and can be an asset in the stolen base department. His playing time could get curbed once Daniel Murphy returns, but Difo’s worth running with.
Luis Castillo Featured Image: (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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