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Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Pickups for Fantasy Baseball - Week 17

brady singer fantasy baseball rankings draft sleepers waiver wire pickups starting pitchers

Welcome back to Week 17 of our fantasy baseball Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Pickups series! We went through a tough stretch there where there was really nobody on waivers inspiring any confidence. As expected, ownership levels have loosened up as some fantasy managers tune out - and we have some opportunity here to bolster our pitching staffs.

As we have been all season, we'll be looking for starting pitchers with strong K-BB ratios, favoring guys that can keep the ball on the ground.

Let's get to it - here are your starting pitcher fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups recommendations for Week 17 of the fantasy season (August 1 - August 7).

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Waiver Wire Pickups for Shallow Leagues

Pitcher pickup recommendations for leagues of any size

Aaron Ashby, Milwaukee Brewers (28% Rostered)

The young lefty got back on the horse this week, firing seven innings against the Rockies, allowing just two runs on five hits, and getting nine strikeouts. He had been struggling mightily to get deep into games for a while before that start, it had been since June 4th since he threw six innings.

For the season, the numbers show his ceiling. He has an elite 34.7% CSW% and a great 13.6% SwStr% with a strong 27.3% K% and a stomachable 9.8% BB%. Hitters have had trouble hitting the ball hard off of him with a 5.7% Brl% and a .396 SLG.

The reason for hesitancy is that he will likely continue to have more four to five inning outings than six to seven, and he has these walk issues crop up that can really hurt a fantasy team's WHIP. However, his great strikeout ability and the ground-ball rate (57%) will keep the ERA down, and he's on a strong team so he should win some games down the stretch. Ashby is way underowned right now.

Nick Lodolo, Cincinnati Reds (22% Rostered)

I have myself a little pitcher ranking algorithm, and when I loosen up the criteria for pitchers to qualify, Lodolo enters the top ten. He beats out names like Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer, although that's probably just because he's only had seven starts to get through this year.

Regardless, he has been impressive in these 32 innings with a 32.3% CSW%, a 30.5% K%, a 9.1% BB%, and a solid enough 7.0% Brl%. The .466 SLG is high, but the other numbers suggest that marks should come down - although the home ballpark is a problem for him.

There is more than enough here to be really impressive by the left-handed rookie, and he just showed us what he can do by firing six strong innings against the Marlins, striking out nine and giving up just two unearned runs.

Brady Singer, Kansas City Royals (27% Rostered)

We were on Singer pretty early this year, but he's been more of a letdown until recently. However, over his last three starts he's thrown 19 innings and given up just three runs while striking out 28 hitters and walking eight. Those are some exciting marks, and even one of those great starts came against the very tough Yankees lineup.

The reason for doubt is that his pitch mix and velocity have not changed at all over these last three really great starts. That makes it a little bit tougher to believe that he's really a high strikeout rate guy. He has a good but not stellar 26.6% K% for the year, but that is bloated by a very high 35% mark in July.

I think he might be more of 23-25% guy, which would hurt the performance a bit moving forward if it were to come down to that. There is the possibility that the recent gains have legitimacy, but it's no guarantee. Regardless of all of that, Singer is a solid young pitcher that can be rostered in most leagues without much downside.

George Kirby, Seattle Mariners (40% Rostered)

The rookie returned to the M's rotation and threw five shutout innings against the Rangers, striking out four and walking one. He gave up just two hits in that start - so it was a very encouraging return.

For the year, Kirby's 22.7% K% isn't all that great, but there are plenty of guys worse - and his 3.4% BB% is really exciting. The 12.1% SwStr% suggests that he could maintain a league-average strikeout rate, which should play nicely if he's one of the best walk rate pitchers in the league, which I'm convinced he is. The upside is huge with his big fastball velocity and solid secondary stuff, so you should roster George Kirby for the rest of the year if you can.

Edit: The trade sending Luis Castillo to Seattle puts a fog over Kirby's immediate future in the Mariners rotation, so look for more clarity on that situation before taking the dive here.

Ross Stripling, Toronto Blue Jays (45% Rostered)

The Red Sox gave Stripling a little bit of trouble this week as he made it through just four innings, gave up five hits, and struck out just one. That was his worst start in a little bit, but he's been pitching well since returning to the rotation in June.

The Blue Jays are a good team to have a starter from if you're fishing for wins, and Stripling has been really strong at run prevention this year despite a bad strikeout rate of 19%. The walk rate of 4.7% helps his cause, and he's done a great job preventing homers (52.7 PA/HR), so he can help your fantasy team without being a studly fantasy pitcher - and I think he should be rostered most places.

Reid Detmers, Los Angeles Angels (20% Rostered)

It will be interesting to see what Detmers does today, because he's put up some really nice box score lines since returning from the IL a couple of weeks ago. He has faced the Orioles, Astros, and Braves and has handled them all well giving up just two runs in 17 innings with 19 strikeouts.

His 20.9% K% and 10.3% SwStr% marks for the year are disheartening, but in these last three starts those marks are 29.2% and 12.3% - so good improvements there. He's allowed just a .172 SLG in three starts while facing some big time bats, so the indicators are pointing in the right direction for the talented rookie.


Waiver Wire Pickups for Deeper Leagues

Alex Cobb, San Francisco Giants (35% Rostered)

He just keeps getting ground-balls, even though the strikeouts haven't been nearly as high as we saw early in the year. Cobb has been in this piece all season long, so you're probably sick of me beating the drum.

I just like a guy that gives up so few homers and can maintain a strikeout rate near the mid-twenties, which Cobb can do. Sign me up in deep leagues.

Edit: Cobb struck out ELEVEN Cubs on Friday night, showing that he still has that huge strikeout ability, even if it is hard to come by start-to-start

Braxton Garrett, Miami Marlins (40% Rostered)

He did not have a good go of it last week in Cincinnati, but most of that damage came in a disastrous first inning which he bounced back from nicely. Over his last seven starts the strikeout rate is way up at 28.5%  and the walk rate is way down at 5.1%.

That gives him a 23.4 K-BB%, which is a top 15 mark since mid-June. That's good stuff and it's backed up by a great 33.4% CSW% and 14.7% SwStr%. I'm becoming convinced that Garrett has enough to be relevant in the fantasy game.

Domingo German, New York Yankees (28% Rostered)

He's back again and has put up a 23.1% K% and 7.7% BB% through two outings with a 12.1% SwStr%. We've been here before with German, and he has never been able to come close to replicating the great success he had in 2019, but a Yankees pitcher that can get some strikeouts is interesting enough for deep leagues, so you can keep an eye on what German does in his next few outings.

Kutter Crawford, Boston Red Sox (9% Rostered)

Six starts for Crawford and a 25.3% K% with a 7.6% BB%. Hitters have had hit .232 against him with a low .387 SLG as well. The CSW% at 28% isn't great, and that's a pretty apt description of his numbers right - not great. However, they aren't bad either, so we can use Crawford in good matchups until he gives us a reason not to.


Other Waiver Wire Options

  • Chad Kuhl, Colorado Rockies (speculation that he may be traded)
  • JT Brubaker, Pittsburgh Pirates (decent strikeout rate)
  • Jose Quintana, Pittsburgh Pirates (could be traded, good for quality starts)


Alrighty, hope you enjoyed the piece and I hope some of these starting pitcher picks change your life forever and ever, for the better. So long!

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