Heading into the weekend, it’s not too late to save your fantasy baseball week. If you need starting pitching help, there are several potential pickups to explore. There’s 15 games across the Major Leagues with nine in the afternoon and six scheduled for evening starts. Here’s four options to consider that are available in at least half of ESPN leagues:
Jonathon Niese-New York Mets: (39.3% owned in ESPN leagues) Niese was horrible earlier this season, but has bounced back nicely with two earned runs or less in his last four starts. He isn’t a big-time strikeout pitcher, but has been able to work around trouble very evvectively in his last four starts while not getting burned by home Runs. Niese has a nice matchup at home against the Cubs on Saturday afternoon. The Cubs are just 11-17 on the road and rank in the bottom 10 in the Majors in runs, batting average, and OBP. He’s no “sure-thing” but he is the best widely-available option for Saturday, in my opinion.
Lucas Harrell-Houston Astros: (0.5%) Harrell has gotten rocked for 5+ runs in three of his last eight starts, but he’s also had four starts during that span where he allowed one or zero runs. His last two starts he has gone 14 innings total while allowing just one earned run and seven hits. He and the Astros host the White Sox Saturday night who are near the bottom of the league in most offensive categories.
Chad Gaudin- San Francisco Giants: (3.1%) Gaudin has had two effective starts going 12 innings allowing two runs in each outing with 12 K’s and just nine hits against. He’s won both previous outings despite being sick for one of them, but does have a tough matchup on the road against the Braves on Saturday afternoon.
Tyler Chatwood-Colorado Rockies: (6.1%) With an extra day’s rest, Chatwood starts Saturday against the Phillies at Coors Field. In his last five starts he’s allowed a total of four runs in 27 2/3 innings. During that time he has an excellent 27:7 K:BB ratio and has yet to allow a home run this season. He’ll look to limit the Phillies and improve to 4-1 with a solid outing Saturday.