Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Kyle Freeland a Surprise Add

Kyle Freeland

Entering into week seven we are now at that stage where leagues are starting shake out. Pitching, more so than hitting, is the position you always need to keep monitoring at this stage of the season. Trying to work out which pitchers are showing sign of a true decline, which ones are on the up and who might be the red herrings is tough.

This is the point where it often gets tricky, because good pitchers are hitting the disabled list but teams are often hesitant to bring up their best prospects. That can mean you get some truly bad pitchers making starts and if you get it wrong they can do some real damage to your ERA and WHIP.

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This week I tried to look for streamers or low owned two-start pitchers but the cupboard is quite barren. Unfortunately this might be a week to just sit tight with what you have unless you want to grab one of the guys who could help you in the long term. If you are in a must win situation you may not have that luxury. If that is the case, Sal Ramano and Matt Harvey are both pitching for the Cincinnati Reds in San Francisco this week so may make sense as gamble plays.

Waiver Wire

Kyle Freeland, COL (16% owned)

It takes a lot for me to even think about adding a Rockies pitcher because often they are unusable half of the time. However, right now Freeland is pitching better at home than on the road. In three home starts he has thrown 19 1/3 innings, surrendering just three earned runs and striking out 19. In contrast in five road starts he has thrown 28 innings, surrendered 15 earned runs and struck out 25. Now these home road splits could indicate his form about to go one of two ways. If the home form is the legit part of his numbers and he transfers it to his road form then we could be looking at a really good fantasy pitcher. However, if the road form is more his true nature then he could quickly become unusable. The gamble that he might be as good as his home form means that he is worth the gamble but there will always be some nervousness about starting him at home.

Tyler Skaggs, LAA (Yahoo Ownership: 53% owned)

Now this is not a name I saw myself recommending this season but Skaggs has been really impressive in 2018. So far in 44 innings he has struck out 46 and has an ERA of 3.07. The good sign is here is that his FIP and xFIP currently sit at just 3.19 and 3.46 indicating that there is not a massive correction in his immediate future. At 26 this might be Skaggs big breakout as a pitcher so this might be your last opportunity to get him in many leagues.

Tyson Ross, SD (43% owned)

You may not believe it but Ross is putting it together. Yes there have been a few rough starts but all of those have been predictable with starts against Houston, in Colorado and against Washington. Ross has struck out 53 hitters in 47 2/3 innings and has an ERA of just 3.40. The even more impressive news is that his FIP and xFIP are below his ERA suggesting he is pitching better than those numbers. Making half his starts in San Diego and a handful in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Arizona should also mean that Ross can have success if he keeps pitching the way he currently is. You may not believe it but this might be the same pitcher who dominated hitters for the Padres between 2013 and 2015.

Caleb Smith, MIA (38% owned)

At this point there is no reason not to gamble on Smith. He gets an immediate the boost of making half his starts in Marlins Park and he is pitching really well. Through 39 2/3 innings he has 53 strikeouts and a 3.63 ERA. Much like with Ross his FIP and xFIP indicate that he is actually pitching better than that ERA. Smith was a decent prospect for the Yankees but struggled in his first major league exposure. He may be the biggest beneficiary of the Stanton trade for the Marlins acquisitions. For him to be able to be a top-30 potential pitcher he needs to decrease the walks but for a kid with less than 60 major league innings under his belt this is an extraordinary start.

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