Happy Thursday, everyone! As we recap the key nuggets from Wednesday's action, it's important to note the pitchers who turned in optimal outings. We've got a potential post-hype breakout situation brewing with White Sox SP Michael Kopech and that's where we'll start today.
Kopech has now delivered consecutive elite-level starts, most recently against the Guardians on Wednesday. He racked up seven shutout innings, allowing only two hits and a walk while striking out nine batters. Perhaps the most exciting development in Kpech's dominant Wednesday start is that he allowed just two hard hits the entire game. Kopech's command has taken a major leap forward as well and his fastball velocity has increased, along with improvements in his slider and changeup. Over his last two starts, Kopech has thrown 15 shutout innings, allowing only three hits and one walk while striking out 19 batters. Currently rostered in just 68% of leagues, Kopech will face the Angels and Tigers in his next two matchups. Run don't walk to the waiver wire if Kopech is still there in your shallower leaguers.
Let's take a look at some of the other interesting nuggets from Wednesday's action.
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Miller dominates the Athletics
Bryce Miller dropped another great outing this time completely shutting down the Athletics. Miller racked up six shutout innings and allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out six batters. Miller showcased his command and racked up 13 swinging strikes on just 90 pitches, with 11 coming on his fastball and 2 on his slider. He also completely limited hard contact. Miller boasts a stellar 1.15 ERA, and a 0.51 WHIP, and has struck out 28 batters over 31 1/3 innings. Keep an eye on Miller's upcoming matchups against Houston, Detroit, Atlanta, and Oakland.
Other waiver wire SPs to consider
Paxton endured a rough outing against the Los Angeles Angels, but he remains an intriguing waiver wire option. In his latest start, he pitched three innings, giving up five earned runs on four hits and three walks while striking out five. Despite the rough outing, Paxton has shown promise throughout the season. He holds a 72% rostered rate and could be a nice buy low candidate after this outing.
Tyler Anderson, Angels
A Scott White preseason favorite, Anderson turned in a quality start against the Red Sox on Wednesday, pitching six innings and allowing only one earned run on five hits and two walks while striking out three Boston batters. Although his season statistics show a 4.81 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP, he has had stretches of consistent play dating back through most of the 2023 season and this could be a sign of good things to come. Currently rostered in 31% of leagues, Anderson is worth considering.
Greinke has been impressive over his last five starts, including a matchup against Detroit on Wednesday. In his most recent outing, he pitched five innings, allowing only one earned run on four hits and one walk while striking out five. Throughout May, Greinke has been red hot with a 2.73 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP with 19 strikeouts over 26 1/3 innings. His command has been the biggest difference -- Greinke has just two walks during this span. He's rostered in 15% of leagues and faces the Cardinals next.
Houser continues to impress, delivering another strong start against the Astros on Wednesday when he tossed 5 1/3 innings of shutout ball with just two hits and one walk allowed. Houser also struck out three batters. and generated nine swinging straight ikes on 73 pitches. He limited hard hits with an average exit velocity against of 86.9 mph. Houser showcased an increased usage of his sinker in this outing, with a 47% usage rate compared to his previous 35%. With a strong 2.25 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP, and 14 strikeouts over 20 innings this season, Houser has demonstrated consistency. Although he is currently rostered in only 7% of leagues, he faces Toronto and Cincinnati in his upcoming matchups.
News & notes
- Manny Machado played catch and took grounders Wednesday. He was able to receive the ball without issue despite the small fracture in his left hand.
- Carlos Correa is apparently dealing with a muscle strain in the arch of his left foot in addition to plantar fasciitis in his heel. When asked about the IL, manager Rocco Baldelli said: "I think we get to Friday and some of our decisions might be made for us".
- Brandon Woodruff said he resumed playing catch after he recently took a 4-5 day pause in his throwing program. He's still eyeing a late-June return from a Grade 2 subscapular strain.
- Triston McKenzie is scheduled to make his second rehab start at Triple-A Thursday.
- Ty France was out of the lineup after getting hit by a pitch on his wrist Tuesday night. X-rays were negative.
- Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said Matthew Liberatore will start Friday in Cleveland.
- Giancarlo Stanton will undergo imaging Thursday and, if it comes back favorably, could begin a rehab assignment this weekend. He's been on the IL since mid-April with a strained hamstring.
- Brandon Lowe was out of the lineup again Wednesday with neck stiffness but expects to return Thursday.
- Kyle Hendricks is back! He's making his debut Thursday against Carlos Carrasco -- throwback!
- Mike Soroka had his best start of the season Tuesday at Triple-A, allowing one run over six innings while striking out eight, and could join the Braves rotation next week.
- Danny Jansen was removed with an apparent injury.
- Anthony Rendon went through agility drills on the field before the game Wednesday. He's on the IL with a left groin strain.
- Omar Narvaez will begin a minor-league rehab assignment at High-A Thursday.
- Vince Velasquez will return to the Pirates rotation this weekend in Seattle.