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Continuing with our twice-weekly series on waiver wire pickups down the stretch, here are some pitchers who can help you move up the standings in the coming days. Some of these players are strictly streamers, while others have the potential to stay on your team the rest of the way.
Let’s dive in:
Nestor Cortes (SP/RP, 38 percent rostered)
Cortes continues to be one of the best summer stories in the Big Apple, having great success overall (2.77 ERA) and as a starter (3.00 ERA). He should be part of the active lineup in every league when he takes on the lowly Orioles (4-24 record in August) on Friday.
Bailey Ober (SP, 16 percent)
Ober has been on my radar all season, as he owns the type of K:BB ratio (19.5 percent) that I like to see in a starter. The fantasy community has been slow to warm to the rookie, but his deeper statistics support the notion that he is primed for a strong finish to the season. I would grab Ober as a two-start pitcher for the coming week and consider keeping him beyond that time.
Glenn Otto (SP, 5 percent)
I added Otto in all of my 15-team leagues last weekend and would be happy to do the same in most 12-team formats. The 25-year-old has a strong Major League debut last week, striking out seven across five shutout innings against a quality Astros lineup. And his stellar start should come as no surprise, as Otto was dominant in the Minors this year (3.20 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 12.6 K/9 rate). Although most fantasy managers have given up on finding 2021 gems in Texas, those who give Otto a chance may be handsomely rewarded.
Ranger Suarez (SP/RP, 60 percent)
I’ll continue to tout Suarez, who has been dynamite in a variety of roles this season. Now working in the rotation, he dominated the D-backs (5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 SO) last time out. The southpaw’s upcoming schedule gives him a great opportunity to do more of the same, as his next two starts come on the road against Miami and at home against a Rockies squad that sits last in baseball in road OPS.
Joe Ryan (SP, 15 percent)
The key part of the Twins return for Nelson Cruz, Ryan had a solid MLB debut when he posted a 5:1 K:BB line across five innings against the Cubs on Wednesday. A three-run blast off the bat of Frank Schwindel was the only damage done to the 25-year-old, who should stay in the Twins rotation during September. And for those who need more evidence, Ryan was outstanding (3.68 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 12.5 K/9 rate) in Triple-A this year.
Tyler Anderson (SP, 23 percent)
Anderson has fared well in the American League (3.18 ERA, 1.15 WHIP), but he will undoubtedly benefit from getting a pitcher back into the batting order when he makes his next scheduled start at the lowly D-backs on Friday. Anderson is unlikely to rack up a high strikeout total, but he should toss 5-6 effective innings and has great win potential.
Alec Mills (SP/RP, 6 percent)
Although not a big fan of Mills and his marginal strikeout rate, I have to admit that he has been a useful fantasy option since the beginning of June (3.76 ERA). The right-hander is scheduled for a home start on Friday against a Pirates lineup that ranks last in baseball with a .662 OPS, which gives him an excellent chance to at least extend his hot streak through the beginning of this month.
Giovanny Gallegos (RP, 55 percent)
With a 2.72 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP since the outset of 2019, Gallegos is undoubtedly one of the best relievers in baseball. The right-hander picked up saves on Monday and Wednesday, and he seems poised to finally grab hold of the Cardinals ninth-inning role now that Alex Reyes has finally seen his high walk rate (6.7 BB/9) catch up with him. With St. Louis continuing to challenge for a postseason spot, Gallegos could be a top-10 closer down the stretch.
Joe Barlow (RP, 15 percent)
Barlow was just starting to get interesting when a blister on his pitching hand caused him to be placed on the IL. But the right-hander managed to return after a minimum stay and earned a save in his initial return performance. Barlow has been effective in limited action during his rookie year (1.96 ERA, 0.87 WHIP) and should hold the Rangers closer’s role the rest of the way.
Dylan Floro (RP, 20 percent)
Despite being Miami’s closer for the past month, Floro has garnered little attention in Yahoo leagues. I understand the ambivalence towards the right-hander, as Miami’s team is flying under the radar after falling out of the postseason race. But Floro earned five saves in August and should provide roughly the same number for fantasy managers in September.
Adam Ottavino (RP, 45 percent)
With a 5.1 BB/9 rate this season, Ottavino likely walks too many batters to hold a closer’s role for an entire campaign. But the right-hander has picked up all three of the Red Sox saves since Matt Barnes was relieved of ninth-inning duties, and he could have plenty of save chances down the stretch for a team that is battling for a postseason spot. Aside from Gallegos, Ottavino is my favorite reliever option in this article.