As baseball gears up to step into the spotlight as America’s pastime on July 4, there are just nine games on July 3 as a dozen teams travel and get an off day on Thursday. Just because there is a limited slate, though, doesn’t mean there aren’t some good fantasy pitching pickups to be made. In fact, there are a couple really nice options that can get you going into this holiday weekend feeling especially festive.
Whenever you are in need of starting pitching make sure to check out my daily options right here on Fansided (archive here). You can bookmark the archive page or follow me on twitter for links to the daily posts of options to pick up. Here are the basic ground rules: recent results are on the final slide of this post, and my choices are always available in at least half of ESPN leagues when I pick them (each player’s ownership percentage is included in parentheses after their team name). I also include a risk and reward ranking for each selection on a scale of 1-5 with five being the most risk and the most reward.
Here are the options I like for Thursday’s pickups:
Vance Worley-Pittsburgh Pirates (6.8%)
Worley has been great since joining the Pirates in mid-June and is in another nice matchup as he and the Bucs close out their series with the Diamondbacks on Thursday.
In his three starts this season, Worley has a sterling 1.74 ERA and a WHIP under 1.00. He has lasted at least 6.2 innings in each start allowing zero, one, and three runs. He has just 12 K’s in his 20.2 innings and his sample size is admittedly small, but he’s been excellent during his recent run and has faced a pretty soft schedule. I don’t trust him enough to start him in a bad matchup, but facing Arizona at home isn’t one.
Worley will be opposed by Brandon McCarthy who has struggled to a 2-10 record with an ERA over 5.00. The Pirates should be able to get him some run support and Worley can hopefully get a W with a solid start.