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Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 25

Two weeks. That's all that separates us from the end of the 2019 season. It feels like we only just got started.

Alas, all good things must come to an end. Hopefully this season has qualified as such for you - and if this feature played a role in making it so, even better.

A reminder before we begin: Our focus is 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 25 of the 2019 fantasy baseball season.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off. Exclusive access to our Draft Kit, premium rankings, projections, player outlooks, top sleepers, dynasty and prospect rankings, 15 in-season lineup tools, and over 200 days of expert DFS research. Sign Up Now!


Pickups for Shallow Leagues

Johnny Cueto (SP, SF) — 44% Owned

Cueto made his first start since July of last year on Tuesday and didn't look rusty in the slightest. In five innings, he allowed only two batters to reach base and struck out four. After originally announcing they would give Cueto extra rest before his next outing, the Giants reversed course and the veteran will stay on schedule, which gives him a primo matchup with the Marlins on Sunday.

John Means (SP, BAL) — 43% Owned

It's somewhat surprising to see Means under the 50% owned threshold given his solid overall numbers (10 wins, 3.47 ERA, 1.11 WHIP). Add in the fact that he has a two-start week lined up against the Tigers and Mariners, and it's downright baffling. Means has been one of the few bright spots on the beleaguered Orioles pitching staff and has reeled off four straight quality starts (27 innings, 7 ER) in the lead-up to his tasty double dip.

Joe Musgrove (SP, PIT) — 36% Owned

Musgrove is playing hurt, as a foot injury caused him to miss a scheduled start earlier this month and continues to nag him. However, it didn't stop him from firing five scoreless innings with seven punchouts against the Giants on Thursday. He'd also turned in consecutive quality starts prior to the missed outing, one of which came at Coors Field. He's a great option this week with a home date against the Mariners.


Pickups for Deeper Leagues

Homer Bailey (SP, OAK) — 30% Owned

I didn't participate in our staff rankings this year, but if I had, you can bet Bailey wouldn't have even merited a ranking. He entered the season with just 231 innings pitched over the past four years, almost all of which were awful. His resurgence is one of the more unlikely narratives to emerge in 2019. True, the overall ratios (4.76 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) still don't look great, but Bailey has been a major asset to the Athletics in their wild-card chase since coming over at the trade deadline. In his last six starts, the veteran is 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 36 innings. He gets a cupcake date with the Royals next.

Mike Leake (SP, ARI) — 25% Owned

Leake is thoroughly unexciting and has been for pretty much his whole career. But he has stretches where he's useful in fantasy, and we may well be in one now. He's logged quality starts in three of his last four and will face the Marlins next. As streaming options go, that's got a lot of appeal.

Michael Wacha (SP, STL) —14% Owned

Wacha hasn't earned a victory in the last month, but he probably deserved a couple given how well he's pitched. The full-season ratios mask the fact that the veteran has posted tidy ratios (3.04 ERA, 1.24 WHIP) and struck out a batter per inning in that stretch.


For Your Radar

Elieser Hernandez (SP, MIA) — 4% Owned

A Marlins pitcher with an ERA over 5.00 doesn't seem at first blush to be worth much fantasy consideration. With time running short in 2019, though, many of us need to take chances. Hernandez should see plenty of streaming action with a favorable matchup at San Francisco on Sunday. He's striking out a batter per inning and carrying an inoffensive 1.27 WHIP.

More Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers

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