Every week we’ll be bringing you a few starting pitchers to target off the waiver wire for your fantasy baseball leagues. Some of these pitchers may be sleepers, based on your league size and format. Whether they are off to a hot start, or are two-start pitchers, these SPs may be able to help you off the waiver wire.
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Starting Pitchers Waiver Wire - Week 3
Garrett Richards, SP (34% Owned)
Richards is off to a terrific start in 2014, posting 2 quality starts in both of his outings thus far. The most surprising part of Richards’ starts have been the rise in strikeouts. Since starting for the Angels in 2012, Richards highest K/9 was 6.27. Thus far, Richards has a K/9 of an impressive 9.75. Although it is a fairly small sample size, Richards is worthy of a pickup in all formats. The Angels offense is starting to produce more and more runs, and Garrett seems to have fixed the control issues that have hurt him in years past. He hasn’t posted an ERA for an entire season of sub-4 since being called up, but he looks to accomplish that this year. Through 2 starts, he has an astonishing 0.75 ERA.
Aaron Harang, SP (22% Owned)
Just when fantasy owners were about to give up on Aaron Harang, he begins 2014 with a 2-1 record and an incredible 0.98 ERA. Harang should really be 3-0, but the Braves failed to give him any run support in his second outing. After posting a 5.40 ERA in his stints with the Mariners and Mets, many people thought that we had seen the last of Harang. But, he has emerged with a fantastic start to this season, mostly due to avoiding the long ball. In 2013, Harang gave up 1.63 HR/9. Thus far in 2014? 0.00. The Braves organization has historically had incredible pitching coaches, which is why Aaron Harang is a must-add in all formats.
Mike Leake, SP (27% Owned)
Mike Leake is worth of a pickup in leagues that are deep in the starting pitching category. Since 2012, Leake’s K/9 ratio has been dropped every single season, but his ERA has also dropped in each of those seasons. Leake is not relying on striking batters out anymore, as he only has a 3.68 K/9 thus far in 2014. However, this has allowed him to be much more efficient. 88.2% of batters that have reached base versus Leake this season have been stranded.
Leake had a career low 3.37 ERA in 2013 in 31 starts and he has opened 2014 with a 2.45 ERA. He will try to end a season with a sub 3 ERA for the first time in his career and it is entirely possible.
Jason Hammel, SP (11% Owned)
Jason Hammel is off to a hot start in 2014 and that can be attributed to timely pitches to get out of jams. Hammel’s LOB% is at an astonishing 100%. He has shown great poise in pressure situations, while striking out 11 in 13.2 innings. A current K/9 of 7.24 is higher than any season he has pitched in the majors. In 2013, Hammel struggled with a BB/9 of 3.10. In his 2 quality starts this season, his BB/9 is 1.32. Hammel is a must add in leagues with deep starting pitching for the time being, but this could change to “all formats” if he continues his dominance.
Wily Peralta, SP (5% Owned)
Wily Peralta is off to a scorching start, but should only be monitored by fantasy owners at this point. The Brewers have exceeded all expectations thus far and that is because of their starting pitchers. In his 2 quality starts so far, Peralta has a K/9 of 7.50, which is 1.17 higher than his total in 2013. The key to Peralta’s success has been limiting his walks. His 3.00 BB/9 thus far is lower than any of his previous seasons with the Brewers. If the Brewers maintain their torrid start, Peralta may be worth of an addition solely because of his opportunities to get wins.