If you’re already hunting on the waiver wire for starting pitching help or if you’ve decided to go all in with the streaming starter strategy (described here), Thursday has some nice possibilities scheduled to start.
All season you can find a few pickup options and general starting pitchers to watch right here. We’ll also be monitoring our results all season long and hopefully we can help power your team to the championship.
Let’s start by looking at Potential waiver wire targets if you need a starter for Thursday:
Starters to Pickup for 4/4
Rick Porcello-Detroit Tigers: (19.8%) Porcello is coming off a solid spring in which he beat out Drew Smyly for the fifth spot in the rotation. Porcello is only 24, although it seems like he’s been around for much longer, and could be in for a breakout season. He had an amazing 21:0 K:BB ratio this spring and with the Tigers lineup behind him should be in for a good number of wins. Thursday afternoon he faces the Twins who he didn’t have a decision against in three starts against last year. The Twins lineup isn’t a ultra-formidable one, so he should be able to build on his successful spring with a solid start on Thursday at 1:10 at Target Field.
Miguel Gonzalez-Baltimore Orioles: (0.8%) In another afternoon start, the Orioles take on the Rays at 3:10 in their third and final game of their three-game set to open the season. Gonzalez came out of nowhere last year to post a 9-4 record in 15 starts with a 1.21 WHIP and a 3.25 ERA. Against Tampa, he had four total starts with a 1-1 record and a 3.68 ERA. He was even better at the Trop where this game will be allowing no earned runs in 13 1/3 innings or work. Gonzalez will look to continue his success against Tampa as he faces off with Roberto Hernandez (ex-Fausto Carmona) in the series finale Thursday.
A.J. Griffin-Oakland A’s: (1.7%) Griffin and the A’s face Brandon Maurer and the Mariners in the final game of their four-game season opening series. Griffin was 7-1 with a 1.13 WHIP and 3.06 ERA last year in his first season in the Majors. He didn’t get the call until June so this is his first April with Oakland. He did face the Mariners twice last year going 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA and 11 K’s to go with just three walks. Griffin makes a nice play-and-play option, and it surprises me how available he is in mixed leagues.
Travis Wood-Chicago Cubs: (0.2%) In an NL Central matchup, Wood faces the Pirates and James McDonald at 12:35 on Thursday. He fared well against the Pirates last year with a 1-2 record despite a 2.70 ERA. Wood is a streaming option in the right matchup and this would look to be one of those situations. He has a tendency to be plagued a bit by the long-ball but early in the season that’s not as much of a worry as later in the summer when balls travel farther especially in Wrigley. There’s not much need to hold Wood long-term, but as a spot or streaming starter, he has value. I looked through the NL matchups, and he’s the best option widely available if you’re in an NL-only league.