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. 21, and are quite possibly available on a waiver wire near you.
(Ownership percentages based off ESPN standard leagues)
*All stats current through 7:00 p.m. Wednesday
Dallas Keuchel: Houston Astros (53.6 percent)
After going through a rough stretch of allowing four runs or more in five consecutive outings, the southpaw has managed to right the ship. Keuchel has posted a far more respectable 2.50 ERA over his last five performances, and has chipped in a very solid 28 Ks over those 36 innings of work. The lefty will have a nice matchup to take advantage of in his next start, and you would be wise to give him a look.
The Astros will close out their road series with the New York Yankees on Thursday afternoon. The Yankee offense has been surprisingly quiet at Yankee Stadium this season as the team ranks 29th in the league in runs per game at home. The Yankee bats have been especially quiet of late as the team has scored four runs or fewer in each of their last eight games, while posting an ugly 2-6 record.
Brandon McCarthy: New York Yankees (49.9 percent)
McCarthy posted a wretchedly bad 1-10 record to go along with a 5.38 ERA over his first 16 starts this season. At that point he clearly sold his soul to the devil since we have seen him achieve an extraordinary turnaround since. In his last nine outings (seven with New York), McCarthy owns a 6-2 record, and has backed that up with a blissfully low 2.28 ERA. He’ll have an excellent chance to continue that dominance in his next start too.
Expect a low scoring affair in New York on Thursday as McCarthy will duel with the aforementioned Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros. Though the Houston offense has picked up of late, the team has struggled mightily vs. right-handed pitching this year, posting a dismal .233 average. Look for the piping hot McCarthy too cool off the Houston bats in this one.
Matt Shoemaker: Los Angeles Angels (19.4 percent)
Despite sitting on the waiver wire in over 80 percent of ESPN leagues, Shoemaker is looking like he deserves to be universally owned. The right-hander has allowed two earned runs or fewer in nine of his last 11 appearances, and has posted an outstanding 8-3 record over that span. Shoemaker will have a date with a struggling offense up next, and you’d be smart to give him some strong consideration.
The Angels will cap off their series with the Boston Red Sox Thursday evening. The Boston offense has been a shell of its former self in 2014 as the team ranks just 25th in the league in runs per game. The Sox bats have been extra quiet in recent weeks as the team has scored four runs or fewer in 22 of their their last 26 contests. As a final touch in support of Shoemaker, Boston owns a paltry .243 team average vs. right-handed pitching this season.