It’s a new week in the MLB and fantasy baseball. That means a fresh slate of matchups and pitchers to target on the waiver wire. Here now are five pitchers that we like this week, including a closer on the return and a lefty that could get a cheap win for fantasy players.
Two pitchers from our Week 8 list return for Week 10, one of whom is Astros right-hander Brandon Bielak. The 27-year-old put up mixed results on May 24 against the Brewers, but he did settle down nicely after a two-run shot from Wily Adames in the first inning. In his next start against a struggling Twins offense a week later, Bielak struck out six over 5.2 IP and notched his second win of the season.
Bielak doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but his four-pitch mix has worked thus far. His next start against the Blue Jays won’t be an easy task, but Bielak does stand a good chance to accumulate wins provided he sticks in the Houston rotation.
Nationals left-hander MacKenzie Gore‘s 2023 campaign has had its highs and lows. However, one thing is for certain: expect a lot of strikeouts. The left-hander has 80 strikeouts over 64 innings for Washington this season, good for seventh in the NL. He will miss his spots with regularity, as indicated by his nine home runs allowed and below-average 10.2% BB% rate. Yet, one can’t deny that the 24-year-old can beat hitters with his fastball, curveball, or slider.
Gore is still available in almost 50% of Yahoo! leagues, somewhat of a remarkable number. If you can, pick him up.
If you listened to us last week and scooped up Angels SP Griffin Canning, well done. We liked the former UCLA star’s chances against the White Sox on Memorial Day, and he came out on top with a win and nine strikeouts in the affair. For this week, we like D-Backs LHP Tommy Henry for a “vulture” win.
The left-hander does an exception job of inducing chases with his changeup and curveball, and we believe he stands a good chance of nabbing a win against Jake Irvin— who owns a 5.67 ERA thus far in the Majors — and the Nationals.
Aside from a gruesome start on May 24 against the Angels, LHP James Paxton‘s 2023 season has gone well thus far. Paxton’s thrown at least five innings in three of his four starts and recorded eight punchouts in two of those outings. In his most recent outing against the Reds, the 34-year-old struck out eight in a no-decision on May 31.
From May 12-June 3, Paxton’s 12.8 K/9 was tied for fifth-best in the Majors alongside Michael Kopech. So long as Paxton can avoid missing his spots, his stuff should be just fine moving forward.
Marlins reliever A.J. Puk did quite well as the Miami closer before the lefty hit the IL with a dead arm issue. Puk progressed to the point where he was able to make back-to-back rehab appearances this past week with Pensacola (AAA), an indication he’s close to making a return.
Once Puk does return from the IL, he should quickly make his way back to the closer role in Miami. From May 25-June 3, fill-in closer Dylan Floro gave up six earned runs over 2.1 innings pitched.