Fantasy Baseball expert Fred Zinkie looks at the Wednesday MLB slate and offers some pickups, some DFS plays and everything in between.
Pickup of the Day
Josh Staumont (RP, 15 percent rostered)
Staumont picked up his second save in as many outings on Tuesday. The right-hander doesn’t quite reach the standard of a reliable stopper, possessing respectable strikeout skills (career 10.1 K/9 rate) but inconsistent control (career 4.4 BB/9 rate). Still, Staumont went 5-for-5 in save chances during a 2021 season in which he logged a 2.88 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP, and he seems to have grabbed the closer’s role from Scott Barlow.
I believe that Barlow, who has not received a save chance this season, is the better pitcher. After all, Barlow logged a 91:28 K:BB ratio last season and already has a 7:1 mark in 5.2 innings this year. But Royals manager Mike Matheny was known to fool fantasy managers with his closer choices during his time with the Cardinals, and he may have decided that he wants to use Barlow in a more versatile role.
DFS plays of the day
MacKenzie Gore (SP, $38)
Gore has a reasonable salary tag for his second career start. The touted prospect was solid in his MLB debut (5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 3 SO) but is poised for a memorable outing against the Reds tonight. Cincinnati has been baseball’s worst lineup so far this season, logging a miserable .536 OPS and a .178 batting average. And the Reds are working without leadoff man Jonathan India, No. 1 catcher Tyler Stephenson and veteran slugger Mike Moustakas.
Carlos Correa (SS, $14)
Correa could turn around an uninspiring debut with the Twins on Wednesday. The shortstop has fared poorly this season (.595 OPS) which surely contributed to his low DFS salary for a favorable matchup with Royals left-hander Daniel Lynch. The right-handed Correa has traditionally done his best work against southpaws, while Lynch (6.04 ERA, 1.66 WHIP) has had little success in his 16 Major League starts. Correa could be part of a Twins stack that would include Jorge Polanco ($19) and Gary Sanchez ($13).
-Alex Cobb was off to a great start this season before suffering a groin strain in the fifth inning yesterday. The oft-injured starter is now on the IL but is worth retaining in all leagues.
-Speaking of good starts, Tyler Stephenson was off to one too but is now on the 7-day concussion IL after being knocked over by Luke Voit at home plate last night. Stephenson should be retained in all leagues.
-Two terrible starts were enough to get Huascar Ynoa optioned to Triple-A. The Braves righty can be dropped in mixed leagues.
-Aaron Hicks is off to a good start this season, which earned the outfielder an opportunity out of the leadoff spot on Tuesday. With continued top-of-the-lineup work (he reached base three times on Tuesday), Hicks would be mixed-league relevant.
-Christian Vazquez was placed on the COVID-IL prior to Tuesday’s game. Vazquez managers could pivot to Red Sox backup Kevin Plawecki for a few days.