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Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 12

Hard as it may be to believe, we're nearly halfway through the 2019 regular season.

At this time of year, the waiver wire is arguably at its thinnest. Most teams are still angling to win and actively participating, and between injuries and finally cutting the cord on early-season disappointments, it can be difficult to find reinforcements. Difficult - but not impossible.

A reminder before we begin: This column focuses on players who are below 50% owned in Yahoo leagues, and standard 5x5 scoring. Your mileage may vary, in terms of availability or league settings. Using that cutoff point for ownership rate, however, these are your starting pitcher waiver wire targets and adds for Week 12 of the 2019 fantasy baseball season.

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Pickups for Shallow Leagues

Framber Valdez (SP, HOU) — 45% Owned

Valdez's first two turns through the Astros rotation have both come at home against the dregs of the AL East (Baltimore and Toronto), but like any pitcher he can only face the lineups placed in front of him. The lefty allowed just three runs in 13 innings across those two contests, striking out 15 batters and allowing just 11 to reach base. His next outing will be a big test on the road against the Yankees.

Griffin Canning (SP, LAA) — 45% Owned

Canning drew a tough assignment on Monday with the Dodgers and held his own, notching a quality start and striking out five without issuing a walk. Yet his ownership rate barely budged, and I remain perplexed as to the fantasy community's seeming reluctance to buy in on the kid. To review: just turned 23 last month, running a 16.0% swinging strike rate, has a WHIP that begins with a 0. What's not to like?

Pablo Lopez (SP, MIA) — 36% Owned

Lopez is finally getting some love from fantasy owners recently, but his occasional blow-up outings made the hesitancy a bit more understandable. It's always dangerous to completely discount those efforts - they do count, after all - but since his 10-run disaster against the Mets last month, the 23-year-old has allowed just nine runs in his last six starts. Four runs of those came in one game, and the other five all qualified as quality starts.


Pickups for Deeper Leagues

Jeff Samardzija (SP, SF) — 14% Owned

ERA estimators don't look kindly upon Shark's work, and he plays for a lousy team. But he's put up playable ratios (3.72 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) anyway, with only one outing in 13 starts that could be classified as a meltdown. If nothing else, stream him at home, where he's rocking a 2.53 ERA and 1.16 WHIP.

Dylan Bundy (SP, BAL) — 12% Owned

Bundy's in a similar boat to Samardzija - bad team, ERA estimators giving him side eye. He still allows too many home runs to be trusted every time out, but the 26-year-old does offer fantasy owners more than a strikeout per inning and his ratios (4.44 ERA, 1.28 WHIP) are palatable enough in deeper formats.

Tyler Mahle (SP, CIN) — 11% Owned

It seems like Mahle should be a bit more widely owned. Like the other two guys in this section, he doesn't get much help from his team, so victories are tough to come by. But he's running the best K-BB% of his career (18.9%) and despite being prone to the long ball has posted decent ratios (4.46 ERA, 1.25 WHIP). Unlike the two pitchers we just discussed, though, SIERA thinks Mahle has been much better than his surface stats indicate (3.87). You'll probably want to avoid his next start (at home against the Astros) but he's got some mixed-league value.


For Your Radar

Zac Gallen (SP, MIA) — 8% Owned

The Marlins bypassed Gallen when they needed reinforcements from the minor leagues recently, opting to bring up Jordan Yamamoto instead. You should still keep a close eye on Gallen, though. The 23-year-old has dominated Triple-A this year to the tune of a 1.77 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, and 28.5 K-BB% in 14 starts, nine of which have earned him a victory.

Dinelson Lamet (SP, SD) — 4% Owned

Remember him? Lamet struck out 28.7% of the batters he faced as a rookie back in 2017. Tommy John surgery cost him the 2018 campaign, but he's looked healthy during his rehab assignment at High-A, striking out 14 batters in nine innings on the strength of a 18.3% swinging strike rate. Wildness was an issue for him before the injury, so his return to the majors could be bumpy, but there's definitely upside worth monitoring here.

More Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers

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