New young Astro Corbin Martin highlights this week’s waiver wire column plus two start rankings.
Corbin Martin (SP – Houston Astros)
Ownership: Yahoo 10% ESPN 4% CBS 22%
The Houston Astros have called up Corbin Martin from AAA to take over the spot of Colin McHugh. McHugh had been largely disappointing as it was clear his stuff was better suited for the bullpen. Martin had been off to a great start in the minors with a 1.48 ERA and 10.36 K/9 in his first four starts. Martin was a second round pick for the Astros in 2017 and has a good mix of pitches with a mid-90’s fastball to go along with a slider and changeup. Martin has the stuff to be a mid-rotation starter and on a great team, could be relevant in 12 team leagues. I would add him and see how his first outing goes. I don’t imagine if he pitches well they’d send him back down. The move to the bullpen looks to be the best for McHugh, so Martin should have no problem sticking in the rotation.
Brandon Woodruff (SP – Milwaukee Brewers)
Ownership: Yahoo 44% ESPN 28% CBS 82%
Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff was part of the collection of young pitchers competing for a spot in the rotation coming into the year. So far he’s performed the best of the group and looks to have better days ahead. Woodruff has made eight starts with a 4.25 ERA and 11.48 K/9. You love to see that strikeout rate, and I think the ERA has a lot of room to improve given that he has a .385 BABIP against him with a 2.84 FIP and 3.28 xFIP. You want to see the ground ball rate up over 50% like last season but you’ll take it as long as the strikeout and walk rate improvements continue. Woodruff has displayed better control with a 6.6% walk rate. Woodruff should be owned in all 12 team leagues and deeper and could be streamed in shallower leagues.
Kyle Gibson (SP – Minnesota Twins)
Ownership: Yahoo 24% ESPN 33% CBS 70%
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Kyle Gibson enjoyed some success last season with a 3.63 ERA in 196 innings and had gotten off to a rocky start this year allowing 12 runs in his first three starts. Gibson has pitched much better as of late, not allowing more than two runs in each of his last four starts, bringing his ERA down to 4.19 on the year with a 4.06 FIP and 3.48 xFIP. Gibson has three quality starts in his last four, earning the victory in all three. Pitching in a good division as the AL Central should yield a decent number of wins for Gibson and could be relevant in 12 team leagues.
Lucas Giolito (SP – Chicago White Sox)
Ownership: Yahoo 28% ESPN 15% CBS 48%
Chicago White Sox starter Lucas Giolito had been thought of as one of the league’s top pitching prospects for quite a while but has not panned out the way many expected. Still only 24 years old, Giolito looks to have made some improvements this season leading to a 4.06 ERA and 11.03 K/9. The ERA has room for improvement too as he has a slightly unlucky 67.9% strand rate with a 3.45 FIP and 3.63 xFIP. One noticeable difference is the whiff rate on his fastball, which he uses nearly 60% of the time. Giolito is getting swings and misses on his fastball at a 20.1% rate, up from 14.3% last season. In his two starts since returning from the IL Giolito has made two starts, going a total of 12 innings with 15 strikeouts and three runs allowed. Given that he is in a good division to pitch in, I think Giolito is worthy of a pickup and hold to see if he can maintain the upward trajectory he has been displaying of late.
Luke Jackson (RP – Atlanta Braves)
Ownership: Yahoo 33% ESPN 11% CBS 45%
The Atlanta Braves seemed to have made Luke Jackson the closer after an injury to Arodys Vizcaino and ineffectiveness of AJ Minter. Jackson has picked up the last three saves for the Braves and has struck out seven batters in his last four innings of work. Jackson should be picked up in all leagues in which you need saves. Its still to be determined how much interest the Braves will have in Craig Kimbrel but given the situation, as long as Jackson continues to be effective he should keep the job.
Two Start Streamers of the Week
Reynaldo Lopez (Chicago White Sox) 5/13 vs CLE, 5/19 vs TOR
The matchups don’t get much better for Lopez this week as he gets the Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays at home. Both offenses rank near the bottom of the league in nearly all offensive categories. Lopez has been roughed up by teams like the Red Sox, Rays, and Mariners but I’m willing to give him a shot this week and stream against much lower competition.
Kyle Gibson (Minnesota Twins) 5/14 vs LAA, 5/19 @ SEA
Gibson has been pitching better of late, particularly in his last four starts, earning victories and quality starts in three of them This week he gets a good matchup against the Angels to start the week then goes to Seattle to face the Mariners. Gibson should be available in most leagues and I’m willing to take the good matchup with the tougher one and steam him. Seattle seems to have cooled off a bit since their torrid start to the season.
Two-Start Pitcher Rankings
- Chris Sale – 5/14 vs COL, 5/19 vs HOU
- Jose Berrios – 5/13 vs LAA, 5/18 @ SEA
- Chris Paddack – 5/14 @ LAD, 5/19 vs PIT
- Aaron Nola – 5/13 vs. MIL, 5/18 vs. COL
- Noah Syndergaard – 5/14 @ WAS, 5/19 @ MIA
- Charlie Morton – 5/14 @ MIA, 5/18 vs COL
- Shane Beiber – 5/13 @ CWS, 5/19 vs BAL
- Jack Flaherty – 5/14 @ ATL, 5/19 @ TEX
- Matthew Boyd – 5/13 vs HOU, 5/18 vs OAK
- Kyle Hendricks – 5/14 @ CIN, 5/19 @ WAS
- Robbie Ray – 5/13 vs PIT, 5/19 vs SFG
- Joe Musgrove – 5/14 @ ARI, 5/19 @ SDP
- Yusei Kikuchi – 5/13 vs. OAK, 5/19 vs. MIN
- Brandon Woodruff – 5/14 @ PHI, 5/19 @ ATL
- Kyle Gibson – 5/14 vs. LAA, 5/19 @ SEA
- Mike Foltynewicz – 5/14 vs. STL, 5/19 vs MIL
- Brad Peacock – 5/13 @ DET, 5/19 @ BOS
- Tyler Skaggs – 5/13 @ MIN, 5/19 vs. KC
- Jerad Eickhoff – 5/14 vs MIL, 5/19 vs COL
- Sonny Gray – 5/14 vs CHC, 5/19 vs LAD
- Danny Duffy – 5/14 vs TEX, 5/19 @ LAA
- Mike Fiers – 5/13 @ SEA, 5/18 @ DET
- Kyle Freeland – 5/14 @ BOS, 5/19 @ PHI
- Nick Kingham – 5/13 @ ARI, 5/18 @ SDP
- Jonathan Loaisiga – 5/13 vs BAL, 5/19 vs TBR
- Brett Anderson – 5/14 @ SEA, 5/19 @ DET
- Reynaldo Lopez – 5/13 vs. CLE, 5/19 vs. TOR
- Jeremy Hellickson – 5/14 vs NYM, 5/19 vs CHC
- Trent Thornton – 5/14 @ SFG, 5/19 @ CWS
- Andrew Cashner – 5/14 @ NYY, 5/19 @ CLE
- Ryan Carpenter – 5/14 vs HOU, 5/19 vs. OAK
- David Hess – 5/13 @ NYY, 5/18 @ CLE
- Shelby Miller – 5/14 @ KC, 5/19 vs STL