Week 11 Waiver Wire - Starting Pitchers

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followed up his impressive debut by You know the deal by now: You need pitchers, I need to gab. It’s Week 11 and we’re just two weeks away from the season’s halfway point, meaning existential crises are likely approaching an all-time high. Ideally, you can use this as supreme leverage against other owners in other to coax some nice trades out of them, but let’s get some lesser-owned names out there to help you out until that comes to fruition.

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 targets for Week 11.

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Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Targets

Jaime Garcia - (ATL, SP): 30% owned

Garcia is ranked as the 116th best overall player in Yahoo 5x5 scoring settings over the last 30 days, so maybe he’s worth taking seriously here. His last five starts have been exceptional, posting a 1.49 ERA with 28 strikeouts against seven walks in 36 1/3 innings, though he’s gone just 1-3 over that span. Yes, wins may not always be the more plentiful resource in Atlanta, but as far as what Garcia can control, he’s been quite good. The 2.86 FIP for his last five starts agrees. Don’t expect the world of him, but the southpaw should definitely be above the 30 percent threshold here with a solid test against the Marlins approaching on June 17.

Tyson Ross - (TEX, SP): 30% owned

Ross is tentatively penciled in for his Texas debut on Friday against the Mariners, which simply means snag him before the start. Don’t play him unless you desperately need innings, but snag him. If he shines, then you’ve copped a front-line arm for free. If he flops, then you can move along with your life. Seriously, the opportunity cost of one roster spot for a few days is likely worth a guy who has a 200-strikeout season to his name. I realize recovery from his injury has rarely fared well for a pitcher, but one has to throw a dart every so often.

Jordan Montgomery - (NYY, SP): 28% owned

Montgomery’s last 30 days: 29 innings, 2-2 record, 28 K’s, a 2.79 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. Remove the five-run outing against the Royals on May 18 and just look at his most recent four trips to the hill and that ERA drops to 1.50 with a 2.82 FIP. Look, pitching for the Yankees is going to mean that one gets tons of run support, but it also means your opponents get to hit in that stadium as well. Luckily, Montgomery has a stellar history of limiting the long ball throughout the Minors and it seems to be translating rather well to the bigs. He’ll be tested against the homer-happy A’s in Oakland on June 15 next.

Jacob Faria - (TB, SP): 27% owned

Faria followed up his impressive Major League debut by taking the Blue Jays to town with 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball -- identical to his debut -- with eight strikeouts on the day. With Matt Andriese on the shelf with a reinjured groin, it appears Faria has a chance to leave a true impression in the bigs now. Perhaps this party will only last another week or two, but that's no reason to allow his stats to just go to waste. The rookie is in for a tough test against the Tigers on June 18 for his next start, but if he passes that with flying colors then it may be hard for the Rays to send him back down again even when Andriese gets a clean bill of health. You don't want to miss this train, especially if it ends up running strong throughout the rest of 2017.

Joe Biagini - (TOR, SP/RP): 20% owned

Biagini has a tough task ahead of him against a red-hot White Sox club on June 16, but one has to be feeling good about the converted reliever seven starts into his season. Despite three straight losses, he’s allowed just six runs over 19 combined innings there with 18 whiffs against just four free passes. He’s yielded only three total homers in his 56 innings of work between the rotation and the ‘pen, with an incredible 2.84 FIP behind the 3.38 ERA.

Don’t let the fluky decisions of the past deter you from scooping him, because if that read 2-1 or 3-0 instead of 0-3 then there’s no chance I’d be discussing him here. Granted, the team one pitches for is important and cannot be removed from the equation, but Toronto’s .205 team ISO over the last two weeks ranks as the seventh best in the MLB so they shouldn’t be destroying value with their bats alone here.

Trevor Cahill - (SD, SP/RP): 17% owned

Cahill made it through his first bullpen session unscathed and could be back on the mound for the big-league club in roughly two weeks if no setbacks are encountered. Considering he had 51 K’s in 41 1/3 innings alongside a healthy 3.27 ERA and 1.21 WHIP, I’m willing to stomach the lack of W’s that come with pitching for the Padres.

Seth Lugo - (NYM, SP/RP): 17% owned

Lugo’s 2017 debut went swimmingly, as he downed the Braves in Atlanta with seven innings of one-run ball. He’ll need to be lights out if he wants to impress enough to slide into the rotation full time once this 18-game road trip is done and the Mets likely shift away from the six-man rotation, with a date against the Nationals at home on June 17 next serving as a fantastic test. Those who want to risk their roster spot and get in on the ground floor here should see some nice profits if he dazzles yet again.

Sean Newcomb - (ATL, SP): 15% owned

Newcomb’s Major League debut went about as well as one could hope given the score. The rookie was tagged with the loss despite allowing just one unearned run and striking out seven over 6 1/3 crisp frames. For now, he’s simply slated to face the Marlins at home on June 16 and that’s it, but with R.A. Dickey getting torched on Tuesday night, it’s hard to picture Atlanta sending him down if he shines yet again.

Mike Fiers - (HOU, SP): 13% owned

Fiers has turned in a 3.12 ERA/1.27 WHIP with 32 strikeouts and three wins over his last 34 2/3 innings thanks to finally gaining some consistency when it comes to keeping the ball low. The 31-year-old had served up 16 homers in his first seven starts, but has yielded just two round-trippers combined over his last five outings. That’s quite the marked change, and one I’m going to take seriously given his potential in a beleaguered Houston rotation that needs him and a potent offense behind him.

Robert Gsellman - (NYM, SP): 12% owned

If you don’t want to put your money behind Lugo, then that means you think Gsellman is going to stick in the rotation. It’s hard to blame you given how he’s won his last three decisions and owns a 2.16 ERA over his four starts since rejoining the rotation on May 24. Over that span he’s induced grounders at an even 50 percent clip with 18 strikeouts against just seven walks, though the .227 BABIP will likely regress shortly and lead to his 3.67 FIP coming out to play moving forward. That’s still serviceable though, as he too will get his next audition against the Nationals at home on June 15.

Brian Johnson - (BOS, SP): 8% owned

Johnson stumbled in his latest start, getting hit around by a tough Detroit lineup on June 9 and lasting just 4 1/3 innings. Filling in for Eduardo Rodriguez, the southpaw should see some better results against a Phillies team that is ranked 29th in team wOBA over the last two weeks, and at the very least you can hope he can give five innings in a game that should deliver a win with Boston’s lineup heating up (their respective wOBA is 10th).

Luis Perdomo - (SD, SP/RP): 3% owned

Perdomo finally secured his first victory of the season on June 12 against the Reds despite it being his seventh quality start of the year. While it wasn’t insanely impressive -- three earned over 6 2/3 innings with four strikeouts -- the 24-year-old has done surprisingly well when it comes to turning in useful, slightly-above replacement level outings on the rubber. A ringing endorsement, I know. But that’s what you get with an elite 65.4 percent ground-ball rate that is second only to Dallas Keuchel out of SPs with at least 60 innings under their belt. He’ll look to repeat in the win column on June 18 against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

Homer Bailey - (CIN, SP): 1% owned

Don’t look now, but Christian Bale is nearing his return to Gotham City from that prison pit he was sent to in order to recover from his the back-breaking procedure at the hands of Dr. Bane four months ago, I mean elbow surgery. Yeah. He looks like Batman. Okay. Seriously, it still gets me after all of this time. Anyway, Bailey’s first rehab start on June 9 went exceeding well -- five shutout frames with just three hits and a walk scattered about alongside five strikeouts. He needed just 64 pitches to get through the rehab start, and will likely work up toward 80 in his next one. It could be just a week or so before we see him toe the big-league rubber yet again. Tomorrow isn’t promised today, but I’d say this is worth the gamble in most leagues with 14 or more teams.

 

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