Week 18 Waiver Wire – Pitching

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The pitching side of the week 18 waiver wire is very much a story of pitchers turning their season around after struggling early on. In addition, as seems to be the theme of the season we also have a young pitcher making his way in the majors coming off a good first outing who could prove to be a massive contributor going forward.

Starting Pitchers

Matt Shoemaker, LAA: Shoemaker seems to be slipping under the radar currently after a really poor start to the season. However, since his last start in June he has given up just seven earned runs in 37.1 innings spanning six starts and a bullpen appearance. In that time he has struck out 35, with 27 of them coming in his last three starts. When you add in that he also had just six walks in those same three starts in appears as though his getting his control back and is starting to really turn his season around. Shoemaker appears to be coming back towards his top end form and is someone who you should look to add in all leagues.

Jimmy Nelson, MIL: I loved Nelson to start the season but he was very up and down early making it hard to know when to trust him. However, he appears to have figured it out in the last month or so as he has been fantastic since the start of July. Since his first start in June he has given up just six earned runs in 36.1 innings with a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio. Those six earned runs have come across two starts with Nelson having four starts in the last month and a bit where he hasn’t given up a single run.

R.A. Dickey, TOR: After a horrific start to the season Dickey seems to have turned over a new leaf with an impressive nine quality starts in his last 10 outings for the Blue Jays. In his last five games he has pitched 36.1 innings giving up just five earned runs while striking out 26. Pitching in Toronto always makes fantasy owners nervous but Dickey is a rare case as a knuckleballer and is someone I am buying into when he gets into streaks like this.

Luis Severino, NYY: The highly touted Severino made his first start in a Yankee’s uniform on Wednesday and bar one mistake which allowed David Ortiz to send him long he performed really well. He gave up just two hits to go with zero walks whilst striking out seven. He took the loss thanks to the Yankee’s poor offence but his performance was the sign of something positive. The issue with him is he likely won’t go late into games initially so if you need help now he is the last option of these four but if you are looking for a high upside rest of season guy then Severino could be just what you are looking for.

DL Stash: Steven Matz, NYM: Matz was really impressive before being shut down by the Mets at the start of July. In his two starts he gave up just two runs and struck out 14 across 13.2 innings with the second of his two appearances coming against the Los Angeles Dodgers. While it was only a small sample size it is something to be cautiously optimistic about and with Matz potentially just a month away he is someone who can be stashed on any spare DL spots as an upside play.

Relief Pitchers

Steve Tolleson, TEX: Tolleson is well on his way to being a must own closer just purely for the amount of chances he is getting. He has had so many opportunities in the last two weeks he has had to give up a couple of. In the last couple of weeks he has five saves and a win with an 11.25 K/9 with one run given up. He is still available in a third of ESPN leagues so be sure to check whether you are in one of those leagues.

Roberto Osuna, TOR: Osuna is the new closer for the Blue Jays and has the potential to keep that job for the season. However, given the Blue Jays ability to blow people out of the water on a daily basis, save opportunities are about as rare as they come in Toronto. If you need a third or fourth closer Osuna is a quality pitcher who won’t put up elite saves numbers but will be a solid addition to your roster

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