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Week 25 Waiver Wire - Starting Pitchers


With only a couple of weeks left in the fantasy (and regular) baseball season, I'm sure you can all see the light at the end of the tunnel. This grueling marathon is almost over. But you need to finish strong! Whether you're locked in a head-to-head battle for the championship or trying to climb the roto pitcher category ranks, we've got a little something for everyone. Consider this your second-to-last mound visit of the game.

As always, you can find me on Twitter @NMariano53 and ask any follow-up questions or about other pitchers not touched on here.

In the interest of my being exhausted and there being plenty of names worth touching on, these blurbs will be short and sweet. Using Yahoo ownership and cutting off around 30%, here are my starting pitcher waiver wire targets for Week 25.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Targets

Matt Boyd (DET – SP): 29% owned

I’m willing to bet that Boyd’s ownership mark ebbs above 30% due to the streamer tide, especially since he’s set to face the Royals next on the 20th. He only went 5 ⅓ innings in his last start against the Indians, which snapped a streak of six straight starts of at least six innings. Try saying that six times fast! Since the All-Star break, Boyd has posted a 3.09 ERA with 68 strikeouts to just 13 walks with an easy .198 batting average against. Also, he’s been stellar at Comerica Park, with a 2.44 ERA in Detroit compared to a 5.52 ERA on the road, though I put less into that given his 4.70 home xFIP and 4.62 road xFIP. Still, that next start against the Royals is at home, so why not add another (small) green checkmark next to his name.

Tyler Glasnow (TB - SP/RP): 20% owned

You know the wide range of outcomes you’re getting with Glasnow, yes? Everyone was quick to point out his horrible outing against Toronto, so I know you know the floor. People aren’t as vocal when someone is just steadily showing improvements, though. The 25-year-old righty’s latest start saw him blank Texas over six frames, yielding two hits and two walks with six strikeouts. Now with a 49/14 K/BB ratio across 44 ⅓ innings as a Ray, he’ll look to keep his control gains going in a rematch with Toronto.

Felix Pena (LAA - SP/RP): 18% owned

Zoom out on Pena and just look at the 3.75 ERA/1.25 WHIP with nearly a strikeout per inning (76 in 81 ⅔ IP) and you get a serviceable arm. Not terribly exciting, but not bad either. Zoom in to his last six starts and you get a 2.37 ERA/1.08 WHIP with 36 K’s in 38 frames -- plus, a nifty 21.2% soft-contact rate. Well, that takes him from okay to pretty darn good. The 3.77 SIERA over that span pegs him closer to the pitcher we’ve seen throughout the year,

Chris Stratton (SF - SP): 11% owned

Stratton most recently fired off a brilliant complete-game shutout against the Rockies (in San Fran, not at Coors) with seven strikeouts. He scattered two hits and two walks throughout the affair and has now tossed four quality starts in five outings since rejoining the rotation on Aug. 21. The .183 BABIP from that stretch will not last, but the 3.27 FIP/3.68 xFIP underneath are still worth a look compared to the 2.10 ERA he’s been flaunting. He’s set to face the Padres in San Diego on Sept. 19 in his next outing.

Adam Wainwright (STL - SP): 10% owned

Wainwright turned back the clock 10 years with his performance on Sunday by striking out nine Dodgers over six innings. It was encouraging to see regarding his fantasy prospects for 2018 after an ugly first start off of the DL on the 10th. He threw 101 pitches in this latest effort and should be ready to set down a punchless Giants team who rank in the bottom-five for team wRC+ with nearly the most strikeouts in the last two weeks in his next start, which is slated for Sept. 22.

Wei-Yin Chen (MIA - SP): 10% owned

As everyone is quick to point out, Chen is a different pitcher in Miami. Over 71 innings at home, Chen has a sweet 1.77 ERA/0.99 WHIP /.545 OPS allowed. Now take all of that goodness, strip out the luck, add some walks and you've got a road ERA of 9.29 with an OPS that has nearly doubled -- up to 1.018 OPS surrendered. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's no good. However, he's due for a home start against the Reds next (currently set for Friday) and that means most of you gambling on late streams should be interested.

Touki Toussaint (ATL - SP): 13% owned

Apologies to those who left Toussaint in their lineups for his unscheduled one-inning relief appearance where he gave up three runs, but he’s still yielded a paltry .495 OPS to opposing batters through three starts (16 ⅓ innings). Some of that is the .200 BABIP, which has helped offset the nine walks given up in those starts (he walked four in the ugly relief inning), but the 3.15 FIP and 3.76 xFIP as a starter help illustrate what he can do for you, without even considering the electric minor league numbers. So perhaps you’ll want him for Wednesday’s tilt against the Cardinals?

Ryan Borucki (TOR - SP): 7% owned

The pessimist in me sees a rookie in the terrifying AL East with a 4.57 xFIP and 4.72 SIERA through his first 84 innings in the bigs. The optimist sees a man who posted six quality starts in his first seven outings before stinking for about five straight starts, but he’s since rattled off a QS in each of his last three starts. Monday night’s domination of the Orioles was his best performance to date, as he held them off the board while scattering a measly three hits and a walk over eight innings. He’ll face the Rays at home next, likely on Sept. 22.

Erick Fedde (WAS - SP): 6% owned

The Nationals don’t have much to be happy about in September, but perhaps Fedde can put some polish on it with a strong final couple of starts in 2018. He stumbled a bit against the Marlins on Monday night, allowing two runs on two hits and four walks over 4 ⅓ innings. But he hadn’t allowed a run until the fifth when he opened the frame with two walks that would eventually score, and that was that. However, he still struck out six and has now fanned 22 in just 15 innings since returning from Triple-A. He faces the Mets next on Sept. 23.

Thomas Pannone (TOR - SP/RP): 4% owned

Pannone is another young arm performing for Toronto, with a decent 3.77 ERA and strong 1.06 WHIP over his first 31 innings. The Blue Jays have had to face tough opponents such as the Indians and Yankees lately, but Pannone has beaten both of them in convincing fashion. Those worried about the 16.5% strikeout rate should be comforted by his 10.3% swinging-strike rate and a minor league track record of 20% or greater strikeout rates. The rookie will face the Rays at home next on Sept. 22 as he looks to make it three wins in a row.

Joe Ross (WAS - SP/RP): 3% owned

Ross’ first major league start of 2018 was extremely mundane, as he didn’t strike a single batter out over five innings of two-run ball. He threw 47-of-74 pitches for strikes and it’s worth noting that he struck out 19 hitters across 26 ⅓ rehab innings, so the whiffs are modest but not gone. He draws a favorable matchup against the Mets at home on Sept. 20 (Thursday) before a date with the Marlins after that.

 

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