Fantasy Baseball Weekend Preview: Top pickups and streamers to target

The weekend slate of games provides a streamer’s delight on the pitching side. There are roughly 10 hurlers who remain widely available and have an appealing combination of solid skill set and favorable matchup.

Beyond that list, there are several other pitchers who are reasonable options in deeper leagues. The list of hitters is not as deep, but there are still several helpful options to consider.

Top players to add

Gavin Williams, Tanner Bibee, Logan Allen (SP, Cleveland Guardians)

I’ll cram all three of these young starters into one spot. Williams (2.80 ERA, 56% rostered), Bibee (2.90 ERA, 80%) and Allen (3.33 ERA, 33%) have all proven their ability to pitch in the majors, and each man should shine this weekend in home starts against a Tigers lineup that ranks 29th in baseball in OPS. My order of preference falls in line with their current roster rate.

Matt Wallner (OF, Minnesota Twins, 7%)

During his brief time with the Twins this season (126 plate appearances), Wallner has been dominant against right-handers (.992 OPS) and at home (1.089 OPS). The 25-year-old can be streamed in most leagues for a series at Target Field against three mediocre Pittsburgh righties.

Elvis Andrus (2B/SS, Chicago White Sox, 10%)

It’s 2022 all over again for Andrus, who for the second straight season is following a poor start to the year with a hot finish. The veteran has started 11 straight games and a continuation of a regular role for a few more days will allow him to rack up plenty of plate appearances at offense-inducing Coors Field this weekend. At the very least, Andrus is worth a three-day trial.

Matchups to target

Orioles @ A’s: The AL East-leading Orioles should enjoy their weekend matchup against an A’s pitching staff with a 5.75 ERA. There are three widely available Baltimore hitters who are playing regularly now and can be scooped up in 12-team leagues: Jordan Westburg (22%), Ryan O’Hearn (10%) and Austin Hays (43%).

White Sox @ Rockies: Fantasy managers can expect fireworks at hitter-friendly Coors Field this weekend, as five starters in this series have an ERA over 4.30, and a sixth hurler (Jesse Scholtens) has made the most of his 2023 appearances as a reliever. Elvis Andrus (10%) and Oscar Colás (3%) are the best Chicago players to grab from the waiver wire, while Nolan Jones (29%) and Ezequiel Tovar (38%) make the most sense from Colorado.

Twins vs. Rockies: Minnesota hitters should be excited to face three beatable Pittsburgh starters this weekend. With all three hurlers throwing from the right side, adding lefty bats Max Kepler (19%) and Edouard Julien (20%) makes sense. Matt Wallner (7%) also bats from the left side and has hit the cover off the ball of late, which makes him the most desirable option. Those who stream catchers can consider Ryan Jeffers (8%), who has been terrific (1.001 OPS) since July 1.

Phillies @ Nationals: The Phillies should pick up plenty of runs and wins when they face three Nats starters with ERAs over 4.70 and a bullpen with a 4.96 ERA. Among widely available Phillies, speedster Johan Rojas (2%) is the only man to consider. However, those in shallow leagues should make sure that hitters such as Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott are in their starting lineups.

Blue Jays @ Reds: Although Toronto hasn’t hit well of late, the team might enjoy a trip to homer-happy Great American Ball Park to face a Reds club that has logged a 5.88 ERA this month. The lone Blue Jays slugger to add is Brandon Belt (6%), who should hit high in the lineup against right-handed starters on Friday and Sunday.

Matchups to avoid

Astros vs. Mariners: Houston will spend the weekend facing three skilled right-handed starters and a relief corps that owns a 3.45 ERA. There are plenty of stars on this team (Kyle Tucker, Yordan Álvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman) who need to remain in lineups, and Chas McCormick can stay active in most leagues. The remaining Astros should be benched wherever possible.

Brewers @ Rangers: This could be a low-scoring series that features plenty of big-name pitchers. The five star Rangers (Adolis Garcia, Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, Nathaniel Lowe, Jonah Heim) must remain active, but Christian Yelich is the only must-start member of Milwaukee’s offense.

Streaming starters

In order, here are the best streamers from Friday to Sunday, with their start date and Yahoo roster rate in parenthesis.

Gavin Williams vs. DET (Friday, 56)
Logan Allen vs. DET (Sunday, 33)
J.P. France vs. SEA (Saturday, 64)
Kyle Gibson @ OAK (Friday, 49)
Miles Mikolas vs. NYM (Saturday, 54)
Chase Silseth vs. TB (Sunday, 42)
Cristopher Sanchez @ WSH (Saturday, 25)
Nick Pivetta @ NYY (Sunday, 57)
Brady Singer @ CHC (Saturday, 59)
Cole Ragans @ CHC (Friday, 23)
Cole Irvin @ OAK (Saturday, 2)
Kutter Crawford @ NYY (Saturday, 27)
Matt Manning @ CLE (Friday, 7)
Ranger Suarez @ WSH (Sunday, 30)
Seth Lugo vs. ARI (Friday, 36)
Jameson Taillon vs. KC (Friday, 38)
Emerson Hancock @ HOU (Saturday, 22)
Brandon Pfaadt @ SD (Friday, 8)
Jose Urquidy vs. SEA (Sunday, 38)
Yonny Chirinos vs. SF (Saturday, 5)