League size will matter this weekend, as there are few pitchers available to stream in 12-team leagues but plenty of exciting options in 10-team formats. The options are more balanced on the hitting side, as there are a few excellent choices who are available in most leagues.
Top Waiver Wire Pickups
Tarik Skubal (SP, Detroit Tigers, 57% rostered)
I’m getting sick of writing about Skubal because, frankly, it’s too easy. The left-hander has been outstanding since returning from the IL in early July, posting a 66:12 K:BB ratio across 57.1 innings. And he is heading into an extremely favorable matchup when he will work at home against a White Sox offense that ranks 29th in OPS during the second half. Skubal should be rostered in ALL leagues.
Kyle Harrison (SP, San Francisco Giants, 35%)
Harrison struggled with the long ball last time out, but he has otherwise been very effective in his initial three Major League starts. Having already produced 21 strikeouts in 15.1 innings, Harrison has game-changing potential for a Friday start at home against a Rockies lineup that ranks 30th in road OPS this season.
Wilmer Flores (1B/2B/3B, San Francisco Giants, 56%)
Flores has been one of the summer’s best waiver-wire gems, having posted a .973 OPS since the All-Star break. The multi-position asset should be easy to insert into any lineup this weekend when he and the Giants face a Colorado pitching staff that recently moved into last place in the majors in ERA.
Ramón Laureano (OF, Cleveland Guardians, 19%)
Although Laureano has struggled overall this season, he has maintained his career-long pattern of having success against southpaws. He is one of the few Guardians hitters who are in an advantageous position this weekend when the team faces three left-handed Angels starters.
Jason Heyward (OF, Los Angeles Dodgers, 2%)
Available in nearly every league, Heyward is a great option for the deep-league crowd. The veteran has been productive against right-handers this year (.846 OPS) and will enjoy that matchup against two of the three starters that the Nats will roll out this weekend.
Matchups to Target
Rangers vs. A’s
Oakland has made some small pitching improvements of late, but they are still no match for a Texas team that is desperate to pick up September wins and ranks third in baseball in runs scored. Leody Taveras (20%) and Ezequiel Durán (46%) are streamers in 12-team leagues, while Mitch Garver (40%) is an option for those who need power and stream catchers.
Dodgers @ Nationals
The Dodgers (second in runs scored) should pile up runs against three unimpressive Nationals right-handed starters and a bullpen with a 5.11 ERA. Managers should look to stream a pair of lefty-swinging outfielders on Saturday and Sunday, James Outman (64%) and Jason Heyward (2%).
Giants vs. Rockies
This matchup is a race to the bottom, as the Giants can’t hit (30th in second-half OPS) and the Rockies can’t pitch (30th in ERA). My guess is that San Francisco finds a way to score some runs, and with Colorado starting righties in two of the games, targeting left-handed hitters such as Mike Yastrzemski (7%) and Joc Pederson (21%) makes sense. Wilmer Flores (56%) has been the team’s best hitter this summer and deserves attention in any matchup.
Matchups to Avoid
The Marlins haven’t hit well in the second half and are unlikely to get on track against three quality Phillies starters. Aside from Jorge Soler and Jazz Chisholm Jr., managers should look to bench Miami hitters.
Rockies @ Giants
Colorado rarely hits well on the road (.651 OPS) and will face three solid starters in San Francisco this weekend. There is no Rockies hitter who should be started in leagues of 12 teams or less.
Cubs vs. D-backs
The Cubs will run into a tough slate of starters this weekend, with two hurlers, Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly, who are putting the finishing touches on outstanding seasons. Cody Bellinger and Nico Hoerner are tough players to bench, but managers should look at possible weekend replacements for the likes of Ian Happ and Dansby Swanson.
Royals @ Blue Jays
The Royals lineup will be no match for three Toronto starters who each own an ERA under 3.75. Bobby Witt Jr. is the only must-start player from this roster.
In order, here are the best streamers from Friday to Sunday, with their start day and Yahoo roster rate in parentheses.
Tarik Skubal vs. CWS (Saturday, 57)
Bobby Miller @ WSH (Saturday, 66)
Kenta Maeda vs. NYM (Friday, 44)
Kyle Harrison vs. COL (Friday, 35)
Cristopher Sanchez vs. MIA (Friday, 29)
Mike Clevinger @ DET (Friday, 40)
Michael King vs. MIL (Saturday, 27)
J.P. France vs. SD (Sunday, 51)
Logan Allen @ LAA (Friday, 33)
Kyle Hendricks vs. ARI (Sunday, 43)
Ranger Suárez vs. MIA (Sunday, 26)
Griffin Canning vs. CLE (Friday, 34)
Reese Olson vs. CWS (Friday, 6)
Bryan Woo @ TB (Saturday, 33)
Dallas Keuchel vs. NYM (Saturday, 3)
Brandon Pfaadt @ CHC (Sunday, 13)
Emmet Sheehan @ WSH (Friday, 5)
Michael Kopech @ DET (Saturday, 18)
Wade Miley @ NYY (Saturday, 41)
Jameson Taillon vs. ARI (Friday, 30)
Cole Irvin @ BOS (Friday, 8)