Pickups of the Day for June 17th

  • The dog days of summer are here, so working the waiver wire or free agent list can feel like a real slog. It’s week twelve of a twenty-plus week season and you’re probably feeling a little wore out, a little tired, of searching the list high and low, hoping to find a modicum of value that can improve your team. I may only have three suggestions for you today, but they can have a big impact on your team the rest of the season, especially if you are craving some saves.

    Jake Irvin – SP – WAS – 55%, Yahoo

    If you haven’t been paying any attention to the Nationals, you wouldn’t have noticed that their pitching has been, very sneakily, pretty good over large chunks of this season. One of those very good pieces has been Jake Irvin, who is currently on a five game quality start streak (and three game winning streak). Two keys of Irvin’s game have been home run suppression (0.78 HR/9 & 8.4% HR/FB) and limiting walks (1.67 BB/9). He strikes out less than eight per nine innings pitched, but has raised his swinging strike rate from 7% last season to 9.7% this season (only four qualified starters with a higher swinging strike rate have a lower strikeout rate than he does). He limits barrels (8%), has decent swing rates (48.4%, same as Yoshinobu Yamamoto), contact rates (79.9%) and attacks hitters (57.9% of all pitches, leads qualified starters). His four-seam fastball, curveball and sinkers have all been more effective as strikeout pitches and as putaway pitches and he’s added a cutter that is a work in progress (while shelving his changeup for the most part). All three have been more effective in 2024 than his 2023 rookie season, almost solely due to better control and location (less over the heart of the plate). He has allowed more than two runs in a game in only five of his fourteen starts and has a quality start in nine of his ten starts that have last six innings or more. He has performed well against terrible offenses and great offenses (he’s allowed zero runs against Atlanta over 12 innings, blanked the Dodgers over six innings and then allowed six runs over four and two-thirds in his next start against them) and is a guy you can trust against most teams. He won’t be a top 20 or 30 starter, but getting a top 40 starter out of a waiver wire pickup is a great return.

    League Size Recommendation: 12 team leagues with deep benches or 14 team or deeper leagues

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