In the playoffs, maximizing pitching opportunities is one of the easiest ways to knock out accumulation categories such as wins, strikeouts, and saves. The more starts you have, the more you can also mask a bad performance by one of them. It is not easy to stream starters and if done wrong it can negatively impact your roster. This week, using the HVaC, we will take a look at some pitchers that are widely available that can add value to your roster during these weeks.
The value description here will obviously look at where you can build numbers. It will also give an indication as to the pitchers least likely to hurt your ERA and WHIP. More of the names at the top of this list will surprise you than not.
Numbers are through games on Monday, August 27th and cover the last 15 days.
- Currently just over five percent owned in most ESPN leagues, Joe Kelly has been a top-15 starter over the last two weeks. Kelly has recorded two wins and 16 strikeouts to go with a 2.40 ERA. Though his 1.33 WHIP is high and could spell trouble, his HVaC score of 14.20 puts him ahead of Roy Halladay and Justin Verlander (no wins, only two more strikeouts, worse ERA).
- Then there is Kyle Kendrick, who has been on fire of late. Kendrick is 3-0 in his last three starts and has allowed just two runs in that stretch. How good for head to head owners? That puts him as the number six pitcher overall with a 6.94 score. He might not be a sexy name but his schedule is favorable and is worth a look.
- Given some of the pitchers more widely owned, it is surprising that Jeff Samardzija is barely over the 50 percent line. Still, that presents opportunity. Though his 3.32 ERA hurts his HVaC score of 13.46, the strikeout totals and 1.11 WHIP make him a top-15 pitcher since the middle of August.
- Rare to see a closer recommendation, but Greg Holland is getting opportunities in Kansas City and making the most of them. His four saves put him inside the top-40 overall and he is boosted further by a 0.47 WHIP and 0.00 ERA. Is there a chance for regression thanks to the ERA? Of course, but there are ways to offset. As we have discussed, one bad closer outing does not impact your numbers the way it will for a starter.
- We then run into some high-risk/high-reward propositions as we go further down the list. Luke Hochevar has not recorded a win, but his 21 strikeouts and 0.87 WHIP help make him relevant. It just is a matter of whether you get Good Luke or Bad Luke (or Cool Hand, but you get the point). Justin Masterson could hurt your WHIP, but he does strike hitters out and recorded two wins in the last 15 days. The Marlins may be out of it, but Mark Buehrle is always a valuable veteran. Though he will not win you a strikeout title, his ability to get wins and produce low-WHIP numbers is highly valuable.
- A few others to note inside the top-50 would be Jaime Garcia, who has returned healthy, Wade Miley, who has two wins and sub-1.00 numbers in both ERA and WHIP, and Edwin Jackson, who has 19 strikeouts and a 0.92 WHIP.
Here is the rest of the top-50: