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 today’s slice of fantasy advice, I’m going to take a look at some hurlers who should be in for a solid day on the hill on May 18, 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 7:00 p.m. on May 17
Tony Cingrani, Cincinnati Reds (77 percent): This fireballer won’t be available for long, so I recommend scooping him up and keeping him if he’s still on your waiver wire. Though he hasn’t been quite as dominant as he was last season, his ERA sits at a more than respectable 3.34, and his 8.91 strikeouts per nine innings are a great asset to any fantasy roster.
He’ll be taking on the Philadelphia Phillies this afternoon, and lucky for Cingrani, they rank dead last in the league in runs scored per game at home (2.89). They also tend to whiff quite a bit too, as they’re 11th in the league in strikeouts per game. When you combine all that with the Phillies’ awful 6-12 home record, and I see Cingrani as a very strong option.
Ubaldo Jimenez, Cleveland Indians (27.1 percent): Dominant — simply dominant. There is no better way to sum up Jimenez’s last three starts. In that span, he’s given up just one earned run in 19.2 innings, and struck out 20. He wasn’t exactly facing terrible teams either, so I’m flabbergasted that he’s still only owned in about a quarter of leagues.
We’ve seen him be dominant before, so this isn’t just a fluke either. He has a pretty appealing matchup today against the Kansas City Royals, who rank just 23rd in baseball at 3.83 runs scored per game. You really can’t expect him to be this good every time out, but I would certainly bet on him having another excellent outing today, and I would keep him on my roster going forward.
Ryan Vogelsong, San Francisco Giants (5.4 percent): It’s been a tale of two seasons for this fellow so far. In his first four starts, he had a 7.71 ERA, and was getting knocked around like a punching bag. In his last four, he’s allowed a total of six earned runs with 22 strikeouts to boot, putting that ERA at a sparkling 2.07.
He’ll be squaring off against the Miami Marlins today, and while they’ve been far better than expected so far, they have really struggled on the road with a 5-16 record. The Marlins rank just 23rd in baseball in runs scored per game away from their home park, and they strike out a league leading 10.19 times per game when playing in enemy territory. When you do the math, it seems to add up to success for Vogelsong.