With little time left in the 2023 fantasy baseball season left, the pressure is on for teams to make the most out of these final weeks. Pitching can be tough to find, but there are a number of interesting arms that have performed well in recent weeks. Here’s a look at some names that are trending upward and might be worth a pickup.
Red Sox hurler Kutter Crawford split the first half of the 2023 season between the rotation and a long man out of the pen. Since the All-Star break, Crawford’s worked exclusively as a starter — and has produced strong results for the Sox. Through eight starts in the second half, Crawford owned a 2.95 ERA and posted a 45:12 K:BB ratio through 39.2 IP.
Crawford’s pitched well as of late and Boston will need him to produce down the stretch, if the Sox want a shot at the playoffs. But with a rough schedule, it won’t be easy. The righty’s lined up to face the Astros at home on August 30.
Orioles starter Kyle Gibson‘s had his ups and downs in recent weeks, but the veteran right-hander’s been nonetheless an asset in fantasy in recent weeks. The 35-year-old tossed eight solid innings on August 24 against the Blue Jays to pick up his thirteenth win of the 2023 campaign.
Yes, Gibson’s ERA in his last five starts — 5.74 ERA, to be exact — isn’t pretty, although much of that can be attributed to a beating at the hand of the Mariners. But, he’s 4-1 in that span. While not officially announced, expect Gibson to get a start against a middling White Sox team at home this week.
The UCL injury to Orioles closer Félix Bautista sent shockwaves across the Majors and fantasy baseball. What makes replacing Bautista tougher for fantasy owners who own him is that his likely replacement Yennier Cano, who picked up a save on August 26, is owned in many leagues. For those who need to replace Bautista, the pickings are slim at the moment.
One player that could be tempting for those in need of a replacement closer is Trevor May of the A’s. While he certainly does not have the potential as compared to the 2023 AL All-Star, May does have four saves on the month and 14 overall.
Phillies left-hander Cristopher Sánchez picked up his second win of the 2023 campaign on August 25, when he threw six strong innings against the Cardinals. Sánchez has been highly effective out of the Phillies rotation in recent weeks, as he’s given up two or fewer earned runs and gone at least five innings in six of his last seven starts.
The 26-year-old doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but he works hitters with a good changeup and can pound the zone down with his sinker. The 26-year-old possesses an above-average GB% rate and a tidy 4.3% BB% rate that would rank in the top ten of the league if Sánchez had enough innings to qualify.
Dare we say that Angels LHP Patrick Sandoval is back. Sandoval’s a fan favorite here, thanks to ability to change speeds and give hitters different looks on a regular basis. However, the results have been uneven for the lefty this season. A ghastly 7.11 ERA in June pushed Sandoval’s ERA up to 4.57 as of June 29, but he’s since stabilized.
Since July 1, Sandoval is 3-3 with a 2.79 ERA and 44 strikeouts over 42 innings. His ability to limit walks is a concern, but he’s got the stuff to beat hitters on a regular basis. The question over the last month, however, is whether the 26-year-old can snare wins for fantasy owners.