Down the stretch, we’ll be covering the probable starters and highlighting our favorites to stream as you chase down your fantasy titles. The pitcher in question must be available in 50% or more of leagues according to FantasyPros.com which combines ESPN and Yahoo! roster rates (sometimes exceptions just over 50% will be mentioned if they are really good and should have a much higher roster rate).
I’m listing them in order of interest.
Zach Davies (9-7, 3.69) at MIA | 30%: Davies could be a lot worse and still qualify as a recommendation against the Marlins. They are simply one of the best teams to pick on down the stretch. Davies won’t do much for your strikeouts, but I’ll take 5-6 strong innings with a few strikeouts and strong win probability here.
John Means (10-10, 3.50 ERA) v. LAD | 37%: The 2019 All Star has done his best work at home (2.86 ERA/0.98 WHIP) and while the Dodgers are unquestionably one of the best teams in the league, they aren’t their best against lefties. Since the All-Star break, the Dodgers are 14th in wOBA against southpaws with the 4th-highest strikeout rate at 25%. While Means has been better against sub-.500 teams, he’s at 4.00 ERA/1.21 WHIP against .500 or better teams and I’d take a start like that here against the Dodgers.
Reynaldo López (9-12, 5.17) v. KC | 20%: I’ll never learn. I know the downside, but I’m starting Lopez here. He has a 3.38 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 64 innings since the All-Star break with 63 strikeouts. He rebounded from a massive Shellacking in Atlanta during which he couldn’t make it out of the first inning (0.7 IP/6 ER) with a complete game one-hitter in Cleveland.
Logan Webb (1-1, 6.50) v. PIT | 7%: Webb has had two good and two bad starts in his nascent MLB career and he likely hit the wire in a lot of leagues after giving up 7 ER in St. Louis his last time out. In each of his two gems, he allowed just 1 ER and fanned seven. Meanwhile, the Pirates are dead last in wOBA since the break making this a perfect matchup for a rebound.
CC Sabathia (5-8, 4.93) at DET | 9%: Sabathia is returning from the IL and will likely be tightly managed, but I think I’d even take four quality innings here in most formats. The Tigers are just too ripe to pick on here.
Ross Stripling (4-4, 3.42) at BAL | 38%: It’s unfortunate that two of the best setups – Stripling and Sabathia – will be limited in their workload. Strip has logged just 67 pitches over his last two outings combined (5 shutout innings) and will likely be capped around 3-4 innings as they probably won’t extend him beyond 50 pitches before turning it over to Dustin May. May himself might be a worthy pickup if you’re chasing wins since he’ll get the middle innings and likely with a lead.
Zach Eflin (8-11, 4.31) v. ATL | 30%: Eflin has quietly put together a 3.32 ERA/1.15 WHIP in 21.7 innings since rejoining the rotation on August 17th. The Braves are a tough matchup on any given night, but they are just 20th in wOBA against righties since the All-Star break with a 26% K rate that has them tied with the Tigers for baseball’s worst mark.
Pablo López (5-8, 4.75) v. MIL | 8%: Lopez was shaky in his first two starts off the IL, but he tossed a gem his last time out (6.3 IP/2 ER) against the Royals. The Brewers are a helluva lot harder than the Royals, but I’m still open to Lopez here, especially at home where he has a 2.68 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in 53.7 IP.
Joe Musgrove (9-12, 4.67) at SF | 44%: Speaking of never learning… Musgrove can pull the rug out from under you in any start, but a trip to San Francisco for a generally solid arm could be fantasy gold. He just survived back-to-back trips to Philadelphia and Colorado with quality starts in both so of course he’ll give up 7 ER in 3 innings here, but I’m still considering him if a lot of the guys listed higher aren’t available in your league.
Adam Plutko (6-4, 4.44) at LAA | 12%: Josh Tomlin 2.0 hasn’t allowed more than 4 ER in any of his last nine starts, en route to a 3.66 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 51.7 IP. He only has 36 strikeouts (17% K rate) but has improved his home run rate to palatable 1.2 per nine after posting a disgusting 2.8 mark in his first 41.7 IP.
Martin Pérez (10-6, 4.75) v. WAS | 31%: Perez has four gems in his last five starts, but the other was a 7 ER nightmare against the Tigers of all teams and erased a lot of the good work from the other starts. Even if the dud against Detroit hadn’t ruined the ERA, his 2% K-BB rate in these five starts is enough to make me extremely cautious about using Perez in this matchup. Be very careful.
Dillon Peters (3-2, 4.45) v. CLE | 3%: Peters might be a lesser iteration Plutko. He’s shown flashes throughout the year, but has a 6.52 ERA/1.76 WHIP over his last four starts with a 1.9 HR/9.
Brett Anderson (11-9, 4.08) at HOU | 19%: He’s actually pitched quite well this year, but you can’t throw any non-superstar against the Astros at this point.
Framber Valdez (4-7, 5.62) v. OAK | 5%: A 19% BB rate in his three starts since rejoining the rotation is enough to push me off Valdez here.
Trent Thornton (4-9, 5.23) v. BOS | 3%: Even with a reasonable 3.86 ERA and 23 Ks over his last five starts (25.7 IP), I still can’t trust Thornton against an offense like Boston.
Ariel Jurado (7-10, 5.40) v. TB | 2%: No thanks.