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Starting Pitcher Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 2 (2024)

MacKenzie Gore - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB News

After a long, lonely winter, baseball season is up and running! It's the first edition of our starting pitcher fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups series as we head into Week 2 - April 1 through April 7. In this piece, we search for starting pitchers rostered in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. For those of you in deeper leagues, we will split that into another section, looking at starting pitchers rostered in less than 30% of Yahoo leagues. We will also give you five other options to consider that might be good additions to your fantasy roster.

We'll be looking for starting pitchers with strong K-BB ratios, and guys who flew under the radar during draft season. Another thing we look for here is opportunity. Who has some good matchups coming up? Who are pitchers that are performing that are just not being picked up in many leagues?

One consideration for many fantasy players is that the bottom portion of your roster in deeper fantasy leagues should be churned frequently. That means you are playing matchups, looking for pitchers who can exploit weak-hitting teams. You are looking for bench options that you can play matchups with; for example, you might choose to roster a pitcher who has a matchup against teams like the Oakland Athletics, Chicago White Sox, or Colorado Rockies during a specific week. This is good management and if you want to win, these are techniques you probably need to be using more. Let's get to those pitchers who could provide you with some stats this coming week.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and weekly lineup resources:

 

Waiver Wire Pickups for Shallow Leagues

Pitcher pickup recommendations for leagues of any size rostered between 30-50% on Yahoo

Garrett Crochet, Chicago White Sox (40% Rostered)

Crochet drew the Opening Day nod for the White Sox and did not disappoint. Crochet surrendered one run over six strong innings with eight strikeouts and no walks. Crochet asked for and received an opportunity to move to the rotation, and he proved ready this week.

His next start won't be easy as the Atlanta Braves are on deck. However, he follows that with a start against the historically light-hitting Cleveland Guardians. Snap up Crochet and you can spot-start him at the very least.

Tyler Wells, Baltimore Orioles (42% Rostered)

Wells is often regarded as one of Baltimore's lesser starters, tucked behind the likes of Corbin Burnes and Kyle Bradish (when he returns). Yet Wells is a guy who could yield profit to knowing fantasy players.

Wells won seven games last season and posted almost a strikeout per inning. But the main draw is that he helps control those ever-so-risky ratios; last year he had a 3.64 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. Wells gets the Los Angeles Angels today, and then the Pittsburgh Pirates next weekend. Wells' career numbers are illustrated below for you; he clearly has value in the right situation.

Frankie Montas, Cincinnati Reds (32% Rostered)

Montas was a kind of under-the-radar signing for Cincinnati this offseason, and he too got the Opening Day start for an up-and-coming Reds squad. Montas went six scoreless innings and posted four strikeouts against zero walks.

He gets the slugging Philadelphia Phillies in his next start, followed by the Milwaukee Brewers. Montas is a great addition to your staff.

MacKenzie Gore Washington Nationals (42% Rostered)

It feels like we have been waiting for Gore to grow into an opportunity at the MLB level, and with health, he's an interesting addition to your staff. Gore makes his first start on Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates and then gets the Philadelphia Phillies next weekend.

Gore is just 25 and looks to grow this season with health and a full opportunity in Washington. He raised his K% two ticks last year to 25.9%, and cut his walk rate to 9.8%, which is still too high. Gore surrendered 27 home runs in 136 innings in 2023.

My point? Improvement in both the walk and home run rates could lead to a growth year for Gore, and I am willing to take that chance on a talented lefty with a great opportunity. In the chart below, notice that Gore is on the cusp of excellence with his Whiff % and K%. This represents a chance for you to buy in now.

Waiver Wire Pickups for Deeper Leagues

Pitcher pickup recommendations for deeper leagues rostered between 30% or less on Yahoo

Logan Allen, Cleveland Guardians (22% Rostered)

Cleveland has a well-deserved reputation for developing starting pitchers, and Allen could be the next in line. Allen pitched on Friday night against the Oakland Athletics and did fine: five innings, six hits, three earned runs, and three strikeouts. He did surrender two home runs, both solo shots to J.D. Davis.

He gets the Seattle Mariners next weekend. Allen is in a good spot with Cleveland and is likely to be widely available on the waiver wire. While the 22.2 K% from last year seems low, continued growth in his offspeed pitches makes him a pitcher to scoop up, and at least spot start at this time.

Garrett Whitlock, Boston Red Sox (25% Rostered)

Whitlock oozes potential but role uncertainty has impacted his rostership over the last few years. This year, he has a lock on a starting role in Boston. Whitlock gets the Seattle Mariners today, and then the Los Angeles Angels next weekend, which is a good matchup for him.

While it's always difficult to predict wins, Whitlock looks to have a slightly better-than-average strikeout percentage (25.4%) and minimizes the damage from walks (career 4.9 BB%). At 27, the Red Sox can take off the training wheels and let him get to work.

While innings could be limited based on his prior roles in the bullpen, Whitlock could provide value with the 115-130 innings he may give you. Take a deeper dive into Whitlock below.

Jose Quintana, New York Mets (15% Rostered)

Quintana started on Opening Day against the Milwaukee Brewers. You know what you are getting with Quintana: worry-free innings without many frills. He limits hard contact and barrels while being less than average with his 18.8 K%.

Quintana historically is a back-end rotation guy in fantasy who will win a few games and help with ratios. And his next start is against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday. Quintana is a great streaming option and a guy you can use to spot-start when he has good matchups. He is often undervalued for fantasy purposes.

Ranger Suarez, Philadelphia Phillies (30% Rostered)

Suarez isn't a big name like Zack Wheeler or Aaron Nola, but he is an excellent pitcher. Suarez will be on the waiver wire this weekend because he is facing the hard-hitting Atlanta Braves today, but he gets the Washington Nationals next weekend.

Suarez will not wow you with high strikeout rates, averaging 8.5/9 over his career, about 22 K%, but he is on arguably one of the best teams in baseball and has consistently outpitched his peripherals. With 150 innings this year, he could get double-digit wins and league-average ratios. He should be rostered more than he is at this point.

 

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