After just nine games on Thursday, Major League Baseball is back Friday with a packed schedule of 16 games. All 30 teams are in action and the Nationals and Marlins are playing a double-header. One of our spot starter selections comes from the expected call-up for the twin-bill. Here’s our top four pitchers to target on waiver wires who are available in over half of ESPN leagues and scheduled to start on Friday.
Picks for August 3
Jeff Samardzija – ChC: (38.9% ownership in ESPN leagues) In his last start, Samadzija struggled a bit with control and walked a season-high six Cardinals. He still only allowed two runs on three hits while striking out seven but could only go six innings due to a high pitch count. It was the end to a solid bounce-back month for the Cubs righty who finished with a 2-1 record in five starts with a 1.91 ERA and opponents hitting just .181 against him. It was an incredible follow up to June when he went 0-4 with a 10.41 ERA with opponents crushing him for a .330 average. Samardzija will hope August is more like July than June and he’ll get it started by facing the Dodgers in LA. They’ve been hot-and-cold offensively, but the spacious confines of Dodger Stadium should allow for a solid start anda possible W if the Cubs can get him some run support as they go against Chad Billingsley.
Joe Kelly – Stl: (2.6%) Kelly’s 1-4 record belies his effectiveness. He has a 2.96 ERA and has made it through the sixth in each of his last six starts while not allowing more than three earned runs in that span. He doesn’t usually pile up strikeouts although he is coming off a season-high six in his last start. He’ll face the Brewers at home and should get the run support to finally get his second MLB win as the Cardinals solid lineup faces Randy Wolf who comes in at 3-7 with a 5.45 ERA.
Travis Blackley – Oak: (5.5%) Blackley was knocked around a bit by Baltimore in his last start allowing five runs in five innings and taking the loss to drop to 3-3. He had been on quite a roll before that start including a solid seven inning start against Toronto in Toronto on July 24 where he allowed just one run and struck out eight. He’ll face the Blue Jays again Friday in Oakland where Blackley is 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA in 8 games this season. He’ll be opposed by Brett Cecil who hasn’t been hammered lately but is still just 2-4 with a 5.56 ERA on the year.
John Lannan- Was: (0.0%) If you truly just need a starter for one day, Lannan is universally available and has been in Triple-A all year. He did make one start in a double-header on July 21 when he held Atlanta to two runs in seven innings and picked up the win. He’ll go on Friday most likely in the early game against Miami as the Nationals continue their push in the NL East. They are playing good ball and the Marlins blew things up, so Lannan could snag another win if he can have a quality start.
The Payoff Pitch
Here’s how our picks have done this past week. Click here for Thursday’s picks.
|Stephen Fife||1-Aug||4 1/3||2||4||6||3||0||1|
|Paul Maholm||29-Jul||6 2/3||1||5||4||4||0||0|
|Bartolo Colon||28-Jul||5 2/3||0||5||7||1||1||0|
|Ross Detwiler||27-Jul||4 2/3||4||5||7||1||0||1|
|Aaron Laffey||26-Jul||5 2/3||4||4||5||3||0||0|