|Name||Position||Team||ESPN Own %|
|Kwang Hyun Kim||SP||St. Louis Cardinals||46.5|
|Cal Quantrill||SP||Cleveland Indians||20|
|Tylor Megill||SP||New York Mets||48.9|
|Adrian Houser||SP||Milwaukee Brewers||25.6|
|Johnny Cueto||SP||San Francisco Giants||47.8|
1. Kwang Hyun Kim | SP | St. Louis Cardinals
Let’s start with Kwang Hyun Kim, who has apparently become a regular on weekly waiver wire lists. Sure, his last start wasn’t great. However, prior to that, he’d been nearly untouchable for quite some time. In the month of July, Kim pitched 27.2 innings and finished with a 4-1 record and a 2.28 ERA. Over that stretch, he struck out 17 and walked seven. As is known with Kim, he’s not going to strike out a ton of batters (His K% is in just the 16th-percentile). That being said, a whole lot of other peripherals indicate that he’s at least an average pitcher. His Average Exit Velocity and HardHit% are both above the 60th-percentile. His Expected Slugging, Expected ERA, Expected Batting Average, and Expected wOBA are all hovering between the 41st and 47th-percentile. However, an average pitcher pitching well is about as much as you can ask for from the waiver wire at this point in the season. Not to mention, his upcoming schedule looks pretty juicy. Here are St. Louis’s next handful of series after this weekend matchup against Kansas City: Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Milwaukee. That’s about as good as it will get over the stretch of an entire month.
2. Cal Quantrill | SP | Cleveland Indians
An unlikely hero in Cleveland, Cal Quantrill has done his best to fill in the void left by the injured Shane Bieber and Aaron Civale. Primarily a reliever through most of May, Quantrill was putting up great numbers out of the pen (1.90 ERA in 23.2 innings pitched). Since being converted to a starter permanently on June 15th, Quantrill has a 3.53 ERA in 51 innings pitched with 33 strikeouts and 18 walks. I’ll admit, much like Kim, the lack of strikeouts is a buzzkill. In fact, 33 strikeouts in 51 innings is really bad. However, he’s getting the job done and especially lately. Over his last four starts, Quantrill has a 1.17 ERA in 23 innings pitched with 18 strikeouts and 10 walks. While he’s still walking batters, he’s been generating a few more strikeouts than normal. All told, a mid-3s ERA is fantasy relevant and he’s worth a strong consideration for one of your roster spots. His Average Exit Velocity is in the 79th-percentile, and his HardHit% is in the 69th-percentile. So while he’s not striking out batters, he’s getting by generating a healthy amount of weak contact. Here are Cleveland’s upcoming matchups after the weekend series against Detroit and one game against Cincinnati on Monday: Oakland, Detroit, Minnesota, The Angels, Texas, Boston, Kansas City, Boston, Minnesota, Milwaukee, Minnesota, The Yankees, Kansas City, The White Sox, The Royals, and Texas. Not a bad stretch of matchups for a waiver wire option that has been pitching well.
3. Tylor Megill | SP | New York Mets
Is it possible that quality pitching from Megill has taken the sting off of losing deGrom just a tad? Probably not. But hey, they also have Carlos Carrasco back? Still not enough. Especially considering how many other pitching injury woes the Mets have been through this year. Seriously, Google their 40-man roster and see for yourself what their pitching staff should look like. Either way, Megill has been a godsend for the Mets this year. Through eight starts, he has a 2.68 ERA with 43 strikeouts and 11 walks in 40.1 innings. That’s, uh, pretty good. His metrics look pretty dang spectacular as well. His expected statistics are elite, and he’s not giving up very much loud contact. The only knock is probably his low Whiff%, despite the solid strikeout numbers. Be wary, however, as their upcoming schedule isn’t spectacular. Regardless, there’s no way he shouldn’t be rostered right now.
4. Adrian Houser | SP | Milwaukee Brewers
All of the talk with Milwaukee has been about Woodruff, Burnes, and Peralta, but there’s another pitcher having a solid season and his name is Adrian Houser. Sure, he’s floated on and off fantasy rosters throughout the year, so he hasn’t been entirely ignored. However, he’s more than worthy of a consideration right now if he’s available in your league. For starters, he has a 3.55 ERA with 80 strikeouts and 48 walks in 104 innings pitched this year. Like some of the others on this list, his strikeouts and walks are nothing to write home about. Additionally, his batted ball metrics are a bit of a mixed bag, and his expected statistics aren’t spectacular. Regardless, he’s getting results. Furthermore, his upcoming schedule is good enough to roster him for at least this stretch: The Cubs, Pittsburgh, Washington, Cincinnati, and Minnesota. Try it on for size and dump him before the schedule gets much tougher.
5. Johnny Cueto | SP | San Francisco Giants
All aboard the San Francisco hype train! Gausman, DeSclafani, Webb…why not Cueto? Really though, Cueto is owned is only about half of all ESPN leagues despite his solid performance pitching for a team that is winning a ton of games. Through 18 starts, Cueto owns a 3.83 ERA with 89 strikeouts and 23 walks in 98.2 innings pitched. Additionally, he’s currently got a 7-6 record. He’s not blowing anyone away, and his peripherals aren’t great, but he’s been pretty good. Especially lately, as he owns a 2.61 ERA with 24 strikeouts and eight walks in 20.2 innings pitched over his last four starts. Looking ahead, the Giants next handful of matchups are as follows: Arizona, Colorado, The Mets, Oakland, The Mets, Atlanta, Milwaukee, The Dodgers, Colorado, and the Cubs. Pick up Cueto and ride this little hot streak against the good matchups as long as it lasts.