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ROSTER THEM – How These Starters Can Fit Into Your Pitching Strategy

Des Boodram



There are half a dozen viable pitching strategies you can use during the course of the season, but along with the implementation of a given strategy comes the necessity to scour the waiver wire for available players that may help you execute.  There is no getting away from staying active on the market as pitchers hit the DL more than any other position.  Staying active, eeking out value, and adjusting on the fly are three nuances you must be fully engaged in for the duration of the season if you want to maximize the pitching metrics.  Here some typical pitching strategies which aside from the first one, have won championships in the past.


NO RELIEVERS (punt saves)

MANY RELIEVERS (including middle relievers)

HIGH END RELIEVERS ONLY (and mid-tiered starters)

HIGH END STARTERS ONLY (and mid-tiered relievers with 4-5 starters total)

ALL MID-TIERED PITCHERS (both relievers and starters)

FAIR & BALANCED (A starter at each tier and a reliever at each tier)


As for me, I like two top 20 pitchers, so usually in the 2nd and 5th rounds I can secure that.  This year Chris Sale fell to me with the 24th pick and I picked up Cole Hamels in the 5th round, which I hated.  James Paxton was obtained in the 13th round, and has given me 2nd round value ,which is why my team is able to hold strong in every pitching category despite the Hamels injury.  And that’s the thing, who’s healthy and who did you absolute trump value with?  It tends to balance out, but I like to keep 6 starters, 4 of whom are matchup proof, and two that I’ll only play when they’re in a good spot.  And I want four closers, and I don’t care whom they are as long as are getting saves.  I will scour social media to get a lead on 5th closer as well for insurance, likely dropping on of my 6 starters.  Let’s take a look at some low-owned SPs that I think will be good for the rest of the season.


DAN STRAILY – Miami Marlins

OK – so I’m cheating a bit as Straily is 52% owned but this should be in the 80s.  He plays in a weak offensive division with the Mets, Phillies and Braves, and has already had two double-digit K games.  He’ll have some duds, but by season’s end he should have a sub four ERA and a sub 1.10 WHIP with K rate that hovers right around a punch out per inning.  If you’re starting pitchers like Jimmy Nelson, Marco Estrada or Marcus Stroman, don’t turn your nose up at Straily.


ALEX COBB  – Tampa Bay Rays

Put on record for predicting that Cobb will have top 25 numbers by the end of the season, even in the AL EAST.  In fact if it were another division I would say to 15-20.  Cobb has still been wildly inconsistent getting 9 runs dropped on him two starts ago, before bouncing back to give up one run in securing the W.  Everything looks bad right now, so I’m not going to polish a turd for you here, but Cobb is still coming off a major injury and has yet to find a rhythm.  He’s the guy on my roster that I start when the matchup is right, and in DFS – I’m rolling him out in cash games when he’s playing at home.  Cobb is only 45% owned, but I expect that number to creep up as the season wears on .


ADAM WAINWRIGHT – St. Louis Cardinals

His numbers are worse than COBB’s, but in the last 30 days Wainright is a top 100 fantasy player with 4 wins, an ERA at three and a WHIP of 1.20.  That my friends also includes a start, which he gave up, NINE RUNS in.  That’s not a typo.  We’ll see how he bounces back, but remember he’s also coming off a major injury and these guys really need a full 18-20 months to return to form, even if they are pitching again in 12 months.  I love Wainwright for the rest of the season pitching behind that offense and in front of that defense.  The Red Birds are in a huge swoon right now offensively, but Wainright is a vet, who should be solid for you down the line, even if his current stats are jacked up.  47% is likely pretty high after he screwed owners with his last start.  It happens!