Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Gregory Polanco, Christian Walker and Monday's winners & losers
Gregory Polanco is back from the injured list. Heath Cummings tells you about that and more from Monday
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Injuries have dominated the Fantasy Baseball landscape early on, and it's really not any fun for anyone. But we've got some good news this week, with a lot of those injured guys seemingly getting closer to a return. Gregory Polanco was the first returnee on Monday night.
Polanco's 2019 debut was a success, with a single, a double and a walk in five plate appearances. He slotted right back into the middle of the order and didn't miss a step. He's a top-40 outfielder when he's healthy, but probably closer to top 30 right now due to all of the other injuries. Oddly, he's still just 76% owned, so you need to go check your waiver wire and make sure he's not available.
Other injured players who should be coming back this week include Gary Sanchez, Rich Hill, Danny Duffy and Daniel Murphy. Matt Olson and Shohei Ohtani are also getting closer. If any of these guys (besides Duffy) are on the waiver wire in your league, they're worth an add.
Here are a few top performers from Monday who also deserve a roster spot:
Four to add from Monday
Christian Walker (70%) -- Walker homered again on Monday, his seventh of the season. The strikeout rate is still manageable and the exit velocity (96.1 MPH) is elite. Walker is currently the No. 7 first baseman in Roto leagues and deserves to be rostered in all formats.
Chris Bassitt (8%) -- Bassitt doesn't deserve universal ownership like Walker, but he's definitely worth a second look. In his first start of 2019 he struck out seven Rangers in five shutout innings. In 196.1 major league innings he owns a 3.76 ERA and is one of the few pitchers in Oakland who might actually have some upside.
Yandy Diaz (69%) -- Diaz hit his sixth home run on Monday night, but his power is just a bonus. He's hitting .289 with a .286 BABIP and has almost as many walks as strikeouts this season. He's also eligible at both first and third base and has hit in the top four in the order for the past two weeks.
Mike Zunino (38%) -- It was a rough start to the season for Zunino, but he seems to be climbing out of the hole he dug for himself. On Monday he hit his first home run of the season and now has a seven-game hitting streak. The most encouraging part is he's only struck out twice in those seven games. He should be started in all two-catcher leagues, and he's a borderline starter in a 12-team league where you only start one catcher.
Monday's Winners and Losers
Steven Matz -- What a difference a week makes. Matz followed up one of the worst possible lines a starting pitcher could post with six solid innings against the same Phillies. He's now made five starts this season and he's allowed fewer than three runs in four of them.
Jose Abreu -- Abreu seems to be snapping out of his funk in a very loud way. He had three hits, a home run and five RBI on Monday night and now has an extra base hit in each of his past three games.
Jeff McNeil -- With Todd Frazier and Jed Lowrie working their way back from injury you may be concerned about Jeff McNeil's playing time. With two more hits and a home run on Monday night, you probably don't need to. McNeil has triple eligibility and the Mets are going to find some way to keep his bat in the lineup. You should too.
Jorge Polanco -- Polanco is having a ridiculous April. On Monday he collected four more hits, including his fourth home run and his sixth double. Where is this power coming from? He only has an 18% groundball rate. He definitely has some regression coming, but he looks like a .300 hitter with pop and few strikeouts.
Dexter Fowler -- I still don't think Fowler is any good, but we need to talk about him. On Monday he had four hits, including his first home run of the season. In his past 11 games he has a .415/.467/.585 slash line. No, I don't think it's going to last.
Jacob deGrom -- The MRI results were encouraging for deGrom and he's expected to be activated from the IL as soon as he's eligible.
Zack Godley -- Godley is in that group of pitchers I've just been waiting on. He's teased us with a pair of good starts against good offenses, but after Monday he now has more bad starts than good. His swinging strike rate is down, his groundball rate is down, and his strikeout rate is way down. Hope is the only reason to hold on to Godley, and I have little of that left.
Hunter Dozier -- Dozier did hit a home run against the Rays, but then he left with back spasms. Back problems can be very troublesome, so keep an eye on Dozier's status this week.
Nate Eovaldi -- Eovaldi will be shut down for four-to-six weeks due to surgery to remove loose bodies in his right elbow. He'd been pretty awful to start the season, so hopefully he recovers and gets back to the pitcher he was in the second half of 2018.
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