MLB Week 21 Pitching Waiver Wire: The Return Of Huascar Ynoa

NamePositionTeamESPN Own %
Huascar YnoaSPAtlanta Braves55.4
Vladimir GutierrezSPCincinnati Reds49.2
Cal QuantrillSPCleveland Indians57.4
Touki ToussaintSPAtlanta Braves33.2
Madison BumgarnerSPArizona Diamondbacks52.9

1. Huascar Ynoa | SP | Atlanta Braves

He’s back! If you don’t remember, Ynoa was one of the best stories at the beginning of the season prior to breaking his hand during a dugout temper tantrum. Before the injury, Ynoa had a 3.02 ERA with 50 strikeouts and just 11 walks in 44.2 innings pitched. Three months later, Ynoa has returned and he just pitched five and one-third scoreless innings with four strikeouts and one walk the other day in his first start back. His velocity looked great and he generated 10 whiffs on 20 swings from his slider. Either way, he was too good earlier in the year to not be rostered right now.

2. Vladimir Gutierrez | SP | Cincinnati Reds

So far in 15 starts, Gutierrez owns a 3.87 ERA with 65 strikeouts and 34 walks in 86 innings pitched. Gutierrez, a true rookie, made the list a few weeks back and is still pitching well enough to make the list again. Sure, his strikeout and walk numbers are not spectacular. In fact, they’re actually pretty bad. Regardless though, he’s getting the job done. In four August starts, he owns a 1.78 ERA with 23 strikeouts and six walks in 25.1 innings pitched. The strikeouts and walks look better, and he’s been incredibly efficient. He’s managed at least six innings pitched in all four of those starts and hasn’t given up more than two earned runs. The real reason I’d recommend you add him though is Cincinnati’s remaining schedule. If he’s on a little hot streak, it may very well continue down the stretch with a lot of positive matchups for Cincinnati.

3. Cal Quantrill | SP | Cleveland Indians

Quantrill, much like Gutierrez, made the list recently and is back on again. He’s still pitching well and his ownership percentage has not gone up quite as quickly as it probably should be! Not only has he been solid since getting a permanent spot in the rotation, he’s been even better lately. Over his last seven starts, Quantrill owns a 1.76 ERA with 37 strikeouts and 14 walks in 41 innings pitched. Much like the others that usually make this list, the strikeouts and walks are not ideal. However, that’s why he’s a waiver wire pickup in August and not a permanently rostered type of player. Regardless, you aren’t going to get much better production from a streaming starting pitcher than you have been getting from Quantrill as of late. Sadly, pitching for Cleveland, he only picked up two wins over this stretch despite pitching at least five innings while giving up one earned run or less in five of those seven starts. Cleveland’s schedule is a bit of a mixed bag for the rest of the season, so he’s a bit risky. Either way, he’s been too good to not give him a shot going forward.

4. Touki Toussaint | SP | Atlanta Braves

Just when it seems as if everyone had given up on Toussaint, he comes out and starts pitching really well. Well, I’ll be the first to say that I am willing to give him another chance. When you’re just 25 years old and you’re presently having the best stretch of your career performance wise, there’s reason to be optimistic. He’s made six starts now on the season and has a 4.01 ERA with 35 strikeouts and 11 walks in 33.2 innings pitched. This includes a seven earned run clunker against Milwaukee on July 30th. Other than that, he hasn’t given up more than two earned runs in any start. In fact, he’s given up precisely two earned runs in at least five innings pitched in each of his last three starts. If you’re counting, that’s a 3.24 ERA. His Average Exit Velocity is solid, and so are his Expected Batting Average and Expected Slugging Percentage numbers. I like the upside of Ynoa more right now, but Toussaint deserves a chance on fantasy rosters as well.

5. Madison Bumgarner | SP | Arizona Diamondbacks

On the season, MadBum has a 4.30 ERA with 88 strikeouts and 22 walks in 98.1 innings pitched. Practically speaking, he’s been a quintessential streaming fantasy option in 2021. When his ERA ballooned up over five prior to an injury in early June, he was getting dumped off fantasy rosters left and right. He has since returned and made six starts going back to July 16th. Over that stretch, Bumgarner owns a 2.09 ERA with 26 strikeouts and just four walks in 38.2 innings pitched. Needless to say, he’s been pretty good. Keep in mind, while Bumgarner may be widely considered as “washed up” in many baseball circles, he is still just 32 years old. While his velocity is not back up to days of old, they’re higher than they plummeted down to in 2020. Either way, he’s pitching well and has decent enough matchups down the stretch to be worth rostering for now.

Zach Boeder is a high school math teacher that has a passion for sports and data journalism. Zach received a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics and a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Arizona. He currently teaches in Saint Paul and Lives in Minneapolis with his partner Sarah, their dog Dozier, and cat Remy. Zach plans to argue for a very long time that "2020 would have been the Twins' year if baseball hadn't been shut down."

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