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Don’t look now but the month of May is just around the corner, which leads to warmer weather (hopefully) across the nation.  Warmer temperatures lead to increased offensive production, including runs scored, batting average and slugging percentage.

Please keep in mind to align your lineups with weather factors that have historically led to value which will give them the best chance of success.

Another manner which will give you the best chance of success in Fantasy Baseball is to improve your team by grabbing a player(s) on the waiver wire. You need to be prudent and properly use the league’s waiver system and to find the sleepers previously not on the other Fantasy player’s radars who are stashed in free agency.

Each week, there are major changes that occur in the league, whether that be because of injury, depth chart changes, or a deviation in the performance of a player.

Let’s take a look at the players who Fantasy owners should look at if they are available in their leagues.

Week 4 Waiver Wire

Catcher

Austin Hedges, San Diego Padres

 

Austin Hedges started the season 0-for-23, then he made an adjustment to his swing and has been on a tear ever since. He has slammed six homers, hit two doubles and knocked in eight runs over his last nine games.

The 24-year-old catcher is starting to deliver on some of the offensive promises he showed at the Triple-A level last season. Despite his anemic .179 average overall, he has enough pop in his bat to be a valuable Fantasy commodity, especially considering how fickle the catcher position can be in Fantasy.

Hedges has value and is a starter for owners looking for power in 12-team mixed leagues, especially if he continues his breakthrough.

On-Deck (Players you should consider):

  • Alex Avila, Detroit Tigers
  • Jeff Bandy, Milwaukee Brewers

 

First Base

Yuli Gurriel, Houston Astros

There was a ton of excitement when Yuli Gurriel signed last July after his excellent production in Cuba.

Yuli Gurriel is a third baseman by trade but was forced to move around the diamond last year after rookie Alex Bregman emerged last season. He emerged as the starting first baseman out of spring training.

Gurriel started off struggling to begin the season but he is one of the hottest hitters in the MLB right now. He is hitting .458 over his last 13 games.

Yuli Gurriel is a super contact hitter but he will not provide much home run power and has zero steal potential. He is only an MI option in deep mixed leagues based on his lack of pop.

On-Deck (Players you should consider):

  • Mitch Moreland, Boston Red Sox
  • Daniel Vogelbach, Seattle Mariners

 

Second Base

Joe Panik, San Francisco Giants

 

After suffering a concussion in mid-season in 2016, Joe Panik suffered lingering concussion symptoms the remainder of the season. His production dropped significantly as noted by his average dropping to .239 while entering the year with a .309 mark.

Joe Panik is quietly having a bounceback season. He is slashing .310/.370/.437 with six extra-base hits, eight RBI and scoring 10 runs.

He is definitely a starter in NL-Only leagues and also a reliable MI option in deeper mixed leagues.

On-Deck (Players you should consider):

  • Adam Rosales, Oakland A’s
  • Whit Merrifield, Kansas City Royals

 

Third Base

Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers

 

Joey Gallo opened the 2017 season as the starter at third base when Adrian Beltre was placed on the disabled list.

He has proven that he belongs to stay in the majors. He is tied for the American League lead in home runs with seven. The 23-year-old is also fourth in the American League with a .623 slugging percentage. Of course, the strikeouts are still there (27 strikeouts in 69 at-bats).

He is an all-or-nothing slugger who is hitting .232 so far this season but he leads the Rangers with a .985 OPS. While Fantasy owners pay a price of sacrificing average, he is a must-start with that power production and potential.

On-Deck (Players you should consider):

  • David Freese, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Ryan Healy, Oakland A’s

 

Shortstop

Taylor Motter, Seattle Mariners

 

Utility man Taylor Motter was filling in as the primary shortstop while Juan Segura was on the disabled list.

Motter has been one of the biggest surprises of the Fantasy season so far. He is hitting .255/.314/.594 with five home runs, 13 RBI and scored 12 runs in 19 games this season. 12 out of his 16 hits this season have gone for extra bases.

He has been a sneaky contributor but Jean Segura was just activated from the disabled list and will go right back to his starting shortstop position. Although Motter will not be starting at shortstop as much, he has gained exciting position flexibility at various positions including outfield, third base, and first base. This will still make him Fantasy relevant in AL-Only leagues.

On-Deck (Players you should consider):

  • Andrelton Simmons, Los Angeles Angels
  • Christian Arroyo, San Francisco  Giants

 

Outfield

Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers promoted top prospect Cody Bellinger on Tuesday, an accelerated arrival to the Major Leagues because of a slumping offense and outfielder injuries. The 21-year-old Bellinger is a natural first baseman, a position now occupied by struggling veteran Adrian Gonzalez. His athleticism should allow him to get some at-bats in the outfield.
He has put up huge offensive numbers at multiple levels of the minor leagues. His final slash line for the 2016 campaign shows his impressive combination of power and plate discipline.
Cody Bellinger immediately deserves a look in deeper mixed Fantasy leagues.  He could force the Dodgers to keep him in the majors if he gets off to a hot start.

 David Peralta, Arizona Diamondbacks

In his last nine games heading into Friday night’s series opener with the Rockies, Peralta has been the hottest hitter in the majors with a slash line of .541/.595/.811. In addition, he turned in multiple hits in seven of his last eight games and compiled a .632 on-base percentage during that span.

It is great to see that Peralta has recovered from his injury-filled 2016 season. He was limited to only 48 games last season due to a trio of disabled lists stints.

David Peralta should be a starter in all Fantasy formats. He will not give you power but he will get on base which will help you in other areas.

Michael Conforto, New York Mets

 

Michael Conforto is forcing the Mets to get him in the lineup by virtue of slashing .302/.385/.605 with four home runs and eight RBI.

He now has a clear path for more playing time with Yeonis Cespedes suffering a hamstring injury and Lucas Duda still out, and now will take an everyday role in the Mets’ lineup.

Based on his hot start and the mounting injuries, Conforto is now hitting leadoff for the Mets. He has now found his spot and has massive upside and is worth owning and starting in all Fantasy leagues.

On-Deck (Players you should consider):

  • Trey Mancini, Baltimore Orioles
  • Kevin Pillar, Toronto Blue Jays
  • Max Kepler, Texas Rangers

 

Starting Pitcher

Julio Urias, Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Julio Urias was promoted to the big leagues and made his first start of the season on Thursday.

Urias was effective but did not receive a decision after allowing one run on four hits and four walks with four strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings.

The 20-year-old left-hander has gigantic upside and hasn’t missed a beat in the minors this year. He has posted a stellar 1.93 ERA and 15/9 K/BB ratio over 14 innings in his three starts for Triple-A Oklahoma City. During the 2016 season with the big-league club, Urias posted a solid 3.39 ERA and fanned 84 batters in 77 innings.

Julio Urias carries some workload limitation, but the Fantasy upside is tremendous. He should be owned and started in all Fantasy leagues.

Wade Miley, Baltimore Orioles

Wade Miley started the season on the disabled list due to an illness. The veteran southpaw has been impressive since his activation. In four starts, he has a 1-1 record with a 2.08 ERA and 1.00 WHIP.

He has struck out at least eight batters in his last three starts and he has a total of 32 strikeouts in 26 innings pitched.

The 30-year-old is certainly worth a flier in mixed leagues because he is a sneaky source of strikeouts. Fantasy owners should temper expectations for a pitcher with a lifetime 4.14 ERA. His ratios are sure to regress as all of the free passes could eventually hurt his ERA and WHIP.

Miguel Gonzalez, Chicago White Sox

Gonzalez has started off hot this season. In four starts, he is 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP along with a 20/8 K/BB ratio.

His lack of strikeouts and unexpected impeccable control has given Fantasy owners a false sense of optimism. Gonzalez still makes a solid option in AL-Only leagues but is no more than a streaming option in mixed leagues.

Chase Anderson, Milwaukee Brewers

Chase Anderson has been a pleasant Fantasy surprise this season. In five starts, Anderson is 2-0 with an impressive 2.10 ERA and 1.07 WHIP with 24 strikeouts in 30 innings pitched.

Fantasy owners should proceed with caution due to his past numbers. He served the fifth most home runs in the NL last season and regression is likely after posting an ERA between 4.01 and 4.39 in each of his past three seasons.

Chase Anderson simply lacks overpowering stuff to continue his current numbers. He might be a decent bet in NL-Only leagues but he is no more than a streaming option in mixed leagues.

Antonio Senzatela, Colorado Rockies

 

Antonio Senzatela made the starting rotation out of spring training despite having an inconsistent spring.

Senzatela has excelled in his first five starts of this season and his career. He has posted a 3-1 record with a 2.81 ERA along with a 1.00 WHIP. He has posted three seven-inning quality starts and only issued one walk in those starts.

The Coors Field factor will limit his value and upside although surprisingly he has a 2-1 record at home with a 3.15 ERA and nine strikeouts in 20 innings pitched.

He is a promising pitcher who is worth a spot starter as a potential streamer when he is on the road. He will provide assistance with ERA and WHIP but the strikeouts will be limited.

Warming Up (Players to consider):

  • Wei-Yin Chen, Miami Marlins
  • Jesse Hahn, Oakland A’s
  • Lance Lynn, St. Louis Cardinals
  • Hector Santiago, Minnesota Twins
  • Andrew Triggs, Oakland A’s

 

Relief Pitcher

Brad Bach, Baltimore Orioles

 

Brad Bach continues to pitch well as Zach Britton’s (forearm) placeholder as the Orioles’ closer. He has yet to allow a run in 2017, with a 0.50 WHIP and 13 strikeouts in 10 innings and is 4-for-4 in save opportunities.

Bach is coming off a career 2016 in which he had a 2.05 ERA and led the Orioles in appearances (71) and relief innings. In addition, he tied for second on the team in wins. Brad Brach and Indians lefty Andrew Miller were the only full-time relievers to win 10 games in 2016. Also, he has struck out more than a batter per inning with sub-3.00 ERAs in each of the last two seasons.

He is capable of generating strong Fantasy value as long as he remains in the ninth-inning role. He should be owned in all formats while Zach Britton is out. Brach is a very safe bet to keep racking up the saves. Please keep an eye on Britton’s status as there is no definitive timetable for when he will be able to come back.

Matt Bush, Texas Rangers

 

Matt Bush took over the Ranger’s closer role after Sam Dyson was placed on the disabled list.

The 31-year-old has posted a 2.70 ERA, 0.75 WHIP and 11/1 K/BB ratio over 6 2/3 innings. He is following up on an impressive rookie campaign when he posted a 7-2 record along with a .248 ERA and a .094 WHIP.

He could run away with the role even when Sam Dyson comes off the DL. If he is somehow still available in your league, pick him up immediately.

Warming Up (Players to consider)

  • Hector Neris, Philadephia Phillies
  • Shawn Kelly, Washington Nationals

Dennis Sosic
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Dennis Sosic

Dennis Sosic is from Cleveland, Ohio and a HUGE sports fan including NFL and college football (GO BUCKEYES), MLB (GO TRIBE), NBA (GO CAVS), and MMA. WOW! Dennis finally did it! He broke down and gave in! Dennis joined the Twitter Universe! Please do all of us a favor and follow Dennis @ CALL_ME_SOS.
Dennis Sosic
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