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. 8 and are quite possibly available on a waiver wire near you.
(Ownership percentages based off ESPN standard leagues)
Chris Tillman: Baltimore Orioles (53.4 percent)
Since seeing his ERA peak at a dreadful 5.20 back on June 5, Tillman has been in quite the groove on the mound. He’s now allowed three earned runs or fewer in 11 consecutive outings and has seen his ERA drastically plummet to 3.78. With an excellent matchup presenting itself today, we should see more of the same out of this talented right-hander.
Tillman and the O’s will host the St. Louis Cardinals this evening. The Red Birds have been one of baseball’s weakest offenses this season, as the team ranks just 29th in the league in runs per game at 3.70. That number is even lower on the road (3.54), and considering Tillman’s dominant 2.78 home ERA this year, it’s unlikely the Cardinal bats get much going in this one.
Mike Leake: Cincinnati Reds (39.8 percent)
Following a string of three straight subpar performances, this right-hander has one again found his groove. Leake has allowed just one run on eight hits over his last two outings, and he has fanned a nifty 13 batters over those 13.2 innings of work. That success has lowered his season ERA to a very respectable 3.46, and that number may drop even further tonight.
It will be deja vu for Leake today, as he’ll face the same Miami Marlins club that he just dominated on the road in his last start. Despite allowing four walks, Leake pitched extremely well while limiting the Fish to just one run on three hits over six innings of work. Considering the Marlins’ offense has been far weaker on the road this year, it stands to reason that Leake will get the best of those boys yet again.
Vance Worley: Pittsburgh Pirates (31.6 percent)
If you’re looking for a ton of strikeouts, this fellow probably isn’t going to be your cup of tea. If you’re looking for a pitcher who simply gets the job done, however, there is value to be had here. Since being called up in the middle of June, Worley has far exceeded expectations and now sports a terrific 2.43 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in nine outings. Yeah, his 5.17 Ks per nine innings is nothing to write home about, but those other stats certainly help offset that.
Worley and the Pirates couldn’t ask for a much better matchup today as they’ll host the offensively-challenged San Diego Padres. Though the Padres’ offense has come alive a bit since the All-Star break, the team still ranks dead-last in baseball in runs per game by a wide margin, and the talent simply isn’t there for them to sustain this recent offensive success. With the way Worley has been pitching, he should have no problem hushing the Padres’ bats.