Happy MLB Opening Day, everyone! For the first time since 1968, all 30 teams will open the season (weather permitting!) on the same day.
We've spent the past couple of months focused on draft prep, but now we turn our attention to navigating the six-month grind of the MLB regular season. With that in mind, hopefully our new Pickups of the Day column can help you reach the finish line with some dollars in your pocket.
Every weekday, you'll find a pair of recommended and widely-available fantasy pick-ups in this space. It could be a prospect stash, an injury replacement, a pitcher with a favorable matchup or week, a player who is due some better luck, or any other number of scenarios.
If there's value to be found on the waiver wire, we will uncover it and bring it your way. Let's get started!
Pickups of the Day
Darick Hall UTIL, Phillies (Yahoo: 22 percent rostered)
Both names for today fit in that “injury replacement” mold. Hall already looked like he would see a decent number of at-bats with Bryce Harper recovering from Tommy John surgery, but now he's projected to serve as Philadelphia's primary first baseman following Rhys Hoskins' torn ACL. Losing Hoskins is a tough blow for the Phillies, but Hall's power potential is interesting.
Listed at 6-foot-4 and 232 pounds, Hall is a big strapping slugger from the left side of the plate. We saw the 27-year-old in a 41-game sample with the Phillies last year, which effectively showed his upside as well as his flaws. While he clubbed nine homers in just 142 plate appearances, with the power metrics to match, he also struck out 44 times and drew only five walks.
Hall has regularly had strikeout rates in the low-to-mid 20s in the minors and he also hits a ton of fly balls, so batting average is unlikely to be his strong-suit. He will also likely need a platoon partner, due to his struggles against left-handers. Hall batted .175 with four homers and a .556 OPS over 149 plate appearances against southpaws in Triple-A last year. He didn't get much of a chance against lefties in the majors, but it was still ugly, as he went 1-for-12 with seven strikeouts.
It remains to be seen what the Phillies will do for a platoon partner — they figure to mix and match, with J.T. Realmuto seeing some days there — but there's something to said for Hall having the strong side of a platoon in a good situation. There's a chance he could find himself in the middle of the Phillies' lineup behind Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, and J.T. Realmuto, which is a very good place to be. We'll have to wait a little bit for him to gain first base-eligibility, but those looking for a power boost in deeper mixed leagues should give him a shot.
Fantasy Fun Fact: Hall amassed 16 barrels last season. Going by barrels by plate appearances, that put him in elite company with the likes of Shohei Ohtani, Giancarlo Stanton, Schwarber, Yordan Alvarez, and Aaron Judge.
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David Peterson SP, Mets (Yahoo: 20 percent rostered)
We'll close out this debut edition with Peterson, who will begin the season in the Mets' rotation after the revelation that offseason addition José Quintana will be out until at least July due to bone graft surgery on his rib.
Peterson outdueled Tylor Megill for a rotation spot this spring after allowing just one hit over 12 scoreless innings with a 13/8 K/BB ratio. Megill had a 3.71 ERA with more walks (13) than strikeouts (12) in his 17 innings of work. Both pitchers struggled with their control, but Peterson earned it and he'll make his season debut on Friday against the Marlins.
Coming off a disappointing 2021 season, Peterson bounced back last year with a 3.83 ERA and 126/48 K/BB ratio over 105 2/3 innings between 19 starts and nine relief appearances. The southpaw enjoyed an excellent first half before the numbers game bumped him out of a regular spot during the second half. Still, he posted the highest strikeout percentage of his career while boasting a ground ball rate around 50 percent.
Even before the unfortunate health situation with Quintana, Peterson always figured to have a path to opportunity this season with the Mets having the oldest rotation in the league. It happened sooner than expected, but Peterson has the ingredients to a potential breakout fantasy campaign.
And I'll let the great Sarah Langs show us our Fantasy Fun Fact on Peterson:
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