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Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 19

We're into August - the dog days of summer and the fantasy baseball season alike. The grind of a long season, along with the impending start of football, will siphon off the weak links in your league.

That means less competition for waiver wire assets, but it also means that everyone still playing is in it to win it and desperately clawing for resources, just like you. Fortunately, you're reading this column, which can help you outfox your rivals.

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 19 of the 2019 fantasy baseball season.

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Pickups for Shallow Leagues

Jeff Samardzija (SP, SF) — 44% Owned

After an injury-plagued 2018, Shark has reverted to his usual form: A durable arm good for solid ratios (3.75 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) and close to an 8.00 K/9. Certainly not sexy, and the veteran's homer-prone ways make him vulnerable to the occasional blowup outing. Ultimately, though, the numbers are always there at the end of the season, and he's logged a quality start in five of his last six appearances.

Jordan Yamamoto (SP, MIA) — 38% Owned

Yamamoto has struggled recently, but two of those three starts came against three top-10 lineups (Dodgers, Twins, and Diamondbacks), so it's hardly an indictment of his ability. The rookie now has a 3.94 ERA but also boasts a 1.04 WHIP and 49 strikeouts in 48 innings. With Zac Gallen traded to Arizona, Yamamoto's job security has also increased. The 23-year-old enjoys a much more favorable draw with the Mets on Tuesday.

Griffin Canning (SP, LAA) — 27% Owned

While a couple of recent lousy nights have bloated his ERA, Canning remains one of the best starting pitchers in baseball at inducing whiffs, with a 13.7% swinging strike rate that ranks 17th among all starters (min. 70 innings). He has also allowed just one home run in the second half after giving up 13 prior to the break. He'll need to keep that up with a date at Cincinnati on Monday, but the 23-year-old has the talent to be a force down the stretch.
*Update: Canning to the IL with elbow inflammation.

Chase Anderson (SP, MIL) — 26% Owned

Anderson's 2018 didn't quite measure up to his breakout the year before, so he's gone back to being waiver wire fodder in most leagues. That could be a mistake, though. The veteran's ratios are similar to last season, but his peripherals look more like they did in 2017. That's in large part due to the run he's currently on. Anderson has allowed two runs or fewer in eight straight starts, including tilts against the Cubs, Braves, and A's.


Pickups for Deeper Leagues

Drew Smyly (SP, PHI) — 22% Owned

Plucked off the scrap heap by a Phillies team in desperate need of reinforcements to the pitching staff, Smyly has exceeded everyone's expectations. In his first two starts with his new club, the southpaw has allowed just one run in 13 innings, with 13 strikeouts and three walks. He'The 30-year-old hadn't pitched in MLB since 2016, and he looked mostly terrible with the Rangers earlier this year. He showed potential earlier in the decade with the Tigers and Rays, so it's not completely out of the question that he can be useful. And if nothing else, his next two starts are against the White Sox and at San Francisco.

Gio Gonzalez (SP, MIL) — 16% Owned

Gonzalez looked solid on Saturday against the Cubs, allowing only one run before being pulled in the fifth. The early hook was more with an eye toward the veteran's recent issues with shoulder tightness, which truncated his last outing and caused him to pitch on Saturday instead of earlier in the week as scheduled. That situation merits concern and monitoring, but Gonzalez has been quietly very good for Milwaukee this year, posting a 3.35 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in nine starts. If his health doesn't get in the way, the veteran lefty can help in deeper formats.


For Your Radar

Ryne Stanek (SP/RP, MIA) — 4% Owned

This is admittedly cheating a bit, because the interest in Stanek after his trade to the Marlins stems from his potential to accrue saves. With Sergio Romo shipped to Minnesota last week, the ninth inning is wide open in Miami. Stanek mostly served as an opener with the Rays, but has the stuff to close and would be of particular interest to owners in leagues where his dual eligibility could be exploited.

More Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers

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