Giants outfielder Alex Dickerson homered three times Tuesday. Braves outfielder Adam Duvall homered three times Wednesday. Both are rostered in so few leagues (15 and 8 percent, respectively) that they demand attention here just by virtue of being so available.
But there's a reason I glossed over Dickerson's performance in Wednesday morning's edition of Waiver Wire, beyond just there being a boatload of exciting alternatives that particular day, and it's the same reason I hesitate to offer a full-throated endorsement of Duvall here. I don't think either has the potential to make more than a modest contribution to your Fantasy team.
We discussed two exciting young pitchers, the debut of the "Stink-O-Meter" and Wednesday's action on Thursday's edition of the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast. Follow all our podcasts and subscribe here.
It doesn't mean they don't have their strengths or can't be some measure of useful. Duvall has twice been a 30-homer man, back in 2016 and 2017, and Dickerson had an .820 OPS as a part-timer last year. But nothing in their underlying data suggests they've unlocked some new level of skill that has lain dormant until this latest power binge. Both are on the wrong side of 30, after all. Plus, it's not like their year-to-date numbers look particularly impressive following their big performance.
Granted, Dickerson's are a little better than Duvall's, but for a guy who plays exclusively against righties, it'll take more than an .886 OPS to move the needle.
I'm not suggesting their rostership shouldn't rise at all. If they stay hot, they can be of some use in the home run category, as is true for most every player in today's hitting environment. But when it comes to prioritizing pickups, both rank fairly low for me.
Let's see who ranks higher ...
Brad Miller 2B
STL St. Louis • #15 • Age: 31
Second day in a row here for Brad Miller, whose rostership continues to lag even though he continues to produce, hitting his third home run in two days Wednesday. Skepticism is warranted for the 30-year-old journeyman, but the data backs it up, seeing as he entered the day with a .332 xBA and .645 xSLG. Plus, the rate at which he's walking suggests his contributions aren't so dependent on him hitting the long ball.
Tyler Mahle SP
CIN Cincinnati • #30 • Age: 26
The lack of strikeouts may give you pause, but the more important development is that Tyler Mahle went beyond six innings for a second straight start. His overreliance on his fastball in past years made him a sitting duck the second and third time through the lineup, but now he has an effective slider/cutter to keep hitters honest. Given Anthony DeSclafani's recent struggles, Mahle has probably secured his spot in the rotation now, making that 3.90 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 10.5 K/9 something to grab hold of.
Daniel Bard RP
COL Colorado • #52 • Age: 35
My presumption was that the the Rockies acquired Mychal Givens from the Orioles at the deadline with the intention of making him their closer, but he worked the seventh inning in his first appearance with his new team Wednesday, with Carlos Estevez working the eighth and Daniel Bard striking out two in a perfect ninth for his fourth save. Pretty much says it all right there. The leash for the 35-year-old Bard could be short, particularly with Givens now on board, but he appears to be the closer for now.
Greg Holland RP
KC Kansas City • #35 • Age: 35
Jesse Hahn recorded the Royals' first save following the Trevor Rosenthal's departure over the weekend, and Greg Holland recorded their second one. While I've held out hope for younger and more talented pitchers like Scott Barlow and Josh Staumont to assume the closer role, here's what beat writer Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com tweeted Wednesday: "While Greg Holland likely will be the closer for the rest of the season, don't be surprised if Jesse Hahn gets an opportunity or two. Mike Matheny raved about Hahn starting in spring training." Again, pretty much says it all.
Deivi Garcia RP
NYY N.Y. Yankees • #83 • Age: 21
Lost amid the Triston McKenzie, Sixto Sanchez and Ian Anderson hoopla is that 21-year-old Deivi Garcia turned in a fine debut of his own Sunday, shutting down the Mets over six innings. The oversight was partly because the Yankees sent him right back to the alternate training site afterward, but he's coming back to start a game in a doubleheader against the Orioles Friday. Given the matchup and the fact he had 165 strikeouts over 111 1/3 innings in the minors last year, it could go well enough that he sticks around this time.
Joe Musgrove SP
PIT Pittsburgh • #59 • Age: 27
Joe Musgrove returned from a month-long absence for shoulder inflammation, and while he wasn't fully stretched out yet, throwing just 46 pitches, his stuff, highlighted by his curveball and slider, was good for a 19.6 percent whiff rate. Granted, he has been a continual tease for Fantasy Baseballers, but it's no less true that there remains untapped potential here if you're running out of places to turn at starting pitcher.