Deep Wavier Wire: Trusting Tom Koehler


May 30, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher

Tom Koehler

(34) pitches in the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

During the course of the season, all fantasy owners will have to mix and match or fill certain spots on their roster based on need. The most common cycling of players usually happens in the backend of our fantasy rotations, thus it is important to find value on the waiver wire when the need comes about.

In terms of pitching, we tend to all look for high upside arms that offer great strikeout value, as we all fall love in with K’s. However, we often overlook the value that stability and safety presence on the waiver wire, because it lacks the excitement or hype that some of the more volatile arms may have.

With all that said, the player I have in mind has been on a recent hot streak that is being widely overlooked. Tom Koehler’s 2015 has been fairly decent but not without a few rough patches. On four different instances he has given up more five or more runs. That’s not too reassuring, but believe me he still has value.

Over his last six starts he has not given up more than 2 ER in any outing. He has shown consistency and that he can do deep into games, as he has completed at least 6 IP each of the six starts, offering him more chances to get the W or amass more strikeouts.

Koehler strikeout potential sits around 5 SO/9, a very respectable number coming from your potential SP5. Koehler does not really overpower anyone, he is mainly a ground ball pitcher that relies on his breaking pitches to induce outs and to keep the ball in the stadium.

One of the more impressive notes on his current hot stretch, is that every one of his starts has come on the road and outside of the pitcher friendly confines of Marlins Park. Koehler has the arsenal to maintain an ERA in the mid-3.00 range, as he currently sits at a 3.16 clip

Over Koehler’s next three starts it seems as though he will get the Nationals, and Padres at home, and the Braves in Atlanta. The Nats did touch him up for 5 ER in May, but that was largely in part to that Bryce Harper guy hitting three HR’s off of him. But, the Nats are banged up and with Koehler being hot, it may turn the tides in his favor.

Koehler’s last start came against the Padres, where he shut them down for 7 innings, while not allowing a run, and striking out 7. The Padres lineup has been pretty anemic all year, so this should be another favorable match-up. Same as in the case for the Braves, who’s weak lineup Koehler has found success against this year.

All in all, Koehler is not a glamorous or sexy pickup that will wow the other owners of your league. But, that does not matter at all if the guy offers value and a hot hand that you can ride down the stretch.

These are the most important weeks in fantasy baseball as the playoffs are fast approaching. Why not fortify the back-end of your rotation with a guy who has a hot hand and favorable match-ups? Do not hesitate and make the move.