Waiver Wire Week 19: 10 SP Targets

Each week I look at the collection of starting pitchers owned in under 30% of leagues (consensus Yahoo/ESPN ownership from Fantasy pros) with a few extra sub 10% discount options at the end, pointing out the options to consider if you need an extra arm or two at the end of your staff.

Let’s highlight my ten favorite starting pitcher options that may be available on your waiver wires, roughly ordered from top to bottom:

Under 30% Owned

German Marquez (Colorado Rockies) – I’m a little surprised to see Marquez still this available. It’s a 30% K rate, near 1.00 WHIP and sub 3.00 ERA over his last eight starts, half of which have come inside Coors. He’s improved his curveball while his slider is still a fantastic offering for any count. Go get him, he could push the needle in the right direction.

Mike Fiers (Oakland Athletics) – It’s kinda hard to turn away a pitcher holding a 2.55 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 15.6% K-BB rate over his last 14 starts. There are plenty of signs of regression, but even a 3.95 FIP that incorporates his 90.5% LOB rate in that time is still digestible. It’s not going to last, but as long as the wave is high, it’s in your best interest to ride.

Joe Musgrove (Pittsburgh Pirates) – After earning just two strikeouts in three straight starts, Musgrove responded with six in as many innings against the Giants, muffling complaints about his overall production. He’s currently holding a 3.50 ERA that should come up a little given a 7.3% HR/FB rate, but a 3.70 ERA with a 20%+ K rate and 1.20 WHIP is well within reach.

Tyler Glasnow (Tampa Bay Rays) – A twelve inning sample in three games is far away from a concrete sample to properly assess Glasnow, but why not take a chance if you’re hurting for SP help? He’s hinting a 50% strikeout rate in that time with an impressive 60.5% F-Strike rate to boot. There may be something in the water in Florida that is helping Glasnow reduce the walks (just three so far) and he’s attacking batters constantly. Or he’ll implode next time out and we’ll move on. He’s worth the dart throw.

Joey Lucchesi (San Diego Padres) – Lucchesi is sporting a 3.45 ERA with a solid 3.80 SIERA to back it up. Meanwhile, he’s still holding a serviceable 1.23 WHIP with an excellent 25% strikeout rate fuelled by a “Churve” – a changeup grip thrown like a curveball. The pitch has been successful in each of last two starts after struggling following a mid-June DL stint and there’s no reason to turn down his numbers for your squad.

Derek Holland (San Francisco Giants) – It was a tough start against the Pirates last time out for Holland, but it was the first time he’s allowed more than 3 ER since May 30th. I’m not ready to jump off this train just yet, especially when he has a secure spot in the Giants’ rotation and a 2.09 FIP during his rough outing.

Matt Boyd (Detroit Tigers) – Boyd averaged 89.4mph on his heater through his first 14 starts of the year. He’s now averaged 91.2mph across his last nine, leading to a 2.37 ERA, 23% strikeout rate, 4% walk rate, and 0.89 WHIP over his last five starts. It’s a small sample, but when paired with the increased velocity and higher reliance on his heater, there may be something here to turn to Boyd in deep 12-teamers.

Mike Minor (Texas Rangers) – Like Boyd, Minor has added a 1.5mph of velocity over his last nine starts and it’s returned success: 3.55 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and a 14% K-BB rate. A relatively easy schedule awaits with many games against the Angels with the Giants, Twins, and Rays scattered, and you may have a solid ratio floor in Minor to grab off the wire.

Under 5% Owned

Jacob Nix (San Diego Padres) – I wrote about Nix’s debut over the weekend and I see the potential for a backend starter in standard leagues. His changeup has plus potential, his fastball is commanded well on both sides of the plate, and his curveball was highly touted prior to Saturday’s game. There’s potential for production here and with his low ownage rate, even the deepest of leagues may be able to take a flier.

Sam Gaviglio (Toronto Blue Jays) – I completely understand avoiding this one, but those in AL-Only leagues might be intrigued by his most recent start against the Rays, where he struck out seven for just the third time all season. Gaviglio’s 36% fastball usage was the first time all season the pitch was thrown under 50% of the time, while raising his breaking ball usage to 50%+ after hovering 35-40%. It led to more whiffs and his success could be sticky. It’s a terribly small sample, but there could be something here.

Nick Pollack is the founder of PitcherList.com and has written for Washington Post, Fantasy Pros, and CBS Sports. He can be found making an excessive amount of GIFs on twitter at @PitcherList.

newest oldest most voted

What is with the proofreading? .123 WHIP doesn’t make sense, 1.23 makes more sense. Decimal placement matters.