Even though Thursday only has nine MLB games on tap, there are actually some pretty solid pickup options if you find yourself combing the waiver wire for a spot starter in your season-long league or looking for a value play for your daily fix.
Whenever you’re in the market, make sure to check back each day for my daily starting pitcher pickups (archive here where you can also set a bookmark for the daily updates). To see how my recent selections have fared, check the chart on the final slide of the post. All of my choices are available in at least half of ESPN leagues, and their ownership percentage is included in parentheses. For each selection, I also include my perspective of the risk and reward for the scheduled start on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest risk and the highest reward.
The top option for Thursday would be Drew Smyly except that he’s owned in 68.2% of ESPN leagues placing him above the threshold meaning he can’t be on my official list. If he is available in your league, he’d be my top option, but here are the options you’re more likely to find on the wire.
Scott Carroll-Chicago White Sox (1.2%)
Carroll has allowed just one earned run in his first two starts in the Majors and has been impressive with a 1.05 WHIP while holding opponents to a .239 batting average. In his last start, he took a hard-luck loss against the Indians to drop to 1-1 but still has been a solid fantasy contributor.
On Thursday he and the Sox host their crosstown rivals as the Cubs visit the Cell. Chicago is just 4-9 on the road and the White Sox offense has been solid at home meaning Carroll lines up for a win if he can continue his solid numbers.