|Name||Position||Team||ESPN Own %|
|A.J. Alexy||SP||Texas Rangers||12.7|
|Steven Matz||SP||Toronto Blue Jays||59.4|
|Eric Lauer||SP||Milwaukee Brewers||22.8|
|Joe Ryan||SP||Minnesota Twins||8.2|
|Brady Singer||SP||Kansas City Royals||19.2|
1. A.J. Alexy | SP | Texas Rangers
While rushing to add Texas‘ 23rd-ranked prospect in September isn’t where we expected to be, that’s where we are right now. A.J. Alexy has made two starts since getting the call and his major league debut has gone pretty darn good. In two starts, Alexy is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Yes, two starts, 11 total innings, zero earned runs, an 11-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and two wins. He hasn’t allowed too many hard hit balls and is generating enough swings and misses. Will this last? It’s hard to say. In 300.1 minor league innings, Alexy has a 3.30 ERA with 362 strikeouts and 147 walks. He has solid numbers in the minors, but isn’t viewed as a top-end prospect by any means. Regardless, after his opening two starts, he needs to be added just in case he keeps pitching this well.
2. Steven Matz | SP | Toronto Blue Jays
Matz’ first year with Toronto has been a bit up and down. While his first four starts of the year looked great, he quickly lost his effectiveness throughout May and soon thereafter began battling with injuries throughout the summer months. However, if you had not noticed, Matz has been healthy since the beginning of August and has been really, really good. In his last seven starts, Matz is 3-1 with a 1.63 ERA and a 31-to-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 38.2 innings pitched. We’d like to see more strikeouts from Matz, but this is what you get from waiver wire adds in September. Here is Toronto’s remaining series matchups: Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, New York Yankees, Baltimore.
3. Eric Lauer | SP | Milwaukee Brewers
He might not be Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, or Freddy Peralta, but Eric Lauer has been nearly as good as all of them for quite some time now. He didn’t start the year off very well, as he had a 5.21 ERA and a 1-3 record through June 20th. However, since then, he’s made 11 appearances and has a 1.85 ERA over that stretch with 50 strikeouts and 19 walks in 58.1 innings pitched. Over these 11 appearances, he’s got a 4-2 record as well. Needless to say, he’s been a strong fantasy asset and still has an ownership percentage closer to 20%. 20%! Despite this production, many fantasy players are still jamming players such as Kyle Hendricks (87.5%), John Means (82.1%), and Chris Paddack (69%) into their lineups instead each and every start regardless of how they’re pitching. If he’s available in your league, really look at the bottom of your roster and consider who might be droppable for the last few weeks here. Here are the Brewers’ remaining series matchups: Cleveland, Detroit, the Cubs, St. Louis, the Mets, St. Louis, and the Dodgers.
4. Joe Ryan | SP | Minnesota Twins
Who? Joe Ryan was the center piece in the return package the Twins received for sending slugger Nelson Cruz to the Tampa Bay Rays at the deadline. Since joining the Twins organization, Ryan pitched beautifully for team USA in the Olympics and has had video game numbers in the minors. With the Twins’ rotation in total shambles, he has gotten the call and made his major league debut. Through two starts, Ryan, who was generally considered major league ready at the time of the trade, has pitched 12 total innings and 11 of them have been of the shutout variety. He gave up a three-run homer in his first start and that’s it. Most recently, he pitched seven shutout innings against the Indians, the first 6.1 of which were perfect. Now, Ryan doesn’t have lights out stuff and he’s not projected to be a world beater in any sense of the word. However, nobody has the benefit of having played against him yet and five of the seven remaining series for the Twins are against either the Royals, the Tigers, or the Cubs. There are likely better options for many of you, but for those of you in deeper leagues, give Ryan a shot.
5. Brady Singer | SP | Kansas City Royals
After showing promise in his major league debut season in 2020, it’s been a bit of an up-and-down season for the 25-year-old righty in Kansas City. In 10 starts through May, singer owned a 4.91 ERA in 47.2 innings pitched. While he looked good in spurts, overall June and July were not great. However, most recently, things have looked much better. In his last four starts, Singer has a 1.46 ERA with 23 strikeouts and nine walks in 24.2 innings pitched. While you’d like to see him get more strikeouts, both his exit velocity numbers and expected statistics indicate he’s right around league average. Here are Kansas City’s remaining matchups: Minnesota, Oakland, Seattle, Cleveland, Detroit, Cleveland, and Minnesota.