It’s tax deadline day in the United States, but we’re here to give you some solace.
Here are our five must-adds from your fantasy baseball waiver wire for the new week.
5. Shohei Ohtani, DH, Los Angeles Angels
Ohtani won’t be pitching this season, but he’s made sufficient progress from Tommy John surgery to start hitting off a pitching machine late last week. He’s on track for a return in early May.
Over 367 plate appearances last year, Ohtani posted a .285/.361/.564 slash-line with 22 home runs, 61 RBI and 10 stolen bases. He particularly hammered right-handed pitching, with a 1.043 OPS and a well above average OPS+.
Ohtani is just a bench/IL stash right now, and be aware that Yahoo! splits him up as a hitter and a pitcher. But he has to be owned more than he is, so check on his availability in your league.
Yahoo! Ownership: 54%
ESPN Ownership: 77%
4. Jeremy Jeffress, RP, Milwaukee Brewers
After a shoulder injury delayed the start of his season, Jeffress has completed a rehab assignment and set to be activated on Monday. He will bolster a good Milwaukee bullpen, and should automatically enter the mix for saves at some point.
Jeffress earned his first career All-Star selection last year, as he had 15 saves with a 1.29 ERA, a 0.99 WHIP, a 10.4 K/9 and a 3.2 BB/9.
With as good as Josh Hader has been so far (0.00 ERA, five saves, 0.56 WHIP), manager Craig Counsell is running the risk of running him into the ground with three of his six appearances lasting at least four outs. That’s where Jeffress comes in, and he’s a worthy add in all leagues this week.
Yahoo! Ownership: 35%
ESPN Ownership: 25.3%
3. Brad Keller, SP, Kansas City Royals
Keller announced his arrival on Opening Day (7 innings, no runs allowed on two hits against the White Sox), followed by a couple outings that weren’t as good (six earned runs, eight strikeouts and seven walks over 12 innings). But he is coming off another good outing last Friday, as he allowed one run on three hits against the Indians with 10 strikeouts (and five walks) over 6.2 innings.
Keller has gotten two of Kansas City’s five wins thus far, while going at least six innings in all four of his starts (23 strikeouts, 13 walks, 2.45 ERA, 1.09 WHIP over 25.2 innings).
It will be easy to overlook Keller pitching for a bad team. But savvy fantasy owners know that concept is foolish, and he should be owned in the vast majority of mixed leagues.
Yahoo! Ownership: 56%
ESPN Ownership: 36.4%
2. Gregory Polanco, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Polanco is working his way back from a shoulder injury, as his minor league rehab assignment moved to Triple-A over the weekend. A return to the Pirates’ lineup looks likely before the end of the month.
Before his 2018 campaign ended with shoulder surgery in September, Polanco hit .254 with an .839 OPS, 23 home runs, 81 RBI and 12 stolen bases over 535 plate appearances. Consistency was a thing, with three months hitting below .235 and three months hitting above .300, and 19 of his home runs came against right-handers. But a closer look shows left-handed pitchers limit more than completely stifle him, with only a marginal difference in OPS last year (.771; .864 OPS against right-handers).
Polanco hit second or third most of last year (431 plate appearances), which puts him in position to produce if/when he steps back into that area of the lineup. He’s another IL or bench stash right now, but NL-only league owners should have Polanco on their radar this week.
Yahoo! Ownership: 44%
ESPN Ownership: 18.4%
1. Touki Toussaint, SP, Atlanta Braves
Saturday night’s game against the New York Mets brought a change in Atlanta’s starting rotation. Sean Newcomb allowed four runs in just 1.1 innings, while Toussaint followed him with seven strikeouts and two walks over six innings while allowing no earned runs. Newcomb was sent down to Triple-A on Sunday, and Braves manager Brian Snitker confirmed Toussaint will move into the starting rotation for the foreseeable future.
Toussaint was a top-70 prospect in baseball entering this season, regardless of the outlet you’re looking at. He got a cup of coffee with the Braves last year, posting a 4.03 ERA, a 9.9 K/9 and a 6.5 BB/9 in seven appearances (five starts).
There may be some ups and downs, but Toussaint’s stock is on the rise and he should be added in all leagues.
Yahoo! Ownership: 38%
ESPN Ownership: 8.5%