Fantasy Baseball: Waiver wire pickups for pitchers

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·Yahoo Fantasy Contributor
·5-min read
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Continuing with our twice-weekly series on waiver wire pickups down the stretch, here are some pitchers who can help you move up the standings in the coming days.

Some of these players are strictly streamers, while others have the potential to stay on your team the rest of the way. Let’s dive in:

Eric Lauer (SP/RP, 50 percent)

Lauer continues to be one of the most undervalued pitchers in fantasy circles. The lefty has been great overall this year (3.10 ERA, 1.16 WHIP) and has done some of his best work of late. Lauer also benefits from pitching for a Brewers squad that is blowing away their divisional competition. I would stream Lauer in every league for a start against the Cubs on Sunday and then consider holding onto him for the final two weeks.

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Kyle Freeland (SP, 15 percent)

Like most Rockies starters, Freeland has been better on the road (4.25 ERA) than at home this season. The southpaw has a reasonable chance for success when he works at Washington tomorrow. Freeland is not near the top of my SP options in this article, but he will be a fit for those who are chasing wins in deep leagues.

Luis Gil (SP, 21 percent)

After starting off his MLB career by allowing zero runs across 15.2 innings, Gil has been much less impressive in his past two starts. His most recent outing against the Twins was plagued by three homers and his previous start was ruined by seven walks. Still, Gill has continued to compile strikeouts and has a solid body of work overall. He can be trusted in most leagues when he works at home against the Indians on Saturday.

Drew Rasmussen (SP/RP, 9 percent)

Rasmussen is yet another pitching gem in Tampa. The right-hander was thriving as a reliever until the middle of August and has posted a 1.33 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP across six starts since joining the rotation. Most recently, the 26-year-old shut down a high-scoring Blue Jays lineup across five scoreless innings. Rasmussen’s lack of length (he has yet to throw more than five innings) will keep him on waivers in some leagues, but he could be a great asset the rest of the way.

Drew Rasmussen #57 of the Tampa Bay Rays
Drew Rasmussen could be a great addition to fantasy rotations for the week ahead. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Paolo Espino (SP, 6 percent)

Espino has had a few rough outings this season, but his overall body of work (4.18 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) is good enough to get attention as a streamer. And streaming matchups don’t come any better than the one he is scheduled for on Sunday when he works at home against the Rockies. Colorado is notorious for its hitting struggles on the road, and Espino should be streamed in most leagues.

Josiah Gray (SP, 22 percent)

A touted prospect, Gray hasn’t been effective of late. The youngster has allowed 17 runs across 12 innings in his past three starts. Long balls have been a major problem for Gray, as he has allowed 17 homers in nine appearances. So, why is the right-hander in this article? For the same reason as Espino: he works at home against the Rockies in his next scheduled start. I would rather stream Espino, but I’m open to grabbing Gray if in need of wins and whiffs.

Erick Fedde (SP, 6 percent)

Those in leagues with weekly lineups may want to look at Fedde, who is lined up for two starts (@MIA, @CIN) next week. More specifically, Fedde could help those in need of strikeouts after boosting his whiff rate in recent starts. The 28-year-old may struggle to produce respectable ratios, making this a “buyer beware” recommendation for those with very specific needs.

Dylan Floro (RP, 30 percent)

I put Floro in this column most weeks, so I’ll keep this short. He has been the Marlins closer since the Trade Deadline and has been successful. Miami pitches well and scores few runs, making them the perfect fit to log their share of narrow wins.

Chris Stratton (RP, 11 percent)

Stratton has been one of the Pirates' most effective relievers this season, posting a 3.73 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP while also collecting six wins and five saves. And with David Bednar on the IL, Stratton has taken over closing duties for the foreseeable future. The Pirates are among the weakest team in baseball but have a manageable late-season schedule and could provide Stratton with a few opportunities.

Joe Barlow (RP, 20 percent)

Since returning from a brief IL stint on August 30, Barlow has tallied four appearances while giving up two runs across six innings. The 25-year-old is clearly locked in as the Rangers closer, which makes him a viable option for anyone who needs saves. My only reason for pause is that Barlow has struck out just one batter across those six outings. Continued failure to accumulate whiffs will leave him at the whims of batted ball luck.

Rowan Wick (RP, 23 percent)

Although the Cubs aren’t treating Wick as a full-fledged fireman, the club clearly prefers having him finish off narrow wins. The right-hander has picked up saves in four of his past seven appearances, allowing one earned run and seven baserunners across that stretch.

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