Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Tyler Glasnow, Kevin Gausman show must-add upside
If you're looking for pitching upside, we've got some for you on the waiver wire at the start of Week 21.
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Sometimes, all it takes is a change of scenery. To kick off our look at the waiver wire for Week 21, we'll focus on two pitchers who got just that, and who just might be living up to their potential as a result.
Tyler Glasnow since his trade to the Rays, and we're going to just keep doing it until he gives us reason not to. Glasnow oozes potential, and he's starting to live up to it since joining the Rays. He made his third start Sunday against the Blue Jays, and although he continues to be limited in his innings and pitches – just five and 79, respectively, this time around – you have to be impressed by what he's managed to do. He limited the Blue Jays to one run on two hits and, most impressively, just two walks, while striking out six. He racked up 14 swinging strikes, giving him a whopping 17.6 percent rate in three starts with the Rays. He is throwing strikes consistently, and working up in the zone, allowing his impressive stuff to play up. Glasnow's always had the potential, and now we're seeing it in action. He deserves to be universally owned at this point.about
It's a lot easier to get excited about Glasnow than Kevin Gausman, just because we've been fooled by Gausman so many times before. Anyone who has followed his career knows Gausman can look like an ace on any given night, week, or month. He did so Friday against the Brewers, when he limited them to just one run over eight innings, with eight strikeouts and no walks. Of course, he also gave up three runs with just two strikeouts in his previous start against the Mets, his first since leaving the Orioles. That's Kevin Gausman for you, though there are reasons to believe this might be the start of something more:
It could end up being another false start. However, Gausman put together a 3.10 ERA with 92 strikeouts in 93 innings in the second half in 2016, and he did so while looking a lot like he did Friday. The upside is high enough to bet on, given the changes he appears to have made, especially if the cost is just a waiver-wire claim – though I would make Glasnow more of a priority at this point.
It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Ryan Zimmerman has been a disappointment this season, after he could barely get on the field in Spring Training. He ended up missing more than two months of action after struggling to a .689 OPS in his first 33 games, and Fantasy owners wrote him off at that point. However, since coming off the DL, Zimmerman has looked a lot more like the 2017 version of himself, hitting .356/.434/.756, with seven strikeouts and six walks in 14 games. He isn't playing every day, but his role has been expanding, and Zimmerman is squarely back in the mix among starting Fantasy options now that he appears healthy.
We'll see if it sticks, but Drew Steckenrider is the Marlins' closer for at least the next few weeks. Kyle Barraclough was placed on the DL with a back injury this week, though he had already been removed from the closer's role after surrendering 16 runs in 14 appearances dating back to the start of July. There may not be many save opportunities for the Marlins, but Steckenrider will get them when they are available, and he's shown the potential to be a Fantasy contributor, sporting a 2.94 ERA and 11.9 K/9 over the last two seasons. That makes him a must-add in all category-based formats.
The overall numbers aren't great, but it's time to take note of what Anthony DeSclafani is doing. He dominated the Diamondbacks Friday, limiting them to just three hits over seven scoreless innings, while striking out nine and walking none. That gives him two consecutive starts of seven innings and one or zero runs allowed, and three of his last six. In that span, he has a 3.82 ERA with 30 strikeouts and eight walks in 33 innings of work. DeSclafani doesn't have ace upside, but in 2015 and 2016, he sported a FIP below 4.00, and seems to be getting back to that level. That's a useful pitcher, especially if he can keep going deep into games.
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Scott White is an award-winning Fantasy Baseball analyst
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Scott White is an award-winning Fantasy baseball analyst