Mixed-league roto owners, looking for a waiver-wire pitcher before Friday’s full slate of games?
Here’s my free-agent choice (citing most 12-team leagues) for one day of fantasy stardom:
Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners (vs. Rangers)
1. In two starts this season, spanning 14 innings, Iwakuma has a 2.57 ERA, 0.43 WHIP and letter-perfect K-BB rate of 10/0.
2. Of his 32 career appearances with the Mariners (2012-13), Iwakuma has rock-solid marks with ERA (3.10), WHIP (1.19) and K-BB rate (111/43).
3. Seattle has a slew of elite pitching prospects coming up the pipeline (Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen, James Paxton), but Iwakuma has earned his keep in the Mariners’ rotation. He’s an ideal No. 5 or 6 starter in fantasy circles.
The Next Five For Friday
1. Alex Cobb (Rays) @ Red Sox — In most cases, it’s not a good idea to recommend pitchers with only two career starts at Fenway Park. However, Cobb (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.95) has a 2-0 record and 1.80 ERA at Boston’s venerable ballpark.
2. Justin Masterson (Indians) vs. White Sox — As of April 9, Masterson was only one of three MLB pitchers with 13 or more innings … and sub-1.00 ERA and WHIPs (along with Clayton Kershaw and Matt Harvey). On a grander scale, Masterson has evolved into a seasonal lock for double-digit victories and 160 strikeouts.
3. Bud Norris (Astros) @ Angels — Norris draws the struggling, pitching-light Angels at the perfect time. Plus, he has allowed only two runs in his two outings this season.
4. J.A. Happ (Blue Jays) @ Royals — Streaky assets like Happ (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.75 WHIP) shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially as short-term replacements. He could be a sneaky-good No. 6 or 7 starter for a few weeks.
5. Ross Detwiler (Nationals) vs. Braves — In real-world terms, Detwiler (zero runs allowed vs. Cincy on April 6) is on the short list of MLB’s best No. 5 starters. From a fantasy perspective, though, it’s time to ramp up the strikeouts.