It’s good to have baseball back, but if your fantasy team’s pitching staff is in need of a boost, it may be time to shake things up in your starting rotation. If you decide that it’s time to add a starter or go with a “streaming starter” strategy, check out FantasyCPR for your daily spot starter selection. Whether you need a guy for a day or change a player in your rotation everday, there are some solid options available on the waiver wire of over half of ESPN leagues.
After four days for the All-Star break, only six teams get Monday off leaving us a solid group of starting pitchers scheduled to start the 12 games on the MLB schedule. Here’s the four pickups I like the most for Monday.
Pickups to Ponder
Jason Vargas – Sea: (27.6% owned in ESPN leagues) Vargas has allowed two runs or less in his last three starts after getting crushed by Arizona (10 runs and five home runs in 4.1 IP). He has 22 strikeouts in those starts while walking just five and allowing 15 hits in 23.2 innings. He’s 8-7 on the year and gets the Royals in Monday’s start. Kansas City will send Jonathan Sanchez to the mound sporting a 1-5 record with a 6.75 ERA. Vargas has had rocky outings, but overall this year has been solid. He’s the least risky widely-available option among the starters scheduled to go Monday.
Chris Tillman – Bal: (3.0%) Tillman opened eyes in his last start against the Mariners going 8.1 allowing just two hits and two unearned runs. He gets another favorable matchup Monday as the O’s visit Minnesota to face the Twins. Tillman only has the one start and was pushed back a day due to back spasms, so there is some risk involved. If Tillman is close to as dominant as he was in his first start, get ready for the run on Tillman that will follow.
Jeff Karstens – Pit: (2.1%) He’d be at the top of this list as the #1 pickup if it wasn’t for the matchup. He heads to Denver to pitch in the rarified air of Coors Field against the Rockies. His last two starts though have shown he can be solid even in less than ideal conditions. He took the mound in crazy heat in St Louis and won going seven innings allowing just two runs on four hits and striking out seven. His last time out he threw eight shutout innings against the Astros in Pittsburgh. It’s always risky taking a pitcher at Coors, but the Pirates lineup is solid and Karstens has given up two earned runs or fewer in four of his six starts. He’s risky, but it could pay off.
Kip Wells – SD: (0.1%) Wells made three starts before the break in his first Major League action since 2009 and showed himself to be a solid option. He went 1-2 with a 2.50 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. He only struck out seven in his 18 innings, so don’t expect K’s from the 35 year old Texan. He does have a great matchup though with the light-hitting Astros visiting pitcher’s-haven Petco. If you need to lower WHIP and ERA, Wells is a nice steal who’s almost universally available.
Payoff of Picking
Normally we have our results posted here as they become available. Below you can see who we suggested for Sunday. Results will be posted later tonight.