Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 18 (2022)


Welcome back! It’s Week 18 of our fantasy baseball Starting Pitcher Waiver Wire Pickups series! We went through a tough stretch there where there was really nobody on waivers inspiring any confidence. We are really seeing this week how soft the ownership levels have gotten as the season gets closer to its end. Plenty of the names we are going over here should be near-universally owned, but they are well below the 50% threshold. If you play in a sharper league and most of these guys are rostered, I apologize.

As we have been all season, we’ll be looking for starting pitchers with strong K-BB ratios, favoring guys that can keep the ball on the ground.

Let’s get to it – here are your starting pitcher fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups recommendations for Week 18 of the fantasy season (August 8 – August 15).

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Waiver Wire Pickups for Shallow Leagues

Pitcher pickup recommendations for leagues of any size

Nick Lodolo, Cincinnati Reds (30% Rostered)

The rookie southpaw now has a 30% strikeout rate with a 9% walk rate, and he’s been really spectacular since returning from the IL with a 32% K% and a 10% BB%. The WHIP is high because of that bad walk rate, but also because of some crazy bad luck (.406 BABIP).

It’s a tough home ballpark to pitch in, and the high walk rate is probably going to stick around (although 9% really isn’t all that bad), so I would say the WHIP will stay a bit higher than we want – but the strikeouts are great and he’s been able to get deep into games recently, throwing six innings in his last two starts. Pick him up!

Aaron Ashby, Milwaukee Brewers (31% Rostered)

I just don’t understand how Ashby can be 30% rostered. It’s as if leagues didn’t have IL spots and people were forced to drop him when he went on the IL and haven’t added him back or something. It makes no sense.

Ashby has a great 27% K% this year, but a mediocre walk rate at 10%. The kicker is that he gets a ton of ground balls, which helps clean up those walks. His 56% GB% is the seventh-best mark among qualified starters. He’s awesome and has a nice-looking schedule down the stretch.

Jesus Luzardo, Miami Marlins (45% Rostered)

Luzardo returned from a long IL stint and looked fine in his five innings against the Reds – striking out five and giving up two runs on three hits, all while not walking anybody.

His CSW% in that start was a nice 30.9% – and for the year, he has a beautiful 34.2% mark with a 33.3% K%, although in just seven starts. His stuff is electric, and he looked like one of the best pitchers in the league in April before getting hurt. His upside is absurd, and he should be rostered for that reason alone.

Reid Detmers, Los Angeles Angels (42% Rostered)

Only 13 pitchers have a higher K-BB% since July 1st than Detmers, who has come back from the minors ripping.

The 34.4% K% is seventh-best in the league and he’s given up ZERO homers in four starts. He looks like a blossoming ace for the Angels, so get your hands on him while you can.

Alex Cobb, San Francisco Giants (36% Rostered)

I’m just not going to stop putting him in this article! We were dismayed at him for a few weeks as his K% was heading downwards, but over his last two starts, he’s struck out 38.8% of the hitters he’s faced – and one of those starts was against the Dodgers.

For the year, he has a 30.2% CSW%, an 11% SwStr%, a 24.9% K%, a 7.0% BB%, and an elite 62.3% GB%. He’s given up a homer just once every 62.3 plate appearances, which gives him a really nice ERA floor. He should continue to deliver strong ERA and quality starts for your fantasy team down the stretch.

Waiver Wire Pickups for Deeper Leagues

Braxton Garrett, Miami Marlins (40% Rostered)

37 strikeouts in his last four starts, although he’s taken advantage of two matchups each with the Pirates and Reds. The remaining schedule is really brutal for the Marlins, so there are much tougher times ahead.

Good pitching beats good hitting, and I think Garrett is a good pitcher. He has an elite, elite slider (24.8% SwStr%), and a deep arsenal (five pitches over at 9% usage or above). That will help him have success even against good lineups, and this kid looks like he’s really figured something out.

He’s a lower priority for me than the names above, just because of the tough schedule, but I like Garrett enough to say he should be rostered in at least 75% of leagues.

George Kirby, Seattle Mariners (35% Rostered)

Another guy we’ve just been pounding in this article all year, Kirby has looked great since returning from his quick trip back to the minors to get some rest. For the year, he has a 23.6% K%, a 3.6% BB%, and a 45.9% GB%. Those are three marks I love to see, and they go very well together.

I think there’s reason to believe his K% can move upwards as he gets more polished, and he’s on a winning team right now. The reason for hesitation is that he could end up out of the rotation for stretches if they want to really monitor his innings – which is pretty possible right now, so keep an eye on that. In the meantime, if he’s starting for the Mariners – he should be starting for your fantasy squad.

Hunter Greene, Cincinnati Reds (41% Rostered)

Up-and-down he goes, but he is coming off of an up here this week. He struck out eight Marlins on August 1st and has at least six strikeouts in each of his last four starts. There have been a handful of really bad games mixed in there, which we expected.

He’s given up five or more earned runs on four occasions, and I won’t be surprised if it happens again soon since he is so dependent on the four-seamer and pitches in Great American Ballpark. The ceiling is very high, and we’ve seen him rip off some of the best starts of anybody this year – so he should be rostered in deep leagues.

Other Waiver Wire Options

Alrighty, hope you enjoyed the piece and I hope some of these starting pitcher picks change your life forever and ever, for the better. So long!

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