With less than a week remaining in August, we are fully immersed in fantasy football draft season and just a few weeks from the conclusion of the fantasy baseball campaign. This is the time of year when those who stay dedicated to their teams can make big moves in the standings, as many of their competitors are distracted by football news. And of course, this is the time when “Mr. Right Now” takes precedence over “Mr. Right.”
Here are a handful of short-term targets with a few long-term options mixed in.
Harold Ramirez (1B/OF, Tampa Bay Rays, 35 percent rostered)
Those who need batting average should give Ramirez a chance in the coming weeks. Sure, the 27-year-old contributes little in terms of power (five homers) and speed (three steals), but he is hitting .330 thanks to a terrific 13.7 percent strikeout rate. He should fare well this weekend against a floundering Boston pitching staff.
Bryson Stott (2B/SS, Philadelphia Phillies, 16%)
After showing small signs of improvement during June and July, Stott has taken off this month by hitting .325 with an .859 OPS. He can also help with a fantasy team’s steals total, having swiped eight bases since June 1. He and his teammates should put up plenty of crooked numbers at their hitter-friendly home park against a trio of lackluster Pirates starters this weekend.
Ha-Seong Kim (2B/3B/SS, 15%)
The suspension of Fernando Tatis Jr. will keep Kim in the starting lineup on a regular basis for the rest of the season. The multi-position asset hit .314 in July and .295 so far in August, and he has also chipped in five steals since July 1. Kim is at his best against lefties (.830 OPS in 2022) and should face southpaw starters in four of his next six games.
Lars Nootbar (OF, St. Louis Cardinals, 40%)
The Cardinals' offense has been stellar this summer and Nootbar has been one of the biggest contributors, having hit .310 with a 1.022 OPS since the outset of July. He should continue to draw regular starts and is arguably the best long-term option in this article. Nootbar is a solid option against the Braves this weekend and is especially enticing at the outset of next week when he and the Cards head to Cincinnati’s offense-inducing park to face a pitching staff that ranks 28th in ERA (5.04).
Jake Fraley (OF, Cincinnati Reds, 26%)
Fraley has hit .288 in August while showing plenty of power (five homers, 11 RBIs) and even chipping in a stolen base. His strong play has earned him a full-time role on a rebuilding Reds roster, which will give him ample opportunities this weekend to take advantage of a Nats pitching staff that ranks 29th in the Majors with a 5.12 ERA.
Eduardo Rodriguez (SP, Detroit Tigers, 44%)
This will go down as a lost season for Rodriguez, who struggled at the outset of the campaign and then missed three months while dealing with an injury and then a personal matter. But Rodriguez could still return some late-season value, as he tossed five shutout innings in his return to the Majors and could have similar success against Texas on Saturday.
Kohei Arihara (SP, Texas Rangers, 1%)
Arihara struggled in his Major League debut last season but has posted respectable results (2.31 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) In two starting assignments with the Rangers this year. He heads into a matchup with the Tigers tomorrow, and I would stream almost anyone against Detroit, as their offense sits last in baseball with a .613 OPS.
Domingo German (SP, New York Yankees, 20%)
German struggled in his initial outing of 2022 before settling in on July 27 and posting a 2.84 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP (24:8 K:BB ratio) across his past six starts. He is an excellent streaming candidate on Saturday when he works at Oakland’s pitcher-friendly venue against an A’s lineup that sits 29th in OPS.
Justin Steele (SP, Chicago Cubs, 39%)
Steele has been awesome of late, logging a 0.68 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP and a 39:5 K:BB ratio across his past five starts. Unlike the other starting pitchers listed in this article, the left-hander could stick on shallow-league rosters for the remainder of the season. He’s certainly worth a streamer spot for his matchup today against a Brewers lineup that ranks 25th in OPS vs. southpaws (.651).
David Peterson (SP/RP, New York Mets, 16%)
Peterson has been effective when called upon this season (3.44 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 10.4 K/9 rate) despite having to spend some time in the Minors due to the Mets' strong rotation depth. He has a starting spot of the moment, and he should succeed on Saturday when he works at home against a Rockies lineup that has posted a lowly .640 OPS on the road this season.
Brandon Hughes (RP, Chicago Cubs, 13%)
In recent editions of this article, I recommended picking up Rowan Wick for saves while also acknowledging that he had the bare minimum of skills to keep the job. Fast forward a couple of weeks and Wick has seemingly blown the opportunity by allowing four runs across his past five appearances. Hughes has tallied a trio of saves since August 18, and although he may not be the closer until the end of the campaign, he makes sense for those who need saves right now.