Hey kids, I’m dusting off the old jockstrap and toeing the slab for what might be a semi-regular quick hit on undervalued SPs. The goal here is to highlight exactly three under-appreciated starting pitching options that might be available on the cheap at the time of writing. I won’t bore you with all the old talk about how you need innings, but c’mon, you got to get to 1,500 to have a shot at the title, and in 2021 it’s going to be tougher than ever. If we do it right, this column ought to help you get the jump on many of the most-added dudes on Otto, keeping you a half-inning ahead of the competition. Leggo.
Adam Wainwright | 63% Owned
At age 39 he’s sporting the best K/9 of his career and an xFIP that’s right in line with his ERA. His BABIP and BB/9 match career norms, and the HR/9 is the highest of his career, so there could be cause for a slight regression for the good. Waino has had three great starts, two decent starts, and two disasters. You probably sit him from time to time, but his job is secure in that rotation and the dude plays in a division with the Cubs and Pirates, so there will be plenty of favorable matchups. He’s likely to get the Pads next in SD, which you might consider sitting him for, but should get the Cubs after that. Probably a better value in 5x5, but not bad in points. Say it with me: Wain’s World, Wain’s World! Party time! Excellent!
Alek Manoah | 53% Owned
After just one start at AAA Buffalo this year, Manoah - a 2019 first-round pick out of West Virginia - has picked up all kinds of helium, as the kids and podcasters say. Considered very developed at the time of the draft, his bold placement at AAA suggests that the Jays are interested to see whether he can help out the big club sooner rather than later. The word is already out on Manoah (Eno talked him up on Rates, among others), so the time to buy is now if he’s available in your leagues - Manoah’m sayin’?
Tyler Anderson | 30% Owned
After being DFA’ed by the Giants after a forgettable 2020, Anderson has quietly resurfaced in Pittsburgh, where he’s had only one bad outing in his first seven starts. It’s true that xFIP says some regression is coming, but there are some things to like, as well. Anderson has been pounding the zone (he threw 71 of 102 pitches for strikes in his last start) and seeing good results while riding the vertical movement of his 4-seamer and cutter. With just 18 starts under his belt since Coors was his home park, it remains to be seen what Anderson’s true home run suppression potential is, but it’s looked good in 2020-2021. If you only have a buck to spend, Anderson ought to be worth a flyer.
(Photo by Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire)