Starting pitchers dominated this column the past few weeks, as every edition featured several hurlers who were showing exciting skill sets and had appealing upcoming series. But the options are more balanced this week, with a handful of teams lined up for matchups that should accentuate offense.
Tarik Skubal (SP, Detroit Tigers, 44% rostered)
Among players who are available in more than half of Yahoo leagues, Skubal is by far the best man to add for the coming week. The left-hander has been outstanding since returning from the IL in early July, posting a 50:8 K:BB ratio in 44.1 innings. This week, Skubal will make starts against two of the bottom-four offenses in second-half OPS (Yankees, White Sox).
Bryan Woo (SP, Seattle Mariners, 24%)
Woo allowed one run over four innings in his return from the IL on Aug. 22. The rookie has logged an excellent 63:18 K:BB ratio across 59 innings, and he could be one of the best two-start pitchers this week when he faces the A’s (30th in OPS) and Mets (22nd in second-half OPS).
Jordan Wicks (SP, Chicago Cubs, 8%)
Debuts don’t come much better than that of Wicks, who struck out nine Pirates while holding them to one run on two hits over five innings. A first-round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, Wicks had fared well across two minor-league levels this year (3.55 ERA, 1.17 WHIP).
I would normally say Wicks needs to be added in all leagues, and I won’t disagree with anyone who wants to give him a chance in a shallow format. However, I need to mention that his September schedule will work against him. Wicks will make his next start at Cincinnati’s hitter-friendly park before having a reasonable home outing against the Giants or D-backs next time out and then working at Coors Field in the middle of the month.
Brandon Williamson (SP, Cincinnati Reds, 19%)
Williamson has one more start in the month of August, which has thus far included a 3.49 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP and a 34:6 K:BB ratio. The southpaw is well-positioned to roll into September on a high note when he makes a start tomorrow against a Giants offense that has been the worst in baseball in the second half.
Tanner Scott (RP, Miami Marlins, 20%)
David Robertson has posted a 7.20 ERA while blowing three saves since joining the Marlins on July 27, which has forced the club to go in a different direction with the closer’s role. Scott has been excellent all season (2.55 ERA, 1.10 WHIP) and is the man of the hour after closing out a 2-1 win yesterday. Those who need saves and do not have access to Orioles reliever Yennier Canó (64% rostered) should pivot to Scott.
Travis d’Arnaud (C, Atlanta Braves, 20%)
Starting tonight, the Braves will take the best offense in baseball into the league’s most offense-inducing venue to face a pitching staff that ranks 29th in ERA. In short, fantasy managers want as many pieces of this lineup as possible for the next three days. With Colorado set to start southpaws today and Wednesday, that list includes d’Arnaud, who fares best in those matchups. In 12-team leagues, it also includes Nicky Lopez (2B/3B/SS, 7%), who is playing regularly while Ozzie Albies resides on the IL.
Nolan Schanuel (1B, Los Angeles Angels, 8%)
A first-round pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, Schanuel has arrived as advertised, showing terrific control over the strike zone (7:4 BB:K rate, .348 BA) but no power (zero extra-base hits). Those who are looking to improve their batting average can add the 21-year-old ahead of his upcoming weekend series against the A’s porous pitching staff.
Josh Rojas (2B/3B, Seattle Mariners, 29%)
Rojas is playing regularly and swinging a hot bat (1.008 OPS since Aug. 13) for the surging Mariners, who are starting a series Monday against an A’s staff that owns a 5.74 ERA and will send three starters to the mound who each have an ERA over 5.70. Managers will want to start as many Mariners as possible, and that means Rojas in 12-team leagues.
Davis Schneider (2B, Toronto Blue Jays, 8%)
Schneider (1.442 OPS) rarely found his name on the lineup card in the second half of August before getting a couple of starts over the weekend. The Blue Jays have faced many right-handed starters of late, but this week they will play four games against lefties while facing two of the worst pitching staffs in baseball (Nationals, Rockies). And the icing on the cake is that the weekend series will take place at Coors Field. The right-handed hitter is a good candidate to start 4-5 games at second base.
Parker Meadows (OF, Detroit Tigers, 4%)
With the most electrifying prospects having arrived earlier in the season, August featured the debut of several B- and C-level prospects that have less likelihood of making an immediate fantasy impact. Meadows fits into this group, as he is off to a hot start with the Tigers (1.040 OPS) but had mixed results in Triple-A this year (19 HR, 19 SB, .256 BA, .811 OPS). The left-handed hitter finds himself in this week’s article on the basis that he should play regularly when the Tigers face right-handed starters in 12 of 13 games over the next two weeks.