As we approach Memorial Day Weekend, almost two months of the fantasy baseball season are in the books. Fantasy owners will need to begin to make tough decisions about their rosters with respect to struggling players. The issue becomes the numerous injuries around the game because there’s not a lot of wiggle room when it comes to roster management. However, the process should remain the same in assessing where your team stands among the rest of the league as we head into the summer months.

Waiver-Wire Targets:

Toronto Blue Jays Starting Pitcher Alek Manoah — Depending on your league’s waiver-wire settings, the talented youngster may already be rostered. However, if Manoah is available, he’s the clear No. 1 addition this week for pitching. The 23-year-old made his big-league debut May 27 at Yankee Stadium and dazzled, pitching six shutout innings while striking out seven and allowing only two hits. The right-hander was a first-round draft pick in 2019 and is one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, so his talent is legitimate. It’s always tough for young pitchers to succeed in the American League East, but his ability to rack up strikeouts makes him fantasy viable moving forward.

Houston Astros Starting Pitcher Luis Garcia — A pitcher who is more widely available for fantasy owners is Garcia. The right-hander has not allowed more than three earned runs all season long and has faced impressive offenses like the Yankees, A’s and Dodgers. Garcia has at least seven strikeouts in four of his last five starts as well. There was some hesitation with Garcia since it wasn’t clear how long he would remain in the rotation once injured starters Framber Valdez and Jake Odorizzi returned. However, Lance McCullers was placed on the injured list May 26, giving Garcia more time to remain a starter. Fantasy owners can feel confident adding the 24-year-old.

San Diego Padres Infielder/Outfielder Jurickson Profar — The playing time has been consistent for Profar, and he’s providing a boost in a couple of categories for fantasy owners. The versatile player has scored 26 runs and stolen nine bases. The Padres as a team love to run wild, and if teammate Tommy Pham happens to be available, he’s another strong target. Profar won’t help in the home run category and his average is nothing special, but if he can continue to steal along with hitting in a strong lineup, there will be enough production for fantasy owners.

Phil Backert

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