We are now in the thick of the fantasy baseball postseason. The short season is wrapping up and owners should be looking for the one player to give them the edge. Like last week, this article will feature two-start pitchers, along with favorable matchups and hot hitters. All of the following suggested players are owned in less than 50% of ESPN fantasy leagues. These players may give you the point differential to defeat your opponents.
In leagues with weekly matchups, having a pitcher make two starts in any given week improves your winning chances immensely. Anyone that picked up suggested two-starter Michael Pineda last week should’ve reaped the benefits of his 16 strikeouts and a win in 11 and two-thirds innings. Pineda hit his potential strikeout upside while limiting his ERA to 3.86. J.A. Happ was also suggested and he performed above expectations. He fanned 15 while only allowing three earned runs in 11 and one- third innings.
This week, the list of two-week pitchers is slim with most teams having off days. Deivi Garcia is starting against the Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox. The New York Yankees should be favored in both of these games. The young prospect has a 3.06 ERA in three starts so far. In addition, he has an impressive 18 Ks to only two walks. Expect Garcia to pick up at least one win and a fair share of strikeouts. Garcia is the top pitcher to target on waivers this week.
Another pitcher with upside is Tampa Bay Rays starter Ryan Yarbrough. His upside is that he has two matchups against the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles where he’s favored to win. He doesn’t have much strikeout potential, however, with only 27 Ks in 39 and two-thirds innings, this is a riskier play than Deivi Garcia, but it could pay off.
The St. Louis Cardinals are continuing their ridiculous stretch of playing more games than days on the schedule. They have ten games this week. Five against the Milwaukee Brewers and five against the Pittsburgh Pirates. These are teams that rank in the bottom 10 in runs scored and the bottom half in team ERA. Expect the Cardinals to be able to put up a decent amount of runs in these series. A couple of guys to target are Kolten Wong and Matt Carpenter. Wong lacks power but is hitting .346 in the last week with at least one hit in eight of his last nine games. In contrast, Carpenter has power bur normally lacks average. However, he did hit .417 last week.
The New York Mets have three games each against the Philadelphia Phillies (5.15 Team ERA) and the Atlanta Braves (4.71 Team ERA). Two favorable run-producing matchups give some unowned Mets high upside. Infielder Andres Gimenez is a guy who has consistently produced all year. He is hitting .280 while swiping seven bags on the season. Another player to look at is outfielder Brandon Nimmo. Nimmo is hitting roughly .300 the past couple weeks and also has enough power to add a couple of home runs.
Who doesn’t want a taste of the Los Angeles Dodgers? Chris Taylor is on a roll for the best offense in baseball. Playing for the Dodgers, there is plenty of opportunities to bat with runners in scoring position. Last week, Taylor was 8 for 21 with six runs, two homers, and seven RBIs. In addition, Taylor’s position eligibility at 2B/SS/OF makes him very flexible to move in and out of your lineup. If all this still isn’t satisfying enough for you, the Dodgers get four games this weekend in hitter-friendly Coors Field in Colorado.
Baltimore Orioles outfielder DJ Stewart hit his way into the lineup after being called up less than two weeks ago. Stewart was expected to fill a bench role after failing to record a hit in eight games this year prior to being demoted. However, this time around he homered five times in a span of four games. He has since started all but one game. This past week he is slashing .381/.458/1.000 with four home runs. He will continue to get playing time while Anthony Santander is out.
Good luck in these final weeks and remember to have fun!
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