Lose a stud bat to injury and need a fill-in in a pinch? Tired of that dead weight in your utility spot and looking to catch lightning in a bottle? Scott White has 10 recommendations for the upcoming scoring period, all rostered in no more than 80 percent of CBS Sports leagues. They're not must-starts by any means, but they're the best you'll be able to do off the waiver wire.
- Week 23: Sleeper pitchers | Two-start pitchers
All information is up to date as of Sunday afternoon.
STL St. Louis • #21 • Age: 25
Even when the Cardinals try to take Nootbaar out of the lineup, he comes off the bench with two walks and a game-winning homer, as happened Wednesday. They have the second-best hitter matchups this week, going up against the hapless Nationals and Pirates rotations, but the way Nootbaar's last month has gone, he'd be worth starting regardless.
BAL Baltimore • #2 • Age: 21
The recent call-up, who's in the running for best prospect in baseball, should be a fixture against right-handers down the stretch, and that's all the Orioles are facing this week. Henderson could do real damage against ones like Mitch White, Brayan Bello and Josh Winckowski.
Joey Meneses 1B
WAS Washington • #45 • Age: 30
Meneses is looking like this year's rebuild placeholder success story, racking up home runs and multi-hit games in a way that's completely supported by the data. The Nationals' matchups this week could be better, but they're at least in line for seven games.
Yandy Diaz 3B
TB Tampa Bay • #2 • Age: 31
Since June 26, Diaz has been a top-five third baseman in points leagues and top-12 in Rotisserie, batting .320 (66 for 206) with five homers and a .925 OPS. I'll bet on him keeping it going against the Red Sox and Yankees, whose pitching staffs have both shown some vulnerability of late.
Tommy Pham LF
NYM N.Y. Mets • #28 • Age: 35
Working mostly out of the leadoff spot, Pham has been excellent since joining the Red Sox, who have the fourth-best hitter matchups this week. The toughest pitcher they're scheduled to face is Jeffrey Springs, then Drew Rasmussen, and after that ... uh, Austin Voth?
ARI Arizona • #31 • Age: 25
McCarthy has emerged as an everyday player and the Diamondbacks' preferred starter over higher-profile rookie Alek Thomas, showing a little bit of pop to go along with his speed. His batting average should continue to climb with three games at Coors Field this week.
Nick Gordon LF
MIN Minnesota • #1 • Age: 27
The former first-round pick is finally getting a chance to play close to every day and flashing some impressive skills that aren't fully reflected in the numbers, namely a 93rd percentile xSLG. It's reason to hope for even more, especially in a week with only right-handers on the schedule. Gordon, a left-handed hitter, has an OPS nearly 150 points higher against righties than lefties.
Riley Greene CF
DET Detroit • #31 • Age: 22
Greene, a consensus top-five prospect coming into the year, is beginning to find his footing in the majors, collecting multiple hits in seven of his past 12 games for a .408 (20 for 49) batting average. It just so happens that the Tigers are facing some of the weakest parts of the Angels and Royals rotations this week.
CLE Cleveland • #39 • Age: 25
Gonzalez has cooled of a bit over the past couple weeks, but his strikeout rate is still respectable and quality of contact still high. Don't be surprised if he launches a couple homers against pitchers like Kris Bubic, Daniel Lynch, Dylan Bundy and Chris Archer this week.
MIL Milwaukee • #5 • Age: 24
No team has more favorable hitter matchups this week than the Brewers, who are scheduled for eight games, including three at Coors Field. Having six righties on the schedule should ensure their recent call-up, Garrett Mitchell, gets plenty of play, making him especially worth using if you need help in stolen bases.
Best hitter matchups for Week 23
1. Brewers @COL3, SF2, CIN3
2. Cardinals WAS4, @PIT3
3. Blue Jays @BAL4, @TEX3
4. Red Sox @TB3, @BAL3
5. Guardians @KC3, @MIN3
Worst hitter matchups for Week 23
1. Athletics ATL2, CHW4
2. Marlins @PHI3, NYM3
3. Rangers @HOU3, TOR3
4. Braves @OAK2, @SEA3
5. Padres ARI3, LAD3