Thursday offers a slightly slower MLB schedule with 11 games on tap as eight teams getting a scheduled day off. That doesn’t mean there are limited fantasy starting pitcher options, though, since the way rotations fall this week this one of the strongest days of waiver wire options. If you need a spot starter or a streaming option headed into the weekend series, check out the options in the following slideshow.
You can find my daily picks each afternoon here on Fansided with an archive here of my past picks, and you can also drop a bookmark on that page where my new posts will go as well. As usual, you can see my recent results on the final slide of this post to keep me accountable for my selections performance. My choices are always available in at least half of ESPN leagues, and 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 the top available options scheduled to start Thursday:
Roenis Elias-Seattle Mariners (12.0%)
Elias picked up his second straight win by beating the Rays in his last start although he wasn’t quite as impressive as in his complete game shutout of the Tigers which came two starts ago.
On the season, Elias has a 3.64 ERA to go with his 5-4 record while holding opponents to a .231 average. He’ll be at home for Thursday’s start which is a good thing for the Cuban southpaw who has a 3.47 ERA at pitcher-friendly Safeco. In his two starts this month, Elias is 2-0 with a 2.16 ERA while picking up 18 K’s in 21.2 innings.
He’ll look to continue those trends Thursday night against New York as he takes on Chase Whitley. Elias faced the Yankees earlier this season and had a career-high ten punchouts while holding the Bronx Bombers to just two runs in seven innings to get the win. In such a pitcher-friendly park, he’s a nice matchup although there is definitely risk rolling with a rookie against a team with experience like the Yankees. He gets a slight nod over Jonathon Niese (next on the list) since he offers more potential strikeouts and a higher percentage win probability even though Niese is slightly safer if innings are your priority.