Hello and Welcome back fantasy freaks and geeks to the Fantasy Six Pack Waiver Wire.
Fantasy owners, how did the month of April treat you? Is Chris Sale killing your team? How about Jose Ramirez? Are you shocked that the Rays are leading the AL East division? April was rough for a lot of us. OR, were you one of the lucky fantasy owners? Did you take the plunge and select Peter Alonso? Fernando Tatis, Jr.? Chris Paddack?
Well, I can't wait for Week 5 to get here along with the month of May. My plunges have been my teams circling the drain so far this season. In the spirit of the number five, I came up with five players (two hitters, three relievers) that can hopefully get your May started in the right direction. Find out which five players could help you in the 2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 5 Waiver Wire: Give Me Five.
2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 5 Waiver Wire
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Eric Thames, 1B/OF, Milwaukee Brewers
ERIC THAMES SOLO BOMB!!! (Please win today) pic.twitter.com/Jv6Blo24Tz
— Ethan Lansing (@EthanLansing) April 24, 2019
Eric Thames has an up and down career. After averaging over 40 homers per season in Korea, Thames signed with the Brewers and promptly hit 31 homers in his first season with the club in 2017. Unfortunately, injuries got the best of him, and he lost his starting first baseman job to Jesus Aguilar. Aguilar broke out last season to the tune of 35 homers and 108 RBI last season.
Now Aguilar is slumping and hitting an ugly .156 with only two home runs this season. Thames is now seeing regular action and taking advantage of this golden opportunity. He is slashing .288/.367/.596 with five home runs and 16 RBI with an ..963 OPS.
The likelihood is that the answer will be a platoon between Thames and Aguilar. Thames will start against righties where he is hitting .252/.332/.485 but hitting only .203/.262/.395 against lefties. Aguilar will be in the lineup against southpaws.
The issue for Fantasy owners you will need to oversee the daily lineups and monitor the opposing pitcher. This strategy works great in leagues where daily switches are permitted. However, in weekly leagues, owners will need to ride the hot hand throughout the season. Currently, Thames is the one to own, for now.
Josh Reddick, OF, Houston Astros
— Strand Sport Stats (@StrandStats) April 25, 2019
Astros outfielder Josh Reddick started the 2019 season on fire and has continued to be on a tear. However, fantasy owners are not noticing. While owners may not believe the sustainability of his hitting prowess, however, they should take advantage of his hot bat even it is only temporary.
Reddick has slashed .333/.395/.487 with three homers, six RBI with a .883 OPS in April. Who couldn't use that type of production in their outfield?
The left-hand hitting outfielder is injury-prone, he has yet to play more than 135 games since 2015. He is healthy (for now), so fantasy owners should take advantage of it and ride the hot bat in all formats.
Hector Neris, RP, Philadelphia Phillies
We needed five outs. Héctor Neris got us five outs. #RingTheBell
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) April 21, 2019
Righty Hector Neris is currently the favorite for saves for the NL-East leader Philadelphia Phillies. Neris is the only reliever on the team with multiple saves. He is a perfect 4-for-4 in save chances. He was thrust into the role after David Robertson crumbled in the early going this season then placed on the IL with right elbow soreness.
Neris owns a 2.92 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 19:3 K: BB through 12.1 innings this season. Batters are only hitting .205 against him.
His mastery started last season after he was called up from the minors in August. Neris posted a 2.04 ERA with 35 strikeouts while only giving up a .172 batting average from August to October in his late-game role. Phillies manager Gabe Kapler is challenging to predict, but you have to believe that even he can notice these outstanding numbers. Robertson just started throwing so he is on the comeback, but I can't imagine Robertson placed back in the closer role. Neris is the reliever to own in Philadelphia. Fantasy owners shouldn't hesitate to add Neris immediately.
Sergio Romo, RP, Miami Marlins
#MLB 2019 Pitch Quality Ranking (Week 3)
by Horizontal Break (min 30 pitches)
— MLB Quality of Pitch (@qopbaseball) April 22, 2019
Why am I suggesting adding a pitcher who owns a 6.00 ERA? One reason and one reason only. Saves! Sergio Romo, the second oldest member on the Miami Marlins roster, is 4-for-4 in save opportunities this season. Romo has seemed to lock in as the Marlins' closer, for whatever that's worth.
Romo, who owns a career 2.91 ERA, won't wrack up strikeouts or any other attractive stats besides in the saves category. A three-time World Series champion with the San Francisco Giants, Romo spent the 2018 season with the Rays, where he collected 25 saves with 4.14 ERA. Fantasy owners can hope for the similar save output this season although with the Miami Marlins having the worst record in MLB, the save opportunities will be minimal.
Roto owners should add him to collect the saves with the understanding that other stat categories will probably take a hit. Owners in points league should stay away from Sergio Romo.
Emilio Pagan, RP, Tampa Bay Rays
Emilio Pagan: Six appearances, seven IP, one hit, one run, eight Ks.
— Josh Tolentino (@JCTSports) April 28, 2019
Emilio Pagan was recalled from Triple-A Durham to replace southpaw Blake Snell, who was placed on the IL. After being one of the final cuts in Spring Training, Pagan dominated at Durham. He didn't allow a run over six innings of relief. He held opponents to a .095 batting average while striking out ten batters.
Currently, Pagan has looked like he stepped right into the closer role for the Tampa Bay Rays, who own the best record in MLB. Pagan looks to end the closer-by-committee approach in Tampa. He holds a 1.23 ERA, 0.27 WHIP and has converted on all three save opportunities while striking out eight batters in 7.1 innings this season.
As Samir Qurashi brilliantly explained in his Heat Check: 2019 Fantasy Baseball Emilio Pagan, the Tampa Bay Rays manager Keith Cash has discovered how to utilize the right-hander by limiting his action in a one-inning, high leverage situations. This will allow Pagan to stay fresh and hot during the Rays' surprising playoff run. Pagan should not be ignored and added across all fantasy formats.
Now you know who to pick up, who should Fantasy owners drop off their rosters to add these players? Find out who Tom Stewart thinks you should drop in his 2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Drop List: Pitchers Edition.