Streaming pitchers can be fun and exciting, but isn’t there comfort in settling down? (Insert whichever emoji you think is appropriate) This week we continue to take a look at the current pitching landscape with a focus on the week ahead, taking advantage of good matchups for the quick fix in the short-term, but also keeping a keen eye on those waiver wire/free agent pitchers who have the potential to be a mainstay in your rotation for the weeks or even months ahead.
The following pitchers, owned in less than 50% (or so) of Yahoo and ESPN leagues, can be helpful this week based on recent success, potential upside or stability, and a favorable upcoming matchup for immediate return on investment.
Enjoy the production this week, and maybe consider holding on to these assets for what they could offer you long-term. Players are listed in rank order.
Zack Godley – Diamondbacks
- Ownership: 37% of Yahoo, 40% ESPN
- Upcoming opponent: @PIT
I have been slow to be a believer in Godley, but now after four quality starts in a row, it’s difficult to ignore what’s happening. His 13.3% swinging strike rate and a GB% currently at 66% (which will likely decline, but should stay over 50%) shows the peripherals of someone who can be successful anywhere, including Chase Field.
Godley should be the #1 add this week, not only for his advantageous upcoming matchup against the sleepy and somewhat dysfunctional Pirates, but for the potential he has to keep this successful run going. Add Godley for this week and enjoy the run as long as it lasts.
Joe Ross – Nationals
- Ownership: 54% of Yahoo, 23% ESPN
- Upcoming opponent: @OAK
Ross is coming off an impressive eight-inning performance against Seattle and gets a turn this week at pitcher-friendly Oakland. However, the A’s have not been pushovers the last few weeks, and Ross can be hit or miss at this young stage in his career. That said, he has the stuff to be a quality major league starter for years to come, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to pick him up for this week and see what happens. If things start to click, he will be a must-own in short order.
Junior Guerra – Brewers
- Ownership: 25% Yahoo, 10% ESPN
- Upcoming opponent: @NYM
Guerra was drafted in many leagues after an impressive 2016 rookie season, but has been on the DL since the opening week with a calf strain. With all of the pitching injuries filling fantasy DL spots Guerra became expendable, his ownership dropped, and he has become an afterthought. At 32 years old, Guerra is an improbable story of breakout success, yet the numbers don’t lie.
Guerra returned to action this week against the D-Backs, allowing one run in 5.2 innings. He walked three, which can be an issue for Guerra, but of all the waiver wire/free agent pitchers, Guerra has one of the best chances to provide reliable, quality starts in the long-term to stabilize the back-end of your rotation.
Brandon McCarthy – Dodgers
- Ownership: 41% of Yahoo, 40% ESPN
- Upcoming opponent: @STL
As long as McCarthy is healthy, he should be owned in all but the shallowest of leagues. The Cardinals have struggled offensively of late, and McCarthy should provide a quality start in this upcoming matchup. Outside of divisional trips to Coors, he can be counted on going forward… as long as he’s healthy.
Jerad Eickhoff – Phillies
- Ownership: 53% of Yahoo, 21% ESPN
- Upcoming opponent: vs. SF
Eickhoff has underperformed so far this year, and his increased walk rate and decrease in swinging strike rate should raise some cautionary flags. But there is also some evidence that he has been a little bit unlucky in BABIP and strand rate.
All in all, Eickhoff can pitch to a 4.00 ERA or slightly better over the course of the season and should easily handle the Giants this week at home. Take advantage of the upcoming matchup and hold on to see if Eickhoff can build some consistency going forward.
Mike Foltynewicz – Braves
- Ownership: 21% of Yahoo, 21% ESPN
- Upcoming opponent: @CIN
Foltynewicz continues to be solid, if unspectacular, and may be one of the most under-owned commodity in fantasy baseball. He could stand to miss a few more bats, but otherwise, the peripherals look sustainable for Foltynewicz to continue providing more quality starts than not.
The Great American Ballpark is not the best place to pitch, but the Reds are a middling offense, and “Folty” is worth a shot here and can be counted on for the foreseeable future as well.
Good luck! Have a great week! Check back every Sunday for your waiver and streamer pitching needs.
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