Week 18 Waiver Wire - Starting Pitchers

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The Trade Deadline has come and gone, with the final third of the regular season bringing plenty of prospects and rehabbing arms back into our lives. Of course, it seems like every gift we receive demands a sacrifice of at least two other players at the altar of the 10-day disabled list. Still, we press on because we must. I’m going to dig a bit deeper this week, as we’ve already discussed plenty of the 30-35 percent names like German Marquez, Patrick Corbin, Collin McHugh and Brent Suter before. I like them, in that order. Yes, even after Corbin got slammed by the Cubbies.

For our purposes, we’re going to use Yahoo ownership levels and try to cut things off around 35%.

Here are my starting pitcher waiver wire targets for Week 18.

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Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Targets

Parker Bridwell - (LAA, SP/RP): 26% owned

Fresh off of shutting down 60 percent of the American League (quality starts against Tampa Bay, Boston and Toronto), Bridwell draws the Phillies at home for his next assignment. With five of his last six outings resulting in a QS, fantasy owners can overlook the unassuming 5.67 K/9 and take advantage of the favorable matchup -- even if you hate stomaching the 4.89 FIP/4.84 xFIP.

Hyun-Jin Ryu - (LAD, SP): 24% owned

Ryu just shut down the Giants with seven shutout innings, though he couldn't walk away with the win and remains 1-0 over his last five starts. That five-start stretch hasn't seen him allow more than two runs in any trip to the hill, as his 2.60 ERA (3.37 FIP, 3.38 xFIP) over that span has been mighty helpful for fantasy owners looking to grab a piece of Dodger magic. It doesn't hurt that he's rung up 30 in those 27 2/3 innings either. He'll look to stay hot and hold onto his rotation slot in an Aug. 6 start against the Mets next.

Luis Castillo - (CIN, SP/RP): 23% owned

After surviving a wild run with multiple matchups against the D-backs and Nationals alongside road dates with the Rockies and Yankees to begin his Major League career, Castillo shut down the Marlins with eight innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts. It seems the hype surrounding the 24-year-old went so far as to cause an anti-hype backlash, but I assure that his mixed-league upside is real. His next start comes at home against the Cardinals on Aug. 5 next, in which he’ll look to improve on his 1.19 WHIP and 9.56 K/9.

Tyler Glasnow - (PIT, SP): 19% owned

I realize this has some “broken record” to it, but once again Glasnow looks amazing at Triple-A. His most recent start on July 30 saw him strike out 12 of Boston’s Minor Leaguers while walking just one. He’s averaging one earned run per start and has struck out 85 in 55 2/3 innings, but we all know what figure matters the most. After walking 15 batters over his first three starts back on the farm, he’s walked only nine in his last four. In a “lost season”, Pittsburgh should want to give his arm another bit of seasoning to see if he can finally figure out control at the Major League level.

Anthony DeSclafani - (CIN, SP): 14% owned

The man lovingly known as “Tony Disco” went four scoreless innings and struck out six in his most recent rehab start. DeSclafani could be a difference-maker in late August at the earliest and provide healthy K’s alongside ratios that won’t burn anyone, which could be worth a pretty penny to many a fantasy owner -- especially with a favorable schedule on tap, just as Castillo’s profile calls for.

Kendall Graveman - (OAK, SP): 12% owned

Graveman is all set to rejoin Oakland’s rotation on Thursday, as he draws a start against the Giants. I’m sorry San Francisco fans, but that’s pretty much a continuation of one’s Minor League rehab assignment at this point. While Graveman’s rehab assignment didn’t go so well on the whole (8 ER in 10 IP), his last start saw him allow just one run (a homer) in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out five and walked two.

Dinelson Lamet - (SD, SP): 11% owned

Like our friend Luis Castillo (though not as gracefully), Lamet is another young, exciting arm who suffered a bit in tougher matchups. “A bit” is being nice, as he gave up five earned in just four innings against the Indians and Rockies in back-to-back outings, but a road date with the aforementioned Giants set him straight on July 23. He then won his next start against the Pirates, tossing six innings of two-run ball with seven strikeouts and only four baserunners allowed. He faces the same Pirates next on Aug. 5.

Reynaldo Lopez - (CWS, SP/RP): 6% owned

Lopez has struck out 10-plus in three of his last six starts -- a stretch that has seen him turn in a 1.96 ERA with only eight walks against his 49 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings. That ain’t shabby, and at this point, we’re really just waiting for the White Sox to feel like they can move along from the Mike Pelfrey experience or throw James Shields on the DL with some back tightness or something.

A.J. Griffin - (TEX, SP): 4% owned

While Griffin faltered in mid-May before hitting the disabled list with an oblique injury, he had allowed just eight earned over his first five starts of the season -- going 4-0 in the process -- much to the delight of waiver-wire scourers everywhere. The righty has been solid in most of his rehab appearances -- including a perfect three-inning start on July 14 -- and could provide fantasy owners with an arm that can strike out nearly a batter per inning in their stretch run.

Lucas Sims - (ATL, SP): 4% owned

Sims’ first Major League start saw him go up against the buzzsaw that is the 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers and come out relatively unscathed. While Atlanta was unable to give him any run support when he was on the hill, he himself handled LA with a quality start in which he walked none. This continues a trend for the rookie with improved control after walking far, far too many in ’14 and ’15. He’ll take on the Marlins at home next in an Aug. 6 start and work on bringing up his elite strikeout potential alongside his control.

Matthew Boyd - (DET, SP): 2% owned

Ever since rejoining Detroit’s rotation in mid-June, Boyd has ripped off three quality starts in three attempts. He also happens to have collected a win in each of those outings with a 16-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a 3.62 FIP behind his 4.19 ERA over that span. One out of every three batted balls has checked in as “soft contact” per Fangraphs, so let’s just see if he can keep this rolling against the Orioles on Aug. 3.

 

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