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Week 15 Waiver Wire - Starting Pitchers


When this article goes live, it will be Wednesday of the All-Star break -- the first day since the dawning days of April without any baseball events. In these cold, dark times, many fantasy owners will have a bit of cabin fever with their teams and may be looking for a change. Either you’re a calculated soul who is looking to get a jump on the second half early or a panicky type who is quietly freaking out about your team’s lot. If you’re the former, read on and enjoy! If you’re the latter, maybe just go for a walk…and then read on.

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 15.

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Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Targets

Kyle Freeland - (COL, SP): 30% owned

Freeland just dazzled by taking a no-hitter into the ninth inning against the White Sox, but be aware that he still owns a 4.58 ERA and 1.50 WHIP with just 21 strikeouts over his last 37 1/3 innings. His nine K’s in that no-hit bid matched the whiff total from his previous four trips to the hill combined. In a bit of good news, the rookie does get to face the Padres at home on July 17 for his first start of the second half, which is why he’s here.

Scott Feldman - (CIN, SP/RP): 24% owned

The bad news first: Feldman is going to face a potent Nationals team in his next start on July 17. The good news is that it’s a home outing, where the 34-year-old has been a vastly superior pitcher in 2017. His 3.00 home ERA sits nearly two full runs lower than his road mark of 4.99 and he just posted a 2.97 ERA on the whole for the month of June, so don’t shy away from the unassuming veteran so easily. If you really want to get spooky and pretty much unscientific, his day-game ERA of 2.72 is also elite compared to his 4.83 nighttime ERA. I’ve seen crazier splits hold up!

Sean Newcomb - (ATL, SP): 22% owned

Newcomb went from enjoying some very favorable matchups in his first four starts to seeing the Astros and the Nationals back-to-back. After twirling four quality starts against teams like the Mets, Giants and Padres, the southpaw has seen his stock plummet despite still owning plenty of potential (he struck out 74 in just 57 2/3 Triple-A innings, remember). While fantasy owners may not want to play him against the Cubs on July 18 for his first second-half start, the point remains here that he shouldn’t be getting dropped so easily -- one couldn’t have thought he was a matchup-proof must-start already, but that's just a bridge too far right now.

Patrick Corbin - (ARI, SP/RP): 21% owned

Corbin’s last five starts have seen him rack up 33 strikeouts alongside a 3.07 ERA, 2.50 FIP and 2.83 xFIP. His 3.23 SIERA likes him as well, but it’d be ideal if he could buck this trend of pitching better at Chase Field (3.15 ERA) than away from it (7.57 ERA). Of course, I suppose there’s something to be said for predictability from your pitchers. He’ll take on the Braves in Atlanta on July 15 to open up his second half, which is as good a matchup as any for me to test his splits.

Jhoulys Chacin - (SD, SP/RP): 20% owned

One of baseball’s quieter success stories of late, Chacin has pitched like a top-25 arm since June started up with a 2.44 ERA and 39 K’s over his last seven starts. His overall numbers (4.32 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) are still unassuming enough that he might be skating by on several waiver wires, but the 29-year-old looks to finally be keeping the ball low when he needs to (53.9 percent ground-ball rate) and getting a bit lucky too (.241 BABIP, 89.5 percent strand rate). He isn’t going to produce a 2.50 ERA in the second half. Probably not a 3.00 mark either. But I’ll sign up for a 3.40 ERA or so for free with the potential for streaks like this, gladly.

Luis Castillo - (CIN, SP/RP): 18% owned

Castillo most recently marched into Chase Field and made the D-backs look, dare I say, untalented. The rookie pitched 6 2/3 shutout frames in which he yielded just three hits alongside eight strikeouts. He seems to be improving his pitch sequencing and willingness to change speeds/levels on hitters at the Major League level. He’ll certainly be tested in his first start of the second half -- at home against the Nationals -- but you better believe that if he goes and shuts down Bryce Harper and company to kick things off then this ownership will hit the stratosphere.

Andrew Moore - (SEA, SP): 14% owned

While it wasn’t as pretty as his first two, Moore went out and posted his third career quality start in as many attempts against the A’s. The southpaw yielded three runs over six innings with two strikeouts, just barely meeting the QS requirement. While his 0.90 WHIP will rise a bit and likely cause some more damage to be done by the homers he’s allowing (five through 21 IP thus far), he’s a decent deep-league arm with enough ability to turn in a plus line in advantageous matchups. He’ll face the White Sox in Chicago on July 16 next.

Dinelson Lamet - (SD, SP): 12% owned

Lamet couldn’t stay hot, as Cleveland hit him for five earned runs over four innings on July 6 to raise his ERA over the last 30 days to 5.46. He issued four walks on the night after issuing three total walks over his last four starts, but his WHIP over the last 30 days still sits at a robust 1.07. The rookie will need to grow up fast in the consistency department before mixed-leaguers can blindly trust him, but more realistically we’re just going to have to accept the bad with the good here. And the good is worth it.

Brent Suter - (MIL, SP/RP): 10% owned

After two strong showings against Baltimore and the Yanks, Suter suddenly finds himself with a rotation slot in the second half. The southpaw has struck out 13 while issuing just two walks and without surrendering a homer in those starts (12 1/3 innings). If he has the command and control to limit homers and walks with any sort of regularity, then he needs to be taken seriously by the fantasy world.

Collin McHugh - (HOU, SP): 9% owned

McHugh most recently yielded three unearned runs across 4 1/3 innings with Double-A Corpus Christi on Tuesday, reaching 74 pitches in the process. He’ll require one more start to finish getting stretched out, but he looks close to rejoining a Houston team that should be able to carry him to fantasy relevance even if he himself doesn’t genuinely pitch like he truly deserves it.

Nick Pivetta - (PHI, SP): 6% owned

Pivetta will kick off the Phils’ second half against the Brewers after bouncing back from a rough Arizona outing with two stellar quality starts (against the Mets and the Padres). The rookie has turned in four QS over the last month and has notched 35 whiffs in just 29 2/3 frames. It’d be ideal if he could keep the ball out of the air more, but his 1.83 HR/9 may just be the devil you dance with in return for a low-owned arm who can strike out nine across seven strong innings.

 

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