Thursday Major League Baseball takes it a little easy with ten teams getting the day off and just ten games taking place in the afternoon and evening. Just because it’s a lighter slate doesn’t mean there isn’t starting pitching options on the waiver wire for your fantasy baseball team, though. In fact, there are four solid options for Thursday who all come with a degree of risk but also some serious upside to give your team a boost with the weekend coming. Here’s the top thre options available in over half of ESPN leagues:
Jason Vargas-Los Angeles Angels: (15.0%) After a disastrous start to the season with his new team in LA, Vargas has been much better in his last three outings. In his first three starts he allowed 11 runs in 14.2 innings while in his three starts since he’s given up just five in 24 innings. His last start was a three-hit, complete game shutout getting his first win of the year by blanking the O’s. Thursday, he faces the Astros in Houston looking for his fourth quality start in a row. He’ll be opposed by Lucas Harrell who gave up eight runs to Detroit in his last outing which was also at Minute Maid Park.
Jeff Locke-Pittsburgh Pirates: (3.5%) In his last three starts, Locke has been improving as well allowing a total of three earned runs (all last game) over a span of 18 innings. He’s picked up a pair of wins in that span and comes into Thursday’s contest with a 3-1 record, a 1.25 WHIP, and a 3.21 ERA. He’ll be on the road for this one where he’s actually been better this year as he and the Pirates visit pitcher-friendly Citi Field to take on the Mets. New York counters with Dillon Gee who comes in 2-4 with a 6.16 ERA. Gee has given up four runs in each of his last two starts so Locke could find himself in line for a win if he can keep his early-season momentum.
Freddy Garcia-Baltimore Orioles: (0.4%) Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know what team Freddy Garcia ended up on; he just got the call back to the Major Leagues last week. He looked exceptional in his first start actually taking a no-hitter into the seventh before finishing 6 2/3 allowing three hits and a pair of runs He was pitching well in Triple-A and looks ready to contribute to the O’s and possibly your fantasy team as well. Garcia is high-risk as he and Baltimore host the Royals on Thursday night. He’ll be opposed by one of our favorite waiver-wire acquisitions Jeremy Guthrie who is now too widely owned to be featured here. Garcia is a decent flier and could pay off if you need quality innings but not necessarily big strikeout numbers.
|Travis Wood||2-May||7 2/3||3||3||4||1||0||1|
|Justin Grimm||2-May||6 2/3||3||9||6||4||0||1|
|Mike Leake||3-May||5 2/3||2||3||9||0||1||0|
|Jonathan Pettibone||3-May||6 1/3||1||3||5||0||1||0|
|Felix Doubront||3-May||3 2/3||6||2||12||1||0||1|
|Corey Kluber||5-May||5 2/3||3||4||5||4||0||1|
|Andrew Cashner||6-May||7 1/3||0||4||4||3||1||0|
|Ubaldo Jimenez||6-May||5 2/3||2||8||4||3||1||0|
|Wei-Yin Chen||7-May||6 1/3||2||2||9||0||0||0|
|Zach McAllister||7-May||7 2/3||0||4||5||1||1||0|
|Eric Stults||7-May||6 1/3||1||4||7||2||1||0|