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Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 18


August looms, which means that some owners will inevitably abandon their teams as they turn their attention to football season. This is less than ideal in many ways, but one benefit to those of us who follow through on our season-long commitment is that competition for waiver adds will be less fierce.

We're not there yet, so the pickings remain slim. You can still find help, though - and as luck would have it, this column is designed to help you do exactly that.

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 18 of the 2019 fantasy baseball season.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Pickups for Shallow Leagues

Michael Pineda (SP, MIN) — 48% Owned

Pineda entered this season having not thrown a pitch at the MLB level since July 2017, but he's picked up right where he left off this season. That encompasses both the good (solid strikeout rate, few walks) and the bad (lots of hard contact and home runs). At age 30, it's probably foolish to expect anything else. That said, the veteran has been better at keeping the ball in the yard recently, surrendering just four homers in his last 10 starts. Unsurprisingly, he has provided high-quality ratios (3.26 ERA, 1.07 WHIP) during that stretch.

Zac Gallen (SP, MIA) — 30% Owned

Though it may have come against the punchless White Sox, Gallen's last start was easily the best showing of his young MLB career. The rookie pitched past the sixth inning for the first time, allowing just three baserunners and striking out nine batters in seven frames. While he still has work to do in terms of refining command, Gallen misses plenty of bats and now has a 2.76 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in six starts for Miami.

Anthony DeSclafani (SP, CIN) — 28% Owned

While a vulnerability to the long ball (not in any way helped by his home park) may always keep Tony Disco from being a fantasy fixture, he's still been useful despite that flaw. A win on Saturday against the Rockies left him with decent ratios (4.01 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) and more than a strikeout per inning, which would be a career best for the 29-year-old.

 

Pickups for Deeper Leagues

Jose Urquidy (SP, HOU) — 22% Owned

The Astros' decisions at the trade deadline could wind up pushing Urquidy out of the rotation, but the 24-year-old has shown plenty of potential. He's carried over his high strikeout and low walk rates from the minor leagues, with a 25.0 K-BB% across four starts with Houston. The fastball is nothing special, but Urquidy has a change-up that induces a ton of whiffs and a plus slider. If he does hang on to a rotation spot, he'll need to prove he can respond as hitters adjust.

Cal Quantrill (SP, SD) — 13% Owned

Before running into trouble in the sixth inning of Saturday's game against the Giants, Quantrill had not allowed a run in 18.2 innings, and only wound up allowing one in the frame. The rookie has now made 14 appearances in the majors (nine starts) and owns a solid 3.57 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. The Dads may add to their rotation via trade before Wednesday's deadline, but Quantrill is making a strong case to remain ahead of Logan Allen and Dinelson Lamet in the pecking order. Chris Paddack's likely innings limit opens up further avenues for Quantrill to hold a spot down the stretch.

Asher Wojciechowski (SP, BAL) — 13% Owned

I'm extremely proud of myself for spelling that name correctly without looking it up first. Never really thought it would be necessary to learn, given that Woj is a 30-year-old who's spent the overwhelming majority of his pro career toiling at Triple-A. But a 16.3% swinging strike rate demands attention, even if it's only across five starts. The veteran appears to have mostly abandoned his awful change in lieu of a merely below-average cutter, which in turn is allowing his fastball/slider combo to play up. He's still an extreme fly ball pitcher, so the implosion potential is high, and he won't win many games with the hapless Orioles. But hey - strikeouts, and not many walks.

 

For Your Radar

Mitch Keller (SP, PIT) — 5% Owned

The Pirates are mired in the NL Central basement. Jameson Taillon looks increasingly unlikely to return in 2019. Jordan Lyles and Trevor Williams have remembered that they are, in fact, bad. In short, there's really no reason for Pittsburgh not to promote Keller in the near future and let him sink or swim. His first three MLB starts certainly didn't go well - note the 10.50 ERA - but the 23-year-old has little left to prove in the minor leagues at this point.

More Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers


Check out RotoBaller's entire fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and sleepers list, updated daily!