Time is starting to run thin in the 2023 fantasy baseball season. With just a few weeks left in the 2023 MLB regular season, fantasy players that need to accumulate innings will need to get creative. There are, however, a number of intriguing pitchers that should be available to many players. Here’s a look at five pitchers to consider this week.
This week is a bit tricky for spot starters, but one name we do like is Cubs RHP Javier Assad. The 26-year-old’s worked as both a starter and reliever this season, but most recently has slotted in the Cubs rotation along with Justin Steele, Kyle Hendricks, and Jameson Taillon. Assad had two solid starts in a row between August 11-16, both against American League opponents.
Assad and the Cubs are set to face another AL team in the Detroit Tigers on August 21. It is a road matchup, but the Cubs have the offense to get a win against Detroit.
With a number of injuries to the Rays rotation, the Tampa front office has needed to turn to unlikely sources to accumulate innings. One of those names is Zack Littell, who’s been stretched out and has started for the Rays for the last month. In his most recent outing, Littell struck out five over 5.2 innings and gave up two runs against his former team, the San Francisco Giants.
Littell has a strong chance to snare a win on August 22 at home against the Colorado Rockies.
Dodgers right-hander Ryan Pepiot missed almost all of the first five months of the 2023 campaign with a left oblique strain. Pepiot made his season debut on August 19 against the Marlins and delivered strong results for Los Angeles. The 26-year-old didn’t start, but did strike out five over five frames and yielded just one walk, one earned run, and three hits.
The 26-year-old possesses a wicked changeup, as well as a fastball that can play up and an effective slider. Manager Dave Roberts stated that Pepiot — who was Los Angeles’ 27th man that day — could stick in the rotation with Tony Gonsolin out for the rest of the year. Should that be the case, the righty needs to be on fantasy players’ radars.
Hyun Jin Ryu
We put Blue Jays LHP Hyun Jin Ryu on this list when he first came off the IL back in early August. His first start against a powerhouse Orioles team did not go well, as he gave up four earned over five innings. Since then, he’s lowered his ERA to 1.89 and most recently struck out seven against the Reds on August 20 to pick up his second win of the 2023 season.
In his last four starts, Ryu’s thrown 14 innings in which he hasn’t allowed an earned run. By the time his next start comes, the left-hander will likely be off the board in most leagues.
Tigers LHP Tarik Skubal’s 2023 season has been an interesting one. Skubal has seemingly alternated between good starts and poor ones in recent weeks. The 26-year-old pitched great on August 5 (5.1 IP, 0 ER, 6 K) and 18 (6 IP, 1 ER, 7 K), but his outings on July 30 (4.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 K) and August 11 (5.1 IP, 4 ER, 3 K) were less than ideal.
The good news for Skubal, however, is that he’s still missing bats and getting opposing hitters to chase. His results have been inconsistent, but the lefty’s still a quality starter.