The 2017 fantasy baseball season is winding down to the end. Potential playoff spots in your league are on the line. If you’re striving to earn one of those spots, pitching points may be what gives you an edge.
While there were some young, relatively unknown hurlers who have held their own thus far, when rosters expand on September 1st, a couple quality pitching starts could catapult you on a pathway to your fantasy league title.
Check Here First
6 weeks into the season, a few of young pitchers made the list as potential fantasy adds from the waiver wire. A couple have either faded from the scene, or been injured. Eddie Butler hasn’t proven rotation worthy for the Cubs, and Hansel Robles has been parked on the DL most of the second half.
Jose Urena and Luis Perdomo have put up fantasy worthy numbers, while being part of the rotation for the Marlins and Padres respectfully. Neither team is headed anywhere this post season, so look for both these pitchers to continue to get the nod every 5th day.
Perdomo sits with less than 5% average ownership, but has pitched at least 6 innings in six straight starts and seems to be getting stronger. Likewise, Urena has a string of quality starts racked since the all-star break, bar a thumping by the Dodgers on July 15th.
Only problem with Urena is he is no longer a fantasy secret, being owned in roughly half of the standard leagues. So, if you’re still staring at holes in your pitching staff, while trying to earn a playoff berth, which minor league pitchers could turn the tide in your favor?
Two Pitchers to Watch Closely
- Wilmer Font – The LA Dodgers are steamrolling their way towards potentially a record-breaking season. However, their pitching staff is beginning to show signs of wear. Ace Clayton Kershaw is due to come off the shelf, and recent acquisition Yu Darvish is on the DL.
Alex Wood appears headed there as well. Brock Stewart is going to get the first shot at Darvish’s vacant rotation spot, but lurking at Oklahoma City is 27-year-old Venezuelan Wilmer Font. Font has the lowest ERA in the hitter happy Pacific Coast League.
However, the most astonishing stat for fantasy owners to consider is whopping 170 strikeouts in 128 innings. If Steward should stumble, or the Dodgers decide to rest their staff heading towards a run at the World Series, don’t be surprised if Font gets at least a couple trips to the hill in September.
- Tom Eshelman – The Phillies have a staff of promising young pitchers who held their own most of the season. Vince Velasquez is one of those, but he is experiencing concerning injury issues.
If Philadelphia wants to dig into their minor league bag of prospects, Tom Eshelman is the next in line to fill a rotation spot. Eshelman started 5 games at AA before earning his way onto the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. At Lehigh, he’s nailed down 8 wins, by showing an impressive ability to keep runners from crossing the plate.
His strikeout numbers don’t jump off the stat page, but he also has handed out only 13 free passes in his 107 innings at AAA. If Eshelman can carry that command to the big league level, he could be a worth a flier when the Phillies fill out their expanded September roster.
Monitor all the potential call-ups before they happen, by checking in at FantasyAlarm.com. That’s how you can adjust your MLB lineups before your competition and maybe steal your way into the league playoffs, or pull off the sleeper pickup of the year that sends you home with the hardware.