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 Aug. 5 and are quite possibly available on a waiver wire near you.
(Ownership percentages based off ESPN standard leagues)
Alex Wood: Atlanta Braves (70.5 percent)
This 23-year-old southpaw has pitched quite well as a starter this season, as he’s posted a strong 3.06 ERA in 14 starts. He’s actually allowed two earned runs or fewer in 10 of those outings, and that ERA would look far more impressive if not for one disastrous performance early in the season. Wood has an excellent matchup tonight and it’s one that fantasy owners would be smart to take advantage of.
The Braves will kick off a series out west today against the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners have quietly been performing some magic since the All-Star break, as they’ve managed to make their offense disappear. To go along with an ugly 6-10 record since the break, the team has managed to score a lowly 2.69 runs per game. To make Wood an even more tempting option, Seattle is batting just .245 vs. lefties this season, ranking them 23rd in baseball.
Dallas Keuchel: Houston Astros (53.8 percent)
Keuchel has managed to right the ship after getting knocked around in five consecutive starts. In his last two outings he’s allowed just one earned run over 16 innings of work, lowering his ERA to 2.97 on the season. We know this lefty can be quite dominant when he gets in a groove, so now may be the time to pick him up for the long haul.
The Astros will take on a weak Philadelphia Phillies team this evening, and you have to like Keuchel’s chances for a third consecutive quality start. The Phillies own the third-worst home record in baseball at 22-33 and are scoring just 3.62 runs per game at home, which ranks them 25th in the league. The ice-cold Philly bats have been shut out in each of their last two games and have scored just twice over their past three contests.
Danny Duffy: Kansas City Royals (40.3 percent)
It’s a trio of southpaw recommendations today, and despite an awful 5-10 record, this one has pitched fantastically in 2014. The Royals’ offense hasn’t helped him out much, but Duffy sports a outstanding 2.42 ERA on the season and is holding opponents to a minuscule .203 average this year. Duffy has also held opponents to one earned run or fewer in seven of his last nine starts and will look to improve upon that number this evening.
KC will hit the road to face the Arizona Diamondbacks today. Not only do the D-backs sport the second-worst home record in baseball at 23-35, but they’ve also just lost one of the best hitters in baseball in Paul Goldschmidt. Add in the fact that the team just traded away Martin Prado, and you should expect the Arizona offense to struggle going forward. Expect Duffy to once again post strong numbers today, and he’s likely to get that elusive sixth win as well.