With 10 days left in the regular season, we have reached the final opportunity for gamers to make upgrades on their 2019 rosters. Luckily a few players are sitting on waivers in many leagues who could still make a major impact in the final week of the campaign.
Here is a handful of Major Leaguers who deserve your immediate attention.
Sean Murphy, Oakland A’s (30 percent rostered)
After hitting .308 with a lofty 1.011 OPS in Triple-A this season, Murphy is off to a great start with the A's. The rookie backstop has batted .353 with four homers across 34 at-bats, and he could be the club's No. 1 catcher in postseason play. To further familiarize Murphy with the pitching staff, the club will likely use him in as many games as possible the rest of the way. And with some veteran catchers on losing clubs getting light workloads during the final days of 2019, Murphy ranks as a top-10 backstop from this point forward.
Keston Hiura, Milwaukee Brewers (45% rostered)
Hiura was dropped in many leagues when he landed on the IL in late August, which gives gamers a late-season chance to secure a skill set that will warrant an early round pick in 2020. The rookie has been a five-category stud this season (17 homers, nine steals, .301 average), and he will be used heavily in the final week by a Brewers squad that is desperate to secure as many wins as possible. Adding to Hiura's appeal is that he will face a weak Pirates staff (5.21 ERA) this weekend before traveling to hitter-friendly venues in Cincinnati and Colorado.
Randal Grichuk, Toronto Blue Jays (34%)
For those who need a power boost down the stretch, Grichuk is among the best options on the waiver wire. The outfielder recently reached the 30-homer plateau for the first time in his career, and he has already produced career-best marks in RBI (76) and runs scored (71). Grichuk and his teammates (including Teoscar Hernandez, who is just 4% rostered) will be in a favorable situation to rip a couple more round-trippers when they visit Yankee Stadium this weekend before returning home to take on the Orioles and Rays next week.
Jackie Bradley Jr., Boston Red Sox (20%)
Among teams with seven games next week, the Red Sox have the friendliest schedule. Boston will play three games in Texas’ hitter-friendly park before returning home to face the launching pad that is the Orioles pitching staff. Bradley (20 homers) and Mitch Moreland (15 homers in 84 games) are among Red Sox who are commonly available.
Alex Young, Arizona D-backs (40%)
Young has been effective overall (3.27 ERA, 1.16 WHIP) and of late (1.78 ERA in his past five starts). The southpaw is the best two-start option for the final week of the year who is under 50% rostered, as he finishes his rookie season with home outings against the Cardinals and Padres. Although Young has been much more effective on the road this season (2.37 ERA), his sample sizes are still quite small and he remains trustworthy at home.
Aaron Civale, Cleveland Indians (54%)
Civale's low rostership rate is surely the result of gamer-inattention during the final weeks of the season. After all, the rookie has been stellar across his initial nine big league starts, posting a ridiculous 1.82 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. In fact, Civale has yet to allow more than two earned runs in a Major League outing. The rookie will wrap up his debut season with a two-start week that includes a matchup with a mediocre White Sox lineup and a last-day start against a Nationals squad that may have already wrapped up a postseason berth.
Tim Melville, Colorado Rockies (2%)
Starting Melville in the final week won't be for the faint of heart, but those who are desperate for whiffs and wins may have to take the plunge. The right-hander has allowed three runs across 12.2 innings during two road starts this year, and he will open the final week with an appearance at pitcher-friendly Oracle Park. His second start is much more daunting — a home outing against the Brewers — but in a best-case scenario, Milwaukee will have nothing to play for on the final day of the regular season.
Vince Velasquez, Philadelphia Phillies (13%)
Among one-start streamers, Velasquez is a terrific final-week option. The right-hander has been inconsistent this season (4.89 ERA, 1.39 WHIP), but he has swing-and-miss skills (10.0 K/9 rate) and could combine plenty of whiffs with solid ratios and a victory when he takes on a Marlins squad that ranks 29th in baseball in runs scored.
Drew Pomeranz, Milwaukee Brewers (9%)
Gamers who are looking to protect their ratios during the final week should give Pomeranz some serious consideration. The southpaw has been dynamite since joining the Brewers bullpen (2.42 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 15.3 K/9 rate). And with Milwaukee in a tight battle for the final wildcard spot, they will turn to their best relievers often in the season's final days. I could see Pomeranz providing a half-dozen whiffs across 3-4 dominant frames next week.