After going through a few days worth of reader comments, I’ve seen a lot of questions relating to deeper league starting pitchers. I decided to compile a list of my favorite SP targets that are owned in 5% of Yahoo leagues or fewer. They are ranked in order of preference as well. These are guys that I like for the remainder of the season, but I wouldn’t recommend starting these players every time they take the bump. These guys are owned in less than 5% of leagues for a reason and will put up a dud every now and then, but these guys should provide decent numbers for a majority of their remaining starts.
Corey Kluber – A 27-year old righty in Cleveland, Kluber has looked great in an extremely small sample. He has put up an 8.0 K/9 at most stops in the minor leagues and has carried that forward in the big leagues. I’m optimistic on Kluber’s ability to continue this success due to the decreased walk rate. For the past 3 seasons, he’s steadily decreased the walk rate and now it currently sits at 2.0 BB/9. I doubt the 2.0 is sustainable, but even if it jumps a little bit and he can work at a 3.0 K/BB ratio, he’s going to get some W’s in Cleveland, provide strikeouts, and not kill your ERA and WHIP. I like this guy a lot going forward, but sit him today against DET.
Ricky Nolasco – I was surprised to see Nolasco was owned in only 5% of Yahoo leagues. He’s had a solid run of 4 starts with an almost 4.0 K/BB ratio, but faced the likes of MIN, CHC, and SD in that stretch, so proceed cautiously with those results. Nolasco won’t touch double-digit wins this year, but he won’t kill you in any starts which makes him an ideal H2H play. I wouldn’t reach for Nolasco in roto leagues yet, but add him at the end of your rotation in H2H leagues to boost your K’s a little bit every week without blowing up your ERA and WHIP.
Jonathan Pettibone – Owned in 4% of Yahoo leagues, Pettibone is worth a look in the deepest of leagues. His arsenal isn’t great with a 90.1 mph fastball and I put him on this list mostly because of his security of a rotation spot. In deep leagues, just having a guy who takes his turn every 5 days is worth a lot for the final SP in your rotation. You will really have to tread carefully in certain matchups, but when he faces WAS, MIA, and some of the weaker NL Central teams, he is worth a start.
Jeanmar Gomez – Gomez should hold on to his rotation spot when Francisco Liriano returns from injury, but probably won’t perform great enough to hold on to it for the return of James McDonald and Jeff Karstens. Gomez has the GB tendencies I love in a SP and helps cover up his high walk totals. I’ll be the pickiest with when I start Gomez compared to the rest of the names on this list, but if you pick your spots correctly, he is capable of providing a positive return. He’s currently 0% owned in Yahoo, so he should be readily available if you’re desperate for the help.