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Last week, I pitched a few ideas for waiver wire pick-ups to improve your starting rotation. This week, let's shop for sluggers.
HRs is one of the easiest stat categories to draft for - look at who had 35 or more dingers last year, and it's a pretty good bet those guys will be swatting more HRs this year. The list of HR leaders doesn't vary all that much from year to year. It comes as no surprise, for example, to see Nolan Arenado MLB with 11 HRs after he hit 42 last year. Same goes for Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper, who both have nine HRs after one month of play, and notched 41 and 42, respectively, in 2015. These guys are doing exactly what we thought they would do.
It's a little more of a surprise to see Trevor Story or Neil Walker at nine HRs. Both exploded out of the gate the first couple weeks of the season, and are pretty much unavailable now unless you want to trade for them.
Fortunately, if your squad is suffering from a power outage, you still have waiver-wire options:
Chris Carter, 1B, MIL: Available in 38% of Yahoo! leagues.
If I would have written this post a few days earlier, he would be much more widely available, but has had two two-HR games in his last four outings for a total of nine heading into Wednesday.
This is not necessarily shocking from a guy who hit 90 HRs from 2013 through 2015. But his tendency to otherwise hit around the Mendoza line left him widely undrafted this season.
What's changed is that he currently is hitting .287 and seems to have taken things to another level.
Byung-ho Park, 1B, MIN: Available in 56% of Yahoo! leagues.
I thought this first-year MLB player would be an HR factor at some point this season, but didn't expect it to happen this fast. He has seven HRs and, more importantly, has started nine games in a row, after the Twins initially were using him sporadically.
He's otherwise hitting .250, but thinking his HR pace may only improve as the weather heats up and he gets more comfortable with MLB pitching.
Colby Rasmus, OF, HOU: Available in 26% of Yahoo! leagues.
Has shown occasional streaky power during his career, and has started this season with seven of his first 20 hits making it over the fence.
He is hitting only .230 and currently in the middle of one of his homer-less stretches, but might be worth a bench spot in daily leagues to start when you see your team lagging the competition in HRs.
Khris Davis, OF, OAK: Available in 59% of Yahoo! leagues.
This one is a bit more of a reach. He hit 27 HRs for MIL last year, bit moved to less HR-friendly confines over the winter.
Still, after a slow start, he has four HRs in the last week, including a two-HR game, for a total of six, and could be ready to heat up.
Disco Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.