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Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Pickups for Fantasy Baseball - Week 21

Matt Manning - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Welcome back! It's Week 21 of our fantasy baseball Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Pickups series! We have been having a good amount of success with our waiver wire pick-ups lately as a ton of fantasy baseballers have stopped paying attention and that's making the waiver wire a much more pleasurable place.

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 21 of the fantasy season (August 29 - September 4).

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Waiver Wire Pickups for Shallow Leagues

Pitcher pickup recommendations for leagues of any size

Matt Manning, Detroit Tigers (19% Rostered)

Since August 4th, Manning has made four starts, pitching 25 innings. He has posted a 1.80 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in that time with a 26:5 K:BB ratio. Those are really strong numbers, albeit in just a short data sample.

For the season, Manning has a 2.37 ERA with a 1.11 WHIP, a 20.3% K%, and a 5.9% BB% - and that is over seven starts and 38 innings in the Majors. In the minors, he's gone for a 2.61 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP with a 23:11 K:BB in seven starts.

So really that means that we haven't seen much good from Manning prior to his last four starts, but man these last four have been impressive - let's look a little bit deeper into them. Here are some stats on his pitch arsenal over this run of greatness.

Pitch Pitches % SwStr% CSW% GB% HR Brl%
4-Seam Fastball 173 47.3% 11.6% 28.3% 23.7% 0 2.6%
Slider 87 23.8% 28.7% 50.6% 50.0% 0 10.0%
Curveball 42 11.5% 4.8% 14.3% 40.0% 0 0.0%
Sinker 41 11.2% 9.8% 43.1% 22.2% 0 0.0%
Changeup 23 6.3% 30.4% 43.5% 0.0% 1 33.3%

The slider really pops here with elite numbers on the 87 pitches thrown. That pitch is set up well by the four-seamer which has earned an above-average 11.6% SwStr% (the league average is 10.5%).

Manning has some of that former prospect hype about him too as he was pretty highly touted coming up. He fell flat in 2021 and at the beginning of this season, but he may be turning a corner here. We need more data to know for sure, but for now, things are looking up. He's worth an add.

Reid Detmers, Los Angeles Angels (50% Rostered)

After a rough start in Detroit, Detmers' ownership dropped down to 50%, qualifying him for this post. If someone in your league dropped him - they are foolish and you need to capitalize on their mistake. Get Detmers back!

Eduardo Rodriguez, Detroit Tigers (44% Rostered)

He returned from the leave of absence, or whatever it was, and fired off five scoreless innings against the Angels, striking out five and walking three. The three walks were concerning, and the 5.1% SwStr% is a pukey number as well. We know that E-Rod is a talented pitcher and we've seen plenty of good fantasy starts from him in the past, so we should probably add him just to see what he's still got in the tank.

Justin Steele, Chicago Cubs (38% Rostered)

Over Steele's last 10 starts, he has a 28.0% CSW%, a 12.8% SwStr%, a 29.1% K%, and a 7.4% BB%. That makes for a 21.7% K%-BB%. Any time a pitcher goes this long with a K-BB% over 20%, we've really got something going.

It's true that these last 10 starts have come against a very easy schedule, here's who he has faced over that time:

  • WSH x2
  • MIL
  • MIA
  • SF
  • PHI
  • MIL
  • CIN
  • PIT
  • ATL

So really there is only one great offense on here (Braves) and one other offense that can be considered good (Phillies). Regardless, the strikeout rate is convincing and he's looked really good. The schedule ahead of him is tough with the Cardinals, Mets, and Phillies as probable opponents, but I'm becoming more and more convinced that Steele has some staying power.

Alex Cobb, San Francisco Giants (38% Rostered)

I'm done telling you about Cobb, I have done it dozens of times now this year, so if you're new here - I'm sorry. I'm just going to tell you to add Cobb if you need a good pitcher because Cobb is a good pitcher.

Drew Smyly, Chicago Cubs (20% Rostered)

A 3.74 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP on the year are numbers that you can stomach, but since July 1st, he's gone for a 3.52 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. The 23.2% K% is only so-so, but the 4.9% BB% is really good over that time, and he's managed homers well. I don't think Smyly will keep this up for the rest of the season, we've been fooled before with the veteran, but he has certainly been aiding fantasy teams in recent days. Much like Steele, he has a tougher schedule ahead - but he's someone that can be considered.

Nick Pivetta, Boston Red Sox (44% Rostered)

Pivetta's 2022 season has been something to see. Here's how it's gone by month for him:

April 15.4 8.77 2.08 20.5% 16.7%
May 38.1 2.13 0.84 24.0% 4.1%
June 40.0 2.25 1.05 24.8% 8.1%
July 22.6 9.96 2.26 19.3% 10.1%
August 23.2 3.10 1.12 25.8% 7.2%

I don't know if health has factored into this or something, but it's wild to see his walk rates bouncing around like that. Whatever it is, right now he's pitching well and can be considered as an add and a start in decent matchups.


Waiver Wire Pickups for Deeper Leagues

Nick Lodolo, Cincinnati Reds (26% Rostered)

It's been a bumpy ride for Lodolo, and he's now coming off of another down spot. He got through five innings nicely against the Phillies on Monday, but got roughed up in the sixth and closed with a pretty bad line, giving up four runs on three this while walking a pair. The walks have really been an issue, as he's walked at least two in each of his last seven starts. That will continue to hamper him, but the good news is that he does have a really nice strikeout rate at 28.2% for the year - which gives him that upside we like so much.

Aaron Civale, Cleveland Guardians (33% Rostered)

Civale has brought up his strikeout rate in 2022, and it currently sits at a much improved 23.5% K%. That's a few points above what we're used to seeing from him, which is encouraging. Since July 1st, he has gone for a 27.7% K% and a great 4.5% BB%. The righty has given up no more than two runs in each of his last four starts and has a nice 24:3 K:BB over that time. He recently held the Padres in check, so we can't even just tack this up to the easy schedule he's faced.

Civale is a professional pitcher with good command and a deep pitch arsenal, he's a nice add right now if you're looking for quality starts.

Cole Irvin, Oakland Athletics (49% Rostered)

I honestly think this number on Irvin is a bit too high, but we can't ignore what he just did last week. Irvin struck out 11 Marlins over seven scoreless innings and put up a ridiculous 27% SwStr%. It was one of the best starts of the entire season for anybody in terms of whiffs generated.

The problem is it's completely contrary to the rest of his season, as Irvin came into that start with a 17% K% and a 10% SwStr%. I would not expect another double-digit strikeout game for Irvin, not even close, but he has some soft matchups ahead and has been a non-awful starter for a couple of seasons now, and there always is the outside chance that he has just recently made a positive change in his delivery or something like that.


Other Waiver Wire Options

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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