Week 23 Waiver Wire - Starting Pitchers

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With less than a month remaining in the fantasy baseball season, this is the time to be brutally honest with yourself about what your team needs to do. Break out the abacus and crunch every last number if you need to, but be sure you address your needs.

Whether you need wins, ratios or strikeouts (ideally all three), we’ll try to help you out. Here are my starting pitcher waiver wire targets for Week 23.

For our purposes, we’re going to use Yahoo ownership levels and try to cut things off around 30%.

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Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Targets

Doug Fister - (BOS, SP): 29% owned

As if 2017 wasn’t crazy enough, here’s Fister coming off as the first name on a waiver-wire article. The guy has allowed just four runs over his last 23 innings (three starts) -- one of which was a complete-game dismantling of the Indians. He’s won four of his last six and quite simply looks back to form with his groundball-inducing ways. He’s not going to rack up a ton of K’s, but won’t be a total dud in that area when he faces the Blue Jays on Wednesday night before a home matchup against the A’s.

Tyler Glasnow - (PIT, SP): 24% owned

You get it by now. Stash him for the mid-September gamble on his ridiculously-good upside he’s shown in the Minors, or don’t.

Jake Junis - (KC, SP): 26% owned

Junis’ last 30 days: Four wins, 30 K’s in 32 1/3 innings, 3.34 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. He’s walked just two batters and allowed one homer in that timeframe, which demonstrates incredible control and command low in the zone for anyone, let alone a rookie. His 2.15 FIP over this span indicates this is no joke, so perhaps you’ll want to get on board for his next start on Sept. 9 against the Twins at home.

Edwin Jackson - (WSH, SP): 18% owned

I realize you’re probably sick of reading about him at this point, which is fair. However, he has a nice matchup against the Phillies at home on Sept. 9 next and has posted some stellar lines against subpar offenses this season. It’s hard to trust him against any team in the top half, but the Phillies -- while improved -- are still a positive draw for streaming candidates.

Jack Flaherty - (STL, SP): 17% owned

Speaking of positive draws, Flaherty will get to face the Padres in his second big-league start. I’m willing to look past his tumultuous MLB debut (4 IP, 5 ER, 1 BB, 6 K’s) against Giants given the whiffs and poise to finish his start strong, getting his final five batters out. He could strike out 8-10 Pads on Wednesday if the spotlight jitters are out of his system.

Robert Stephenson - (CIN, SP/RP): 11% owned

Stephenson once again worked around questionable control on Tuesday night to pick up a win. Despite walking five Brewers, the 24-year-old collected his fourth straight victory by yielding just one run over six innings while striking out seven. Despite issuing 15 walks over his last 22 2/3 innings, he’s rung up 28 batters over that timeframe and allowed just six runs. Bigger offenses could make him pay, but for now he lines up to face the Mets on the road on Sept. 10, so that’s nice.

Kyle Gibson - (MIN, SP): 7% owned

Okay, now 2017 has gone too far. After posting a 6-10 record alongside a 6.05 ERA over his first 21 starts, Gibson has rattled off three straight wins/quality starts against the White Sox, Blue Jays and Royals. He’s struck out 20 against just two walks and has only allowed one homer in those outings with a ground-ball rate over 50 percent. His 2.07 FIP/2.41 xFIP in that small sample size backs up the results and paints him as a useful option in a road rematch with Kansas City on Sept. 7.

Tyler Mahle - (CIN, SP): 7% owned

Mahle coasted through six scoreless frames in his second big-league start on Sept. 2 in a rematch with the Pirates, who put up four runs on him over five innings in his Major League debut. It’s impressive that a rookie could improve when facing a Major League team for the second time in a week given the usual advantage goes to the hitters in that scenario. This should give him some confidence heading into a strong matchup against the Mets in New York on Sept. 7 where he’ll try to once again show just how he posted a combined 2.06 ERA and 0.96 WHIP between 144 1/3 Double- and Triple-A frames.

Dillon Peters - (MIA, SP): 7% owned

Look at that, 7-7-7. Peters was phenomenal against the Phillies in his first Major League start, blanking them over seven innings only to watch his bullpen lose his 1-0 lead in an eventual 2-1 loss. Still, we have to appreciate the effort heading into tonight’s (Wednesday’s) start against the Nationals at home. The Nats ain’t what they used to be, with their collective team .298 wOBA over the last two weeks checking in at 23rd out of all 30 teams. Make the add. Miami will keep finding him starts so long as he performs well enough to be fantasy viable.

Aaron Slegers - (MIN, SP): 1% owned

Slegers, who made his Major League debut as the 26th man in a doubleheader on Aug. 17 vs. Cleveland, finally gets a second look in the bigs on Wednesday against the Rays. The newly-minted 25-year-old allowed just two runs on three baserunners against the Indians and has posted a 3.40 ERA/1.23 WHIP across 24 Triple-A starts with a crisp 15-4 record. We don’t care much for records, but it does stand out. More important is how he owns a 10.9 percent swinging-strike rate there after whiffing just three in his first start, so don’t think he’s got nothing to offer in the K department. Those in very deep circles should give him a look.

 

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