It is crunch time in fantasy baseball, and the long-term value of players no longer matters to those who are trying to secure a championship. Because of favorable matchups, the following men could have a terrific run of success in the coming days.
Tommy Pham, outfielder (Cardinals): Mixed-league owners who need a late-season spark should add Pham, who entered Tuesday batting .333 with four homers, 11 RBIs and 45 runs scored across 45 plate appearances in September. The outfielder has been drawing regular work out of the second spot in the Cards' lineup, and his squad will face multiple mediocre starters in the coming days. The recent return of Randal Grichuk may cost Pham some playing time, but it is hard to envision the club benching one of its hottest hitters. Consider In: 12-team mixed
Randal Grichuk, outfielder (Cardinals): Speaking of Grichuk, the outfielder recently returned to the starting lineup by manning left field on Monday. Batting .280 with 16 homers and 46 RBIs across 300 at-bats this season, the 24-year-old can help mixed-league teams when he is drawing regular starting assignments. Ideally, mixed-league owners will use Pham this week and then assess Grichuk for the following stanza. Consider In: 12-team mixed
Steve Pearce, outfielder (Orioles): Since the outset of last season, Pearce has hit 13 homers across 196 at-bats against left-handers. The outfielder -- who also qualifies at second base in most leagues -- is scheduled to face a trio of southpaws during an upcoming three-game set at Fenway Park. Those who need late-season power could use Pearce to replace a light-hitting middle infielder. Consider In: 15-team mixed
Wilin Rosario, first baseman (Rockies): Batting .262 with five homers across 223 at-bats this season, Rosario is sitting on waivers in virtually all leagues. As a big leaguer, the first baseman -- who also qualifies at catcher in fantasy -- has posted an impressive .943 OPS against lefties. The Rockies are at home for the duration of this week, and they are scheduled to face a quartet of southpaw starters. Rosario could be a sneaky source of short-term power at a premium position. Consider In: 15-team mixed
Chris Coghlan, outfielder (Cubs): With 16 homers, 62 runs and 11 steals across 477 plate appearances, the outfielder -- who also qualifies at second base in most leagues -- is having a breakout season. Coghlan typically fares best against right-handers, and the Cubs are scheduled for face righties in nearly every game for the next 10 days. The 30-year-old could also swipe a base during an upcoming series against the Pirates, as Francisco Cervelli has allowed more steals than any other catcher this season. Consider In: 10-team mixed
Rich Hill, starter (Red Sox): In his first starting action since 2009, the left-hander has posted a 20-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio across 14 innings during a pair of September outings. Hill could extend his recent success during his next scheduled start, when he will face an Orioles squad that ranks 24th in the Majors with a .682 OPS against lefties and fourth with 1,235 whiffs. Consider In: 10-team mixed
Tyler Duffey, starter (Twins): By notching two wins and allowing one run across 13 1/3 innings during a pair of starts last week, Duffey helped keep the Twins afloat in their postseason pursuit. Since a rough Major League debut against the Blue Jays on Aug. 5, the right-hander has posted a 2.06 ERA across seven starts. Later this week, he is scheduled to meet up with a Tigers squad that has struggled against righties in the second half. On Sept. 14, Duffey held Detroit to one run across 6 1/3 innings. Consider In: 12-team mixed
J.A. Happ, starter (Pirates): Since joining the Pirates, Happ has posted a 1.96 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP across eight starts. The left-hander is scheduled to make two starts during the final week of the season, when he will face a Cardinals lineup that struggles against southpaws before facing a Reds squad that has been out of the race for some time. Happ could deliver stellar ratios, a double-digit-strikeout total and at least one win in the final week of the season. Consider In: 10-team mixed
Marcus Stroman, starter (Blue Jays): Arguably the most talented pitcher on waivers in mixed leagues, Stroman has proven to be back in top form by posting a 3.00 ERA across a pair of starts against the Yankees and Red Sox since returning from the disabled list. While many young starters are seeing their innings capped at this point in the season, the right-hander is moving in the opposite direction, as the Blue Jays attempt to get him ready for postseason action. No matter how Toronto fares in the coming days, fantasy owners can expect Stroman to work deep into games during a pair of starts in the final week of the campaign. Consider In: 10-team mixed
Sean Doolittle, reliever (A's): There are few closers on waivers in mixed leagues at this point, but those in need of late-season saves should check the waiver wire for Doolittle. Having recently reclaimed his ninth-inning gig, the southpaw has the career ratios (2.19 FIP, 0.92 WHIP) to suggest he can convert any save chances he is offered down the stretch. The A's have generated few narrow leads in recent weeks, but save opportunities tend to be fickle and Doolittle could close out multiple wins in the coming days. Consider In: 10-team mixed
Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.