We're rounding third and on our way home when it comes to the Fantasy Baseball season. There's one more week to go after this one, but we can't turn the page on this second-to-last week until we get a weekend loaded with action. If you're in your finals or semifinals, we will keep delivering actionable advice for the last week. The same goes for Roto leagues.
Today, we'll talk about two starting pitchers at different stages of their careers but both with major upside. We'll also talk about a surprise breakout benefiting from the Coors Field effect. And we'll feature a few more starting pitchers you'll want to stash on your benches now for the final week of the season, courtesy of Scott White.
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Anderson flashes big-time upside
Braves SP Ian Anderson was a Chris Towers favorite this offseason and he coined him as his next Zac Gallen. For those who don't remember, Chris was all over the Gallen breakout and rostered him in more leagues than any pitcher during that season. The Gallen-esque breakout didn't exactly happen for Anderson, but after Wednesday's outing, he has respectable numbers -- a 3.60 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 122 strikeouts over 122 1/3 innings.
More importantly, on Wednesday Anderson looked a lot like the breakout we expected for 2021 and a pitcher you'll want to get on your mid-round targets list for your 2022 drafts. Anderson went seven innings deep allowing just two hits, one walk and one earned run while striking out eight. Of course, it was against the Diamondbacks, but we saw the swing-and-miss pitcher whose profile flashed so much upside in the first place. In this game, Anderson threw 59 of 97 pitches for strikes (15 induced swinging strikes).
The 23-year-old pitcher is still developing and makes for an incredibly intriguing breakout pick in 2022.
Ryan makes MLB history
Twins SP prospect Joe Ryan struck out a whopping 11 batters in five innings on Wednesday. He allowed two runs and three hits over the five innings. During the process, Ryan became just the second pitcher since 1901 to go at least five innings AND allowed three or fewer hits in their first four career MLB starts. In this outing, Ryan closed things out by retiring his final seven batters via strikeout. If that's not flashing big-time upside moving forward, how about his 2.45 ERA, 0.59 WHIP and 25 strikeouts through his first 22 MLB innings? Ryan was the prospect who came back via the Nelson Cruz trade and it looks early like Minnesota got a steal.
Cron continues to crush
Rockies 1B C.J. Cron became a somewhat popular final-round pick this past April in large part due to landing in Colorado to play half his games at Coors Field. It turns out that those who prioritized drafting him were rewarded with an excellent return on their investment in Cron's first season in Coors Field.
Cron crushed the Dodgers on Wednesday going 4 for 5 with two doubles, two runs and an RBI. Wednesday's performance brings his season-long slash line to .277/.372/.533 with 27 homers and 86 RBI for the 31-year-old.
Fantasy fun fact
This is the first season in MLB history where multiple players age 22 or younger (Vlad Guerrero Jr. (46), (Fernando Tatis Jr. (40), have hit 40+ home runs, per Hector Gomez.
Pitchers to stash for the final week
Scott White broke down the 10 pitchers he's looking to stash ahead of the final week of the season here. Let's break down some of our favorite stashes:
A's SP Cole Irvin: The bipolar matchups are always tricky, but I generally buy into the premise that two starts are better than one. The Astros may be resting their starters by the time Irvin faces them anyway. At least you don't have to worry about an early hook with him, which isn't the case for so many pitchers this time of year.
Mets SP Carlos Carrasco: After a long wait for his season debut, he hasn't been as dominant as we're used to seeing him, particularly with regard to missing bats. He's done a good job of limiting damage lately, though, and the Marlins lineup should help with that. Check on the status of his thumb in his start at Milwaukee this week.
Rockies SP Antonio Senzatela: He hasn't gone about it in the most conventional way, but Senzatela's streak of seven straight quality starts isn't a fluke either. There's something to be said for throwing strikes and keeping the ball off the ground, both of which he has done at an elite level. The matchup is right next week, particularly with no threat of Coors Field shenanigans.