Neither of these pitchers are tremendous long term candidates for rotation spots, but with the season winding down speculating on a potential quality start could earn you just enough to win your league. Two guys I like this week are Andrew Werner of the Padres and Tyler Cloyd of the Phillies. Both have decent strikeout rates in a small number of innings, so there is a chance they help even if they blow up. While those are not quite the words you want to hear when you are anticipating picking up a late season starter, it does at least raise their downside bar a tiny bit.
Werner’s ERA is rough at 4.64 over six starts, but his strikeout per nine rate of 8.45 is promising and his walk rate is not terribly high at 3.27 per nine. He has gotten killed with home runs, netting an 18.5% home run per fly ball rate, but I think he should be okay in that regard for his next start against the Giants at home. As well all know, Petco is a pitcher’s haven, but that is actually where Werner has run into his home run struggles – with four of his five home runs allowed coming at home. Even with the high home run numbers, the Giants do not boast a powerful lineup and Werner’s home ERA still sits at 3.86 despite the high ERA total. The potential for a solid start is certainly there, and I expect it out of the young lefty this Friday.
Cloyd is in a bit more of a precarious position, starting against a decent hitting team in the Nationals and pitching in homer friendly Citizens Bank Ballpark. While his situation is a bit worse, he is also a better pitcher, so I also like his odds of pitching well tomorrow. While he has maintained a solid strikeout rate in his five starts this year, his strikeout per nine ratio was below six in triple-A this season despite a 2.35 ERA. With that said, control guys are guys I like to target in these situations and he avoids walks pretty well. If he can strike out just below a better per inning in this next start, I think he should be highly successful.
In the end, beggars can’t be choosers and the only thing you are doing at this point is speculating, but if I needed to stream two guys this week that are almost certainly available in your league, I’d look at these two and take the risk.