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Another week has disappeared off the major league baseball calendar, and with it, begins the weekly war of attrition.  Injuries are mounting across baseball, some perhaps due to the abbreviated Spring Training this year.  Hitting is down across the board.  We should also keep in mind that roster reductions are coming May 1st, from 28 players to 26 players.  Thus we need to look for every advantage we can possibly get every week of our seasons.  The following are some players that may be able to help you out in the short term as you navigate injuries and ineffectiveness.

Deep (15 teams): 15% rostered or less: Wil Myers, OF

The oft-maligned Wil Myers tops our list off this week.  Myers is rostered in only 14% of leagues. Josh’s projection system gives him a score of 6.0 for this week. Myers is off to a slow start on the season thus far, with no home runs or steals and five RBI.  Josh projects .6 HR, 3.0 runs, 2.7 RBI, .5 SB, and a .237 batting average. The schedule will certainly be in his favor this week with matchups against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Myers would be a good guy to add this week if you need help in the outfield due to injury or ineffectiveness.

Honorable Mention: Isiah Kiner-Falefa, SS (15%, 4.9 score)

Standard (12 teams): 30% rostered or less: Harrison Bader, OF

Bader is rostered in only 21% of leagues, and that is about to change. Bader stole three bases yesterday, which will likely mean he becomes a hot waiver wire and FAAB bid tonight. Bader is also off to a slow start this year, hitting only .195.  But he now has scored six runs and stolen four bases.  He’s not going to help much with batting average but his walk rate is ticking upwards this year (granted a minuscule sample size) and Bader can help with counting stats.  Josh’s projection system shows a 5.6 score, with .6 home runs, .2.8 runs, 2.5 RBI, .6 stolen bases, and a .226 batting average.

Honorable mention: Darin Ruf, 1B/OF (20%, 4.7 score), C.J. Abrams, SS (16%, 5.1 score)

Shallow (10 teams): 50% rostered or less: AJ Pollock, OF

Yes, I know Pollock is injured often and in fact, just returned from a minor hamstring issue this weekend. Pollock is hitting in a White Sox lineup besieged by injuries to Yoan Moncada and Eloy Jimenez.  Manager Tony La Russa should move Pollock up in the order due to these problems, rather than idiotically batting Leury Garcia second, third or fourth, as happened this past week.  Pollock should slot into the number two spot in the order. We know when healthy he will produce counting stats for your team. Josh projects .9 home runs, 2.9 runs, 3.0 RBI, .3 stolen bases, and a .260 batting average.  Let’s hope La Russa comes to his senses and uses Pollock at the top of the order.  Pollock should be in the lineup daily given the White Sox injury issues too.

Honorable mention: Andrew McCutcheon (33%, 6.1 score) and Jeremy Pena (47%, 5.6 score)

I don’t comment much on our honorable mention guys, but I love players like McCutcheon, boring vets who can still produce as long as you have realistic expectations.  Not the superstar of yesterday, but still a productive bat in the middle of a good lineup.  And Pena may have wrested the leadoff spot in Houston. That is a development to watch; while he will likely struggle at times in his rookie year, Pena is a guy that has value in deep leagues and will be in a prime position to get counting stats in a stacked Houston lineup.

What teams have easy matchups this week?

There are some powerhouse teams listed below that have easier matchups this week.  Load up on their hitters and pitchers where you can.

Atlanta vs. Chicago Cubs, @ Texas

Los Angeles Dodgers @ Arizona, versus Detroit

New York Yankees versus Baltimore, @ Kansas City

San Diego @ Cincinnati, @ Pittsburgh

Teams with seven games this week: Arizona, Boston, Cleveland, Colorado, Houston, Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Texas, Toronto.  Every other team plays six this week with the exception of the Oakland Athletics, who only play five games this week.

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