Admittedly, few fantasy baseball teams remain in contention for their league titles at this point in the season. And if you’re reading this article, you should already be patting yourself on the back for a successful campaign in which you drafted and managed a squad that has stayed at or near the top of the standings.
This week’s pack of waiver-wire picks is focused on the next seven days. There are players in this article who deserved to sit on waivers all season but now have the necessary matchups this week to give fantasy teams a final push toward glory. This week’s group leans heavily towards hurlers, as there are several talented starters who have terrific upcoming matchups.
Bryan Woo (SP, Seattle Mariners, 53%)
If you have room to add just one player from this week’s article, this is the guy. Woo’s ERA is a bit high (4.16), but his WHIP has been helpful (1.15), and his 76:22 K:BB ratio through 15 starts is an encouraging sign that the rookie is set for long-term success. Woo is arguably the best two-start streamer who is available in the majority of Yahoo leagues this week, as he opens the scoring period with a start against the lowly A’s (.672 OPS) before wrapping up with an outing against a Texas offense that has somewhat cooled after a hot start to the season.
Michael King (SP/RP, New York Yankees, 50%)
King has been a smashing success as a starter, posting a 1.27 ERA and a 29:4 K:BB ratio since he became a full-time member of the rotation on Aug. 24. The right-hander doesn’t go deep into games, but he should continue to log quality ratios when he makes his final two starts of the season against a middle-of-the-pack Blue Jays offense.
Sawyer Gipson-Long (SP, Detroit Tigers, 11%)
Most managers hadn’t heard of Gipson-Long before he struck out 11 Angels across five innings of one-run ball on Saturday. But after posting a 16:3 K:BB ratio in his initial two big-league starts, the 25-year-old is suddenly a streamer option for the coming week in 12-team leagues. A Friday matchup against an A’s club that ranks 30th in OPS is the icing on the cake.
Jordan Wicks, Kyle Hendricks (SP, Chicago Cubs, 50%, 44%)
Wicks and Hendricks have arguably the best matchups among one-start pitchers this week, as they will work at home against a Rockies offense that has posted a .651 OPS in road games. Both Wicks (2.67 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) and Hendricks (3.77 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) have pitched well enough to join lineups in 10-team leagues for their next outing.
Jameson Taillon (SP, Chicago Cubs, 31%)
Taillon has made slight improvements (4.32 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) in the second half, though admittedly, he has not achieved the level that would normally attract attention from the waiver wire. But matchups become important when there is so little time remaining in the season, and Taillon is scheduled to make a start Wednesday against a Pirates offense that ranks 25th in OPS since the All-Star break.
Mark Canha (1B/OF, Milwaukee Brewers, 32%)
Canha has swung a hot bat of late, posting a 1.103 OPS in September. And he is well-positioned for another productive week when he faces four mediocre St. Louis starters from a staff with a 4.76 ERA. At the very least, Canha should be active in 12-team roto leagues.
Tyrone Taylor (OF, Milwaukee Brewers, 4%)
Canha isn’t the only potential deep-league add from the Brewers this week, as Taylor is another candidate to take advantage of a favorable schedule that includes not only four mediocre St. Louis starters but also the two weakest hurlers in Miami’s rotation. Taylor has been starting regularly of late and has shown a solid power-speed blend this year by collecting seven homers and eight steals in 200 at-bats.
Zack Gelof (2B, Oakland A’s, 43%)
Despite being one of baseball’s most consistent hitters since his promotion in early July, Gelof remains on waivers in the majority of leagues. With 12 homers, 11 steals and a .268 average in 220 at-bats, the rookie is the perfect roster addition for those who are looking for balanced production. Gelof is also a nice volume play for the coming week, as he should be in the lineup for all seven of the A’s home games.
Willi Castro (2B/3B/SS/OF, Minnesota Twins, 37%)
Managers who need steals to finish off their championship season should have Castro atop their priority list. The speedster ranks ninth in baseball in swipes and should continue to play regularly down the stretch after producing an .827 OPS so far this month.