After we profiled several players who could be potential long-term solutions last Friday, this edition of Waver’s Advice focuses primarily on those who will help virtual managers in the future. One of the biggest mistakes fantasy managers make is looking at a year’s worth of potential when filling the last spots in their lineups. If the player doesn’t really turn out to be a long-term player, the best plan is to fill the last few spots with the most suitable matchups in the coming days. “Mr. Nowadays” usually comes from a potential “Mr. right”.
Francisco Alvarez (C, New York Mets, 36 percent pitched)
Alvarez has a good chance of being Mr. Right to anyone in this article. The rookie took a little more than a month to find his footing before producing five homers and 13 RBIs over the past eight games. He is now tied for third among fantasy catchers in home runs, and the other top-5 backstops are each hitting over 90% of the league.
Predators broadcasters should give Wong a chance 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 improve in the coming days as Boston faces five righties during a week-long homestand.
Raleigh, a left-handed slugger, has eight homers and seven steals in 123 plate appearances against right-handed pitchers this season. The outfielder could go deep once or twice this week as the Rays and their highly effective lineup face righty starters in six of seven games.
Joe is one of the best hitters in baseball against left-handers, posting a 1.061 OPS in those games. He should be released in most leagues on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Central Southpaws (Sean Manea, Alex Wood). He could also develop late in the game against a Giants bullpen that posted a 4.48 ERA.
Rodolfo Castro (2B/3B/SS, Pittsburgh Pirates, 5%)
Like his counterpart Joe, Castro has destroyed left-handers (1.082 OPS) this season. With three eligible positions, Castro should find it easy to slide into the lineup Tuesday and Wednesday when he faces a pair of southpaw starters and a below-average bullpen.
Astute managers snapped up McCarthy when he was promoted to the majors on Friday, but his speed is widely available. After performing well enough in 2022 to be a top-100 pick in many leagues during the draft, McCarthy’s 5.17 ERA against the Rockies’ pitching staff over the next four days should be added to all roto leagues.
To help out those in shallower leagues, we’re breaking the usual under-50% threshold for inclusion in this column for these next two starting pitcher recommendations. Although the Dodgers have mostly struggled to sprinkle magic dust on their starting pitchers this year, this is an organization that has provided fantasy managers with many jewels in recent years. Likewise, Miller should get the benefit of the doubt in shallow leagues after coming in as a freshman prospect and pitching five innings of two-run ball in his first. The 24-year-old could be spread across all leagues for Monday’s home opener against the Nationals and could be an option when the Yankees are down next weekend.
Kopech is one of the hottest pitchers in baseball, striking out 19 batters and allowing four baserunners in 15 scoreless innings. According to the Owning a 5.74 ERA as of May 18, the drop in production has largely come out of nowhere, though Kopech should be pitched every week in the league for two weeks of starts, including home outings against the Angels and Tigers.
There was little rhyme or reason to Gibson’s path to a 3.82 ERA, as he spent most of his best in his toughest matchups. Still, I’d have to tip the righty against a group of pitchers with the lowest OPS in baseball when he starts Tuesday, especially since he’s allowed one run in 14 innings over his past two starts.
Schuster followed up his last start with the Phillies with a respectable outing (5 IP, 3 ER) in his May 21st start against the Mariners. He’s one of the best streaming targets this week, as his next appearance comes Wednesday against the lowly A’s (10-45 record).
On May 6, Finnegan appeared on thin ice as he sported a 6.75 ERA. But he hasn’t allowed a run since that day, posting a 10:1 K:BB ratio over 7.2 innings over the last three weeks. Among the relievers in more than half of Yahoo’s leagues, Finnegan appears to have the best chance to hold down a full-time closer’s role throughout the summer.