Fantasy baseball priority pickups to patch your damaged roster

·4 min read

Just in case you hadn't noticed: The injuries, they're bad. Terrible, in fact. Dramatically up compared to 2019. Everyone's fantasy roster is hurting. It's rough out there.

Let's try to find a few solutions on the wire for fantasy managers in desperate need of short-term fixes...

Manuel Margot, OF, Tampa Bay Rays (26% rostered)

Margot delivered a walk-off single against the Royals on Wednesday...

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...continuing a scorching hot stretch for the veteran outfielder. He has multiple hits in each of his last four starts. Margot has four homers among his 13 extra-base hits and he's already swiped six bags. He stole 20 bases with the Padres back in 2019, so we know he can be a season-long contributor in at least one tricky category. He's hitting in the heart of the order for the Rays these days, putting him on pace for 90-plus RBIs. Plenty of upper-tier outfielders have hit the IL over the past week, so Margot's services should be in demand.

Ty France, 1B/2B/3B, Seattle Mariners (22%)

France raced out to a terrific start this season, slashing .303/.400/.494 over his first 25 games. But he hit a cold stretch that ended with a trip to the injured list to address wrist inflammation. He's gone 4-for-11 in his first three games since returning from the IL, basically looking like the April version of himself. When he's right, France offers modest pop, batting average and RBI potential, plus he carries eligibility at three different roster spots. He's an ideal utility option in leagues with short benches.

Evan Longoria, 3B, San Francisco Giants (19%)

Longo is actually third in MLB in average exit velocity as of this writing, behind only Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. So that seems promising. He certainly exit velocity'd the [expletive] outta this ball on Tuesday night:

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It feels a bit strange including a player with Longoria's extensive track record in a pickups column, but he's widely available at the moment and he's still out there crushing baseballs. He still does his hitting in the heart of the batting order, obviously, and he's reaching base at a .357 clip. Add if you need a power boost.

Justin Upton, OF, Los Angeles Angels (11%)

Speaking of power, Upton still has it — to all fields...

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He's hit lead-off over the past three games and it seems to suit him. During that stretch, he's gone 5-for-14 with four runs, four RBIs and a pair of bombs. Upton has already cleared the fence 10 times, so there's still plenty of pop in the 33-year-old's bat. He's hitting only .204 for the season, which would be dreadful in a typical year but seems survivable when league-average is just .237. There's a decent chance Upton will give us another 15-20 homers.

Shane McClanahan, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays (36%)

This young left-hander only recently arrived in the big leagues and he's already thrown the second-most 100 mph pitches on the season, behind only Jacob deGrom. His breaking stuff is pretty decent, too...

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McClanahan enters his Thursday start against the Royals having struck out 26 batters in his 22.1 MLB innings. There's no reason to think that K-rate will dip, considering the quality of the 24-year-old's arsenal. He's more than just a streaming option.

Austin Adams, RP, San Diego Padres (3%)

Adams is a non-closing reliever, so perhaps this add isn't for everyone. Let's just remember that we have an innings cap in place in Yahoo default settings, so you need guys with extreme K-rates — and Adams has definitely been extreme to this point. He's whiffed 28 batters in 16.0 innings, thanks almost exclusively to an untouchable slider that he throws nearly 90 percent of the time. He can lose his way occasionally — he leads the majors in HBPs at the moment (7) — but his money pitch is simply ridiculous. If you need to compensate for a low-K starter in your fantasy rotation, Adams can help.

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