Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Walker Buehler a must-add this week

LA Dodgers Walker Buehler

Working out what to do with pitching early the season is always complicated. Should you buy-in on pitchers with lower pedigrees who have a good start? What about the prospect that struggled first time up but is not impressing? How about the veteran who is suddenly rolling back the years? I always feel like I am too slow to take the leap and end up chasing bad pitching later in the year. My advice is now is the right point to add these guys and replace the worst player on your roster. Then if they struggle you can go get someone else. However, if they hit they could be the difference between a podium spot and the top step come seasons end.

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Waiver wire adds

Walker Buehler, SP, LAD (61% owned)

Buehler has now made three starts in 2018 and has been fairly successful across all three. He has a 1.13 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP with 19 strikeouts in 16 innings. With Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kershaw on the DL and Alex Wood’s and Rich Hill’s inability to stay healthy the Dodgers are going to have plenty of spots available in that rotation. Buehler could easily be a stud in 2018 and missing out now might be your biggest regret of the season.

Nick Kingham, SP, PIT (47% owned)

Kingham was lights out in his first outing but struggled later on in his second. The promising new is that he has 16 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings and I expect him to get stronger as he continues starting. The re-building Pirates are likely going to give Kingham every chance which is promising for fantasy owners. He may just be a flash in the pan but he is worth adding now in case this is something more.

Sean Newcomb, SP, ATL (42% owned)

I got a few shares of Newcomb in drafts this season and the ones where I held on after the first start I am very pleased so far. There will be rough outings and his home park is hitter friendly but there are some really promising signs. Firstly, he pitched well in Colorado, always a good sign even early in the year. Secondly, he has had one decent start at home. We will need to see how he pitches at home before we truly know what we have but a pitcher with 42 strikeouts through 34 2/3 innings is a pitcher I am willing to gamble on.

Tyson Ross, SP, SD (41% owned)

I do not think Ross is suddenly back to his old self but the last three starts have been promising. On the season, he has a 3.26 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings but 26 of those strikeouts have come in the last 17 2/3 innings. All three of those starts have been on the road and one, the worst in terms of runs was in Colorado. If he can be solid against Washington at home this week he becomes an absolute must-add at this point.

Caleb Smith, SP/RP, MIA (27% owned)

What Smith is doing has become hard to ignore. Back to back shut out outings with 16 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings have shot him into the fantasy spotlight. On the season Smith has a 3.67 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings which is a promising start. I do not expect miracles from Smith bit at this point I am willing to gamble.

Royals Ian Kennedy

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Streamers

Ian Kennedy vs. Detroit, KC (23% owned)

Kennedy has sandwiched two awful starts with five good ones. He currently has 35 strikeouts in 37 innings and will get to face a Detroit team who struggles to hit this week. Add in that Miguel Cabrera is on the DL and suddenly it all looks rosy for Kennedy.

Trevor Williams @ CWS, PIT (55% owned)

Generally Williams struggles for strikeouts with just 26 in 41 innings this season. However, now Williams faces the strikeout prone Chicago White Sox. This has some boom or bust potential as the White Sox can cause chaos if they get rolling but I like Williams to continue his good start to the season.

 

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