In this piece, RotoBaller will highlight a selection of starting pitchers owned in less than 50% of both CBS and Yahoo leagues that have favorable matchups in the upcoming week. Whether you’re suffering from injuries, poor performance, or your league’s fantasy baseball waiver wire is barren, these undervalued pitchers could prove useful in the days ahead.
5/22: Brandon Maurer (SEA) @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (CJ Wilson)
CBS Ownership: 12%, Yahoo Ownership: 1%
Based on his ownership numbers you’d think it was a reach picking Maurer this week, but the rookie RHP has produced quality starts in five of his past six outings and continues to show why he made the Mariners roster out of spring training despite never pitching above Double-A. Maurer had his best outing of the season versus the Angels back on April 25, spinning 6.1 innings of shutout ball with six strikeouts and just one walk, so he represents a solid gamble for pitching-starved fantasy lineups this week.
5/23: Zach McAllister (CLE) @ Boston Red Sox (Ryan Dempster)
CBS Ownership: 46%, Yahoo Ownership: 29%
McAllister is fresh off yet another terrific outing, as he took a shutout into the eighth inning versus Seattle on Saturday before allowing two runs and ultimately missing out on his fourth victory after Chris Perez suffered a blown save. Regardless, we’re reaching a point where McAllister is becoming a week-in, week-out option on a solid Indians team, as he sports a 1.93 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in his past four starts and a 2.65/1.18 combo for the season. We continue to recommend McAllister, and he continues to pitch well, yet he still hasn’t crossed the 50% ownership threshold in either CBS or Yahoo fantasy leagues. Grab him, start him, and reap the benefits.
5/23: Scott Diamond (MIN) @ Detroit Tigers (Rick Porcello)
CBS Ownership: 19%, Yahoo Ownership: 7%
Diamond sports an unremarkable 4.08 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 3.8 K/9 rate but for one reason or another he’s been terrific against the Tigers in his career. In three seasons in the majors, the Twins lefty has posted a 2.67 ERA and 1.22 WHIP versus Detroit, and he’s held their current batters to a paltry .208/.261/.283 triple-slash in 115 plate appearances. We’re admittedly digging deep here, but Diamond did post the league’s best BB/9 rate last season and he keeps the ball in the park. He’s a sneaky one-off play this week.
5/24: David Phelps (NYY) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Roberto Hernandez)
CBS Ownership: 33%, Yahoo Ownership: 8%
Phelps has been very, very solid since taking the injured Ivan Nova’s rotation spot at the beginning of May: in four starts, the Yankees RHP has registered a 2.84 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 24/10 K/BB ratio in 25.1 IP. The former reliever is also coming off his best start of the season, has posted a quality start in three consecutive appearances, and has a 9.7 K/9 rate in 42.1 IP. He’ll be a hot pickup on the waiver wire if he keeps this up, and is a highly recommended option versus the up-and-down Hernandez.