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Top fantasy baseball starting pitcher waiver pickups for Week 11

Chris Landers goes over their top fantasy baseball starting pitchers to target on the waiver wire going into the week of June 4 including Louie Varland and Drey Jameson.

Drey Jameson of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Busch Stadium on April 18, 2023 in St Louis, Missouri. Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

We’ve officially passed the two-month mark of the 2023 MLB season, as hard as that is to believe, and “it’s still early!” is becoming a less and less convincing crutch for fantasy managers wondering whether to stick with a draft pick or start scouring the waiver wire. This is especially true for starting pitchers, where injuries have laid waste to seemingly scores of top arms. That’s why we’re here to help, with four targets likely available in your league showing signs that they’re in for a big year.

Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Week 11 starting pitcher targets

Louie Varland, SP, Minnesota Twins

Roster percentage: 9.2%

Varland is on a roll lately, conquering both the Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros (13 innings, eight Ks, three earned runs, two quality starts) on the back of one of the most underrated fastballs in baseball. The rookie throws that heater 42.2% of the time, and while it won’t light up any radar guns, he gives it elite extension and spin and consistently elevates it at the top of the zone. Tyler Mahle is out indefinitely, and while Kenta Maeda has started a rehab assignment, we’ll believe he’s fully back from his Tommy John surgery when we see it — meaning Varland should have plenty of runway this year.

Griffin Canning, SP, Los Angeles Angels

Roster percentage: 2.0%

Canning’s made his kitchen-sink approach work to perfection over his last two starts, striking out 14 while allowing just three runs over 13 innings against the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox. Of course, the righty’s feel for his plethora of secondaries hasn’t always been there this year, but when it is, he’s shown that he still has plenty of upside — if he can make it work against the Astros next, he should be added just about everywhere, so get in one start early and drop him if he struggles.

Drey Jameson, SP/RP, Arizona Diamondbacks

Roster percentage: 1.5%

Arizona’s other prized pitching prospect, Jameson was overshadowed a bit by Brandon Pfaadt’s promotion — but while Pfaadt struggled in his first taste of the Majors, Jameson has thrived in a multi-inning relief role, most recently striking out six over 3.2 innings against the Colorado Rockies earlier this week. With Ryne Nelson flailing in the rotation, Jameson is waiting in the wings to take his spot — and with a slider this wicked, he might not give it back once he does.

A.J. Smith-Shawver, SP/RP, Atlanta Braves

Roster percentage: 2.5%

From High-A to the Majors in just a couple of months. Smith-Shawver laid waste to the Minors this year, posting a 1.09 ERA and striking out 45 over 33 innings across three levels, and with Atlanta’s pitching staff hampered by injury, the Braves decided to call the 20-year-old up earlier this week. He’s likely to start in a bit of a Jameson-like relief role, but given Jared Shuster and Dylan Dodd’s struggles at the highest level this year — and Max Fried and Kyle Wright nowhere near returning — we could see him get a shot to start sooner rather than later.