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[Fantasy Strike]Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Tarik Skubal, Zach Thompson and Kyle Muller all make an impression

font size+ 2021-07-09

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  Tarik Skubal

  SP

  DET

  Detroit

  ? #29

  ?

  Age: 24

  ROSTERED

  75%

  Sunday vs. Astros

  INN

  7

  H

  1

  ER

  1

  BB

  3

  K

  9

  This is it: the start that will win over the last remaining holdouts. Not only did Tarik Skubal go seven innings for the first time, not only did he hold a juggernaut Astros lineup to one hit, not only did he record 21 swinging strikes, but he did it with the most diverse arsenal he’s shown so far. Here’s the breakdown of the swinging strikes: six on the four-seamer, six on the slider, four on the two-seamer, three on the changeup and two on the curveball. Not bad for a guy who didn’t have much more than a fastball last year.

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  Jordan Romano

  RP

  TOR

  Toronto

  ? #68

  ?

  Age: 28

  ROSTERED

  69%

  2021 season

  SV

  6

  ERA

  1.29

  WHIP

  1.05

  INN

  28.2

  BB

  13

  K

  37

  Is a three-save week enough to convince you Jordan Romano is the guy in Toronto? The Blue Jays went most of June without having a save chance, and then when they finally got one last week, Romano needed the day off. This past week confirms, though, that the role is indeed his for the taking, and an opportunity was all he ever needed. If the season-long stats aren’t impressive enough, note that he has a 0.72 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 11.9 K/9 over his past 24 appearances.

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  Jake Odorizzi

  SP

  HOU

  Houston

  ? #17

  ?

  Age: 31

  ROSTERED

  67%

  Sunday at Tigers

  INN

  5

  H

  2

  ER

  0

  BB

  1

  K

  3

  Sunday’s outing wasn’t as dominant as his previous one, in which he struck out nine over five no-hit innings, but it still supports the idea that Jake Odorizzi is back on track after an early bout with a strained forearm. His fastball has been particularly effective, and it was on the strength of that pitch that he put up career-best numbers in 2019. He won’t often be asked to go more than five or six innings, but with the Astros lineup backing him, he should win his share regardless.

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  Shane McClanahan

  SP

  TB

  Tampa Bay

  ? #62

  ?

  Age: 24

  ROSTERED

  66%

  Saturday vs. Angels

  INN

  6

  H

  4

  ER

  3

  BB

  2

  K

  7

  That’s two six-inning outings in a row and three straight with 85-plus pitches for Shane McClanahan, who the Rays have stretched out methodically and are now asking to anchor a starting rotation that just lost Tyler Glasnow. OK, so that’s setting the bar too high, but McClanahan’s 16.8 percent swinging-strike rate would rank behind only Glasnow and Jacob deGrom among qualifiers. His best may be yet to come.

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  Keston Hiura

  1B

  MIL

  Milwaukee

  ? #18

  ?

  Age: 24

  ROSTERED

  37%

  2021 season

  AVG

  .149

  HR

  3

  OPS

  .519

  AB

  121

  BB

  9

  K

  53

  Keston Hiura is back from his second stint in the minors this year and homered twice over the weekend, with one coming on one of those high fastballs that have given him so much trouble. His second stint at Triple-A Nashville saw him strike out just 25.5 percent of the time, which he said was the result of better making swing decisions. Between the two stints there, he hit .403 with a 1.228 OPS, which should serve as a reminder of how much upside he has.

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  Patrick Sandoval

  SP

  LAA

  L.A. Angels

  ? #43

  ?

  Age: 24

  ROSTERED

  37%

  Sunday at Rays

  INN

  5

  H

  4

  ER

  3

  BB

  2

  K

  6

  Patrick Sandoval didn’t go the six innings required for a quality start Sunday and didn’t match the nine strikeouts from his previous start. But it was another decent outing for the 24-year-old left-hander, bringing his ERA to 3.89 and WHIP to 1.25. Most impressive was his 15 swinging strikes, including nine on the slider. His changeup has already proven to be an elite pitch, so if he develops more confidence in his breaking ball, he could really take off.

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  Jose Alvarado

  RP

  PHI

  Philadelphia

  ? #46

  ?

  Age: 26

  ROSTERED

  31%

  2021 season

  SV

  2

  ERA

  2.79

  WHIP

  1.45

  INN

  29

  BB

  24

  K

  40

  Manager Joe Girardi declared Jose Alvarado his closer Thursday in place of a struggling Hector Neris, but has he already backed off? Alvarado blew his first opportunity in his new role in Game 1 of a doubleheader Friday, leading to Neris securing a save in Game 2. But then Neris blew a save, his fourth of the month, the very next day. Instead of going back to Alvarado on Sunday, Girardi brought in the left-hander for the eighth inning, with Archie Bradley pitching the ninth for a save. Bradley’s numbers say he isn’t the answer. I’m still rolling the dice on Alvarez, but it’s a tepid endorsement.

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  Kyle Muller

  SP

  ATL

  Atlanta

  ? #66

  ?

  Age: 23

  ROSTERED

  8%

  Sunday at Reds

  ERA

  5

  H

  1

  ER

  0

  BB

  2

  K

  9

  If you miss out on Thompson in those leagues where Skubal, Odorizzi and McClanahan are already rostered, Kyle Muller isn’t a bad fallback. The rookie has a high-spin fastball and a surprisingly developed arsenal. Of his 16 swinging strikes Sunday, six came on the slider, five on the curveball and four on the fastball. It’s been an encouraging first two starts for a pitcher who also showed good bat-missing ability in the minors, but his past control issues could rear their ugly head again.