2023 MLB Fantasy: Five Pitchers to Target on the Waiver Wire (Week 17)

J.P. France of the Houston Astros

With the 2023 MLB Trade Deadline in the horizon, a lot has changed in recent days. The Trade Deadline has affected fantasy values for a number of players, and that means opportunity. With that said, here now are five waiver wire targets for fantasy baseball players for this week.

Related: New Baseball Media’s 2023 MLB Trade Deadline Coverage and Trade Tracker

Seth Lugo

We tabbed Seth Lugo as one of our waiver wire targets last week, in what was a favorable matchup against the Pirates. The veteran right-hander did strike out eight in his lone outing last week, but didn’t get enough run support against the Pirates.

This week, Lugo is set to face the Rockies on July 31 against Austin Gomber. Colorado’s offense just got thinner with the trade that sent Randal Grichuk and C.J. Cron to Anaheim, and Lugo’s done enough in recent weeks to warrant some trust in Coors Field.

J.P. France

Astros starter J.P. France doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but he makes the most of his arsenal. In his last start, France struck out just three but three seven scoreless innings against the Texas Rangers. In the last two weeks, France has a pair of wins and owns an ERA of 0.64 across 14 innings. He’ll face the Guardians and Noah Syndergaard on July 31.

France may get two starts this week, given that the Astros face the Guardians for three and then go to The Bronx for four against the Yankees.

Jose Quintana

Mets left-hander Jose Quintana made two starts since he missed the first half of the year after rib surgery. He’s pitched well in both, as the 34-year-old owns a 3.27 ERA and struck out eight over his first 11 innings of the season.

While the Mets have traded some of the team’s key pieces away, Quintana is still a strong matchup against the Royals on August 1. Kansas City, for what it’s worth, had the sixth-worst team wRC+ (88) as of July 30.

Hyun Jin Ryu

The last time Hyun Jin Ryu stepped on a MLB mound was June 1, 2022 against the Chicago White Sox. Since then, Ryu underwent UCL reconstruction and faced a lengthy rehab, but he’s set to return this week and start on August 1 against the Orioles.

Ryu has a tough matchup this week against the O’s, so it’s probably best not to start him on Tuesday in his first outing back. Nonetheless, the lefty’s ability to dice up hitters and win potential does make him an intriguing name moving forward. It’s wise not to expect a 2020-like rest of the season from Ryu, but there’s value there.

Brooks Raley

Former Mets reliever David Robertson was New York’s closer this season, until the Marlins acquired the veteran right-hander this past week. While Robertson notched his first save with Miami on July 30, left-hander Brooks Raley earned his second in four days.

The 35-year-old’s been highly effective for the Mets this season, and it would make sense for New York to keep him around given he has a pretty reasonable $6.5M club option for 2024. Adam Ottavino also looms in the closer’s conversation, but Raley has taken advantage of his opportunities thus far.