For many of you, the trading deadline in your individual seasonal leagues may have just passed this weekend. If your fantasy lineup is still a starting pitcher or two short from being where you want it to be, you are going to need to work the waiver wire and look for streaming options. There will probably be several prospects called up to the big show in the coming weeks that can help your team. Although they’ve already been called up and I didn’t utilize them in this particular article, you should monitor and think about adding the Athletics’ Chris Bassitt and the Padres’ top prospect, Colin Rea, to your roster if you have a bench spot available. In order to further help you in your search for that extra starting pitcher, I’ve identified another seven starters who are owned in between 14 and 62 percent of Yahoo! Sports Fantasy leagues, who have favorable matchups between August 12 and August 18. As usual I warn you, some of these selections may not be suitable for the faint of heart…
All quoted stats are accurate as of the morning of 8/11/15
Mark Buehrle (L), Blue Jays, 62 percent owned, vs. A’s
Venue: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada
Since June 3, Mark Buehrle has 12 consecutive starts in which he has given up three runs or less. With a fastball topping out in the mid 80 MPH range, he was never one to overpower a lineup. In recent years, he has gradually been relying on his change-up more often, and that has helped him improve his batted ball stats to the point that he is giving up fewer line drives and more ground balls. His opponent, the Oakland A’s are batting just .242 against lefties this season and have been slumping as of late, having scored the fifth fewest runs in the majors in the past week. With a 6-1 won/loss record, 3.17 ERA and 1.07 WHIP, Buehrle has pitched surprisingly well in the hitter friendly Rogers Centre this season and should have a successful outing.
Nathan Eovaldi, (R), Yankees, 30 percent owned, vs. Indians
Venue: Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH
It seems that every time I watch Nathan Eovaldi pitch, he looks like he’s working real hard to keep it together but the guy just keeps on rolling. He owns an 11-2 won/loss record and has nine straight starts in which he has given up fewer than three runs. He faces an Indians offense that is nothing to write home about. They are 12th in the league in overall runs scored and 23rd in the majors in home runs. Eovaldi has been using his splitter more often, and it has resulted in a significant increase in the number of ground balls that opposing batters have hit against him. His numbers may not be great away from Yankee Stadium, but he has pitched to an overall 3.06 since June 20 and he sure is a battler.
Robbie Ray, (L), Diamondbacks, 14 percent owned, vs. Braves
Venue: Turner Field, Atlanta, GA
Left handed starters love pitching against the Atlanta Braves. Southpaw Robbie Ray faces a Braves team that has a.231/.298/.334 slash line against lefties this season. Overall, they are tied for having scored the fifth fewest runs in baseball, and in addition, the Braves have hit the fewest home runs in the major leagues this season. Ray’s 3-7 won/loss record may not be pretty, but he has an above average strikeout rate, has kept his walks in check and his SIERA, FIP and xFIP all support his overall 3.17 ERA. Ray is an even more effective pitcher on the road. His ERA away from the hitter friendly confines of Chase Field is just 2.18, and with Turner Field yielding the fourth fewest home runs so far this season, Ray should be able to pitch well enough to provide you with a quality start.
Brett Anderson, (L), Dodgers 27 percent owned vs. Reds
Venue: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Brett Anderson faces a Reds team whose offense loses some of its bite when it plays outside of their cozy, hitter-friendly, home park in Cincinnati. Their team batting average and slugging percentage of .261 and .426 when they play at home drops to .238 and .368, respectively, when they take their act on the road. Anderson’s five pitch repertoire, which includes a sinker, slider and change up, all work together to make him an extreme ground ball inducing pitcher. His 65.8 percent ground ball rate has helped rank him seventh in baseball at inducing opposing batters to bounce into double plays. He’s been a consistent starter for the Dodgers, having given up more than three runs in just two of his 21 starts this season. With the Reds being such a terrible road team, they are 14 games under .500 away from the Great American Ballpark, Anderson is likely to find a way to keep the Reds’ offense grounded.
Taylor Jungmann, (R) Brewers, 53 percent owned, vs. Phillies
Venue: Miller Park, Milwaukee, WI
With a 6-3 won/loss record, 2.26 ERA and 1.07 WHIP, Taylor Jungmann has been able to excel despite playing for a last place team this season. Jungmann has been the model of consistency. He’s given up more than two runs in just one of his 11 starts this season, and in addition, opposing batters have a .217 batting average against him. His peripheral stats have been outstanding so far. Jungmann’s line drive, ground ball and strikeout rates have all been above the league average, and he has given up a below average rate of bases on balls. He has also done a great job of keeping the ball in the park, as his 3.5 percent HR/FB rate would suggest. His opponent, the Phillies, have a tough time hitting against right handed pitching. Versus lefties they are batting .261 as a team, and that average drops to .249 when they face right handers, adding to the likelihood that Jungmann will provide you with a quality start.
Andrew Heaney, (L), Angels, 62 percent owned vs. White Sox
Venue: Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, CA
Andrew Heaney suffered a bit of a hiccup in his last start, having given up four runs in 5.2 innings against the Orioles on Friday night, but should fare well against the White Sox this coming Monday. Heaney is having a fine season overall, posting a 5-1 won/loss record, 2.45 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. With a BB% of just four percent, Heaney has exhibited excellent control. Prior to his start against the White Sox, he hadn’t given up more than two runs in any of his starts this season. With a .237 batting average against left handed pitching, the White Sox present an opponent that should allow Heaney to bounce back from his last disappointing start.
Eduardo Rodriguez, (L), Rays, 29 percent owned vs. Indians
Venue: Fenway Park, Boston, MA
When Eduardo Rodriguez is on, he is very, very good. Conversely, when he doesn’t have his best stuff, he is very, very bad. Rodriguez has had three starts in which he has given up more than three runs. In those starts, he was roughed up for nine, six and seven runs, leaving him with a 19.8 ERA for those three outings. In Rodriguez’s 10 other starts, he has a 6-0 won/loss record and has a 1.71 ERA. I’ve already discussed how the Indians have had trouble scoring runs this season but in addition, their overall team batting average dips 12 points when they play on the road. Rodriguez has been on one of his good runs as of late, which could spell a bit of trouble for the Indians. The southpaw has pitched well in his last four home starts, winning two decisions, against no losses all while compiling a 2.72 ERA.