2023 Fantasy Baseball: Who to Target with Max Scherzer Done for the Season

Max Scherzer of the Texas Rangers

In a brutal blow to the Rangers’ World Series ambitions, the team down in north Texas lost marquee Trade Deadline acquisition Max Scherzer to a teres major injury that will likely sideline him through the postseason. With Scherzer done for all of 2023, let’s take a look at his season as a whole and some potential fantasy baseball replacements.

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A Look at Scherzer

The 2023 campaign will go down as a complicated one for Max Scherzer.

As a whole, Scherzer did relatively well. The future Hall of Famer went 13-6 with a 3.77 ERA and 174 strikeouts over 152.2 IP. And the 39-year-old, aside from a brutal start against the World Series champion Astros, put up strong numbers with the Texas Rangers after the trade that sent from him from Queens to north Texas.

Scherzer owned a 3.20 ERA and .96 WHIP over 45 innings in Texas, and struck out 54.

However, his time with the Mets was not phenomenal. While he did deliver quality innings late in his tenure with the Mets, he proved to be much more hittable and couldn’t rely on the slider as much as he normally would.

As we noted at the time of the trade, Scherzer struggled with commanding the pitch and often left it over the plate. Given that and the amount of time opposing hitters put it in play, it’s not a shock that the righty used it almost 7% less in 2023 as compared to 2022.

However, Scherzer’s 2023 campaign came to halt on September thanks to a teres major strain. Scherzer is now reportedly done for the remainder of the regular season and “unlikely” to retun for the playoffs.

A Look at Potential Replacement Options

Here’s a look at potential replacement options for Scherzer:

Michael King and Javier Assad are two names to consider, as both have pitched quite well over the last month. King posted a stellar 2.08 ERA and 26 strikeouts over the last month, and that ERA is figure is good for 10th-best in the Majors at the start of play on September 13 (min. 20 IP). Assad’s 3.09 ERA in that span isn’t too bad, either.

Assad’s rookie teammate Jordan Wicks is another name to consider. Over the last month, just four NL pitchers — Ryan Pepiot, Justin Steele, Brandon Woodruff, and Jake Irvin — own better earned run averages than Wicks (1.99 ERA).

Don’t count out the rookies, either. Bryan Woo, in particular, is a name to watch. He pitched masterfully in last start against the Angels, and he can get a ton of whiffs off his fastballs.

Note: All players are available in at least 50% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues.