MLB Week 25 Pitching Waiver Wire: Milwaukee’s Endless Starting Pitching

NamePositionTeamESPN Own %
Adrian HouserSPMilwaukee Brewers42.4
Jose SuarezSPLos Angeles Angels7.8
Jordan LylesSPTexas Rangers5.3
Drew RasmussenSPTampa Bay Rays4.9
Dillon PetersSPPittsburgh Pirates1.7

1. Adrian Houser | SP | Milwaukee Brewers

He’s made the list multiple times this year, he continues to pitch well, and yet he continues to get left off fantasy rosters. Adrian Houser is a fantasy asset in 2021! It’s fair to argue that he missed some time in August. Sure. However, he’s made four starts since returning and is 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA. In his last two starts, he’s pitched 15 straight innings without giving up a run and has a 12-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio as well. Overall on the season, Houser has a 9-6 record with a 3.25 ERA in 127.1 innings pitched. His 98-to-55 strikeout-to-walk ratio in those 127.1 innings is a bit of a drag, but he’s still managed to be an effective pitcher. Nonetheless, he’s also pitching for a team that is winning a lot of games. Milwaukee finishes out the season against the Cubs, the Cardinals, the Mets, the Cardinals again, and the Dodgers.

2. Jose Suarez | SP | Los Angeles Angels

Los Angeles’ 23-year-old starting pitcher is already in his third year in the majors. He struggled mightily in nearly 100 innings in 2019, only made two appearances in 2020, and has finally seemed to settle down and is having himself a nice little breakout season in 2021. While he’s been in interesting player to consider all year, his low pitch counts have largely kept him on the waiver wire. Lately, however, the Angels seemed to have lengthened his leash just a bit. While he averaged just 65 pitches an appearances through August, the lefty threw 100 and 102 pitches in his last two outings. One of those starts was a one-run, eight strikeout, complete game gem against the Rangers. In his most recent start, Suarez picked up another win, this time against Houston. It’s been promising, and so have his metrics overall. He’s not giving up very hard contact and his strikeout and walk rates are decent enough to get by. While they play Oakland and Houston next, Los Angeles finishes the season with Seattle, Texas, and Seattle again.

3. Jordan Lyles | SP | Texas Rangers

Jordan Lyles’ season-long numbers are less less than inspiring. Through 29 appearances and 27 starts, Lyles has a 9-11 record, a 5.20 ERA, and a 131-to-51 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In fact, his 117 hits and 94 earned runs allowed leads the AL and his 36 home runs allowed leads all majors. Why pick him up then? Well, he’s been much better lately. In his last three starts, he’s 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA in 20.2 innings pitched. Over that stretch, he also has 17 strikeouts and just four walks. Most recently, he pitched seven shutout innings against Houston with seven strikeouts and one walk. His numbers aren’t great, and neither are his metrics, but he seems to have found a little groove and his remaining matchups are enticing. After playing the White Sox over the weekend, Texas plays the Yankees, the Orioles, the Angels, and the Indians.

4. Drew Rasmussen | SP | Tampa Bay Rays

Having spent most of the season in the bullpen, and getting traded at the deadline, Rasmussen’s 2021 season has been a bit of a roller coaster. He got off to a horrendous start, allowing seven earned runs in his first 3.1 innings pitched. He then however proceeded to only give up one earned run over his next 17.1 innings pitched, striking out 27 and walking 11. He was traded to Tampa Bay in the middle of the stretch, and then his next 18.1 innings were much worse. He had a 4.91 ERA and an opponent’s batting average of .284. Since then, however, he was moved into the starting rotation and has been really good. Through six starts, Rasmussen has a 1.33 ERA with an 18-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 27 innings pitched. His strikeouts are taking a bit of a hit, but he’s otherwise been really effective. He’s clawed his season-long ERA all the way down to 2.99 in 66 innings pitched. His leash might lengthen just a bit down the stretch here too as he’s been building up to start games. After playing Detroit over the weekend, Tampa Bay plays Toronto, Miami, Houston, and the Yankees.

5. Dillon Peters | SP | Pittsburgh Pirates

Dillon Peterson. He’s not some hot-shot prospect, as he’s 29 years old and made his major league debut back in 2017. However, since getting the call in 2021, he’s been pretty good. In five starts, Peters owns a 2.66 ERA with 20 strikeouts and eight walks in 23.2 innings pitched. He’s not giving up very hard contact and has only given up one home run, which is incredibly encouraging. The peripheral metrics are encouraging as well. He owns a 3.17 FIP and 3.64 Expected ERA. As mentioned, his average exit velocity allowed is good and he’s not allowing a ton of elevation on the balls put in play. Put it all together and you have an effective pitcher. While I wouldn’t race to draft him in 2022, we only need him for a few weeks here. After Miami over the weekend, Pittsburgh plays the Reds, the Phillies, the Cubs, and the Reds again.

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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