The last full week of July has arrived. With a week before the 2023 MLB Trade Deadline and two months left in the fantasy baseball season, it’s time to get things in order. With that said, here’s a look at five pitchers to monitor this week.
The Guardians have received mixed results from their young starters this month. Right-hander Tanner Bibee posted a 1.14 ERA and 27 strikeouts over his first four starts (23.2 IP) of July, while hard-throwing righty Gavin Williams’ struggled with command. Left-hander Logan Allen started the month in Columbus (AAA), but returned last week and pitched well in his first outing back against the Pirates.
Allen will get the Royals on July 24, a favorable matchup in a week where there’s very few of them.
Another vulture win candidate this week is Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks. The veteran right-hander’s numbers in July haven’t been particularly impressive, as he owns a 4.43 ERA this month. He does, however, have 20 strikeouts opposite one walk in 22.1 IP for the Cubs.
The sinkerballer is set to face the White Sox and Michael Kopech on the South Side on July 25. It’s a good matchup on paper, even though Hendricks isn’t a strikeout pitcher.
Tigers right-hander Michael Lorenzen’s been on these lists a few times this year, and those who’ve grabbed him early on in July and held on to the righty benefited greatly. Lorenzen threw 18.2 scoreless innings to start the month, highlighted by a July 15 performance against the Mariners in which he struck out seven over 6.2 IP. On the season, the 31-year-old is 5-6 with a 3.49 ERA and 76 strikeouts over 100.2 IP.
The righty’s going to come back down at some point, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be someone to monitor. Lorenzen will likely be a highly-valued trade chip for the Tigers, given that he’s in the midst of a career season and a pending free agent. Both the Astros and Rays have reportedly shown interest in the 31-year-old. If Lorenzen were to land in Houston or Tampa, his value in fantasy would rise.
Aside from a poor performance against a Phillies team that’s very familiar with him, Padres right-hander Seth Lugo’s July has been fine. Lugo struck out at least five batters in all three of his outings this month, including a seven strikeout night on July 21 against the Tigers.
Another name that’s been on our weekly waiver wire target lists this season, the 33-year-old will face the Pirates in San Diego on July 26.
We cap off the list with Nationals reliever Kyle Finnegan. In the closer’s role with Hunter Harvey on the IL, Finnegan nailed down two saves between July 17-23. On the year, the 31-year-old is 4-3 with a 3.24 ERA, 13 saves, and 40 strikeouts over 41.2 IP.
Unless Finnegan is dealt at the Trade Deadline, expect him to remain the Washington closer while Harvey is sidelined.