Sun May 12 10:34pm ET
By CHARLIE WIEGERT
We have an interesting week coming up with six teams playing five games, six teams playing seven games and the other 18 teams playing six games. The inter-league matchups have Colorado at Boston for two, Tampa Bay at Miami for two, Toronto at San Francisco for two and St. Louis at Texas for three. Tampa Bay and Toronto will be losing a DH. Colorado and St. Louis will be gaining an extra hitter in their lineups. Be careful to watch your starting pitcher matchups this week with the teams playing five because some will only use four starters, and their fifth starter will be in the bullpen.
The teams with only five games are Boston, Colorado, Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami, San Francisco and Tampa Bay. So all the teams with a five-game slate are playing inter-league games except the Dodgers. And with Tampa Bay also losing a DH, it will be a lot of lost at bats for their hitters this week.
Teams with seven games are Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Milwaukee, Detroit and Baltimore. So if you’re making a decision on who to plate this week and you have options from guys with seven games or guys with five games, you know what to do. Those extra six to 10 at bats could produce the runs scored, home runs, RBI or stolen bases that could be the difference in winning you league this year.
It’s a tough week for finding a two-start pitcher on your waiver wire. I put a bid on Kansas City hurler Danny Duffy, who has pitched well lately. He has a home start against Tampa Bay and a road start at the Los Angeles Angels. A downside to a Royals starter is their awful bullpen, so it’s a risky proposition.
One other pitcher who intrigues me is Baltimore starter John Means. He’s been able to do well, even pitching against the AL East. His start this week is against a Cleveland team that is having offensive woes, so he could be a nice addition.
The injury bug hit Twins DH Nelson Cruz. His left wrist caused him to come out of the game Sunday, and there’s a good chance he’ll be missing some time next week. Also, missing time and his days in Oakland may be numbered is Kendry Morales. His .204 average with only one home run and seven RBI could be signs of his release. Ji-Man Choi appears to be the winner of playing time in Tampa as Nick Lowe was sent back to AAA to learn how to deal with getting pitched inside all the time. Until he makes an adjustment, Choi will have playing time almost every day.
One player’s injury is another player’s opportunity. Aledmys Diaz should be playing everyday with Jose Altuve on the DL with a sore hammy. Diaz has not been very productive in his limited role to date this year, but has proved in the past he can be an offensive weapon. Josh Riddick appears to also gain from the injury because he’s been moved into the number two spot in the order. He leads the Astros in hits, but has not been productive in any fantasy counting stats. If he keeps hitting, that should change in the two hole.
The Yankees plan to activate Aaron Hicks on Monday for the start of their series with the Orioles. He should get everyday playing time, relegating Mike Tauchman and Cameron Maybin into platoon roles until Giancarlo Stanton or Aaron Judge return. Plan accordingly.
With 40 games gone for most of the MLB teams this season, 25 percent of the season is gone. It’s a good time to take a hard look at your fantasy team(s) and assess if you need to make some changes. In my 15-team Tout Wars mixed league, finding help on the waiver wire is probably not going to happen. My pitching has been strong thanks to German Marquez, Max Fried and Zach Davies pitching better than expected, so I was able to trade ace Jacob DeGrom (along with Josh Riddick) for Cody Bellinger and Miguel Andujar. I should pick up 40 home runs and 100 RBI from them till the end of the season. Hopefully, I can endure the loss of DeGrom. Trading top players is a tough thing to do, but sometimes it’s your only chance to improve.
Charlie Wiegert was the sixth person to be inducted in the Fantasy Sports Hall Of Fame in 2001. He is a founder of CDM Fantasy Sports and Fantasy Sports Trade Association. He has been playing and winning fantasy baseball leagues since 1984. If you have any questions for Charlie, email them to email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GFFantasySports.