Fantasy Baseball 2021: Notable Pickups to Target on Waiver-Wire for Week 7

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 16, 2021

Fantasy Baseball 2021: Notable Pickups to Target on Waiver-Wire for Week 7

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Tampa Bay Rays starter Shane McClanahan has been on the fantasy baseball radar for a few weeks. 

    The southpaw has impressed with his overpowering velocity, which led to four consecutive five-strikeout outings. 

    What makes him a more viable waiver-wire option after Saturday is he pitched five innings and crossed over the five-strikeout threshold. 

    Now that the 24-year-old pitched long enough into a game to be eligible for wins, he carries more fantasy value. 

    Colorado starter Jon Gray sits on the opposite end of the pitching spectrum partly because of his home ballpark, but he has been equally as impressive from a fantasy standpoint. 

    If you need pitching for the upcoming week, McClanahan and Gray may be your best options. 

Shane McClanahan, SP, Tampa Bay

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    McClanahan's Saturday start against the New York Mets can be picked apart in two different fashions. 

    The positive side of the outing was his seven strikeouts over five innings, both of which were season highs over four appearances. The negative was the concession of two home runs and four earned runs.

    The former takeaway is the most important for the left-hander's fantasy value because he threw more than four innings for the first time.

    McClanahan was impressive in his first three outings, but his fantasy value dipped because he was not eligible for the win. He earned the victory on Saturday thanks to Tampa Bay's bats overpowering New York's pitching. 

    If McClanahan continues to improve on the length of his starts, the strikeout totals will go up since he has hit 100 miles per hour on fastballs on a few occasions. 

    In Yahoo leagues, McClanahan is eligible as a starter and reliever. If you have roster constraints with your pitching, he will give you starting production from a reliever spot on the roster. 

    As of Saturday, McClanahan was rostered in 33 percent of Yahoo leagues, per Fantasy Pros, so he should be one of the first additions to consider when looking ahead to Week 7. 

Jon Gray, SP, Colorado

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Jon Gray is not the first pitcher to be considered off the waiver wire by most fantasy players because of his home ballpark. 

    If you look closer at the numbers, the right-hander has neutralized the impact of the altitude at Coors Field and has turned in a handful of strong starts. 

    Gray has not given up more than two earned runs in any of his six starts in Denver. His two largest concessions came away from Coors Field. 

    In the last two starts, Gray increased his strikeout total, as he fanned eight San Francisco Giants and six San Diego Padres. 

    Gray should not be picked up solely based on his strikeout totals since he has three starts with five or fewer punchouts, but he is a solid option if you need a dip in team ERA and WHIP. 

    Gray could give your team's totals an immediate boost in Week 7 since he begins the week with a Monday start in San Diego. 

Starlin Castro, 2B/3B, Washington

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    Starlin Castro's recent 11-game hitting streak flew under the radar because of Juan Soto's return to the Washington lineup. 

    Castro's recent run at the plate combined with Soto's return make him a more viable waiver-wire addition than he was in April. 

    With Soto and Trea Turner hitting in front of him, Castro should receive plenty of pitches to hit, and if the two stars reach base, there will be ample run-producing opportunities. 

    Castro is 17-for-50 in May, and he drove in runs in consecutive games against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday and Thursday. 

    If he increases his RBI output in the coming weeks, Castro will be picked up by more fantasy players. He also carries value with eligibility at second base and third base. 

    Castro might be an unlikely power source in Week 7 if the conditions at Wrigley Field approve. The Nationals have four games with the Chicago Cubs before heading home for a nine-game homestand that begins versus the Baltimore Orioles. 

           

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

    Statistics obtained from MLB.com.

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