After a weekend off, my starting pitcher pickups are back to help you down the stretch in your fantasy baseball leagues. We’ll jump right into a busy Tuesday night for Major League Baseball with all 30 teams in action under the lights. With all the teams in the league scheduled to play, there are plenty of available pitchers, but predicting which pickups pay off is always a challenge.
So far this month, August has been good for my daily starting pitching pickups (archive and new posts show up here). In 320 innings this month, my picks are a combined 24-13 with a 3.01 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP, and a 7.73 K/9 rate. As always, my picks are available in at least half of ESPN leagues when they are selected the day before their scheduled start.
Here are the options I think you should target for Tuesday’s starts:
29.5% owned, vs Toronto Blue Jays
Fiers was a fantasy factor in 2012 before a disastrous 2013. He announced his return to relevancy with a 14-strikeout performance in his last start allowing just three hits in six shutout innings against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Granted, the Blue Jays are a much tougher matchup than the Cubs, but Fiers has allowed a total of one run on six hits in 14 innings in his two starts since being recalled to the Majors. He was pitching well all season at the minor league level and could be a great pickup for both the short-term and the stretch run if he can return to his 2012 form which he’s shown in his last two outings.
4.8% owned, vs Cleveland Indians
In a roller-coaster of a first full season in the Majors, Gibson has been curse and a dream for fantasy owners depending on when he was picked up. He has been much better at home (3.28 ERA) than on the road (4.36 ERA) this season and has some nice history against the Tribe going 1-0 against Cleveland while allowing just one earned run in 12 innings while holding Indians batters to a .128 average. Gibson is coming off a strong outing against the Astros, and has three quality starts in his last four appearances. The risk with Gibson is that his bad outings get ugly, but his upside still makes him worth a look especially this early in the week.
1.9% owned, vs San Francisco Giants
It’s always tough to count on a Cubs pitcher to get a win, but if you need quality innings, Wada may be the pickup for you. In his last four starts, he has given up two runs or fewer and has pitched at least 5.2 innings in each of those outings. In his 25.1 innings over that span, he has a 23 K’s whil walking just five and allowing only 20 hits. Wada has quietly put together a solid run against some pretty good lineups, so grab him for Tuesday if getting that magical “win” isn’t your top priority.
2.0% owned, vs Texas Rangers
Cosart will be making his third start against the Rangers this season but his first since joining the Marlins. He looked sharp in his last outing when he held St. Louis scoreless for seven innings for his first Miami win. He had mixed results against the Rangers this season, but both of his starts came in Arlington. In this start, the pitcher-friendly confines of Marlins Park and the injury-ravaged Texas Rangers lineup should both play into his favor. Cosart is higher risk than Fiers, Gibson, or even Wada, but he has some solid upside as well.
0.6% owned, vs San Diego Padres
Correia had a great first outing for LA after they acquired him from the Twins last week. In Atlanta, he held the Braves to one run on four hits in six strong innings and now gets to pitch at home in Dodger Stadium against the light-hitting Padres. Based on his matchup and his last outing, Correia may be worth a roll of the dice if you need a super-bargain for Tuesday.