Low-Ownership Starters for Tuesday (9/19)

Our series on low ownership starters continues with those pitchers owned in less than 10% of Yahoo! leagues who are expected to throw Tuesday.

Travis Wood (1% at Yahoo) vs Diamondbacks (Zack Godley)

I put the minimum strikeout rate needed for streaming consideration at 6.5 K/9. Wood just meets the benchmark but that’s it for his positive traits. His BB/9 is a 4.2. He has a 6.80 ERA. His ERA estimators are near 5.50. He’s facing Zack Godley and Diamondbacks, so the Win chances are slim. Probably look elsewhere.

Luiz Gohara (2% owned) at Nationals (Max Scherzer)

I profiled Gohara last week and here is my take:

Playing Gohara would be a strikeout-only play with likely damage to ERA and WHIP.
Basically, he showing no signs of control pushing every stat higher. And to make matter worse, he’s facing Max Scherzer, so the Win chances are low.

What did he do, he went out and dominated the Nationals, with six strikeouts and picking up the Win. Well, the situation repeats as he faces Nationals with Max Scherzer pitching.

My stance on him remains as a nice strikeout option and he’s at least shown he can minimize his walks. I feel better but not great about starting him.

Jackson Stephens (1% owned) vs Cardinals (Jack Flaherty)

Stephens seems to be an average pitcher after reading through his few prospect reports.

He has really good pitchability and throws strikes, though none of his pitches really stand out as potential weapons against big league hitters. Reds sources are unsure about him staying in the rotation, but he can locate his fastball to both sides of the plate with two average-ish breaking balls and a below-average changeup. He has decent command of his full arsenal, though the lack of pure stuff and a history of elbow issues make relieving a high likelihood.

In four appearances (three as a reliever, one start), he has an 8.7 K/9 with a decent walk rate (2.4 BB/9). Along with the decent control, his fastball averages 94 mph and his curveball has an above average swinging strike rate (19%). Some good pieces exist for the prospect.

I wish the start wasn’t at home runs happy Great American Ballpark because he is a flyball pitcher. Overall, why not take a chance on Stephens?

Jack Flaherty (8% owned) vs Reds (Jackson Stephens)

The 21-year-old rookie may hurt an owner’s ERA (6.08) and WHIP (4.7 BB/9). This matchup with the Reds does give him a nice chance for a Win and a few strikeouts.

Tyler Skaggs (8% owned) vs Indians (Mike Clevinger)

At this point in the season, desperate owners are going to hope Skaggs can keep rolling. In his last two starters, he’s thrown 13 innings with 14 strikeouts, two walks, and three earned runs. Maybe the Win chances are low but Cleveland has clinched the division so they may start resting players. Skaggs is a fine streaming option.

Chad Bell (0% owned) vs Athletics (Daniel Gossett)

Last week I wondered if Bell could pitch himself to a higher ownership rate.

I wonder if the 0% ownership is a little too high considering his talent profile.

Nope, it’s still zero. Also, his issue of not going far into games continued with a 3.1 IP start. Look elsewhere.

Daniel Gossett (1% owned) vs Tigers (Chad Bell)

The 7.5 K/9 and a matchup against Chad Bell and Tigers point to a reason to take a chance on Gossett (previously featured).

Sam Gaviglio (1% owned) at Blue Jays (Marcus Stroman)

The 27-year-old Gaviglio has been decent with the Royals (2.70 ERA, 7.2 K/9, and 2.7 BB/9). His strikeouts have never been as high as they are now except early in the low minors. I looked for any changes the Royals may have implemented and couldn’t find any. It’s tough to put a value on him. He seems to be an option for strikeouts and a Win but just not one of the better ones.

Seth Lugo (5% owned) vs Marlins (Odrisamer Despaigne)

Last week I highly recommended Lugo but he got lit up by the Cubs for eight runs. Owners can’t expect a .571 BABIP and 23% LOB% every time he pitches. With him facing Miami, I still like him as a streaming option.

Odrisamer Despaigne (2% owned) vs Mets (Seth Lugo)

He had his Saturday start skipped when I didn’t like his chances.

What is with these pitchers having a walk rate (5.1 BB/9) higher than their strikeout rate (4.6 K/9)? In 39 innings? No regression? Why are they not in the minors? Who are the 3% who own him? So many questions, so few I want answered.

His 4.38 ERA makes him look startable but no way his 0.2 HR/9 is going to keep going with fly ball tendencies (only 36% GB%). I expect his ERA to jump up near his ERA estimators hear 6.00.

Nothing has changed. Avoid.

Trevor Williams (6% owned) vs Brewers (Chase Anderson)

The 25-year-old righty meets the acceptable streamer line. Strikeout rate near seven per nine. Good control. An ERA and ERA estimators near 4.50. Depending on the other available options, he’s a reasonable streaming option.


Gossett (Win play)
Gohara (Strikeout play)

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 three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

newest oldest most voted

Love the column. Concise and helpful.