All-Star Weekend has come to a close, and it’s time to get back to business. The fantasy owners who think of the weekend as a break from managing their teams are those who end up taking the break when playoffs come around. While those guys are sitting on their rear ends enjoying life, you, the savvy fantasy owner that you are, continue to do your research in pursuit of a league victory.
If you’re a team that is looking for hitting, I’ll write up another post on that later this week. But if you’re in need of pitching – this is the place to be. Here are eight high upside arms that you can snag from the waiver wire and cause the rest of your league to say “How did I miss that?”
Remember, if you have any fantasy questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @FlippedBats.
Junior Guerra, MIL (67% Yahoo! Leagues)
Guerra was a 30-year old catcher when he came over from the Italian league to sign with the Chicago White Sox, and hasn’t looked back since his switch to the mound. He produced a strikeout rate above 30% in between Double- and Triple-A, and now is finally a fixture in the Majors. He posted a 3.06 ERA with the Brewers this year, and is starting to become well known around fantasy circles. Get him now before you can’t.
Anthony DeSclafani (51% Yahoo! Leagues)
I’ve been in love with DeSclafani since the middle of last season, and he’s backed me up so far this year. The 26-year old right hander has a 2.32 ERA this season, and has looked just as solid after coming off his injury. His peripherals are in line with what he did in 2015, so this shouldn’t be a surprise. He’s just been getting better results from the same stuff. Just like Guerra, pick him up before someone else does.
Drew Smyly, TB (Owned in 48% of Yahoo! Leagues)
Smyly had a rough first half to the season, posting a 2-10 record with a 5.47 ERA. While that isn’t easy to overlook, if you can, the upside is obvious. The Tampa pitcher has struck out almost 10 batters per 9, so it isn’t like he was useless. The peripherals suggest a regression, the good type. Smyly’s HR/FB rate is four percentage points above his career average, and his Batting Average On Balls in Play is above both his career and the league average. His percentage of runners left on base is also much below the average. Expect a high-ish ERA and a bunch of strikeouts from Smyly in the second half.
Hyun-Jin Ryu (30% Yahoo! Leagues)
In Ryu’s first start of 2016, his first appearance in the majors since October 2014, Ryu got rocked. Stuff looked the same, and therefore, I still have hope for him. He underwent surgery on his labrum and lost a lot of respect from fantasy owners after his solid 2014 season when he posted a 3.38 ERA and a 1/19 WHIP. Stash him for the long run, and hope to catch lightning in a bottle.
Daniel Mengden, OAK (14% Yahoo! Leagues)
Flashes of Catfish Hunter and Rollie Fingers every time he takes the mound, the mustached pitcher has a wind-up that might have been conventional if this was the 1970’s. Look past the ‘stache and appreciate his average ground ball rate paired with an above average strikeout rate to see the real Mengden. He isn’t the typical fire-throwing youngster we’re accustomed to seeing, and thus he is neglected. Four solid pitches in a huge home ballpark, expect good things from the young man.
If you can’t manage to scoop up any of these guys, check out Blake Snell, Adam Conley, and Kevin Gausman. Expect my hitter post later this week, and as always, feel free to hit me up on twitter with any fantasy or baseball related questions you have, @FlippedBats.
Spark Sports MLB Analyst