Low-Ownership Starters for Final Weekend

It’s the season’s end. Good luck to everyone and hopefully I can help a few teams win their titles. Now, if there ever was a time to second guess me, it’s this weekend. Teams are limiting their pitcher innings and changing starters, especially the playoff-bound teams. Do a bit of fact checking before picking anyone up.

Note: All players have a 10% or less Yahoo! ownership.


Luke Sims (5% owned) at Marlins (Odrisamer Despaigne)

If you’re streaming just for Wins, Sims is a perfectly decent option. He’s pitching good enough to squeak out a Win, especially against a beatable Miami team. His strikeouts are reasonable at ~7 K/9. His ERA and WHIP are likely to be high but it’s just one game.

Odrisamer Despaigne (3% owned) vs Braves (Luke Sims)

Starting Despaigne could be a nice hedge for Sim owners who need just the Win. The problem with Despaigne is that he strikes out fewer and walks more batters than Sims.

Miguel Castro (1% owned) vs Rays (Chris Archer)

He’s not even useful for the owner throwing everyone including the kitchen sink for Wins. It’s his first start at any level in two years. There’s no way he’s going the five innings. At least start someone who might qualify for a Win.

Carson Fulmer (5% owned) at Cleveland (Corey Kluber)

Fulmer’s dealing with a blister which moved his last start back. He’s facing the Klubot. His ERA estimators are near 6.00. Find someone else.

Jackson Stephens (2% owned) at Cubs (Jon Lester)

The 23-year-old righty might be worth taking a chance on if he wasn’t facing the Cubs in Chicago. Stephens is projected to put up good numbers (7.5 K/9, 3.3 BB/9) besides home runs (1.5 HR/9). He may get a Cubs lineup which is resting its regulars. He’s just a Win play.

Buck Farmer (2%) at Minnesota (Jose Berrios, maybe)

Farmer is a human piñata. With his 9.6 K/9 and reasonable 3.4 BB/9, he should post decent numbers. Hitters most easily see the ball coming out of his hand as seen by his .323 BABIP, 1.8 HR/9, and a 7.01 ERA (one run over his ERA estimators). He doesn’t seem to be turning his fortunes around by allowing 13 runs over his last 11.2 innings. He’s a strikeout only option.

Ricky Nolasco (7% owned) vs Mariners (Andrew Moore)

If an owner is looking for any reason to start Nolasco, they might as well for this start. He’s likely to get hit around but still posts a few strikeouts (7.2 K/9) while possibly getting a Win against Andrew Moore and the Mariners.

Andrew Moore (3% owned) at Angels (Ricky Nolasco)

Starting Moore isn’t really betting on Moore, it’s more like betting against Nolasco. One of them should get the Win. And Moore’s talent is like Nolasco’s, just worse.

Aaron Wilkerson (0% owned) at Cardinals (Luke Weaver)

I’m not 100% sure he’s starting but don’t use him. It looks to be a bullpen game for Milwaukee with the starter not going five innings.

Henderson Alvarez (3% owned) vs Mets (Jacob deGrom)

If an owner feels their season rides on Alvarez beating deGrom, then start Alvarez. Sane owners will just look for other options.

Daniel Gossett (1% owned) at Texas (Andrew Cashner)

While Gossett’s 5.82 ERA isn’t the best, he could easily get the Win in this game. And with  a 7.2 K/9 on the season, a few strikeouts. An owner could do a lot worse.

Matt Cain (3% owned) vs Padres (Jhoulys Chacin)

In his last start, ever, Cain could get the Win. He’s a shell of is former self but why not ride the nostalgia train for a Win.

Saturday Rankings

Farmer (K’s)



Max Fried (1% owned) at Marlins (Jose Urena)

Fried is a bad pitcher going against an OK pitcher. Maybe.

Chris Volstad (0% owned) at Cleveland (Josh Tomlin)

I’d stay away. There are just too many unknowns about him. His projections are at a 5.0 K.9 and 5.00 ERA. If those are playable, start him.

Deck McGuire (0% owned) at Cubs (Jake Arrieta)

I think he’s one of the better strikeout plays of the day. I think there are better options for Wins but if an owner needs both, this former first-round pick might provide both.

Ross Stripling (2% owned) at Rockies (Tyler Chatwood)

I don’t think an owner can chance Stripling. The game is in Colorado. The Rockies could be fighting for a wildcard spot. Stripling has only made one start this season going only three innings. His Win chances are nil.

Anibal Sanchez (4% owned) at Twins (Bartolo Colon?)

Of the Sunday guys, he’s the best option. Chance for strikeouts against a Twins team which will be resting players looking towards the Tuesday wildcard game. He’s not great but he’s not Chris Volstad.

Bartolo Colon? (7% owned) vs Tigers (Anibal Sanchez)

Colon may not be starting this game as the Twins look towards the Wild Card Game. Even if he does start, I don’t like his chances. He only lasted one inning in his last start with an unknown injury. And he’s not been that good this year. In a throwaway game, look elsewhere for options.

Brett Anderson (2% owned) at Yankees (Jordan Montgomery)

It really comes down to how desperate a team is Sunday. Anderson could maybe win and strikeout a couple guys. He’s one of the day’s better options.

Seth Lugo (8% owned) at Phillies (Nick Pivetta)

He’s neck-and-neck with Sanchez for the top spot. Owners need to use him in this favorable matchup.

Nick Pivetta (8% owned) vs Mets (Seth Lugo)

He’s the best strikeout option (9.4 K/9) on the day with a chance for a Win. The rates are horrible but hopefully, most team rate stat rankings are set by the last day.

Steven Brault (2% owned) at Nationals (Gio Gonzalez)

He could win. He’s gone at least five innings in his other three starts. He doesn’t really strike anyone out (5.1 K/9 as a starter), so don’t play him for those. Rostering him really comes down to who else is available.

Sunday Rankings


Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won four FSWA Awards including on for his Mining the News series. He's won Tout Wars three times, LABR twice, and got his first NFBC Main Event win in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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6 years ago

how do you feel about Perdomo on Sunday? QS league

6 years ago
Reply to  chazzycat

why not