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Top fantasy baseball starting pitcher waiver pickups for Week 15

Chris Landers goes over their top fantasy baseball starting pitcher waiver wire targets going into the week of Sunday, July 2, including Kenta Maeda and Domingo German.

Kenta Maeda of the Minnesota Twins pitches during the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on June 28, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

We’re nearly done with the first half of the 2023 MLB season, and things are only getting wilder with each passing day. The Cincinnati Reds are now America’s team. The Los Angeles Angels are hell-bent on wasting Shohei Ohtani’s bid for maybe the greatest season we’ve ever seen. For fantasy baseball players, it’s time for the rubber to hit the road — time to decide whether they’re in or out this year, and what they might need for the stretch run ahead. This is especially true for starting pitching, where a combination of rampant injuries and new rule changes designed to goose offense have just about every owner looking under every available rock for quality innings. That’s why we’re here to help, with four targets likely available in your league showing signs that they’re in for a strong finish.

Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Week 15 top starting pitcher pickups

Kenta Maeda, SP, Minnesota Twins

Roster percentage: 4.8%

Maeda was a mess early this season as he made his way back from 2021 Tommy John surgery, eventually winding up on the injured list again after just four starts. But he returned in late June and has looked more like his old self, dominating the Detroit Tigers with eight Ks in five innings before surviving a fearsome matchup against the Atlanta Braves last week. His fastball velocity is back at 91-92 mph, and his slider and splitter are back earning whiffs like the old days. It could always fall apart again, but it wasn’t too long ago when Maeda was a legit Cy Young candidate — if he can regain that form, he could be a steal.

Domingo German, SP, New York Yankees

Roster percentage: 19.5%

Two disastrous starts led many to kick German to the waiver wire ... only to watch as he threw the 24th perfect game in MLB history against the Oakland Athletics last week. The righty’s curveball is among the very best in the game when he’s on, and before his rough stretch, he was on a run of seven straight starts allowing two or fewer runs. There’s no excuse for his roster percentage being this low, as his stuff is more than good enough to conquer most lineups.

Kolby Allard, SP, Atlanta Braves

Roster percentage: 2.1%

Allard began his second stint with the Braves with a bang on Wednesday, taking the rotation spot of the demoted AJ Smith-Shawver. The former top prospect — who’d spent the last four years shuffled between the rotation and bullpen with the Texas Rangers — dominated the Twins, shutting them out over 4.2 innings while striking out eight. The stuff has never been in question for lefty, and the Braves are as good as any team at getting the most out of pitchers. Max Fried and Kyle Wright are still a ways off from returning, and even with Michael Soroka getting called up this weekend, there should be a place for Allard in the Braves’ post-All-Star break rotation.

Keaton Winn, SP, San Francisco Giants

Roster percentage: 0.3%

A long reliever for most of this year, Winn finally got a chance to make his first MLB start last week and delivered, holding the Toronto Blue Jays to one run over six innings of work. He looked like a mirror image of rotation-mate Alex Cobb, throwing his new splitter over half the time and pumping strikes with a mid-90s fastball. It’s a unique approach, and if he can keep that split-finger at or below the bottom of the zone, there’s no reason why he can’t continue to have success moving forward. Don’t expect a ton of strikeouts, but the Giants are desperate for someone to emerge at the back-end of their rotation, and Winn should get plenty of chances now.