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Fantasy Baseball Weekend Preview: Last call for Hyun Jin Ryu

Those who said the introduction of the pitch clock would decimate major-league rotations need to take a second look, as there are plenty of excellent streamer options in this article for the third week in a row.

The streaming targets are less obvious on the hitting side, with Baltimore and Miami as the top places to look for free agents.

Top waiver-wire pickups to add

Hyun Jin Ryu (SP, Toronto Blue Jays, 44%)

Ryu is one of the best stories in baseball right now, having worked his way back from Tommy John surgery at age 36. Working without respectable velocity for this generation of hurlers, the left-hander has used his crafty approach to post a 1.89 ERA and 1.05 WHIP across four starts. He should continue his summer surge when he faces a Guardians lineup that has been the worst in baseball against southpaws this year.

Cole Irvin (SP/RP, Baltimore Orioles, 10%)

Sure, Irvin isn’t a great pitcher. But the veteran needs to be streamed in most leagues for a Saturday home start against a Rockies team that ranks last in OPS on the road. Having allowed one run across two starts since rejoining the rotation, Irvin has a great chance to pick up a win in this matchup.

Zack Littell (SP/RP, Tampa Bay Rays, 25%)

Silencing the Yankees' offense has been an easy task for opposing hurlers this summer, which makes me optimistic that Littell (3.54 ERA, 1.07 WHIP since July 30) can stay hot this weekend. And the reliever-turned-starter is more than a one-day streamer, as his next outing will come against a Guardians offense that ranks 26th in OPS since the All-Star break.

Tommy Pham (OF, Arizona Diamondbacks, 30%)

Having posted a .773 OPS in August, Pham is one of the few Arizona hitters who has met expectations of late. The veteran has the power-speed combo to contribute in a variety of ways, and he is regularly hitting third in the lineup, which puts him in great position to help fantasy teams when Arizona faces three unreliable Reds starters this weekend.

Josh Bell (1B, Miami Marlins, 56%)

Bell has been dynamite as a member of the Marlins (.995 OPS), and he could stay hot this weekend when his team faces three unimpressive Washington starters and a suspect relief corps.

Matchups to target

Orioles vs. Rockies

Although they won’t get to play these games at offense-inducing Coors Field, Baltimore hitters should still enjoy facing a staff that has logged a 5.06 road ERA. With Colorado deploying two lefty starters in the series, the top Orioles to add from the waiver wire are Austin Hays (44% rostered) and Jordan Westburg (21%).

Marlins vs. Nationals

This is a great time to stream Miami hitters against three subpar Washington right-handed starters and a bullpen with a 5.22 ERA. Jake Burger (46%) and Josh Bell (56%) are the top waiver-wire options, while Jesús Sánchez (2%) can be considered in 12-team leagues.

Diamondbacks vs. Reds

Hunter Greene struggled in his return from the injured list, Brett Kennedy has thrown 12 major-league innings this year, and Graham Ashcraft owns a 4.84 ERA. Arizona should feast on these three Cincinnati starters, which make Tommy Pham (30%) and Alek Thomas (2%) good waiver-wire options. Gabriel Moreno (13%) can be streamed at the catcher position.

Mariners vs. Royals

A red-hot Seattle team is unlikely to slow down when it faces three Kansas City right-handers who each have an ERA over 5.00. Rookie Cade Marlowe (2%) has enjoyed some success against righties, while Cal Raleigh (67%) is a solid option for those in deep leagues who stream catchers.

Matchups to avoid

Royals @ Mariners

Bobby Witt Jr. and Salvador Perez are the only two Royals I feel good about starting against a surging Mariners team that is using three right-handed starters with sub-3.80 ERAs this weekend. Those who are desperate for steals in 12-team leagues can leave Maikel Garcia in the lineup.

Cardinals @ Phillies

Although they might enjoy the park switch, St. Louis hitters will face three quality starters in Philadelphia this weekend. Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Tommy Edman and Willson Contreras are the only players who should remain active.

Giants vs. Braves

San Francisco ranks last in OPS since the All-Star break and will start its weekend with matchups against Spencer Strider, Max Fried and an Atlanta bullpen with a 3.41 ERA. All Giants belong on the bench in leagues of 12 teams or fewer.

Streaming starters

In order, here are the best streamers from Friday to Sunday, with their start dates and Yahoo roster rates in parentheses.

  • Grayson Rodriguez vs. COL (Sunday, 61)

  • Hyun Jin Ryu vs. CLE (Saturday, 44)

  • Braxton Garrett vs. WSH (Friday, 47)

  • Cole Irvin vs. COL (Friday, 10)

  • Zack Littell vs. NYY (Sunday, 25)

  • Mike Clevinger @ OAK (Sunday, 41)

  • Kutter Crawford vs. LAD (Friday, 25)

  • Logan Allen @ TOR (Sunday, 46)

  • Cristopher Sanchez vs. STL (Friday, 27)

  • Javier Assad vs. PIT (Saturday, 21)

  • Chase Silseth @ NYM (Saturday, 29)

  • Paul Blackburn @ CWS (Saturday, 17)

  • Matt Manning vs. HOU (Friday, 8)

  • Brady Singer @ SEA (Friday, 55)

  • Adrian Houser vs. SD (Sunday, 9)

  • J.P. Sears @ CWS (Friday, 14)

  • Miles Mikolas @ PHI (Friday, 46)

  • Dakota Hudson @ PHI (Saturday, 17)