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. 22 and are quite possibly available on a waiver wire near you.
(Ownership percentages based off ESPN standard leagues)
Marcus Stroman: Toronto Blue Jays (27.8 percent)
Although this rookie has been knocked around in two of his last three outings, both took place on the road where he’s struggled a bit this season. Stroman has been a different kind of animal at the Rogers Centre, however, as he sports an excellent 2.70 ERA to go along with a microscopic .211 opponents batting average in 11 appearances. With a nice matchup in the cards for today, he may be able to improve upon those numbers.
The blue birds will kick off a series with the Tampa Bay Rays this evening. The light-hitting Rays have struggled to score runs for the most part this season, but they have been especially weak on the road as they rank just 25th in the league in runs per contest (3.77). The Rays’ bats have been almost non-existent over their past five games as the team has scored two runs or fewer four times.
Carlos Carrasco: Cleveland Indians (20.6 percent)
Carrasco started the season in the Indians’ rotation but was quickly relegated to bullpen duty after posting a dismal 6.95 ERA over his first four outings. He’s been given another shot at the role, however, and this time he appears to be taking the reins and running with them. The right-hander has been absolutely lights-out in two starts since rejoining the rotation, having allowed zero runs on just five hits over 12 innings of work. A third consecutive quality start seems likely today.
The Indians will play host to the Houston Astros tonight. While the Astros’ offense has been much improved of late, the team has been consistently shut down by right-handed pitching in 2014. The Houston bats have posted a lowly .232 average vs. right-handers this season, and their 23.1 percent strikeout rate against righties is the second highest mark in baseball. Don’t expect a third consecutive shutout, but Carrasco should be able to hold this offense in check.
Shane Greene: New York Yankees (18.3 percent)
This 25-year-old rookie has been quite the pleasant surprise for the Yankees since joining the rotation back in early July. Not only has Greene posted an excellent 2.91 ERA on the season, but he’s allowed more than three runs just once in his seven starts. Though he faces a tough task at home today, expect Greene to be up to the challenge.
The Chicago White Sox will be his opponent, and though the Sox rank in the top 10 in runs per game this season, Greene may be catching them at just the right time. The month of August hasn’t been very kind to the South Siders as the team owns an ugly 5-12 record over their last 17 played; plus they’ve scored three runs or fewer in 13 of those contests. Fantasy owners can expect some help in the strikeout department as well from Greene as the Sox are striking out at a lofty 21.9 percent clip vs. right-handed pitching this season.