by Will Overton
With just a month left before the season ends every point in the standings counts and one point could be the difference between winning and losing your championship. You’ve played too many days to let the title slip through your fingers now. This is why there is never a more important time to watch your standings like a hawk. You have to know where you can gain and lose points at all times. If it won’t cost you any points in another category then you need to load up players who can help you where you need it the most.
Today we are going to look at some strikeout specialists. Some guys on this list may not be as well rounded as we’d like, but each of them can help you in this one specific category:
CC Sabathia – New York Yankees: The resurgent Sabathia is a marvel to behold for fantasy owners. He was left on the fantasy trash heap last year to never be picked up again, and now here he is, an actual asset I am encouraging you to own. Sabathia made some changes to his form in the offseason that are paying off in extending his career. He has 49 K in his last 43.2 IP and in just his last four starts he’s got 34 K in 25.2 IP. There were two rough starts in the last month and a half that have ballooned his ERA, but he is still a strong option. If you need strikeouts this veteran may be your guy for September.
Brandon Finnegan – Cincinnati Reds: The Reds young starting pitcher has plenty of potential at the age of 23. While there have been a lot of ups and downs this season, his potential is starting to show itself. Finnegan has five quality starts in his last six outings, three of which he didn’t allow a run. In his last two trips to the mound he has struck out 20 in 13 innings. We’ve seen the strikeout upside of Finnegan throughout his minor league career, but it’s been inconsistent so far in the big leagues. We’re speculating that he’s turned a corner here, but I think the recent numbers are enticing enough to grab him and hope the strikeouts keep piling up.
Mike Foltynewicz – Atlanta Braves: The Atlanta Braves don’t have much in the way of fantasy value on their team, but there is some sneaky value here if you need strikeouts. Much like Finnegan the strikeouts have been inconsistent all season, but recently he’s been getting them and his history shows he has it in him. Foltynewicz has 20 K in 18.2 IP over his last three outings. He won’t be an elite option, but I do think he can get around a strikeout per inning going forward and he’s rolling pretty well right now.
Tyler Anderson – Colorado Rockies: Here’s a high risk/high reward option. Obviously there is some risk in Anderson throwing at home in Coors Field, yet he’s been better at home than on the road. There’s also a little risk in that his ERA has been rising the last three starts, despite his 20 K in 15 IP. Anderson is a former first round pick who lost some time due to a stress fracture, but he’s clearly got upside. He is going to develop more strikeout potential as he goes and so the recent strikeout run may be a sign of more to come. There’s not guarantee, but Anderson looks good and makes a strong deep league guy.
Andrew Triggs – Oakland A’s: The former reliever turned starter is an interesting name to watch in Oakland. Triggs never started a single game in the minor leagues, but the A’s are experimenting with it now and it’s going fairly well. He has seven runs allowed in 21.2 IP over his last four starts and he has 20 K. Triggs is starting to get stretched out more, which should mean more innings and hopefully more K. In the minor leagues hehas always been a double digit K/9 guy and I think he is capable of being a high strikeout guy as a starter too. There’s definitely a little upside here if Triggs can maintain a starting job.