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Nobody wants a boring pitcher in Fantasy.

You know the type: few strikeouts, big workload, a general aura of staleness. Our repugnance isn't simply a matter of preference. Few pitchers can survive in the modern game without strikeouts. Batters simply do too much damage on contact. Maybe you'll find a boring pitcher who's doing well, but he'll always give you the feeling that the other shoe is about to drop.

I don't want a boring pitcher either, but I'm not made of pitchers and, thus, I need a bunch of them. One thing that boring pitchers have going for them is that they're there, and that same quality is in fact an imperative for a waiver wire article such as this. So I'm about to talk about some boring pitchers who've been doing well lately -- guys like Ranger Suarez, Julio Teheran and Kyle Hendricks.

But first, let's look at a not-so-boring pitcher.

Possible waiver wire pickups
BOS Boston • #22 • Age: 27
Rostered
73%
Wednesday at Twins
INN
7
H
8
ER
4
BB
0
K
6
Garrett Whitlock's latest start in which he allowed four runs in seven innings at the Twins isn't so impressive on its own, but it marked his third straight with 18 swinging strikes. He never had even 15 in a start previously. He's been incredibly efficient during that time as well, averaging 89 pitches despite exceeding six innings in all three starts. What made Wednesday's start different from the other two is that his new sweeper wasn't primarily responsible for the whiffs. It generated only two on the 13 he threw. Instead, his fastball/changeup combo (he's been working to slow down the latter) did the heavy lifting. All in all, the converted reliever appears to be taking to the starting role, and the upside may be higher than originally thought.
PHI Philadelphia • #55 • Age: 28
Rostered
73%
Tuesday vs. Braves
INN
6
H
4
ER
1
BB
2
K
7
Among the "boring" pitchers featured in today's Waiver Wire article, Ranger Suarez is the one who gives me the most confidence. He was faced with a possible bloodbath against the Braves on Tuesday, especially given their work against left-handed pitchers this year, but instead, he held them to one run in six innings while striking out seven. It was his most impressive work during a five-start stretch that has seen him put together a 1.38 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 8.0 K/9. One key to his success is improved sinker location, according to Lance Brozdowski of Marquee Sports Network, who recently noted that he's throwing it on the outer part of the plate more. Suarez is also relying on his curveball more for swings and misses. We saw the ground-ball specialist emerge as a must-start Fantasy pitcher down the stretch in 2021, and it may be happening again
CLE Cleveland • #32 • Age: 24
Rostered
58%
Wednesday vs. Athletics
INN
5.2
H
4
ER
4
BB
3
K
4
I'm going ahead and including Gavin Williams here even though his debut against a bad Athletics lineup Wednesday left something to be desired. The bottom line is that he's one of the top pitching prospects to be called up this year, yet he's still available in nearly half of CBS Sports leagues. Plus, there were silver linings Wednesday. All four runs came in the third inning. He didn't give up many hard-hit balls. He had only seven whiffs, but nerves may have played a role there. He also may have leaned too heavily on his fastball (throwing it 54 percent of the time) when his breaking balls are quality swing-and-miss offerings. The Guardians know what they're doing with pitching, and Williams has more natural talent than most of their success stories. He should also get plenty of runway with Triston McKenzie sidelined by an elbow sprain.
MIL Milwaukee • #49 • Age: 33
Rostered
58%
2023 Stats
W-L
2-2
ERA
1.53
WHIP
0.88
INN
35.1
BB
8
K
23
The Diamondbacks seemed like a prime choice to end Julio Teheran's unexpected run of success Wednesday, but instead, he shut them out over five innings, lowering his ERA and WHIP through six starts to 1.53 and 0.88, respectively. Normally, I'd be inclined to dismiss such numbers from a pitcher averaging 5.9 strikeouts per nine innings -- and surely some correction is in order -- but during his many years with the Braves, Teheran would regularly outperform his peripherals. He seems to be the sort of pitcher who defies the usual evaluation methods. Notably, he's fading his 90 mph fastball in favor of a sinker and cutter -- i.e., fastballs with movement -- which might explain why he's inducing such weak contact. His 3.13 xERA suggests it's not all good luck. No one should be surprised if Teheran suddenly crumbles, but some degree of continued success is also a possibility.
CHC Chi. Cubs • #28 • Age: 34
Rostered
37%
Wednesday at Pirates
INN
6.1
H
2
ER
1
BB
3
K
2
So many are so hard up for pitching that I think it's appropriate to make excuses for Kyle Hendricks, who, with his latest quality effort Wednesday, now has a 1.40 ERA and 0.62 WHIP over his past three starts. He has just 6 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings during that stretch, but strikeouts weren't much his game even when he was one of the most reliable pitchers in Fantasy from 2014 through 2020. The guy throws 88 mph, so he breaks all convention when it comes to evaluating starting pitchers. I can't figure him out either. What I can tell you is that he's coming back from surgery to repair a capsule tear in his shoulder, and there's reason to believe he was pitching through the injury for some time. Does it explain why he fell off in 2021 and 2022? It's not the craziest theory.
SF San Francisco • #12 • Age: 27
Rostered
35%
2023 Stats
SV
3
ERA
4.02
WHIP
1.50
INN
31.1
BB
21
K
49
Jordan Hicks hasn't appeared in a game since Monday, but well, the Cardinals haven't had a save chance since then. The correlation is notable because Monday marked a third straight day that Hicks pitched, and each time was for a save. Prior to then, he hadn't even worked two straight days all year. It's a pretty clear tipoff that manager Oliver Marmol views him as the closer with Ryan Helsley sidelined by a forearm injury. Another is that Giovanny Gallegos, who had been splitting saves with Helsley, set up for Hicks in two of those three games. Hicks has some closing experience and a fastball that regular tops triple digits, but he hasn't exactly been nails this season. Still, it wouldn't be surprising to see him rise to the occasion if the Cardinals keep going back to him.
CHC Chi. Cubs • #73 • Age: 28
Rostered
28%
2023 Stats
SV
4
ERA
1.91
WHIP
0.85
INN
33
BB
6
K
34
As a team, the Cubs have recorded only three saves in June, and two have gone to Adbert Alzolay. Not much of a tell, is it? Well, let's consider how they've used him in non-save chances. His past five appearances have been to finish out a game, twice for a save and twice, including Tuesday, with a four-run lead, which isn't far off from being a save. Furthermore, in the last four of those appearances, he was preceded by Mark Leiter, who's the only other Cubs pitcher to get a save in the past two months. Suffice it to say the closer role is coming down to those two, and it's pretty clear which way the Cubs are leaning.
ARI Arizona • #30 • Age: 34
Rostered
20%
2023 Stats
SV
4
ERA
2.54
WHIP
0.79
INN
39
BB
12
K
46
When Scott McGough came out for the eighth inning Wednesday, you might have presumed all the talk of him becoming the closer was premature. But then he stayed in for the ninth, too, striking out four in all without allowing a baserunner to pick up his fourth save. He now has three of the Diamondbacks' past four saves and was the last pitcher to take the mound in each of his past five appearances, including three times for a save, once in a tie and once with a four-run lead. The first-place Diamondbacks could use some stability in the ninth, and given that McGough (who was a closer in Japan the past two years) has a 0.38 ERA, 0.63 WHIP and 11.4 K/9 over his past 18 appearances, they may have found it.