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 some other sly owner gets to them first.
(Ownership percentages based off ESPN standard leagues, and all stats are accurate as of 10:00 p.m. on May 16)
Matt Garza: Milwaukee Brewers (74 percent) – By no means is Garza having a great season, so maybe a match-up against his former team is just what the doctor ordered to get things turned around. The first time he took on the Chicago Cubs, he ended up pitching his second best game of the season, and rewarded his owners with a victory. The Cubs have a pretty weak offense that ranks just 19th in the league in runs per game, and they lead all of baseball in strikeouts per contest at 9.28. This should be an excellent opportunity for Garza to not only get a win and beef up his strikeout total, but do the same for your fantasy team.
Aaron Harang: Atlanta Braves (62.5 percent) – If not for one terrible start against the Miami Marlins at the end of April, Harang would be right up there with Johnny Cueto in the Cy Young Award race. His ERA still sits below 3.00 even with that disaster to his name, but it plummets to a minuscule 1.46 when we take it away. It’s actually pretty amazing that he’s so widely available, and I would recommend keeping him on your roster even after utilizing his services today. Speaking of today, Harang will be taking on the St. Louis Cardinals, who rank just 25th in the league in runs per game. He held them to just two runs in six innings less than two weeks ago and I expect something similar to that from him this afternoon.
Tim Lincecum: San Francisco Giants (41.5 percent) – After a rough couple of starts to kick off the season, Lincecum has actually been a pretty serviceable pitcher. He’s allowed more than three earned runs just once in his last six starts and is coming off of a very impressive 11 strikeout performance against Atlanta. He’ll take on Miami this evening, and they have really struggled to score runs on the road this season. Not only do they rank 26th in the league in that category, but they are by far the most strikeout prone road team in baseball with an average of 10.35 per contest. Don’t expect another 11 K’s tonight, but something in the six-eight range seems reasonable, and a notch in the win column seems likely as well.