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Happy 7-11 day, everyone! Be sure to go get a free slurpee if the store still runs that promotion, but not before sitting down and fixing your team's starting rotation. Those in roto leagues better be on top of their innings limits and where they stand compared to opponents. Don't fret if you've only got a 4 or 5 in strikeouts yet everyone else in the league is +100 on innings. And if you're one of those plus-innings-ers then you should swing some of that extra SP capital into a bat or two! But let's get a jump on the All-Star Break add/drop bonanza and find some arms.

If you want to chat more about additional arms/bats/whatever, you can find me on Twitter @NMariano53 and ask any follow-up questions.

We're using Yahoo ownership levels and cutting things off around 30% this week. Here are my starting pitcher waiver wire targets for Week 15.

Editor's Note: For a limited time only - get a full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off, and you'll also get MLB Premium for free! Our Preseason Draft Kit, In-Season lineup tools and over 150 days of Premium DFS research. Sign Up Now!

 

Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Targets

Vince Velasquez (PHI - SP): 29% owned

Velasquez is set to come off the 10-day DL on Tuesday and face the Mets after missing the minimum thanks to a nasty comebacker off of his pitching arm. The key phrases here are “face the Mets” and “missing the minimum”. I’m not too worried about rust for pitchers who miss under three weeks and I’m definitely not worried about the Mets, knocks on wood. Rostering VV means you’re accepting a certain degree of volatility, but he’s got a Jon Gray-ish thing going with the 10.9 K/9 and 3.57 SIERA underneath the 4.69 ERA. If it makes you feel better, his ERA plummets to 3.83 if you remove the 10-run shellacking from June 8 against Milwaukee. I don’t think the Mets will do that to him.

Tyler Mahle (CIN - SP): 28% owned

Mahle’s 1.31 WHIP over the last month isn’t ideal, but the 2.12 ERA, 30 strikeouts in 29 ⅔ IP and three wins over that same span will more than pay the bills. He’s walked at least two in each of his last nine starts and only struck out more than five batters three times in that stretch, but he’s curbed the longball of late (three in his last eight starts) en route to those better results. Looking closer at his hot pitching since June 1, I worry that the 46.3% hard-hit rate, 35.2% pull rate and 32.4% fly-ball rate will come together for a HR/FB rate greater than 8.8%, especially at Great American Ballpark. I think the 4.25 SIERA agrees with me, but I respect that guys can outpitch the sabers and that I may just be seeing what I want to see. Decide for yourself.

Anibal Sanchez (ATL - SP): 28% owned

No one is asking you to believe in Sanchez maintaining his 2.72 ERA and 1.04 WHIP that you’ll find on his seasonal stat sheet. What I’m saying is that since he shook off the rust following a DL stint in May, Sanchez has posted a quality start four out of seven times with a 40-to-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio over those 41 ⅔ innings. Again, he’s not a low-two’s ERA guy, but his 3.76 SIERA from this window sounds good to me. You want to target pitchers in the NL East, especially those on Atlanta, Philadelphia and Washington.

Zack Wheeler (NYM - SP): 20% owned

Wheeler’s latest outing was far from his finest, but something I posted in this weekend’s premium waiver-wire piece still holds true: Wheeler is part of a very small club for starters over the last month of play, as he, Zach Eflin and Aaron Nola are the only qualified SPs in that span with a soft-contact rate north of 20% (they’re all in the top-10 there) that is higher than their hard-contact rate in the same time window. It’s tough to do, especially in today’s day and age where hitters are selling out for hard contact. Wheeler is a stunning 0-3 in his last 10 decisions despite a 3.50 ERA, 3.15 FIP, 3.90 xFIP and a strikeout per inning. The lack of victories are suppressing his fantasy ranking and he could really blossom if traded to a team with run support.

Ervin Santana (MIN - SP): 17% owned

Santana is moving his rehab assignment to Double-A Chattanooga and should be able to rejoin the Twins rotation before July is up. The AL Central may not be the NL East, but it’s still a friendly division for Cleveland and Minnesota arms that get to face the ChiSox, Detroit (if you’re a righty) and Kansas City.

Andrew Suarez (SF - SP): 15% owned

Not just the teammate of Dereck Rodriguez, but another strong waiver-wire add, Suarez hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his last six trips to the hill and has surrendered just one in each of his last four. Some of those starts have been more tightrope-y than others due to shaky control (he walked four Cubs on Sunday) but he calls pitcher-friendly AT&T Park his home and has Buster Posey for a batterymate. The Giants did the right thing in keeping both he and D-Rod in the rotation over Chris Stratton and you should also find a spot on your depth chart for him.

Trevor Cahill (OAK - SP/RP): 15% owned

He’s coming back!! Cahill is finally set to return to Oakland’s rotation on Thursday against Houston after turning in a clean four-inning rehab appearance (with seven strikeouts) for Triple-A Nashville last Saturday. Even with some injury-saddled innings mixed in, Cahill has a 2.77 ERA and 0.99 WHIP over 48 ⅔ IP with a 3.06 FIP, 2.90 xFIP and 3.09 SIERA. Pick whichever of those fielding-independent metrics you want, it’s telling you to take a chance on him. I know that Cahill started hot before getting hurt and stinking in the second half of 2017 so I understand the trepidation here, but you’re going to have one helluva walk of shame should he light it up and you passed on the free admission ticket.

Nick Kingham (PIT - SP): 9% owned

Kingham bounced back from a terrible July 2 outing against the Dodgers to pick up his first win in six starts thanks to a six-inning gem versus the Phillies. The rookie allowed just one run on a solo shot and struck out five to trim his SIERA down to 3.92 behind the 4.26 ERA. He has a solid Minor League track record of limiting homers and walks alongside a groundball rate in the mid-40s. The walk rate has carried over, but the 38% groundball rate is a bit low and the 1.62 HR/9 rate is way up compared to expectations. I’ll hope that most of that can be chalked up to one poor day against LA and that the second half sees him given more opportunities to work against MLB offenses and find pitch mixes that work for him. The potential is worth the roster spot.

Ryan Borucki (TOR - SP): 6% owned

Last week I said how if Borucki looks good against the Yankees then I’d relent in my aloofness towards him. Well, he went and tossed seven innings of one-run ball against them (at home, if it were in the Bronx then I’d be going nuts wondering how he did it) and now has a 2.25 ERA/1.25 WHIP through his first 20 Major-League innings. He’s posted quality starts against the Astros, Tigers and Yankees and despite Toronto losing each of those games, I can’t argue against picking him for some ratio relief. He still only has 16 Ks in that span and has a mediocre rate from the Minors, so don’t go thinking he’s the total package. I still won’t be starting him against Boston at Fenway on Friday, but these difficult matchups early in his career could forge a useful weapon down the stretch against lesser opponents.

Enyel De Los Santos (PHI - SP): 5% owned

The good news from De Los Santos’ MLB debut is that he struck out six Mets over 6 ⅓ innings and walked away with the W. The iffy news is that he induced just eight whiffs on 94 pitches and issued three free passes. I’m more than willing to grant “first-start jitters” and adrenaline as viable excuses for some command woes, but I’d like to have seen more stuff along the way. For the record, EDLS was optioned to Triple-A following the game but he has a 1.89 ERA over 95 ⅓ Triple-A innings and should get another crack at the bigs in the second half.

Eric Lauer (SD - SP): 3% owned

Lauer was dominant at home against the Dodgers on Tuesday night, falling one out short of a complete game to give him his second victory in as many starts. His overall numbers are still gross, but he now carries a 1.99 ERA/1.26 WHIP with a respectable 31 strikeouts in 36 1/3 IP over the last month. To quote Dodgers’ 1B Cody Bellinger, "He has a (bleeping) weird heater. It's hard to hit. You see it. Then you swing and it's by you." (per Bill Plunkett). Petco Park is nowhere near the pitcher’s paradise that it used to be, but Lauer seems to be making it all work lately and deserves an ownership bump. Or maybe he just owns the Dodgers, as he’s given up just one run against them over 14 ⅔ combined innings, but he's also looked good against Oakland (6 IP, 0ER, 7 Ks), San Francisco (6 IP, 1 ER, 4 Ks) and Arizona (5 IP, 1 ER, 2 Ks) lately. I'm in for a buck.

 

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