I'll be the first to acknowledge that, this year especially, projecting pitching matchups just three days in advance has been a recipe for failure. So naturally, anything more than that would be a fool's errand.
And yet so much rides on getting things right the final week of the season that I think it makes sense to be unusually proactive, looking to get a jump on your competition by stashing away some of the most attractive streaming candidates as early as possible.
You have more of your roster to work with, after all, since anyone who isn't a part of your starting lineup can be on the chopping block now, and even if you don't see the need to stream these pitchers yourself, it pays to keep them out of your competition's hands.
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Again, these matchups are highly subject to change, but as things stand now, here are eight pitchers who I think could make a dent off the waiver wire in Week 10 (Sept. 21-27):
Seth Lugo RP
NYM N.Y. Mets • #67 • Age: 30
He has looked every bit as strong as a starter as he was in relief and is fully stretched out now after throwing 91 pitches last time out. Frankly, he should already be rostered.
Deivi Garcia SP
NYY N.Y. Yankees • #83 • Age: 21
He's probably been gobbled up already for his two starts in the second-to-last week, but if not, this bat-misser has been surprisingly efficient to begin his major-league career.
Rich Hill SP
MIN Minnesota • #44 • Age: 40
The Reds have actually had a hard time scoring runs this year, and Hill has been back up to form in his last two starts, allowing a combined four earned runs with 12 strikeouts in 10 innings.
Kris Bubic SP
KC Kansas City • #50 • Age: 23
The changeup that put him on the prospect map last year has played up recently, leading to a spike in whiffs, and obviously, this matchup would be one for him to exploit.
Cole Hamels SP
ATL Atlanta • #32 • Age: 36
It'll be difficult to justify using him if he's a total disaster in his season debut Wednesday, but if he looks strong in that return from a triceps injury, the matchups in a two-start week are inviting.
Caleb Smith SP
ARI Arizona • #31 • Age: 29
The former Marlin went only three innings in his return from COVID-19 over the weekend, but he might be stretched out to five or six in time for these two favorable matchups.
Dean Kremer SP
BAL Baltimore • #64 • Age: 24
There are enough rest days for him to make two starts next week, even if the turns don't line up, so it's a question of whether the Orioles are willing to skip others to fit in one more start for the impressive rookie.
BOS Boston • #17 • Age: 30
It's not so clear he's actually in line for two starts -- one of which would be a tough matchup -- but he should be ready to take on a starter's workload by then and has shown more swing-and-miss potential this year.
Tarik Skubal SP
DET Detroit • #29 • Age: 23
There have been more bad starts than good for the rookie, but the best one came against the Twins, which would be the tougher of his matchups in the final week. Again, it wouldn't hurt just to keep him away from your competition.