Week 13 Waiver Wire - Starting Pitchers

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We’re just days away from the calendar turning to July and feeling as though the season has truly crossed the midway mark. Then it’ll only be two weeks until the All-Star break, when everyone will be given a few days without any changes to their lot as they assess their standing and can likely be pressed into some worthwhile deals. That said, let’s see if we can address your pitching needs with some widely-available arms first.

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 13.

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Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Targets

Sean Newcomb - (ATL, SP): 31% owned

Newcomb’s first four career starts have yielded a 1.48 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 21 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings. He’s gone a perfect four-for-four in the quality start department and just rode six shutout frames to his first victory on Tuesday night against the Padres. That 5.15 BB/9 from Triple-A looks to be in the past, as he’s issued just one free pass in each of his last two starts -- the only real caveat here is that those two starts came against the Giants and the Padres. He has tons of momentum right now but is going to be thoroughly tested in his next start on July 4 against the Astros at home.

Charlie Morton - (HOU, SP): 22% owned

Morton turned in two innings in his first rehab start at Triple-A last Thursday and just scattered two hits and a walk over four innings on Tuesday in his second showing. While the overall 4.06 ERA and 1.37 WHIP aren’t the most sparkling ratios, his most recent outing before getting hurt was a strong seven-inning showing against the Tigers with six strikeouts and just two runs allowed. He was 3-1 over his last five decisions (5-3 overall) with a stout Houston offense and bullpen backing him, and owns a 10.14 K/9 as one of 19 starters with at least 50 innings under their belt to exceed the 10.0 K/9 watermark. DL slots come at a premium, but his potential is worth stashing.

Jason Hammel - (KC, SP): 20% owned

Once again, I present Hammel’s stats by month:

April - 6.65 ERA, 1.94 WHIP, 13 BB’s, 19 K’s (21 2/3 innings)

May - 5.83 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 10 BB’s, 21 K’s (29 1/3 innings)

June - 2.51 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 4 BBs, 25 K’s (32 1/3 innings)

Given that he’s posted ERAs in the mid-threes over his last three seasons and certainly has the potential to be a mixed-league fantasy arm, this surge should be taken seriously. Make the grab and ride the wave.

Jose Urena - (MIA, SP/RP): 23% owned

Urena is an interesting case study. His 6-2 record, 3.33 ERA and 1.25 WHIP over his first 70 1/3 innings this season say “pay attention to me!” while his 5.04 FIP, 5.57 xFIP and 5.29 SIERA all say “just walk away.” It isn’t as though he’s improved his batted-ball rate from last season -- his soft-contact rate has actually slipped 2.4 percent -- except for one thing. He’s yielded fly balls about 25 percent more, which has led to his BABIP dropping from .297 to .245 and helping create such a disparity with his surface stats. He just shut down the Cubs over six strong innings and gets a nice test against the Mets -- who have the fourth best team wOBA (.361) over the last two weeks -- on June 29 next.

Trevor Cahill - (SD, SP/RP): 16% owned

Another rehabbing strikeout arm, Cahill is slated to make his second rehab start with Triple-A El Paso on Wednesday and will likely ride out his rehab assignment until the All-Star break before returning. He had a crisp 3.27 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 51 strikeouts in 41 1/3 frames before getting hurt, so swallowing the lack of wins on San Diego becomes a bit easier.

Jhoulys Chacin - (SD, SP/RP): 12% owned

Speaking of the Padres and their lack of W’s, Chacin has certainly deserved more than a 2-3 record over his last five starts. He’s spun five consecutive quality starts now with a healthy 3.00 ERA and 7.36 K/9 behind it, though his 4.56 FIP and 4.22 xFIP over that span aren’t buying the .244 BABIP. Given his 51.7 percent ground-ball rate, 16.7 percent infield fly-ball rate and 24.2 percent soft-contact rate over that span, I’m going to have to disagree a bit. I don’t think he’s an ace or anything and his home/road splits are still terrifying (1.83 ERA at home, 9.08 on the road), but this is a notable run as he enters a tough start against the Dodgers at home on July 2 next.

Randall Delgado - (ARI, SP/RP): 12% owned

Normally, I’d be all over Delgado heading into his next start after recently improving his ratios to a pristine 3.18 ERA and 1.11 WHIP with five clean innings against the Phillies on June 25, but he’s slated to face Colorado at home on July 1. I’ve seen enough Colorado-Arizona tilts to grow superstitious, but those of you who aren’t afraid of the Rox would do well to pluck Delgado here. His 3.17 FIP, 3.41 xFIP and 3.46 SIERA are all fans of his, as his 1.59 BB/9 is way down from last season’s 4.32 mark and his hard-contact rate allowed has dropped by seven percentage points. It’s a legitimate improvement to buy into.

Dinelson Lamet - (SD, SP): 9% owned

Like his teammate Chacin, Lamet is slated to face the Dodgers at home next on June 30. It’s definitely not a great look, but those seeking K’s shouldn’t shy away from his 42 whiffs in just 30 innings (12.6 K/9). The 6.60 ERA will scare many away, but his ratios will be in flux and his 1.20 WHIP and dazzling 3.35 SIERA are more important to me moving forward than the ERA of the past. He’s still a rookie and will take his lumps, but the potential is clear.

Collin McHugh - (HOU, SP): 8% owned

Coin-flip Collin will hopefully have his slider working for him when he begins his rehab assignment on Friday, as that seems to be his make-or-break pitch. While his upside is a bit lower than Morton’s, it was just two years ago that he won 19 games with a 3.89 ERA and 1.28 WHIP for this Houston ball club. The year before that saw him post an elite 2.73 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. Now, my expectations are greatly tempered, but those seeking wins should never shy away from an Astro. He could rejoin the rotation after the All-Star break and is worth monitoring as he rehabs.

Nick Pivetta - (PHI, SP): 5% owned

I had wanted to prop him up last week after two amazing starts in a row, but a road date with Arizona is a bad time for anyone right now. He was lit up like a Christmas tree for six runs over just 2 2/3 innings, but had rung up 19 batters and allowed just three runs in his previous 13 innings. Now he faces the Mets in Queens on July 2 next, where he’ll look to regain that incredible form flashed against the Red Sox and Cardinals. This is a guy who looked reborn at Triple-A prior to his promotion with a 1.41 ERA and 0.84 WHIP alongside 37 K’s and a 5-0 record in 32 innings and has the potential to be excellent.

Luis Perdomo - (SD, SP/RP): 5% owned

Perdomo’s next start got bumped up from Thursday to today (Wednesday) against the Bravos, but hopefully, you can still make the scoop. Partly because Perdomo has tossed a quality start in five of his last six trips to the hill (and nine of his last 11), but also because the Braves as a team have posted a mere .143 ISO over the last two weeks (fourth worst in that span). He’ll avoid the series with the Dodgers to face the Indians in Cleveland after that.

Daniel Gossett - (OAK, SP): 1% owned

Gossett gets to face the same Braves team on June 30 at home next, and he too enters that outing with some strong wind in his sails. After a rough Major League debut against the Marlins, the rookie has allowed just two earned runs over his last two starts (12 2/3 IP) with 11 K’s and just one walk -- and one of those starts was against Houston. I’m buying into the strong control profile here, a healthy 10.6 percent swinging-strike rate thus far and the 49.1 percent ground-ball rate. All of these marks are backed by his Minor League profile, making the Atlanta start a nice deep-league opportunity with potential for his being more than just a streamer.

 

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