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Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 6

It is now May, so you may now panic.

Kidding. There's still a lot of season left to be played. But things are starting to take shape, and if that shape isn't to your liking, perhaps it's time to call in some reinforcements from the waiver wire. That's precisely what this column is designed to help you do. Whatever the reason - injury, ineffectiveness, speculation - 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 6 of the 2019 fantasy baseball season.

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Pickups for Shallow Leagues

Luke Weaver (SP, ARI) — 48% Owned

Weaver didn't get much love in fantasy drafts this spring, mostly because he disappointed so many owners anticipating a breakout last year. That may have been a mistake. The 25-year-old has pitched quite well in 2019, with a 3.32 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 43 strikeouts against just eight walks in 38 innings. He even managed to succeed at Coors Field on Saturday night, notching his third victory with 6.2 innings of one-run ball.

Chris Bassitt (SP, OAK) — 46% Owned

Bassitt had his worst start of the year on Saturday against the Pirates, but still struck out six in five innings. That gives him 22 punchouts in just 17 innings of work. His curve and changeup are both working better than in years past, which has allowed his fastball to play up as well.

Tyler Skaggs (SP, LAA) — 41% Owned

Skaggs has won both of his starts since returning from a brief stay on the injured list, allowing just two runs and striking out 10 batters in 11 innings. Keep in mind that two awful outings sandwiched around a DL stint torpedoed his ratios a year ago; remove them from consideration and Skaggs posted a 2.86 ERA in nearly 120 innings. He's at 3.12 through 27 innings this season.

Jerad Eickhoff (SP, PHI) — 36% Owned

Eickhoff emerged as a solid mid-rotation arm back in 2016. Injury and ineffectiveness plagued him over the following two seasons, though, and he opened this year at Triple-A. Nick Pivetta's struggles opened the door for Eickhoff to return to the big-league rotation, and he's hit the ground running. The 28-year-old has great ratios (2.05 ERA, 1.05 WHIP) and 27 strikeouts in 22 innings of work, which include one appearance in long relief and three starts. His slider has been fantastic, and he's accordingly using it often.

Spencer Turnbull (SP, DET) — 27% Owned

The Tigers are likely in for a long season as they're in the thick of a rebuild, but Turnbull looks like a bright spot early. Through six starts, the 26-year-old rookie has a 2.53 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 31 strikeouts in 32 innings. He does a good job getting ahead of hitters and keeping the ball on the ground and in the yard, which has helped mitigate a slightly elevated walk rate.


Pickups for Deeper Leagues

Anthony DeSclafani (SP, CIN) — 26% Owned

Through six starts, DeSclafani has a 3.48 ERA and 1.16 WHIP with 36 strikeouts in 31 innings. He's allowed just one run and nine hits in his last 18 innings of work, and one of those games was against the Cardinals, who have scored more runs than all but three other teams. The secret to his success to this point has been a newly refined curveball that is generating an elite whiff rate of 20%. His typically excellent slider hasn't been as effective as usual, and if that comes around there's some serious upside here.

Jeff Samardzija (SP, SF) — 26% Owned

The 2.53 ERA will rise along with the .236 BABIP, but Samardzija is back to getting ahead of hitters and keeping the ball in the yard. Shark won't carry your rotation, but careful deployment of his services can help you in plenty of formats. You know if he's healthy that you'll get volume, if nothing else - he averaged 210 innings per year from 2013-17.


For Your Radar

Pablo Lopez (SP, MIA) — 8% Owned

Lopez is notching a strikeout per inning while limiting both walks and home runs. A low strand rate is mostly to blame for his bloated 4.78 ERA. The Marlins' ineptitude will make it tough for him to earn victories, but the skills here are worth betting on anyway.

Trent Thornton (SP, TOR) — 5% Owned

Through seven starts, Thornton has been up and down and has yet to earn his first MLB victory. However, he's also struck out 38 batters in 35 innings while posting respectable ratios (4.08 ERA, 1.19 WHIP). Most recently, he tossed seven shutout innings against the Rangers.

Jonathan Loaisiga (SP, NYY) — 3% Owned

At the time of this writing, Loaisiga has not yet been recalled from Triple-A. However, with James Paxton the latest Yankee to hit the injured list, the 24-year-old is the most likely option to replace Paxton in the rotation. In two starts with the big club this year, Loaisiga allowed three runs in 10 innings, with 10 strikeouts on the back of a 16.1% swinging strike rate. He also walked six batters, which isn't great. Still, the ability to induce whiffs makes Lasagna an appetizing fantasy prospect.

More Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers

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