Week 24 Waiver Wire - Starting Pitchers

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We're in the final weeks of the fantasy baseball season and there's really no time to dilly-dally anymore. The waiver wire is rather thin and we also have to be cognizant that ownership rates are thrown a bit by many inactive owners who have thrown in the towel on 2017. That said, we at RotoBaller are still here for you.

Whether you need wins, ratios or strikeouts (ideally all three), we’ll try to help you out. Here are my starting pitcher waiver wire targets for Week 24.

For our purposes, we’re going to use Yahoo ownership levels and try to cut things off around 30%.

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Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Targets

Tyler Glasnow - (PIT, SP): 29% owned

I don’t think we have anything more to say here. Glasnow is making his highly-anticipated return to the Major League bump today (Wednesday) in a road start against the Brewers. The Brew Crew have a lousy .290 wOBA as a team over the last two weeks, “good” for 26th in the Majors over that span with a 26.6 percent strikeout rate that is only beaten by the White Sox (27.6%). Get after it, or don’t. But this is what late-season gamble dreams were made of.

Kyle Gibson - (MIN, SP): 26% owned

Gibson has taken Doug Fister’s place as the “Huh?” name rising from the ashes in late 2017, as he spearheaded a 16-0 shellacking of the Padres on Tuesday night to improve to 4-0 over his last five starts. And that game in which he didn’t get the victory was when the Twins busted out late in a 4-2 victory where Gibson had allowed the two runs over seven solid innings. So, five consecutive quality starts against the White Sox, Blue Jays, Royals (twice) and the Padres. He’s slated for a rematch at home against the Blue Jays on Sept. 17, making him a solid pickup.

Chad Kuhl - (PIT, SP): 14% owned

Kuhl has bounced back and forth between useful and waiver-wire fodder in 2017, but is leaning toward more useful right now. He tossed seven shutout frames against the Cubs at home before tossing six innings of one-run ball on the road against the Cubbies in his last start. His arm is good for roughly a strikeout per inning now and gets to face a Reds team whose collective 88 wRC+ over the last two weeks is 20th in the MLB.

Jack Flaherty - (STL, SP): 11% owned

Speaking of those Reds struggling at the dish, Flaherty will get to face them in his third big-league start on Wednesday. The rookie has yet to make a start at Busch Stadium until now, but has notably been iffy against two poor offenses in the Padres and Giants on the road in his first two outings. He has 10 K’s in nine innings so the potential is there for a solid line, but there’s no skirting around the fact that this is a high-risk, medium-reward maneuver. But if this goes well, at least he’d face the Reds again on the 19th in Cincinnati.

Ben Lively - (PHI, SP): 6% owned

Outside of a six-run outing against the Cubs at home a few starts ago, Lively has been fantastic over the last month. He’s thrown four quality starts against San Fran, Miami, New York (NL) and the Nationals and has started to show an ability to work deep into games. The 25-year-old gave up four homers in that loss to the Cubs, but outside of that he’s yielded just one long ball across the other 27 innings he’s thrown since rejoining Philly’s rotation on Aug. 20. Even though his next start isn’t on the road (where all four of those QS have come), he should be a healthy option for those in deeper formats in his next scheduled start against the A’s on Sept. 16.

Sal Romano - (CIN, SP): 3% owned

So, something that is worth mentioning for those backing the Pirates’ pitchers -- their offense has a horrid 79 wRC+ and paltry .379 slugging percentage over the last two weeks. Romano gets to face this team at home next on Sept. 16 after striking out six Mets (and walking none) in his last start. His 50.7 percent groundball rate and 7.4 K/9 could be serviceable to many if he can limit the walks (4.02 BB/9). Don’t expect the world, but a quality start and the win is well within reach here against a sluggish offense.

Brett Anderson - (TOR, SP): 2% owned

So, you’re really desperate then? Well, Anderson has posted a 2.06 ERA/1.02 WHIP in his first three starts for Toronto and has a history of being reliable when healthy. Of course, he got torched often as a Cub earlier in the season, which prompted his being moved. The southpaw has yet to walk a batter in his 17 2/3 innings in a Blue Jays uniform, with 11 K’s and a 3.53 xFIP behind the ERA. He’ll take on a red-hot Twins team in Minnesota next on Sept. 14, but if he looks good there then he lines up to face the Royals at home after that.

 

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