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Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 12

Tarik Skubal - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News

The league's bats are waking up a bit as we enter the hot months of summer, and that is making the SP waiver wire a bit less fun to swim in. Today, we will highlight a diverse group of pitchers that come from all different situations.

We have a few guys here that started the year poorly but have been resurgent of late, as well as some newcomers and a couple of struggling veterans that maybe we shouldn't give up on quite yet.

Here is a six-pack of SP names to consider adding to your fantasy team ahead of week 12 - June 14 through 20.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:

 

Pickups for Shallow Leagues

Dylan Bundy, Los Angeles Angels (52% Rostered)

This 52% mark is surprising to see since Bundy began the year at nearly 100% rostered after his really strong 2020 season. This year, his numbers (6.16 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 22.5% K%) are making that 2020 season seem like a fluke, but there is good news underneath the hood.

Bundy made his living with the slider last year and that pitch has continued to be dominant this year with a 38.3% CSW% and a 17.9% SwStr%. It has been barreled up more often than you'd expect, however, with an 11.9% barrel rate on the pitch. You don't typically see high CSW's and high barrel rates going together, so one of those is probably going to come down - and my money is on the barrel rate doing so. The other positive is that Bundy's curveball has also been solid with a 41.2% CSW%. There's still not much positive to say about the fastball, but Bundy's breaking stuff is just too good to keep him down this far for long.

The homers have been the main problem, as he's given up more than two per nine innings. That is on the back of a 19.7% HR/FB rate, which is five points above his career average. There are better times ahead for Bundy. Maybe he won't be anywhere near the ace-level he flashed in a short 2020 season, but I believe he's still a viable fantasy starter and you should pounce on him if someone in your league has given up hope.

Tony Gonsolin, Los Angeles Dodgers (43% Rostered)

It was a long journey back for Gonsolin, who made his season debut last week against the Pirates. The outing did not go well (he walked five hitters in 1.2 innings), but you should be more than willing to forgive that as Gonsolin is shaking off the rust here. The appeal of Gonsolin is the career 2.65 ERA and 0.98 WHIP he's posted for the Dodgers in his 88.1 Major League innings. Those are tough numbers to post over any sample size, and the elite offense behind him certainly helps matters as well.

He's unlikely to bolster your fantasy team's strikeout total, as his career strikeout rate of 24.8% is pretty much league average, but there should be solid ratios and wins aplenty ahead for him - he deserves an add in most leagues.

Tarik Skubal, Detroit Tigers (25% Rostered)

It has been quite the turnaround for Skubal. He posted a putrid 6.14 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP with a 7.4 K/9 over his first four starts of the season. He looked like a completely different guy over the next six starts, posting a 3.09 ERA with a 1.28 WHIP and a 14.1 K/9. Even more encouraging is that his recent schedule has been much tougher than what he started the year with, he's faced the White Sox twice, the Yankees, the Cubs, and the Twins recently,e and has looked fantastic.

There was legitimate hype on this guy heading into the year, and he has been paying off for those who held on to him through the slog of the first six starts. His rostered percentage is on the rise, so the time to buy in is right now if he's available.

 

Pickups for Deeper Leagues

Austin Gomber, Colorado Rockies (29% Rostered)

Gomber has allowed two or fewer earned runs in each of his last six starts while striking out a batter per inning over that time. Something to note is that four of those last six starts have been away from Coors Field, and there are plenty of starts in Colorado ahead for him. The good news is that he's been pretty darn good in Coors this year as a ground-ball heavy arm. He's given up just three earned runs in 21.1 innings at home while allowing 10 hits. It's been an impressive run.

Is there a real reason to believe though? It is always really hard to tell with Rockies pitchers given how little room for error they have throwing half of their games in that brutal environment. I wouldn't be rushing out to add Gomber myself, but his 31.2% CSW rate on the year and decent enough 11% SwStr% suggests that he should probably be rostered in very deep leagues. The 46% ground-ball rate will help him avoid major trouble, but you shouldn't be expecting a big strikeout rate or a lack of bad starts moving forward.

Jameson Taillon, New York Yankees (43% Rostered)

Taillon has struggled in his return year with the Yankees to the tune of a 5.09 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. The reason he's still being featured in this post is that his stuff looks really good by the numbers, and I'm just not sure how he's had as much trouble as he has had. His four-seam fastball has a league-leading (for four-seamers) swinging-strike rate of 17%. That's a crazily high number for a fastball, and by itself gives me hope for the future.

His secondary stuff hasn't been nearly as effective, as his slider checks in with a pretty weak 9.8% SwStr% and his curveball is also way down there at 8.4%. Those have been reliable pitches for him in the past, and if he can get back to making those pitches at least league-average, I think you'll see some good things for Taillon moving forward. It's definitely encouraging that he's made it through 11 starts without experiencing any health issues, so his arm seems healthy and that should help him improve as he continues to get back into the groove of pitching in the Majors. I'd have Taillon on my watchlist at the bare minimum.

Sam Long, San Francisco Giants (1% Rostered)

The Giants prospect made his season debut last week and looked fantastic, striking out seven Rangers over four innings while giving up just one hit and one walk. That is all the big league data we have on Long, so this is a purely speculative recommendation right now.

The one thing I do see from Long that is legitimately enticing is his career K:BB ratio. In 178.1 career innings in the minors, Long has 213 strikeouts and 60 walks, a ratio of 3.55. These ratios tend to translate to the big leagues, and anything close to a 4:1 K:BB is elite. It's pretty hard to not be successful when you have that kind of ratio.

The criticism of Long is that he is mainly a two-pitch guy, with a great curveball and a good fastball. He did throw 11 changeups in his first outing of the year, which is good to see - there are just major questions about if he can actually throw that pitch at a significant rate in the Majors. It's a wait-and-see proposition, but I'll have my eyes closely on him as he makes his first career start (he came in in the second inning last time) against the Diamondbacks early next week.



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