Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Lucas Giolito starting to live up to the hype?

More Week 23: Top Sleeper HittersTwo-Start Pitcher Rankings

We wrote about Lucas Giolito Friday, but his ownership hasn't budged and he went out and threw another gem Saturday, so it's time to give him a little more love.

View Profile
Lucas Giolito CHW • SP • 27
Owned41%

He limited the Tigers to just one run on three hits over seven innings Saturday, striking out six and walking just one in the win, his third in a row. Giolito racked up 12 swinging strikes in the outing, his fourth time with at least 10 in eight August starts. He has 32 strikeouts in 31 innings in the month, and most importantly, just 10 walks; he had 60 walks and only 63 strikeouts in 103 1/3 innings before the All-Star break.

Giolito is unlikely to ever become a Cy Young contender, and even during this improved stretch, he has a 4.35 ERA in August. But there's plenty of upside here, and he's starting to show it. He's worth owning in many more leagues than he is right now.

Maybe Tyler Austin just needed a chance. He went deep twice Sunday against the Athletics, giving him six in 12 games since joining the Twins. He has started 12 of 15 games with the Twins, hitting .333 with those six homers, and you have to think he's earned himself an everyday role down the stretch. A career .270/.345/.489 hitter with a 26-homer-per-150-game pace in Triple-A, Austin looks like an intriguing option, even if he's just first base eligible.  

He was always going to get a chance after the Astros traded for him, and Robert Osuna has given no reason to believe he won't be the team's closer moving forward. He has two saves over the last week, and has allowed just two runs in nine outings since joining the Astros, with eight strikeouts and only one walk. He's still out there in 19 percent of leagues, and Osuna probably needs to be owned in all leagues now that he's getting saves again.

When Hunter Renfroe gets hot, he doesn't tend to mess around. In 23 games in the month of August, he's now homered eight times, while hitting .300. That batting average isn't sustainable, but Renfroe is showing signs of legitimate improvement, striking out in just 20.4 percent of the time in the month, while starting 21 of 23 games. Long an all-or-nothing slugger who trended too often toward the latter, Renfroe may be taking a step forward at the age of 26.

If you believe in stats like FIP, Shane Bieber should be universally owned. In 14 career starts, he's struck out more than a batter per inning, with just 1.69 walks per nine innings, leading to a 3.34 FIP in his brief MLB career. Sunday, he had seven strikeouts and no walks – and, of course, surrendered four runs in 5 1/3 innings. I get it if you don't want to buy in, because the results haven't been great. But the process has been tremendous, and I'm inclined to trust that he'll be a lot better than that moving forward. There's big upside here rest of season. 

Fantasy Writer

Though he can be found covering three different sports depending on the time of year, there is one unifying theme in how Chris Towers approaches sports; "Where's the evidence?" It doesn't matter how outlandish... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories