Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Targets For Week 5

By Not That Bob James on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

This weekly column will look at some good Starting Pitchers you should look to add over the next month. The quality of the pitchers will range between thin and deep leagues, and may include some two-start pitchers, in order to reach the largest spectrum of players and potential sleepers. Each pitcher will be dissected from a sabermetrics level to truly see their value and show if their hot streaks are likely to continue or not. With that in mind, let’s get into the Week 5 edition of the Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire column.

NOTE: Stats that will be used include GB/FB (How many ground balls to fly balls are hit) Swinging Strike %, HR/FB% (how many times a fly ball hit against him is a Homerun) and K/BB.


Starting Pitchers To Consider


Tyler Skaggs (SP) - Los Angeles Angels

By Not That Bob James on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

At 22 and in his first full season in the majors, Tyler Skaggs is showing the promise that made the Angels trade for him this offseason. Two stats that stand out to me to show Skaggs is improving and worth owning in fantasy teams are his GB/FB and his HR/FB%. Last season he was getting his opponents to hit only 1.27 grounders as opposed to fly balls, and this season that number has improved almost a whole point to 2.23. As for his HR/FB%, his number has almost been cut in half from 17.1% to 9.1%, which in simple terms means less homeruns are going to be hit against him.

His velocity has gone up, with his fastball averaging as low as 87.7 MPH his last two years, whereas in 2014 he is averaging 92 MPH. That with his curveball and changeup also picking up speed shows he is getting stronger with age, and in turn becoming a more dangerous pitcher despite just the 3 pitches. His one stat that might cause concern is his strikeouts. Last season his K% was 21.8%, and has now dipped to 14.4%. It is still early in the year, so I would cut him some slack that not all his stats are promising. Skaggs is owned in 26% of leagues, but is definitely worth at least a look in mixed leagues, and a sure fire add in deep leagues.


Nathan Eovaldi (SP) - Miami Marlins

At the beginning of the year, when asked about Nathan Eovaldi’s 2014 fantasy outlook, my first reaction was “who?” and after his first start was “nobody on Miami’s rotation not named Jose is worth adding.” However, the 26 year old looks to be legit, and in his second year in the majors, his sabermetrics are backing that up. Eovaldi’s K/9 is at 8.62, up from 6.60 in 2013 while is walking batters less, with his BB/9 more than cut in half to 1.15 from last year’s 3.39. That adds up to a 7.5 K/BB, meaning he walks 1 batter after striking out over 7.

His velocity has held steady at around 95-96 MPH for his fastball, which obviously is not the reason for his newfound success. I would attribute his Swing% going up from last season’s 46.6% to today’s 52.3% as a major point of focus. Eovaldi has also been using his slider more, as almost a quarter of his pitches have been sliders at 24.6% after only utilizing the pitch on 18.2% of his pitches in 2013. When a pitcher is on a team like Miami and succeeding, you can mostly assume it won’t be coming from run support. In Eovaldi’s case, it seems he has matured to the point that he will be worth adding in mixed leagues. Being owned in only 31% of Yahoo leagues, that number will surely be going up if Eovaldi can continue what has brought him success in 2014.


Aaron Harang (SP) - Atlanta Braves

Unlike Skaggs and Eovaldi, Aaron Harang is not a young pitcher who is making a nice start to their careers. He is a seasoned veteran who is pitching like a new man. After losing Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy, Harang is sitting on a 0.85 ERA with 33K’s and) HR’s in 31 2/3 innings. I personally saw him live when he pitched 7 innings of a No-Hitter before being pulled due to throwing over 130 pitches. Harang’s K/9 is sitting at 9.38, which he has never finished a season at and has a career average of 7.76.

Despite the nice face value stats, there is plenty of evidence that says Harang will eventually crumble. His BB% is at a near career high of 10.7% with a BB/9 rate of 3.69. Also, his BG/FB rate is at .54, a career low. With his FB% at a dangerous 52.9%, he has simply gotten lucky that he has not given up a round-tripper all season. Turning 37 next week, Harang should not be looked at in any sort of a keeper league. While I’ll bet his current hot streak might not last, that does mean he can’t still contribute until he burns out. He has been added in 23% of Yahoo leagues in the past day, so I would grab him while you can.


While none of the stats I used in this column are stats for your fantasy league, that does not mean they are irrelevant in looking at who to add. Sabremetric numbers are the equivalent of when on math test, after getting the correct answer your teacher put “explain.” While it might not be the easiest way to go about it, when looking at who to add from the waiver wire, examining the player’s sabermetrics could show you the right answer when the main stats leave you stumped.


That's it for now. Make sure to stay tuned each week for this column examining the sabermetrics of Starting Pitchers on the waiver wire. Be sure to follow Justin on Twitter @JustBerglund and @Rotoballer for all your fantasy baseball insights.


More Recent Articles


Thursday Night Football Matchups Analysis - Week 15

What a tremendous upset to kick off the fantasy playoffs (in most league formats)! The Chicago Bears pulled off a tremendous upset of the NFC East leading Dallas Cowboys last Thursday, with Mitch Trubisky throwing for three scores and David Montgomery getting 20 touches in the win. Most of Dallas' playmakers returned solid days, but... Read More

Show Me The Money! Stashes That Could Win Your League

Success in the fantasy playoffs is all about planning ahead. Your bench is no longer a safe space for high floor players without much of a ceiling; they won't win you the big game. You need to look ahead and stash players with exploitable matchups in the weeks to come so that you don't get... Read More

Wide Receiver Snap Counts and Target Trends - Week 14 Analysis

Wide receivers are essential components toward your ultimate goal of securing league championships. If you are preparing for Week 15 matchups, an expanding collection of tools are available that can provide you with an extensive level of knowledge. Those results provide the foundation for this weekly statistical breakdown of the wide receiver position, which is designed... Read More

The King's Week 15 Lineup Rankings and Analysis (Premium Content)

Welcome back, RotoBallers! Below you will find my Week 15 fantasy football lineup rankings for the second round of your playoffs. The ranks are available in PPR, Half PPR, and Standard formats. They will be updated as needed, so make sure to check back for the latest versions, especially on the weekends. Skill Position analysis versus... Read More

Week 15 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More

Fantasy Football Booms, Busts - Kenny Golladay, Kenyan Drake, James White

If there was ever a week to have more booms than busts in your fantasy football lineup, it’s this week. The playoffs are either underway or about to start in fantasy football leagues across the nation and around the world. If you are lucky enough to be the proud owner of a playoff team, then... Read More

Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 15 Josh Jacobs (shoulder) is now expected to suit for Week 15. Adam Thielen (hamstring) is expected to return... Read More

Week 15 Stream Team - Free Agent and Bye-Week Streamers

Now that the playoffs are in full swing in most leagues and the final march for a championship has begun, streaming becomes a  necessary strategy. Knowing who to add and when to start them could be the ultimate difference-maker in a weekly matchup. Making the right streaming decisions could easily be the difference in winning... Read More

NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 15) - Targets and Avoids

Week 13 was a pretty chalky one with just three underdogs winning outright. The biggest upset was the Broncos absolutely annihilating the Houston Texans who were still celebrating their "Super Bowl" win against the Patriots the week prior. Three weeks remain and I'd be a fool to think there are hundreds who are reading this... Read More

The Tape Tells All - Robby Anderson Fantasy Outlook

Welcome to another edition of "The Tape Tells All," where I break down some film of an NFL's player performance and try to draw some fantasy football conclusions from that film. This week, I'm looking at New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson, who's shaken off a slow start to the 2019 season by going... Read More

Fantasy Football Risers, Fallers - Zach Ertz, Emmanuel Sanders, Robert Woods

Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement.... Read More

Fantasy Football Disaster Recovery: Sit Your Studs?

Welcome to Disaster Recovery, where each week I'll examine why your studs played like duds. This isn't a place to find out why you should have sat a player for somebody else on your bench. Disaster Recovery is here to examine the guys who you didn't think twice about starting and to help you decide if you should... Read More

Week 15 Warning Signs: Matt Ryan, Carson Wentz, Julio Jones

You made the playoffs. Awesome. Now you have even won your first game. That is even better. But now what? There are many players, some of whom performed in the first round, who may not be so fortunate this week. Whether it is a bad matchup or injuries to key players around them, this could... Read More

WR/TE Leaderboards After The First Playoff Round - NFL Next Gen Stats

Things finally got serious. If you're here, it's only because one of two reasons: 1) you have followed the series all along and want to keep reading just so you don't feel bad with yourself, or 2) you won your first round of the fantasy playoffs and are still on the lookout for the smallest... Read More

Deeper League Free Agent Pickups for Week 15

The first week of the fantasy playoffs is in the books, and hopefully you're still writing another chapter in it. Week 14 was absolutely brutal from an injury perspective, with several big name players getting carted off the field and burying multitudes of fantasy teams in the process. Mike Evans, Calvin Ridley, Devante Parker, Alshon... Read More