Fantasy baseball: 4 SP sleepers to draft late after Gerrit Cole, Lucas Giolito and Justin Verlander injuries

Injuries are decimating the ranks of top tier fantasy baseball starting pitchers in the American League. What lower tier options might provide value later in the draft?

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole
New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole / New York Yankees/GettyImages
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American League fantasy baseball owners should start worrying about the depth for starting pitchers, especially toward the top. With Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander, the last two AL Cy Young winners, most likely out for opening day, draft lists are starting to thin out toward the top.

They join Lucas Giolito, Taylor Mahle, Max Scherzer, Jeffrey Springs, Shane McClanahan, and Jacob deGrom as likely candidates to begin the season on the Injured List to start the season. Of this group, Verlander is the most likely to return the quickest.

Instead of reaching for some undeserving starting pitchers too early, or paying too much, there are some intriguing starting pitchers who could be rostered later in the draft that might provide solid stats.

American League Starting Pitchers Sleepers Who Might Offer Great Value

No 4: Ryan Pepiot, Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays have an eye for stating pitching and they acquired Ryan Pepiot as part of the trade that sent Tyler Glasnow to the Dodgers this last offseason.

Pepiot performed admirably for LA at the end of last season, throwing 42 innings over three starts and five relief appearances. He recorded a sparkling ERA of 2.14 and an impressive WHIP of .762. He also displayed ace-like control, striking out 38 while issuing just five walks.

With Jeffrey Springs and Shane McClanahan both recovering from injuries and not expected back until deep into the season at the earliest, the opportunity for Pepiot to lock down a rotation spot is almost unchallenged. Opportunity and skills equal a late pick that could help your pitching tremendously.