Fantasy Baseball: Waiver Wire Starting Pitcher Pickups-July 31, 2014

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Jul 20, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne (40) pitches against the New York Mets during the eighth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

While trade rumors continue to swirl, fantasy baseball owners are priming their team for playoff positioning as we get ready to turn the calendar to August.  Before we get to a weekend full of baseball at the start of August, though, we have a solid 11-game schedule for Thursday.  As usual, there are some starters to take a look at if you’re team needs a boost going into the weekend.

Whenever you need to improve or supplement your starting rotation, you can find my top picks here on Fansided most afternoons (archive here). If you want to see how my selections have done recently, check out the chart on the final slide of this post.  My choices are always available in at least half of ESPN leagues when I pick them, and 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 arms on the waiver wire to check out for Thursday’s starts:

Odrisamer Despaigne-San Diego Padres (23.1%)

Despaigne will be looking to bounce back from his roughest outing since being called up to the Majors as he takes the mound on Thursday, but I still think he’s the top pickup.

In his six starts in the Big Leagues this year, Despaigne is just 2-2 but has a sparkling 1.66 ERA and 1.11 WHIP.  He carried a no-hitter into the eighth in his last start at home when he faced the Mets but struggled on the road on Saturday as the Braves reached him for five runs (two earned) in just 3.2 innings.

I think he should be able to bounce back nicely at home at Petco Park where he has allowed just three runs in 20 innings.  He’ll have to take on the Cardinals lineup in San Diego but will be matched up against Shelby Miller who has been struggling lately.  Counting on a win from anyone with the Padres lineup backing them up is a stretch, but Despaigne has the potential to be a solid pickup and should be well-rested after throwing just 89 pitches his last time out.

Risk-2, Reward-4

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