The waiver wire can be a gold mine for fantasy players who are looking to boost their pitching stats. On just about any day, there is sure to be a starter or three just waiting to be plucked up who can help lead a fantasy team to glory. In this slice of fantasy advice, I’m going to take a look at some hurlers who should be in for an outstanding evening on the hill and are quite possibly available on a waiver wire near you. Now hurry up and grab one of these guys before you opposition gets to them first.
(Ownership percentages based off ESPN standard leagues)
Jonathon Niese: New York Mets (53.9 percent) – It’s surprising how available Niese is when you consider his outstanding 2.17 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. Maybe it’s his 7.10 strikeouts per nine innings, but even that is nothing to scoff at. Regardless of why he’s still sitting on so many waiver wires, he makes for a very solid option this evening. Niese has yet to allow more than three earned runs in a game this season and has given up one or zero in four of his last five outings. He’ll take on the Washington Nationals today, and their mediocre offense ranks just 21st in runs scored per game. To sweeten the pot even further, the Nationals strikeout 8.32 times per game as a team, which is good for ninth-most in the league. When you add up all the evidence, Niese should be guilty of a solid evening on the mound.
Jose Quintana: Chicago White Sox (14.7 percent) – His numbers aren’t quite as strong as Niese’s, but Quintana is certainly holding his own in the much tougher American League. His 3.67 ERA and 1.22 WHIP are better than a lot of guys who are universally owned, and they don’t have the luxury of taking on the hapless Houston Astros tonight. Not only do the Astros rank just 28th in the league in scoring, but they also strike out 8.93 times per game, which is the sixth-highest in baseball. If you do scoop Quintana up off the wire today, you may want to hold on to him for a few days too. He’ll get the Kansas City Royals in his next start, and they rank just 23rd in the league in runs scored per game.
Tanner Roark: Washington Nationals (14.6 percent) – Sitting in the dugout across from Mr. Niese tonight will be this underrated 27-year-old hurler. Even though he got rocked by the Philadelphia Phillies a couple weeks ago to the tune of seven earned runs in four innings, he still has a very solid 3.65 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. In fact, aside from that stinker, Roark has allowed just one earned run in his last three games. The Mets provide a pretty nice match-up for him this evening, as they’ve been shut out in their last two games and they strike out 9.03 times per game, good for fourth-most in the league.