|Name||Position||Team||ESPN Own %|
|Martin Perez||SP||Boston Red Sox||38.4|
|James Kaprielian||SP||Oakland Athletics||34.8|
|Ross Stripling||SP||Toronto Blue Jays||7|
|Diego Castillo||RP||Tampa Bay Rays||63.9|
|Sixto Sánchez||SP||Miami Marlins||46.3|
1. Martin Perez | SP | Boston Red Sox
In 12 starts, Martin Perez now owns a 3.88 ERA with 54 strikeouts and 21 walks in 60.1 innings. While his 3.83 FIP and 3.88 Expected ERA are encouraging, there are some causes for concern. For starters, he’s giving up an Average Exit Velocity harder than his career average, and doing so more often than his career average as well. This is leading to a 30.6 line-drive percentage and 41.1 ground ball percentage, both of which are worse than his career average. Why add him then? Well, he’s pitching well enough and his next handful of matchups look great. While he does have a start against Toronto coming up, he’s likely to face the Yankees and then the Royals twice over the next handful of starts. With plenty of run support, and decent matchups, Perez looks to be a quality streaming option over the next month or so.
2. James Kaprielian | SP | Oakland Athletics
Over 26.1 innings in 2021, James Kaprielian has a 3.08 ERA with 28 strikeouts and 12 walks. Of his five starts, only one was really a clunker. He gave up four earned runs over 3.2 innings pitched against Seattle on May 31st. In the other four, Kaprielian has pitched at least five innings and allowed two earned runs or less. While his batted ball metrics and his ability to generate swings and misses don’t look spectacular, he’s getting the job done and has a solid offense behind him in run support. In addition, his next four matchups could include the Royals, the Yankees, and the Rangers twice. While he might not be a season-long add, you could do much worse over the next month or so than James Kaprielian.
3. Ross Stripling | SP | Toronto Blue Jays
Ross Stripling has been a difficult pitcher to figure out. Over his first 387 innings pitched in the major leagues, Stripling posted a 3.51 ERA and 3.60 FIP with 377 strikeouts and 91 walks. By all accounts, there is a ton of value there. Keep in mind though, he was alternating back and forth between making starts and appearing out of the bullpen. Since then, however, the 2020 and 2021 seasons have not been as kind. Over 91.1 innings pitched, Stripling has a 5.32 ERA with a 5.43 FIP, as well as a 1.456 WHIP. He also had a 83-to-30 strikeout-to-walk ratio during that span. That isn’t going to get the job done. Zooming in though it looks a bit better. Over his last three starts, Stripling has a 1.06 ERA with a .193 batting average against over 17 innings pitched, with 14 strikeouts and only four walks. The real reason you might consider rostering Stripling is, much like the others listed above, he has solid matchups coming up. His next three starts could line up against the Yankees, the Marlins, and the Orioles. Let’s see if he can continue this little heater he has found himself on.
4. Diego Castillo | RP | Tamba Bay Rays
The save opportunity pendulum appears to be swinging back in favor of Diego Castillo in Tampa Bay. While you just never know with Cash and the Rays, Castillo appears to be the default favorite for the job. Not only did he start the season as the closer, but since returning from his injury, he also appears to have won the job back from J.P. Feyereisen, having been given each of the last two save opportunities. Despite missing time, Castillo has still racked up 10 saves on the season and holds a 3.04 ERA with 34 strikeouts over 23.2 innings pitched. With Tampa continuing to rack up wins, Castillo could be a nice source of saves going forward while he holds the job.
5. Sixto Sánchez | SP | Miami Marlins
It might be a tad premature, but if he’s available, we should all consider stashing Sixto Sánchez on our rosters. Despite not having pitched at all this season, Sánchez is still 46.3% owned in ESPN leagues. Needless to say, many fans are excited about his return. A shoulder injury forced him to start the season on the shelf, and then a set back in his rehab slowed his return even further. However, he has since resumed his rehab process and has returned to throwing off flat ground. If all goes well, we could see Miami’s prized-prospect pitching in a Marlins uniform once again at some point in July. Sánchez went 3-2 with a 3.46 ERA and 33 strikeouts to 11 walks across 39 innings in 2020.