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Q&A: My Pitching is in Shambles; Who Should I Target from My Fantasy League's Waiver Wire?

Jarrod Parker warming up

The following article was written by’s team of expert analysts, in response to a question asked by one of our RotoBaller readers.  You can click here for more info if you’re interested in having RotoBaller’s experts review your 2013 fantasy baseball draft or submit a custom question.

Question Submitted to RotoBaller >>

I desperately need strong starting pitching.  16-team mixed league with 20-man rosters.  Any recent call ups with staying power you can recommend?  Our pitching points are:

Scoring for Pitching Categories Name Settings
BBI Walks Issued (Pitchers) -1 point
ER Earned Runs -3 points
HA Hits Allowed -1 point
HB Hit Batsmen -1 point
HD Holds 4 points
INN Innings 6 points
IRS Inherited Runners Scored -2 points
K Strikeouts (Pitcher) 1 point
QS Quality Starts 8 points
S Saves 15 points


RotoBaller Detailed Analysis >>
So it's clear from your points structure that IP are quite valuable.   You  have 16 teams and 20 players each.  320 drafted players = about what my own league has, but pitchers are extra valuable in your points league. So, net net, it seems you're looking for real deep pitching sleepers.  I'm going to target guys who are about 15-40% owned in Yahoo, because that would mean about 25-55% owned in CBS. Let me make some recommendations (they go from most owned to least owned).
  • Jarrod Parker- Parker has been hideous and is probably on the verge of being dropped in your league. But if you can pick him -up or trade for him on the cheap you might be rewarded. His .375 BABIP is crazy high considering his low line-drive rate of 17%. That means he'll stop giving up so many hits soon. He's also getting unlucky with HR which he was great at preventing last year.  And on top of it all, he's making guys swing and miss a ton this year and throwing more first strikes, and you have a lot of positive signs. I really like Parker for a turnaround.
  • Kyle Kendrick - Kendrick pounds the strike zone and doesn't walk anyone.  His K rate shows he can't fool many hitters, but his ground ball % of 48% is awesome and shows that even in Philly's HR haven ballpark, he can be a very solid pitcher.  Great pickup if he's around, but because he doesn't K many people, he'll definitely have a blow up or two here or there.
  • Shaun Marcum - Marcum should be owned in a lot of leagues. His ratios are really solid every year and the Mets ballpark will help keep his runs down. He's a great guy who will never throw a CG shutout but can rack up the quality starts for you.
  • Jose Quintana - In his second year, here's what he's done: improved GB rate (now 48.2%), improved swinging strike rate (aka his pure stuff is increasing and is now better than league average), drastically improved K-rate (5.35/9 to 7.16/9), drastically improved BB rate (2.77/9 to 2.28/9). What more can you want. He has great potential with his skill set and can probably be had on the cheap if he's not available.
  • Justin Grimm - Pretty unproven, he's more of a gamble, but the IP and K's are there in his first 3 starts. You could do worse for a 3-4 start stretch.
  • Dan Straily - Probably the most well-rounded and finely polished pitcher without a full time MLB role. I have been using a bench spot on him all year in one league because he will be worth it when his call-up sticks.  He can punch people out and has really solid control and should be able to pitch 7 IP per start because of his maturity.
  • Kevin Correia - Honestly, I'm not a fan of this guy. He screams boring and can't strike out his grandma, but he plays in a great pitchers park and his control is ridiculous (a microscopic 1.24 BB / 9 IP).  He shouldn't give up too many ER in his home starts but isn't the highest upside long term play either.
  • Kevin Slowey - Everyone drafted this guy for 4-5 years straight hoping his K/BB ratio magic would finally add up to something.  Well he's putting the full package together.  A great flier. I just snagged him in a couple leagues after his most recent dominant outing.
  • John Lackey - Looked good in his first couple starts. Hasn't been good since 2009, but who knows. Compared to other guys at his ownership %, he's got the highest upside, easily.
  • Michael Pineda - Velocity is looking good in his extended Spring Training. If he's on the waiver wire, he's a perfect DL-stash at this point.
  • Colby Lewis - Same with Pineda, he'll be back in mid-June and hasn't been below average in any season since returning to the MLB from Japan. A great DL-stash.
  • Francisco Liriano - Yes, this guy again. In four rehab starts he has a 27/3 K/BB ratio in just 16.2 IP. Pretty ridiculous huh? With Liriano, who knows what you'll get, but if you want a super-high-upside guy that'll cost you nothing, stash him on your DL now.
  • Hector Santiago - He's got a chance to stick in the White Sox rotation, and for a good long while, now that Gavin Floyd is going to miss the whole season.  All Santiago did last season was strike out over 10 batters per 9 IP. He did walk a lot of guys, but that walk rate seems to have come down substantially, both in Spring Training and in the early going coming out of the bullpen, such that he's got his K/BB up to the elite level at 3.4. Santiago could be a very valuable SP off the waiver wire for the rest of the way in your league.

Hope this was helpful and thanks for your submission!

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