2023 MLB Fantasy: Five Pitchers to Target on the Waiver Wire (Week 8)

We’re into Week 8 of the 2023 MLB regular season and the fantasy baseball season. A number of notable pitchers have hit the IL over the past few days, so it’s likely that you might be in the market for a pitcher. If that’s the case, here’s five names to consider.

Related: 2023 MLB Fantasy: Five Hitters to Target on the Waiver Wire (Week 8)

Brandon Bielak

If you took our advice last week and snared either Tanner Bibee and Josiah Gray on the waiver wire, all we have to say is good job. With those two likely off the board in a majority of leagues, a deep sleeper worth a look at this juncture is Brandon Bielak.

Primarily a reliever for the Astros in his Major League career, the Notre Dame product does have a fair amount of starting experience under his belt as a pro. With a number of injuries to the Astros rotation, the 27-year-old has made three starts in May and has done relatively well in that role. In his most recent outing on May 19, Bielak struck out nine A’s in five innings and notched his first win of the year.

Command is something to watch with Bielak, as he’s struggled with hitting his spots at times in his career. But armed with two fastballs, a good slider, and a changeup he’s used more in recent weeks, the New Jersey native looks like a sleeper source for wins. He won’t, however, have it easy in his next start against the Brewers.

Dylan Floro

Marlins reliever Dylan Floro‘s first full week as the closer in Miami went well. Over 3.1 innings pitched, Floro — who’s in the closer role after A.J. Puk went on the IL due to dead arm — notched two strikeouts and three saves, and did not allow a run. Floro gets plenty of ground balls thanks to his sinker and slider and should remain a very valuable reliever while Puk remains sidelined.

Pierce Johnson

Rockies reliever Pierce Johnson started the season as the Colorado closer after Daniel Bard hit the IL. While Johnson’s run as the primary reliever in Colorado hasn’t been smooth, the 32-year-old still remains the closer despite the return of Bard. Johnson owns a 4.76 ERA during the month of May, but he does have seven strikeouts over 5.2 IP and four saves, the latter of which ranks in the top ten of the league.

If you need quick saves, take a look at Johnson.

James Paxton

The Red Sox have received strong contributions from its rotation in recent weeks. Brayan Bello struck out 12 over his last two starts, while Chris Sale‘s looking more like the ace we saw back in 2018. We also can’t forget about “Big Maple” James Paxton, who’s back on the mound for the first time in two years. Over his first two starts of the season, the Red Sox left is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA and 14 punchouts over 11 innings.

Paxton’s velocity has been excellent in the early goings, and his signature curveball is in good form. So long as the 34-year-old stays healthy, keep a close eye on him.

Louie Varland

We end off this list with a pitcher who made it on our Week 7 target list: Twins SP Louie Varland. In Varland’s most recent outing, the 25-year-old struck out four and walked just one over five solid innings against the Angels and secured his second win on the season. Varland notched 31 strikeouts over his first 28 innings of the season, 23 of which came in May. Those 23 punchouts ranks among the top 25 in the Majors (min. 15 IP thrown in May).

Varland is tentatively slated to face a slumping Blue Jays team this coming weekend.