As we head into Memorial Day weekend, don’t forget to put in your fantasy baseball waiver claims! We’ve still got 70% of the fantasy baseball season remaining, and there’s plenty of time to take your team to the top.
There’s no doubt starting pitching has been difficult this season, so on today’s list I have featured four pitchers that could be good replacements for any struggling studs. I am still not dropping Alek Manoah, Corbin Burnes or Sandy Alcantara, but if you choose to have them ride the pine for a while or just play the matchups, that could be wise.
A couple of hitters make the list today, too.
Let’s get to it.
Bobby Miller, SP (LAD)
Miller had a tough assignment with his MLB debut coming vs. a Braves team at home in Atlanta, and he performed impressively. Miller allowed only one earned run across five innings pitched while striking out five. His fastball hit triple digits, and he used a five-pitch mix. That impressive poise and arsenal suggests you should get in on the Dodgers’ number two prospect early.
Dane Dunning, SP (TEX)
Dane Dunning doesn’t miss many bats, but he gets the job done. Dunning has a 1.67 ERA and .98 WHIP across 11 starts for the Rangers this year. No, he won’t log you a lot of Ks, but who cares if he’s going to log you wins and keep your ratios sparkling? Though there is bound to be some regression, Dunning’s control (his walk rate is in the 75th percentile of the league) should minimize any major blowups. After 11 starts, it’s hard to continue doubting.
Michael Kopech, SP (CWS)
Michael Kopech has pitched 15 consecutive innings with no earned runs, three hits and 19 strikeouts. After a disastrous start to the season with a 7.01 ERA in April, Kopech is 3-1 with an ERA of 1.99 for May. That has lowered his overall ERA to 4.24. He is striking out batters at an impressive clip, and he’s worth an add. This week he will face the Angels at home.
Brayan Bello, SP (BOS)
Bello is another starter that wasn’t sharp out of the gate, but has been impressive in May. Bello has an ERA of 2.74 for May, lowering his season ERA to 4.08. His 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings in May reminds us that he was once a top prospect, but what could be more impressive is his 61.9% ground ball rate in his most recent start. He profiles much like a young Framber Valdez -- if he can stay on track.
Bryan De La Cruz, OF (MIA)
De La Cruz made the list a few weeks ago, and he makes it again since he is still available in more than 90% of ESPN fantasy baseball leagues. The Miami outfielder is hitting .297 with five homers and three stolen bases this season. He has an impressive .941 OPS for the month of May while also hitting .351 with nine RBI. His batting average and average exit velocity are both in the top 18% of the league, which suggests De La Cruz isn’t just the hot hand. His three stolen bases this season are a nice bonus.
Paul DeJong, SS (STL)
I’m not sure I buy in 100% to De Jong, but the fact is he is one of the hottest players in MLB right now and he’s available on most waiver wires. DeJong is hitting .291 with eight home runs and three stolen bases for the Cardinals this year. St. Louis is red hot right now, and though the veteran shortstop has underwhelmed in the past, it’s at least worth riding the hot hand until it subsided.