MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

10 waiver-wire picks for final week of fantasy

10 waiver-wire picks for final week of fantasy

It is crunch time, and the long-term fantasy value of players no longer matters to those who are trying to secure a championship. Because of favorable matchups, the following 10 players could have a terrific run of success in the final week of the regular season.

Kevin Pillar, outfielder (Blue Jays): Hitting .480 with two homers and six steals across 28 plate appearances since Sept. 20, Pillar has become an unlikely stretch-run hero. With 12 homers, 25 steals and 74 runs across 606 plate appearances this season, the 26-year-old has the diverse skill set that those in a tight race need during the final days. Heading into a four-game set at hitter-friendly Camden Yards, Pillar should be added in all leagues.

Consider In: 10-team mixed

Delino DeShields, outfielder (Rangers): Another speedster swinging a red-hot bat, DeShields has hit .311 with 12 runs and two steals across 51 plate appearances since Sept. 15. The 23-year-old typically fares best against left-handers, and the Rangers are set to face four southpaws during the final week of the season. DeShields should be added by all owners who need runs or steals.

DeShields' hustle double

Consider In: 10-team mixed

Chris Coghlan, outfielder (Cubs): With 16 homers, 62 runs and 11 steals across 485 plate appearances, the outfielder -- who also qualifies at second base in most leagues -- is wrapping up a productive season. However, Coghlan has just one homer and zero steals this month, which has kept him on waivers in most leagues. The cure for his small slump, though, may be a favorable upcoming schedule. The Cubs will visit a pair of hitter-friendly parks in Cincinnati and Milwaukee this week, and they will also face a quintet of mediocre right-handers at those venues. As the stats show, Coghlan and many of his postseason-bound teammates typically excel against righties.

Consider In: 12-team mixed

Darin Ruf, first baseman (Phillies): This year, the first baseman is hitting .382 with seven homers across 89 at-bats against left-handers. The Phillies will work exclusively at homer-happy Citizens Bank Park during the final week of the season, with three of their scheduled contests against southpaw starters. Owners in need of homers should make Ruf their top waiver-wire priority.

Consider In: 12-team mixed

Robbie Ross Jr., reliever (Red Sox): Working in an injury-affected Red Sox bullpen, Ross has recently emerged as the team's rest-of-season closer. The southpaw has picked up four saves since Sept. 19, with two of those contests coming against the potent Blue Jays. With a 3.99 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP on the year, the 26-year-old likely lacks the skill set to close on a long-term basis. But if he can pick up one or two saves during the final week of the season, he could gain some fantasy owners valuable points in their standings.

Consider In: 12-team mixed

Marcus Stroman, starter (Blue Jays): At a time of year when many young starters are having their innings capped, the 24-year-old is being ramped up as much as possible in anticipation of a postseason start. With a 1.89 ERA across three outings since returning to the rotation on Sept. 12, Stroman has proven to be back to full strength. Looking ahead to this week: The right-hander should fare well against the free-swinging Orioles before moving south to face a Rays lineup that struggles against righties.

Stroman's scoreless start

Consider In: 10-team mixed

Colby Lewis, starter (Rangers): Since the All-Star break, the right-hander has gone 9-4 with a 3.83 ERA. Working for the American League West-leading Rangers, Lewis is scheduled to make a pair of starts during the final week of the season. Those in need of late-season wins should add Lewis for matchups against a pair of unimposing lineups (Tigers, Angels).

Consider In: 12-team mixed

Brandon Finnegan, starter (Reds): Arguably the prime prospect piece in the Johnny Cueto trade, Finnegan has pitched exclusively as a starter this season after previously working out of the bullpen. Across 44 career Major League innings, the southpaw has posted a 3.27 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP with 46 whiffs. Although Finnegan is a risky option for the coming week due to his inexperience, he could fare well against a Nationals squad that has already been eliminated from contention before facing a playoff-bound Pirates lineup that could rest many regulars.

Finnegan strikes out Pham

Consider In: 15-team mixed

Jake Peavy, starter (Giants): Peavy started the season in slow fashion, but he has gone 4-0 with a 2.95 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP across his past six outings. He could excel next week, when he works twice at his pitcher-friendly home park. He will first face the Dodgers before tangling with a Rockies squad that sometimes struggles outside of Colorado.

Consider In: 12-team mixed

Kyle Gibson, starter (Twins): Despite a season-to-date 3.96 ERA, Gibson may be on waivers in many leagues after allowing six runs across 2 2/3 innings in his previous start. Could the 27-year-old be running out of steam? Possibly. But on each the four previous occasions in which he allowed at least six runs in a game this year, he rebounded by allowing two or fewer runs in the following outing. Next week, he will face a top-heavy Indians lineup before going against a Royals squad that has all but clinched home-field advantage through the American League playoffs.

Consider In: 15-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.