With three games left speculating anyone reading a fantasy baseball column has some very specific team needs.Â Transactions that would be laughable in the yearâ€™s first half are all of a sudden perfectly understandable.Â Even more so because any player dropped on Monday would be tied up on most waivers through the seasonâ€™s end.Â In a good narrative superstars would lead the way to a championship but that is rarely the case.Â How many leagues were swung by Chris Tillmanâ€™s dominant start Friday?Â In shallower mixed leagues even Homer Bailey was available.
These teams have either locked up a playoff spot or are on the verge.Â Some regulars may be rested.Â All info taken prior to the start of games Sunday.
Washington:Â Magic number of one to clinch the NL East, one game up on Cincinnati for the best overall record.Â Watch the status of Michael Morse (wrist).Â Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson could have abbreviated starts in preparation for the playoffs.
Atlanta:Â Clinched first Wild Card spot.Â Brian McCann (shoulder), Micheal Bourn (wrist), and Chipper Jones (everything) are dealing with ailments.Â Tommy Hanson and Tim Hudsonâ€™s starts could be truncated.
Cincinnati:Â Clinched NL Central.Â Ryan Ludwick (groin), Joey Votto (knee), and Brandon Phillips (leg/slump) could receive time off.Â Mat Latos and Homer Bailey could work on pitch counts.
San Francisco:Â Clinched NL West.Â Buster Posey could rest, or could sit out to preserve his lead in the batting race.
Good Matchups for Hitters
White Sox at home vs. Cleveland
Players to add (available in at least half of ESPN leagues):Â Dayan Viciedo, Gordon Beckham â€“ his .849 OPS in September is a season high.
Tigers at home vs. Kansas City
Players to add:Â Andy Dirks – .274/.295/.440 this month
Toronto at home vs. Minnesota
Players to add:Â Rajai Davis â€“ 34 steals, Adam Lind â€“ 11.6 wRC in September
Arizona at home vs. Colorado
Players to add:Â Chris Johnson â€“ 1.106 OPS in September, but a hand injury
Milwaukee at home vs. San Diego
Players to add:Â Jean Segura – .358/.434/.478 this month with four steals
Poor Matchups for Hitters
Los Angeles Angels at Seattle
Players to cut:Â Mark Trumbo, Howie Kendrick
Boston at New York Yankees
Cut if needed: Â Jacoby Ellsbury, Cody Ross, Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Baltimore at Tampa Bay
Cut if needed: Â Mark Reynolds, J.J. Hardy, Nate McLouth
Pittsburgh at home vs. Atlanta
Cut if needed: Â everyone except Andrew McCutchen
Cincinnati at St. Louis
Cut if needed: Â Zack Cozart, Drew Stubbs, Scott Rolen, Todd Frazier
Best Matchups for Base Stealers
Atlanta at Pittsburgh (Micheal Bourn, Jason Heywartd, Martin Prado)
Milwaukee at San Diego (Carlos Gomez, Ryan Braun, Norichika Aoki, Rickie Weeks)
Chicago White Sox at Cleveland (Alejandro de Aza, Alex Rios, Alexei Ramirez)
Chicago Cubs at Houston (Starlin Castro)
Los Angeles Angels at Seattle (Mike Trout, Erick Aybar, Maicer Izturis)
All under 50% owned in ESPN leagues
Monday:Â Bronson Arroyo @ St. Louis, Jarrod Parker vs. Texas
Hail Mary Special:Â Rick Porcello vs. Kansas City
Tuesday:Â Miguel Gonzalez @ Tampa Bay, Wily Peralta vs. San Diego, Hisashi Iwakuma vs. LA Angels
Hail Mary Special:Â Tyler Cloyd @ Washington
Wednesday:Â Chris Tillman @ Tampa Bay, Gavin Floyd vs. Cleveland
Hail Mary Special:Â Bud Norris @ Chicago Cubs