As I mentioned in last week’s column, things are going to look a little bit different around here as we finish out the season. Instead of the usual format where there are lengthy explanations attached to each player, I have divided recommendations into categories. It’s impossible to be one-size-fits-all, but hopefully this approach gives you a broader idea of possible names to target. These categories are meant to be a rough guide more than anything else. For example, Kevin Kiermaier is capable of helping with both power and speed and some of the multi-position eligible guys could overlap with the other categories on offense.
In addition to the category recommendations, you’ll find a bunch of streamers to consider for the weekend. If you are trying to play catch-up, there are plenty of solid options available. Good luck in the coming days and hope to see you back here for next week’s column. We’ll have a similar format for recommendations next week, but I’ll also hand out the annual Waiver Wired Awards for each position as we finish out the regular season.
Have specific questions about your roster? Ask @djshort on Twitter.
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(All players below are available in more than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Power: Jose Martinez, Mitch Haniger, Justin Bour, Lucas Duda, C.J. Cron, Matt Joyce, Greg Bird, Hunter Renfroe, Nick Williams, Dominic Smith, Jeimer Candelario, Austin Hays, Aaron Altherr, Luis Valbuena, Wilson Ramos, Jorge Alfaro
(Mike Zunino fell just short of qualifying here, as he's sitting at 50 percent in Yahoo leagues)
(Tim Anderson has been picked up in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues while his hot-hitting teammate Yoan Moncada has jumped to 52 percent; both are strong pickups in mixed leagues if they are still available)
(Jose Reyes is owned in 53 percent of Yahoo leagues and might still be available in shallow formats)
(All of the pitchers mentioned below are available in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Note: Hyun-Jin Ryu’s (Yahoo: 44 percent owned) upcoming start against the Giants was mentioned in last week’s column.
Kyle Gibson SP, Twins (Yahoo: 33 percent owned) - Friday at Tigers
Gibson struggled last time out against the Blue Jays, reminding us that yes, he’s Kyle Gibson, but it’s still hard to ignore everything he did before that. He had allowed three earned runs or fewer over his previous nine starts, including a 1.38 ERA and 26/3 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings over five starts leading into the start against Toronto. Sure, we’re only talking about a month of starts with that most recent stretch, but Gibson has made some real changes with his delivery and pitch mix. He tends to keep the ball on the ground and the Twins offense is legit, so I’m willing to jump back on board for this matchup.
Reynaldo Lopez SP/RP, White Sox (Yahoo: 11 percent owned) - Friday vs. Royals
Truth be told, I don’t feel great about a lot of the options for Friday. Even Lopez doesn’t come with much confidence. The rookie right-hander struck out just four batters combined over his last three starts. He’s compiled just nine swinging strikeouts over his last two starts. Random things can happen when the ball is put into play. Still, he’s been respectable in two starts against the Royals already (5 ER in 12 innings with seven strikeouts and three walks) and I’m willing to go to the well again depending on the situation. Without the promise of strikeouts, he’s mostly a deeper league option for those in need of wins.
Jhoulys Chacin SP, Padres (Yahoo: 28 percent owned) - Saturday vs. Rockies
Chacin has been a completely different pitcher at home this season. In a good way. While he’s produced a brutal 6.93 ERA over 15 starts on the road, he has shined with a 1.91 ERA over 15 starts at PETCO Park. That’s essentially going from Ubaldo Jimenez-like to Clayton Kershaw-like. Chacin was chased in the fifth inning in Coors Field against his former team over the weekend, but I’ll take my chances on a bounceback performance in this one. As we know, the Rockies offense is a bit different on the road than they are at home.
Eduardo Rodriguez SP, Red Sox (Yahoo: 48 percent owned) - Saturday at Reds
I recommended Rodriguez in last week’s column and while he took the loss in his most recent start against the Rays, he didn’t pitch all that badly, allowing three runs (two earned) with seven strikeouts and one walk over 5 2/3 innings. After a bit of a rough patch, the southpaw now owns a 2.55 ERA across three September starts. He’s still missing bats in bunches and has fanned 142 batters over 128 innings on the year. The Reds are capable of doing some damage, but I shouldn’t need to nudge you much to start Rodriguez in this one.
Tyler Anderson SP, Rockies (Yahoo: 32 percent owned - Saturday at Padres
The first of two Colorado starters among our streaming recommendations, Anderson was awesome against the Padres in his return to the rotation last Saturday, allowing just two hits and two walks over six scoreless frames. That start was in Coors Field, but now he gets a cozier assignment within the confines of PETCO Park. Yes, I’m playing both sides of the game on Saturday. Anderson was pulled at 73 pitches for his first start back, but he should work deeper into the game this time.
German Marquez SP, Rockies (Yahoo: 31 percent owned) - Sunday at Padres
Marquez was one of more appealing widely-available two-start options this week and after holding the Giants to three runs over six innings in a no-decision on Tuesday, he gets another juicy assignment this weekend against the Padres in San Diego. The 22-year-old has faded as the year has moved along, partially due to issues with the home run ball, but the peripherals have looked pretty good. And similar to the Anderson situation, it’s hard to pass on a matchup against the Padres away from Coors Field.
Lucas Giolito SP, White Sox (Yahoo: 44 percent owned) - Sunday vs. Royals
Giolito has been better expected this go-around in the majors, posting a 2.58 ERA through his first six starts with the White Sox. The velocity hasn't been impressive, but at least he's getting swings and misses on the changeup. While the former top prospect took the loss in his most recent start, he held the Astros to two runs in 6 2/3 innings. This isn’t to say that I don’t have some hesitation here. The secondary numbers don’t really back up Giolito's success, as he’s struck out 29 batters in 38 1/3 innings while giving up seven homers. He’s also benefited from a .186 BABIP and an 89.7 percent stand rate. That’s going to catch up with him eventually, but hopefully it can wait until after this weekend.
Collin McHugh SP, Astros (Yahoo: 41 percent owned) - Sunday vs. Angels
This one isn’t very difficult to understand. McHugh skipped a start after suffering a right middle finger avulsion earlier this month, but he pitched well in his return to action against the White Sox on Tuesday, allowing just one run over five innings with five strikeouts and one walk. After getting a late start on the year, the 30-year-old has compiled a 3.44 ERA and 48/16 K/BB ratio in 52 1/3 innings over 10 starts. The Angels need this game more than the Astros, but they have been limping to the finish line this month. Meanwhile, McHugh could use another strong performance to state his case for the postseason rotation.