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On this Memorial Day Sunday, and looking toward the last few days of May and into June, here are my five fantasy baseball waiver wire adds for a new week.
Note: All stats and ownership rates are entering action on May 27.
5. Shane Greene, RP, Detroit Tigers
In 12 May appearances, Greene has a 2.19 ERA (.213 opponent's batting average) with eight saves and a 13:4 K/BB ratio over 12.1 innings. He has had a few shaky outings, but he seems to have a firm grip on the closer role for the Tigers. In a nod to manager Ron Gardenhire's affinity for traditional bullpen roles, Greene has started an outing in the ninth inning 22 out of 24 times thus far. The lone exceptions are an extra inning game in April and a four-out save earlier this month.
Greene straddles the line of consideration for this list, and it's worth noting the Tigers are starting to fade from the AL Central race with seven losses in their last 10 games. But a monopoly on save opportunities is always fantasy relevant, and Greene is the guy for Detroit until further notice.
Yahoo! Ownership: 68%
ESPN Ownership: 47.1%
4. Zach Britton, RP, Baltimore Orioles
As he works his way back from a torn Achilles, Britton is expected to start a rehab assignment this coming week. A knee issue limited him to 38 appearances last year, but Britton led the American League with 47 saves in 2016 and he had 36 (2015) and 37 saves (2014) in the two seasons prior to that.
He may not return to the Orioles until mid-June, and the team may not be any good as the move toward being a trade deadline seller. But Britton is a top-level stash for fantasy owners right now.
Yahoo! Ownership: 50%
ESPN Ownership: 24.4%
3. Mitch Moreland, 1B, Boston Red Sox
As May winds down, Moreland has a .340/.417/.755 slash-line with five home runs and 12 RBI for the month to push his numbers to .321/.394/.652 with eight home runs and 25 RBI for the season. That performance this month, couple with Hanley Ramirez' regression this month, led to Ramirez being designated for assignment on Friday. Now, Moreland has first base to himself for the Red Sox.
Moreland has hit third, fourth or sixth in Boston's lineup in every game he has started this month, including fourth in three straight entering Sunday. A prime spot in a prolific lineup puts him in position to produce.
Moreland's ownership rates are just starting to spike, in the midst of a good streak and with every day at-bats more clearly available now. The batting average may come down, closer to his career norm, but the power numbers are real (at least 22 home runs and/or 60 RBI in four of the last five seasons).
Yahoo! Ownership: 48%
ESPN Ownership: 34.4%
2. Alex Reyes, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
Reyes (elbow) is expected to make his season debut against the Brewers on Wednesday. While there may be some initial kinks as he comes back from Tommy John surgery, he's not expected to have an innings limit over the rest of the season.
Reyes struck out 44 batters over 23 scoreless rehab innings, with just seven hits allowed to 82 batters faced. While that should all be kept in proper context, Reyes did post a 10.2 K/9 rate and a 1.57 ERA over 12 appearances (five starts) for the Cardinals in 2016. So he can clearly get major league hitters out.
Reyes is in line to be one of the most added players in fantasy baseball this week. But as of right now, there's plenty of room to get him on your roster in mixed leagues.
Yahoo! Ownership: 62%
ESPN Ownership: 50.8%
1. Josh Harrison, 2B/3B/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
In six games since returning from a hand injury, Harrison is hitting .357 with two doubles and four RBI. In 20 games this season, he's hitting .294 with one home run, nine RBI and 14 runs scored while primarily hitting leadoff for the Pirates.
Harrison has strictly played second base so far this season. But part of his fantasy value is derived from being eligible at third base (49 games last year) and in the outfield (Yahoo! leagues, nine games in 2017) as well.
Harrison will not stand out in any one fantasy category. But he offers across the board production with multi-position eligibility, and until the last day or so it appears most fantasy owners did not noticed he's back in action.
Yahoo! Ownership: 47%
ESPN Ownership: 48.3%