Sun May 19 7:34pm ET
By CHARLIE WIEGERT
The MLB schedule makers have five teams with five-game slates, 12 teams with six and 13 with seven. The five-game slates belong to Cincinnati, Kansas City, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee and St. Louis. St. Louis and KC play a pair in Kansas City, so Jose Martinez will stay in the lineup at DH for the Cards. San Diego gains a DH for their three-game set in Toronto next weekend. Miami gets a DH for three at Detroit and the Dodgers gain a DH for their two games in Tampa Bay. Losing their DH will be Baltimore for their three at Colorado and Detroit for three against the Mets.
Perhaps the best two-start pitcher next week might be the Tigers Spencer Turnbull. The rookie has averaged over a strikeout per inning and in his last six starts, he’s given up one run or less except the two he gave up in Minnesota two starts ago. Turnbull’s two starts are at home against the weak hitting Marlins and at the Mets.
Houston’s Brad Peacock will get two starts at home next week against the White Sox and Red Sox. And the Brewers Gio Gonzalez gets two against the Reds and Phillies. Expect at least 10 strikeouts from both.
It’s hard to find free agent starters to claim these days, but here’s two who should get two starts, but doubtful how good they might be. I guess it’s a matter how desperate you are. Edwin Jackson, now pitching for his 14th different MLB team (one of those “who cares” MLB records), will start two games at home for Toronto. The first against Boston and second against San Diego. Jackson’s first start for the Blue Jays was so-so, giving up three-first inning runs against the Giants, before settling down for four more innings. Washington will be using Erick Fedde in place of injured Anibal Sanchez for a start against the Mets in New York and a home start against Miami. Not the toughest lineups to be going against, but he’s coming from the bullpen, so the best you could hope for are five or six innings. The matchups seem good, so you never know.
In most leagues, this week’s waiver wire will be filled with bids for the rookie call ups this past week. Depending on what your team needs, it appears some help could be there. How long they are in the Majors will have a lot to do with that. Here’s my assessment in priority order:
Austin Riley has shown over the last five days he can handle major league pitching, and has mashed two home runs while hitting over .500. The Braves have inserted him in the outfield, and Ender Inciarte could have a tough time getting a starting role back. As long as he continues to rake, Riley will be playing. He’s a good source for home runs and RBI’s, and if that’s you need, bid aggressively.
Nicky Lopez has taken over the second base job in Kansas City, moving Whit Merrifield to the outfield. My first impression is if the Royals are willing to move Merrifield, this guy must be special. He had three homers and nine stolen bases in the minors before the call up, and he’s hit .300 over the last week. The Royals are going nowhere, so there’s reason to keep him in the lineup. I don’t see a big power uptick, but the Royals like to run, so I could see 20 plus stolen bases from Lopez. With stolen bases being a hard commodity to find, Lopez deserves an aggressive bid.
Keston Hiura has been called up by the Brewers to man second base while Travis Shaw is out. While he’s probably their second baseman of the future, I’m not sure it’s now. He’s done very little with the bat this past week, and the Brewers are in a pennant chase. I’m not sure how long the Brewers will wait for him, so I’d be cautious.
Willie Calhoun is now in the Rangers outfield, and should stay there the rest of the year unless a slump comes along. He’s batting at top of their order, and getting on base a lot. The steals will come, and some power, maybe 12 home runs, 15 stolen bases.
Oscar Mercado has a golden opportunity in Cleveland. They need an outfielder who can hit, and Mercado has proven he can in the minors. He hasn’t shown much this past week, and didn’t show much with a late season call up with the Cardinals last year. His four home runs and 14 stolen bases at AAA are encouraging, but I’m just not sure he can handle the big time.
Brendon Rogers is another hitter on everyone’s radar. Playing for Colorado is a boost for any hitter. The initial thought was he would be playing shortstop with a Trevor Story out, but Story is already back in the lineup. So it looks like Rogers will platoon at second base with Ryan McMahon. I think he’s on a short lease, and will need to put up some big offense quickly to stay on the 25-man roster. His 1-for-8 hasn’t opened any eyes.
Nick Senzel was called up a week ago, and if he’s still available, an aggressive bid should be made. He’s probably a better pick up than Nicky Lopez.
Miguel Sano is back with Twins. A power darling two years ago, and a flop last year, it’s hard to know what to expect from him. And the Twins lineup doesn’t seem to need much help right now. But with Nelson Cruz on the DL, Sano should get a lot of at-bats this week. If he goes on one of his power streaks, he could be worth a pick up.
Good luck with your bidding, I hope you get the guys you want.
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.