Congratulations: With just one week left in the 2023 MLB regular season, if you’re reading this post, chances are you’re either in your fantasy finals or close enough in your roto league that a key pickup or two can make all the difference. It’s officially time to quit being precious: Unless you’re in a keeper/dynasty league, loyalty and long-term outlooks mean nothing; the only thing that matters is finding who’s hot and riding them to fantasy glory. Which means smart adds have become even more important: Hit on an under-the-radar free agent, and a trophy awaits; miss, and you’ll spend the winter wondering what if.
Luckily, our weekly waiver wire recommendations are here to help, with position-by-position looks are players you should consider snagging off the waiver wire. Next up: starting pitchers.
Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Week 27 starting pitcher targets
JP Sears, SP, Oakland Athletics
Roster percentage: 7.0%
Sears is finishing a surprising solid rookie season in style, with a 2.78 ERA across four starts so far this month — including six innings of two-run ball in a brutally tough matchup with the lefty-mashing Astros a couple of weeks ago. The lefty’s one remaining opponent, however, is far easier: the Angels, who just might be the worst offense in baseball at this point and have slashed a miserable .211/.277/.342 against left-handed pitchers in September. Sears faced the Halos earlier this month and spun six innings of shutout ball with just six baserunners allowed, and he should come through with great ratios again here.
Reese Olson, SP, Detroit Tigers
Roster percentage: 8.3%
With Eduardo Rodriguez, Tarik Skubal, Matt Manning, Sawyer Gipson-Long and Olson, the Tigers have something interesting brewing in their rotation for 2024. Olson has been great so far this month, with a 1.40 ERA in September and six innings of two-hit ball last time out against the Dodgers. He’s working on a streak of four consecutive quality starts, and he gets a two-start week with plum matchups against both the Royals and Guardians.
Edward Cabrera, SP, Miami Marlins
Roster percentage: 9.5%
I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but Cabrera ... might be figuring his command issues out? The electric but erratic righty — who’s long had one of the worst walk rates in baseball — handed out one free pass in 5.1 innings of one-run ball last week before handing out just two in five innings of one-run ball against the Brewers over the weekend. When he’s around the strike zone, his stuff is as good as anyone’s, and his ceiling is sky-high now that Miami is letting him actually start rather than simply serve as a bulk guy. His ERA is now at 1.89 for the month, and a matchup against the Pirates to end the season comes with big-time strikeout potential if you’re looking to make a big swing.
Alec Marsh, SP/RP, Kansas City Royals
Roster percentage: 0.3%
Speaking of big swings: This one is not for the faint of heart given Marsh’s 5.71 ERA and 1.58 WHIP on the season. But the righty has been much better in the second half, with just a six-run blow-up against the Red Sox at the start of September marring his record, and he’s struck out over a batter per inning on the season. The righty’s whiff and K rates are strong, and he gets a pair of very nice matchups this week against the Tigers and Yankees — the latter of whom are exactly the sort of lineup that will have trouble with his wicked sweeper (.216 BA against, 48% whiff rate). If you need a big outing in the season’s final days, you could find worse gambles.