At the start of the season I mentioned three pitchers that were flying under the radar that could help your MLB Fantasy team. Two of the three have been spot on while one was subpar and then suddenly out for the season. Regardless, I pride myself on constantly scouring the waiver wire in search of additions not only for the short term, but for the long term as well. I will consistently be sharing my thoughts on some waiver wire moves that could help your team in the short and/or long term, beginning today with some pitchers that you should consider nabbing off the waiver wire in your fantasy league.
*Recommendations are geared towards deep mixed leagues only. Percentages courtesy of ESPN.
Tyler Glasnow (PIT)
Owned in just 8.2% of ESPN leagues, Pirates’ young right-hander Tyler Glasnow is a fantastic add especially for dynasty league owners. Sure, his ERA currently sits at 6.95, his WHIP at 1.90 and his BB/9 at 5.16, but this is an arm worth bring on board. This isn’t the case of a young pitcher brought up too soon or is in need of more minor league seasoning as he posted a 1.93 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 116.2 minor league innings in 2016, all but six of which came at the Triple-A level. His arm is certainly big league ready as evidenced by his 93.9 MPH average with his four-seam fastball this season. His problem this season has mostly been his control as evidenced by that sky-high walk rate, but he has also been the recipient of some poor fortune in his first full go around in the big leagues. He currently sports a .368 BABIP against and has a 4.96 FIP and a 4.84 xFIP, numbers that lend themselves toward positive regression moving forward. He had a 9.23 K/9 in 23.1 MLB frames in 2016 and sits with an 8.74 mark in 45 innings this year. If you own Glasnow, keep him. If you don’t, buy low via trade or better yet if he is available on your waiver wire, scoop him up because better times certainly lay ahead for the 23-year-old, 6’8″ right-hander.
Jesse Hahn (OAK)
After a couple of nice seasons from 2014-2015 Hahn hit a rough patch in the 2016 campaign and spent more than half of the season in Triple-A. Hahn has made it back to the big leagues this season and is certainly showing that he belongs at the highest level. Owned in only 7.5% of ESPN leagues, Hahn has been sensational this season with a 3.81 ERA, but an even better 2.79 FIP as his strand rate and BABIP against should regress positively towards career norms. He is also sporting a solid 7.34 K/9 on the season which, combined with his peripheral stats, makes him a viable fantasy option. Regardless of the advanced stats, Hahn has displayed the type of consistency that fantasy owners love from their pitchers. In nine starts this season, Hahn has given up three earned runs or less in eight of them, with the lone poor start coming in his most recent outing in which he when just two innings and was subsequently placed on the Disabled List afterwards with a triceps issue. Hahn is close to a return, which means you might want to grab him off the waiver wire sooner rather than later.
Joe Biagini (TOR)
One of the oddest and most awkward players in the game, Biagini doesn’t do much messing around once he takes the mound. A former Rule-5 pick, Biagini pitched to a solid 3.06 ERA, 2.95 FIP and an 8.25 K/9 in 67.2 innings out of the Blue Jays bullpen in 2016. Thanks to a mountain of injuries in the Blue Jays’ rotation this season Biagini was stretched out as a starter and has delivered admirable results in that role. Owned in only 4.8% of ESPN leagues, Biagini has pitched to a 3.64 ERA, 2.99 FIP and a 7.93 K/9 on the season. He has allowed just ten earned runs in five starts this season and most recently pitched six innings of two-run ball with seven strikeouts. In fact, now is the time to pick Biagini up as he is now fully stretched out as a starter as those six innings mark a season-high for the right-hander. He has walked just six batters in five starts and gives up hard contact on just 25.4% of the balls put in play against him. With Biagini fully stretched out and the Blue Jays offense starting to look like the offense of old, now is the time to pull the trigger on him if he is currently sitting on your waiver wire.
Alex Meyer (LAA)
If you are really desperate for pitching and you are in a very deep league with none of these other options available, give Alex Meyer a shot. Meyer is currently on the DL but is set to be activated for a start Thursday against the Twins. Yes, he’s only pitched more than five innings twice in five starts and more than six innings once, but if you are looking for strikeouts as your primary search category (as you should be) than Meyer can be of some help. He has racked up 21 strikeouts over his last 15.2 innings and will carry a massive 10.80 K/9 with him into Thursday’s start. High strikeout clips are nothing new to the right-hander as he has consistently posted K/9 figures over the 10 mark throughout his minor league career. There is no doubt he has had control issues in his big league tenure with a 6.66 BB/9 on his MLB resume. That said, ERA and WHIP are fantasy categories that are most volatile and inconsistent from start to start. What we want are high strikeouts numbers as a foundation from our pitchers and that is what you get with Meyer. Owned in only 1.3% of ESPN leagues, Meyer can possibly make good on his highly touted prospect status despite already being 27 years old. Better late than never!