When New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler was acquired from the San Francisco Giants for Carlos Beltran midway through the 2011 season, there were a set of expectations that came along with Wheeler to New York. He was expected to co-anchor the Mets’ staff along with Matt Harvey for years to come. Perhaps Wheeler carried this hype as a burden on his shoulders to start what is his first full MLB season in 2014 as he has struggled at times, but he is rapidly coming into his own and developing some consistency, which makes him a solid waiver wire acquisition in fantasy baseball.
Wheeler gave the Mets another solid six innings in his most recent start against the San Diego Padres, giving up just one run and striking out seven. In his last four starts, he has gone six innings on each occasion and only has given up one earned run in each outing. He has improved his season statline to 5-8 with a 3.78 and 1.36 WHIP, and has struck out 112 batters in 114 innings, good for essentially a 9.0 K/9 ratio.
It is no secret walks have been Wheeler’s kryptonite in his young career, which somewhat inflates his WHIP, but he has demonstrated more control than he has in the past of late, as he has walked only five in total over his last three starts.
Wheeler is currently available in 33.6 percent of ESPN leagues, and in 40 percent on Yahoo!. His next scheduled start is on Friday against the Milwaukee Brewers — a team whose lineup is incredibly right-hand dominant, which sets up superbly matchup wise and gives Wheeler an advantage.
It’s probably best to go start by start with Wheeler the rest of the way in 2014, but he is undoubtedly becoming one of, if the not the best option, under 70 percent owned on the waiver-wire, and also makes an excellent streamer.