The waiver wire can be a goldmine 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 glory. In today’s slice of fantasy advice, let’s take a look at some hurlers who should be in for a strong day on the hill on July 18 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 (68.4 percent)
This fireballer has put up some respectable numbers this season, as he’s posted a solid 3.47 ERA to go along with a 1.19 WHIP. The real icing on the cake to owning Kennedy is his impressive strikeout numbers however, as he ranks eighth in all of baseball with an outstanding 9.63 Ks per nine innings. He’ll face a mediocre offense at home on Friday, and I like his chances to post another strong start.
The New York Mets will roll into San Diego to kick off the second half of the MLB season on Friday. Although the team was rolling along quite well heading into the break, they still rank just 17th in the league in runs per game. When you factor in the Mets’ paltry .238 average vs. right-handed pitching, and the fact that they have struck out the eighth-most times per game as a team, Kennedy makes for a strong option indeed.
A.J. Burnett: Philadelphia Phillies (60.6 percent)
After going through a disastrous six-start stretch from May to early June, Burnett has managed to right the ship. He hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs over his past seven outings, and owns a sound 2.94 ERA over that stretch. While his strikeout totals are a bit down on the season, he’s picked that up as well, as he’s managed 31 Ks over his last 27.2 innings pitched.
Burnett and the Phillies will hit the road to start the season’s second half, as they’ll take on the light-hitting Atlanta Braves. The Braves have really struggled to score this year, as they rank just 28th in the league in runs per game. The team has also struck out the fifth-most times per contest as a team this season, and when you combine that with their unimpressive .242 average vs. right-handed pitching, Burnett looks to be in line for another strong outing.
Kyle Gibson: Minnesota Twins (3.9 percent)
It’s been a bit of a roller coaster season for this right-hander. He’s allowed just one earned run or less in 10 of his 18 starts, but has also given up five earned runs or more on six occasions. The majority of those stinkers have come on the road however, as Gibson sports an impressive 2.51 home ERA on the season. He’ll get a home game to kick things off after the break, and that makes him an interesting pickup.
The Tampa Bay Rays travel to the great state of Minnesota to kick off a three-game series with the Twins on Friday. The weak-hitting Tampa team ranks just 24th in the league in runs per game, and have actually been far worse on the road, where they rank 29th in baseball at a lowly 3.49 runs per contest. The Rays are batting just .248 vs. right-handed pitching this season, and when you add up all the facts, Gibson makes for a solid play.