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Strikeouts Sleepers For Week 10: Waiver Wire Pickups

As of May 28th, there have been 11,982 strikeouts in Major League Baseball.  It’s your hope as a fantasy baseball Owner that you can get as many of those strikeouts as possible on your fantasy team.  It’s our job to help you find those strikeouts sleepers so that you can  get a bigger piece of that punchout pie.  Here are four pitchers with less than 20% ownership in both Yahoo and ESPN leagues that can help you out in the strikeout category.


Collin McHugh - Houston Astros

(Yahoo: 17%, ESPN: 13.4%)

Colin McHugh Houston Astros

Collin McHugh is off to a strong start for the Astros as he has struck out 50 batters in 7 starts.  He has  had 12 and 9 strikeouts in two of those starts.  His 10.0 K/9 would be top 10 in MLB if he qualified (he is five innings short).  McHugh is using his off-speed pitches 55.9% of the time to keep hitters off balance and is holding them to a .195 BAA (Batting Average Against).

He is getting hitters to swing at pitches outside the strike zone at a rate of 33.1% which again would put him in the top 20 in MLB if he qualified.  He does pitch for the lowly Astros, but when all you need is strikeouts, anything else you can get from him is an added bonus.


Wade Miley - Arizona Diamondbacks

(Yahoo: 15%, ESPN: 13.4%)

Wade Miley is coming off a season high 11 Ks against San Diego, helping him keep pace on what could be a career year for him in strikeouts.  Miley’s 7.49 K/9 rate is his highest in his career.  This dramatic increase in strikeouts is due to his use of his slider at the highest rate of his career, 25.7% of the time.  This is the 14th  highest rate  in MLB.  His average velocity is 91.2MPH, so he is not blowing it by hitters, rather he is using his slider to keep hitters off balance.  His 4.76 ERA is high, but if you’re only looking for K’s and can take the ERA hit, Miley will do just fine.


Roenis Elias - Seattle Mariners

(Yahoo: 12%, ESPN: 5.1%)

By Sam Dykstra via

The rookie left hander out of Cuba has done a respectable job in his first 11 starts.  His 7.89 K/9 is fourth amongst all rookie pitchers with at least 10 starts.  Elias relies on off speed stuff, especially his change up which he throws 19.7% of the time, 18th most in MLB.  He has had control issues this year but has allowed only one walk in three out his last four starts.

He is not going to overpower hitters but does have a 9.0 SwStr% (percentage of strikes that were swung at and missed) which is fifth among all rookie starters and 43rd in all of MLB.  Elias is a decent option if you’re looking for K’s in deep leagues.


Jake Odorizzi - Tampa Bay Rays

(Yahoo: 9%, ESPN: 4.4%)

Jake Odorizzi, another rookie, has had a Jekyll and Hyde start to his career but has come on as of late, notching three quality starts in his last four outings.  His 10.4 K/9 would be fourth best in MLB but he is 2/3 of an inning short of qualifying.  Odorizzi relies heavily on his change up, 23.9%, which is eighth most in MLB.  This is a little surprising being that his change up is only 5 MPH off from his fastball.  Any speed difference will keep hitters off balance and he has a respectable 31.5% O-Swing (percentage of pitches a hitter swings at outside the strike zone).   Odorizzi is averaging five innings and 96 pitches per start and if he can keep his pitch count down and go longer in games, his strikeouts will likely increase.  Grab him if he is available before someone else does.


Honorable Mentions for Deeper Leagues

Andre Rienzo - CHW- Rienzo has struck out 7 and 8 hitters in his last two starts and carries a 7.02 K/9 in 7 starts.  He had 151 Ks last year between AAA and the majors.  He can be used in spot starts if you need punchouts.

Nick Tepesch - TEX -Tepesch has 16 Ks in 3 starts this year, which have all been quality starts.  He is now the number three starter in Texas and will try to continue to produce in that role.  If you’re looking for a pitcher in a deeper league, keep an eye out on Tepesch.