In a special edition of the deep league waiver wire, I identify some pitchers who are widely available and have a decent matchup next week. It’s your last chance to gain ground in wins and strikeouts, though of course you must consider the potential damage to your ERA and WHIP.
Ivan Nova vs BOS
After outperforming his SIERA last year and posting some pretty soft skils, Nova’s luck has done a 180. His peripherals have surged, yet his ERA has skyrocketed, and now sits more than a full run above his SIERA. The hits that didn’t fall last year are dropping in at an inflated rate and he has allowed more than double the homers he gave up last season. Nothing in his advanced metrics seem to explain what has happened, which means the only thing we can do is chalk it up to good old fashioned bad luck. So, we would expect Nova to improve his surface stats to begin with.
Next is a look at his opponent, the sorry Red Sox. In September, the first full month without the stars they traded away and David Ortiz, the team posted an embarrassing .274 wOBA. That makes for an intriguing matchup for any pitcher, especially one who has experienced some apparent bad luck and was set to enjoy better fortunes going forward.
Patrick Corbin vs COL
The rookie shouthpaw has posted pretty solid peripherals, leading to a 3.69 SIERA, but has been hampered by a slightly inflated BABIP and HR/FB ratio. His F-Strike% and SwStk% marks are just a smidge below the league averages, which means he’s likely not a true 2.2 walk rate guy just yet. But, his minor league history points to a pitcher with strong control, so the F-Strike% could improve in a hurry.
The Rockies have always struggled on the road, and this season has been no different. They have posted a weak .288 wOBA away from Coors Field, good for third to last in all of baseball. And with Carlos Gonzalez potentially being shut down for the rest of the season, that’s one less offensive force Corbin will have to face.
Travis Wood vs HOU
Wood has taken his good control and fly ball ways to Chicago, which isn’t exactly the best combination. His SIERA lines up almost perfectly with his actual ERA, which is a negative given both marks are in the low 4.00 range. However, the play here is primarily due to his opponent. We know that the Astros offense is weak. They have posted an overall wOBA of just .295, ranking second to last in all of baseball. But, those struggles don’t even tell the full story. Against lefties, they are even more inept, having posted a pathetic .272 wOBA, easily ranking last in baseball. This is one of the best pure matchup plays involving a pitcher who is likely a free agent in nearly every non NL-Only league.