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 picked up who can help lead a fantasy team to the promised land. In today’s slice of fantasy baseball advice, let’s take a look at some hurlers who should be in for a solid day on the hill on May 24 and are quite possibly available on a waiver wire near you.
Now hurry up and grab one of these pitchers before some other cagey owner gets to them first.
(Ownership percentages based off ESPN standard leagues.)
Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros (70 percent): With an ERA of over 5.00 the past two seasons, few people were expecting a breakout from this fellow. Keuchel is getting the last laugh, however, as he’s managed a 5-2 record for the terrible Astros with a sparkling 2.92 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. I think we’re far enough into the season to rule out “fluke,” so I’m ready to hop on board the Keuchel train.
He has a pitcher-friendly matchup against the Seattle Mariners today, so that certainly qualifies him as a nice plug-in option. Not only does Seattle rank just 24th in the league in runs scored per game at home, but they strikeout 8.65 times per home game, good for fourth most in baseball. Even though he pitches for an awful team, there is some decent value here, and I would consider keeping him around on your roster even after today’s game.
Ryan Vogelsong, San Francisco Giants (24.7 percent): In his first four starts, Vogelsong was simply terrible with a 7.83 ERA in just 16.1 innings. It would seem that he found some sort of magic potion, though, as in his last five trips to the mound, he’s allowed one earned run or less four times with a significantly improved ERA of 1.63.
He faces the Minnesota Twins at home tonight, and while the Twinkies rank eighth overall in runs scored this season, they have cooled off quite a bit of late. After a red-hot April which saw them score 5.57 runs per game, they’ve put up a paltry 3.48 per so far in May. This game features a struggling offense going up against a soaring pitcher, and I’m going to side with the hot arm in this one.
Travis Wood, Chicago Cubs (15.2 percent): This guy is easily the riskiest option on this list, so how lucky are you feeling today? Wood has a less than impressive 4.61 ERA on the year, but has shown flashes of brilliance as he’s allowed two earned runs or fewer in five of his nine starts.
He has a good chance of putting up his second-straight solid outing today as he takes on the lowest scoring team in baseball. The San Diego Padres have scored just 3.14 runs per game this season, and even though they’ve had a lot more success in the month of May, there is simply nothing scary about this lineup. Giving Wood a shot today is a gamble for sure, but it’s a calculated risk that seems to be worth it.