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. 19 and are quite possibly available on a waiver wire near you.
(Ownership percentages based off ESPN standard leagues)
Ryan Vogelsong, San Francisco Giants (27.7 percent):
After struggling in back-to-back months, this veteran has really found his groove in August. Vogelsong has posted an outstanding 1.64 ERA in three starts, and has been rewarded with a couple of wins for his efforts. Two of those starts have actually come on the road, where he’s been far less effective this year, and that’s a good sign heading into tonight’s contest.
The Giants will take to the road to square off with the Chicago Cubs, whose offense has failed to generate much offense this season as the club ranks just 26th in the league in runs per game. The Cubbies have especially struggled vs. right-handers in 2014 as their .229 team average is the second-worst in baseball. Those in need of some Ks will also be happy to know that the Cubs’ 22.6 percent strikeout rate vs. right-handed pitching is the third-highest mark in baseball.
Tsuyoshi Wada, Chicago Cubs (8.1 percent):
I don’t know how much was expected of this 33-year-old Japanese rookie, but I suspect he has far exceeded those expectations. Since finding his way into the Cubs’ rotation back in early July, this lefty has allowed two earned runs or fewer in five of his six outings, plus he’s posted a strong 7.86 K/9. With an excellent matchup in store for him today, expect another solid effort.
A low-scoring affair should be in the cards in Chicago this evening as Wada will be the one squaring off with the aforementioned Vogelsong and the Giants. The Giants’ bats seem to have gone into hibernation mode of late, as the team has scored a minuscule 3.32 runs per game over their last 22 played, and that has resulted in an underwhelming 8-14 record.
Brett Oberholtzer, Houston Astros (0.8 percent):
Although most fantasy owners clearly haven’t noticed, this lefty has actually been pitching quite well in recent weeks. Oberholtzer has allowed two earned runs or fewer in eight of his last 10 outings, and that has resulted in a solid 3.05 ERA over that stretch. A rather favorable matchup will present itself today, so look for Oberholtzer to take advantage.
The Astros will head to The Big Apple to kick off a series with the New York Yankees this evening. Despite Yankee Stadium being known as a hitter’s paradise, it’s surprising to note that the Yankees rank 29th in the league in runs per game at home this season. It’s actually been quite the struggle overall for New York bats of late, as the Yankees have scored four runs or fewer in 10 of their last 12 contests.