Heading into a new week, here are five starting pitchers to take a look at off the waiver wire in your fantasy baseball league.
The old baseball adage of “you can never have enough pitching” applies to fantasy baseball too. Injuries and even suspensions can thin the ranks quickly. Fantasy managers need to keep churning things, eye pitchers leaguemates have dropped and generally keep an eye on available options on the waiver wire.
Heading into a new week, here are five startng pitchers to consider adding off the waiver wire in your fantasy baseball league.
Note: Ownership rates are as of the afternoon of Monday, April 24,.
1-Mitch Keller, Pittsburgh Pirates
Keller has a healthy 24 percent strikeout rate through five starts this season, with four straight quality starts (2.88 ERA over that span). As noted by RotoBaller, he has a six-pitch arsenal and throws five of them over 13.5 percent of the time.
Even with the Pirates playing as well as they have been, it’s too easy to forget about some of their fantasy assets. Keller should be rostered in way more leagues.
Yahoo! Ownership: 42%
ESPN Ownership: 27.2%
2-Eduardo Rodriguez, Detroit Tigers
Rodriguez followed a fantastic outing last Tuesday (eight shutout innings, 10 strikeouts, zero walks) by carrying a perfect game into the seventh inning on Sunday. Over his last three starts, he has 19 strikeouts, one walk and 12 hits allowed over 21 innings.
Pitching for the Tigers will naturally limit Rodriguez’s win total, but what he’s doing lately should not be ignored by fantasy managers
Yahoo! Ownership: 43%
ESPN Ownership: 22.7%
3-Matt Strahm, Philadelphia Phillies
A two-run home run allowed in the first inning to C.J. Cron against Colorado during his last outing cost him a win, but otherwise Strahm was quite good (11 strikeouts, three hits, three walks over 5.1 innings). His pitch counts are on the rise over his four starts, with a season-high 82 against the Rockies, and he has a 38 percent strikeout rate with an 89 percentile whiff rate so far this season.
Strahm adds to his fantasy utility by being reliever-eligible.
Yahoo! Ownership: 27%
ESPN Ownership: 9.2%
4-Tanner Houck, Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox didn’t plan to use Houck as a starter going into the season and, as some have gotten healthy, the plan is to stick with a six-man rotation through an upcoming road trip. Houck has pitched well enough to stick in the rotation long-term though, with a strikeout rate north of 25 percent and a 22:8 strikeout to walke ratio over 21 innings. In his most recent outing, he went seven innings with seven strikeouts and one walk against the Twins. An xERA of 3.57 points to positive correction from a current 4.29 ERA.
Houck is also relief pitcher eligible, adding to his usefulness for fantasy managers.
Yahoo! Ownership: 19%
ESPN Ownership: 8.2%
5-Mason Miller, Oakland Athletics
Miller made his major league debut last week, generating 27 swings and misses from the Chicago Cubs with five strikeouts on 81 pitches over 4.1 innings. He also touched 100 mph or more on the radar gun 15 times.
A bad A’s team should give Miller ample opportunity to pitch, even if his innings will be closely monitored. He also needs to diversify a little from his four-seam fastball going forward (53 of 81 pitches in his debut), but that may naturally come.
Based solely on the raw stuff and the residual strikeout rate, Miller is worthy of a speculative add in mixed leagues.
Yahoo! Ownership: 36%
ESPN Ownership: 10.1%