Lose a stud bat to injury and need a fill-in in a pinch? Tired of that dead weight in your utility spot and looking to catch lightning in a bottle? Scott White has 10 recommendations for the upcoming scoring period, all rostered in no more than 80 percent of CBS Sports leagues. They're not must-starts by any means, but they're the best you'll be able to do off the waiver wire.
- Week 24: |
All information is up to date as of Sunday evening.
Josh Jung 3B
TEX Texas • #6 • Age: 24
Jung homered in his major-league debut Friday, and I'm confident even more good times are ahead for the 24-year-old, who looked to be the Rangers' opening day third baseman before hurting his shoulder in February. Given his favorable seven-game slate, there isn't a waiver wire pickup I'd be more confident using right now.
Jose Miranda 3B
MIN Minnesota • Age: 24
Miranda has only recently dropped below the 80 percent rostership threshold, thus enabling me to identify him as a sleeper, and I'm taking advantage this week given his favorable matchups against pitchers like Kris Bubic, Zack Greinke, Daniel Lynch and Cody Morris. The rookie had a quiet August but is off to a nice start in September.
NYM N.Y. Mets • #10 • Age: 34
It's as if an IL stint for an oblique injury, brief though it was, was the cure to whatever's ailed Eduardo Escobar all year. He's already homered four times in 13 games since returning, batting .405 (17 for 42), and is back to playing every day with Brett Baty down for the count. The Mets also have the third-best hitter matchups this week.
Jake Fraley LF
CIN Cincinnati • #27 • Age: 27
Fraley has hit .304 with nine homers, two steals and an OPS near 1.000 in 35 games since being activated from the IL. He tends to sit against lefties, but at least for this week, you can treat him like a full-timer. The Reds are scheduled for nine games, including seven against righties.
CLE Cleveland • #39 • Age: 25
After slowing down toward the end of August, Gonzalez is heating up again with four doubles and two homers in five games. The Guardians have eight games this week, none against a genuine front-line pitcher, and Gonzalez is a reasonable bet to start all of them.
Elvis Andrus SS
CHW Chi. White Sox • #1 • Age: 34
Andrus is too hot for words right now, batting .347 (17 for 49) with five home runs since moving into the leadoff spot for the White Sox, and his matchups are hardly prohibitive, featuring two games against the Rockies pitching staff and three against the Tigers pitching staff.
CIN Cincinnati • #7 • Age: 25
Though he's bounced around the infield, Steer has started all but one game since being called up a week ago, which puts him in a prime position to take advantage of a rare nine-game schedule this week. The first four of those games are at home, where his pop should play just fine, particularly against a bad Pirates pitching staff.
Mark Canha LF
NYM N.Y. Mets • #19 • Age: 33
The Mets have the best hitter slate for any team scheduled for fewer than eight games this week, with Drew Smyly possibly being the toughest opposing pitcher. He's also the only left-hander, which is actually good news for Canha, who's batting .292 with an .819 OPS against righties.
A.J. Pollock LF
SEA Seattle • #8 • Age: 35
With so many teams scheduled for eight games or more this week, the White Sox's six-game slate against pitchers like Chad Kuhl, Kyle Freeland, Matt Manning and Tyler Alexander gets lost in the shuffle. In all, they're facing three left-handers, and Pollock, who's been solid the past couple weeks, is particularly productive against lefties, boasting a 1.009 OPS.
TJ Friedl LF
CIN Cincinnati • #29 • Age: 27
While nothing in Friedl's profile suggests he's destined for greatness, he has performed well enough to emerge as the Reds' leadoff hitter against righties. You may have heard they have nine games on the schedule this week. Seven are against righties, making the 27-year-old rookie a scrappy play.