As fantasy baseball team owners navigate their way through the arduous dog days of summer, now is the time to tweak MLB lineups to make a run for the league playoffs. If your team has a few pitching gaps, in need of highly productive hurlers that might make the difference between post season appearance and not, there are still some players with low ownership percentages available. Some haven’t met expectations in 2017, but there are prospects on the horizon who may have slipped off the waiver wire radar.
Four young pitchers that surfaced after the first month as having potential were Luis Perdomo, Eddie Butler, Jose Urena and New York Mets fireballer Hansel Robles. Perdomo has not disappointed, pitching in the somewhat pitcher-friendly confines in San Diego. Butler flashed moments of brilliance, but was so erratic that he first landed in the Cub’s bullpen, eventually landing back in the minors.
The Mets traded de facto closer Addison Reed to Boston, so it appeared Robles might get his chances in the 9th inning. He started out producing promising results, albeit as a setup man, but a hand injury has him headed in for an MRI. Perdomo rolled through June, winning three of his five starting opportunities. He evened his season record at 5-5 after 4 July starts. However, Perdomo appears to be becoming increasingly more hittable, maybe starting to wear down from his first full season at the big league level.
The most productive of all the May prospects has been the Marlins Jose Urena. He is the second most productive fantasy option on the Miami staff, throwing in a pitcher-friendly Marlin Park – still the third lowest in run production in spite of shortened outfield fences. Urena has been more than just a serviceable fantasy starter, one win shy of 10 for the season. Even in his fifth defeat of 2017, he managed to pull his ERA below 4.00 with a strong 8 innings against the solid bats of the Nationals.
There are a few other potential sleepers; pitchers who may be prime to show off their wares come call up time. Sonny Gray exited Oakland for the Bronx, so Paul Blackburn seems locked into a spot for the Athletics. Sean Newcomb had a nice run back in June for Atlanta, and look for the Braves to run him back to the hill every 5th day. In some respects, he may tire as many young arms do, but he has shown flashes of brilliance albeit for a team that has trouble winning ball games.
There are other pitchers with low ownership percentages, like Adam Conley, also flying with the Fish, Lucas Sims from Atlanta. Keep an eye on ownership for fellow Padre, Dinelson Lamet. Lamet has actually out pitched Perdomo in San Diego falling in as one of the top 40 starters over the last 2 weeks. 75 strikeouts in 57 innings is a nice fantasy feature as well.
For all the stats and analysis on the pitching situation heading down the fantasy homestretch, check into the MLB lineups analysis at FantasyAlarm.com. Scanning the waiver wire for that one arm who produces above potential down the backstretch could be the difference in making the fantasy league playoffs, and waiting for next season.