Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 3

As tempting as it may be if your squad is off to a slow start, resist the urge to make an overabundance of drastic roster decisions. Remember - the fantasy baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint.

That doesn't mean you can't tinker on the edges, which is precisely what this column is designed to help you do. Whether you're looking for injury reinforcements in a shallow league or on the hunt for a diamond in the rough in a deeper format, every week in this space we'll discuss some of the best arms on the waiver wire.

As a reminder, 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 2 of the 2019 fantasy baseball season.

Editor's Note: Get our 2020 MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our draft kit, premium rankings, player projections and outlooks, our top sleepers, dynasty and prospect rankings, 20 preseason and in-season lineup tools, and over 200 days of expert DFS research and tools. Sign Up Now!


Pickups for Shallow Leagues

Domingo German (SP, NYY) — 48% Owned

Don't worry too much about German's most recent turn in the rotation being skipped - his job remains secure. The workload management may give you pause, and that's fair, but you drafted him (or more likely, added him in-season) knowing what the score was on that front. German has won both of his starts while allowing just two earned runs, and on Saturday gave owners who were aware enough to leave him active two scoreless innings, four strikeouts, and a third victory. Even if German loses his rotation spot eventually - no sure thing given the age and health risks of the Yankees' SP crop - he could flourish in a Josh Hader-type role.

Merrill Kelly (SP, ARI) — 32% Owned

The Red Sox may not be firing on all cylinders, but eight innings of one-run ball with nine strikeouts and just four baserunners is still impressive against that collection of talent. Though his turn against the Padres on Saturday was much less so, Kelly still has solid ratios (3.79 ERA, 1.05 WHIP)  and a 17:3 K/BB over 19 innings.

Brandon Woodruff (SP, MIL) — 30% Owned

The ratios (6.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) admittedly aren't great, but Woodruff has 20 punchouts over 15 innings in his first three starts of the season. He's also allowed just four walks and one home run. Really we're just waiting for the .385 BABIP and 58.3 LOB% to normalize a bit, as they ought to soon enough.


Pickups for Deeper Leagues

Frankie Montas (SP, OAK) — 22% Owned

If and when you add Montas, you have to do so with the understanding that volatility is the price of admission. Montas isn't getting the increase in whiffs one might have hoped to see with his new splitter - in fact, his inflated home run rate so far suggests it's very much a work in progress - but with a high-90s sinker, he just needs to throw enough good splits to keep the ball in the yard. That'll make him a decent back-end fantasy starter with potential for more.

Nick Margevicius (SP, SD) — 21% Owned

Margevicius is probably not a season-long asset, as his sparkling ratios are mostly a function of excessive fortune in a tiny sample. He doesn't throw hard or miss many bats, and he's making the jump from A-ball to the majors. That said, the reeling Rockies in Petco as his next start? You could opt for much worse options when streaming.

Trevor Cahill (SP, LAA) — 15% Owned

The Cubs are off to a rough start, but it's because of horrendous pitching - their lineup has been piling up runs. So a date with them today at Wrigley sounds like a matchup to avoid. But then, you could have said the same thing (and I did, last week) about his tilt with the Brewers on Monday, and Cahill threw six innings of one-run ball with eight strikeouts. He's also one of the few pitchers who have performed well against the surprising Mariners in the early going.

Caleb Smith (SP, MIA) — 15% Owned

Smith earned his first win of the year against the Phillies on Saturday, and is now 1-0 with a 2.65 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and a 21:6 K/BB in 17 innings. He's faced the Mets and Braves as well, so none of these matchups were cakewalks. His next one isn't either, as Smith will finish his tour of the East with a game against the Nationals next weekend.


For Your Radar

Vince Velasquez (SP, PHI) — 14% Owned

The major stumbling blocks for the talented but frustrating Velasquez, to this point, have been bouts of wildness and a vulnerability to the long ball. Well, last season he produced his first sub-1.00 HR/9 ever, and this season he's yet to walk a batter in two appearances (one start). He'll turn 27 in June, so he may be "young" anymore, but we've seen lesser-skilled arms take longer to put it together.

Jeff Samardzija (SP, SF) — 5% Owned

Shark was ignored in fantasy drafts this spring, which yours truly previously suggested might represent some profit potential. The veteran has allowed just three runs in his first three starts, all to the red-hot Rays. You'd like to see better strikeout and walk numbers (13 K, 6 BB in 16.2 innings) but the fact that he has yet to surrender a home run is encouraging.

Jordan Lyles (SP, PIT) — 4% Owned

As mentioned above, the Cubs' lousy record can't be laid of the feet of their batters. That makes Lyles' 10-strikeout performance against them at Wrigley on Wednesday all the more impressive. The veteran flashed some sneaky upside for the first time ever last season, and Pittsburgh is a friendly place for pitchers.

More Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers

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

More Recent Articles


Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Conference Championships Matchups Analysis

Welcome to our NFL Conference Championships matchups analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering both of the AFC and NFC contests from the Sunday slate, helping you make the best decisions for your DFS contests this weekend. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries... Read More

Conference Championships Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More

Running Back ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, a sure-fire player is expected to reward his owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they end up as a season-long dud, though,... Read More

Dynasty Players to Sell in 2020

Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano share their top sell candidates for dynasty football leagues in the 2020 fantasy football preseason. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel Sirius 210,... Read More

Biggest Surprises of 2019: Tight End

The 2019 NFL season was anything but predictable. I mean, the Tennessee Titans made the AFC title game! Andrew Luck retired right before the season! [Insert one of many, many other things here, because all lists need three items but I couldn't decide between all the possible third options.] One position where things at the... Read More

Wide Receiver ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward his owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More

Biggest Busts of 2019: Quarterback

The 2019 NFL season is over, and it's time to look back on what happened. 2019 was a year where some quarterbacks -- Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen -- leaped up to the top of the fantasy charts, while other guys faded from where they were expected to perform. Today, I want to talk about three... Read More

Four and Out: Fantasy Outlooks for Divisional Round Losers

For the four teams that were eliminated in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs, the offseason has begun. For many fantasy football owners, the days have already started counting down to next season. Owners in dynasty leagues have started to mull over their decisions.  How some guys perform in the playoffs can certainly alter... Read More

Quarterback ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward their owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More

Biggest Busts of 2019: Wide Receivers

After a very interesting season of fantasy football action, many owners were left with a bitter taste in their mouth from a few of the “elite” NFL wide receivers. While Michael Thomas dominated and Julio Jones was his usual reliable self, not all was good if you played it safe by taking a receiver early.... Read More

Quarterback Risers and Fallers: 2019 Season Review

This article will examine the biggest risers and fallers at the quarterback position, which proved to be the most impactful in fantasy leagues as is often the case. Of the top-25 players in fantasy this season, 18 of them played the QB position and none of the 18 scored less than 280 fantasy points on... Read More

XFL Fantasy Football Rankings (Preseason)

As of this writing, there is exactly one month until XFL regular-season action begins. On February 8, the latest upstart professional league will kickoff (again) with spring football. It goes without saying that we hope it goes better than the first time, back in 2001, and lasts longer than the AAF. Before you settle in... Read More

Wide Receiver Risers and Fallers: 2019 Season Review

We continue our series covering the biggest risers and fallers of 2019 with the wide receiver position. I'll look at both 2018 and 2019 statistical outcomes from every player, contrast their performances, calculate differences in each category and come up with the most prominent names going forward. This past season, receivers didn't dominate in fantasy,... Read More

2020 Early Sleepers and Draft Targets: Running Back

It is going to be almost impossible to win your fantasy football league in 2020 without a strong set of running backs, even in today’s pass-happy NFL. While quarterbacks and wide receivers have gained importance in fantasy football in recent years, building your fantasy roster around your running back corps is still one of the... Read More

Top Rebound Candidates for 2020

Is it way too early to be thinking about fantasy football for the 2020 season? Yes. Are we going to do it anyway? You bet we are. While coaches, coordinators, players, and rookies will change some things, you're still going to be able to get an idea of where certain players are going to be... Read More