by Will Overton
At this time of the season in fantasy baseball a lot of owners employ a streaming strategy for pitching. They play the matchups switching out starters on a near daily basis to try and make up ground in strikeouts and wins.
Now though, a lot of leagues have started to combat this strategy by putting in innings limits or games started limits for pitching staffs. I won’t debate this in this article, though I personally am in favor of leagues that prevent streaming. If you play in a league like this you are probably at a point where you are a little more stingy with your starts. At the same time you are still trying to make up ground in your standings.
I am going to highlight a few starting pitchers available on the waiver wire who I think are more than just streaming options, but can be consistent sources of good pitching for your fantasy team. These are guys I think can be trusted in a majority, not necessarily all, of their matchups.
Chris Tillman – Baltimore Orioles: Personally I think Chris Tillman should already be owned in every league at this point, but he’s still available in half of them. Tillman has basically been lights out since the beginning of June with a 2.96 ERA. He isn’t the best strikeout pitcher, but he racks up enough innings each game that he accumulates strikeouts even without a very good strikeout ratio. He’s also improving recently in this category with 28 K’s in his last 31.1 IP over five starts. Tillman is cutting down on his homeruns this season compared to years past and it seems to be making a difference. He’s very much worth being owned permanently.
J.A. Happ – Toronto Blue Jays: I might be crazy, but I actually trust J.A. Happ right now, at least enough to where I think he should be owned in all 14 team leagues or deeper. I think he could even be worth a look in standard leagues too. Happ has been money since the all-star break allowing only five runs in 26.1 innings. Happ also has 25 strikeouts in those starts, albeit 12 came in one game. Happ has become an almost automatic start at home with a 3.26 ERA at home. And you can at least mix and match with on the road depending on the matchup.
Jorge De La Rosa – Colorado Rockies: For the last month Jorge De La Rosa has been very impressive. De La Rosa has four quality starts in the last month and he also has 29 K’s in 32 IP. De La Rosa has had his issues with consistency, but he’s been locking it down lately with nine straight starts of six innings or more. The other fear with De La Rosa is that he pitches in Colorado which is never appealing. However De La Rosa is actually much better in Colorado than on the road, though his road starts have gotten better.
Chase Anderson – Arizona Diamondbacks: Chase Anderson looked good when he came up and started to get fantasy owners attention. He’s been great the last month though and not enough owners are with the program. Anderson has allowed just six runs in 31 IP over the last five starts. He also has 30 K’s and just nine walks in these five starts as well. Anderson is prone to the long ball, so he might be getting a little bit lucky in that his HR’s have been solo shots. Still things are trending upwards for Anderson who has stopped some good offenses recently and seems to be more than just a mix and match guy right now.
Kyle Hendricks – Chicago Cubs: The Cubs have created an opportunity for young starters in the bigs and Kyle Hendricks is one guy running with it. Hendricks has four quality starts in a row, and pitched well in his debut as well despite not getting the quality start. Hendricks isn’t an overpowering pitcher who gets a ton of K’s, but he has incredible control and keeps the ball on the ground, exactly what makes for a quality pitcher in the National League. Hendricks less than ideal K rate may disqualify him for some owners, but he has a very real possibility of turning in a really strong ERA and WHIP over the next month and a half.
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