Fantasy Baseball: Waiver Wire Starting Pitcher Pickups-July 21, 2014

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Jul 10, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Edinson Volquez (36) celebrates after throwing a complete game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Pirates defeated the Cardinals 9-1. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Monday starts a new fantasy baseball week even though for many owners the scoring period for this week included the last few days of games after the All-Star break.  However your league breaks things down for scoring, there are some nice pickups available who are scheduled to start on Monday making them two-start options for this week if you pick them up off waiviers for a spot start or as a streaming option for Monday.

A few quick reminders before we get to my suggested Monday pickups– You can find an archive  of past picks here to see how my selections have done recently or you can just check out the final slide of this post.  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 my favorite widely available options for Monday:

Edinson Volquez-Pittsburgh Pirates (16.6%)

Volquez has been one of the hottest pitchers in baseball but is still widely available  headed into his Monday start.  There is definitely understandable reason for caution after a rough last few seasons and a couple of beatings he took earlier in the season.  Probably his most brutal outing came June 18 against his former team, the Cincinnati Reds, as Volques gave up eight runs in just 2.1 innings.

Since that outing though, Volquez has allowed a total of three runs in four starts spanning 30 innings while picking up four wins to improve to 8-6 on the season to go with his 3.65 ERA.  He hasn’t picked his strikeout rate up to the level it has been at before, but he’s limited damage and managed to pitch very effectively.  His last start game just before the break, and he was able to hold the Cardinals to one run on six hits while notching his first complete game of the season.

Volquez is a volatile selection since he can be prone to implosion if things go south.  His matchup isn’t the most favorable either as he takes on the Dodgers who he pitched for last season.  However, if you can look past the risk there is definitely potential for a nice reward if he continues to maintain his current momentum.

Risk-3, Reward-5

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