Fantasy Baseball: Waiver Wire Starting Pitcher Pickups-June 5, 2014

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May 25, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake (right) and catcher Devin Mesoraco walk on the field prior to a game with the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday, June 5 offers a limited Major League Baseball schedule, but that fact doesn’t have to leave your fantasy baseball team without options if you need starting pitchers.  In fact, there are two really solid options and two long-shot value plays which deserve your consideration if you’re in the market for starting pitching.

After a week off, my starting pitching pickup post is back and ready to roll through the dog days of summer with you. Whenever you’re hunting for starting pitching pickups, check out my daily post (archive here). My recent results are available on the final slide of this post, and as always, all of my choices are available in at least half of ESPN leagues. Each player’s ownership percentage is included in parentheses after their team name. I also include a risk and reward ranking for each pick on a scale of 1-5 with five being the most risk and the most reward.

Here are my picks for Thursday

Mike Leake-Cincinnati Reds (38.6%)

Leake is just 3-4 this season, but he has pitched better than that as evidenced by his 2.92 ERA and his 1.06 WHIP.  He hasn’t allowed more three earned runs in any of his last six starts and consistently contributes innings going at least six innings in all 11 starts this season.

On Thursday, he and the Reds close out their home series agains the Giants with an afternoon game.  Leake’s splits indicate he’s even more effective at home (1-2, 2.51 ERA) and he was excellent in his only other daytime start this year holding the Cardinals scoreless in St. Louis over eight innings early in the season at Busch Stadium.

The Giants counter Leake with Madison Bumgarner, so getting a win from Leake could be a long shot, but he’s the best option if you need solid innings to help your ERA and WHIP numbers going into the weekend.

Risk-2, Reward-4

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Tags: Cincinnati Reds Colorado Rockies Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitchers Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Jacob DeGrom Juan Nicasio Los Angeles Angels Mike Leake New York Mets Spot Starters Starting Pitchers Streaming Starters Tyler Skaggs