Welcome to week 11! The weather is hot, and so are the league’s hitters.
Offense across the league is up with the temperature, and we have seen plenty of pitchers either falling victim to injury or just not keeping up their hot starts to the year. Guys like Kyle Wright and Eric Lauer have seen their stocks fall quite a bit since they burst back onto the scene in April – and there are plenty of other pitchers showing worse performance lately.
All of this may have you reeling for SP help, so we’re here to help. Let’s get to it – here are your starting pitcher fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups recommendations for Week 11 of the fantasy season (June 20-June 26). Let’s get to it.
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Check Your Wire!
Pitchers already above our 50% threshold, but name I feel like should be nearly 100% rostered and are worth checking your waiver wire for.
Hunter Greene, Cincinnati Reds (59% Rostered)
It wasn’t a good showing for Greene on Friday night, but that might actually work to make him a bit more available. He is overly dependent on two pitches, which means that he’ll run into some tough outings when he’s not location well. That said, for the year he has a very strong 30.1% K% and a manageable 9.9% BB%. The barrels have been high, and that is really not a good thing pitching in Cincinnati – but there is too much talent and strikeout upside here to leave on the wire in most leagues. There are plenty of good matchups to go for the Reds in this relatively weak division.
George Kirby, Seattle Mariners (55% Rostered)
He is going to be the one of the best pitcher’s in the entire league at limiting walks, that’s a near certainty. Over his last five starts, Kirby has a 25.6% K%, a 2.6% BB%, and a 48.2% GB% – putting him in elite company. All of the indicators are pointing upwards for Kirby; you should go acquire him if he’s available.
Waiver Wire Pickups for Shallow Leagues
Pitcher pickup recommendations for leagues of any size
Jon Gray, Texas Rangers (36% Rostered)
He has pitched marvelously in June with a 31% K%, a 9% BB%, a .193 opponent’s average, and a tiny 1.7% barrel rate. He has taken advantage of soft matchups over that sample, but I believe the success will continue for Gray as he’s finally gotten healthy and settled with his new team. His four-seamer has been great with a 30.7% CSW%, and the slider has been devastating with a 19.3% SwStr% and just one homer given up. He adds a mediocre changeup to the mix, but the fastball and slider are good enough to carry him.
Notably, he has racked up double-digit whiffs in six of his last seven starts. He is a workhorse pitcher who has gone over 100 pitches in his last two, and there are no signs that the Rangers aren’t going to let him get deep into games when he’s going well. He’s a worthwhile add in all fantasy leagues.
Alex Cobb, San Francisco Giants (34% Rostered)
It’s been a struggle for Cobb to stay on the field, making just eight starts and throwing fewer than 40 innings this year. However, he is back in the rotation for a start against the Pirates on Sunday, so it’s time to pick him up if someone in your league cut ties.
We want pitchers excelling in all of K%, BB%, and GB%. Cobb is the only pitcher in the league with at least five starts with a K% above 25%, a BB% below 8%, and a GB% above 50%. His 63.8% GB% is second only to Framber Valdez (67.1%) for pitchers with at least five starts. He has been remarkable at avoiding the barrel as well, with just a 1.9% barrel rate.
If Cobb gets and stays healthy, I really think he is going to put up results that are near the league’s best pitchers. You should be buying on him right now.
Waiver Wire Pickups for Deeper Leagues
Roansy Contreras, Pittsburgh Pirates (37% Rostered)
The strikeouts have been league-average for Roansy at 23% in his five starts since May 15th. The walks have also been just about average at 8.3%. He has given up a high barrel rate at 12.3%, which I think is a number we can expect to come down – which should mean good things for his numbers moving forward.
What is most exciting about Contreras is how good his “stuff” is. His four-seamer, which averages above 96 miles per hour, has a strong 12% SwStr% on the year – one of the best marks in the league for a fastball. The slider is also devastating with a 23.8% SwStr%.
SwStr% Leaders on Sliders (150+ thrown)
You can see that only Peterson, Gibson, and Ray rival Contereras’ slider as far as starting pitchers go. This pitch along with the strong four-seamer gives him huge strikeout ceiling, and I imagine this guy turns into a very good Major League starter as long as he’s healthy.
He needs to cut down on the walks, to be sure, but his recent schedule has not been helping things. His last two starts have come against the Braves and Cardinals, two of the best lineups in the National League – so I think Contreras is going to come out with some really nice starts against weaker opponents very soon.
Brady Singer, Kansas City Royals (24% Rostered)
Only a dozen starting pitchers have met this criteria:
- 5+ GS
- K% above 24%
- BB% below 7%
- GB% above 45%
Those names, ordered by their CSW%: Shane McClanahan, Joe Musgrove, Brady SingerAaron Nola, Pablo Lopez, Sonny Gray, Zack Wheeler, Tarik Skubal, Nathan Eovaldi, Clayton Kershaw, Ryan Feltner, Frankie Montas
I know I’m beating a dead horse here, but these three categories are so important for pitchers – and guys that excel in all three of them will eventually have success in the Majors. Singer has been checking those boxes all season long, and I think he’s going to pitch his way into a 60%+ ownership rate in short order. Give him a look!
Zach Davies, Arizona Diamondbacks (10% Rostered)
I hesitate to even do this given how mediocre Davies has been for his career, but if you are very desperate, he can be considered.
He started throwing a ton of quality strikes in late May, and that has been good enough for him to put up some fantasy start-worthy stats. He has a 30.6% CSW%, a 22.3% K%, and a 5.8% BB% over his last five starts. Hitters have a league-average 8.2% Brl% against him, but there still have been a ton of balls hit into the air (35% FB%, 17% LD%).
He’s been leading the way with his sinker, which has racked up a ton of called strike (36.1% CSW%), that pitch has set up his changeup, which is his best offering. He has a 29.6% CSW% and a 20.4% SwStr% on the changeup since May 21st, and for the year those marks are 27.8% and 19.5% – pretty strong numbers.
The fastball is not good enough to sustain long-term success, but he can be started in good matchups right now – that great changeup should result in some good starts moving forward – but again, this is a very low-priority add here.
Bonus pitchers to consider
Alrighty, hope you enjoyed the piece and I hope some of these starting pitcher picks change your life forever and ever, for the better. So long!
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