The first week of the second half is set to begin in both the 2023 MLB and fantasy baseball seasons. Time is running short, so it’s not a terrible idea to look for reinforcements if needed. Here now is a look at five pitchers that are worth a look as we move into Week 15.
Cubs reliever Adbert Alzolay made our pitcher-themed waiver wire target list two weeks ago and he’s back once more. Alzolay notched three saves over a five-day period between July 5-9. On the season, the 28-year-old owns a 2.29 ERA and seven saves on the season. Six of his seven saves have come since May 30.
While Alzolay’s numbers (4.26 ERA over 6.1 IP) since June 25 have not been phenomenal, the right-hander has turned into a trusted arm for the Cubs.
It’s time to talk about Seth Lugo again. The Padres right-hander has been marvelous on the mound since he returned from the IL in mid-June. Over his last four starts, Lugo recorded a 2.05 ERA and opposing batters posted a miniscule .576 OPS against the 33-year-old. Additionally, Lugo struck out at least four and went five or more innings in all of those starts.
Lugo can spin one of the best curveballs in the game, and is very effective at getting weak contact off his four-seamer and sinker. What should delight fantasy players even more about Lugo is that the velocity on both his fastballs has ticked up since his return from a calf strain.
At this point, we know what Brewers SP Wade Miley is as a pitcher. The 36-year-old won’t blow hitters away with heat, nor accumulate many strikeouts. He will, however, use his stuff effectively and command it well. That was evident on July 9, when Miley spun six scoreless innings against a deep Reds lineup.
On the season, Miley is 6-2 with a 3.06 ERA and 46 strikeouts over 67.2 IP. He’s been reliable this season, and it’ll be interesting to see how the veteran left-hander performs when he likely faces the Phillies — he’s not scheduled to face the Reds in Milwaukee’s first series back from the break — next week.
Generally speaking, I’m very cautious about pitchers in Coors Field. However, the Yankees right-hander Clarke Schmidt has a good chance of obtaining a “vulture” win on July 15 in Colorado. The Yanks are projected to face Connor Seabold, who owns the fifth-worst ERA (9.98) in the Majors since June 25 (min. 10 IP).
Schmidt has his deficiencies, but his numbers against RHH (.684 OPS) are significantly better than compared to left-handed hitters. The Rockies’ offense isn’t as potent as it’s been in the past, and given that Colorado traditionally runs out a heavy right-handed hitting group, the 27-year-old does stand a good chance to grab a cheap win. However, it does come with risk.
Mariners SP Bryan Woo made this list a couple of weeks ago as a “vulture” win candidate, but he’s more than that at this point. Over his last three starts, Woo didn’t pick up a decision but did record 18 strikeouts and posted a strong 2.12 ERA across 17 innings pitched.
The 23-year-old’s batted ball metrics are excellent, as hitters have had a difficult time picking up either his four-seamer or two-seamer that play up thanks to Woo’s extension. He’s also shown impressive command of the four-seam fastball and can pound it up in the zone on opposing hitters. His collection of fastballs, as well as a good slider, have turned Woo into a fantasy name to watch.