The waiver wire can be a gold mine for fantasy baseball players who are looking to boost their pitching stats. On most days, there is sure to be a starter or three just waiting to be scooped 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 strong day on the mound on June 4 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.)
Ian Kennedy, San Diego Padres (71.9 percent): This fireballer has bounced back nicely since last year’s disastrous season. His 3.42 ERA and 1.14 WHIP are both very solid, and he ranks ninth in K/9 innings among all starting pitchers in baseball (9.90). He’s allowed just a single earned run in five of his last eight starts, and I see more success for him today.
The Padres will wrap up their home series tonight against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Bucs have struggled to score runs this season. Even with a recent offensive outbreak, they’re still putting up just 3.48 runs per game on the road, which places them at 25th in the league. Combine that with the fact that the Pirates have struck out the fifth-most times per game on enemy turf, and I think Kennedy will serve fantasy teams well this evening.
Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh Pirates (44.2 percent): Opposing Mr. Kennedy tonight will be this disappointing left-hander. His ERA is an ugly 4.62 so far in 2014, but he has managed to throw two gems in his past four outings. Liriano has a tendency to be quite streaky, and it’s very possible that a dominant stretch is beginning for him.
The opponent certainly couldn’t be any better for him, as Pittsburgh finishes up their series against the Padres. San Diego is the lowest-scoring team in baseball with just 3.19 runs scored per game, and are hitting a minuscule .220 against left-handed pitching this season. It should be a low-scoring pitchers’ duel out west tonight, and either hurler in this game makes for a strong play.
Ryan Vogelsong, San Francisco Giants (33.7 percent): Even with a shaky start in his last outing, the fellow is still having a very nice season for the Giants. His overall ERA is quite strong at 3.45, but it’s been even better in his last seven trips to the hill (1.95). I still don’t understand why he’s so widely available on waiver wires, but that may be good news for you.
Vogelsong will take on the third-lowest scoring team in baseball today when he faces the Cincinnati Reds. Cincy has managed to put up just 3.57 runs per game this season and are hitting .241 as a team, good for 23rd in the league. Don’t worry about Vogelsong’s high road ERA either, as most of that damage occurred early in the season when he wasn’t pitching very well. Start him with confidence.