The fantasy baseball season is coming to a close. For those of you still reading this, there’s a good chance you made the playoffs in 1 or more of your leagues. Now that you’ve made it, it’s time to finish the season off with a championship! Here are 5 players who are still on the waiver wire in many leagues that can help you bring home a title.
Kevin Kiermaier, OF Rays
Kiermaier was drafted in most leagues coming into the season. In 62 games, Kiermaier was looking good. He was looking like a 20-20 player with solid production elsewhere. A feet first slide in a Thursday night game against the White Sox put his season on hold. The Rays outfielder suffered a fractured hip and would miss over 2 months of action. Since his return on August 18, Kiermaier is hitting .360/.395/.613 with 4 HR and 3 SB. That sample size is just 18 games. This puts his on a 30-30 pace. He’s probably not that good, but even if we factor in his 1st 62 games of 2017, Kiermaier has 11 HR 13 SB and a OPS over .800. Kiermaier is a legit 20-30 threat hitting leadoff for an above average offense. That’s a poor man’s Jose Altuve. If you feel like that’s selling him sort, let’s compare him to Royals breakout star, Whit Merrifield. Merrifield has 17 HR and 27 SB while hitting .280 with a .780 OPS. That’s almost identical to Kiermaier’s on pace numbers. Merrifield is the #20 overall hitter in fantasy this year. If that’s not enough to convince you, Kiermaier himself is the #5 overall hitter over the past 15 days. Pick him up everywhere you can get him!
Matt Olson, OF/1B Athletics
If Kevin Kiermaier is already on someone else’s roster in your league, there’s an even better chance Matt Olson is out there. Olson plays for the Oakland A’s and his solid play has really gone under the radar. He made a brief 18 game appearance scattered around April, June, and July. He hit just .196 but did have 4 HR in 51 AB. Since returning to the A’s in early August, Olson is hitting .298 with 11 HR and a OPS over 1.000! Despite this being a 25 game (20 start) sample size, Olson is the #30 overall hitter over the past 30 days. Olson is out there in almost all leagues but is starting to get scooped up by fantasy owners who have noticed his recent production. Grab him up before someone else and ride this hot streak for the rest of this season.
Doug Fister, SP Red Sox
I guess this is a real thing?!? Doug Fister might just help you win a fantasy baseball league in 2017! Fister is 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA and 0.73 WHIP over his past 4 starts. This includes a complete game 1 hitter against the Indians and 7 solid innings in each of the other 3 starts. Remember, Fister had a 3.11 ERA from 2011-14. The career strikeout numbers are low but Fister has made improvement in that regard this year. For fantasy owners needing solid ratios and WINS, Fister should help. He is playing on a team which should give him run support and his remaining schedule is pretty favorable. He pitches against the Athletics next, followed by @ Orioles, @ Reds, and then vs Astros in a game where Houston could be resting some of their players in preparation for the real life baseball playoffs. Hard to believe, but pick up Doug Fister for the final weeks of 2017!
Robert Stephenson, SP Reds
Robert Stephenson is a rookie starter for the Reds who really started to perform well in August. He had 8.03 ERA in 13 appearances as a reliever during April and May. He was sent down to AAA and spent all of June and most of July there. Since returning in late July, Stephenson has been used as a starter for the big league team. Since August 2, (5 starts and 1 relief appearance) Stephenson has a 2.08 ERA over 30.1 IP and 35 Ks. Consistency has been there as well. He has allowed 2 or fewer runs in all 5 of those starts. Better yet, he’s 4-0 in that span. Stephenson also has 25 strikeouts in his last 3 starts. The walks are a concern but he has done a great job of limiting damage despite the control issues. His remaining schedule is @ Mets, vs Pirates, vs Cardinals, and @ Brewers. If you aren’t running to add him right now, check out this piece from the Red Reporter highlighting a new slider which has helped Stephenson become dominant.
Tyler Lyons, RP Cardinals
For fantasy owners needing saves, I give you Tyler Lyons. Lyons is available in a ton of leagues. In fact, he is the least owned player on this list! For the season Lyons has been a great reliever for the Cards. He has a 2.53 ERA with a 10.7 K/9 in 46.1 IP. Lyons also has a .204 BAA and his .580 OPS against is 14th best in the NL among pitchers with at least 40 IP. To summarize, he doesn’t give up many hits and the hits he does allow are rarely for extra bases. Since the All-Star break, Lyons has been even better. He has allowed just 1 run over 22 appearances while holding hitting to a .113 average. He even recorded a save for the Cardinals yesterday! His closer competition, Seung-Hwan Oh, hasn’t pitched since September 2 and was therefore assumed to have been available last night. Lyons’s ratios alone make him an intriguing fantasy option especially in roto. If he gets regular saves, Lyons is must own!