Fantasy Baseball: Giant trio leads waiver wire hitter pickups

Returning to our twice-weekly series on waiver wire pickups down the stretch, here are some hitters who can help you move up the standings in the coming days.

Some of these players are strictly rentals, while others have the potential to stay on your team the rest of the way. Let’s dive in:

Alejandro Kirk (C, 25 percent rostered)

Kirk may be a regular in this column during September, as his strong plate skills have made him a fixture in a potent Blue Jays lineup. The club is even using Kirk as their DH on occasion, recognizing that his rare plate discipline (16:19 BB:K ratio) ensures that he will regularly reach base.

Brandon Belt (1B/OF, 45 percent)

Belt has been one of the key cogs in a surprising Giants lineup this year, posting a .933 OPS and going deep 23 times in 275 at-bats. The lefty slugger has a long history of doing his best work against right-handers, which should help him succeed when San Francisco faces six righty starters among their seven games this week. Finding ways to cash in on a platoon-heavy Giants lineup during the next seven days could spur many fantasy teams to victory.

San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt (9)
Brandon Belt could have a big week vs. a series of righty pitchers. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Bobby Dalbec (1B, 44 percent)

Dalbec has reversed a slow start to the season in a big way, batting .281 with 11 homers and a .968 OPS in the second half. The slugger can sit on waivers for the moment, but he should be active in most leagues on the weekend when the Red Sox face the weakest starters on an Orioles staff that has the worst second-half ERA in baseball.

Tommy La Stella (1B/2B/3B, 4 percent)

La Stella hasn’t been effective this season (.670 OPS) or of late (.631 OPS in September) and should be considered only in deep leagues. That being said, he is easy to fit into a lineup and has a long history as a left-handed hitter who does his best work against righties. With the Giants set to see a steady stream of righty starters, La Stella could have a productive week.

Yonny Hernandez (2B/3B, 3 percent)

Having swiped nine bags across 95 at-bats, Hernandez is the obvious candidate for late-season attention from those who need steals. The rookie is mostly a one-category asset, but he won’t hurt a fantasy team’s batting average and is scheduled for seven games this week.

Abraham Toro (2B/3B, 20 percent)

Toro has been effective since joining the Mariners in late July, hitting .287 with three homers, two steals, and a .787 OPS. I don’t view the infielder as someone who will come off waivers and lead your team to a title, but he is the type of steady, high-average hitter who can keep your squad moving in the right direction if you are already high in the standings.

Didi Gregorius (SS, 35 percent)

Gregorius has had a forgettable second season with the Phillies that includes a lowly .660 OPS and about six missed weeks with an elbow injury in the first half of the season. But the veteran can still hit home runs, and he continues a career-long tradition of having his greatest success when a right-hander is on the mound. And the Phillies are about to start a series against three righty starters on a Cubs team that is 28th in second-half ERA.

Lamont Wade Jr. (OF, 12 percent)

Wade is the third Giants player in this article, as he is the perfect player to chase when the team faces a string of right-handers. The outfielder is terrific against righties, posting a .908 OPS in those matchups in 2021 and regularly batting out of the leadoff spot. Along with Belt, Wade should be in most active lineups this week.

Jo Adell (OF, 23 percent)

After disappointing fantasy managers at times in the past two seasons, Adell may have turned the corner. The youngster has decreased his strikeout rate, and he is currently riding an eight-game hitting streak. With substantial power and a bit of speed, Adell could make a big impact in the final weeks.

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Lane Thomas (OF, 16 percent)

Thomas continues to thrive as the Nats leadoff man, batting .305 with a .933 OPS since joining the roster on August 15. The outfielder has a bit of power and speed, making him the perfect option for managers who are looking for diverse production and a helpful batting average during the final weeks of the season.

DJ Peters (OF, 5 percent)

Those who need power should give serious consideration to Peters, who has produced 11 homers across 165 at-bats. The slugger will be a batting average drain, but there are many fantasy squads who have some wiggle room in that category at this point in the season. With the Rangers in line for seven games this week, Peters will have plenty of chances to produce long balls.

Odubel Herrera (2B/OF, 11 percent)

Like Gregorius, Herrera is a Phillies player who excels against righties and is therefore well-positioned to do his best work during an upcoming three-game series against a slumping Cubs pitching staff. Herrera was outstanding in August (1.043 OPS) and has held his own this month as well.