Low-Ownership Starters for Friday (9/29)

Only four days of games left in the regular season! Two of my three leagues are super close at the top and I’m lucky enough to be part of what’s sure to be a nail biting finish. So these pitching performances are of paramount importance. Let’s see who’s slated to pitch on Friday.

Chris Stratton (CBS 18% Owned) vs SD (Jordan Lyles)

The 24-year-old Stratton has posted weak skills and has somehow managed to keep an acceptable BABIP at .307 despite allowing line drives at a ridiculous 28.4% clip. There’s literally nothing positive in his entire statistical profile. Great matchup, but he should be a permanent swimmer in the free agent pool, regardless of opponent.

Wade Miley (16%) at TB (Jake Odorizzi)

There was a time when I liked Miley. That time isn’t now. This year he has taken his poor skills to an entirely new level by completely losing any semblance of control. When you’re one of only a single digit number of starting pitchers available on free agency each week in AL Tout Wars, you must not be very good.

Chad Bettis (14%) vs LAD (Clayton Kershaw)

Bettis has been a great story this year, but in the launching pad of Coors Field against the team with the best record in baseball and baseball’s best pitcher? No thanks.

Luiz Gohara (13%) at MIA (Dan Straily)

I’ve never heard of Gohara before his call-up, but it’s hard not to pay attention when he’s running a 25.8% strikeout rate and 13.5% SwStk%, all supported by similarly dominating minor league marks. His .375 BABIP looks like one of the biggest mirages in baseball, considering his line drive rate beats the league average, he’s an extreme fly baller, and he induces lots of pop-ups. Righties have crushed him, but it’s all because of a .411 BABIP. With a slider that’s generated an insane 24.6% SwStk% and even a changeup with a 16.7%, to go with his 96 mph fastball, he’s an intriguing name. I’d be starting him, though am kind of rooting against him to reduce his price tag and sleeper status heading into next year.

Matt Boyd (12%) at MIN (Jose Berrios)

Remember when Boyd posted a 2.10 ERA during Spring Training, along with 23 strikeouts and just one walk over 25.2 innings? It made him a trendy sleeper, but all he’s done is see his underlying skills erode from last season. The Twins sit middle of the pack in wOBA against lefties for the season, but in an away start, Boyd is far too risky a play.

Ben Lively (9%) vs NYM (Matt Harvey)

No strikeouts and too many fly balls means Lively is a terrible fantasy pitcher. He’s not all that great in real life, but at least a high fly ball rate should cap his BABIP and keep his ERA below his SIERA. Of course, if it didn’t, he wouldn’t still be pitching in the Majors.

Joe Biagini (7%) at NYY (Masahiro Tanaka)

Man has Biagini been all over the place in his starts. It’s impossible to predict what you’ll get from him, but he does own respectable skills, far better than his 5.34 ERA would suggest. That said, he’ll be facing the second best offense in baseball in one of the league’s best hitter’s parks. He has a better chance than some others on this list to turn in a good start, but the risk of a two-inning, six run drubbing is too great to risk starting him.

Marco Gonzales (2%) at LAA (Tyler Skaggs)

Once a top prospect with the Cardinals, Gonzalez underwent TJ surgery last year and is back on the field, now in a new uniform. Perhaps surprisingly, his control hasn’t been an issue, which is often the case with first year TJ-returnees. His velocity has been good too. And although this is an away start, he’ll be facing the team with the lowest wOBA against lefties in all of baseball. Of course, most of that was without Justin Upton, who owns a crazy .475 wOBA against southpaws this year and .381 mark in his career. But one player isn’t going to make the Angels good, so this is a pretty decent matchup. I’d take a shot here.

John Gant (1%) vs MIL (Chase Anderson)

Gant has posted decent skills in the minors that haven’t fully translated yet, but his changeup has been excellent as advertised. The Brewers own the league’s highest strikeout rate, though Jonathan Villar is no longer a starter. I’d start Gant and cross my fingers.

Raul Alcantara (0%) at TEX (Martin Perez)

How a guy who has posted a strikeout rate above 20% just twice over 11 minor league stints will already be making the ninth start of his career for the Athletics is baffling.

Jordan Lyles (0%) at SF (Chris Stratton)

And how does a guy with a career ERA of 5.37 over 106 starts, with his best season ERA coming in at 4.33 (the only season below 5.00) continue to get chances?!

We hoped you liked reading Low-Ownership Starters for Friday (9/29) by Mike Podhorzer!

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Mike Podhorzer is the 2015 Fantasy Sports Writers Association Baseball Writer of the Year. He produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X 2.0: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.

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Nasty Nate
Nasty Nate

Does anyone know of a good resource to see in one place the probable starting pitchers for this weekend’s games?

Nasty Nate
Nasty Nate

To answer my own question, I found this at ESPN: http://www.espn.com/mlb/probables

But there may be better places.