After profiling many players who could be long-term solutions last Friday, this edition of wavier advice will focus primarily on those who could help fantasy managers in the immediate future. One of the biggest mistakes fantasy managers make is looking for year-old potential when filling the last spots in their roster. Unless a player really stands out as a potential long-term matchup, the best plan is often to fill the last few spots with those who have the most favorable matchups over the next few days. A steady stream of players who are “Mr. Right Now” often provides better production than a potential “Mr. Right”.
Francisco Álvarez (C, New York Mets, 36% aligned)
Álvarez has the best shot of anyone in this article at being Mr. Right. The rookie took just over a month to find his footing before hitting five home runs and 13 RBIs in his last eight games. He’s now tied for third among fantasy catchers in home runs, and the other backstops that rank in the top 5 are each listed in over 90% of leagues.
Those streaming wrestlers should give Wong a shot this week. The 27-year-old has done his best work this year at home (.939 OPS) and against right-handers (.843 OPS) and could thrive in the coming days when Boston faces five right-handers in a week at home.
A left-handed hitter, Raley has eight home runs and seven interceptions in 123 plate appearances against right-handed pitchers this season. The outfielder could go deep once or twice this week when the Rays and their ultra-productive roster face right-handed starters in six of their seven games.
Joe was one of baseball’s best players against lefties, posting a 1.061 OPS in those matchups. He is expected to air in most leagues when he takes on a pair of mediocre southpaws (Sean Manaea, Alex Wood) on Tuesday and Wednesday. He could also thrive late in the game against a Giants bullpen that recorded a 4.48 ERA.
Rodolfo Castro (2B/3B/SS, Pittsburgh Pirates, 5%)
Like his teammate Joe, Castro has destroyed lefties (1,082 OPS) this season. With three eligible positions, Castro should be easy to fit into the lineups on Tuesday and Wednesday when he faces a pair of left-handed starters and a below-average bullpen.
Astute managers snapped up McCarthy when he was promoted to the Majors on Friday, but the speedster remains widely available. After performing well enough in 2022 to be a top 100 pick in many leagues during draft season, McCarthy is set to be added to all roto leagues for his enticing matchups over the next four days against a Rockies pitching staff. with an ERA of 5.17.
We’ll break our typical sub-50% threshold to be included in this column for these next two starting pitcher recommendations to help those in the shallow leagues. Although the Dodgers have mostly struggled to sprinkle their magic dust on their starting pitchers this year, it’s an organization that has provided fantasy managers with plenty of pitching gems in recent years. As such, Miller should benefit from the doubt in the shallow leagues after arriving as a touted prospect and shooting five two-run innings in his debut. The 24-year-old can be cast in virtually every league for a home game against the Nationals on Monday and could be an option when the Yankees arrive next weekend.
Kopech is one of baseball’s hottest pitchers, having struck out 19 while allowing four baserunners in 15 scoreless innings in his last two starts. Granted, his production surge largely came out of nowhere, as he boasted a 5.74 ERA as recently as May 18. Still, Kopech is set to air in every weekly league for a two-start week that includes home outings against the Angels and Tigers.
There has been little rhyme or reason in Gibson’s journey to his 3.82 ERA, as he has had most of his best outings in his toughest matchups. Still, I have to recommend the right-hander for his start Tuesday against a Guardians team with the lowest OPS in baseball, especially since he’s allowed a run over 14 innings in his last two starts.
Shuster followed a dominating start against the Mariners on May 21 with a respectable outing (5 IP, 3 ER) against the Phillies last time out. He’s one of the top streaming targets this week, as his next appearance comes against the lowly A’s (record 10-45) on Wednesday.
Finnegan appeared to be on thin ice when he sported a 6.75 ERA on May 6. But he hasn’t cleared a run since then, posting a 10:1 K:BB ratio over 7.2 innings over the past three weeks. Of the relievers available in more than half of Yahoo’s leagues, Finnegan appears to have the best chance of a full-time closer all summer.