Top 5 Hitter Streamers & Waiver Wire Targets For Week 23

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If you play in head-to-head leagues and are still reading these columns, chances are you made it into the fantasy baseball playoffs. Congratulations! This is the point that you've been working toward all season, but there's still plenty to be done. There are lineups to set, match-ups to win, and most relevantly for this column, holes to patch.

Given the high leverage importance of these final weeks of baseball, I'll be paying much stricter attention to giving some love to a variety of positions in my columns as we go forward. The rest of the rules however remain the same. All of these players are owned in less than 50% of leagues and each one is someone who I'm confident can make a difference for fantasy owners. Let's take a look:


1) Jedd Gyorko, San Diego Padres, 2B

2014 Stats: .198 BA, 24 Runs, 9 HR, 45 RBI, 2 SB

Ownership: 31.0% (ESPN)

Schedule: Diamondbacks, (at) Rockies

Games Scheduled: 7

By SD Dirk from San Diego, USA (SD Padres Jedd Gyorko Uploaded by Muboshgu) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsIf you've already taken a glance through the rest of this list, you'll notice that I have a lot of Padres on it. There's a good reason for that: their schedule. Both Arizona and Colorado are among the 5 worst teams in baseball by team-ERA allowed (4.38 and 4.95 respectively). That same stat is true for home-runs allowed, with Arizona having allowed the 5th most in baseball to this point in the season and Colorado having allowed the most. What's more, unlike with some poor pitching staffs, I don't see this changing significantly for either team even after the September call-ups

That's a nice situation for a power hitting 2nd baseman like Gyorko to walk into next week. Granted, Gyorko's overall stat line this year might make you wonder if he's capable of capitalizing on this opportunity, but given the fact that he's hit a much stronger .273/.345/.444 with 4 home runs in 99 at-bats since the All Star game, I'm perfectly comfortable including him on this list. Frankly, I'm expecting a big week from the Padres next week and I fully expect Gyorko to be a large part of this.


2) Yangervis Solarte, San Diego Padres, OF / 2B / 3B

2014 Stats: .260 BA, 45 Runs, 9 HR, 46 RBI, 0 SB

Ownership: 34.4% (ESPN)

Schedule: Diamondbacks, (at) Rockies

Games Scheduled: 7

Everything I said about Gyorko above applies equally to Solarte, even if he does have less power potential than the 2nd baseman. Solarte has hit .270/.362/.365 in the second half and has been batting consistently at the top of the Padres lineup since the team acquired him from the Yankees. Together that means maximum at-bats and run scored opportunities for Solarte next week against two incredibly poor pitching staffs. Furthermore, he lacks the large platoon splits that would allow an opposing manager to exploit him late in games (.725 OPS against RHP vs. .717 OPS against LHP this season). With his position flexibility, a huge benefit this late in the season, I think he's a great upside play for next week.


3) Jon Jay, St. Louis Cardinals, OF

2014 Stats: .312 BA, 43 Runs, 3 HR, 39 RBI, 6 SB

Ownership: 45.2% (ESPN)

Schedule: Pirates, (at) Brewers

Games Scheduled: 7

In a rather quiet sort of way, Jon Jay has been a fantastic fantasy option this August. The knock on him has always been that his value is very batting average dependent because he lacks any sort of impact power or stolen base potential. However, given his performance this August, in which he slashed an excellent .397/.494/.515 with two home runs in 71 at-bats, I'm very comfortable recommending Jay for next week.

He'll enjoy a full 7 game week against two very middle-of-the-road pitching staffs (the Pirates rank 17th in team ERA allowed this season with the Brewers just ahead of them at 16th). That's a nice situation for a useful outfielder in the middle of a hot streak.


4) Everth Cabrera, San Diego Padres, SS

2014 Stats: .232 BA, 36 Runs, 3 HR, 20 RBI, 18 SB

Ownership: 28.0% (ESPN)

Schedule: Diamondbacks, (at) Rockies

Games Scheduled: 7

And the Padres party bus continues with Everth Cabrera. Bud Black has stated that he expects his shortstop to rejoin the team this Monday, meaning a full week's worth of opportunities for Cabrera. For a player who relies mostly on on-base skills and speed to give his owners value, I see plenty of on base opportunities for Cabrera given the pitchers he'll be facing next week. There's risk with him of course, and I'd definitely monitor his health status on Monday if you pick him up, but in a free agent pool without a lot of SS talent, he's the first guy I'd turn to for help next week. Never underestimate what Coors Field can do.


5) Chase Headley, New York Yankees, 3B

2014 Stats: .235 BA, 40 Runs, 10 HR, 43 RBI, 6 SB

Ownership: 46.1% (ESPN)

Schedule: Red Sox, Royals

Games Scheduled: 6

Headley is another player blessed by schedule for next week. The Boston Red Sox have allowed an atrocious 4.20 team ERA this August, 8th worst in all of baseball. That ERA is a clear consequence of trading away 4/5 of their starting rotation before the trade deadline, and while the Red Sox have a lot of interesting young pitchers, I don't see anyone salvaging that staff this year. The Royals have a much better rotation granted (along with one of the best defenses of the last several decades by advanced metrics), but I'm confident that Headley gets enough done in that first series to make him a productive add at 3rd base next week if someone else in your league has already snatched up Solarte.