Week 1 Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Targets
Each week we'll be bringing you some waiver wire starting pitcher targets for your fantasy baseball teams. As the season gets underway today, make sure to check these guys out as possible additions to your team.
Editor's Note: be sure to check out our famous Waiver Wire Pickups List, updated daily with waiver wire options for different positions. Our Waiver Wire Pickups iPhone app is also free, and available for download in the Apple Store.
Wood is coming off the best season of his career and looking to build on it. Due to the lack of run support from the Cubs, Wood only posted a 9-12 record, but had an impressive 3.11 ERA in the process. On a playoff team, Wood would easily have 15+ wins. With the improvements the Cubs have made, he should be an “add immediately” if he is still available in your league. If healthy, Wood can be the All-Star for the Cubs this season as long as he stays healthy. Look for Wood to post even better numbers in 2014.
Bradley is a starting pitcher who should receive continued scouting from all owners. It looks like he will begin the season in the minors, but could be the first player called up should there be an injury or struggling starter for the Diamondbacks. In 21 starts in Double-A last year, Bradley posted a 1.97 ERA and had 119 strikeouts in 123.1 IP. He is a prospect worth monitoring to see when he gets his opportunity in the big leagues. The Diamondbacks have produced many great starting pitchers from their farm system in recent history, (i.e. reigning Cy Young winner Max Scherzer) so they should be trusted in their management of Bradley. When the time is right, he will get his opportunity to showcase his skills in 2014.
Santiago will begin the season in the Los Angeles Angels’ rotation. He is coming off a good year with the White Sox where he posted a 3.56 ERA in 23 starts and 11 relief appearances. Santiago should be considered in deep leagues only at the moment due to his inconsistency, but with the change of scenery and his solid skills, it would not be shocking if he had a big year for the Halos. With Trout, Pujols, and Hamilton in the lineup, the Angels offense should give Santiago the run support for him to get double-digit wins, and the size of the ballpark should help him keep his ERA in the 3.7 range.
Ramirez is an "add immediately" starting pitcher for all teams that are looking for pitching depth. He is firmly in the Mariners rotation and has been dominant in spring training, to the tune of a 0.96 ERA. He has seemingly fixed the control issues that haunted him last season. In 18.2 innings this spring, Ramirez has only walked 2 batters. Hisashi Iwakuma flourished under the radar last season and look for Ramirez to do the same in 2014. Based off his tremendous spring training performances, Ramirez is worth an add in all formats unless your rotation is absolutely stacked. If he comes close to replicating his spring performances during the season, he will be a hot add, which is why he is worth the risk now.
Arroyo is worth a look in very deep leagues only. Over the past 9 years, Arroyo has pitched at least 199 innings in every single season. Although he is currently dealing with a back injury, the Diamondbacks expect him to be ready for his first start. He’s posted double-digit wins in eight of the past ten seasons, so if you are in need of back end starting pitching, he is someone to look at in deep leagues. Arroyo won’t have many starts with huge strikeout numbers, but the Diamondbacks should give him plenty of run support this year and he is dominant vs. RHP so you can run him out there against any righty heavy lineup. Look for Arroyo to have another season of at least 200+ innings pitched with 10+ wins.
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