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Ivan Nova (SP, PIT) - Week 26 Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues

OWNED IN: 26% of leagues

ANALYSIS: Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Ivan Nova has allowed one run or fewer in each of his last three starts and has allowed two or fewer in five of his last six starts as well. While a 4 1/3 inning, like his last start against the Brewers, does not constitute a quality start, Nova was still able to see his seasonal ERA drop to 4.01. Since the All-Star game, Nova is 4-3 with a 3.31 ERA and six quality starts in 10 outings.

While it is good that Nova is limiting damage, he also has seen his 45% GB rate drop to 42.8% in the second half and he has only struck out 32 batters in 54 1/3 innings. This strikeout total includes nine in six innings against the Marlins, so there is not a lot of strikeout upside in Nova.

He will face the Cubs in Chicago on September 26, which does look like a rough outing on paper, but there are reasons for optimism. The Cubbies will likely have clinched the NL Central by Wednesday and there is a decent chance that Nova sees a watered down lineup in Chicago. With the way he has been pitching, Nova can more than handle the Cubs secondary lineup and is a sound addition in deeper leagues.

Check out RotoBaller's entire fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and sleepers list, updated daily!