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Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Week 7

We did it, everybody! We finally did it! We finally got Pablo Lopez’s ownership above 50%. After being included in the pre-season waiver wire article and every week thereafter he is finally where he belongs, in the tier of potential aces.

In all seriousness, this is what playing the waiver wire is all about. Getting in on a player a week early so that when he finally becomes a desirable asset he is already rostered.

As always, the players will be ranked in terms of waiver wire priority.

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Elieser Hernandez, Miami Marlins

47% rostered

When Elieser Hernandez was included in the Week Four Waiver Wire article he was 2% owned, last week it was 30%, and now 47%. Essentially, this is the last chance to try and acquire Hernandez’s services and it should be priority number one for every fantasy team.  In fact, if the 25-year-old had a better outing against the Mets on Wednesday he probably would be too highly owned to make this list.

He gave up 3ER in 4IP, two of which were because of the long ball. The one knock against Hernandez is that this is now back to back games giving up two dingers. However, he still had 7Ks, 1BB, and a 1.86 XFIP on the night. For a pitcher that can get taken deep, his 0.97 WHIP on the season certainly helps limit the damage.

On the season, Hernandez has a 12.17 K/9 and 1.52 BB/9. His 28.9 K-BB% is fourth in the league behind, Shane Bieber, Trevor Bauer, and Jacob deGrom. Once he gets better at keeping the ball in the yard he could reach the level of the aforementioned aces.

He faces Toronto on Monday and is in Truist Park to face the Braves on Saturday. Not easy matchups by any means but at this point, the righty is must start and it’s basically a lock that this is the last time he’ll be eligible to feature on the waiver wire list.


Sixto Sanchez, Miami Marlins

42% rostered

It’s almost a guarantee that by the time this article is being read, not only will Sanchez be above 50% owned, he’ll be close to universally owned. Ten strikeouts in seven innings / 92 pitches by the young phenome speaks for itself. If by some miracle he’s available, add him.


Dakota Hudson, St. Louis Cardinals

35% rostered

Due to the limited number of games the Cardinals have played this season, Dakota Hudson has managed to fly slightly under the radar. His outing on Wednesday against Kansas City was only his fourth of the year and now he’s finally stretched out and ready to show people why he was the 34th overall pick in 2016.

His first start of the season did not go well, and to make matters worse, he had to wait three weeks before he took the mound again. In the three starts after that break, he has allowed six hits, six walks, three homers, and struck out 12.

The right-handed Hudson has some great splits so far this season. He’s faced 39 left-handed hitters, limiting them to three hits combined. The last two seasons he has done better against righties but it’s worth monitoring if the trend of dominating lefty’s. Speaking of dominating, Hudson has thrown his curveball 65 times this season resulting in 8Ks and 1 hit, a single.

If his early season success wasn’t enough of a reason to pick him up, he is a two-start pitcher next week. He’ll be taking on the Reds and the Cubs.

It’s worth noting that Dakota Hudson isn’t some unproven rookie or even a breakout candidate. He was 16-7 with a 3.35 ERA in 174.2IP last season, he also had a 2.63 ERA in 27.1 relief innings the season before that. This is a proven guy who is a great Robin to Jack Flaherty’s Batman.


Tony Gonsolin, Los Angeles Dodgers

34% rostered

Gonsolin is back in action on Sunday against the Texas Rangers. This is what the Dodgers do, they have an abundance of talent in their rotation and frequently send good pitchers down, and recall them on a whim. With that in mind, in many deep leagues, Gonsolin remained on fantasy rosters with owners knowing he’d be back before too long.

The 26-year-old has a 0.00 ERA and 0.55 WHIP on the season. It may not be a long start on Sunday but it should be a highly effective one. There is no reason to not start him, in fact, it’s surprising he isn’t more widely owned.

There are a couple of small reservations about picking up Gonsolin is that his 95 MPH fastball and a 85.7 MPH splitter account for 83.8% of his pitches. That level of usage could run him into problems later on. Secondly, it’s hard to know whether to drop a consistent SP for the Dodgers rookie. His upside is so high, likely higher than anyone who would be dropped to make room for him. However, it’s already been proven that even if he throws another absolute gem there is no guarantee he’ll stick in the rotation.

With that being said, shooting for upside is usually the way to go and Gonsolin is definitely worth the add and the start.


Jordan Montgomery, New York Yankees

26% rostered

Montgomery struck out five Mets in the first two innings on Friday. Through 4.2 IP he was essentially perfect, after that things took a turn for the worse. It’s hard to judge his most recent performance because it was in a seven-inning game. Therefore, he was pulled after five innings even though the lefty had only thrown 68 pitches. Under regular circumstances, he definitely would have been given the opportunity to receive a quality start.

Considering this is the first full season back for the 27-year-old and he’s on the New York Yankees he is owned in fewer leagues than expected. He’s only had one poor outing out of five and seems to be growing more dominant by the start. In his last three games, his WHIP has been 0.83, 0.82, and 1.00 respectively.


Taijuan Walker, Toronto Blue Jays

29% rostered

On the surface, it doesn’t make much sense to add Walker. He has a 4.00 ERA on the season and is going from pitcher-friendly Safeco Field to the Blue Jays temporary home at Sahlen Field in Buffalo. A place where balls are flying out the park left, right, and center.

However, this is could work out better than at first glance. First of all, the last full season Walker played was in 2017 when he had a 3.49 ERA and 0.69 HR/9. Now in 2020, in his first year back from Tommy John surgery he has shown some great signs of recapturing that 2017 form. He has three quality starts in five appearances, two of which he struck out eight batters in seven innings.

The situation is great for Walker. The Jays are buyers at the trade deadline and are making a push for the playoffs. Their rotation is depleted and as good as their bullpen has been it has been taxed very heavily so far this season. On top of that, the 6’4” pitcher is a free agent after this year. All this means that the kiddy gloves are off. The Jays are going to let the former Diamondback go to work. He reached 106 pitches last time out against the Dodgers and that could be a regular occurrence this season. Think Lance Lynn light.

The Jays gave up a “fairly highly regarded prospect” according to Ken Rosenthal so they’re going to expect quite a lot from the 28-year-old. He has the tools and the motivation of a contract year to help him deliver.


Ian Anderson, Atlanta Braves

37% rostered

Carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning in a major-league debut is one way to get people’s attention. His changeup was playing really well off of his 94MPH fastball, and the 15 curveballs he threw kept hitters off balance just enough.

Anderson struggled a great deal in five Triple-A starts last season, although he still struck out more than a batter per inning (9.12 K/9.) However, he has completely excelled in the other six minor league levels he has pitched at, including Double-A in 2019.

Next week he will face a couple of average lineups in Boston and Washington.

Whenever a third overall pick comes up and has a debut like that it’s definitely worth trying to add him. However, we’ve seen extremely highly touted rookie pitchers like Nate Pearson, Spencer Howard, and Casey Mize all struggle this season. At this point, Anderson would be the exception to the rule, but that’ll be a challenge he’ll relish and hopefully be up to.


Jose Quintana, Chicago Cubs

31% rostered

Quintana’s outing on Tuesday was perfect for savvy fantasy owners. Quintana cruised through three innings of relief work. Then when he came out for his fourth he ran into some trouble. All in all, 95% of his outing was terrific for someone coming back from thumb surgery. Because of that hiccup to start his fourth inning of work he is now widely available. If he came out and dominated an additional inning, people would have acted quicker to scoop him up.

It’s a bit of a long play to add the eight-season veteran because he’ll still need to stretch out and integrate himself back into the rotation. However, he is a proven SP3 when healthy and before long he’ll definitely be much more owned than he currently is. Grab him now and keep him in an SP slot in daily lineup leagues in order to capitalize on any more relief appearances. Then sit back and wait for the old Quintana to return toward the end of the fantasy season.


Kevin Gausman, San Francisco Giants,

29% rostered

This is a great time to pick up the seven-year veteran for fantasy owners who are near the top of their leagues. The reason being is that Tuesday night Gausman owners will read the two words every pitcher dreads.. “at Colorado.”

Last week the former Oriole was 31% rostered, he then went out and struck out six Dodgers, and gave up two runs in 4.2IP. That’s definitely not a bad outing, and yet, his ownership is down to 29%. That’s all because of his upcoming matchup. Picking up Gausman and benching him now is the smart play if there is a roster space available. He’s even a two-pitch pitcher the following week.

Add based on category need in a roto league. What Gausman adds in the strikeout department he has the potential to inflate in ERA and WHIP.


Alex Young, Arizona Diamondbacks

5% rostered

Now that Merill Kelly is done for the year, Alex Young is the second-best pitcher on the Dbacks behind Zac Gallen. And yet, Luke Weaver and his 7.77 ERA and 1.60 WHIP is 49% rostered. Better yet, Robbie Ray and his 7.84 ERA and 2.00 WHIP is 63% owned. Whatever math is going on here doesn’t add up.

Meanwhile, Young was the 43rd overall pick in 2016 and has been a consistent pitcher since his call up last season. He finished 2019 with a 3.56 ERA in 83.1 IP. His ERA may not be as good this season but in 23IP his strikeout rate has shot up to 9.39 K/9, and his BB/9 has dropped almost a full point, down to 1.96. The righty’s control has been fantastic, he hasn’t walked more than one batter in any outing this year.

These numbers are even more impressive taking his opposition into consideration. Young had three starts, the first against Colorado, then Oakland, and then the Padres. As a reliever, the only additional teams he faced were the Astros and the Dodgers. All five of those teams are in the top ten in runs per game, the Dodgers, Padres, and Astros are one, two, and three respectively.

Over the last three seasons, Young would have relished his upcoming Sunday start against the Giants, maybe using it to pad his stats and put himself on the map. However, this season even the Giants are eighth in the league in batting average and 11th in runs per game. They have been hot lately too, recently having a seven-game winning streak which included a three-game sweep of Young’s Diamondbacks.

The NL West truly is brutal for pitchers this season, but Young is faring better than most at navigating through its thunderous lineups. If he can maintain his numbers, and there is no reason to think otherwise, he is going to be a viable fantasy starter the rest of the way.

Keep an eye on:

Justus Sheffield

Chad Kuhl

Danny Duffy

Trevor Cahill

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