Roto Riteup: September 28, 2016

The entire Rotographs site has become about final-week streaming options, so make sure to look around outside of the Roto Riteup for more tips on who to start over the final days of your season. There’s only so much I can add, so allow me this aside: If you ever have the opportunity to see Chance the Rapper live, do it. Don’t question it, don’t hesitate, don’t worry about the cost. I can’t recommend it enough. I missed an important Jays-Orioles game to be uplifted by 90 minutes of pure joy. I’d even stream Chance tonight, as he does a second show, if I could.

On the agenda:
1. Dropping starters
2. Various News and Notes
3. Streaming Pitcher Options

Dropping starters
Today marks the fifth-to-last day of the season. That means that every starter’s next start will be their last of the season, save for perhaps teams in need of a Game 163. In redraft leagues, that means you can pretty safely start dropping anyone after they start for you, should you need the roster spot for additional streaming options, or even just to keep a nice waiver piece from an opponent. Your league may handle Game 163s differently, but the only teams really at risk of playing one right now look to be Baltimore, Detroit, Seattle, Houston, and maybe Toronto in the AL, and New York, San Francisco, and St. Louis in the NL. Other than Wednesday-Thursday starters for those teams, you can probably drop anyone after their next turn, if it’s not a keeper league.

Various News and Notes
I will not tire of player tributes to Jose Fernandez. And every single one of them continues to make me sad.

The Rockies would consider sitting DJ LeMahieu down the stretch if it will help him lock up the NL batting crown. Batting .350, narrowly ahead of the injured Daniel Murphy at .347, LeMahieu risks hurting his robust line in San Francisco and at home against Milwaukee. Considering the likely the reaction and the fact that LeMahieu sounded lukewarm on the idea, I’m skeptical he ends up getting more than one day off.

The Dodgers lined up their NLDS rotation, which required bumping Jose De Leon to Wednesday in a shakeup. Julio Urias, Clayton Kershaw, and the ever-reliable TBA finish out the week, as things currently stand. That’s one more chance to make a Cy Young case for Kershaw, which is cool.

The Red Sox won’t start Drew Pomeranz this week, instead shifting him to the bullpen, which should hold for the postseason, too. So if he was in your Thursday plans, look elsewhere (though maybe not to Henry Owens). A.J. Cole could be done for the Nationals, too, as he was just hit with a five-game suspension, though look for him as a streaming option over the weekend if he appeals. The Nats are also without Stephen Strasburg for a while longer, as Mike Rizzo said yesterday that the ace probably won’t be back for even the NLDS.

Gary Sanchez homered again. He’s now the fastest player ever to get to 20 home runs. You’ve read all of this before.

Quick injury updates from yesterday: Steven Matz is, in fact, finally, undergoing season-ending elbow surgery, to go along with him already being shut down due to shoulder soreness. Tough year. As it turns out, the injury Wilson Ramos suffered Monday is a torn ACL, ending his season and putting the start of his 2017 campaign in jeopardy. That’s a big loss for the Nationals. Corey Kluber won’t pitch again until at least the ALDS, as a mild quad strain is expected to keep him out 7-10 days.

Streaming Pitcher Options
If you enjoy streaming pitchers or play DFS, tune into the Roto Riteup for recommendations each and every day.

A pitcher for today: Mike Foltynewicz vs PHI (Adam Morgan)
Remember back to earlier in the year when we picked on the Braves regularly? Their horrible start still ranks them 28th on the year in total offense by wRC+, but they’ve been a dangerous No. 2 in the past month. The Phillies, meanwhile, are 29th overall and 25th in the last month, the kind of consistent mediocrity we hope for in this space. Mike Foltynewicz isn’t a world-beater by any means, but he’s done really well to limit walks while striking out 21 percent of opposing batters, presenting a nice mix of floor and moderate upside here. Jose De Leon and James Paxton are also decent options here.

A pitcher for tomorrow: Daniel Norris vs CLE (Ryan Merritt)
If the control (and fastball command) improvements made by Daniel Norris are legitimate, there really could be something here. I’ve long been a fan, and he’s been flashing some nice upside with a 22.9-percent strikeout rate in 62.2 major-league innings this year. The Indians aren’t exactly a cherry match-up for a left-handed pitcher, but their power is somewhat subdued against southpaws, and they only grade out as average against them overall, though they also don’t strike out a ton. Owned in under a quarter of leagues, Norris seems like a good play. Robbie Ray and Albert Suarez are also decent options here.

We hoped you liked reading Roto Riteup: September 28, 2016 by Blake Murphy!

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Blake Murphy is a freelance sportswriter based out of Toronto. Formerly of the Score, he's the managing editor at Raptors Republic and frequently pops up at Sportsnet, Vice, and around here. Follow him on Twitter @BlakeMurphyODC.

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