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Top fantasy baseball starting pitcher waiver pickups for Week 10

Chris Landers goes over their top fantasy baseball starting pitchers to target on the waiver wire going into the week of May 21 including James Paxton and Michael Kopech.

Bobby Miller of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on May 23, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

We’ve reached the two-month mark of the 2023 MLB season, as hard as that is to believe, and “it’s still early!” is becoming a less and less convincing crutch for fantasy managers wondering whether to stick with a draft pick or start scouring the waiver wire. This is especially true for starting pitchers, where injuries have laid waste to seemingly scores of top arms. That’s why we’re here to help, with four targets likely available in your league showing signs that they’re in for a big year.

Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Week 9 starting pitcher targets

Bobby Miller, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Roster percentage: 17.2%

Gavin Stone has gotten shelled in his first taste of the Majors, but the Dodgers’ other top starting pitching prospect looked the part in his MLB debut this week, striking out five over five innings of one-run ball in a tough matchup against the Atlanta Braves. Miller’s command has been and will probably continue to be an issue, but if you watched him for five minutes in Atlanta, you know how electric his stuff is — with a mid-90s heater that he pairs with not one but two nasty breaking balls.

The floor here is pretty low — just ask Stone — but the strikeout upside is astronomical if he can harness his fastball enough to let everything else play off of it. There’s a reason he was ranked among the game’s top pitching prospects, and he’s worth a shot in all leagues.

James Paxton, SP, Boston Red Sox

Roster percentage: 14.8%

Big Maple got knocked around a bit by the Los Angeles Angels this week, but the long-term outlook is still enticing — he’s struck out 19 over his first 14 frames while his fastball has sat around 96 mph. As long as he can stay healthy and retain that premium velocity, there’s no reason he can’t recapture the form that allowed him to put up a 3.82 ERA and 11.1 K/9 in his last full season back in 2019. If that heater is on, it’s among the best in the league, and his feel should only improve as he returns from a long layoff due to a hamstring injury that held him out for the first month and a half of the season.

Michael Kopech, SP, Chicago White Sox

Roster percentage: 31.2%

Talk about a turnaround. Kopech had a disastrous first six weeks with a 5.74 ERA, but he’s looked like a totally different pitcher his last time out, striking out 19 while allowing just three hits over 15 shutout innings (against the Cleveland Guardians and Kansas City Royals, but hey, who’s counting). The righty’s fastball velocity has ticked back up to 96 mph, and if he can command it as well as he has been recently, it’s good enough to carry him through starts against most lineups. With the Angels, Detroit Tigers and Miami Marlins coming up, keep riding the wave.

Braxton Garrett, SP, Miami Marlins

Roster percentage: 6.4%

Garrett had a bumpy start at Coors Field last time out, but he still managed to allow just two runs over five innings, and all the obvious Coors caveats apply. The lefty had been great in the two starts before that, too, ever since adding a cutter that gave him an option to neutralize right-handed batters. His elite slider (42.5% whiff rate) will always eat up lefties, and if he’s able to lessen that platoon advantage, the sky is the limit. Garrett’s struck out 19 while allowing just three runs on 10 hits over his last three outings, and he pitches in one of the friendliest parks in all of baseball.