Additions throughout the week 25 (2021) pitcher waiver
Only three weeks left! If your playoffs haven’t started yet, I bet they’re about to! Either that or you’ve been in the heat of the last few weeks to decide on the roto champion. Anyway, good luck to you for the last three weeks here!
It has been a fun time to write this article every week, and I hope I can drill down to a few more good choices to help some people win their championships.
Let’s talk about another handful of weapons to consider for the last 20 games of the season.
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Pickups for Shallow Leagues
Tarik Skubal, Detroit Tigers (33% registered)
The southpaw will end the year feeling pretty good in his 2021 campaign. While it lacked consistency, he has definitely established himself as a branch of the Major League with great potential. He’s posted strong K: BB ratios throughout the year and has had some great stretches.
He might be running out a bit right now, as he’s been pretty bad in his last two outings. He allowed Athletics six earned runs and then only lasted three innings against the Pirates, allowing four hits and two earned runs. That might be the plan for the future, not to let it get very deep into the games, but we can’t say for sure.
What we do know is that Skubal is a very strong arm who has an edge every start. He will face the Rays this week, which could work very well for his solid 26.5% K% and 7.7% BB%.
Ranger Suarez, Philadelphia Phillies (55% registered)
He has seen his property climb tremendously over the past week, increasing by more than 15 percentage points. That’s because he’s only allowed seven runs in his last 32 innings (six starts). He’s struck out 31 batters in that time frame, so he’s not even hurting your team’s strikeout total (or rate).
He’s probably the best guy to watch here as he’s preparing well for a start against the Cubs next week. Give him a serious look, as Suarez looks like a well above average starter in the league right now.
Tanner Houck, Boston Red Sox (17% registered)
A K% of 30.2% and a BB% of 5.4% would be things you would expect from Max Scherzer or Walker Buehler, but Houck has been doing this all year round. Sometimes he looks amazing. He recently played five scoreless innings against the Indians while striking out seven and allowing just three hits.
The problem with Houck is that the Red Sox are likely to reduce his pitching count. After two starts where the count goes over 90, they shot him before they even hit 70 shots in this Cleveland start. It is quite alarming. If you can’t even throw 80 shots, you won’t be in the running for many wins or quality starts – and that counts in most leagues. There’s a chance he could push 90+ shots again, and that would make him a fantastic option for this start against the Mariners.
Pickups for Deeper Leagues
Carlos Hernandez, Kansas City Royals (45% registered)
Six white innings against the Orioles on Thursday made his 2021 season even better. He now has a 3.29 ERA over his 76.2 innings with 70 strikeouts and 34 walks.
It doesn’t have the best “tips” as evidenced by its below average 11.7% SwStr% and 10.5% BB%. This makes him a less than sure value in a given start. He also has an below average game next week against Athletics. I’d much prefer to have a guy like Suarez, but Hernandez is a good option if you’re in real pain.
Matthew Boyd, Detroit Tigers (24% enrolled)
It was a bad start for Boyd last time around against the Reds, allowing five earned runs in our innings. However, for the year it has a strong K: BB ratio of 67:23. He has also limited the circuits much more than in the last two seasons. He’s only allowed nine home runs in 78.2 innings, which is very encouraging.
Next week’s game will be the Rays, who have struggled quite a bit against lefties this year. They’re certainly a better offense against lefties with Nelson Cruz and Wander Franco joining the squad mid-season, but they’re still very beatable. I don’t like Boyd, I don’t think I’ll ever like him again, but he’s a useful arm if you really need someone.
Josiah Gray, Washington Nationals (18% enrolled)
He allowed 12 earned runs in two starts against the Phillies and Mets, but for the year his low shots have been excellent. He has an elite SwStr% of 15.4% for the year with a K% below expectations of 25.8%. His ground bullet rate is an issue, however, at 33%. He gave up a ton of home runs.
The good news is he’ll face the Marlins next week, and it’s a formation that doesn’t hit too many home runs. I think it’s a good bet to get yourself some strikeouts next week if that’s what you really need. It’s especially useful in leagues that use a strikeout rate category like K / 9.
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