Jul 22, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Vance Worley (46) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Baseball: Waiver Wire Starting Pitcher Pickups-August 2, 2014

Today offers a full slate of Major League Baseball action with the first pitch scheduled for 4:05 and most of the action under the lights on what shapes up to be a beautiful summer Saturday night across much of the country.  If you’re looking to bolster your fantasy baseball team with a starting pitching pickup from the waiver wire, there are some solid options to consider. Yesterday, my picks got the month off to a solid start striking out 20 in 23.2 innings and going 1-2 with a 3.83 ERA. My best performance came for Wei-Yin Chen who was my top pickup.

Here are my quick selections for today all of whom are available in at least 50% of ESPN leagues and scheduled to take the mound today. They’re listed in the general order I would pick them up, but as always, make sure you know your team needs and target the pitcher who is the right fit for your roster.


Vance Worley

4-1, 2.54 ERA, @ Arizona Diamondbacks

Worley is the top one-start pickup if your fantasy baseball team needs a spot starter or a streaming option. He and the Bucs are in the desert to take on the D-Backs in a nice matchup for him and he’s coming off a great outing in San Francisco his last time out.  Against the Giants, Worley threw a complete game shutout allowing four hits and one walk while striking out three. Since joining Pittsburgh, he has six quality starts in seven turns in the rotation and has consistently given them a chance to win.  Arizona should be a good matchup and Worley is your best one-and-done option even though he doesn’t have the long-term upside of a couple of the other players on this list.

James Paxton

2-0, 2.25 ERA, @ Baltimore Orioles

Even in a tough matchup coming off the DL, the Mariners lefty is an intriguing fantasy baseball option as he looks to deliver on his top prospect status.  The Canadian had success earlier this year including an impressive seven shutout inning performance against the Angels in which he allowed just two hits while striking out nine.  He has the upside of a top of the rotation starter, but there is always risk grabbing a rookie. Paxton’s potential already has him picked up in 13% of ESPN leagues so you’ll need to move fast if you want to add him even though the matchup in this start isn’t ideal.

Shane Greene

2-1, 3.28 ERA, @ Boston Red Sox

Greene has gone 2-1 in his four starts for the Yankees and has fared much better on the road than at home in the Bronx. He’ll look to regain his momentum as he takes on the Red Sox on Saturday afternoon.  Greene is available in over 90% of ESPN leagues after a rough couple of outings, but Boston’s new-look lineup is still a question mark, so don’t be afraid to use Greene if you are going to roll the dice with a wavier pickup.

Justin Masterson

4-6, 5.51 ERA, vs Milwaukee Brewers

Masterson is coming off the DL and making his first start with his new team after being acquired at the deadline by the Cards from Cleveland. At the beginning of the season, Masterson was almost universally drafted in fantasy baseball drafts but has been a disappointment so far. While I like him as a longterm reclamation project moving to the NL, he is extremely high-risk in this start coming since he is coming off the DL and has been unable to find his control or form from last season.  He’s a high-risk gamble with far more long-term upside if you have the luxury of patience.


Tags: Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitchers Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire James Paxton Justin Masterson New York Yankees Pittsburgh Pirates Seattle Mariners Shane Greene Spot Starters St. Louis Cardinals Starting Pitchers Streaming Starters Vance Worley

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