Week 16 Waiver Wire - Starting Pitchers

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We’re wading into the second half here with the Midsummer Classic in the rearview mirror, and the waiver wire isn’t all that spectacular. That said, there are some big things occurring in the trade world that could shake some rotations up with the Trade Deadline approaching and prospect fever (aka the Super Two baloney) nearing its apex.

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 16.

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Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Targets

Trevor Cahill - (SD, SP/RP): 34% owned

Skipping San Diego’s series at Coors Field, Cahill gets to face the Giants next at AT&T Park on July 21 after beating them a few days ago with a one-run, eight-strikeout outing. The K’s continue a strong trend for the sinkerballer, as his 11.15 K/9 checks in as one of the best in the bigs and his career-high 63.1 percent first-strike rate only helps set the tone. He should be owned in all 12-team formats, and probably even some 10-teamers that utilize quality starts instead of wins.

Garrett Richards - (LAA, SP): 25% owned

Nothing much to see here, other than Richards has finally gotten cleared to begin a throwing program and may be able to return in late August. If you’re fortunate enough to have some DL space to toy with, he could provide that championship push in September.

Jhoulys Chacin - (SD, SP/RP): 23% owned

We’ve practically beaten Chacin’s stats to death in past weeks so I’ll keep it light. He’s got a 2.37 ERA and 1.25 WHIP with 26 K’s over his last 30 days (30 1/3 IP). I realize that, like Cahill, he doesn’t stand to get as many wins thanks to playing for San Diego, but he’s looked great for nearly two months now. He isn’t this good, but he’s definitely fantasy-viable in most 12-teamers.

Luis Castillo - (CIN, SP/RP): 22% owned

Just like Chacin, we’ve covered Castillo in kind lately. He stood his ground against a strong Nationals lineup on July 15 by posting a quality start with six K’s in six frames, with another big test on deck with a rematch against the D-backs -- who he shutout over 6 2/3 innings alongside eight K’s -- set for July 20.

Patrick Corbin - (ARI, SP/RP): 20% owned

Corbin has rung up 39 batters over his last 34 1/3 innings (10.22 K/9) with a useful 3.15 ERA, though his 1.34 WHIP over the same span doesn’t make for the most welcoming environment. The lefty’s .357 BABIP in that window speaks to his 52.5 percent ground-ball rate, but his 21.8 percent soft-contact rate and low 26.7 percent hard-hit rate flanking it should yield a lower BABIP moving forward.

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

While he profiles similarly to Blake Snell, who still can’t conquer his control demons despite housing stellar strikeout upside, Glasnow has turned in a 4-0 record with a 1.49 ERA and 55 strikeouts against 15 walks in his last six starts (36 1/3 innings). Two of his last four outings have seen him go seven scoreless and he didn’t even walk a batter his last time out, so while my skepticism remains very high, the upside is hard to pass on if/when he gets another crack.

German Marquez - (COL, SP): 14% owned

Marquez just secured his second victory in as many games on Sunday, beating the Padres by tying a season-high mark with nine strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings. His overall 4.34 ERA likely still keeps most fantasy owners at bay, but if his 3.63 ERA (3.78 FIP) and 7-2 record over his last 12 starts was the default setting then his ownership would likely be outside of our range here.

Collin McHugh - (HOU, SP): 14% owned

Set to make his 2017 debut on July 22 against the Orioles in Baltimore, McHugh is coming off of a sharp final rehab start in which he allowed a lone unearned run over six strong innings Sunday. The 30-year-old has won 32 games over his last two seasons and now Houston can do little wrong, even all he does is chip in an ERA around 4.00 and cobbles together low-end quality starts, he’ll have solid mixed-league value.

Adalberto Mejia - (MIN, SP/RP): 4% owned

Mejia’s last five starts have provided the following for fantasy owners: a 3-1 record, 2.43 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. Now, his 22 K’s in 29 2/3 innings are nothing to write home about, but they aren’t going to sabotage anyone’s K/9 either. This is just the surface though, as his 3.74 FIP and 4.55 xFIP point to the fragile line being toed here, as his 85.2 percent strand rate and 7.1 percent HR/FB rate are both likely candidates for regression.

Parker Bridwell - (LAA, SP/RP): 3% owned

While Bridwell’s next start is against Boston (not ideal), his last two starts have seen him allow just two runs combined over 12 1/3 innings with 13 whiffs. The 25-year-old’s ERA sits at 3.30 over the last 30 days, though I’m admittedly lower on him now that Cameron Maybin is injured. At least he has a 10.9 percent swinging-strike rate to fall back on, though his overall 91.5 percent strand rate sits way too tall to hold up in the long run.

Reynaldo Lopez - (CWS, SP/RP): 3% owned

Boasting his stellar fastball-curveball combo, Lopez has been on fire since he allowed six runs on June 24. Everyone is hyped about his 12-strikeout gem on Saturday, but his last four starts have seen him strike out 33 total hitters against just five walks in 25 2/3 innings alongside a 1.75 ERA. The South Siders are in sell-now mode and should be eager to see what their youngsters have to offer at the Major League level in the second half. Mike Pelfrey won’t hold things up, but fellow prospect Michael Kopech could theoretically leapfrog him with ease considering his robust 11.31 K/9 and 3.84 ERA at Double-A. That said, I think his 5.87 BB/9 holds him back and gives the edge to Lopez.

 

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