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Continuing with our twice-weekly series on waiver wire pickups down the stretch, here are some hitters who can help you move up the standings in the coming days.
This week is an exceptionally heavy one in the MLB schedule, with many teams playing seven or more games. The high volume gives fantasy managers a great opportunity to move up their standings or win a head-to-head matchup.
Yoshi Tsutsugo (1B/3B/OF, 8 percent rostered)
Tsutsugo has wielded a red-hot bat since joining the Pirates in mid-August, hitting .300 with seven homers and a 1.056 OPS across 80 at-bats. The left-handed hitter owns balanced career splits but still appears to be in position to thrive when Pittsburgh faces righties in six of their seven contests this week. Having all seven games at offense-inducing venues makes Tsutsugo even more appealing.
Leury Garcia (2B/3B/SS/OF, 13 percent)
With the White Sox giving extra rest to several regulars down the stretch, the team has called on Garcia to play multiple positions and spend most days in the starting lineup. And the veteran utilityman has responded by providing a red-hot bat (.952 OPS in September). With four eligible positions, Garcia is easy to fit into a daily-league lineup during Chicago’s upcoming eight-game week.
Brendan Rodgers (2B/SS, 23 percent)
The Rockies are home all week, which makes most of their regulars viable options. Rodgers certainly fits the bill, having hit .328 with four homers and 12 RBIs across 70 at-bats this month.
Garrett Hampson (2B/SS/OF, 35 percent)
Hampson is currently doing something he has done in previous years — wrapping up a mostly uneventful season with a strong finish. The multi-position asset has posted his best single-month OPS of the 2021 season in September (.881), which will surely earn him regular playing time during the Rockies upcoming 9-game home stand. Hampson should be active in most roto leagues.
Josh Harrison (2B/3B/OF, 33 percent)
Harrison is a steady option for those who need help with their batting average along with some runs and RBIs. The utilityman is playing every day for the A’s and often batting from the top of the lineup. With Oakland heading into a 7-game week and their postseason hopes hanging by a thread, Harrison will see his name on the lineup card every day.
Evan Longoria (3B, 30 percent)
Fantasy managers who have bench room can stash Longoria for the end of this week, when the Giants visit Coors Field for three games. The slugger has missed some 2021 time with injury, but when healthy he has turned back the clock this year by posting a career-high .934 OPS.
DJ Peters (OF, 4 percent)
A pure power hitter, Peters is not an option for those who need to protect or improve their batting average. But the right-handed hitter is a great choice for managers who need power, as he will take his booming bat (12 HR, 186 AB) into hitter-friendly parks for seven games this week, with five of those contests coming against southpaw starters.
Austin Hays (OF, 41 percent)
The Orioles rarely win games, but their pitching is usually the reason for taking a loss. In fact, since the beginning of August, Baltimore is sitting near the middle of the pack for overall OPS and runs scored. Hays has been hot of late (1.005 OPS in September) and should thrive during an upcoming seven-game week that will be played entirely in hitter-friendly parks.
Anthony Santander (OF, 36 percent)
I have often recommended Santander during the second half, as he has returned to being a major contributor after shaking off a long-term ankle injury. The outfielder could be a fantasy game-changer this week, and I would take him over any other outfielder in this article.
Lane Thomas (OF, 32 percent)
Thomas continues to tear it up as the Nats leadoff man, having hit .308 with a .936 OPS since joining the team in the middle of August. I love the outfielder as someone to add if need plenty of runs and diverse production overall. My ideal plan for Thomas is to leave him on waivers until Thursday, at which time he starts a four-game series at Cincinnati’s hitter-friendly park before relocating to Coors Field for a trio of contests.
Bradley Zimmer (OF, 2 percent)
The Indians are baseball’s busiest team this week, playing nine games in seven days. The problem for fantasy managers is that few Cleveland hitters have been thriving of late. Zimmer has shown a diverse skill set, compiling five homers and seven steals since the beginning of August, and he could turn those nine games into plenty of counting stats.
Harrison Bader (OF, 7 percent)
Although far from a fantasy star, Bader has an interesting blend of power and speed (12 HR, 6 SB in 319 AB). He is hitting well in September (.826 OPS) and could accumulate counting stats during the Cardinals upcoming eight-game week that includes four contests against a Cubs pitching staff that has been recently been giving up runs in bunches.
Ben Gamel (OF, 1 percent)
Gamel has always done his best work against right-handers, and this season is no different. The outfielder is strictly to be considered in leagues of 12-teams or more this week, when the Pirates play six of their seven games against right-handers at hitter-friendly parks.