The Chicago Cubs are close to being a legitimate challenger in the NL Central. Despite trading away Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, the team has young pitching talent to keep them competitive for years to come. One pitcher who is pitching great and is worth owning for the rest of the season is rookie Tsuyoshi Wada.
Wada was called up after the Cubs traded away two of their starting pitchers. In his first outing on July 8, he went five innings and gave up five hits and one walk while striking out three. He struggled in his next outing, giving up five runs in four innings.
Something must have clicked for Wada because he hasn’t given up more than two runs in any of his last six outings. In those six games, Wada has a 1.96 ERA, .90 WHIP and 34 strikeouts in 36.2 innings. He recorded his fourth win on Sunday after a gem of an outing against the Baltimore Orioles. He went 6.1 innings and had a career-high eight strikeouts.
For the season, he has a 2.56 ERA, 1.05 WHIP with a 41:11 K:BB ratio. Wada has excellent command of the ball. Cubs catcher John Baker has been impressed with Wada’s performance. He said he’s executing every pitch and can put the ball wherever he wants.
He faces the St. Louis Cardinals in his next start. If he was able to handle the Orioles, then he should be able to take care of the Cardinals.
Wada is widely available, owned in just 16.9 percent of ESPN.com leagues with a jump of 15.5 percent. After his performance on Sunday, this should go up even more. Pick him up if you need pitching help.