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ANALYSIS: San Diego Padres starting pitcher Joey Lucchesi remains on far too many waiver wires, as fantasy owners are slow to pick him up after he comes back off of an injury. Lucchesi has yet to throw more than 5 1/3 innings since returning from the disabled list, but has still shown signs of regaining his form.

One of the best signs of a pitcher limiting damage is striking out more than a batter per inning and inducing more than 50% ground balls; Lucchesi has 21 strikeouts in 20 innings since returning and has a 51.9% ground ball rate. The shine on those solid statistics are the fact that he has walked 10 batters since returning, but he has only walked two batters in his last two starts (9 1/3 innings). The biggest issues for Lucchesi, potentially even more than his walks, are his 46.3% hard hit ball rate allowed and 24.1% line drive rate allowed.

It is likely that Lucchesi will be starting on the road after the All-Star break in Philadelphia and he does not have a start before a break in play on Monday. Lucchesi does not have the easiest matchup with the Phillies, but there is double-digit strikeout potential against a Phillies team that whiffs a lot. It is wise to pick him up in deeper leagues and he has shallow league appeal considering his upside with strikeouts.


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