Pitchers are dropping like flies through the first two weeks of the MLB season. Fantasy baseball owners are scouring the waiver wire for reinforcements, and here are three starting pitchers who can provide a boost. Each pitcher is owned in less than one-third of ESPN leagues.
Huascar Ynoa, Atlanta Braves
ESPN Ownership: 30.3%
Ynoa quickly morphed from spring-training unknown to early-season star. Through his first two starts and one relief appearance, he has a 0.75 ERA and a 0.65 WHIP with 15 strikeouts and two walks in 12 innings. Those starts came against a depleted Nationals lineup and the Marlins, but taking advantage of good matchups shouldn’t be scoffed at. He’s got more of those coming up this month, including two meetings against the toothless Cubs and a home date versus the Diamondbacks. Ynoa has displayed a dynamic slider and a 97-mph fastball, so at the very least, he should continue to miss bats at a good clip.
David Peterson, New York Mets
ESPN Ownership: 5.4%
Peterson got his revenge against the Phillies on Wednesday. The Phils attacked him early and often in his first start of the season on April 7, but he bounced back with six strong innings in which he allowed one run and struck out 10. Peterson has the ninth-best strikeout-minus-walk rate so far at 31%. He is surrounded by some of the game’s pitchers at the top of that leaderboard. He’ll see the Chicago Cubs next week.
Danny Duffy, Kansas City Royals
ESPN Ownership: 15.9%
This left-hander has tamed the Indians and Angels through his first two starts. Duffy has permitted just one earned run over 12 innings to go along with 11 Ks and four walks. His upcoming matchup with the Blue Jays isn’t favorable, but the Tigers await after that. He can definitely take advantage of that lineup. Duffy has always shown the ability, when healthy, to get a good number of whiffs. He just needs to keep the walks to a minimum.