Fantasy Baseball: 20 clutch pickups for the stretch run — i.e., playoff help for Head-to-Head leagues

When it comes to playing the matchups, I’m used to taking it week by week. Probable pitchers are constantly changing, so predicting any further out than that is a fool’s errand.

But if you play in a Head-to-Head league, the playoffs are nigh, if not already here. It’s about this time every year that people begin asking who they should stash away for the stretch run. So I’ll play along, sizing up every team’s remaining schedule and speculating which players could benefit most from it.

Understand, though, that speculation is all it is. Again, it’s no use trying sort out which exact pitchers will start on which days, so for more confident recommendations, I advise you to check out my weekly pitcher and hitter sleepers, which will be released every Friday as usual. But if you’re looking to get a jump on your competition, stashing away all the potential reinforcements ahead of time, then a little speculation may be just what you need.

What I’ve done here is count up which teams have the most remaining series against “bad” pitching staffs and which have the most remaining series against “bad” lineups. How do I classify such things? Mostly by runs, whether prevented or scored, but I do make my own judgments based on changes in personnel. For instance, the Mets certainly have a bad pitching staff now even if they haven’t for most of the season.

The starting point for this exercise is next scoring period, the one that begins Monday, Aug. 28. From that point forward — five scoring periods in all — each team will play 10 series. The ones with the most series against “bad” pitching staffs and the ones with most series against “bad” lineups are listed below, along with some players who you may want to pick up in light of this information. For the most part, I’ve limited myself to those rostered in less than 80 percent of CBS Sports leagues, but I have highlighted a couple who are rostered in more.

You of course won’t be able to add them all, and I want to stress that these recommended pickups are in no way meant to replace the studs who got you where you are. In fact, in a perfect world, you won’t have to use any of them and can simply add them just so your competition won’t use them against you.

Remaining series against ‘bad’ pitching staffs:

Hitter pickups for the stretch run

Others (roster percentage in parentheses): Will Benson (27), Austin Hays (66), Edouard Julien (47), Eddie Rosario (56), Mike Tauchman (25), Joey Votto (36)

Remaining series against ‘bad’ lineups:

Pitcher pickups for the stretch run

Others (roster percentage in parentheses): Mike Clevinger (68), Clarke Schmidt (51), Brady Singer (62), Brandon Williamson (31), Bryan Woo (45)

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