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Who's ready to take advantage of leagues whose owners are slipping on baseball in lieu of prepping for the fantasy football season? I know I am! Don't be that owner who puts in a considerable amount of work between March and July, only to let your season slip away due to the buzz of football. Now let's leave the football helmet over there and pick up a batting helmet as we step into the cage against these premier adds.

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 20.

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Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Targets

German Marquez (COL - SP): 27% owned

Marquez entered Tuesday night’s start against Houston with a 2.95 SIERA over the last 30 days -- good for eighth-best out of 83 qualified SPs. His 2.49 xFIP over that span makes him one of just six to skirt under the 2.50 mark out of 114 SPs with >20 IP. Justin Verlander tops that list, and guess what? Marquez just beat him and the defending world champs on Tuesday night.

And even when Marquez hasn’t been sharp, he’s still been useful -- he struck out a season-high 10 Pirates on Aug. 8 despite getting dinged by 10 hits and two walks over six innings. He heads to Atlanta for his next start in pursuit of his eighth QS in nine outings. Be there or be square.

Tyler Glasnow (TB - SP/RP): 27% owned

The Rays clearly had a plan for Glasnow and boy, has he executed it. Big G’s first appearance was a typical three-inning open, but the last effort saw him toss 79 pitches over five innings. Okay, now we’ve got more than just strikeouts and ratios here, we could get wins! Of course, combining for 12 IP, 3 ER, 3 BB, 20 K line in three open/starts is mighty fine without the Ws anyhow. After throwing strikes at a bleh 59.5% clip for Pittsburgh in ‘18, he’s attacked the zone at a 69.7% clip for Tampa Bay, much to the dismay of opposing batters.

Jeremy Hellickson (WAS - SP): 26% owned

It’s hard to buy into any piece of the Nationals right now, but Hellickson is doing his best to look good to prospective waiver-wirers. He made headlines by getting charged with two earned runs despite not allowing a hit over 5 ⅔ innings against the Cubs in his last turn, as that vaunted bullpen of theirs could not pick him up. He has a 3.67 ERA/1.04 WHIP over the last month and he pitches in the weakest hitting division in baseball.

Edwin Jackson (OAK - SP): 24% owned

Jackson’s proudly won three straight games without allowing an earned run, most recently going 7 ⅓ innings against the Angels. Absolutely no one is buying the 2.48 ERA and 1.03 WHIP at face value, but his career-low .224 BABIP and high 80% strand rate don’t jive with an elevated 23.5% line-drive rate.

I can appreciate the lower walk totals (7.9% would be his lowest mark since 2013) and I believe Oakland’s roomy park will help him maintain a lower 8.3% HR/FB rate, but that only goes so far. His .156 BABIP/97% strand rate at home is quite something. He’s worth an add but tread carefully for his next start against Houston.

Matthew Boyd (DET - SP): 21% owned

Boyd is a top-50 overall player per Yahoo’s 5x5 system over the last month, which has come by way of a 2.37 ERA/0.89 WHIP and three wins. He’s managed to increase his fastball velocity from an early average of 89-90 mph to above 92 mph in August, yet his breaking pitches have stayed roughly the same. His splits are noticeable, with a 2.80 home ERA (4.93 xFIP) and 5.60 road ERA (4.44 xFIP) but what I care most about is the 22.9% K-BB rate in July and an incredible ~4% walk rate between July and August (half of his April-June mark).

Some of this is luck, but he’s a fly ball pitcher in Comerica Park who is showing improved control and more life with the heater while maintaining effectiveness with his breaking pitches. That’ll do for a stretch-run waiver add.

Derek Holland (SD - SF): 17% owned

The end result didn't look good, but Holland had notched a quality start before his bullpen shattered it into itty-bitty pieces during his last start against Pittsburgh. After logging a strikeout to open the seventh inning, he was suddenly at 105 pitches after a walk and single, which would eventually lead to Francisco Cervelli launching a grand slam off of Pierce Johnson

I say this because I worry any non-stellar outing from Holland serves as automatic confirmation that his recent hot stretch was a fluke, which it wasn't (and still isn't). The southpaw's 3.12 ERA, 3.20 FIP and 3.25 xFIP with 77 strikeouts in 66 ⅓ innings since June began remain outstanding and rooted in a change in positioning on the pitching rubber, so I'm still buying.

Anthony DeSclafani (CIN – SP): 8% owned

DeSclafani still doesn’t look like his 2016 self on the whole, but his last two starts have shown glimpses. Tony Disco delivered seven innings of one-run ball against the Nationals before blanking the D-backs over seven frames alongside a season-high nine strikeouts in his latest outing. Not only did he walk just one between the two starts, but he also didn’t allow a homer after giving up a whopping 15 moonshots over his first 10 starts of ‘18.

Touki Toussaint (ATL - SP): 8% owned

Toussaint’s major-league debut went swimmingly, as he coasted through six innings and could’ve gone longer had his spot in the order not come up with runners in scoring position. He picked apart the Marlins and featured all of his four-pitch arsenal by throwing 25 curves, 21 four-seamers, 20 splitters and 16 sinkers.

He only mustered four strikeouts and six whiffs overall, which is a bit sad considering his potential, but that’s damn good for a debut -- even if it was the Marlins. While he’s back in the minors now, his is a name to keep in mind in case another spot start opportunity emerges.

Zach Davies (MIL - SP): 6% owned

We don’t know whether Davies will be returning to a slot in the starting rotation, but those in deep waters may want to jump ahead of that potential news given Milwaukee’s strong team environment (namely, the offense and the bullpen). Davies hasn’t had a strong rehab campaign thus far (12 strikeouts, eight walks, 10 earned in 14 2/3 IP) but his window is up on Aug. 25, so the decision deadline draws nigh. His next start comes on Thursday, so just peek in and see if he looks markedly sharper. If not then feel free to ignore him.

John Gant (STL - SP): 4% owned

Gant helped himself with a homer off of Gio Gonzalez on Tuesday night to fuel his second straight victory, as the Cardinals continued to kick the Nationals while they’re down. The righty isn’t more than a streamer thanks to a mediocre 65-to-31 strikeout-to-walk ratio -- he can’t overwhelm opponents -- but those who streamed him against the Marlins and Nationals know what I’m talking about. And to his credit, he’s only walked four batters over his last three outings. He’ll look to make it three wins in a row against the Brewers on a Sunday.

Jalen Beeks (TB - SP): 1% owned

Don’t let the seasonal line fool you, Beeks is another name that’s been quite effective in Rays threads thus far. Tampa Bay scooped the southpaw from Boston after he stunk up his MLB debut against Detroit, but he’s now strung three strong appearances together. Tuesday night saw him enter in relief after Hunter Wood opened against the Yankees, with Beeks setting down the first nine Yanks he faced and winding up with eight punchouts over five frames. This was the first time we saw that monstrous 12.06 K/9 from Triple-A rear its head in the bigs. Those seeking cheap K’s should monitor his usage very closely.

 

More Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers





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