Now that the All-Star break is over, it’s time for fantasy managers to return to diligent work to climb their leaderboards. And many matchups this weekend could lead to an instant move. For executives in a hurry, my top waivers recommendations are listed right below this paragraph. Those with some time can keep reading for detailed explanations of the pitching matchups known at the moment.
Players to add (Yahoo roster rate in brackets)
Tarik Skubal, SP, Detroit Tigers (52%)
Skubal has posted an 11:2 K:BB ratio over eight scoreless innings in two starts since coming off the IL on July 4. a mid-round mixed-league pick had he been healthy. Skubal will be seeded in almost every league by the end of July.
Luke Raley, OR, Tampa Bay Rays (60%)
Remarkably, Raley remains on waivers in 40% of leagues, despite already accumulating 15 home runs and nine steals. At the very least, the left slugger is someone you want in your lineup this weekend for a trio of matchups against ineffective Royals right.
Christopher Sanchez, SP/RP, Philadelphia Phillies (9%)
I’m not ready to recommend Sanchez for shallow competitions, but he deserves attention in 12-team formats after producing a 2.84 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and a 22:4 K:BB ratio in five starts this season. The southpaw begins the Phillies’ second-half opener with a game against a Padres lineup that has been average against left-handers before facing a Brewers lineup that ranks 26th in baseball vs. left-handers.
Tyler Soderstrom and Zack Gelof, C/1B and 2B, Oakland A’s (10%, 2%)
The A’s will call up two of their top-three prospects on Friday, and there’s certainly plenty of playing time available in the team’s unproductive lineup. Soderstrom is unlikely to hit an average right away, but he had already beaten 20 round-trippers this season and could contribute in two-catcher leagues right away. The 21-year-old’s ability to play first base should help him stay in the regular lineup.
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Faith hit .304 this year with 12 homers and 20 steals in Triple-A, demonstrating the diverse skills that fantasy managers crave. He’s worth a bench seat in 12-team leagues.
Matchups to target
Yankees @ Rockies
The Yankees offense has been sputtering in recent weeks, but could be on a temporary hot streak as they travel to batter-friendly Coors Field to take on a Rockies staff that stands last in baseball with a 6.35 home ERA . Anthony Volpe (63% scheduled) could continue its recent rise, while Harrison Bader (37%) belong in many setups. In deeper formats, Isiah Kiner-Falefa (7%) is someone to watch depending on how many times they see their name on the lineup card.
Despite the abusive environment, I would avoid Rockies hitters, as they will be given a tough job Carlos Rodon (Friday) and Gerrit Cole (Sunday).
Rays @ Royals
The lowly Royals begin the second half by deploying three right-handed starters with an ERA of 5.80 or higher. Luke Raley (60%) is a must start player in all competitions as he is Josh Lowe (79%). This could also be an opportunity for lefty slugger Brandon Lowe (35%) to get on track after an injury-plagued first half.
Padres @ Phillies
While the starting pitcher list includes a fairly talented group, hitters on the Padres and Phillies will be solid volume plays as they are the only two teams to play four games from Friday to Sunday. Beyond the superstars of San Diego, Ha Seong Kim (68%) can be added in most of the shallow leagues he has available. from Philadelphia, Alec Bohm (78%) and Bryson Stott (77%) must be streamed in shallow competitions.
Giants @ Pirates
San Francisco should score plenty of runs against a trio of Pittsburgh starters who each have over 4.40 ERA. My favorite streamers in this series are some catchers, Patrick Bailey (21%) and Blake Sabol (7%). Surprisingly, they were two of San Francisco’s top-3 fantasy hitters in the past 30 days.
Contests to avoid
Dodgers @ Mets
The Dodgers’ prolific offense may be somewhat muted as they face three effective right-handed starters this weekend. Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, Freddie Freeman And Will Smith will have to stay active, but the rest of the team will have to spend the weekend on benches or remote cables.
Tigers @ Mariners
Detroit will take their unproductive lineup to T-Mobile Park, widely regarded as the toughest venue for hitters and will face a tough trio of right-handed starters. I would bench any Detroit batter in leagues of 12 teams or less.
In order, here are the top streamers from Friday to Sunday, with their start date and Yahoo roster in parentheses.
Brayan Bello @ CHC (Friday, 70)
Kyle Bradish vs MIA (Sunday, 58)
Ranger Suarez vs. SD (Saturday, 49)
JP France @ LAA (Friday, 36)
Christopher Sanchez vs. SD (Friday, 9)
Michael Lorenzen @ SEA (Saturday, 16)
Kutter Crawford @ CHC (Sunday, 7)
Ben Lively vs MIL (Sunday 15)
Dean Kremer vs. MIA (Friday, 33)
Reese Olson @ SEA (Sunday, 4)
Gavin Williams @ TEX (Saturday, 39)
Kolby Allard vs. CWS (Sunday 11)
Seth Lugo @ PHI (Sunday, 34)
Ross Stripling vs. PIT (Friday, 15)
Kyle Gibson vs. MIA (Saturday, 43)
Tanner Bibee @ TEX (Sunday, 55)